PHOTOS BY ALI SARGENT, STORY BY NAIDA Mad Love. Twice. (I’ve been in love twice. Mad love, anyway. All consuming, body changing, mad, mad love. Both times with the same person. Once as a girl. Once as a woman four years later.) … Ahead of me crystal blue water turned to foam as it crashed against the cliff side. The air is heavy, salt-laden and humid but still moving sturdily with the wind. Far off the coast is a wooden fishing boat, two figures; one seated either side. I drag my bike to a small patch of thirsty grass and sit cross-legged on some rocky sand. Peering over the edge I drop a palm sized rock and watch it plop into the sea below. To my left is the ocean, to my right a cove and a small cluster of rock pools at the mouth. Small brown crabs tap their way amongst them- too tiny to make out pincers. The warmth of the air blows into my nostrils and I taste salt hit the back of my throat. It’s late afternoon, the sun is firmly placed in the sky and smothers my skin. It’s not unpleasant, this heat. Not by the sea. The area of beach is secluded, abandoned and dry plants and rubbish spread across the path to the main road leaving this particular spot invisible to passers by. Deemed unsuitable for a bar or hotel or some other tourist attraction, a mile long stretch is untouched and private. This is where I went to think and get high. It was the kind of beautiful that reveals to your unsuspecting conscience where your heart really lies; with whomever you’re thinking of, right then. The person you want to show it to the most. The person you want to share the most beautiful things in life with. Suddenly things become clearer. I fell in love again on the east coast of Africa, a thousand miles away from someone I’d once shared a mad love with and who had probably long forgotten my existence. I was trapped in paradise, alone with the beauty and loveless, with no way out.
Published on Feb 21, 2010