Stoep Stereo: the Builder ….

Artwork by Jessica Käsner

Linza de Jager writes these stoep stories.

The thing about living in a small place is that everyone knows everyone. And that can be a problem. I mean, when things that should not be transparent become transparent, things can become sticky…

And so it turned out when I met Lovey.* As one can expect of someone called Lovey, he was delightful to look at and delightful to be with. The best company one could think of, and on top of that he was a mean builder too. He could turn his hand to anything. Build anything. Chop, chop. And just like that a palace would arise from what used to be an unsightly patch of earth.

The only problem was the following. See, Lovey had an unfortunate side to his personality. There was something snake-like about this darling man, since he tended to slither away and disappear just when the going seemed to be good. You’d have the coffee cups set out for him in the morning. The little tray arranged just so; the blue cups looking so cheerful on the tray. You’d be rehearsing your greeting to him. “How’s the building going?” This would be accompanied by a cheerful rubbing of hands to show your appreciation of his labors on your boundary wall, which was by this time half-way under way affording you a view of the passing parade in the street, and the passing parade in the street with a view of you. And he would simply not turn up.

So that not only did the tea get cold, so did your blood. It turned ice cold in your veins because you had paid him up front. Such a nice man, that Lovey. Lovely to look at and lovely to talk to. And it is amazing how time heals wounds, even those of the financial sort. As I said at the start of this, every small town has its Lovey. Reader, beware.
(Not his real name; this is a stoep story, after all.)



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