Monday, January 31, 2011

A gift

The strong outlines of the young man’s face are very appealing across from my usual seat at the dining room table. His lithe muscular figure is easy on the eye, he is always joyous; we’ve only been recently introduced by a friend and are “getting to know each other” so most mornings are a discovery, largely because mornings are the quiet time, lost in contemplation and meditating to mostly gird my loins against another day.

His apparent happiness is appealing, coming at a time when life perhaps is not so much, filled as it is with days that make me want to weep.  The temptation to return to the oblivion of SSRI’s or even Bupropion to counteract the entire appalling overload is tempered by knowing that feeling nothing is not the answer. It would be too easy to ignore the cause and to not address the real reason that every morning also brings the rising panic and nausea associated with anxiety.  An anxiety that is not caused by feelings of inadequacy or low self esteem but finally, knowing that each day is spent denying the truth and my own self worth.  That’s the magic of the little happy pills, an expensive luxury for not only do they take away the emotions, they also remove any responsibility for dealing with the root causes…well except for the physiological ones which are also present. While not denying that they have been and are still extremely useful, in this situation, they would be a sop, a refusal to face the truth, and live a lie I will not.

Coming at this time my new friend has made a difference, he gives me pleasure, to just look at him and what he represents. My friend, in giving him to me did not realise the magnitude of his gift or how much I would appreciate him. You see, in giving me my young man, my friend expressed his own love for me, it is something that to treasure because this friend, is someone that not only do I love, but I admire.  He has chosen to chart his own path through life, working at his art, though criticism, lack of understanding by a buying public and sometimes, difficult life situations do not necessarily make it easy.  Through the years he’s held my hand more times than I can count and his unwavering support has gotten me through many a bleak day though he does not always know it.  His experiences have given me perspective and has also helped me to understand that really, we aren’t normal, but that’s probably a good thing, because we were meant to be different, to be special.
The reality is, most of my friends are like this, the real people who surround me, love me and know me have given me leave to support myself, to honour the work that I do and more importantly, to accept me, whatever. It is the greatest gift that you can give to any friend.  The young man is a beautiful drawing, given to me by the artist, I take great pleasure in looking at him and appreciating what he really is; a sign of true affection and trust. And knowing that someone thought enough of me to consider what I might like and to give it to me; how lucky is that.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's a YouTube kinda day

Slash’s familiar opening guitar riff, the opening bars of Sweet Child of Mine fill the living room. Outside, it is a lovely but grey morning, the rain falling light as mist over the trees and rooftops visible through the porch door and windows. The sound of traffic is getting louder as the morning opens up to become day.  The heavy metal may not be the most obvious choice for a morning like this but The Monkees, “Daydream Believer” has already made an appearance as will Coldplay’s  “Clocks”. It’s an eclectic mix of music consistent with the ambivalence of my mood.

I know what this means, so do you if you’ve read this space for anytime. But we’ll leave that there. Last night standing in a tattoo shop on the Avenue with the insistent bang of the music truck sponsored by a snack company wending its way down the road was surreal. Like being in someone else’s movie, the puzzlement of the young man at the counter and the disdain of the groupies posing decoratively on the couch. You could see the question, what is this middle-aged woman in a dress doing here? Obviously getting another tattoo jackass. Except I’ve left it too late for the moment.  Off to the beach in another four weeks, nothing screws up a new tattoo like saltwater so perhaps the week after.

To quote Katy Perry in Firework:

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again


Sunday, January 23, 2011

And it makes me wonder

It is an undeniable fact; if you live with a large, hairy German dog indoors, he will shed prolifically, clogging the vacuum cleaner, dryer etc.  It is also obvious that, if you like his type, Maroon 5's Adam Levine is one hot man. He is so smoldering hot that it's amazing his videos don't catch fire. What does one have to do with the other? Not a whole lot really but considering that I've spent most of this fine Sunday with a large dog instead of someone looking like Adam Levine makes me wonder at the choices we make.

The pros of dog; unconditional love, you always know where the dog is, you don't have to talk to the dog when you've had a shitty day, the dog will snuggle when you're depressed.

Cons - the dog does not have opposable thumbs and is therefore useless with a screwdriver or power tools, he cannot talk back, there are places he can't go with you.

Hot Man - he's a hot man, nice to look at, promise of sex, someone to talk to, can perhaps be trusted with power tools, if he's socialised-you can take him places.

Cons of hot man - other women want him, you have to talk to him even if you've had a shitty day, you have to talk to him when he's had a shitty day, he's useless with tools, and sometimes, he requires more than four cups of dog food a day.

This of course is simplifying the issues but these are the things you might contemplate while sipping a cool drink after lunch propped up in front of the computer with Adam Levine on YouTube and a German dog wanting his stomach scratched.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

After all this time

I've been gone for a while, my heart just wasn't in it anymore. It always happens when life goes a certain way, the urge to write becomes stymied by knowing that if it's out there in black and white I cannot fail to acknowledge what IT is. You can only hide for so long.

There are so many things that are waiting to be commented on:

The the company that is contracted to move prisoners to and from their court hearings drive so dangerously that "justice on time", their slogan, may well be "better dead than late".  If you work in downtown Port of Spain you know them. The officious grey and white vans in convoy with several police SUV's siren and horn blaring escort driving at high speed through the narrow streets, trying clear a way through the heavy traffic when there is nowhere to go for the average motorist. I wish the powers that be would spend some time walking about or being on the highway when they are coming down at full tilt and experience what it's like. It may well change your point of view or are you going  to wait until someone gets hurt or killed? Having nearly been rear-ended by one of these vans yesterday because the driver was tailgating at high speed on the highway and failed to notice that the traffic was slowing down for the traffic lights and then swerving at the last minute to avoid  my car (which was at a complete stop as were the three cars in front of me) into the next lane with an on-coming vehicle. Nerve wracking to say the least. By the way, the driver of the van failed to moderate his behaviour after this incident and proceeded in the same way once the light had changed.

Lack of driving courtesy on the whole.  Taking a trip out east at midday for the first time in months I remembered why I don't like to drive anymore. Trinidadians are generally are discourteous drivers. They will not budge even if someone else has the right of way, they will block intersections even when there is nowhere for them to go. Trying to get out of the gate in the morning is always an experience, it's a long time before anyone will let you join the line of traffic. We cut each other off, we tailgate, we are upset when the person in front of us does not run the red light because we plan to, the list is endless. Women are generally more rude than men, yes ladies, be ashamed.

Traffic police - do they even exist? Or are they only used to escort prisoners and VIP's, and to clear traffic for aforementioned? We used to see them on the highway but that disappeared some time ago never to re-appear. Suggestion for the COP, instead of sitting in your office over on Sackville Street, walk around Port of Spain in your civvies one day and see what your officers are doing. Take a drive up the highway. Bravo that you are trying to drag the Police into the 21st century but sometimes a little low tech is useful.

And speaking of the streets of Port of Spain. The Mayor was all for removing street people, well I really wish he would. My sympathy for the suffering is tempered by the large piles of human excrement that dot the pavements, the rank smell of unwashed bodies and the hands thrust into my face every time I'm stupid enough to go out of my building. Particularly bad, Queen Street, Chacon Street, actually the smell is so bad you gag. What are we paying 25% income tax for? VAT?  We say we want to encourage tourism, foreign investment etc, but our capital city is not what you expect from a modern progressive place despite the presence of large, faffy buildings.

Why oh why are we putting up that crap in the Queen's Park Savannah again? You mean after fifty  years of staging a Carnival parade we couldn't come up with a better solution. Actually, I'm pretty sure someone did but was totally ignored as per usual when anything innovative is put forward.

You know TALKING about innovation is not the same as BEING innovative right? It's pretty apparent that we think if we say we are going to be innovative it's the same thing. Wrong.

Day one headline - Missing piano. Day two headline - Where's the piano? Day three headline - Accuse ex-PM of misappropriating piano. Day four headline - Piano found right where it should be.  Is this for real?  Steupps

Surly service from store clerks etc. and the fact that business owners neither monitor their staff to see what type of service they are offering nor do they provide adequate training or empower their staff. that said,  big praise to the Security guard at the NP station on the Beetham who noticed my struggle to fill my car tank while trying to wrestle my hair and clothing into submission because of the wind and came over to assist. He didn't have to pump my gas but he did and was very pleasant too! Kudos also to the guys at Peakes they usually very helpful; the girls at Rituals Nicholas Towers and St. James. Good customer service is possible.

Are you beginning to get the idea of why I stopped writing? There are so many larger issues that are not mentioned here but the list is endless. What this has done is made me understand very clearly that years of my life have been wasted trying to achieve something worthwhile instead of very quietly living my life without guilt.  What's next? I suspect the other side of the world for me.