There is an intimacy about Trinidad that is difficult to describe; a familiarity, a possessiveness, a jealousy. Here I am and am not myself. I am more myself than I can be anywhere else, and yet that self feels increasingly feels like a stranger.
I went a storytelling evening to support some friends — there were jumbies and soucouyants and echoes of parranderos — and then various of us converged at a bar that I last drank in perhaps five years and ago and with roughly the same people. We talk about Walcott and Naipaul and the bad behaviours of the Great Men and about who has the best goat recipe and the difference between mixing and selecting and we each keep one eye on anyone passing by just in case, because these are dangerous times and we are not yet ready to give in.
“Scotch and coconut water right?”
Another night, this time a lime at a friend’s house, this time accompanied by a soundtrack of children’s laughter and babies’ cries. All of us brought together for what (we hope) will be the last wedding in the group, a group that has known each since we were mostly children ourselves. Who are we now, who am I when I am with them, when I am back here, when I am not here.