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The chameleon in the road

We swerved out to avoid colliding with a tattered blue couch, the material covering its cushions missing almost entirely.

Dear reader,
You were taking me to Maanlig Resort, next to Witbank Dam.

We’d just stumbled off of the ledge that is Springbok Street and onto the dusty folds of the road that lead to our destination.

“It’s filthy,” I complained as I lifted my muddy feet onto the dashboard, “actually, it’s disgusting.”

I wasn’t wrong.

For whatever reason, eMalahleni has decided (collectively) that this stretch of Nauwpoort-road is a dumping site.

We swerved out to avoid colliding with a tattered blue couch, the material covering its cushions missing almost entirely.

“Who leaves a couch next to a dirt road?” I half lamented, half apathetically-mumbled.

You were quiet.

The rising dust cloud ensconcing us like a flapping cape.

The radio quietly protested the same Bob Dylan couplet it had stagnated on, over and over again; “And the riot squad they’re restless, they need somewhere to go. As Lady and I look out tonight, from Desolation Row.”

You slammed on the brakes.

I nearly ate the grubby toes of my boots, still mounted on the dashboard, as I lurched forward like some offended lawn chair being packed away.

You jumped out.

I sat still.

You usually don’t move at that speed.

I assumed we were in some kind of danger, so I did the only logical thing – and froze.

“Come look,” I heard you call, knelt somewhere in front of the car’s snout.

“No,” I asserted, “What did we hit? I don’t want to see it.”

I paused.

“Is it dead?”

“It’s a chameleon,” You said, “We didn’t hit it.”

You picked it up from the middle of the road where it had been sauntering about, and placed it at the foot of a large tree.

At first it didn’t move; then, like some drunken artist, it looked around and carefully started placing its feet – some forward, some sideways, but generally making progress.

You got back into the car, the smell of human excrement wafting in after you from Nauwpoort Waste Treatment Plant.

Wonderful.

“I wonder if the person that left their blue couch here knows that he was trespassing on chameleon-turf,” I speculated, “I can’t imagine that chameleons have much need for couches. Or rubble in general.”

Anxiously yours,
Aimee

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