Caribbean storytelling. Those myriad sounds from these night creatures! They never fail to accompany on my journeys through the nights. There was snoring from my grandson in the other room. Phew! Wait, that was another laugh. Maybe he was dreaming because I have never heard him laugh so loud and then it was done. I smiled at my own piteous condition. I was alone. I lay in my bed and recognised that I could not change a single moment… not now, not ever.
I have asked myself over and over again…how did I get here? How did I allow myself to have come this far? I tasted the tears for another night. Whatever it takes, I have to stop myself and learn to survive. Tears or not, nothing could help me now. Maybe, I have to change my outlook on all of this sorry tale.
I made up my mind that I will never lose my ability to think, live, breathe and love again.
I started out fine. Well I thought so, if I may say so myself. I was a school teacher with ambition in those years gone by. I turned on my side. When I lie on my left side, my thoughts flowed much better. I shifted my pillow not once but close to fifteen times. I thumped it, bit into it, yes I am not ashamed to say so. I punched it several times and then over and over again. Yes, I agree that I was a compulsive ‘pillow shifter’ – if there was such a word.
I felt better and then some! I settled once more into my usual recounting of my sorry life. Well, sort of – if you could come to grips with the fact that I had amassed all this wealth. I had several houses scattered throughout this country. I was the only man on the island with a convertible. This was my second love. I hardly drive it these days. I loved the land and my morning were well spent with my grandson. He was home on holidays. Some said that I may have robbed a bank to acquire all that I had. I had fourteen children with not as many women. I married one. I loved her dearly.
Car aside, I had the best donkey in all of San John. I used to ride my donkey into the village and up the hill to where the school lay. I had my convertible but that was for special occasions. Riding my donkey was my way of reducing my carbon footprint. This was my way of giving back to mother earth.
The school was not too far away from my home. It was nestled among the wooded trees about three miles south. When one arrived at school on an early morning, the scenery took the breath away, literally. Maybe it was the shape of the building with its white porches, matching columns, and the well kept lawns. Maybe it was the way our children played in circular patches away from it all. They were well behaved. Maybe it was the lashing sounds created by the fierce September winds against the neighbouring mango trees. They were planted in such a way to protect this building. Maybe it was the smaller but older colonial building nearby, with its elongated walls and rustic charm. I simply don’t know, but to me it was all of it. This was what I remembered and what held both loving and painful memories
Until next week!