Take another little piece of my heart now, baby
Oh, oh, break it
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah
Oh, oh, have a
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby
You know you got it, child, if it makes you feel good.
Piece of My Heart, Janis Joplin
Two hours into your day, you are tired. Even though you’ve taken your vitamins. You’ve done your sun salutations, breathing in positive, breathing out negative. You’ve eaten sunshine in the form of a perfect Julie, just ripe enough to fill your veins with sugary goodness. You’ve drunk your rice milk to make sure and take the osteoporosis in front.
You step into the world. You do all the right things. You say good morning to random people, because you believe that basic courtesies make life a little more pleasant for all involved.
The dirt clings to your shoes like children reaching out to be loved.
Mavado on the corner shouting, pleading to anyone who will listen ‘I’m special/so special/so special’. Men mad from coke or rum or Trinidad are ranting and reeking on every corner.
The road bubbles liquid under your thin soles and you hope for decency’s sake to keep yourself from melting into the welcoming asphalt.
Jump in a taxi. There’s a man on the radio. His voice is shrill and desperate. You do not want to hear his hysterical ranting this morning. You do not want to listen to him spitting his hate at his microphone. He is screaming about jammettes and a march and being bought out by Papa Patos. You ask the taxi driver to turn it down. The driver ignores you. The fifteen-minute journey is unbearable. The ranting continues, the passengers and drivers take the abuse in silence.
Exiting the taxi, put God out of your thoughts and make a parting comment to the driver about poisoning his brain. His response is swift and loud and abusive, echoing the same shrill almost emasculated tones of the radio voice.
You wonder if there is some special suit you can get. One that makes you impervious not just to the heat that makes you think you can hear your scalp sizzle.
One that helps you block out all the crappy things you hate about this place. This place that makes you tired two hours into your day.
By the time you get home again your feet are dragging. You are weak, you are not programmed to deal with this. This place is sick and you are not a doctor. You have no remedies to offer, no healing balms to give.
You want to lock yourself away and the back end of forever is too soon for you to want to venture outside again.
You understand now that perhaps people don’t drive around with their windows up not connecting with the outside because they are pretentious and materialistic but because they can’t deal with what’s going on in the real world.
There are days when the urge to stay at home is irresistible.
You willingly suspend interaction with the world. You create fabulous meals from the strangest of leftovers to avoid going out. You reach out only online on social networks. To hug people and create wistful brilliant status updates to amuse your friends.
Sometimes you wish that you only existed inside your computer. In your virtual world you can block out the things you don’t want to see or hear. You create your own propaganda.
You could create a Trinidad that existed only in your imagination. Where it is beautiful all the time. Where eight year olds don’t beat up six year olds. Where smelters don’t get built. Where you don’t get cursed out if you suggest something to your taxi driver.
You know if this was a relationship with a man, you wouldn’t still be here. You would never stick around and take this abuse. Stay for what? Because this is where you were born? This is what you know? This is the only place that understands you?
Your Trinidad tabanca has you peeping through your windows wondering if you have the energy to venture out.
Wondering what terrors await you outside and in. What terrible fiction will become your reality today and what heaviest of straws will break your weakened camel’s back.