Ok, why did you wake me up eh? Why on God’s green earth did you wake me up? Mannn, and I was bursting a good sleep too. Oh no all that smiles and baby talk not going cut it. Its cold outside, do you not see the snow on the ground? You know what that means don’t you? It means that it is sleep in day. Yes, sleep in day. Can you read the wuffing coming out of my mouth? Maybe you should learn to talk dog. You see that blanket next to me, yes that soft warm cuddly looking thing. When you see that covering me up and it is cold outside, that means, DOG SLEEPING. In human language it means DO NOT DISTURB. I was having a good dream too. Beach, sunshine, a really cute pitbull flexing near the surf, golden brown fur glistening in the sunlight. No no no, none of that baby talk going work, I already told you that. Just go to work or whatever you humans do, me I am going to crawl under this comfy blanket and go back to my dream. Go on, and don’t forget to pick up some of that gourmet dog food on your way home from work.
This is it, it’s the time of my life
Close the door, keep my soul protected
Make my heart stop feeling
Stop pumping so fast with the excitement of living
For living is not all it is cracked up to be
Walk me to the edge of reason
Keep me from falling over
Wait a second, push me, let me be a fool for a day
For once I want to float into nothingness
Don’t feel accountable for who I am
Don’t question why I live, or why I cant stop living
Make my loneliness like the wind
Invisible but destructive
Let it sweep away the selfishness
Then I will feel like I am serving a purpose
Because here I sit helpless
Watching myself decay into acceptance
While the culture steamroll its way over me
Flattening me, squeezing all the spirituality out of me
Don’t teach me more doctrines
I don’t want to know, its too much for my soul
I would rather take my chances and kiss a rabid dog
So before I destroy myself
I beg you, please let me be ignorant
Ole man Jones had a Sapodilla tree, ohhhh how I used to stand dere and look at them fruit. Beautiful light brown, hanging dey saying to me, “Climb dat fence, pick me, Ah go taste sooooo good.” It took me half an hour to some up de bravery. I looked around, scaled de fence. As soon as I hit de ground, here come Brutus, dat big beast of a dog. De race was on I tell you, dat dam monster chased me round de house about five time, snarling, barking, saliva dripping from its mouth. I got to the tree, climbed up sat on a branch and watched de devil dog jump and snap at me feet. I picked a Sapodilla, all dat barking disappeared as the sweet, smooth taste hit de back ah me throat. This is heaven I thought. I sat up there and had me full and then it was time to go. I looked down, Dat bloody dog was still there, laying down, its eyes closed, waiting. Heavens gate just closed and de devil was waiting for me o de ground. I swung to the other side of the tree, jumped off and hit de ground running, dat dog sprang to its feet growled and man it was fast. I reached de fence, jumped and went all de way over. I hit de sidewalk with a thud, pain rushing through me body. De dog could not stop and ran into de fence, yelped, then whimpered off. I got up and limped me way dung de road. I was hurting for so, but it was worth it, dem Sapodillas was real sweet.
I was thirteen years old before I started to have an interest in girls. There was this one particular girl that lived in me village. Everyone called her Polky because she loved wearing polka dot outfits. I just liked her because she had, brownish red hair, hazel eyes and caramel skin. I remember waiting at the end of the road after school just to see she go by. She would always smile at me, but I never was brave enough to say anything to she. I mean, here I was. Six feet seven inches, so skinny a strong wind could blow me away. This girl was the dream of all the boys in the village.
This planed viewing went on for months and as the days go by I could see that her smile was getting bigger and brighter. I remember me heart beating like a drum at a voodoo meeting. Everytime I decided to say something to she I would make up some kind of excuse not to. She might laugh, she too nice, the sun was too hot, just anything to talk meself out of making a move. One day, I was standing on the cornor, the sun was covered with a grey cloud. I could hear seagulls flying over me as they head out to sea. A dog was barking in the house behind me, the damn beast was howling real loud. Just up the street Polky appeared, I saw the smile broaden on she face when she saw me standing there. I tell you, I just stopped breathing. I looked away from she, me mouth so dry me tastebuds refuse to work. Polky came up to me flashed she teeth and kept walking. I let out a big sigh and hot air escaped from me mouth. i closed me eyes trying to stop the spinning sensation in me head. Suddenly, I felt a presence next to me and looked over, Polky was there looking at me. I gasped, feeling like someone punched me in the stomach.
Whats you name?” she asked,
“Randy.” I stuttered. She looked at me, not saying anything. I wanted to say something, but all that came out was a dry cracking sound.
“Why you does stand here all de time?” she asked, looking me dead in the eyes. I forced meself to talk,
“Ahh, Ahh, well, you does walk by here every day” I said and the biggest smile burst out on she face.
“You know who me fada is right?
“So? I said.
“If he see you talking to me he go kill you.” I looked into she hazel eyes.
“So?” I said, me knees shaking a little.
“ Ah like you, you brave”. In me mind I was tell meself how stupid I was. All the boys was afraid of Old Man Jones. He would treaten anybody who talk to he daughter. I even heard he beat up one of the neibourhood men.
“Maybe you should come up to de house sumtime,” I looked at she thinking she was crazy or something, but I could tell by the expression on she face that she was dead serious. I was a cautious type of fella, but look at her, she so pretty and she wanted me to come to she house. She smiled, them pearlly white teeth gleaming at me.
“Its up to you” she said and turned and walked away.
For days I rationalize she invitation. I still stood on the cornor and waited for she. We developed a real good rapour. She was not just pretty, but she knew a lot too. She wanted to be a teacher and I thought that was a noble profession. One day as we stood talking, Old Man Jones came driving up the street. We jumped behind a wall and stayed there until his British made Hillman car disappeared up the street. Crouched down there I could feel she breath on me face. I don’t know what came over me, but I leaned over and tried to kiss she. A flash of what I though was anger clouded she face.
“What you tink you doing?” she asked, and I pulled meself back, me whole body was cold even though the sun was beating down on us. A strange, twisted smile appeared on she face.
“So, you wan kiss me eh?’ She said, her eyes sparkling in the sunlight. I didn,t answer, just looked into them hazel eyes.
“Well here is the ting, if you wan kiss me you have to come to de house tomorrow night. Dats the only way you go get any kiss from me,”
“What?” I chocked out. I looked away, trying to hide the fear that seeped into me. Old Man Jones house, If I go there and get caught I knew I was dead for sure, But I looked back at she and saw those full maroon lips and me other mind started to take control of me sences.
“What time?” I asked and I saw a hint of surprise on she face. Now it was her time to stutter.
Well, how about nine o’clock, everytime me fada eat he like to sit round and read. He don pay attention to notton den.” I could feel the sweat roll down me face. Boy, what the hell am I getting into. Still all I could vision is them lips on mine. I looked up at she just as she was licking she lips. Me heart almost jump out me chest.
“What time? I asked she before I could think. You should have seen the smile on she face. She lips thinned out, but they didn’t lose their shape.
“Ten o’clock,” she said turned and floated away. I stood, me eyes burning as salty liquid streamed into them. I walke d the long walk to me house, me mind racing with thoughts of kissing her and thoughts of getting caught.
Sunday came and I made it a point to go to church that morning. In the confessional I almost revealed to the priest my sinful thoughts, but better judgement prevailed and I escaped repeating ten Hail Marys. The priest said they were for any sins I was about to comitt.
At nine thirty that night, I made me way up the hill to Polky’s house. The moon was out, its silver glow made the leaves on the trees shine. The closer I got to she house the harder me heart beat. I got to the foot of the driveway that led to she house and stopped. Looking up at the house I can only see a shadow of its frame. Dim lights flickered inside and the sound of clasical music traveled in the wind and down to the village. I walked up the driveway, me last mile. I was determined, every boy in the village wished he had an invitation like this. Weither they would take it was another question. All I could think of was If I survived this, I would be a legend in the village, a man amoung boys. I got to the big wroth iron gate and stopped. A seven feet chain link fence went all the way around the front of the house. The lawn was well manicured with rose bushes planted in spots. The sent of the roses filled the air.
“Hey,” a voice wispered and I saw the siluette of polky standing in front of the gate. I walked up to her and stood there. She pulled the gate open and let me in. I waited for her to lead the way.
We got to the varanda and she held she hand up for me to stand there. I watched as she creeped up to the door, opened it a little and peeped in. A thin line of light escaped through the crack and down the concrete steps. She turned and motioned for me to follow her. we stepped inside the house and the rythem of Bach filled the house. I looked around. Giant statues of African sculpture filled the room casting erie shadows on the wooden walls. I heard muffled voices as she parents talked in the family room. She stood at the bottom of some wooden stairs and smiled at me. I almost walked over to she and kiss her right there and then. She walked over to me and put she lips next to me ear.
“Go stand at de bottom of de stairs and Ah go climb on you back,’ I searched she face for some explanation.
“If dey hear two sets of footsteps going up de stairs you dead for sure,” I obediently took me plce where she directed. She climbed onto me back, she warm legs hugging me hips, I almost dropped she and I heard she giggle. I made me way up them stairs trying me best not to make a sound, but them damn boards would not coorperate. We made it to the top landing and Polky slide off me back. She took me hand and led me through a door and onto the back porch. The cold wind hit me now hot face. I walked over to the concrete wall that lined the porch. I needed to sit down before me rubber knees gave, but as I looked over the side I realized that I was face to face with a forty foot drop into the ocean. If I had to make an escape, this was not the direction to go. Polky pulled me to the far side of the porch where the light from the moon shined crimson on the white walls. we sat and looked at each other. I could not figure out if I should kiss she and get it over with or take me time and savour the moment. Before I caught me thoughts Poly’s face was close to mine. I closed me eyes waiting for the kiss, but she pulled back as the sound of footsteps interupted the silence.
“Oh God, me fada coming,” I jumped up and ran round the porch like a trapped manique. She farther was at the doorway and I had no choise. I climbed over the side of the porch and hung on for dear life. The deep horse voice of she father filled the night.
“What are you doing out here?” he asked his daughter.
“Notton,” she replied looking over the side to see if I was still hanging there. I heard the sound of the waves crashing aginst the rocks below me. The wind was strong and cold.
Oh, Ah see, you enjoying de moon,” he said sitting on me fingers. That Man must have had the hardest Bamsi I ever felt because he didn’t even feel me fingers. He started to small talk in ernest, . Me fingers started to burn and me hands shook a little. Polky peeped over the side again, I knew she saw me gritted teeth in the moonlight. Then I heard she father say,
“Oh man, them coconut cakes is working a number on me belly,” I didn’t know what he was talking about until I took a deep breath and the awfullist sent clouded me face almost making me cough.
Well, Ah wish Ah could stay out here but Ah have to go do sum business,” he got up and walked back into the house. Polky reached down and grabbed me arm and after a couple of minites of struggling I was able to climb onto the porch. Me arms was so numb I could not feel them. Polky stood in front of me with she hands resting on me shoulder.
“Ah have to go,” I said pushing me way past she. Just as I got the the doorway Polky grobbed me left arm and spun me around. “Wha bout de kiss?” she asked, looking intently into me eyes. I did not say anything, I just pulled me arm away and started for the door again.
“Ohhh, you running like a fraidycat huh. Wait till ah tell dem other boys how you run away,” I stopped in ,me tracks. We could not have she telling nobody no tales. I walked over to she, took she in me arms and was going to plant the longest, sweetest kiss on she. Just as we lips was about to touch, I heard a gasp behind me.
“Oh God!” was the exclamation that followed. I turned around to see Polky’s mother standing behind us. I alomst fainted right there. The little rolly polly woman looked like she was about to throw up. Then she turned and yelled down the stairs.
“Jones, get de gun!” And I heard the bathroom door banging as Old Man Jones stumbled out. I did not wait for him to come up the stairs. I pushed pass Mrs Jones and flew down the stairs like a runaway train. The wooden steps creaked as I bounded down them. I reached the bottom of the stairs just as Old Man Jones emerged from the family room with a criket bat in his hand. I ran through the living room. The classical music seemed louder than when I first came into the house. The tall Afrcan statues seemed as if they were about to jump at me.
I reached the front door just as Old Man Jones swung the bat. It missed me and crashed into the one of the statues taking its head clean off. I heard Old Man Jones Growl. I opened the door and ran outside. The cool wind hit me face sending chillbumps down me back. I jumped off the varanda and onto the lawn. Old Man Jones followed cursing under he breath. I ran across the yard trampling rose beds as I went. Polky’s mother moaned as she precious flowers were flattened.
“Kill him, kill him!” she screamed. I looked ahead of me and saw the fence. I tried my best to pick up speed. Suddenly I heard this menacing growl coming from the back of the house. I looked over me shoulder. Out of the darknes came two of the largest Doberman dogs I had ever seen. They red eyes bouncing up and down as they joined the pursuit. Me mucles were burning as I raced towards me escape. Before I rwalized it the fence was right in front me. I hit the cold metal and fell backwards. I scrambled to me feet and started climbing up the ten foot tall fence. Suddenly I felt as if someone was trying to pull me down. I look over me shoulder and saw one of the dogs hanging beneath me. His teeth sunk into me rearend and he was growling and twisted he head. Me fingers began to loose hold of the fence. In a desperate move, I let go of the fence with one hand and started hitting the dog with it. The beast howled in pain and I heard a thud as it hit the ground. I pulled meself up and over the fence. I landed on the other side and rolled down the hill a little. I was finally able to get to me feet and looked back at the house. Polk’s father was trying to get to the gate, but she had ahold of he arm. She mother was walking round the yard lamenting about she trampled flowers. Polky’s father got the gate opened it and was coming out. I turned and ran down the hill stumbling with every step.
& For the next three months I did everything in me power to hide from Old Man Jones. That man was desperate to find me. He went around the village asking everybody for me. He even got into a scuffle with some of the boys. I did not see Polky for a long time. She was under heavy manners. Old Man Jones drove she to and from school. He even went to the store with she. Any of the boys even looked at she and he would treaten to give them a good beating. Ask for me, I had became a legend amoung the other boys in the village. It did not matter that I did not get to kiss she, I was looked upon like a real man. For months after the incident all the boys followed me around like i was the second coming. That is until another boy actually got to kiss she.