Story corner

Story 1 - The Tamarind Tree
The Tamarind tree stands tall against the drought. The afternoon heat belts unrelentingly against the grass of the Savannah turning it to a lifeless auburn mane. The faint breeze is stale and humid, evident only by the occasional rustle of leaves at the tree tops.
A man dressed in a suit shelters under the Tamarind, he wipes his brow and intermittently lifts the moist cotton shirt that clings to his torso, he knows the longer he has to wait the larger the stain. Minutes pass and a woman joins him from across the street, she looks equally uncomfortable in high heels and stockings, her makeup begins to cake under the heat. She dabs her upper lip with a small square tissue from her bag.
There is a pleasant smell of Lavender and bath soap that infuses the air around them, the man closes his eyes and forgets everything.
A Taxi arrives blasting Jamaican music. The driver, a man barely out of school sucks on a comforter, he sticks out one finger signaling that is all he has room for. He rolls his thumb and forefinger around the huge stud that glistens on his ear.
The other three passengers look disapprovingly at the man and woman from head to toe. It now seems hotter than at any point of their sojourn. The man deliberates his lateness but quickly resolves it and opens the passenger door offering the seat to the woman. She accepts in an unsurprised manner of entitlement.
The taxi leaves taking with it the blaring noise, the man remains alone under the shelter of the Tamarind listening to the rustle of leaves in the midday sun.

Story 2 - The Tamarind Tree
“Jeeze-Anne(1) ! Dis place friggin hot! You have any snow-cone(2) dere Georgie?” asks Lleyelyn, lifting the sleeve of his suit to check the time.
“Nah all ah have is ice, no syrup.” George was dressed in his usual white overall with a “Georgies” emblem matching the one painted on his cart, wedged by a large rock at the root of the Tamarind tree.
“Where yuh headin, tong(3)?”
“yeah dawg(4) , tryin’ to fine a wok(5). ”
“Scene(6). Why yuh doh come an wok fuh me, I always lookin for ah han.” Both men laugh.
“Taxi takin long.” “Doh worry one jus pass, you go ketch de next one. Eh, take dis,” George offers Llewelyn a cup of shaved ice.
George looks across the road and smiles and points, “Eh. Check she, now dat is what I talkin bout! Look at dat Lobster- all de meat in de tail(7) !” They stare unabashed as a well dressed woman walks towards them under the Tamarind.
“Morning family(8) .” said George. “Morning Miss.” muttered Llewelyn
“Mr. George! Not dis morning eh, I doh have time for your dotishness, here?!” she said wagging her finger at him.
“Leh meh fix yuh something sweet and cool nah?” said George with a Devilish smile.
“Why it is every morning I have to travel, yuh harrassin me so??”
“I doh mean nuttin babes, you know I only on games. Look see, a car reach for yuh already, de day go be nice cause you see me.” The woman smiles and shakes her head pleasantly infuriated.
“Meh boy here was waitin but dat eh no scene, he go give yuh de ride.”
A young taxi driver blasting music pulls up; wearing black gloves, sucking a comforter and twisting a diamond stud. He pulls the comforter out and smiles revealing two missing incisors, “Big G whuz de vibes?
“I dey killer, whuz ur scene?”
“Yuh know me, all bout de paper(9) . Ah takin 1 for Duke Street.”
“Ummmmm da mix is a bes! who dat Buju(10)?” George dances languidly.
“G yuh know I have it, ah go burn one for yuh.”
“Scene,” George and the taxi driver bounce each other fist.
“Miss…” the well dressed man opens the passenger door.
Without acknowledging him, she looks at George, “Mister keep yuh comments to yuhself.”
“We go pick up G.” The taxi driver quickly glances behind him and with one sharp turn of the steering wheel speeds off without signaling.


Notes
(1) Jesus Christ
(2) Snow cone is a traditional West Indian refreshment that consists of a cup of saved iced with concentrated syrups of various flavours topped up with condensed milk
(3) City Centre
(4) Slang for friend
(5) Looking for employment
(6) okay
(7) A woman with a well developed backside
(8) Slang used affectionately for someone of the opposite sex
(9) Money
(10) Jamaican dancehall artist Buju Banton

Stephen Manick

 

 
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