It’s almost midnight in the quiet gated community. The rain is drizzling and so far, no rush of gunfire has erupted from the damp overhanging hills to disrupt the otherwise serene night.
At about the same moment that I click my mouse to get further into my story, I hear the click that signals her SUV door is being locked downstairs and – although this area is well guarded – I feel a sigh of relief on realizing that my companion of 40 years is back home from the Casino.
Hearing heavy heels echo her characteristic take-charge attitude as she clambers up the concrete steps to our apartment, I wait to hear the usual thud that comes with the opening of a door with hinges now gone as slack as the passive hold we retain in the vacuum left long before COVID-19 and the departure of our daughter to the USA to “further her studies”.
“So tell me Mamma. What’s the big secret that keeps pulling you and your many friends to this magic kingdom with bright lights, bells ringing, money passing and people rubbing more than shoulders in ecstatic glee when the Jackpot calls?”
Knowing this female titan as well as I do, I am not getting horned: at least sexually.
Still, I have this nagging feeling that an enormous dimension of the life we knew and thrived on, is gone – like a full chartered PTSC bus heading for Maracas Bay on an Easter Sunday morning.
The thing is, it’s not with any sense of deprivation or grief that I embrace this cold wave experience, but almost as if some sexy female bandit had picked my wallet while winding sensuously behind my bosee back as I got caught in the loud music of a Carnival fete in the Queen’s Park Savannah.So here I am left bereft, like a kite in happy IO, blissfully unaware of how much has been taken away in a flash of rubbing alcohol soaked into my old raised pores in a party especially designed for Seniors Who Could Still Wine!
It’s for that reason I never asked her the question. I fear being embarrassed at what my girl will say with her dangerously sharp tongue. So I simply shut my mouth and put my fingers on my lips, as my First Year Teacher taught us to do on my first day of school.
Jackpot! The Brown Monkey Climbed down from the Coconut tree tonight!
Over the years, I have had enough experiences of the random behavior of these machines with the enticing names that could easily figure out that the Monkey had paid big money tonight. “Did…did…did you win?” I asked diffidently.
I got my answer in her steups which were as long as the Beetham Highway and again, like in school, I put my fingers on my lips after closing my eyes.
A I hear her tinker with the bottles at the bar and mutter aloud about how I am drinking out all the Bailey’s and the Harvey’s in the house and not replacing it, and find myself retreating into Alibi Alley .
After all, I am the one who has been staying home and waiting patiently for you to return safely. Yes, I know I haven’t been bringing money into the house for a long while now.
Yes, I take responsibility for swinging away the million dollar God-given gift granted by God himself which was scheduled to go to family savings but instead ended up in some crooked land deals and – as you say but I cannot dare to confirm aloud – a couple deposits fixed up in the hairy bank.So why can’t you give me ah lil bligh on this one. Mamma?
After all, I am the one who took the initiatives but lost my way in creative spending. And while you have no faith in my new website, I know for sure that this is something of real value that will pull us out of all our troubles when it starts to bear fruit.
Yes, it’s taking some time but the longer the vine, the bigger is the pumpkin you’ll find at the end of the line. Gimme a chance nah! As they say:
Time longer than twine!
For me, the biggest problem is that we two old farts are still fighting over petty events which can in no way interfere with the basic state of calm we have both worked so hard to build over the years.
I mean, as long as no young or old Peter Minshall Saga Boy could dingolay and take away my Tan Tan in the Casino – as I feel for sure – every problem you bring up is illusory, like a recurring dream that goes away with a shot of puncheon rum.
Drink and mind your business, woman!
As my girl cuddles in her room in front of the TV set which she’ll fall asleep in front of, my greatest comfort comes in a number of forms, namely:
- She feels safe and secure in the knowledge that I am here;
- We are currently both in relatively good health;
- Despite the overt presentation, my girl is looking forward to seeing me when the sun rises tomorrow morning, and
- I feel a tremendous sense of happiness that I – like so many grief-stricken men my age – I am
Not Home Alone!