I guess He was annoyed by my gratitude. It started to rain like crazy. To be correct, it was almost STORMING immediately after I uttered my heartfelt thanks.
The gush of rain was so heavy, by the time I ran toward the glass door, I was soaking wet.
“Is this how you repaid me?” I yelled.
You know me? I couldn’t just swallow my anger. I had to let Him know how I really felt. I mean, if you were me, wouldn’t you? So I yelled again.
“Are you for real God?”
No, He did not answer me. But, amazingly, just about then, I noticed a tiny lizard staring at me. I assumed it was trying to escape from the rain, and ran inside when I opened the glass door. And, since I didn’t have the heart to kick him out, I whispered to him.
“Ok. You can stay inside. But, you better never let my daughter see you here. In fact, go hide in the garage.”
But to my surprise, before I could walk toward the garage door, the little rascal had jumped on me. And, for the life of me, I couldn’t tell where it was hiding.
So I started screaming, “AHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” And, skipping all over the house, while I snatched off my clothes.
I finally stopped screaming because the hot water almost caused me to choke myself, since I was in the tub, steaming my body in the shower.
Afterward, I placed all my clothes in the tub for a hot bath, I gladly assumed: “That should have killed the little rascal.”
About an hour past, when I was certain the house was lizard free, I thought I would start painting.
Don’t tell my daughter this part OK. She took off to Portugal and left me in the house all by myself. Before she left, she asked:
“You are not going to pain here, are you Mom?”
“What an insult?” I thought to myself, before I answered her.
Of course, the same day after her departure, I rushed back to my house, retrieved my canvas, my two LARGE bags of paints and brushes.
Can you imagine the thrilling inspiration, when I found out I was going to spend the whole week by myself, with a nice lake view at my disposition?
Yes, other artist would probably feel inspired to paint something about nature, perhaps the lake itself. But, I’m a bit different. Perhaps, even strange. So I painted some ladies dancing the panda dance, with an ugly guy beating the drum. I also finished my grand-parents painting.
So, to get back to my lizard story. After I broiled the little rascal in the tub, I felt the urge to start painting. In fact, I even had my glass of red wine ready, in order to seal the deal.
But, when I finally grabbed my canvas, guess who was staring at me; dozed off to sleep, on my largest canvas?
I – will – NEVER – EVER- feel sorry for a baby lizard – AGAIN!
“Seriously God, ARE YOU FOR REAL?”
This week I can’t seem to find the time to write, so I will continue to showcase some of my culture inspired paintings.
This one is entitled “Caribbean Woman”
We are known for our exotic beauty, our full figure, ( don’t know what happened to me on this one) our kinky hair, our firm discipline, and most of all, for our unique style and delicious food!
In the field of the heavenly task, I was assigned a young protégé. The first house we travelled was a multi-millionaire, known for his brilliant invention. Disguised as a beggar, we knocked on his front door.
A man dressed like a penguin, with a superior pose, opened the door. “How may I help you?”
So I answered, “It is mighty cold, our journey is mighty far, we beg for shelter till early morrow please.”
“Let’s see what the master!” As he walks away. “If look could have killed…” Hope you know what I mean.”
“Who is it?” We heard. But the butler did not answer. Instead, he kept on walking with his head straight, as if it was held by an invisible cast.”
Meanwhile, with the door closed, we stood in the cold. The snow blistering, we turned into a snow man.
After a few second we heard, “Why bothering me with such nonsense? Throw them in the basement!”
So we slept on the cold floor. Not a cup of coffee or tea was offered to us. But in the middle of the night, the butler was kind enough to bring us a blanket, along with a candle. On his way back, his steps paved the way to a large whole, but he kept on walking. So with my magic instinct, I restored the floor right before we left.
“Why did you even bother to fix the floor, after the way we were treated?” Asked the young angel.
I answered him, “Things are not always as they seem dear.”
The next house we visited, was a poor farmer, with his wife and four children.
“We boiled some water for your bath. Afterward, come and dine with us. Although a small chicken, but I’m sure will do.” Said the wife, while she served us a cup of tea.
The husband who remained quiet during dinner finally turned to me, “John and Nathan will sleep with us. Their beds are pretty comfy, hope you both will be warm.”
But around midnight, we heard a male voice, weeping in the living room.
“Why God – Why? I used our last coins to buy this cow – Now that it’s dead, how will we survive – how will we?”
The young protégée bitterly plead: “Why? Could you not have prevented this tragedy on this kind and hospitable family? While You’ve withheld you blessing from them, yet you’ve shed your kindness on the unworthy millionaire”
The older angel replied “Haven’t I previously stated: “Things are not always as they seem?”
“Grant me understanding then. Perhaps, even discernment please – For I’m yet to see the light through your reasoning!”
Then the elder answered “I hid the wealth which was bursting its pathway from the ground, being the rich man was not worthy of such honor. Therefore, even that which was once granted to him shall be taken away.
But, pertaining to this man, could the grief he suffered over the cow, be compatible to the one his family would endure if he dies – being that he is the main bread winner? Last night, during the midnight hour, I bargained with the angel of death who was commissioned to claim his soul; so he settled for the cow instead. Learn this: “Things are not always as they seem. ”
“But, how will they survive?”
“The sparkle of life travels with hope; and where there is love, there also lies the strength to survive. “
My cat Mikko thinks he can bully us around. At one point, he was the chief terrorist in our neighborhood. But, when he became sick, he was treated, then we decided to transition him to an in-house cat. Of course, it’s a nerve-racking transition for him.
He still craves to go outside. He has nightly tantrum and refuses to let us sleep. To get our attention, he’ll scratch the windows, doors, runs back and forth all over the house; even Jump on the bed, dresser, slams his head/ his body against anything he can manage to break.
I swear this cat does not think he’s an animal.
So last night, when he noticed he was being ignored in spite of his unbelievable bandit performance, he decided to attack his little friend Moina, our female cat. At last, the poor cat was forced to hide inside the closet. But Mikko was still not satisfied. So when I tried to intervene, he turned toward me to hiss at me like a snake.
“Mikko, you better stop it!” I yelled back. But he was way too angry. So he turned around to say,
“Meowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww – get the hell out of here!
For the first time I was really scared of my cat, but I couldn’t show him that. So I stared back at him and yelled:
“MEOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW – YOU BETTER STOP OR I WILL TAKE YOU THERE MYSELF!!!”
I did such an unbelievable performance, that Mikko froze for a few seconds; while he stared at me, he then ran to hide under the bed.
Well, I’m not certain what really drove him away – between my roaring tone of voice or my horns?
But one thing I was certain of, “Cats can see demons.
My father has always been a man of few words, but last week I realized we had much more in common. I kept track of a whole day conversation between us, starting after breakfast.
“Papy, are you done eating?”
“Oh yes, forgot the other glass!”
Now I started writing while he was reading.
Two hours later:
“You ok Papy?
Two more hours, he’s still reading, while I’m writing.
Annoyed by my errors, I said:
Are you ok?
An hours later:
An hour later, he walks toward the glass door:
Together we said: “Over 10 of them!”
“Wow!” I answered.
“Wow! They’re eating all the plants.” (He said)
I resumed my writing while he’s opening the mails. Not a spoken word between us, till about an hour later when my loudmouth daughter walked through the front doorr.
“HI PAPY! How was your day?
Papy and I quickly glanced at each other, the we both nod our head to say:
“Oops! The drum is here!”
When my sister who’s a nurse mentioned my father is reflecting dementia symptoms, I completely refused to believe her. Of course I was in denial! I didn’t want to remember my father as the helpless elder he had become; I would rather see him as the sound minded engineer he once was.
During the past two weeks, I’ve been in charge of his meal, while my sister takes charge of the grocery. I’m enjoying spending quality time with my father. We eat and chat, but whenever he dosed off to sleep, I focus on my writing.
One morning after I asked him for his choice of meal? He specifically requested for some eggs, which I prepared to his liking. In fact, he even gave me a compliment, which is rare. My father can be a harsh food critic.
“How is the egg Papy?”
“Very good! Just the way I like it!”
After he ate two eggs, once slice of bread, one banana, half a cup of V-eight, quart glass of milk; he munched on a bag of hot chips, which my daughter had brought him a couple days ago. Then, he grabbed his phone, which led me to believe he was searching for a number. About two hours later, he was still searching.
“Papy, are you looking for a phone number?”
“No, I’m waiting on you for, for, the, the food!”
“What food Papy?”
“What do you mean by “what food? You haven’t served me my breakfast!”
“Papy, you just ate your breakfast!”
“Me? I just woke up, came to sit on the table to wait on you!”
“Ok Papy, what would you like to eat this morning?”
“He thought for a second, “What do you have here? Whatever you have!”
“Would you like some eggs?”
“Ok, give me that!”
So after I prepared two eggs, toasted some bread, add some fruits… I placed the plate in front of him;
He stares at me for a few seconds, then laughed hysterically:
“Are you suffering from dementia? You just fed me! I guess I should be taking care of you, instead of you caring for me!”
Although my heart was aching, the incident was too funny. So I laughed my heart to tears.
On that same day, when my daughter came to see him, after she kissed him she asked:
“How you doing Grandpa?”
He answered: “Your mother is losing her mind, fed me breakfast twice, I haven’t had a bite to eat, since this morning!”
The first day Sister Marie and I met for the play rehearsal, she sat down and repeated the same scripture over and over.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” Though I speak……”
She continued with this charade during the whole hour. In fact, that’s when I realized could never be a nun. I foresaw myself snoring during the early morning, and evening prayers. I would be such a pain in the convent, just like Floriane Maria in the movie, “The Sound of Music,” Mother Superior wouldn’t know what to do with me.
Finall, I thought “I have to find a way to maintain my sanity,” so I started drawing. First, I drew a picture of myself snoring, and of Sister Maria holding a ruler with a furious face. Then I drew a new portrait of her being carried to heaven by the angels. I also kept count of her repetitions. But while I drew little circles, I whispered “Sister Marie is going craaa-zy!!!! I’m sure she heard me, but she still did not show any sign of annoyance.
Furthermore, to test her endurance, I dropped myself on the floor, rolled over a couple times. Then, I placed my school bag under my chin, while I laid flat on my stomach, with my arms wide open. Still not a zilch from her.
So I got up, while standing next to her, started hopping on one leg; knew she hated that. Still not a sign from her.
So I finally concluded: “Sister Marie went to heaven and left her body behind.” In fact, I started singing the same sentence, over and over, and I danced all the latest dance I knew, even did the twist. Not a zilch from Sister Marie.
When my brother came to pick me up, I grabbed my school bag, and as I started running toward the door. I heard: “See you Friday Angel!”
“I suddenly stopped running, just to turn and look at her. She was smiling.
“Oh My God! You are back from heaven Sister Marie?”
She shook her head, laughed, then said “Yes Angel, I came back to take you with me.”
“Oh no, sister Marie. Today I realized I could never be a nun like you. I would be bored to death. “
“Why would you be bored?”
“Because you were repeating the same prayer over and over for a whole hour. That’s too boring!”
“ I was not really praying, I was merely meditating on the word.”
“Well, “I can’t merely meditate on the word” for so long either Sister Marie. I would start snoring, all the angels and demons would start running inside the church.”
“ You have a great gift if you can cause even the demons to run back to church.”
“Sister Marie, my grandma used to tell me, “I snore so loud, that I will cause both angels and demons to wake up from their sleep and run to church.”
“But why would she think they would rush to church?”
“Because my snore sound just like thunder, they would think it’s God’s voice rebuking them!”
“But you know what? I have to thank the big tall lady standing right in the ocean. Her name is Hattan.”
“Papy looking puzzled, then said: Who?”
“You don’t know her Gineer? You lived in the strange land, and you don’t’ know the Mother of the land? She’s a tall, green lady. And, she’s holding some fire in her hand!”
“Oh! You mean in “MAN “HATTAN?”
“Now Gineer, when I went to see her, she did not look like a “Man,” they even said she was a woman!”
“She’s in Manhattan, I said!”
“No Gineer, (Meaning engineer) she’s in the strange land. Auntie took me to see her before I came back here! I remember that morning as crystal clear, when she told me:
“Now I know you have a smart head on your shoulder, because since you were four years old, you would cry like a baby for your Mamma to let you pump her breast milk. But’ we found out two years later, after you bought your first set of goat, you were actually selling your mamma’s breast milk, to the dry breast mamma’s, so they can feed their newborn baby.”
“Really? I don’t remember that auntie.”
“Yes you did! In fact, when we asked you: “Where did you get all that money Girl?” You answered: “You guys thought I was retarded when I was pumping Mamma’s milk! “But, I was taking care of my business! “So that’s when we changed your name to “Smart-Girl”
“So what was your name before then?” My sister asked her.
“I just said it. My name was “Girl” before that! – My Mamma had nine boys before she finally had a girl, so she called me “Girl!” Like I was saying. Auntie said:
“I’m taking you to see another Smart girl, and she’s the mother of this strange land. You can talk to her, whenever we get there.”
When I got there, OMG! No wonder she’s called the mother of the land? She was a giant! But when I saw people walking in and out of her, I thought that was too disrespectful. Instead, I stood outside all day talking to her. So I said:
“Beautiful Smart Lady, my name is Smartgirl, and I’m from Haïti. It’s and Island down there on earth. “I see how you take care of your children, they have nice house and food all over the place. I’ve even spent hours picking up some quata and thyme (quarter and dime) from the ground since I’ve been here, and I have a few buckets filled with them now. I came to your country because back home they always said, anyone name American will never have to live in poverty. “You see, I would stay here because auntie is going to get me the green paper the Igration (Immigration) asked for, but I don’t want to stay. “It’s too damn cold in here! “Oh! I’m sorry for cursing front of you too! “So I want to go back home, but I want to live just like your children when I get there. So, I’m changing my name to Americannow, so you can help me too. Now, I have to tell you folks, and that’s an honest confession: “The moment I was done talking to her, this thought came to mind: “Why not go back to Haïti, and turn my people to Americannow too!
So I went back home with a plan. My mager friend had already told me I could send stuff to Haiti by boat. So, I started shipping the boxes of coins to papa, and all the empty spaghetti sauce, and alcohol bottles I had collected from all the stupid Haitian. I sent a message to auntie: “Heaven came down! Sale all the bottles, and help the poor. Save the rest, coming back home soon!” Do you remember what else I sent you auntie?
Auntie answered: You sent that thing that make the strange sound “tra-tra-tac, and “
Oh yes! I sent a typewriter, a camera, and the big light machine. I can even make a copy of my hand with it. I don’t remember what it’s called.”
Papy answered: “Are you referring to copy machine?”
“Gineer, you are a smart Man. How did you know? This is exactly what they call them too! “But I thank God I did that, because the day the tall blue eyes men came to the house, to ask me for the green paper; I only had a chance to get my money from under the mattress. But at the airport, when I walked through that machine, they had to pull me aside to ask me:
“What do you have on you?”
I answered them: “None of your damn business!
“They said: “Do you have over $10,000.00 on you?!”
So I answered them: “And why would I want to share this information with you – so you can have the Mafia come and rob me? I saw that on your TV one day, so don’t’ think I don’t I know what’s going on!!!”
After that, they placed me in a room, almost turned me upside down, in order to shake me like a yoyo. After they made me angry, “I took my bra off, and you know what else. After I bent over, I asked them:
“Do you want to see more?”
They all ran out of the room and told me: “Get dress! Get dress PLEASE!”
I looked at them and said “You Dumbo! It’s a good thing I’m getting a free ticket back home from you guys. I could have given you the green paper you asked for, instead I choose to give you a white piece of paper so you can sheep me back home for FREE!”
Then one of the guy who held my passport said: “Your name is Smartgirl, but you should have been called: “Smart mouth too!”
So I answered him: “No! For your info, that’s my little cousin’s nickname! “Even the angels call her by that name!” As she turned to me to say:
“Foufoune, I was talking about you!”
After we all laughed our heart out, my father finally asked her:
“But, how much money could you have saved in three years?”
“Hihihi! Papa was shipping me some mangoes and plantains, which I sold to the stupid Haïtian who lived there.” So between my three panties and my two bras, I had $25,741.03!!!”
Then she turned to auntie to say: “Auntie, did I tell you I saw “Richboy” working in a store there? He had a blue uniform on, and had to stand aaaall day on his feet. “So when I asked him:
“How much are you getting paid to stand on your precious feet for sooo long Richboy? He answered something like “A minus wave!” (Minimum wage)
“So I cursed him out, auntie – I sure did! “Why would you come in the strange land to freeze your butt off, while working for a minus something, when you have over twenty acres of land full of chicken, goat, plantain and shit?” “Anything with the sound of minus, can’t be profiting you that much?” He must have been embarrassed because he kept on looking on the floor. “That’s when I knew, I would rather save my money, in order to get the hell out of that strange land, before I freeze my but off, and go coucou like all the stupid Haïtian who lived there. “You know, most of them had to work two jobs just to pay the bills. And, whenever I saw them, they always look like a needle pen wrapped in a comforter. Honestly I could never understand what they were saying to me; They will say:
“How-how-how R-R-R You-hu-hu-hu?” Because their butt was freezing!” I would answer:
“Am-am N’ot Fa- ah- ah – ine! Because my but was freezing too.”
“So what type of business do you have American?” I curiously asked her.
“Hihihi! My name is not American, It’s “AmericanNOW!” “When I first came back to Haïti, I just place a sign in front of my front door: “DO YOU WANT TO BE AMERICANNOW?” The same day, I had over 400 people in front of my door. In fact I had to hire some helpers right away!
“But what do you do?” I asked her again.
“Wait! I’m telling you. “When they came in, I told them: “I just came back from the strange land, it’s not worth going up there, unless you want to go to school. “Told them about Richboy working for $5.00 an hour. Everybody said: “What? Now heaven is shitting!”
So after my speech, told them “The only way we can break this poverty spell off our Country, we will have to do the followings:
- First, let’s add Americannow to our name, we will be living just like the American, the only exception, “Our butt won’t be freezing like them.”
- We have to be willing to change our mentality – work together, in unify there is power.
- Let’s find a way to market our resources, the other Islands are already doing that, even though they are selling nothing but CRAP!
So for those who agreed, I only charged them $100.00 for the paper work. I gave them a green piece of paper with their picture on it. I also teach them how to speak their new language for free. But I call it “Frenchglish,” since there are many words I couldn’t even pronounce! We all had lands full of plantation, plus cow, chicken, goats… you name it. So we decided to open an “AmericanNOW Supermarket” just like in the strange land. With cool air and everything.
“You mean the Supermarkets in the City are for you guys?”
“Of course! We have four of them now. Finally coming to the Country side now! Have you noticed the “Rich People Freezer” near the back? I know you guys like your escargot, which we pick up for free around here. But only one thing, we don’t deal with foolishness. Anyone who refuse to let the country progress, we will blow their heads off! This is how we deal with the robbers. First, they must ask them these three questions:
- Are you hungry or homeless?
“If they are hungry, feed them. If they are homeless, send them to the shelter. “Give them this address for a job offer.”
“Then tell them: “Next time we will blow your head off!
- Is your child, your mamma or papa sick in the hospital?
“If they answered yes, send them to bill care.”
“If they said: “What the hell are you talking about? “Blow their heads off.”
- Do you or your child, or your younger brother, or sister want to go to school, perhaps you don’t have the money to pay …?
“If they say “yes” sent them to school care.
“If they answered: “Why the hell do I want to go to school for? “Blow – their -heads – off!!!”
The Americannow entreponor (entrepreneur) have zero tolerance for bull shit! After over 200 years of independence, Haïti must move forward!”
“Excuse me again for my bad language, Mr. & Ms. Gineer, auntie and the children! “Sometimes it’s only fitting to say a good “Shit!” Learn that from the Strange Land too!!!”