My Norris Friends on My Mind

Two days ago, I got a Facebook friend invitation. I did not recognize the name entirely, although it sounded familiar as I repeated it mentally. The profile picture was of no help because it was too dark. I could not pick out the features. However, I was half-sure who it was. One of my sisters, now living in Canada, had told me just earlier that she had reconnected with a childhood friend of ours. A friend from way back in the day in Jamaica. We lived in Norris, St. Thomas, and this friend was from Gutter Head, an adjoining district up the road from us. On the way to the hills of Windsor Castle on the left at the intersection there, and down to Logwood and Yallahs on the right.  However, we all went to the same primary school — all-age at the time — in Easington, the district on the other side of Norris. Right after going over the bridge that spanned Yallahs River.

Read More

Welcome Home to Africa

I read in the news yesterday that Ludacris has just gotten Gabonese citizenship. It seems his wife is from Gabon, and so he got it through her. Irrespective of how he got it, though, it is symbolic of a wave of Africanism that has been cresting over the past few years. Specifically, the facet of Africanism I am referring to is the reconnection of dispersed Africans with the continent of their origin in tangible ways. Like gaining African citizenship, for example. Citizenship through familial ties as in Ludacris’ case, by way of residency, or via conferral as in Ghana’s 2019 Year of Return program.

Read More

Goodbye Artical Don

Facebook has its detractors. Some folk feel it is a privacy-invasion slippery slope. Facebook also has its supporters. Despite all the issues of privacy currently swirling around the platform, I am one of the latter. Not that I am not concerned about privacy. One of the things that pisses me off, for example, is Facebook’s interconnectedness of almost everything else I do on the internet. I google an item I am interested in purchasing and the moment I jump on Facebook after, ads about the product I have just researched start polluting my page! This is not the kind of invasion the detractors gripe about though. They feel their business will soon gaan a street by being on Facebook! What they fail to realize is that if they don’t post their business there is no way it will gaa street!

Read More

On the Road to Africa

“Free seating, free seating! Sit anywhere you want!” He had to be talking to me, as it was I who had posed him the question about whether or not he was in the right seat. By the way he pitched his head though, and his voice too, he seemed to be addressing all of the boarding passengers. Perhaps he was already inebriated, getting a head start on buffering himself from the paranoia of being up in the air for the duration of the flight, scheduled to take off in less than half-an-hour. A head start on the liquoring up was necessary, just in case the plane was not adequately equipped – rather, stocked – with the precious fear-of-flying antidote. Flying was meant for birds, and not for man, locked down in great big iron contraptions, hurtling through the skies at forty thousand feet. I have been on countless flights where passengers, scared of flying, either took sleeping pills before take-off, or started numbing themselves with alcohol in the airport bars before boarding.

Read More

Caribbean Christmas in Flight

The Air France flight just took off from Toussaint L’Ouverture in Port-au-Prince, headed for Miami, after a pit stop coming from Pointe-a-Pitre. On the way up from Guadeloupe there was an older man and a younger-looking woman seated beside me, just behind the exit row on the left hand side of the plane. Haiti was their destination, as a young dreadlocked guy is now sitting in the window seat of my row, the middle seat empty.

Read More

Upon the Departure of My Mother

I did not cry when my mother died. Not when I got the news. I was in the kitchen at home in Florida, tooling around the stove trying to fix a quick breakfast, when the red, car-shaped phone rang. I reached quickly into the corner of the counter where it was parked and grabbed it before it stopped ringing. I pressed the on button and jammed it against my ear, gripping it firmly between my hunched-up shoulder and my head, cocked awkwardly to the side. They were my extra pair of hands, as I needed my regular pair to delicately turn my eggs over so as not to burst the red; I loved them slightly runny, just like my mother used to prepare them for my father when I was a little bwoy growing up in Norris. My brother’s voice came through from the other end of the line: “Miss Lil gone,” were the words I heard, somewhat perfunctory, and the egg red burst.

Read More