February 20, 2016 by Fensic
Was just me an Sparky under de Julie Mango tree in de backyard. He give de signal. Ah get up from de makeshift barber chair an sit back dong facin de udder direction. We shadows was startin tuh get longish.
As eef readin mih torts, Sparky push ah box up tuh de mango tree, stand orn it an reach up tuh de naked bulb danglin from de extension cord wrapped arong de lowest branch.
De light turn orn.
I eh know how ah manage tuh slip, buh next ting, ah was askin him annuder question: What he tort about dis Zika virus business.
Tuh prevent any self-debate over eef ah was pushin mih luck wid all de questions about Triniland, mih mind rewind tuh all dat happen in de parse two hours or so. Dat was when mih cousin directions put mih in front de red gate ah dis blue house wid yellow trim. Ah was waitin fuh confirmation de barbershop was open like ah get tell tuh do.
Fuh some voice yuh never hear before? Man yuh livin in de US donkey years, is only one voice yuh eh hear yet oui, ah did tell mihself.
One set ah laughin interrupt mih torts. Ah voice raced from de backyard tuh control de escapin glee. Its words gettin louder, spillin out like marbles from ah schoolboy pants pocket wid ah hole in it. As de merriment continued, de words tumbled out faster, as if pourin from a jar onto de concrete, bypassin de typical schoolboy-pocket. Each word had a different pitch. Errol was right, ah never hear ah voice like dat. De barbershop was open.
Satisfied, ah cautiously pushed de gate open. It moan in protest. Warned, ah was ready tuh run back out at de hint of any dorg. Mih hesitant steps traced de laughter. Once ah was sure de group arong dis huge Julie Mango tree did see mih, ah move braver.
Sparky was bent over a head in a chair, scissors in hand. De chair wasn’t de one doin de proppin up. Sparky twisted he top half arong. He surprised mih when call mih name.
Noddin an mumblin who knows what, ah move towards a chair dat had one leg made up of upside dong empty Solo cases. Ah was totally brave now.
Yuh cyar rush ah scissors trim like yuh could one wid electric clippers. Quick doh mean good eef yuh head gettin zug. So when Sparky finally point tuh mih wid he scissors an chin an say I next, mih onlyest concern was daylight. Ah couldn’t tell eef he was lookin at me head orn doh.
He eyes was deep in he forrid. Tick eyebrows sprinkled wid grey, plus eyelashes longer dan yuh would see orn ah man, guarded de entrance tuh dem eyes. All ah know dey was dark an darted all over de place makin sure nuttin eh parse unnoticed. He was like ah macco carryin arong he own set ah jalousie.
Ah take een he black sandals, grey pants stoppin above he knees, he white t-shirt tucked into de pants an belted een. We could ah be classmates een primary school an tuhday, we could shop fuh each udder clothes.
While ah waited fuh my turn in de barber chair, ah take ah peep at dis backyard barbershop surroundings.
De yard sloped dong lil bit from de back ah de house den flattened arong de Julie Mango tree. A handmade sign wid oversized letterin in white paint against ah black background was nailed tuh de tree. It explained why de yard stayed so neat despite ah steady stream ah foot traffic.
Watch Yuh Language an where Yuh put yuh rubbish.
Eef ah wasn’t sure which; dat warnin or not seein ah dustbin worried mih more, de next line settled it:
Don’t Do anting here Yuh Wouldn’t do In Yuh Mudder house.
De missin ‘y’ must ah be in de missin dustbin. Ah smile at mih brilliance.
De one barber chair was propped up sideways against de mango tree, below de sign. Whoever was gettin trim started out facin one way. When Sparky make he half ah circle wid he scissors, de person get up an sit back dong facin de opposite way.
Not everybody, especially de bald-headed ones, was waitin fuh haircuts. Dey was just limers an would come an go. Limin by Sparky was de ting tuh do orn Saturdays.
Out ah de corner ah mih eye ah glimpse ah fella in ah red top an three-quarter pants nudge de fella next tuh him in de ribs, ah faint smile revealin two top teeth, both gold.
“Sparky,” he called out.
“Tork borse ah listenin.”
“Sparky? How come you name Sparky an de dawg name Sparks?”
He poked his buddy again.
Ah look arong. I eh see no dorg. Den was like de lightin change revealin only everyting dorg: Ah shredded sponge ball, ah dorg dish, ah dorg hut dong by de back door. Clumps ah bleached poop dat better be from ah dorg, over by de fence.
Mih pores raise. Ah swallow hard forcin mihself tuh return tuh de conversation.
“Yuh ent fraid one day yuh start barkin an de dawg grab yuh scissors?”
Two Gold Teet upper body lean back an he two foot raise up in de air revealin de bottom ah he black sneakers wid red highlights. He didn’t laugh, he cackled. When he foot touch back dong, ah notice two more gold teet.
Sparky stopped clippin. His words tumbled out like marbles again.
“Man, me an dat dorg is family yes. Tell he sic an tell me sic, see which one ah we go chew up yuh baxide first.”
Is ah good ting was sittin dong else mih knees would ah buckle. Everybody else jump up an staggered arong holdin dey belly. Sparky turn tuh mih showin all he teet. No sign of ever being to, or needin ah dentist. He nose look like it was sufferin from de permanent affects of ah Jack Spaniard sting doh. Ah tink he wink.
“What I tink about dis Zika virus business yuh askin mih?”
Ah look arong. Mih flashback was over. Was back tuh just me an Sparky.
“Well yuh right about one ting—is ah business fuh sure,” he continued.
He start back clippin leavin mih hangin.
”Buh not only here eh . . . . yuh understand where ah goin?
I wait fuh him to tell mih.
He stop clippin again, comin arong tuh face mih.
Ah sneak de chance tuh study he face again. Yes, he had tuh be dyein dat moustache.
“What is de surest way tuh kill mosquitos,” he ask.
Mih mind rush but eh make it back tuh primary school in time.
“Not geh rid ah dey breedin places? Make sure it eh have no stagnant water arong? Dat hard?”
“An all mosquito disease wiped out,” ah add, reachin where he was goin first.
Sparky’s words was ah slug leavin cracked taws in its wake. Ah fuhget about darkness an haircut.
“Any opinion orn Tim Kee?”
Mih heart was pumpin.
“Now listen tuh me . . . .”
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