Savannah lockdown

It was a classic case of me making myself angry.
It was a classic morning when I got up hopeful.  Greeted the dawn.  Thanked the gods that it’s zaboca season.
Walked down the hill, into the heat.  No scene.  Jump in a maxi riding east.  Say a soft Bless! To the rasta man sitting next to me. Radio blasting some inanity.  I’m quite proud of myself actually.  It’s one of the rare mornings I’ve managed to not be sucked into working before 8 a.m.  And I’m actually going to make it to yoga on time.  All is well with the world.  Of course I still wish I could ride a bicycle but everything in time.  After I master a headstand, anything will be possible.
I’m buzzing today.  I look around at the other passengers who look zoned out.
We get to Roxy roundabout.  The traffic slows.  No scene.  Traffic is always there.  I’m still on time for once.
We creep onto St. Clair Avenue.  Inch past the lot where my dream house used to stand.  Now in its place is a big pile of sand that’s been washing away with every shower.  Sun just shining on George V.  I smile as we stop outside the Oval.  Good times in there.
At the traffic light now.  Traffic still slow.  Up ahead I can see cars turning around.   Passengers start to look antsy.  It’s not usually this bad on this route.
Rasta man is checking his time every couple minutes, though the radio announcers titter on incessantly about the time.
A maxi going in the other direction slows down.  Everybody has to turn around, he says.  Savannah on lock down.
A chorus of steups.  At the same time, callers are on the radio.  They are raving about the traffic.  Rasta man shakes his head.  Who knows how much money he will lose for getting to work late.
We inch forward more.  Head up Elizabeth Street.  Back across Hayes.   Not a police officer in sight.  Drivers looking bewildered, angry and helpless.
Nobody knows what the hell is going on.  I hope for the sake of decency that there is some kind of emergency.  A huge secret national emergency that justifies closing down the nerve centre of the city at peak hours on a Tuesday morning.  Something so big that might soothe the anger of employers to their late employees. Something so terrible that small business owners won’t feel so terrible about losing money.
But no.
No, silly me.  I call the traffic branch when I hear that the army has decided that Tuesday morning is the best morning to have a rehearsal for the Independence Day parade.
As if I didn’t have enough a problem with country’s celebrating their independence by showing off their military might.
As if that is anything in the face of economic colonization.
But I digress.
I don’t know why I am surprised.  You see every time I try and get some kind of warm, fuzzy feeling about Trinidad, somebody comes along and does a big crap right on top of it.
I get on the phone.  I call the Traffic Branch.  By this time we’re reversing down Maraval Road.
Cars are zig zagging past us.  Not a police officer in sight.
The Traffic branch is rather pleasant, all things considered.  They say it’s not their fault.  They tell me to call the City office.  So I call the City Office.
I am casually told that the Head of State was the one who made the decision.  Not on a Saturday afternoon.  Or a Sunday morning. No sah.  Tuesday.  Because that’s what Presidents can do.  They can just willy nilly decide to have a rehaearsal.  And send out a bulletin the night before.  And act very surprised at the fact that no, you weren’t glued to your television all night waiting to hear that the Savannah would be on lockdown so that you had to spend an extra hour and a half in traffic, breathing in those lovely greenhouse gases, accruing an extra hour of road rage so that he could practice his wave.  I guess he forgets what it’s like to be a commuter.  When you’re the big boss you forget what it’s like to be the small man.  Oh, they’re all such a long way from the days without outriders and screaming sirens.
Oh, it’s such a wonderful thing to live in a banana republic.  So reassuring that we have leaders that remind us that no matter how independent we think we are, they can do what they hell they want and z’affeh you if you have a problem.
The sad thing is that our leaders have worked out our banana republic mentality to such a level of science they know that we’re too lulled into a false sense of patriotism.  We will shake our heads and quarrel a bit and take our boof when we get to work.
Is no scene, a little extra traffic on a Tuesday morning.  Who vex lorse and who lorse, well they might have to tief. No scene, ras. Like everything else in this independent nation.  No scene at all.

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