Wednesday, February 07, 2007

So Long Suckers

Picture a wide-eyed, six-year-old boy visiting his grandfather's Port of Spain house, being raised in 1970s Toronto mind you, feet firmly planted atop the concrete half of a green fence, staring out into the street while alternately holding onto, leaning his elbows against or draping his arms overtop the 3-foot wire portion.

Mesmerized, he ignores the Caribbean sun beating down on him as a river of music and writhing costumed bodies, steelbands with their human players and means of propulsion, along with swarms of assorted others whose expected contribution apparently amounts to little more than losing themselves in the sheer mystique of the spectacle, goes thundering up the road and right past the front of the house, some holding drinks, others bottles of beer, a look of ecstasy gripping every visage, every being, as people occasionally drift over to offer words of welcome, shake his hand or run their fingers through his hair in solidarity, singing, chanting, gyrating, chipping in chaotic unison, so obviously and entirely consumed by the mad yet peaceful frenzy their glazed eyes are utterly incomprehensible to the impressionable lad as this boisterous mob, every individual equipped with an electronic device to prevent stumbling it seems, evades six-inch curbs, ditches or potholes, cascading around fire hydrants, lampposts, stop signs and parked cars as effortlessly as a sparkling stream over a pile of drab rocks.

Sadly, the relentless Trinidadian heat forces the woozy youngster indoors...


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