Easy to Be Hard

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

Easy to Be Hard, Hair

I took a lot of deep breaths this week. Thought a lot of strange thoughts and felt a lot of previously unfelt feelings.
It comes with the territory I suppose. Living in urban Trinidad has become a chore that I find at best beautiful and at worst absolutely unbearable.
Police officers can curse at you dry so in the streets. You could dislocate your shoulder fighting to travel home after a hard day’s work.
If you don’t have a sense of humour or a socially acceptable drug habit, you could really lose your cool in this place.
You have to remind yourself to breathe. Breathe in the sunshine along with the stench of corruption disguised as development. Breathe in the last bit of hope you might see dancing in some child’s eyes along with the rotted death-like smell of our unrecycled filth.
Breathe in laughter and light even as you stew in another carbon monoxide traffic jam.
Breathe in all of those contradictions, feel them burn your lungs a bit.
Read the papers. Put on your radio. Hold your breath waiting to see or hear who is dead, who is in more bobol, who is taking who to court, which self-stroking little bureaucrat is indulging in a little self congratulation today.
Breathe out all your anger and frustration and helplessness and try to go on with your day.
Try to be civil. Try not to curse. Try not to run home and pack your bags and head for any port of departure. Try not to lose what’s left of your marbles in a country where there are more out than in the overflowing Mad House.
I took a lot of deep breaths to stop myself from losing it this week. I almost lost the cool head that I’ve developed especially for Trinidad.
Because this week it seemed that we had really reached our lowest possible point of insanity.
And it’s not to say that I didn’t expect that the white elephant would not to do what was expected of it and continue to be useless.
But some part of me hoped against all those things that some kind of sense would be found. It’s like when I was small and watching Jesus Christ Superstar I always hoped that somehow Pontius Pilate wouldn’t decide that starboy Jesus needed to get nailed.
I would create fantasy socialist endings where Jesus in all his long haired glory would set up a kibbutz and live out his days as a teacher, elder, passing on his wise words and the torch of revolution to other cool young Jews like his good self.
And then I grew up and I began to understand that unless you write the script yourself, you can’t change the ending.
And also that Jesus had to die and somebody had to sell him out so that the real revolution could begin.
In a way we have to lose what we value most before we understand how precious it is.
And this week as I tried to not lose it as I watched Dr. Dave Mc Intosh in his star boy role of Judas Iscariot, the one who sold us out for 30 pieces of aluminum, I knew that this was no time to lose faith and skate out faster than Lenny Saith signing another bizarrely useless energy deal.
I guess somebody has to be Judas and somebody has to be sacrificed. I guess we all have our role to play long after this week of trying to keep cool and failing sometimes.
I guess this is time for keeping a cool head and not allowing the folly to overwhelm.
To know that this is only the beginning. That Judas did his do and now we have the opportunity to not beat our breasts in regret but change the end of the story.