Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

Cut From The Heart: Episode 9 – The Call Centre Girl in the Heels and The Black Dress

November 21, 2013

Well, this is it…my final deleted story from my upcoming book. And to be fair, this was a very hard decision to cut from the stories. I really battled with the decision, because I felt when compared to the other stories, it really felt like it held up strong enough to form part of my story. But in the end one more needed to be cut, and this unfortunately got eliminated.

So here is:

Bonus Story # 9 – The Call Centre Girl in The Heels and Black Dress
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The story has become a bit of a running joke between a friend and I because it’s one of those that probably made sense to begin with, and just as fittingly had an equally nonsensical ending to it.

My book details my career quite well, but for the purpose of this story, what important to know is in 2004 I made the break from the IT industry into the entertainment industry. However, I made an unexpected return to the IT industry in January of 2005.

It lasted all of a month, before I suddenly quit to take up a dream job writing for a well-known magazine.  That month was a very low point for me mentally as I felt I had failed in my quest to change my life around.

Being back in the call centre was different this time round. I didn’t really bond with anyone,  even though I was good at the job I had zero interest in doing it.

There was one perk however…there was a cute Indian girl who worked there who I was attracted to.  She came to visit our section quite often, and because of low self-confidence, I was never able to really be my charming self (and we know what a huge success rate I have when I’m confident).

I remember one lunch time sitting outside with the younger guys and they were talking about the girls in the office. One guy spoke about the girl I liked and began to list the problems with skinny girls, which mostly related to uncomfortable sexual position.  What am I doing here with these idiots I thought to myself.

When the job with the magazine came up, I was told I had the job…if I could literally start the next day. I explained the situation to my manager (who was my friend as well, so that made me feel extremely guilty), but he understood it was a dream job for me.

However, I had to work in my months’ notice. Which, I did. So for a month I worked the graveyard shift at the call centre, went home to freshen up, and then raced to try and make it to my new job on time.

Part of my role there, was to cover industry events during the day and evening.

So effectively, my schedule was, work 9-5, cover events in the evening, go work the graveyard shift, home for about an hour and then repeat.

Of course, this meant I didn’t get to see the girl who I liked. However, I managed to get her number and we began texting each other.

There seemed to be some sort of interest from her side, which gave me a bit of hope. So when an awards function came up, (The Channel O African Music Awards), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to ask her out.

Much to my surprise (and absolute fear) she said yes.

The night of the awards came up, and I went to go and fetch her, ironically from the same building I was working just a few weeks prior to that. When I picked her up, we ran into my friend who just laughed when he saw us together.  (I know right, what is it with friends laughing at me when I fetch a girl?)

I drove her home so she could get ready for the evening (it was a bit of a glam do, so she wanted to put in the effort, which I really appreciated).

As I waited for her in the living room, I found myself surround by a rather large Indian family and an even larger awkward silence. I sat there in my long black jacket looking as uncomfortable as this all sounds.

She eventually came out to rescue me, and she looked amazing in her heels and elegant black dress.

Thankfully the conversation seemed to come easy, and we got to know each other quite a bit and she found my jokes to be rather entertaining. I even braved holding her hand as we made our way to through the social scene. And for me, there is nothing better than holding a pretty girls hand. For me it’s about the simple things in life, and if I’m being honest. It’s the one thing that hurts me even today – that I don’t have someone to even hold hands with.  Every day when I see couples holding hands, I feel a great sense of sadness and loneliness overwhelms me. This happens at least once a day.

The evening went so well, that I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement for the potential of where it could go.

I made a seemingly good impression, and having some of my musician friends come up and greet me and my date just added to good impression.

She even got a goodie bag. I took her home and we hugged and kissed goodbye (relax guys, just a peck)

Now that’s a date I thought.

The next day I texted her to say thanks for the good evening and we should do it again. She agreed.

Then…suddenly…she began to avoid me.  Invites to other outings went unanswered. Not even as much as “sorry I’m busy”.

This is where the awkwardness began. Without reasoning, how does one know when to stop making a fool of one’s self.

Eventually I just stopped messaging her, as it seemed like that’s what she wanted.

Then about year later, I mailed out a joke wedding invite to a bunch of select people, one of which was her, (yup, THAT story is covered in my book), and she replied with the friendliest email in the world asking me how I am and we must catch up sometime.

So I replied with sure, let’s do lunch. Which she replied yes to, and we ended up setting up a lunch date at a place just outside her work so that she wouldn’t have to go too far.

The lunch went surprisingly well, and just like that night a few years ago we got along great. I thought well, maybe we just needed a second chance at this.
Until of course, I said we should do this again. Then she said but I thought you were in a relationship now (don’t worry, I laughed just as much as you are laughing right now).  I said, no, I am as single as I have always been.

She avoided me since that lunch ended. Once again with no explanation.  I had twice made a complete fool of myself, without even realizing it.

I’m not sure what she’s up to these days, but I seem to remember seeing a while back she had a kid since then.  My friend and I often try to understand what exactly happened with her, but it’s just another one of those stories that hurt to try and figure out.

Mmm…I wonder if she’s free for dinner this weekend

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Cut From The Heart: Episode 7 – The Writer…No, Not That One, The Other One

November 19, 2013

There haven’t been many times in my life where I’ve met someone who I can connect with on another level in terms of personality, humour, views on life etc. So it always saddens me when I do and then they suddenly disappear on me, only to resurface years later with a whole new life. This was such a story…

Bonus Story #7: The Writer…No, Not That One, The Other One
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During my time in the magazine industry, I met some great people, and one of my favourite persons I only got to know once I had left. The year was about 2006.

We had worked together briefly, and always gotten along, she had a breezy vibe about her, the sort of vibe that made you instantly at easy and comfortable.

At this point we had both moved on from our jobs though, and just less than a year after I had left, we starting chatting again on Facebook, instantly got on and decided hey, let’s meet up again.

I was a bit nervous about doing it because I was going through my personal hell year, and couldn’t really afford to wine and dine her or do anything too fancy.

Thankfully she was a pizza kinda of girl, which fit my non-existent budget to a tee.

I spent the whole day nervous about was this a date or not (as is common practice with me), and didn’t want to assume too much, but I really hoped it was one.

The hours of course, took days to pass, but eventually our time arrived.

We met at a pizzeria just a few blocks up from my work, and as luck would have it, this was no ordinary pizzeria, it had tables and candlelight which screamed date to me.

She arrived and immediately greeted me with a comforting hug that was simply part of her breeziness.

The night passed all too quickly, but the conversation that night was revealing, intimate, honest and hopeful. I will never forget her last words of the conversation – “I can’t believe there has been this amazing, wonderful, honest person in front of me all this time”….

Oh yeah…being myself had finally paid off.

As night’s do, they come to an end, she kissed me goodbye and said we must definitely do this again soon.
Hell yeah! You don’t have to ask me twice.

If that was a date, it was pretty much a 10. The first actual date I had had in a very long time, and it went near perfect. It might also actually be the last date I was on. Well, at least where we both considered it a date.

Then…. my attempts to setup a follow up date were in vain. The excuses started slowly, till the point where any attempt I made to contact her were met with silence.

It seemed like she had disappeared completely…eventually I got the dreaded Facebook deletion.
How did I mess this one up?? I’m still not sure to this day. It just stopped. Ended. Ceased to exist.

A few years later she added me on Facebook again, this time, with a new surname and baby boy. She seems to have been through testing times, but ultimately she seems happy, so how can I be upset with that?

We haven’t chatted in a long time now, and I follow her work on social media …but not one mention has ever come of that night she had that amazing guy sitting right in front of her.

If you’re enjoying this series of postings and are looking forward to my upcoming book, please visit me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @theburg

Cut From The Heart: Episode 5 – The Hot Train Girl Diaries

November 17, 2013

So here’s a little scoop for you all. The title of my book was originally going to be called The Hot Train Girl Diaries.

Over the last year, I’d met a few girls on my morning train I found myself attracted to. In fact, there were 4 in total.

I affectionately referred to them as

Hot Train Girl #1
Hot Train Girl #2
Hot Train Girl #3
And
Hot Train Girl Original.

Here’s another scoop for you.
My book starts with the story of Hot Train Girl #2, and sets off a series of events that would go on to change everything about me.

For now however, I would like to share the story of Hot Train Girl #1 with you, in what I shall call:

Bonus Story #5: The Hot Train Girl Diaries – Book 1

It was February 2013 and I’d been taking the train for about a year. As I mentioned, I’d seen a number of girls on the train I was attracted to, and since Valentines Day was coming up, I thought, what the hell, let me do something typically me and give gesture or romance to them.

Now, its not a given than I would see any of them on that day as we sometimes take different trains. I thought I would play it by ear, and if I saw someone either in the morning or the evening, I would write a Valentines day poem and give it to them.

I had these little plastic eggs that came with the old Kinder joy chocolate eggs, so my plan was to write the poem, fold it up in the egg and give it to the girl to open up at work.

That day, when I got to the train station, I saw HTG#1 get on the train, so I sat a few cars back and wrote my poem to give to her when we got off.

I came up with:
“There once was a girl on the train
Who from admiring I could not refrain.
She had style, she had grace
She had beauty upon her face
I can only hope tomorrow I’ll see her again.
Happy Valentines Day”

Not bad I thought, so when we got to our destination, I time my walk so that I met her on the escalator.

Awkwardly, I said I’d like to give her something, and I proceeded to hand her the egg.

I could see she was a bit taken aback, so I quickly reassured her by saying
“Don’t worry it’s not Anthrax or anything like that”.

Yup. I attempted to reassure her that my mysterious egg was not a toxic powder.

That same day I saw her in the mall. When she saw me, she literally dived into the closest store to avoid me. I pretended I didn’t notice, so she thought she got away with it. But I felt so horrible.

Over the next few months, we didn’t speak again, but as we almost always parked next to each other in the parking lot, we did exchange a smile near daily.

Conversation didn’t happen a lot, but in passing, I did promise her that one day we’d have a proper conversation. She said cool.

We would also see each other in the mall where I working during lunch time. In fact, one time, I met my friend for lunch, and she arrived with her baby in tow. As I kissed her hello and greeted her boy, HTG#1 walked past and saw this. I immediately wanted to say, I promise this is not what it looks like! You know, just in case she thought otherwise.

The exchanged smiles became less often.

Now, to my credit, one thing about me is, I notice the smallest changes a girl makes to herself. Such as changing their hair subtlety, or when they are wearing something new for the first time. Its just a case of paying attention to people.

So one morning, I noticed HTG#2’s hair was different, so I went up to her and said her hair looks nice.

She replied with a laugh and said “Yeah, we start fasting tomorrow so I haven’t washed my hair, but thanks”.

Yup, a smooth follow up after the anthrax.

The next day she started Eid. (Yes, she was a muslim Indian girl).

For about a month I didn’t see her. In fact, I didn’t even see her car.

Then suddenly, her car was back! That evening on my way home, I thought if her car is still there, I was going to leave her a note saying I hope she had a good Eid and I was glad she was bad.

I sat in my car in the parking lot, wrote the note and then went and put it in the side of her window. It was such a windy evening, I was worried the note would blow away, but I chanced it anyways. At the end of my note I included my email address.

The next day I was nervous what she might say about my note. But I didn’t see her. As I came home that evening, I walked past where her car was just 24hrs ago. And what did I see…a crumpled up piece of paper in the flower bed.

I thought to myself, surely she wasn’t a litter bug…so it couldn’t possible be my note.

I drove out the parking lot, as this ate away at me…I turned around the car and drove back. I went back to the parking and went to go pick up the piece of paper.

It was a Mcdonald’s receipt for a happy meal and a milkshake.

Later in that week however, I did see her. And we spoke. We spoke a lot, about our jobs; she worked in the same centre as me at a clothing store. We spoke about travel as I was going overseas soon. And of course, I asked her if she got my note. She said no, and suggested maybe the wind blew it away. I knew it. Dammit.

Anyways, she told me she had an interview for a new job at the airport the next day. I felt sad that I may not be seeing her again.

That day I was anxious to know how the interview went. I casually walked past her store a few times, in the hopes of bumping into her, but never did.

However, that evening I saw her car, so again I reverted to the note on the car idea. I wrote a note asking how the interview went, and wished her luck for the outcome. Again I included my contact details.

That night I sat waiting for a message from her. Foolishly so, I know, but I lived in hope.

I saw her once or twice after that on the train, and gathered that she had changed her parking spot. Till eventually I didn’t see her at all.

I went overseas at the end of October, and haven’t seen her since I returned. I assume she got the job she interviewed for.

Through all this, I still don’t even know her name.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 4 – The Too Much Makeup Girl

November 16, 2013

As we continue this build up to my book, I’ve been making the very difficult decision as to which stories to cut from the final version. As I share them here with you all, I find myself wondering what the actual criteria for removing them is.

I guess ultimately, its about finding a balance. Fine tuning the flow of my life. All of these stories I share here are by no means less important, and the girls I mention in these stories will always form an important part of who I am. (Good or bad).

Back during my IT days, I working for a little company called Microsoft. Now in my book there are some major stories that come out of these days, but there were also lesser known stories that very few people knew of. I’d like to share on of those with you now.

Bonus Story #4: The Too Much Makeup Girl

By 2002 I had resigned myself to the fact that I may die working in a call centre. The only positives about being in IT for the last 5 years was that I had made some close friends, and I was making some decent money. But, I was not happy, this was never what I was meant to be doing with my life.

Career wise, MS was not the highlight of my life. For the most part however, I was well liked. From my quirky dress sense to my humour, it was easy to get along with everyone, from every department. From the strictest of bosses to the bitchiest of bitches, I was sorta the one guy who managed to be friends with everyone…well until the day I got fired, but that epic story is covered in my book.

There were several departments within the company and we as the helpdesk didn’t have much interaction with the other employees. There was however one girl in particular that used to come through our offices occasionally to visit a friend.

She was a petite indian girl, who was sexy as hell. None of the guys ever spoke to her, maybe out of intimidation, or maybe just assuming she would never be interested in us plebs.

The guys would always say how she wore too much makeup, as if justifying their reason why they never approached her. Perhaps she did, but I felt she wore that much makeup as compensation for low self confidence.

We changed office buildings several times during my stay at the company, and by the final move during my time there, her and I had actually started talking. She would greet me everytime she saw me and we’d have a random conversation, till eventually we started emailing each other.

Some of the guys were like “you’re the man Burg!”, but for me, it was just about getting to know someone.

Surprisingly, she happened to be single at the time, however, it was a recent thing as she had confided she had split from an abusive boyfriend.

I wondered if all that make up had actually been a cover up for something more heartbreaking.

I took my time with her, and helped build her confidence back up, she deserved better, and I promised her nothing left.

Eventually I had the courage to ask her out to coffee one Saturday, making it clear it was a date, and she actually said yes!

As the day approached, in part paranoia and part previous experience, I grew doubtful this was actually going to happen. So on the Friday night I confirmed she was still on for the next day, she replied of course! And I went to bed almost as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve.

The next morning I shaved, got dressed up, and in my excitement headed out an hour early to our agreed coffee shop at the East Rand Mall, which was halfway for both of us.

As I say, I got there early, so I had to kill and hour walking around.

Eventually at 2pm, I made my way to the coffee shop and got a table. I texted her and said I was there. She replied with “on my way, might be a bit late”.

She was 5 min late.
Then 15 min late.
Then 30 min late.
Then an hour late.

So I texted her again, asking if everything was ok.
She didn’t reply.

Foolishly, I waited another hour. And I could tell the waiters had noticed I had been stood up. So I casually asked for the bill and made my way home, not before having the world longest pee because of all the coffee I consumed in 3 hours.

As I got home, I got a message from her. She apologized and said she just couldn’t do it.

I was confused, hurting, but never once showed any anger towards her. Instead I said I understand, and hoped we could reschedule. It was one of the few times I actually cried tears of disappointment.

When Monday came, our emails were suddenly awkward. She never came down and visited anymore.

In fact, our communication came to a sudden and bizarre end.

A few months later, she was pregnant.
Then I heard she and her boyfriend were back together.
Then I heard the boyfriend killed himself.

A short while after that my time there came to an end.

The whole experience was very confusing and painful. And as of today, I don’t know whatever became of her.

But I do think back to that time often, and wonder what might have been different if she showed up that day for coffee.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 3 – The Cute Neighbour and The Weakest Link

November 15, 2013

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Ask any of my friends, I’m not really the party type; I very rarely go to gatherings or celebrations. It’s just something I don’t feel comfortable doing anymore.

Back in the day however, I made the odd appearance at a braai (bbq) or birthday gathering, and this was one such occasion.

The year was 2003. I went to a friend’s birthday celebration, not really expecting to have a good time, even though he was the closest thing I had to a best friend, and I knew a lot of his friends, there was a always a chance I would make an excuse and leave early.

However to my surprise I ended up having a good type pretty quickly and that was probably mostly due to the fact that I hit it off with his girlfriend’s neighbour. She was cute, fun and extremely young, yes three things I look for in a girl.

We chatted the whole time, and boy was I smooth, I even walked her home in the evening (yes next door, but still), and managed to get her number.

I felt like the heavens opened up pumped my fists, and rejoiced, exclaiming “I got a number!!!”

That night we texted each other and quickly began flirting with each other. I put on a pair of balls and asked her out. To the movies, it was anything too hectic, but a nice way of spending time together. To me, nothing beats an old school dinner and a movie.

The week after the braai, I drove out to fetch her, and of course as I arrived, my friend was leaving his girlfriend’s house, he just laughed that laugh of his that pretty much says “busted!”

She invited me in to meet her parents, and her sister, and boy was it awkward, the parents barely responded to anything I said, even my jokes, which were HIGHlarious were met with zombie like responses. They just spend their time staring at the movie that was playing on the TCM channel. I tried to make conversation about my knowledge of movies, but still no response. In retrospect, they may have been wax models of the real people.

Thankfully we didn’t stay too long. We headed out to the mall, and I gave her the choice of what movie she wanted to see, she wanted to watch Freddy vs Jason…(a girl picking a horror movie is normally a good sign, but all i could think of was – dammnit…I’ve already seen that).

The movie passed far too quickly, but we inevitably began holding hands during the movie, and she didn’t let go for the rest of the night. This of course made going to the bathroom a bit awkward.

I didn’t plan on making a move further than perhaps a goodnight kiss, but when we were driving home, I mentioned that I was going to be a contestant an episode of The Weakest Link the next day, so I couldn’t be out too late.

Just before we got to her house, she said to me, “Can I wish you luck for tomorrow?” of course I wasn’t going to turn that down.

We parked on the side of the road a few blocks from her house and began to make out. It was very natural and very appealing, and then she undid her bra, allowing me to put my magic hands to work. Her hands made their way to my gear stick, and then she realized she had the wrong gear stick and proceeded to go for my other gear stick.

It was what we call a good session. We didn’t go too far but far enough to know there was an attraction.

I dropped her off and said good night, and we texted each other for the rest of the night.

The next day I filmed my episode of The Weakest Link, and the host asked me a question of “Shaun, I believe you’re single…why is that?”, I had the perfect response of “Well after last night maybe not, I had a date, a good date”…we all laughed, and I thought man, when that airs on TV it’s going to be a zinger.

The next day I texted the girl, and she didn’t reply, i tried again several times, and she eventually started replying with short sentences, finally saying we can’t see each other anymore.

Ergh…here we go again, I thought. She sorta eluded to the fact that her parents didn’t like me, which might have been true, I’ll never actually know. She was young, and maybe that played a factor. There was never a clear reason given

For me though, it was just another unsolved mystery. I think she is now living in the UK, but I often wonder about her. Of course, when that episode of The Weakest Link aired…well that just hurt even more.

For the record, I went out in the third round.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 2 – The Knife Store Girl & The Magic 8 Ball

November 14, 2013

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I’ve always lived my life by the rule of random, or at least when it comes to meeting people I take a fancy to. And I know what you’re thinking…

“That’s just silly! Who still uses the word fancy!?”

And you’re right, it’s these sorts of old school words and mentality that make dating that little bit harder for me. However, there is just something wonderful about someone catching your eye and evoking the romantic in ones self.

One of the prime examples of this was…

Bonus Story #2: The Knife Store Girl

During one of my more sociable years circa 2002 I was actually spending a lot of time hanging out with friends, engaging in hobbies and actually enjoying the happenstance of life.

I had a very good friend that I did most everything with named Jared. Jared had somehow convinced me to take up kickboxing. Which is one of the things I still miss to this day. The class was quite varied and included a much younger crew as well, and therein lay another story I will share with you later down the line.

Jared and I shared a lot of common experiences when it came to women, so we always encouraged each other. Being the nice guys in the friends zone is slightly easier when there is a buddy waiting for you there.

One of our many outings involved a trip to an armory store in one of the major shopping centres called Sandton City. I tagged along with Jared and another friend as they were looking for some collectors knifes. As guys do I assume.

As we browsed through the display cases of weapons, the guys oohed and aahed as they perused through the vast selection of items designed to cut someone’s heart out.

Me on the other hand saw something just as effective to do that. The blonde who was working behind the counter at the ammo section.

Now yes, I’ve often said how blondes are not my thing, so maybe it was the allure of a guns and ammo type of girl that somehow made her appealing to me. Or perhaps I was simply envisioning what she may look like in a bikini firing a bazooka. I guess we will never know.

To my own credit, I am very good at spontaneous small talk and making people laugh, so it was easy to start a conversation with her.

Now if I remember correctly, we had actually ordered boxing gloves from the store for our kickboxing class, which meant we would have to come back to collect them the next week. Awesome! A second date!

When we returned a week later she wasn’t there, and I found myself feeling somewhat stood up, which led to a number of ridiculous, yet not unexpected, decisions.

I made numerous casual trips back to the mall over the next few days (riding out more fuel than I could afford as the shopping centre wasn’t exactly close) till eventually I bumped into her again.

This time, I actually had the guts to ask her out. Of course she said no, saying that she didn’t know anything about me. (Presumedly going out with someone is the WORST way to find out about them? Discuss).

Of course, that type of comment to me is like a red flag to a bull and it became my mission to let her know as much about me as possible.

So dejected, but inspired, I went home that evening and put together a list of 101 facts about myself. When I had finished, I read through the list with pride. It was funny, honest, emotional and pretty much exactly how I am in real life. This was a sure fire winner! No girl could resist giving a guy with these credentials a chance.

The next day, I made my way back to the store and lo and behold, she wasn’t there. Thankfully, she was just at lunch however and instead of waiting, I said I would just come back later. As I waited aimlessly in the shopping centre, I literally bumped into her in the food court. She was talking to some muscle bound guy who she introduced to me, he worked in another store in the centre. I grumbled something that probably sounded nothing like “nice to meet you”, and proceeded to give her the list, explaining that if she still didn’t want to give me a chance after that, then I’d stop, but if she did my contact details were written down. Of course, douchebag jones stood there with us the entire time. She replied with an awkward ok and took the letter. Which I’m not sure if she even ever read.

Days went by and I never heard a thing from her. The usual foolish panic of “did I write the correct phone number” started to go through my head as I stubbornly tried to justify that I still had a chance here.

Then came one of my now infamous ideas. The magic 8 ball idea.

The new plan was to go see her one more time, and let her ask the magic 8 ball if she should go out with me. It was charming and purely dependent on fate.

Jared and I spent the next weekend scouring shops for a magic 8 ball which proved to be impossible. So I gave up in the idea.

Then, the Tuesday evening after that – during our kickboxing training session, the 8 ball idea came up in conversation and one of the people in the class said she had one. Suddenly the idea was back on. I literally made her go home and fetch it.

As we sat waiting for her to return with the ball in the parking lot, I couldn’t help but be excited.
Best. Idea. Ever.

That next weekend, we set out one last time to win this girl’s heart.
Excited about my brilliant idea, I had all the confidence in the world.

When we got to the store she was busy, so we had to wait to see her. Tick tock, tick tock.
While we were waiting, douchebag jones suddenly arrived. And she told me that he was her boyfriend. It clearly wasn’t, but she had obviously called the guy to come pretend they were together so I would leave her alone. Ouch.

I never even got to unleash my magic 8 ball idea on her. I just walked out as the guy who finally got the hint. Double ouch.

As life would have it. I now work in that same shopping centre and walk past that store every day. Triple ouch.

Hey some guys collect knifes, I collect fragments of my broken heart.

Ps. I also now own two magic 8 balls, and became well known for it on a segment on a tv show I hosted where viewers would send in their questions for the ball to answer.

There is a funny irony to my life sometimes.

Cut From The Heart: Episode 1 – The Pharmacy Girl

November 13, 2013

So unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably have seen one of my hundreds of postings on social media announcing that I am finally releasing a book.

It’s been a lifelong work, and has sorta, although not completely, changed direction over the last few months.

While it is still autobiographical, the book combines the stories of my life, with the stories of my loves.

The book recalls 50 stories of love, romance and heartbreak taking place throughout my life while looking back at certain key moments that were going on at the time.

Amazingly, when putting the list of 50 stories together, I ended up with well over 50 stories. I’m not sure if that’s awesome or just plain depressing!

As a result, I was forced to cut certain stories from the book, and rather let those go to waste, I’d rather share them here on my blogs with you awesome readers. Each was cut for a different reason, but ultimately, they all have been important memories for me.

If you are on Facebook, I’d like to encourage you to go support my page at http://www.facebook.com/ShaunMyburgWrites as we build up to the release of my book.

So with that…I bring you:

Bonus story #1: The Pharmacy Girl

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There was a time when I used to receive so much mail that I was actually one of those people who required a PO Box in order to get all my mail…well, a hefty share of it at least. In about 2002/2003 mail theft was a massive problem and I lost so much that eventually certain vendors asked me to stop ordering from them as they couldn’t keep replacing my orders. Some times I used to receive empty envelopes in the postal box with the goods removed. Which was rather nice of the thieves as they could of just tossed the envelopes in the trash.

Anyways, the point of all that is, when I had to collect a registered or “too big for the box” item, I needed to go into the post office which shared a premises with the local chemist..or pharmacy …or drug store…depending on where in the world you live.

I was a ridiculously regular customer, so I was well known by the staff of both the pharmacy and the post office.

Since the post office section was at the back of the pharmacy, I always had to walk past one of the counters where a beautiful girl worked.

For months we would exchange smiles, with an occasional hello. In fact, if I had two parcels to collect, I would deliberately only fetch one so that I could go back the next day to see her.

Eventually I struck up a conversation with her pretending I needed something from the actual pharmacy. A pair of tweezers. Yup, after months of trying to think of a great opening line, I asked her where I could find a decent pair of tweezers.

This was about 10 years ago. And I kid you not, I still have that pair of tweezers, unopened in its packaging.

Lame or not, the ice had finally been broken. The raven haired beauty and I were becoming actual friends. So of course, the logical next step, was to order even more items online so that I could go to the post office even more often.

Then, I was given the chance to travel to the UK for the first time in my life, to visit my cousin and see some friends. Me being me, immediately thought, hey, I should ask pharmacy girl if she wants to come with. I checked with my cousin and he said since he would be working during the days I was there, that I should bring her so I have company. Fantastic!

The next time I saw her, I casually brought up my trip saying just the right things so that she would say “aw! That’s so cool, I wish I could go!”

And me…again, being me, said “so come with”…

Then of course came the double blow of “I’d need to clear it with my boyfriend first though.” Followed swiftly by, “I can’t believe you’re willing to pay for everything, that’s amazing!”

And YET AGAIN, me being me said, “sure don’t worry about anything”.

So while she cleared it with her boyfriend, and her family I raced to a travel agent and began doing enquiries about costs.

The next week, I had to go meet her parents, and boyfriend, so that they could see I was a genuine guy. What an awkward evening that was. Ironically the parents were pretty excited about it, I think looking back at it now, they saw me as this successful guy who could provide much better for their daughter than her mechanic boyfriend.

Then came the worst part! After her parents approved, (the boyfriend didn’t for the record), she said yes. And I said well, I’ll sort out everything.

Then I realized, after all this, I didn’t even know her last name! I made up a story about how I needed a copy of her ID to book the ticket, so at least was able to see her surname.

A few weeks of awkward planning followed, till about a month before we were supposed to leave. When I got the best worst news.

She had broken up with her boyfriend! I’d like to think it wasn’t over this, but hey, let’s be honest it most likely was.

I thought this could actually be an amazing time. Nothing bonds people like traveling! Right?

Of course, as is the theme of my life. 2 weeks before we were going to fly, she changed her mind. Citing she didn’t know me well enough, and just wasn’t comfortable doing this.

8 grand. That’s how much the ticket cost me. And here I was smiling back at her saying how sorry I was to hear she couldn’t make it anymore, but I could literally hear pieces of my heart falling to the floor.

Thankfully, i was able to get a portion of my money back, which eased the finances, but did nothing for how much my heart was hurting.

I went on a life changing trip to the UK in October of 2003, and when I returned a month later, I found out she had left her job at the pharmacy.

I closed down my PO Box…and never bought a tweezer again.

Vote for the title of my upcoming book!

November 10, 2013

Hi guys

I’ve finally narrowed down the choice of my book title to the final 5. But I need your help!
Please visit http://www.facebook.com/ShaunMyburgWrites and vote for your favorite!

As always thanks for the support
Burg

To All Things An End – My Final Blog

October 18, 2012

Over three years of my life
Over 150 posts
Over 500 comments
Over 130,000 views.

Not bad for a guy sitting in his room in Kempton Park, South Africa, writing his little blog.

I say these stats with pride, because I worked hard at the blog, I tried to make it something different to what’s out there, and I hope I achieved that in some small way.

I’ve shared EVERYTHING. Good and bad, tragic and triumphant. I’ve made enemies, I’ve lost friends, and I’ve gained respect and thanks. All because of the words I chose to use.

I’ve always said I was blogging before blogging was a word, which is partly the reason I have decided to call it a day as far as being a blogger is concerned. I have shared every aspect of my life with people, left no stone unturned, and this was bound to lead me to this point. Where I feel I have nothing left to write about. This is not a sudden decision,  as the thought has been in my head for a while to end it. I think my birthday last week left me with a sense of its ok to let it go.

After each blog I was left more and more drained, and the pressure I put on myself to come up with something new to write about was immense, and it should never be that way.

I love being a writer. It’s what I am. However, now I feel like it is time to let go of this blog and move onto other types of writing. More creative story telling I guess, I will certainly maintain my style in other projects I pursue, and will always look back fondly at this blog as something that added so much value to my life (and maybe yours).

I thank the loyal readers, I thank the haters, I thank everyone that took time to message me publically or privately with their thoughts, concerns, complaints or whatever emotion my blog brought out in you. That was always the intention.

And unlike the 5th season of 21 Jump Street, I will not stay around longer than I’m welcome; I will not get stuck in a mode of repetition. I will leave this blog with my head held high, with a feeling of I came, I saw, I conquered.

October has been a very telling month for me personally and I’ve decided to close a lot of chapters in my life,  ironically November has the makings of being a game changer for me. I hope it leads to inspiration, confidence and a push in the right direction as the writer I am meant to be. I will continue to be inspired by an elite few, those who I love, those who I cannot be with, and those who I strive to prove wrong.

So thanks for being part of Burgs World…I hope you come back and revisit some of the many stories I have shared with you over the last three years or so, they will forever be part of my body of work, and if you’d like to follow what I do next…well, hopefully my work will find you.

Always.

Burg.

From Cape Town With Love

September 16, 2012

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It had been over three years since I had last visited Cape Town, and each time prior to this visit, my travels here comprised of nothing more than a “Friday work day, and a weekend for myself”…So when I planned on coming down this time, I planned a little more, and managed to turn it into a “five working day and weekend for myself” trip

Well, the work side of it certainly took care of its self and I ended up being so busy that my devious little plan to take some time for myself during those working days, simply just didn’t happen…however, that turned to be the biggest blessing in disguise.

My trip here was always two fold.

Firstly, I quite simply needed to breathe new air for a bit. Joburg was getting the best of me in so many ways, and I felt the anxiety settling in big time, I needed to get out for a bit, for everyone’s sanity.
Secondly, I wanted to test the waters in terms of working out the Cape Town office. As part of my overall smaller dreams bigger wins strategy, I wanted to see how effectively working out the CT office would prove. And lo and behold, I got probably about three times more work done in this week than I would of done back in JHB.

Most of my closest friends are down here and I’m glad I got to see them, some people really went out their way to make me feel welcome, and that goes so far in my book, If I couldn’t make it to where people where, they came and fetched me. Gestures of friendship are not lost on me, and I ensured that while I was down here I reignited my #BurgMoments lifestyle in full force, in fact I have setup several of these moments to take place after I leave this evening, in the hope that I will have left some tiny part of Burg magic in the City that has been so good to me.

Of course, the trip was not without its typical “pulling a burg” moments, which so often define my adventures, so if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to share some of the highlights….
There’s nothing quite like a first day in a different city, as basic logic always seems to disappear and you seem to make the silliest of errors. Starting with my rental car…that took me 20minutes to start, because I couldn’t figure out how to switch on the damn ignition. So there I say quietly in my parking bay, trying not to look like a complete idiot, sometimes pretending to be on my phone with one hand, while the other frantically searched for some sort of switch or immobilizer that may be the trick to switching it on. Little did I realize, to start the car, it simply needed to be in gear. Pfff…technology.

That same night, I also managed to lock myself out the house, taking a walk down to KFC, and returning to the house only to realize I didn’t quite have all the keys I needed. I phoned a colleague who confirmed this to indeed be fact. As I waited calmly eating my chicken in the road, in the dark, and cold…she phoned me back with the genius idea of walking around the house and using the other door…which I had keys for.

One the Wednesday, I decided to take in preparation for my conference the next day, in order to see the venue beforehand and if it was walkable. I left with a colleague at about 5.30pm and took a breezy walk a few blocks down. Eventually spotting the conference centre from a distance, it was in fact walkable, but certainly not from the route I took, but happy with the fact that I know knew where it was, I headed back. Back where however, I’m not quite suite, as I didn’t realize I did not keep track of where I actually was. So what proceed was a looooot of walking to try and find my bearings. As the night got darker, and colder, I ended up being followed by a homeless man, swearing at me constantly for no reason. Ironically we would both make our way to the local homeless shelter, he was happy, I wasn’t. If anything, my walkabout took me to places I wouldn’t normally see, including the recent World Cup stadium . From there I made my way to the V&Waterfront shopping complex where I eventually was able to retrace my steps back to the home office. Now, ordinarily, a two hour getting lost walk is a great thing for me. However, because I had only planned on popping down the block and back, I had made the decision to wear my slip slops (sandals), the devastation caused by this decision is still being felt as I type this. I have no skin left on the top of my feet, and bubble blisters underneath them! I still walked to the conference the next day, and did several Km’s over the proceeded days, which each and every pair of socks being drenched in blood that poured out my feet. And let me tell you, there is nothing quite like having to peel a pair of socks off your feet and getting to do it all over again the next day.

There is one last story I would like to share with you…

You see, I knew coming down here I would see a lot of old friends, however, I didn’t plan on making a new one…but boy oh boy did I.

I’m pretty easy to get along with for the most part, but every now and again I find someone I connect with on the clichéd “another level”. I can generally sense these people immediately, and just know that there is something there that needs to be explored. Such was the case with the person I met purely by chance I guess. We didn’t really talk much as first, but there was something lingering there. Something that needed to be tapped into, which we did, and much like her; it was nothing short of beautiful.

We did lunch, we chatted so much, we had so many revealing conversations about things we both loved and desired in the world, however the entire time there was this cloud of finality hanging over over…I would be leaving soon and this was all going to be over way too soon. She said she wished I could stick around longer, which just made my heart jump with joy. I wished that too. But the reality of our lives could not turn this into anything more. As the days went on, in typical Burg fashion, I found myself falling for her more and more each day, but not just her, rather the way she made me feel, and believe in my own dreams and desires again. The whole scenario played out much like an extended version of Before Sunrise/Sunset.

We spent most of Saturday together, where I got to meet some people in her life, including the reality check of the husband, who is one of those seemingly nice guys who makes you immediately think “well, there’s no way I can compete with this guy”. Then you immediately think well, I was never in with a chance anyways. Not that there was a chance of anything of course, but its just the head games one tends to play with ones self.

He eventually had to pop out for a while, and finally I got to just spend some alone time with her, we walked back to her place, and as much pain as I was in from my bleeding feet, it just disappeared when I was around her. We fetched a few things from the house then headed back to the beach, quite prepared for another painful walk, I was so happy that we were just together, then of course, that feeling was quickly replaced with disappointment as the honk honk of her husband in the car shorted our trip as he arrived to give us a lift back. My heart sunk, but my fake smile and humour came to my defence…

As the universe would have it, I ended up being stuck with him for a few hours, while she went surfing…. So here we are, two men laying on beach towels getting to know each other. I realized there is never a right time to say “hey, I’m falling for your wife, so just wanted to make sure that’s cool with you”…, so I just sat there getting more and more miserable, but never showing it, and instead offering genuine conversation and polite to the bitter end.

When she did return from the surf, a ray of sunshine brighter than the day’s sun that was beating down on me, they decided to call it a day and invited me to join them for dinner. Knowing I just couldn’t possibly torture myself anymore, I made an excuse to leave, and that I had someone else to see, then headed back. I didn’t have other plans.

Selfishly, I kept hoping she would send me a message asking if I was ok, or thanking me for coming or even “apologizing” for leaving me alone for so long, but none of that came…until about 2 hours later when I got a Facebook message asking if I had perhaps taken her phone. She had lost it….of course. The universe just loves playing these jokes on me doesn’t it.

As I sit here now typing this, I can’t help but wonder, was that it? Was that all I would be allowed with her? And as thankful as I am for the unexpected friendship, I find myself consumed with thoughts of “what ifs”, if I had said something else, taken a chance, just done something out of the ordinary…would it have made a difference? Would it have made a fool of me? I just don’t know. But for someone who lives by the words “Live For The Moments”, this is one that is stapled to my heart.

I’m a romantic, i’m a dreamer, but im also a realist and I know exactly how this story ends. I don’t begrudge these feelings at all, and I know that if our paths are meant to cross again, they will, in this lifetime or the next.

The truth is, I could write about her for hours, but the rest of the memories will be for me. So all that is left to say is…

Thank you Cape Town…we will do it all again in December…