This delayed posting thing is killing my flow, but here goes.
It’s the eve of my leaving Trinidad. I am packed, I am ready to roll–and all my luggage rolls. My big suitcase is heavy, but I was ruthless right down to the bitter end, packing and repacking, casting off, leaving behind, giving away to get the weights down to a manageable level.
This cool chick Tricia, helped me phenomenally by bringing in six bottles of the blonde hair dye I use on my hair, that cannot be found to buy in either Barbados or Trinidad, I know, I’ve looked. It’s weird, she was walking down the road and her hair was blonde. As has been my habit ever since being in Trinidad, I asked these girls where they get the colour for the hair. (Trinidad doesn’t have a high population of natural blondes, so this is why it’s not a dis to ask this question outright.) Miss Tricia tells me that she uses Dark and Lovely’s Lightest Golden Blonde #384 (if you please) but she doesn’t get it locally, her sister buys them in the US and sends them down or her.
Somehow, I don’t quite know how, she agreed to bring in some for me. She even went so far as to output her own money to get the stuff here in time for me to travel, and yesterday she came up to the house, where I gave her one of those beautiful baskets I got at an amazing bargain and a leather and straw bag I got as a present to thank her.
YMK came and spent the night last night. When he came in yesterday afternoon he was pissed off with me. Tricia, her mother, father and baby daughter (a real cutie) were there too, and while we were busy saying our goodbyes and talking and such. At first I didn’t understand why he stood there so sullen, off to one side just observing everything that was going on.
After Tricia left and we got inside, first this dude I know from around the community came to get some of my books (although in the end he never fucking paid for them), then an old friend of mine came to get whatever I was willing to give away, and to finish paying me for my DVD & VCR which he bought off of me. (Lucky thing, it’s my departure tax tomorrow!)
The whole time, YMK lay across the bed, napping and mostly ignoring me and the sometimes loud proceedings outside.
We sort of had a fight the day before. He was supposed to come up the night before, and I had been running around for the whole week taking care of shit in preparation to leave on Monday. I had been bracing for the good bye, bracing for the weekend, looking forward to seeing him, but aching to face saying good bye.
So after a scarily hectic bout of last-banking-and-do-everything-day before departure type stress, I called YMK to find out what time he was coming that night. It was then he told me he wasn’t coming to that night, because one of the Three C’s and his Venezuelan wife had been picked up by the cops, and he, B and the the two other C’s were trying to find out what had happened to him.
I blew up! I burst in to tears and we had a terse little back and forth, but in the end he pleaded with me to be patient and too understand, and I did, but I just blasted away foor a few seconds…. even to my own ears I sounded petulant and childish, but I blamed the heat of Port-of-Spain, the dust and the jostling crowds, the worry about leaving, and the sktetchy schedule we’ve kept since I left San Juan and moved back to my dad’s.
He promised he’d come early in the morning.
“Like when, two o’clock?” I bit out.
“No, like in the morning period,” he said kind of quietly.
I had no choice, and I was pissed off. I was also a little suspicious, I’d been crying too much, and this short temper seemed more than a little PMS-y to me.
When we were finally alone — figuratively speaking, since my brother, father and my brother’s friend Sharky were in the back — and I had closed thhe bedroom door, we kind of danced around each other.
For the first time in weeks, he wasn’t all over me as usual; hands on my breasts, fingers tweaking my nipples, all kisses and hugs. We talked, but his sentences were clipped and short and although he didn’t seem angry, I could tell something was up. To be honest, so much had gone on since that conversation, I had forgotten most of the feelings and what I said.
When he finally told me what was wrong, we talked it out and settled it, but I had to consider that he took far more personally than I thought.
After we made peace, we kind of just hung out for a while talking. We talked about me leaving Trinidad, talked yet again about him following to England. Yet again he assured me, “I’ve made up my mind, I’m coming. Don’t worry. Don’t study it.”
When he says it, it’s with such sureness, such absolute conviction, the way I sounded when we went through our initial ‘stay/I’m going’ discussions, that I just believe it in my heart. I am still scared, I’m more scared about him not following me, than me going there and what happens after I do.
It went out as it went it, as it’s been going on. Heated, and more than ever in the previous weeks, passionate and intense, and with the same undercurrent of desperation, holding onto each other, the kisses searing, soothing and cutting at the same time. I asked myself how I was going to live without this. I asked myself over and over in my head, how I was going to live without him in my life.
I do not remember how long, or how much, or all those details that seemed to stand out so much before. what I remember is asking him not to forget my poonkie, and Missy Elliot’s “Pussy don’t fail me now…” lyric playing over and over at one point, and him whispering back, “No baby, I can’t forget it.”
He gave me a real jump later that evening. We were talking about some things and he turns to me and said, “Don’t put that in your blog.”
“Well let’s make a deal,” I compromised. “If there’s something you don’t want me to write about, just tell me.”
“I just feel so vulnerable, people, strangers from all over the world, coming and reading about me and looking at my picture and such. I just don’t like it.”
I sat there, silent, in my head thinking, ‘If I don’t write about how I feel about him, where will all my feelings go?’
Then he looked down at me and said, “You know I’m joking right?”
I cuffed him in his shoulder and muttered, “Ass!” while he laughed at my consternation.
“So do you want me to take down your picture, and stop writing about you?”
“Write what you want!” He replied.
Internally I breathed a little sigh. It means a lot to me, that he would give me permission to write about the things that move me where he is concerned, and not take it personally.
“So if I come on to your blog, and leave comments, your online friends would get to know me and the shit I talk wouldn’t they?” He asked me quite seriously.
“Yes. Yes they would,” I replied. “But don’t worry, it seems like they mostly like you from what I’ve written.”
We woke up the next morning and after I kept him company while he shaved his head, then went and made coffee. We sat, drinking and talking. Now he couldn’t keep his hands off of me. He wrapped himself around me, and kissed me.
“I’m just enjoying you while I can,” he said, after I asked him why he kept looking at me, stroking me, holding on to me.
There were no teary declarations of any kind, although I couldn’t help it, there were some tears the next morning. There were no last minute ‘I Love Yous’, or ‘Don’t Leave Me’s’. He handled the tears and himself pretty well, trying to tickle my tears out of me, but when that didn’t work, he kissed them and soothed them away instead, but he didn’t stop them for long or completely. I wanted to have some lagniappe (last lap) sex, but he was too tired and had to leave early to go home.
“Baby, I don’t miss the water ’til the well runs dry,” he laughed at my pout.
I pouted, I cajoled, all to no avail, because he really did have to go.
So I wrote down all the numbers I could think of and URLS, plus other information, and he wrote down his three best friend’s numbers, his mother’s cell and work numbers, his e-mail and every possible contact number he could think of, including two of his neighbours.
When he left, he kissed me, held me close and told me over and over, “It’s just six months baby. It’s not a long time. It’s not goodbye baby, it’s see you later….”
How am I going to spend six to eight months without him?
One of the last things he said to me before he left that morning was, “Baby, I don’t want you to cry too much, or worry too much about me. I want you to have fun. Have as much fun as you can.”
When I let him out of the gate, he bent and kissed me gently, then he walked away from me, across the Ellie Manette park. The grass was green, green and growing up around the children’s slide on one side of our gate and the swing on the other.
He turned and gave me a little wave and then walked away. I don’t know if he looked back, after I lost sight of him behind a kind of shrub, The last I saw of him, was the sunlight glinting off his head, as he turned the round corner of DeFreitas St, onto George Cabral, then even that was lost behind the red, clay brick of someone’s wall.
I stood there, tears roling down, feeling an aching in my stomach, and a fluttering of anxiety. I went back into the house and the rest of the day was spent tidying, repacking and repacking my suitcases and full on crying jags. I know now all that crying was largely fuelled by PMS, but at the time, I felt my heart was breaking.
About 7.30pm, I got a text message:
Babe, the well has run dry. I’m worried about you, will you be alright? I know you can’t live without me. Missing you.
I texted him back, and told him that I had warned him about the well running dry.
Later I got another message, asking me to call him on Nos’s phone, but I couldn’t get through.
Fast Forward To Today, Thursday.
That night, I could hardly sleep. I must have woke up about three or four times, getting up to wander around the house, read (there was no TV in the house in St James) and cry.
The next morning, I was hustling trying to get the remainder of the things I wasn’t taking with me to my brother’s house in Diego Martin. Before all that though, for the last time I called YMK at 6.30am. We talked for about fifteen minutes, confirming some times and stuff. I was leaving my most precious books with him, gave him my cell phone (because his mother’s cell is the only phone in their house and the battery doesn’t hold a charge) and a few other odds and ends.
“I couldn’t sleep last night,” he said softly. “I must have gone up and down the stairs about three times. I am missing you, I am going to miss you.”
He told me again that he wasn’t changing his mind about coming to England, that he wants to see how far and how deep he and I could go, and not to worry. He told me he was missing me terribly already, and all I could do at that point was commiserate and marvel at the similarities in our experience.
He blew me kisses through the phone, and I sent them back, then we hung up.
I began the pell mell morning, running around doing my last minute stuff. By 1.30pm, the Padawan and R were on their way. My god daughter came and kissed me, asked me again why I had to go, and I was in tears, so with them rolling down my face I said to her, “Baby, Auntie ndela is a free spirit and free spirits have to fly.”
She seemed to accept that, but in no time, the Padawan and R were there.
As soon as the Padawan saw me she laughed and shouted, “Ya big bottom bitch, ya still crying?!”
I laughed too, but it was through the tears.
While I ran across to say goodbye to Eze, my best friend of almost thirty years, the Padawan and R loaded my suitcases into the car.
I rushed back, made a once over of the house, and finding little I could put in my suitcase, and nothing too out of place, I went outside and said my prayers in the Ancestral shrine my father and I put down the Friday night previous.
Then with tears flowing free like salt, I climbed in the car, and left St James, heading to the airport. We stopped in San Juan to drop of the aforementioned box of books, the cellphone and other odds and ends, but I didn’t see YMK.
I think part of him just didn’t want to stand and watch me walk away no matter how brave the face he was putting on. It’s alright, because I coouldn’t have handled him at the airport. I’d have been walking through it with a tear stained face, sobbing and miserable, It was hard enough already.
I paid my overweight, TT$590 if ya please, and left Trinidad.
I called him the next day, and told him that no matter what happens next, I was glad to have known him, glad to have had such fun with him and I appreciated his presence in my life.
“Baby, you don’t have to make any declarations you know? You don’t have to convince me to come up to England. I am coming.”
“It’s just that you know, things change so fast when you are at your age, and I don’t want you to think I am pushing or forcing the situation.”
“No, no, no,” he said, “I’m not going to change my mind. You will see me up there soon. Don’t study it, don’t worry.”
It’s not goodbye he told me, it’s ‘see you later.”