Issue 229, Summer 2019
If you’re the only son of uptown Kingston parents, then you will have options. You can take Daddy’s Datsun or Mummy’s new ’68 VW and fly past street urchins who sell bag juice and ackee at red lights down Hope Road to pick up Reyha or Sanya or Cherie.
If a Reyha you pick, you will carry she to the drive-in where you can stroke she hair while unoo watch Bond ’pon big screen. Reyha’s family own the bread shop on Barbican Road where she work most afternoons, and you like sniff she hair since it always smell of coco bread or spice bun.
Is Cherie you like slow whine plenty nights down a New Kingston, whether Epiphany or Dizzy. She tease you, you see? Push up hard ’pon you in corners and grind she pelvis into yours before she laugh and push away.
A Sanya you like chat bad word with, so she you take a Hellshire to sit seaside and nyam escovitch snapper and chat bare fuckery till them tell unoo, You no see the sun gone and is time fi move you batty?
If you no careful, life go so carefree, till you daddy say, Time to get serious, boy, and stop all the play-play. Time to get job. Time to be a man.
If him say so, tell him say you wan’ go a foreign fi art school and learn fashion design, and don’ him see how your sketchbook full up with concepts and him can’ see you stylee?
But if you say that, him will answer, Fashion? A my son a si’ down an’ sew panty an’ frock? Wha’ kind of little-gal fantasy that?
But, Daddy, man in Europe study fashion from time, you will tell him.
Me know, him will say. Batty man.
You’ll ask him, How you can be so small mind? You’ll puff up your chest and pace the veranda and wan’ fling him furniture, because him can’ beat you like him did beat you when you were a pickney.
Even he know him can’ discipline you like before, so him say it calm: No bother with no foo-foo art school. If you can’ be serious, you go work for me. And if you can’ do that, you can leff me house.
And it don’ feel then like you have too many options at all.