hale mary
rocking durban

*Warning – Adult Content*

I’m woken up by someone banging on my car roof. He turns out to be a security guard. It also turns out he’s not too happy with me. It takes me a moment to work out why. What doesn’t help is my splitting headache, and the glaring sun shining straight into my eyes.

He starts saying something. Behind the headache, I can hear things like what am I doing here, I can’t sleep here, am I drunk, and various things that emerge from the noise coming from him. 

I realised two things then. Firstly, the handbrake has been buried brutally deep into my back for hours. Trying to move brings a yell of pain, as my back takes the chance to seize stiff. 

The second thing? I think someone’s stolen my boot. During the night, well, the last couple of hours, I’d wound the window down, lain sideways across the seats, and put my feet through the open window, leaving them resting on the window frame. But now, squinting into the glaring sun, I can see, I can feel, I’m only wearing one. Without looking, I’m certain it’s not inside the car, so now my boot’s gone.

Argh. Fuck. This is Heinrich’s fault. Well, his parents’ actually, it had been his birthday party last night. But I’ve met them, they’re really nice, so fuck it. Heinrich’s an arsehole.

But also I should be at home, I should be sleeping this off. 

But no. I’m here, the Ballito Lifestyle Centre. And it’s early. Way, way too early.

I’d left Heinrich’s, driven down here, because I’m here to see this band.

Hale Mary. and their gig’s between 6 and 9. 

I’m doing a piece for ICONICZA, Colin says that apparently they’re actually pretty decent, and this is pretty much the last chance I have to see them before I leave for Turkey, so I’d done the responsible thing, I’d come down here, left Heinrich’s early, and made sure I was here.

But, fuck, I’m hurting. My back’s fucked, my eyes are hurt, dry, and now, my boot? Man, I love these boots.

I look around. There’s a box of cigarettes on the footwell under the steering wheel. I’m torn. It’s just the thing I need, but apparently until last night, I’d stopped smoking for 2 maybe 3 years.

Damn Heinrich. Damn you. 

My phone’s also in the foot well. With my squinting eyes, I see there’s a message from Sarah, telling me to call her when I get here, and then there’s several photos from last night. 

Argh. Apparently smoking wasn’t the only thing I relapsed on last night. I groan, lean back, bang my head on the open window frame of the window behind. Well, there’s a bruise all along there, so, things are great.

At least the guard’s stopped yelling at me.

That doesn’t mean he’s gone away, no, I can feel he’s still standing there. Most probably he’s got a rubber truncheon that he’s desperate to use on this reprobate, namely me.

So, slowly, awkwardly, painfully, the handbrake crunching into the very, very few places not bruised, and cramped already. But no, I get up, there’s still a pair of sunglasses in the cubbyhole, so I open the door, try to step out, while not looking into the oh so painful sunlight, and moving a single piece of my body.

It doesn’t work. 

I’m groaning as I step out. That groan gets cut off, as my foot lands on my boot, the one I’d thought had gone, which wonderfully, horribly had ended up just where I’d put my foot. I pile out of my car, twisting, turning as I tumble, and I smack into the concrete floor of the parking lot.

That’s when I give up. 

That’s it. I’m staying here. I’m not moving. I’m just going to close my eyes, and sleep. Fuck this guard, I don’t care if he beats me with that stick. It’s fate. It’s my destiny. Don’t move, Nick, just lie here. 

My eyes’ have already closed, I’m already asleep. But my phone then starts. Maybe because it’s inside the shell of my car, I don’t know, but somehow it seems so much louder, a drilling, deep inside my head.

That’s it. Fuck it, I’m getting up. I’m going to the bathroom, rinse my face, go past someplace, get a sample spray of something smelly, get a coffee, I’ll be fine.

Cool. I sit down on the seat, put on my boot, grab my phone, resolutely not take the cigarettes, wind up the windows, exchange pleasantries with the glaring guard, and make my way to the big sign that says Entrance.

I do everything, I reek of some Paco Rabane sporty shit, I’ve got a coffee, I’ve sent a smiley emoji to Sarah, and now, i’m wandering around this place trying to find out where this band Hale Mary.

Apparently it’s a 2 or 3 piece band, guitars, drums. I think there’s a pair of brothers, not sure where they met, how long they been together, but I mean, all that stuff’s easy to find on their website or Fb page.

As I’m walking, I’m looking out for Saar from Falafel Fundi. I think he’s got a place here, I’d  definitely stop by, get one of his pitas, would sort this headache out straight away.

They actually sound pretty good. I’m not sure if they only do covers, I’m guessing they’ve also got some original stuff, they seemed decent enough on the videos, maybe a bit Dave Matthews-ey, but hey?

It’s a bit loud and rough for my state, but I stay a bit, look for a place to sit, get another coffee, see if I can hear anything, some music coming from somewhere.

But I don’t find them anywhere, so I check out their page, check out our chat. While I’m sitting, I check out their online stuff again. There’s a video, posters of a couple of gigs already past, there’s the bios of the band members. Cool, they’re organised, if you want to find out more, or get in touch, it’s easy enough.

Cool, ja, These guys are actually pretty decent, I’ll keep an eye on their gigs list, I’d like to see these guys again, if this is the 2, it’ll be pretty interesting to see the full group, (also see if they do more original stuff). 

So, I send a message to the guy, this place, this time, I’m here, (at great personal toil), where the fuck are you?

Then he sends a message back; 

Bru, not 6:30 to 9:30 AM, 6:30 to 9:30 tonight.

45 Eat Street, Ballito Lifestyle Centre.

Fuck it. Should’ve known, it’s Heinrich’s fault. Arsehole.

Ja, But now, I’m going home, I need to sleep.

Reviewed for us in his unique style by Nick Miles

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