Louise Tredoux

Rookie (Namibia)

Squashing Pain - Poem by Louise Tredoux

I immediately said YES, I would never say no to a
reasonable request, when Rudi called to announce
he had been offered the chance to go to Germany
with his friend Anthony - I was to determine whether
he should go - I immediately said yes, I would
never say no to a reasonable request

I’ve been cut down to size, realising that Rudi’s life
is bigger than me, I am just a small part in the larger
picture of his, I am not as important to him as he is
to me, can’t be the centre-pin of his life, I was fooling
myself, heard a knock on the door, Werner’s voice,
Louise are you there, open up, Rudi called, said

You might be in despair, felt fiery anger, revealing my
pain to his stare –never- sailed down the balcony, ran
off into the night, treading on thorns, squashing pain,
hoping criminal threats would put an end to it all, mid-
night streets all deserted, hoping to be a victim,
realizing insignificance of my life and dreams

Unimportant in the larger scheme, I won’t be missed,
I’ll be replaced, men are different from women, they
have many interests, Rudi wasn’t mean; just a human
being, I was a fool for harbouring romantic dreams; I
walked for ages, nothing happened, no-one accosted
me - helped me escape in a life-threatening adventure

Ended up on the beach, dark, quiet, waves breaking, felt
such a fool, humiliated, deserted, thinking myself more
important than any human ever could be, ashamed –
only myself to blame - at least I escaped Werner’s
well-meaning pity, walked into the waves, sea
dangerous late at night - nothing happened

Unable to drown myself, floating upon the waves; it be-
came a beautiful experience, soft moonlight upon the
the wonderful sighing of breakers, floating effortlessly,
enjoying the sensation, unable to let go and drown, not
a single kindly shark to help me out, let me die, even for
sharks my body held no charm

Rolled out on the beach - so cold, so cold, maybe germs would
destroy the life that had been Louise, went down to the cave,
shivering, passing out, woke in the morning, staring, enjoying
the flight from consciousness, lovely floating away from my
body, the final release, closed my eyes in total bliss; woke up
again, still not dead, hungry and cold, DAMN

What does it take to extinguish a redundant life? - standing up,
looking a mess, cannot go home like this, crept deeper into the
cave, passing the time, a million hours, sunset, crept outside
and slowly, slowly walked home, freezing and alone, but lucky
enough to die? - hell no! –pulled myself up the balcony, milk
from the fridge, ran a hot bath, resigned, subdued

knowing how unimportant I am, a knock on the door, Werner’s
voice, the telephone ringing, a reasonable request? – ignored it
all, nothing matters, Rudi another human being, a life without
me, what a fool I have been - got out of bath, learning to be
nothingness again, bed, a hot water bottle, ignoring doorbell
and telephone, nowhere to take my thoughts

Getting used to the idea, my Great Love was all in my head,
being a small aspect in Rudi’s kaleidoscope life, loves his
work and incidentally maybe me, that is how it should be,
I’m moving on, cancelled an appointment for fitting the
wedding dress, cancelled meeting the pastor, left the
flat, returned to my father - when he saw my face

He did not rant and rave, simply offered a meal, whiskey
in milk; put me to bed...

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poem Edited: Monday, November 3, 2008

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