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Cold November Reign
And when your fears subside/ And shadows still remain/ I know that you can love me/ When there’s no one left to blame/ So never mind the darkness/ We can still find a way/ Cause nothing lasts forever/ Even cold November rain – Axl Rose, from the Guns ‘n’ Roses song, November Rain
Last Friday of November, second-to-last day of the second-to-last month of the year, and Y’Boy studying them Americans celebrating Thanksgiving, though why them thankful ‘bout having a madman/man-child/orange white supremacist in the White House, Y’Boy really couldn’t say.
Across the pond, in the Increasingly-More-Dis-United Kingdom, them Brits and them painstakingly setting theyself up, not so much to, “Get Brexit Done” as to “get done by Brexit”. Y’Boy watch Jeremy Corbyn read out from a leaked document how the Tories will extend patent protection in Britain to American pharmaceutical companies – the same ones who count every opioid addict as a plus in the share price and watch people lose they whole life and still laugh all the way to the bank – and then Y’Boy watch journalists stand up and axe Corbyn if he don’t want to say sorry to them Jew and them; the National Health Service – the high-water mark of British civilization – on the auction block and the hammer fall twice already, going, going about to be gone – and the British media care more ‘bout how unelectable Corbyn is than how much more damage the electable Bozo the Evil Clown will do.
One setta rain showers and Y’Boy sitting by he one on the last step studying three things: first, whether to weed-whack or mow the knee-high grass; two, the sharity cut-ass it have coming for somebody on Monday, when Trinidad & Tobago go to the polls for local government elections; and, three, why we does even bother – to vote, not to cut the grass; we does cut the grass against grasshopper.
Not for the first time – and, depressingly, far from the last time – Y’Boy watch the PNM and the UNC playing theyself and wonder how all of Trinidad & Tobago “politics” end up as box-drains and shadow-boxing, manifestoes and manifest toeing-the-line, yellow “joesey” and red “joesey”, squandering the white people’ energy tax and making as eef without ever making a firetrucking penny of our own.
But, in this pappyshow land, nearly everything is a pappyshow, as David Rudder said; or, rather, sang.
If we could take the time to lay it on the line, sang Axl Rose, I could rest my head, just knowing you were mine, all mine.
What it is about Trinidad, Y’Boy wonder, that we take to heart, body and soul the line from Eugene O’Neill’s play, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and live it to the max: there is no future, only the past happening over and over again.
Y’Boy remember the first time he read that line, when he was ‘bout 14, the last line in a 900-page book called Trinity (like Trinidad, like Trinidad, like Trinidad), by Leon Uris: In Ireland, there is no future, only the past happening over and over.
A shiver run down Y’Boy spine when he first read that – even though a steups come out he mouth, later on in life, when Y’Boy find out Leon thief one of the best lines ever written from Eugene O’Neill.
Connor Larkin, the Trinity protagonist, come like a hero to Y’Boy, just like Hat and Bogart would, and Aldric Prospect, the Dragon Whey Couldn’t Dance, and Harold Sonny Laddoo himself, who lived most thoroughly what might be the most succinct statement of the Caribbean condition, the title of his ground- and skull-breaking novel, No Pain Like This Body, beaten to firetrucking death at the age of 28 – an age Y’Boy own chirren ent reach yet.
And Y’Boy done know they put Harold Sonny Laddoo to death for putting into fiction the reality of his own short, brutal life; no vengeance like the reduction of the wannabe white-man artist to, not a body, but a pile of pulp, blood and gristle.
Y’Boy wonder how much people will stain they finger on Monday morning – but Y’Boy done know how little whoever win the election will care. Is the defining characteristic of this place, of all the places like it: we care more about the pappyshow than the real thing. Every firetrucking politician in the place does get fat, like they wallet; and the chances of the people start at slim and run down to none faster than flood ‘round the Savannah after ten minutes of rain.
No pain like this body politic.
Y’Boy manipulate he sigh into a steups and push he-self up from the bottom step on which he sitting on, half-mumbling, half-singing the words: nothing lasts forever and we both know hearts can change. And it’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain.
It have grass to weed-whack, yes.
BC Pires is in the garden but whether is Eden or Gethsemane is anybody’s guess