Saturday, February 12, 2011

Goodbye, I have left the building

I’m really crap at saying goodbye.
Several years ago my father was dying of cancer and I went down to Port Elizabeth to visit him in hospital.
It was clear that this would be the last time I would see him. One of the biggest indicators was the doctor advising my mom that he should be moved to Frail Care - a really grim place where patients have their watches stolen by people who don’t think they’ll need them anymore.
When the time came for me to catch the plane back to Johannesburg I sort of smiled at my dad a lot because I didn’t want to cry and he growled at me and said, “Why are you laughing at me?” And then he lay back and carried on reading the stock exchange pages in The Herald. And I left.
That was our goodbye. I suppose both of us just didn’t want to say it. He died alone two days later when my mom was away from his side getting a sandwich at the hospital canteen.
Sometimes you don’t get the opportunity to say goodbye. (Bye Dad, and thanks)
A person I cared about a great deal twenty five years back fell off the top of a building last week during a smoke break.
When I heard about his death, I cursed myself for not having been in touch with him for so long. If only I’d had the chance to say hello again before he went away forever. (Hoesit, Kobus ou maat, jou skommelling ding).
This month I say a couple of goodbyes of a less devastating nature and I am just as crap at saying them.
I say goodbye to my daughter as she heads off to University. At the airport we give each other awkward hugs. There are a million things I want to say to her but of course they’d just come out wrong as always. So instead I say have lots of fun and be safe and come home some times.
I am hoping like crazy that I haven’t screwed up too much and that there will be many years ahead of us to have those conversations. (Bye Em, I love you)
This month I also say goodbye to a book I have been writing pretty much the same time I have been writing this blog. The book is a sequel to Melly, Mrs Ho and Me and I am calling it  Melly, Fatty, Raturd and Me. I figure Penguin will change the title but what the hell.
At the end of the month Melly, Fatty, Raturd and Me will be done and I will send it off to the most marvellous editor in the world, James, who will then tell me if it’s worth a sausage or not. (Goodbye Book, you have driven me mental)
I am also saying goodbye to this blog and to all you very nice people who have read it. I wrote the blog to describe the process of writing an m-book called Confessions of a Virgin Loser. Each blog post tells you what ideas and influences lie behind the chapters.

The m-book was written for Mr Steve Vosloo from the Shuttleworth Foundation and his bunch of cellphone addicts who like to read books on small screens. It was published in August 2010.
You can read Confessions of a Virgin Loser chapter by chapter here:  - (check out the hundreds of comments after each chapter from readers) - or you can read it as one whole story below. I put all the chapters together to make it easier for you - as a goodbye present.
I’ve had fun writing the blog and I hope you have had fun reading it. Thanks for taking the time. I’ll be off then. (Goodbye)


  1. Oh Edyth, no confessions, don't go. oh my goodness. i have a huge lump in my throat. I hate saying goodbye. confessions, you will be sorely missed when i'm trying to avoid writing, when i'm surfing the net, when i'm catching up with all my favourite blogs, when i feel like hearing from edyth, or when i feel like having a laugh, at all those times and more, you will be missed.

  2. Thanks Paige. At least I still get to read your blog - and your column in the Sunday Times.

  3. Hey, Ede, aren't you gonna have a blog spot somewhere else then? Isn't it obligatory for writers these days??

  4. No! Don't go. I refuse to say goodbye.