River come down

BC Pires -
BC Pires -



LONG WEEKEND in Trinidad and Y’Boy studying how much Trini will reach Barbados, and who he could stick to bring a bag of Haniff & Sons airport doubles, supposing they have a hand free to carry it, assuming them not holding umbrella from Piarco to Grantley Adams, from home to hotel.

Y’Boy does feel sorry for anybody coming in from the Cold who strimp-and-save whole year so they could bus’ it from winter for a week and, when they finally reach Barbados, they find out they might as well of stick in Manchester or Vancouver. Becaw, from the time they get off the plane ’til they board it back, is only rain for breakfast, rain for lunch, rain for dinner and drizzle for dessert.

But Y’Boy doesn’t waste too mucha energy feeling sorry for Trini in the same Noah’s Ark boat becaw: (1) For a generation now, them building house on mountain top and paving the Savannah and all, so them accustom’ to steady rain and flood, like they uses to be accustom’ to steady licks and they accustom’ to steady murder now; and (2) Trini doesn’t let little thing like flood or coup stop the party.

Is something Y’Boy doesn’t can understand, how Trini does be constantly surprise by the natural, predictable result of they own repeated choices. Trini know in they heart that, one morning, it go happen, day just not going and follow night. Trini does say, one day, one day, congotay. But they doesn’t believe it.

The sky over Y’Boy shoulder get a little less dark in one spot and Y’Boy watch it steady for two-chree minutes. That little patch of less-black, not-quite-gray, that is the black hole sun. Y’Boy chuckle to he-self soft. Two days now, that mean old sun ’fraid to show he face. A towel in the gallery drying since Monday still damp. The old Kansas Joe tune, make new by Led Zeppelin, wash over Y’Boy mind: “If it keeps on raining/Levee’s going to break/When the levee breaks/Mama, you got to move/Crying won’t help you/Praying won’t do you no good.”

Three days now, all six dogs inside the house. Them dog ’fraid rain like Donald Trumps ’fraid free-and-fair election. They does run fast and bark loud until you let them inside.

The sky back in black now and low-low-low. Y’Boy feel he go scrape he head eef he only go out the door. We go be lucky to see sun by Sunday. Is a hard rain going and fall. But, thanks God, no thunder and lightning.

Y’Boy shift he carcass and fight up to pull een the window. Breeze picking up and rain, like it limboing under the sill.

Y’Boy stand up there, watching out the blurry window. Fifty shades of grey in true but the only leather Y’Boy studying is the lashes humanity getting.

It have religious festival next week. Holy days for people who could still believe it have something holy here, people who still put all they hope in a God who can’t or won’t put a hand, nor even-self a foot, to mash brakes. War in far-flung Ukraine and two old brothers murdered in they own home right there in Petit Bourg, 87-year-old Mervyn Lee Soy and his little brother, 78-year-old Michael.

Is this all we could do for them, comrade?

The sky crying and Y’Boy eye want to water like them rivulet running down the window. Pain in your heart of glass doesn’t mean nothing. But what Y’Boy and he brothers-in-armchairs could do? In this place, is better to throw a fete than a tantrum. We doesn’t throw resources at a problem. We does throw waist. For us, is better to write a soca song than a manifesto.

And some o’ we could well do it.

Like Andre: River/The river come down/Wash ’way the right/Wash ’way the wrong/Wash ’way the weak/Wash ’way the strong/Don’t try to fight it/If you do, all fall down.

Or David: Does it wash away all your unlovely?

But is like is always the same old discovery.

Y’Boy let out the sigh that holding he chest tight all this time and sit down and flex all he typing finger and them.

But he only need one.

What it is about Trinidad that put all o’ we so that all that we could do is put a finger in the dyke?

BC Pires is going against the tied


"River come down"

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