Island Boi freezing in American Summner

Island Boi freezing in American Summner

This is a picture of my brother on far right, his wife in the purple blouse. They are visiting the US and this is a picture taken last week in Detroit. I noticed my brother wearing layers of clothes so I said to him, “Hey brudda, you cold or something”? He says, I tell you Andy, I am so cold my toe nails are freezing.” Only a visiting island boy would be freezing in the American summer.

From I am a Dirty Immigrant

Last night was bitter cold. My teeth were chattering so hard it reminded me of days on the beach when the tropical rain poured down and I was swimming. The ocean was warm, but the bloody rain hit my skin like small pellets of ice. It is 2013 and yes, I am still living in The Wild and Wonderful City.

My dream began with me standing on a narrow street, engulfed with a thick grey mist. At first it was silent, but slowly, the sound of voices filled the air. I looked around but saw no one. The voices grew from a murmur to ear-splitting screams. The grey mist turned into a thick fog that seemed to stifle me. My eyes felt like they were on fire and my throat felt like someone had his fingers wrapped around it, squeezing. I stood up and started walking away from the voices. I had no intentions of waiting around to find out why they were coming towards me. I had taken two steps when I stumbled over something, landing on my knees, but I felt no pain. I brushed tears from my eyes and looked down. There was a young lady lying on the road. From the uniform she was wearing, I knew she was a student. I crawled over to her and lifted her head. There was a large gash on her forehead; blood drained into her eyes, causing them to look like pools of crimson red. I looked around; the mist had disappeared and I wiped the tears from my eyes so as to see what was going on around me. The sun was shining so brightly that my skin burned. It felt like someone had dipped me in water at its boiling point. She mumbled something, but instead of words, blood spilled out of her mouth. The red gush soaked into the white shirt she wore, red in the middle of the stain and pink on the edges. The sun went dark as I almost fainted; bloody girl’s eyes were rolling back in her head.

Suddenly the screaming voices stopped and a shadow blocked the sun so I turned around. There was a man standing over me. I saw no face, no mouth, and no teeth – just two red eyes glaring at me. I moved to get up as he screamed like a man who needed to be exorcised. The look in his eyes was one of pure hatred, and he had that expression that made people look more like beasts than humans. Then his arm raised and the blue skies behind him turned grey, then black. Once again I was falling, the faces of people I used to know flashing in the dark, pale florescent images floating around me. The screaming was unbearable, but slowly it disappeared and I plunged into the darkness.

I sat up in bed; the room was so dark I thought I was still dreaming. A Harley Davidson bike roared by outside. It sounded like an airplane flying low, about to drop a bomb. I got up and stumbled to the bathroom, turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on my face. I looked at myself in the mirror; my eyes were the same color as a fire engine. I wiped my face with the towel hanging next to the shower, turned and walked over to the window.

Here it is 2013. I am used to people not pronouncing their T’s. I know that a penny is one cent and not two cents like on the island. I am now versed in Hillbilly slang, well sometimes I still do not understand. Lately, black slang and white slang have crossed lines and all people are starting to sound the same. Country music is no different than rap, all pop music. I still have people thinking I am Jamaican. I am still single. The only difference is, I don’t think I am not good enough; I just refuse to sell myself short. I have kept my accent; thank God ‘cause an island boy with a Redneck accent would make me sound like a bad Disney character.

What is This Fast Food From I am a Dirty Immigrant

What is This Fast Food From I am a Dirty Immigrant

We arrived at our destination and man was I confused. For one, it was fifteen degrees. My body was numb and my teeth chattered so hard I thought they would crumble. My toes felt like someone was poking them with needles every time I moved. I was definitely not prepared for this; no human could possibly be prepared for these frigid conditions. My tropical ass did not own a jacket, or anything warm for that matter. I looked out the car window. There were no bloody sky scrapers, no bustling streets, just a small town surrounded by mountains. The younger of the two gentlemen asked me if I was hungry and I told him I was. He pointed to a building with golden arches. I was confused. On the island, there were no fast food restaurants – just local restaurants that cater to the tourists. When he saw the expression on my face, he pointed out several other fast food restaurants along the side of the two-lane street. Pizza Hut – what was that? Sonic? – have no clue. I zeroed in on Kentucky Fried Chicken because it had the recognizable word “chicken” in its name. I did not enjoy the meal very much. It was way too greasy, and judging from the bland taste, I knew there were little or no tropical spices in it. After eating, the two men informed me they would take me to the basketball dorm. They made it a point to let me know that the one basketball player there at that time was black. I was a little baffled as to why it was so important to inform me of his ethnicity.

Daydream Picture

Daydream Picture

It is cold again in West Virginia, I can feel the cold breeze as it sweeps across the Ohio River from Proctorville, bouncing off the buildings in Huntington, freezing my tropical soul. But I have an advantage, I can dream of my beach, Grand Anse beach, ahhh the tropical sun beating down on me, the heat rises from the sand, hugging me like a Grandmother, the smell of the ocean, the flowers blooming, the birds singing, the calypso musing playing. Oh yes, I am there, join me my imagination have room for more.

The Other Ocean Photo by Scott Hall

The Other Ocean

Its seven thirty am, its the other ocean, you wake up look outside and think, its the beach, it can’t be that cold, that is until you step outside and it is forty degrees. You want to go back inside, but though the ocean is grey, and the water looks more like snow as it break onto the cream coloured beach. You have to come to the conclusion, this is beautiful.

Good morning me neighbours

Good morning me neighbours

Well I work up to snow this morning, so how do I counter that, daydream of a tropical country road, ohhh yes I am there, the sun beating down on me, the cool trade winds easing the swelter, I am sipping a tall glass of passion fruit juice, hypnotized by the cubes of ice clinging against the glass. Oh yes that alleviates the sound of my size eighteen shoes crunching on the snow. True, true me neighbours, this morning I am letting my imagination take me there.