I spy

At Termini  station in Rome I just came off the metro and made my way to the ground level when a skinny, tall, lanky, big eyed Italian approached me. This guy -Fabio looked like Ichabod Crane Disney version not Johnny Depp. He asked me if i was a model. I told him nope just a Jamaican.  I continued to walk and he continued to talk to me. He asked me about Jamaica.

Side Note: Many Italians have no clue where Jamaica is. They do know where Dominican Republic , Brasil and Cuba are located , however for other reasons that I will share on another occasion. Anyway this is how the conversation usually goes except in an Italian accent.

Italian person named Fabio: Where are you from?

Me: Jamaica

Fabio: Jamaica! I love Jamaica

Me: Cool!

 Fabio: Where is Jamaica?

Imagine having this same conversation for six months. I decided to have a file saved on my phone and did the quick spread sheet  with a map , showing location, population, food, flag, where I am from exactly , agriculture .etc.

So after I get the routine   out of  the way, he told me he had been to England and saw  the Caribbean carnival  and thought it was wonderful! He was there learning English and asked if I could have a coffee with him.  So I did. We sat up stairs where there is a lovely view of train schedules and Armani ads.  I got a cappuccino and I sat and enjoyed it slowly. Fabio asked me many questions about Jamaica and the Unites States and I gave him answers to the best of my ability.

Then we came to the occupation part. He asked me what I do, I told him: an educator. I asked him the same : private investigator. Now the conversation became interesting. So I asked what type of cases he gets. Fabio said sometimes criminal and most of the time infidelity. Oh Italia! He told me this is where the big bucks are, watching  cheating spouses and naughty girlfriends and boyfriends. Apparently, money is no object when it’s about following a cheating lover. He told  he once followed a “subject” to this station and boarded a Trenitalia train to Salerno without a ticket. He had to hide most of the trip in the restroom to avoid the train agents.  I asked was it worth it? He told me yes she went to see her lover and spent the weekend.

Then to really get me going he told me he was following a “subject ” who was to arrive at the station for a 1:20 pm train. I said okay , well good luck. Then he went there….do you want to watch me work. I said no. He began to be persistent and pushy.

Why youdon’t want to wait with me ?  You have a boyfriend ?

 I said yes , he is from Napoli.

I learned that mentioning a boyfriend from Campagna region especially  Napoli makes unwanted advances diminish.  My friend’s nonna from Napoli taught me this. She said if a man is a man he will not be afraid of strong man from Naples.

Poor Naples has the worst reputation for no reason. It’s an older city. Some say the first state of Italy. It has it problems but so does NYC; people still live there.  Anyway when I tell people from the north of Italy I am going to Napoli the reaction is something like this…” You be careful there, people die there. Because only bad people live there. et …YES! people do say this.

Back to Fabio. Fabio’s big  eyes got quite bigger then he asked is  he is a very jealous man then?

Yes , I say VERY. You know how they are.

After these words left my lips , Fabio decided to leave me be. I thanked him for the coffee and continued on my way. I did look over my shoulder just in case he was following me…after all he is a detective.

Dreaming

I am a dreamer.  I can tell you almost every dream I had since I was dainty little tomboy with wild hair destroying almost every dress my mother put on me. I find dreams to be  mysterious and an adventure. I have always enjoyed listening to the adults talk about their dreams and how it relates to an island superstition. I love these stories or as scholars call them “folklore”.

I miss telling my grannies and my great aunts my dreams ( God rest their 4’5 in souls). When you told them your dream , you had to give detail , nothing could be left out.   Then the memories of interpretation would happen, pulling out a old Bible with shaky cursive writing, a note would be made in the front , back,side page or something would be referenced and poof a meaning. My ancestors were great interpreters, I find myself missing the stories from my youth. While many kids were read Cinderella , I had tales of mermaids, spirits and what the beating of a tamarind drum could  do. There was no censorship in my house. God, the Devil and all in between was told.   At times I was fearful yet , I stayed up most nights to hear.

Now, I have been dreaming in a vivid way. My dreams have felt fast forward, as if I am peeking into my future with a slight blur. I can see yet I cannot see, it is frustrating. In the past this has happen  to me. It feels like deja vu, when  the day dreamed  happens I literary stop what I am doing, it is an eerie feeling.

I need a dream interpreter. Since I live in the good ol’South, my chances are very slim on finding a person to swap tales with. I tell my mom , but she knows as much as I do. I tried to Google dream interpretations online,  they all read too new age for me; which I find utterly wrong  ( by Caribbean standards). The true test for me  regarding a good interpretation is a death and a marriage.  A death means a marriage or a  new beginning and a marriage means a death or and end.  Should these two mean something totally different I cannot follow it. I am brainwashed and it’s unwashable. Since many of my “grans” have passed on the meanings of my dreams go untold, and left to my  acculturated logic.

So I just dream and wonder.

I ramble

This world, this life, it  scares me. The capacity of what the human mind can fathom , inspire , destroy and  create  a constant roller coaster ride with hidden doors, clear windows and shadowy nights.  The beauty that has developed naturally in this world  is  slowly fading away as the population increases. I am privileged; I have a life of lazy security. I am a sarcastic ass of sorts  yet somehow at the same time  highly introverted. I am gentle, I cry over everything that is emotionally moving to me ,passive even.  Somehow I lost my way.

I am not truly happy with what I am doing in life. I come from a tiny world barely a spec on the map. A country of third world standards then I was raised in this big world of advancement, modern, credit cards that I use to buy things I barley use and reality t.v (which I do find appalling)  and along the way I lost what really mattered to me. I forgot what I dreamed about when I was little. I had such a plan for myself  and although , I am doing some descent things I am not on the right path.  This is what happens when I meet some also from a third world country, who has endured a fate unimaginable in my life span. Who’s story stirs my core, awakens my soul and  I feel shame. Every time I meet someone who has overcome a major feat that truly put them at deaths’ table. I feel as if I should be more because my path was easier than theirs. What happen? Each encounter veers me more and more back onto the path of little me , with big dreams.

I forgot how special every day is , even the mundane 9-5 ones. How to enjoy the moon and stars at night when I can see them. Sunsets and sunrises, cooking new dishes for the first time and burning some of them.  I have become a drone of life. I don’t want to be this way. So I am taking risk. As the US is going through a crisis I am going to quit my job. It is okay work, provides yet I have reached a place where I can close my eyes and zombie through my routine. I am scared. I am scared of being always on repeat and never on play. I am scared  and excited of not knowing what I will do next. I am scared because it’s natural.   This is good because the fear motivates me for what ? only tomorrow knows

Fear makes Us feel our humanity   Benjamin Disraeli

What are you?

I am not sure where I belong.  I   fit slightly yet I am still out of  the realm. I live in the United States, where I am reminded through my cultural ways I am still an outsider with papers.  I have even a worst time living in the south , where I some how stand out even more.  I know it is natural to be different , just how different am I?

I recently went home to celebrate my grandfather’s 90th birthday. He is such an inspiration, he keeps a positive attitude while he takes care of our half land, the house,  calls all of  us all on his cell phone,  and travels all the while missing my grandmother who passed away ten years ago.   I miss him so  when I am away yet he can smother you when close by and  I love him.  I was talking to him about belonging because when I go home I am ostracized a bit since I live in the United States. My culture is blended and somehow it’s not enough. I am either too much of the other never seen as neutral.

Leaving Jamaica was never my choice, I was a child. I never understood how important  a visa could be until now, when I see what I am able to do compared to many of my cousins back home.  At times, I felt like I had to be uber-Jamaican just to reassure  myself I am , what I am . Whenever I am back home  I hear comments in side conversations that jab at my American life, while in the states I feel like I have to represent just to preserve my culture. 

In a way,  this is why I find cultures fascinating. I am a anthropologist  without a degree, I like learning about different people , how they live , what life is like , and pick up a bit of the language.  My Papa, he told me all I can do is live my life and love people. Simple.  I can do this. I struggle with this because I somehow want to fit . Where? I have no clue . I just want to fit and not be always a foreigner.  

I am a big girl now

I am an introvert that says “smart-mouth” things countless times. Outside of my mouth courage,  I have self-esteem issues, I assume everyone does. A friend  did some photos of me, as nervous as I was….I am cool with the results. I am no super model, …but….

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……this is not too bad with no Photoshop.

Sparky

I watch a bit of world from the eleventh floor at work. Today the sky is clear blue with hints of cloud coverage in the far background, possible smog arising. As I  look at the buidlings and the people walking below a balloon appears.
It’s shiny royal blue just floating away and up. It’s a tranquil sight. As it soars pass me , I just admire how fast and quickly it soars with the sun sparkling off of it.
Now the ballon, that I will name “Sparky” is leaving me, soaring pass the eleventh floor, the eighteenth and pass all buildings. It’s just sky and “Sparky”, with a few thin, see-through clouds; don’t remember the name; going up. It is quite beautiful to watch until I thought about further heights.  Sparky may cause harm to a bird who was just minding his bird business and gets tangled.  Or Sparky will lose pressure, fall and  pollute somewhere and know one will care.
Oh, the endless downturn  of events that await  Sparky.

The Don

I was trying to act all interested with talk shows and programs this morning and started to reminisce on Italian television.  In particular in Salerno, I was hangout with a friend -Tony ( I now know about twelve Tony’s  all  in one country, Hey Antonios!) Since almost every fourth male is named Antonio I have resorted to giving them all non-Italian nicknames. This Tony I call Jersey, why? Because he lived in New Jersey for about four years of his infantile life and has held on to the dream thirty-something years later; ” I love America, especially New Jersey!” Since his parents immigrated there on a boat( yes a boat) way back when to live the American dream. Long story short he was a Jersey boy,  learning jersey things fugetaboutit – he does say this often (smh) , his father however didn’t like life in America. He told me Americans work too much and are too stressed out for him,  so he told his brother;who stayed, arrivederci and took his family back on a boat  to Italia. In the end I think this was a good choice,Tony  has a love for PYT , which is great in Italy in United States =rap-sheet. Tony recently  changed his view of the United States last year when he returned to the good ol’ US of A and realized he is more Italian than ever. That is another story, yet he still loves Jersey.

Anyway at  Tony aka Jersey I saw a program called Don Matteo, it was a cross between Murder She Wrote and Matlock only with a priest  on a bike. And I must say  Don Matteo’s dismount was always flawless even in a high stakes scene. I on the other hand would have broken something and everything. I have spent many a day in Italy and Jamaica on a bike, especially sitting side-rail ,which truly hurts . Thank God for cars and motorbikes where at least have more cushion for my tush. 

Back to the Don, his program was so “the more you know” type deal . It was always pleasant, the criminal always confessed to the crime , possible because the Don has piercing blue eyes with his on- point Italian tan who wouldn’t confess-Really who??.  In the episodes I saw the victims had minor injuries yet everyone  always looked very grime as if death was near for a sprained ankle.  Many of the incidents were a crime of passion aka infidelity- Shocker!. They did have parts where the carabinieri ;police that are made fun of a lot not by me but Italians;  chased down a  drug dealer and they always caught their man the first time, have commentary at the prescient about their family life and the case at hand, a joke here and there and a flash mob scene. It was great television .I learned some Italian thanks to Don Matteo-Grazie Papa! 

 

 

 

Bawstun aka Boston

A somber feeling invades me, reminding me yet again violences is constant and everywhere. The newest addition happen in Boston during a marathon. Death  doesn’t just happen anymore, people accelerate the arrival. I think Death is about to get fired and The Fates  too, since men have taken their job. Now Death and The Fates need to file for unemployment.

I have been to Boston and had a great time there especially with Boston dialect “Copley?…  no Cawple”
It was truly a place I never expected to get bombed, drunk definitely, disorderly conduct-certainly.

Just another reminder to fix your life,  be real with people you heart, start your bucket list today ….Live your dreams and capture happiness and never let it go .

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