28 Aug 2008

As the world turns...

Egads! The world turns and goes on, while I am wondering whether I am stuck in a time warp. The mind is a wee bit funny at times. It remembers only the last image fed to it.

Yesterday I called a friend in Trinidad with whom I used to hang out a lot. After a very long conversation of catching up on all the news, he revealed his younger brother was getting married this weekend. Blimey, I was stunned. I thought his brother was a young lad of 14, only to realise I left Trinidad when he was 14 and now he is around 20 or so. Darn, how time flies.

When I left Trinidad, my friend was as skinny as a bodi (string bean for those of you non-Trinis reading this). Now he tells me he has stopped smoking, drinking and has put on about 40 pounds. Cripes, I don't even know how to imagine what he looks likes.

I am happy for him; his life is good. He has built his house, bought a car, is self employed and in regular work... maybe now he can work towards offering his wife a holiday. I already offered to accommodate them if they want to visit.

That conversation though, left me wondering at how many other changes I've missed in my little village. How many people grew up and migrated? How many passed away? What buildings have fallen and which were left standing? Which of the familiar landmarks would still be there when next I visit?

The old tamarind tree, the second biggest tree in the neighbourhood is long gone. So is the mango tree, the biggest, the grandpappy that stood guard over the rest of wild vegetation. The poui trees that provided golden blooms, the pond that my neighbour dug to water his animals; indeed the neighbour himself, and his wife... all gone.

One neighbour lost a leg to diabetes, another his wife... to another man. Another gained a wife, twice his age. She actually went to primary school with me and I think maybe she got married for fear of getting old alone.

The best zaboca in the area is still there, as is the best breadfruit. Cascadoo is scarce, the 'Cracklings' got to them. They got to the coconuts too. My neighbour across the road still has plums, cherries and pommecythere.

The village idiot is sill there though. Actually we had two vying for the position. How can that be? You have to know them to understand.

I found out an old girlfriend married an abusive man, for which I am very sorry. Her father never wanted the responsibility of caring for them after they finished high school, so he married off three girls in quick succession.

My very first 'official' girlfriend got married last year. I still have fond memories of her; she is a gem, and her guy is damn lucky.

The world turns and moves on...