I have a girlfriend who lives right at the beach. The beaches in Capetown are not straight sand beaches with coconut trees reaching out to the water, they are rocky and curving, wild and rushing.
She lives in a house at the far end of the beach, a green mountain separates where I live from where she lives.
Every friday night, I drive out to Khayelitsha township. The street is dusty, the houses are made of leaning metal zinc sheets. We go to visit an old woman who took care of her when she was a child. She calls her Aunty Mamoloko. We sit there and receive two glass bottles of coke. I chatter with the girl and the old woman looks at us with a happy smile on her face. When we stand up to leave, she heaves a sigh of relief and says we are her children.
Then we drive out to the Bassline club. We sit on the sofa and drink. We talk a lot, and by 3 a.m we are terribly drunk, laughing and shouting at each other. We are hanging on ourselves, her hands are against my chest, my arm is draped around her shoulders. Our heads are close together, and I can almost taste the sharp lemon from the caipirinhas she drank on her breath.
By 3 a.m we leave the club, go to the car and pull out my bicycle from the back. She sits behind me and I cycle her through the wide city right down to the beach. We laugh and yell as we ride through the streets, the occasional policecar will slow down as it drifts by us.
We ride through the wide streets and the grinning houses, the occasional missing streetlight gives the street a crooked smile. Everything is happy and slow.
We arrive at her home, and we rush in. We tear off our clothes and fall into bed, drunk and laughing. Channel O plays on the Television, and we make passionate love.
By 5 a.m I pull on my jeans and I touch her body one more time before leaving the room. I go out, climb on the bicycle, and cycle down the beach.
And that is the perfect moment.
The wide treads of the mountain bike crunch on the hard sand of the beach. The water speaks and murmurs things that I cannot understand. The red sun peeks out at the tip of the horizon, slowly creeping up. The water stretches out till it becomes nothing. The wind pulls my untucked shirt, it waves about wildly. A few lonely men sit at the side of the beach.
That ride takes 30 minutes, and those 30 minutes are perfect. I feel freedom, I feel nature, I feel the city, I feel the people, I feel myself, I feel the lightly beating heart of a beautiful woman. Every time I ride down that beach, I feel the most beautiful feeling in the world.