N Touch
Wednesday 20 November 2019
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Discipline, Tolerance and Production

4.08 am

The neighbourhood is still asleep at this hour, even- tempered, breathing in a consistent, quiet rhythm 1…2…1…2…I am not in the mood, lying in bed, plotting the trajectory of my column this morning, to jolt this calm and start a storm in my head. I feel more meditative than querulous, though querulous is not exactly the word I was looking for. Pugilistic perhaps? Perhaps.

5.15 am

“We the citizens…”

My imagination is waking up now. I intended to begin with that line, taking upon myself the duty of voicing the citizen’s overwhelming joy. The tone is supposed to encourage but you can’t hear this unless I follow it with the words that give it context. ‘Have decided’ is strong enough to add some context. “We, the citizens, have decided…” You know I am headed down a road that feels uplifting. Or is it? I suppose it can go either way.

The police have been diligent with their speeding tickets. I admire this, this discipline. The government has been diligent with taxes. I admire that too. We are thankful for these little signs of conscientiousness, something that resembles follow through, you know? We, the citizens, are thankful.

I get the sense that we are striking two stones together, these little conscientious movements.

"Chik, chik, chik" the stones say, and then, a little spark. It is capable of setting fires. But we must give it some oxygen first otherwise "pfft," and it’s out. But why are we striking two stones together? This is the question we must ask. Either we have gone back in time when there is no availability of matches and gas lighters. or we are stranded on some remote island with nothing else but the natural environment to make use of.

Either way, same difference. Unavailable resources. Out of reach. Primitive.

But primitive man and woman made things work until evolution brought another type of man and woman. We are diligent this way, diligent in preserving our past. Every step forward necessitates one foot rooted in the past. How else do we move forward if we do not remind ourselves of the past?

The road to a friend’s home is never long. We are willing to brave the harshest conditions. You see, we pay the taxes dutifully and so we are also dutifully reminded that proper roads are a privilege, not a right. Not because you paying taxes means you entitled. Whatever gave you that idea? Come nah man! Head west from Balmoral Park towards Chuck E Cheese and we are afforded the opportunity to view the admirable work of our government.

Well, first off, around March, whoever it was (WASA, the very capable water provider probably) dug the roads. But remember, all this is our privilege, not our right. So say thanks that the gaping potholes were all that they left behind. They took all their equipment.

To the administration’s commendation, however, earlier this month we were afforded the privilege of having some patchwork done. Patch here. Patch there. It was a pretty sight. Fresh pitch. Nothing better than the sight of fresh pitch. It gives the impression that work is being done. And hard work too. It not easy working in that sun.

Two weeks later, to our joy, they reappeared to patch again. The same holes.

We must be thankful for these small acts of diligence. Duty-bound, these men appear to do the Lord’s work in service of the citizens of this nation. Pitch. We have gone down in history for pitch! One foot in the past. It is our heritage. We have a place on the map because of it.

Nine murders in one day? Can’t blame the protective service. They were doing the difficult and important work of ensuring we were safe on the nation’s roads – protecting us from the men driving on the shoulder, from the madmen driving west on the eastbound lane in Edinburgh to escape the potholes (though all I could do was roar in indignation because I wasn’t driving at the right time to see anyone pull them over).

Wrightson Road, Piarco, Tacarigua, Lange Park, St Helena, Chaguaramas – the roads remain in impeccable conditions. Those tax dollars benefit us all. We must think about the welfare of everyone, not least, our leaders who burn the midnight oil so to speak, to ensure that our cost of living, our vehicles, our food security are all intact, ensuring our very survival.

We, the citizens, have come to a decision, that our honourable administration should be awarded gold tickets for the diligent attention to the preservation of our past, and every act of care that it has displayed in the management of our well-being. We do indeed uphold the virtues of Discipline, Tolerance and Production.

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