Thursday, May 28, 2009


I watch movies and read books about people from ancient cultures coming to the US and trying to adjust. They try to hold on to their past while raising a family influenced by all things American. They grew up amidst the mysteries and sustenance of rituals, traditions and a different world view. Here, a new way of life bludgeons you almost from the moment you step off the plane.

I am not of Carib or Arawak descent, so I can hardly claim being from an ancient culture. While I feel close to my Indian ancestry, I didn't really grow up in those traditions. I have always considered myself a Trini, even before being a woman.

I loved being a Trinidadian. Hard as my life was, I was very connected to where I lived. It was, and still is, a part of who I am. I had my complaints, who doesn't? Trinidad needs improving, no question, but so does the US, England, Zimbabwe and China. 

I miss the heat. I never thought I'd hear myself say that. But the day I walked down a hot NY street with a hot cup of coffee told me a lot about who I am. Also, the day I felt that biting wind told me a thing or two as well.

I wish we could go home more often. I had never orignally intended to make anything like a yearly trip home, but now with law school looming and the possibilty of not going back till I graduate it's killing me not to go. 

I find here to be isolating. I have a mind-set that removes me from everything. It doesn't help that John constantly tells me how to think, how to behave, what to say. It's not like "Sleeping with the Enemy" or anything that bad. I know where he is coming from. But I find my nail digging into my hand every now and then and forcing my poker face on and telling myself to shut up. I know he's coming from a good place and doesn't mean to be annoying and it's not his fault I am annoyed. 

Sometimes, I just shut down. I cannot bear people. Sometimes, I wish I could just pick up the phone and chat. But I know I want to talk to Bellie and Anu and no one else will do. I miss my friends and I have so very few friends here. Certainly none of that caliber. John's friends are sweet, but all of them that I know are pregnant. No shit. All of them. I cannot imagine what our baby-buying budget is going to look like later this year! 

It's not that I don't want to talk to them. I do. I'd love to tell tales about when Pie was a baby and all that. But I am late in the game here. All these women have had support from early on. In a way, I envy them, because I didn't have that. Definitely not with Pie and in a backhand, (now-I-see) underhanded way with Chris. Sometimes, being around them is very, very hard. I feel physical pain in my chest to see their happy homes and babies and grandparents.

I've found it much harder to let go of the time before John and after Pie. Maybe if I were younger, it would be easier. But, then again, there's a lot of shit that still angers me and years span a chasm between now and then.

I hate that I took things for granted back home. I hate that I didn't eat more doubles or jump in a Peter Minshall mas. I went to Panorama once and never Dimanche Gras. I should have gone to more cricket and fete at Moka. I miss "Soca Santa" and Double Ten at Excellent City, which was perfectly positioned two streets away from D'Guardian. But I didn't know I'd be missing them. They were always there and I could do them whenever.

I don't even know when Divali and Eid are here. I get some messages from home on the day, but it's so far removed from me here. I held my own Eid once at my flat and all I served was sawine and I think most people I knew came by. It was just great. One of my friends even dropped HER sawine off and took away some of mine!

I worry about my friends. Who does Bellie call now when she needs cheering up? Why is Anu asking me to "come home tomorrow"? I wonder about Table 5, whom I pretty much lost touch with after I left home. I hope they are all doing well.

Ok. Sad sack post over. Back to the books.