So today started early, it was a hop, skip and jump to get to the airport at the crack of dawn. I hate having to rush through so I tend to get in early and organise my check in luggage etc and then sit and have a blessed cup of coffee.Travelling alone means that you have no one to watch your luggage but you get used to it.
I didn't realise how trapped I'd been feeling until we were nearing St. Vincent, looking out of the grotty window past the propeller at the blue sea underneath, that's when I started to unwind. The puddle hop to the pebble is just that so before you knew it, was on the ground waiting for Bopsingh to show up. Between saying quick hello's to my brother's friends and co-workers I've spent most of the afternoon passed out on the couch asleep. I truly did not understand how tired and run down I'd been feeling.
The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride of trying to finish projects, work with consultants to bring things in line, support my boss and in the current economic state, make things work best as can. The floods, earthquake, various local disasters have all been loud cries to wake up but I think the thing that really shook me was the cops and robbers scenario that played out on Christmas Eve. Like most Trinis I've become accustomed to the overhead drone of helicopter hovering, spotlight on at all hours of the night and sometimes during the day. The wail of police sirens and the distant pop of gunfire across the quiet valley. Yes, it sounds like a war zone but it's not as bad as all that, we're not living in a true hellhole but some days you just don't know what you'll come home to find.
Christmas Eve found me at Charms house on the other side of my Valley, from her house you can see the whole of Diego Martin spread out before you, lights clustered together against the overcast sky. It was pretty, the sort of thing that the tourist board puts on postcards. We were hoping Judy and Ashton, new friends, would make it over for a small pre-Christmas lime. The drama started just after 7:00pm with the rapid retort of semi automatic gun fire. In the quiet of the evening it echoed loudly, you couldn't really tell where it was coming from and then, a short while after, the insistent wail of sirens and blue flashing lights over on the Diego Martin Main Road side. More shots, we watched it with a sense of unreality from our vantage point way up the opposite hill. For the next hour we were cowed, speculating on what could be going on and with an undertone of unease. I just wanted to go home and check on the hound and lock myself away, even though my house was much closer to the action.
The demise of our evening has become another sign that time away is vital. What made it even worse is that all of this played out on Judy and Ashton's front door, literally. They spent their night cowering in the shadows of their apartment, terrified. We found this out the next day. My heart really goes out to them, who would want to have to deal with that? That night, I know that I spent a lot of time checking my windows and doors, Zeus and I huddled in front of the TV until bedtime when we curled up in the middle of the bed, trying to feel safe. When the X-man called in the wee hours of the morning on his way home, why he felt the need to wake me up I'm not sure but it seemed, even he needed to touch something secure.
Christmas Day was spent quietly, the usual pilgrimage to the X-man's family, though we are no longer and item, they still include me. It was lovely, as was dinner at Tasha's mom later that night. And yet, it was with an ever present undertone. That feeling of unease, we all had it despite the enjoyment we felt in each other's company. Tasha's mom is an excellent cook and a wonderful hostess, at her house you're made to feel like family, it really sucked that we couldn't truly let go.
And so, I'm here on the pebble, where we all take security for granted, it's a private island, they take things like that very seriously here. It's Friday night and I can have a real shower, not out of a bucket like at home where we have no water on a Friday, or Monday or Wednesday. This afternoon I borrowed my brother's bike, I've not seriously ridden in more than ten years, like swimming, at one time if I wasn't in the water I was on a bike. This is why I hate spin class, you ride to nowhere, what's the bloody point!Riding down the pothole free roads, the sun on my face, wind blowing through my hair, legs pumping furiously up the hilly spots, breathing in deep lungfulls of air, I started to feel like me again.
As fabulous as it is to see my brother, I cannot being to express my gratitude to him for giving me the space to breathe again. My little brother who spoils me rotten when I'm here, who bought me the most beautiful present even though we agreed not to do the present thing. His generosity has underlined for me what is lacking in my own life, not the willingness, but the space to be generous in. I am lucky to have good friends who love and support me, I'd like to think that they feel the same about me. But honestly, until today when I rode awkwardly along the road while getting to know the bike, was the first time in a long while that I felt free. I know tomorrow will be even better when I hit the beach, water is like coming home and no one bothers you here.
My friend Blue on her blog a couple days ago lamented that she'd put too much on her blog so it wasn't the space she wanted it to be anymore. I wanted to say to her, I understand but it's putting all that stuff out there that made all of us come to know her, appreciate her for the great person that she is and to share a little of what makes us all so real. Myth always asks after I write these types of blogs whether I feel that I'm giving too much about myself away....but you know what, this is what writers do. We write so that you can feel, share, understand, we write to evoke emotion, plundering our own experiences. This is what makes life bearable some days, even through the hard bits and the shadows. Oh, Angry African, you don't know how much you've influenced my life and I can't wait for the day we sit down to have coffee! I still think you ROCK.
And yes J9, providing I don't get into more trouble biking,I will take pictures!