July 16, 2016 by Fensic
Papa used tuh live about five houses from which part I used tuh live, eef yuh could call what he used tuh do livin. Eef ah squeeze mih eye shut tight an tax mih memory hard, was really more like two houses between me an Papa cause dat block in St. James wasn’t long.
De times I did see Papa he would be sittin dong orn de pavement slumped forward from de waist like he lock in dat position. Eef he hadn’t manage tuh get it locked quick, gravity wid take over an once he start leanin tuh one side he couldn’t stop till he shoulder reach de grong an he couldn’t lean no more. Den he would lock in dat position. It probably was more like he didn’t have de strength tuh raise back up.
De onlyest way ah did know Papa wasn’t dead was because eef he was slumped forward, he head would raise up orf he chest every now an den an he would launch into ah rounds ah cussin. Me eh know who Papa use tuh be cussin buh tork about stink cuss. Dry spit use tuh fly out he mout. He could change c-u into de hardest, most drawn out k ah ever hear in mih young life. An de ‘mudder’ in front ah it? Steups. It had disrespect embedded in between each syllable. When he was done ah rongs ah cussin he head an drool from he mout would have ah slow race tuh he chest. So slow de dribble would turn elastic.
Yes, Papa would be drunk like ah skunk yet again, he bottle ah Bay Rum close in case he needed tuh top orf.
Sometimes ah wouldn’t see him buh did still know he was pissin drunk cause ah could hear him cussin away in he yard, hidden by de fence. Ah sure he bottle ah Bay Rum was in he pants pocket. De ears ah whoever he was cussin had tuh be bunnin dem.
Since ah was ah inquisitive lad, (dat is how ah end up takin mih only puff orf ah cigarette an nearly coughin up ah lung), at some point ah check out Bay Rum figurin it had to be someting palatable. Ah find out different real quick. Taste wasn’t why de Papas ah T&T was drinkin dat stuff. It was ah cheap way fuh dem tuh get rip roarin drunk . . . an hooked.
Papa have tuh be dead an gorn long time. After all, dis memory ole enough tuh have gran chirren an he wasn’t no spring chicken back den. Besides, he was poisinin heself. Granted, when ah was ah boy, anybody not in school wid mih was ole so Papa could ah been ten years older . . . nah, impossible. He arse was ole back den so he dead long time. May his soul rest in peace.
Everybody done know Papa wasn’t family, right? Dat was he knick-name. I had two; one fuh school an ah next one fuh orn de block.
Is dem memories ah Papa, drunk like ah fish orn Bay Rum, dat flood mih mind de second ah see de article headline larse week in Newsday:
Argument Over Bay Rum Ends in Death.
Papa revisited? Nah. Was dese two friends, alcoholics ah guessin, arguin over Bay Rum an one like he kill de udder one. It must be onlyest liquid wid alcohol in dat friends does fight over wid one tellin de udder dey greedy. Not tusty, buh greedy. De power ah Bay Rum. Not dat regular drunks doh fight over regular booze.
It hard buh ah tryin tuh tink like ah Bay Rum drinker.
Papa would ah never be able tuh be orn de pavement wid ah unprotected bottle ah Bay Rum eef he did have ah drunken drinkin pardnah. At least dat might ah be he tort before he ingest dat poison an before it take way what sense he had. Is questionable dat he had any eef he was drinkin Bay Rum buh ah givin him de belated benefit ah de doubt. Neighbors nah. He wouldn’t ah be able tuh fight considerin he couldn’t even keep he head up. He would ah have tuh get dat stuff out he system first. He, de same man ah done say I eh tink ah ever see or hear sober. Might ah be de buddy accusin Papa ah being greedy, after all, in mih romanticized memory ah Papa he wasn’t wukkin. It might well be dis pardnah ah creatin fuh him who was payin fuh dey Bay Rum. Eidder way, one ah dem would ah dead right dey, mere houses from which part ah used tuh live. An orn de same side ah de road too.
How many murders it had in dem days, ten? Ah wonder eef de poleece used tuh solve any? Dat unfair tuh de TTPS ent? Ah mean how hard it would ah been tuh cyatch ah killer parse out drunk at de crime scene?
An Bay Rum wasn’t even made tuh drink. De one time I taste mih after-shave by mistake while slappin it orn mih face, ah didn’t get de idea tuh start drinkin it an it have alcohol in it. Ah wonder eef it always had de word ‘rum’ next tuh ‘Bay’ cause me eh puttin nuttin parse it makers. Ah could well see dem addin dat word een when dey find out people used tuh drink dey cologne an end up parse out drunk all over de place cussin demons.
Since ah give up tryin tuh tink like ah Bay Rum drinker, ah wonder what is de next cheapest ting people could drink dat doh have de ‘cheap drunk’ stigma. Who else believe drinkin an gettin drunk from Bay Rum does leave ah stigma?
De bigger question is why people still turnin tuh Bay Rum all now. Not dat ah did expect de country social problems wid ah be solve by now. Buh how about de ones dat does lead tuh Bay Rum drinkers?
Ah sure de woman who tell de minister she homeless so she want ah house, doh drink Bay Rum. Yet she logic is dat of ah Trini drunk orn entitlements. Who more stink wid deyself — Papa an he Bay Rum inspired rants or dis homeless woman an she demands.
It funny how ah was moanin an groanin about de lorse ah links dat could take mih back tuh de Triniland ah mih youth an here is one alive an well. Look how quick it take mih back tuh dem times. Faster dan when ah hear Holly Betaudier did dead an faster dan when ah hear Mannin follow. Is my fault cause ah didn’t say exactly what kind ah links ah didn’t want tuh lose.
Maybe ah doh have tuh worry about losin links. Maybe ah could build mih own an go back tuh de future any time ah want widout dealin wid Immigration at Piarco while dey gettin retrain. De idea so simple it ingenuous. Dat is why ah never tort about it till now.
So, how much fuh ah case ah Bay Rum?
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