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Everyting dat happen is part ah life, even dis.

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November 28, 2015 by Fensic

De first time anybody call mih ‘sir’ . . . . was ah few years ago. It was so shockin ah had tuh go into emergency mode tuh deal wid de situation. Ah mean it happen too early in mih young life, so early ah big row start between mih mind an mih body. But ah manage tuh de point dat eef anyting does keep me up at night it wasn’t de logic ah use tuh save mihself.

Ah swear mih life flash in front mih eyes dat first time oui. Number one, ah wasn’t no teacher in Triniland. Number two, ah wasn’t back home visitin family livin behind God back where chirren still have manners an does respect dey elders. Nope, none ah dem tings was going orn when dat worker een de grocery call mih ‘sir’ wid he damn farse self.

Sir?

Me?

Ah reason out quick why it happen. Was de trainin he, or was it ah she, had. Male shoppers was sirs. Customer service at its best. Ah was impressed.

It went an happen again—in ah restaurant dis time ah tink. Ah was impressed more, tellin mihself ah never notice before how service industry workers was so customer focused.

Den one day ah was buyin ah train ticket.

Dat service industry worker ask mih eef ah is ah senior citizen.

Mih world stop spinnin one time.

De onlyest ting save dat woman tail from any instinctive reaction was de glass separatin we. Eef she did only know how quick after she ask me dat I did done examine she family tree an was ready tuh describe de females in explicit Trini detail. But havin tuh bend dong an put mih lips by de teeny lil cut-out where yuh does pay yuh money? Cuss, look up at she, bend back dong tuh cuss again, look back up? Cuss more? Too much wuk. Ah wonder eef she tort dem teet ah flash instead was ah smile?

So what eef she too was practisin dat same customer focus ah was torkin about before?

Eh eh.

She question cross de line. It was forcin mih tuh face facts. Fuhget senior citizen discount, ah wasn’t ready tuh face no damn facts.

Ah mean ah could remember being orn Fatima picture-perfect football field an breakin mih collar bone representin de boys from Moca. Mih mind was whisperin: anyting dat vivid cyar be more dan ah few years ole.

Wasn’t it recently ah was holdin ah baby boy in one hand while phonin he new grandfadder wid de announcement? When was dat? Close tuh dat football match mih mind suggested. Do de maths it say.

Senior citizen?

Tuh hell wid train discount! Doh call me ole nah.

As eef it couldn’t get worse, one day, dis chef in de cafeteria, ah man who ah sure was no more dan a month younger dan me, call mih pops. Ah was admirin how de ladies does dress at de time. All ah dem hear he call me ‘pops’. Ah tort he was mih friend.

None ah mih pardnahs come tuh mih aid when ah tell dem. Dey was silent again when ah describe what happen anudder time. Ah was buyin yet ah next train ticket. Just so de man behind dat glass went ah charge mih de senior citizen fare. He eh ask mih nuttin. How people was comin up wid such wild assumptions? Dey wasn’t hearin mih brain or what?

When I look in de mirror, dat sharp dresser from dem house-party days in Triniland would stare back an smile. When I show orf mih moves he used tuh dance too. We was in synch.

None ah dat was stoppin de crazy people.

How much times ah going home an some woman break an enter mih torts tuh ask mih eef ah want she seat?

Me?

Never!

Okay maybe in ah million years I eh go have no shame an tell she yes tanks. She go get up an I go take she seat. Until den, all I does do is say tanks buh no tanks, I good. Mih smile does be because ah tinkin she should leave she man an come wid me. No matter how long he could stand up, is me dat could put ah spring in she step.

Ah didn’t tink dat when dis man offer me he seat doh. When he start carryin orn like eef ah name ‘sir’, ah just look at he an say in mih mind he could haul he baxide.

Den one evening ah get dis phone call from me regular pardnah. He had mih worried only mutterin over an over about de larse straw finally break, de larse straw finally break. I dey tryin not tuh tink de worse. Den he explain.

It was far wuss dan eef he wife did horn him or he lorse he wuk. Or, not likin how more money was goin an get wasted orn de Tarouba fiasco, he was joinin ISIS an sneakin een T&T tuh blow up de half-done stadium, unless Brian Lara demand dey take he name orf dat debacle.

Instead, he say he was orn de bus headin home from wuk an when he reach he stop, de bus driver ask him eef he want she tuh lower de bus—make it kneel, fuh him tuh get orf safe.

Lower de bus so he could get orf safe? I buss out laughin one time. Nobody offerin me dey seat could compete wid dat request. Pardnah or no pardnah, he clearly is de winner beatin me by years, miles an degree of humiliation.

He decline she offer buh what would ah happen eef he did try showin orf an jump orf de bus, fall an break he two ankle? Pride could come before ah fall fuh true oui.

Dat is what gettin oldER does cause. One minute yuh dey wantin tuh pee an because yuh in de middle ah sometin yuh decide tuh hold it een. Next week reach an yuh still eh pee yet.

Life could be sneaky. Tings does change over de years widout you knowin. Dat is when yuh mind an you does fall out an cyar be friends no more. Now yuh have de same urge tuh pee buh yuh too busy. Yuh mind whisperin doh worry, put it orf.

Yuh try.

Next ting yuh know . . . . . .

Let mih leave it ah surprise fuh dem who tink dey young an strong fuh ever.

In de meantime, me an mih pardnah go take de discount fuh de train an bus. After all, we earn dem. I go start takin de seat when offered but if is ah woman offering mih torts eh changin. Plus, when ah orn de bus an is my stop, ah gettin orf via de back door.

But what tuh do about gettin up in de middle ah de night tuh go pee so often?

Nobody better doh answer mih back sayin it all depends nah.


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