Things I learned today while learning to ride a bike

Yeah so this about twenty years late, but better late than never, no? Well I figure if I really want to commit to this hippy life I should at least know how to ride a bike. This is a lot easier than it sounds, but to my surprise I didn’t suck as badly at it as I thought I would and I did manage to pedal a few times.  But it occurred to me as I wobbled along, picturing all the while that I was riding to Spitalfields Market (maybe this is why I was distracted and couldn’t steer straight) that life is a lot like learning to ride a bike. For the following reasons, in no particular order.

1. it hurts sometimes.

2. you need to find balance!

3. you will fall!

4. it really helps to have a boomsie (thank you, starch mango tree)

5. did I mention balance?

6. be patient with yourself, you will get it evenutally (I had a few Don Music moments)

7.  random men will think it’s okay to give you their (unsolicited) advice.

8. when you can’t make it up the hill, it’s always good to have a friend to push you, and steer you away from the potholes.

9. there are potholes and you seem to be attracted to them.

10. laughing helps.

11. everybody looks this stupid at least once in their lives.

12. brakes! don’t forget the brakes.

Anyway, my hands hurt from hours of over-zealous brake application so that’s about as much wisdom as I can impart for now.  all of which is to say that I’m glad that I got over my lameness and actually took the chance to try something new!

Friday Love

I found myself saying things I hated the other day.  And hate has always been a word that I’ve always, um, hated.  Been feeling a bit scattered but this evening as I sit here watching the sky change colours I’m thinking about things and places and people I love or have done in the past. How the things you think you feel can change in a heartbeat. How sorrow can become joy and vice versa and how important it is to allow yourself to fully feel the whole range of emotions and somehow not allow yourself to become so caught up in the moment that you are incapable of functioning in the next.  At least, that’s what my aloof Aquarian self says I should aspire to.  I’m also coming to the conclusion that there is no such thing as love lost. You can’t lose moments you never had, can you?  So cherish the ones that you have. In other words, as my late grandmother would have put it, don’t count egg in fowl bottom. Chances are that the chicken might decide not to lay or the egg you were waiting for gets taken by a rat, kyah kyah!!  So this evening, I’m making a love list, because I have so very much to be thankful for.

Okay, and that’s a cheese wrap for today.

Dengue Meg

Health Meg

In today’s Express there’s a photo of Health Minister Jerry Narace looking for all intents and purposes like he’s giving the people of Trinidad and Tobago a great big meggie.  Just yesterday Minister Narace was poo-pooing reports of a dengue outbreak following the death of an eight-year-old.  He was however not available for comment on the story of five cases in Sangre Grande.

I wonder if the meg means that he was only kicksing about there not being a dengue outbreak or that Trinbagonians deserve a big meggie for thinking they deserve a Minister of Health who actually has a clue.

Either way, I’m taking in front and stocking up on cockset.

Love Meggies and a Blog Redux – It’s Salman Rushdie’s fault

I wrote the following post on the old blog last year. Can’t quite remember the event that precipitated it. But perhaps it was around the time of the visiting and too beautiful for me to do anything but dream poet who provided a moment’s distraction from my otherwise boring activist life of men who don’t dare come near me for fear of my being (and I swear I’ve heard these descriptions too smart, too radical, too own way etc etc etc) It got a lot of flak from some of my male friends who saw the questions as justification for the fact that I’ve been persistently single since me and my Zurich love parted ways back in 2006. I have to concur that the questionnaire is not only essential but to leave getting to know a man to a man is like leaving Patrick Manning to run the country.
There are of course exceptions to every rule and I have had my own proof that straightforward sweet funny well adjusted men who are available actually exist. Kind of like UFO’s. They are out there. You just need to be in the right place, time and frame of mind to find them.
For reasons that I don’t care to divulge on account of my unavoidably Aquarian desire to be aloof and non-comittal about anything too personal, I’ve come to the conclusion that the questionnaire is crucial to save yourself from love meggies. I guess I’m re-posting here to remind myself to be vigilant, even as I try to be open to the possibility that the man for me is in fact a reality and not a cruel fiction of a universe out to have several entertaining false alarm laughs on my head.
Why is this in mind? Well of course Salman Rushdie is involved. As it happens, I’m reading his latest novel, the mangolicious Enchantress of Florence in which there is a king who has imagined himself the perfect wife. O, for such powers! What a man I would make…
“So, having survived the dire dating situation in Trinidad for the past year and bit, I’ve decided to come with a short questionnaire for all potential dates. This will take the form of a short quizz at the beginning of the trackulations, so as to avoid heartache, stress, stalking or late night non-returning of flaky text messages. I know some of the questions are a bit left field but it’s not so much whether you know but how you answer! Extra marks for the most creative responses…

1. Why are you here?

2. Are you an asshole?

3. Exactly how many of my friends/acquaintances have you
a) slept with
b) tracked
c) wined on inappropriately in a public fete

4. Do you have a girlfriend (if the answer is yes, thank you for your time, please turn in your questionnaire before you leave).

5. Seriously, though. Are you an asshole? And if you are, how long does it take for you to turn into one?

6. What exactly are you expecting (select one or more of the following)
1) Romance
2) Entertainment
3) Sex
4) A friend
5) A horner woman
6) A sugar mommy

7. Do you eat meat?

8. Do you harm animals?

9. Do you have Hot Wuk as your ringtone?

10. Have you eaten geera pork in the past 24 hours?

11. What did you say your girlfriend’s name was again?

12. What about trees? How do you feel about trees?

13. Please complete the following sentence
A carbon footprint is —-

14. Please write a short treatise on the works of Martin Carter/Kamau Brathwaite/John Coltrane/Nina Simone.

15. Which of my favourite revolutionaries do you think said this?
‘Words that do not match deeds are unimportant’
a) Winston Rodney
b) Gandhi
c) Che Guevara
d) Arundhati Roy

16. What is Track 7 on the Best Selling Jazz album of all times?”

What to do when you can’t sleep

Another night that sleep resists you.  You wrestle with the bed, beat the pillows, turning them frequently to get to the cool side.  Change position.  Stare at the ceiling.  Get up and put on some music.  Drink some water.  Think about dreaming.  Imagine yourself falling, flying, sinking into a night of rest so refreshing that you wake up the next morning without that same restlessness that followed you like a shadow through fitful hours of shallow sleep.  As if your brain will not let you rest. As if there is just too much to do and not enough time.  As if your brain will not forgive you for the time it thinks you have wasted.

Try some reiki. Try some deep breaths.  Make an insomniac playlist.  Try to ease your mind. Coax it away from this rest rebellion.  Try to reason with yourself.  Make a list of things to do when you can’t sleep.


Colour code headties

Listen to BBC World Service

Write imaginary letters to lost loves

Google bizarre things

Ignore the book you’re supposed to be writing

Create exciting new meggies

Port of Spain’s next top model…


Admittedly, I didn’t take much notice of the recently concluded Trinidad Fashion Week, aside from a brief storming of backstage…but I digress.

Sunday evening walking up Henry Street, I happened upon this gentleman outside one of the famous hawk and spit bars that populate that part of town.    He was stepping high down the street, oblivious to cars, scandalized onlookers and anything else that might distract him from working the asphalt like the hottest runway in Milan. The street was still wet from the late-afternoon showers and heat rose with every step he took.  I was also totally impressed with his sense of style and also the way he would occasionally shout out ‘Tyra Baaaanks!’

God, I love this place.

Dear Brian

You are more than you consume
Much more than you presume
More than others might assume
Beautiful soul
You are more than you expect
Far more than you project
More than others accept and reject
Beautiful Soul
You are more than you could say
More than we could ever claim
More than the games we play

Beautiful Soul, Kobo Town

Dear Brian
Well.  It had to happen some time.  I guess I was hoping that you would just go on batting forever.
That when I was oldish and now coming into my sense of beauty you’d still be there battling for the West Indies, with every stroke bringing us a little closer to something resembling self love.
And I understand why you need to go and I have to respect that decision and wish you all the happiness you deserve.
But that didn’t stop me from crying hot salty tears of regret watching you play your last game last Saturday.
Did you entertain me?  For sure.  You also gave me heart failure, made me cry and laugh and hold my head and make up whole new words to describe those feelings in those moments when you did things with a bat that defied logic.
I will miss you bad bad, Brian.  I anticipate my cricket tabanca will last a long time.  Which is not to say that I don’t hope that someday there might not be some young genius to take your place, to dare even stand in your shadow.
I guess I feel like I grew up with you and every one of your successes was mine, helped me make more sense of me.  And maybe this is a wrong way to see a mere cricketer, but what is life without heroes? What is life without people who challenge us to find that superhuman strength, drag it out of pain and frustration and downpression and turn it into something of such beauty and grace?
Plenty years watching you bat. I remember the first time I saw you make a century. And I remember times in Sabina Park, listening to the yardies change their tune, from Lara Bloodclaat to gwaan tru, my Captain.  And reminiscing with old cricket peongs in Kennington Oval in Babylon-don.   And plenty hours shouting at my television, and plenty shouting on the cycle track.
Ah, Brian, I think you have some clue but perhaps the real story of the love that we, well, some of us, have for you will never really be told.
And if I had to find one word to sum up how you made me feel about myself and about the West Indies and about cricket I would have to say full.
More full than any food or any coconut water on a Sunday evening watching the sun sink behind QRC building.
And I had to wonder then, who are they going to hate now?  Who are they going to demolish and bad talk and criticize in that special way that only West Indians can.   Worse than picong, that kind of nasty self-hating kind of talk that saps your spirit and fills the air with the anger that David Rudder sings so eloquently about.
These past few days I’ve been wondering who they will hate.  Now that you pick up your bat and walk, who will they blame?
Who will they accuse of things that have more to do with the myopic struggles of former colonies.  This loose
And it never made sense to me that they tried to get you to lead a team that doesn’t consider itself a nation.  Just a loose connection of former colonies all caught up in their own little survival struggles.
It’s a funny thing how they wanted you to take responsibility for uniting a fractured region of people where so many qualified and eloquent politicians had failed.
I guess it’s like how in man and woman things it just don’t work out sometimes.  Because no matter how much you love them you know that we can’t grow much further.
And don’t mind how much you miss them, you know in your heart that is only a dog would eat his own vomit and it’s a gentleman like you, Brian, who would walk even before the umpire puts up his finger.  And because I know you know when you’re out I don’t expect that you’ll ever change your mind.  But if you did I would be more than glad to take you back.  To return to the tears and the joy and the laughter and the admiration of a game.  You more than anyone else this new generation of disillusioned West Indians showed us what possibility we have.
What else can I say but thanks.