Two of my girls have no filter whatsoever. I try not to take it personal whenever they spur their mind in the open. Frankly, the apples couldn’t have fallen too far from the tree.
One day during dinner three of my daughters were conversing among themselves. While I – could – hear- everything.
“Gosh, if Mom dies now, who’s going to cook this dish for us? We don’t know how to cook it; and, last time we ordered from the Haitian restaurant, it tasted nothing like Mom’s.”
My third daughter answered.“Oh crap! You are right! Then you better learn how she makes it before she drops dead on us!”
Acting as dumb as a mule, I said. “I’m so tired, with all my body aching, I feel as if I’m about to drop dead.”
“They all promptly yelled “Oh no Ma, you can’t die yet – We don’t know how to make the Legume!”
“Are you girls kidding me? Is this the only reasons you want me to stay alive?”
“No Ma. But, this is most of the reason.” The second one answered.
“In fact, all the kids from Tatie’s (Aunt) neighborhood would feel bad if you die.”
Then they all answered together, while laughing: “Just because of your cooking too!”
The second one replied again, “Besides, we are so used to hear you saying “I’m dying.” We don’t even take you seriously anymore.”
“About if one day I really drop dead, after I say that?”
She answered. “Then we will say:
“Oops! I guess she really meant it this time!”
With children like mine, why wish to die? Indeed, I was served a cup of my own medicine that day. But, like I said, I tried not to take them seriously. Considering..
I’m fifty… and just now learning how to “sugar coating’ my words. I have a hard time understanding why people have to be fony, or hypocritical. No, I’m not like my children. I’m just not a hypocrite. I actually have an allergic reaction whenever I sense this tendency from anyone. I will withdraw myself from you completely. In fact you won’t even remember if I exist. My philosophy is: “If you don’t mean what you are saying, don’t say it at all.”
My husband on the other hand, had no problem calling everybody “YOU STUPID!” Particularly when they miss pronounced his last name. In fact, my third daughter’s first word was stupid! Seriously. Soap or herbs couldn’t wash that word from her mouth.
I always dreaded the doctor’s visits with my husband. He refused to understand our last name was unusual. Imagine being a nurse, who went to school in California. You were unfortunate enough to stumble on your next patient file, with the following name:
Cassendre Revangué Kouakoua. Yes, that was the name of my second daughter.
Therefore, since you could not pronounce the French/African STRANGE NAME, you’ve never even heard of before. You decide to walk toward the patient lobby, while holding the file, you are try your best to say:
“Ca – Ca – ssen-drè RE – KOVAKOVA?”
The father who happened to be my ex-husband, with both his hands on his pocket, he stood up. While he walks toward you, he’s staring at you, from your toes, up to your head. Before he says:
“Have you ever been to school or NOT?” “STUPID!!!”
You answer kindly: “My apology Sir, but I don’t know how to.”
“Well! Don’t you know how to read?”
Meanwhile, where is his wife, who happened to be “ME?”
Hiding behind him, with my purse over my head! Since my daughter was too heavy, I couldn’t possibly use her as an umbrella.
So do you see what I mean?
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?”
What would you do if you were among the passengers who were ready to take off for a nine hours flight, but you heard a sudden loud “BOOM,” from the plane?
Yes, you heard me right! The plane was practically still on the ground when my unbelievable strange daughter heard that boom, and do you know what she did?
“NOTHING!” She just said:
“Ohoh! C’est quoi ça?” Meaning: “What was that?”
So I asked her, “Since the plane was still on the ground, did you take off RUNING FOR YOUR LIFE?”
“No. “they announced it was something to do with the “PLANE MOTOR.” Therefore we were told to remain seated until they “FIXED IT.
So, let me get that straight. “You were in a plane to Portugal, and before it even took off, it abruptly stopped. EVERYONE PANICKED. And even after you heard it was the motor malfunctioned, you were crazy enough to sit there and wait, for them to fix it, with the hope you will travel ALL NIGHT in the same plane.”
“Yeah! But they had the nerve to tell us “The damage was too major, requiring a special order from Portugal.”
“They had the nerve, while you lacked the sense. You both were a perfect match.” I told her.
“Well Mom, that happens sometimes, But I trust they know what they are doing.”
Do you know my daughter had the nerve to call the same air plane company by 6:00 A.M the following morning, to find out when “THE SAME PLANE WAS TAKING OFF?”
WARNING: This is how your children will turn out if you marry an aeronautic engineer. SO BEWARE!
My ex-husband was still attending Northrop University when our daughter was born. I recalled nearly every weekend, we would drive near the LA airport, parked the car so near, where we could practically smell the planes as they landed, in order for him to identify the models number, write down all the details for his school assignment. Back then I feared my daughter would turned out to be deaf, instead she turned out to be immune to plane explosion.
So after she made about a dozen calls, they finally confirmed, “The flight had been cancelled!”
Thank God, my prayers and my whole day fasting were answered. For once, God heard my emergency call.
But after a couple hours, I heard “Let’s go Mom.”
“Let’s go where?”
“To the airport.”
“Are YOU CRAZY?”
“Don’t worry, travelling with another company.” She answered calmly. The downfall, I will just have to take three planes instead of one.
Was I relieved. Of course, that was before I yelled, “THREE PLANES, are you crazy??????”
Why not? Daddy used to do it all the time!
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 sister, niece, including one of my daughters, were all waiting for the arrival of my siblings, who are Jehovah Witnesses. As I wrote in my previous post, they were on their way to see our father. As for me, I was seating on the dining room table with my PC open on a blank page, waiting to capture this historic encounter for my humor blog.
But I must tell you, my daughter was still in denial. She refuses to believe my siblings would not speak to me because I previously renounced the Jehovah witness teachings after nearly four years studying with them.
“Mom, I know Tatie (auntie) and uncle would never stop talking to you because of that. So today if you talk to them, I’m sure they will answer you.”
“No Cassie, the perfectionist fake Christians think I’m the offspring of Satan, therefore they are forbidden to speak to me.“
The last conversation my brother and I had after he was ordained to be an elder. He told me “contrary to the ordinary members, as an elder now, he had the authority to talk to me, only with the hope to rescue my soul.”
I answered him “If you think you have the right to judge me as a repulsive soul, the authority you think you have must be hidden inside your pants, preferably inside your shithole!”
“I’m an ordained Elder from the J.W. organization, so yes I have the authority!” He replied proudly.”
I was annoyed by his arrogance. “Oh yeah! Your authority came from men, and not of God, now Am I obliged to listen to you, so take a hike!”
After a brief silence, he said: “Well, apparently you are listening to all the other preachers. As you know, Satan is the God of this world, and all the other religions who are teaching heaven as their final destination are under his jurisdiction. So you just chose your own destruction.”
“Yes brother! And YOU the Jehovah Witnesses are the freaking lowest level souls, who know nothing about love or charity, compassion or forgiveness. You destroy family ties, even moral values and tradition through your false teachings. You aim to take from the world while giving nothing in return. It’s a good thing your hope being earthbound for eternity, so all of heaven SHIT will be falling on you guys! Great reason for us to add cabbage to our daily meal!”
I love Catholic schools. I think their academic standards are excellent, although I still question some of their religious beliefs. Yes, I respect their worldwide excellence in contributing not only on an academic level, but charitable as well. Furthermore, I have to admit, while my siblings went to Catholic school during most of their academic training, I on the other hands went there, during some of my academic years. Honestly, one day I could not stop myself. I felt obliged to squeeze the wrath out of one particular nun. That’s when I asked her the following question:
“Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”
Yap! She was one of my elementary school teacher. Her name Was Sister Marie, but I called her “Sister Morte,” which meant in French “Sister Dead”
“What did you say?” She answered me. So I repeated:
“Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed THIS MORNING?”
“Venez ici – Petite impertinente!” Meaning “Come here you little impertinent!”
I did not budge. “Come here – I said!” As she slightly raised her voice.
“Not with that ruler in your hand Sister! Remember, last time you hit me so hard, the palm of my hand turned as red as a plum tomatoe. Yes, it was swollen for two days, just because I wore a blue SOCK instead of WHITE!”
So, as she proudly raised her chin, she said: “The prowwww-per uniform code is “Whittt’e shirt. Naaaa-vy blue skirt. AND “white,” Yes “WHITTT’E Sock!” But, you were wearing BLUE sock, and today, you are still wearing a BLUE SOCK!”
So I answered her in the same tone: “Well Sister MORTE, do you remember that I Aaaaaam a chiiiiiiii-ld and, this is what the sorcière (meaning witch) caring for ME, gave ME to wear this morning? For all I know, you both are probably sisters!”
“Young lady, you must not call your mother a witch.” By then she was trying to grab me by my ear.
So I started playing jump rope between the chairs, so she could not catch me, while I answered her: “For your information, I was not referring to my mother, because she lives in New York, while Im here in Haïti, with another hateful woman. I BET you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? “Since you are stuck between these four walls, like you were in jail, where you deserve to be!”
“Ok young lady, I’m taking you to the principal office!”
“Good! Because I don’t want to be in your class anyway!” Then, I ran out of the class before she could catch me.
She took a short cut and met with me near the garden where I was standing admiring the flowers. As soon as she saw me, she straightened her posture, raised her chin in the air, made her look like a flat iron board, as she walked passed me. She occasionally turned back to stare at me, by then I was hoping on one leg, while I held the other leg with my hand. By the look she gave me, I could read in her mind; “as if she thought of me as the child from hell. But couldn’t bring herself to say it, for fear she would see a reflection of herself.” So I kept on hopping. Annoyed, she finally turned toward me to say in a calm voice:
“Young girls must not hop like this, so walk properly!”
So I replied “And dead nun should not walk with their chin up, a fly may come and hide inside their nose!”
So I kept on hoping. Then I saw another bush of pink roses. They were so beautiful, I felt compelled to at least touch them. While I admired them, I also cut a handful to make a bouquet for Sister Claire. She was my favorite nun, and she was not only beautiful but pleasant as well. But when sister Morte noticed I was cutting the flowers, she yelled, “Leave the flowers alone!” So I turned to her and said:
“Because they are not here for you to cut, but to beautify the school yard – Petite impertinente!”
“Excuse me Sister Morte, but If you were a true nun, you would understand that God created these gorgeous flowers not only to beautify the schoolyard, but for me to give them to my favorite sister, and it’s not for you either! And I bet you will never get some flowers because you are too mean!”
Just as I was shaking my little head, with my butt pointing behind, I sensed a presence. When I turned, it was my favorite priest, standing with his arm crossed over his fat stomach. Then he said: “Another feud between you two?”
“Good morning Father Bald head!” I shouted with a smile.
But she greeted him without a smile “Good morning father Pierre.”
Father Pierre pleasantly answered, “Good morning! And good morning to you both! But what is going on between you two again?”
As she held both of her hands together, as if she was about to say a prayer, she promptly answered, “Father, I highly recommend we transfer this troubled child to a more suitable school.” Furthermore, I strongly recommend some major penance for her as well, or I’m afraid she will be a lost case.”
Father Pierre turned to me with a questionable stare, awaiting an answer. Thankfully I had just watched the movie Dracula for the first time, so I had a whole bucket full of new expression. I held both of my hands together just as she did, like I was about to saymy prayer. Then I answered him:
“Father Bald head, I think you should return Dracula’s wife back to him. If not, Sister Morte will suck all the children blood from this school!”
To be continued
It was the custom of the old folks in my family to leave a cup of coffee on the side for our ancestors. They believed if they continued to feed our ancestors, they would remained strengthened, since the chief family members were somehow ordained to protect those who were still alive. Looking back, I was about two years old, when I started drinking their coffee. In fact, I also thought they would need help with the large plate of food reserved for them as well. Eventually both, my grandmother and my aunt found out about my innocent venture, so they thought they needed to teach me a valuable lesson. But from what I heard, they were the one who were left intrigued.
I’m told I was four years old when this incident happened. Apparently, for three consecutive days, I was enjoying myself while feasting on the ancestor’s food. Afterward, I would walk outside to yell to the old folks: “Mm-Mm! Gran Do, the spirit said the food was good!” “Gran Do, who was my grandmother thought something was strange. “This is strange!” She said. “The ancestors sure ate that food fast – They usually would send a visitor, or a beggar to ask for some food, or the food would remain till completely dried out.”
Of course, I was too young to understand my grandmother’s concern, so I just kept on eating. But after three consecutive day, my grandmother cooked a dish named “Chaka,” which was a blend of corns, beans, squash, coconut, you name it – it had it! On that day however, while I was eating the bowl of Chaka, I fell asleep, with the bowl right on top of my chubby stomach. So Gran Do who happened to walk inside the house, saw me snoring my heart out. The bowl of Chaka spilled all over my body, my whole face, and my hands were bathed in Chaka. Now Gran Do who didn’t know what to think, decided to call her older sister.
“Now, don’t know what to think of this Sis – You think the child has been eating the spirits food?” She asked auntie.
“Don’t know Sis – Don’t know! But she’s been telling me she ain’t hungry for dinner. I was going to give her a laxative on Saturday!”
We need to find out, before those spirits get angry at the child.” Gran Do said.
“Well! She is family, sure they won’t hurt her, but we can still test her to see if she’s the one eating them food. She loves fish you know, so let’s make some fish tomorrow and place it on the ancestors table again.”
But Gran Do answered: “I will make some fish all right, but will teach her a lesson. Will put all the pepper and the salt I can put my finger on, in that fish – “Have to teach her a hard lesson, or this child is doomed to be too much for us to handle later on.”
“Well, what do you expect Sis. Both on her mamma and Papa side are Moses – Didn’t you hear what the priest said in church? That Moses man from the Big book opened the ocean with his little finger, and killed all the Gyptians? That’s a lot of power for one man. For all we know, he’s probably the one eating all the food through that poor child – The child is unusual, must say!”
“Well – don’t care sis. After I’m done with her, some of that power should leak through her tongue, nose, even her ears, because she’ll be screaming “HOT through her butthole!”
So Gran Do and her sister did as they had planned. In fact, the fish was seasoned with so much hot pepper, that tears dropped from their eyes as they were cooking. Finally, after they served the ancestors the large fish, which they placed on their special table, the old folks sit outside waiting. About half an hour later, I ran out of the house, with the plate of fish, screaming my heart out: “Gan Do, THE SPIRIT SAID THE FISH IS TOOOOOOO HOT – HOT – HOT – HOT!!!”
Both Ma Do and auntie dropped themselves on the floor, as they could not stop laughing. However, since they had already prepared some cold lemonade, they decided to show me some mercy, so they both rushed toward the lake, the direction they saw me take off. But when they arrived there, they were shocked to see my whole body lying flat on the ground, with my head toward the lake, under the water, while the plate of fish was still next to me. When I eventually lifted up my head, it was just to grab another bite, then to dip my whole head under the water again. I continued the same process, till I ate the whole fish. After I was completely done, I sunked my whole body under the water while I rinsed the wood plate which held the fish. The old folks stood at a distance while watching me in action. I finally walked toward them, and when I noticed them, I handed the plate back to then, and said:
“Mm-Mm! Gran Do and auntie, the spirit love the fish, but was a bit too spicy. The spirit said, you can make some more tomorrow!”
“Auntie shook her head in disbelief, then turned to Gran Do to say: “Sis, is she an angel, or a demon? I think we need to place her in a box, send her back to her papa, and have Jonas write a note: “Return to Papa!”
“Ma Do answered, “Are you crazy? The child has enough fire in her to destroy Satan and hell three times over. Besides, whether she’s an angel or demon, with her on our side, should guarantee us a good post in heaven, or hell. “So I say she ain’t going nowhere!!!”
Auntie answered: “You sure right Sis. – You sure right! In this case, let’s make her some more fish tomorrow, she sure liked it!”
“She sure did – But with just a little pepper!”
But tomorrow after I ate the fish, I said “Did you old folks forgot how to cook? The spirit said “Not enough pepper!”
I knew a woman who despised her own daughter. When she told the love of her life she was pregnant with his second child, she was told he was getting married to another woman.” However, if the baby was to carry the father’s last name, the law required for him to marry after the baby was born. So, at the father’s request, the wedding was postponed till July, after the baby’s birth. Of course, his fiancé was not pleased as well. So the poor child, even prior to her birth, had managed to anger two women, who would eventually despised her.
The pregnant woman was furious of course. In despair to get rid of the baby, she drunk every tea known in her custom to prevent the fetus from surviving, but that little fighter kept on living anyway. She had previously expressed her intention to give the baby away after birth, but her mother warned her: “You will not do such a thing, and I better don’t hear anything happened to that baby either!” So, past the midpoint of her pregnancy, after drinking multiple cups of tea daily, when the woman realized the remedies were hopeless, she decided to have an abortion which was performed in secret back then.
One early morning after she left her house, while no one knew where she went. On her way to the doctor’s office, she noticed a dark tall man starring at her. In fact, he came and sit right next to her on the bus. After a couple minutes of silence, he finally asked her:
“Why are you about to commit this heinous act?”
Somehow, she was not surprised she said. She thought he was a seer. So she answered: “My body is mine to do as I’m pleased.”
He said:” You are about to have a special baby girl, a gift which you should cherish.”
She was furious by then, so she answered: “I don’t’ care! And, even if she’s to become the Queen of this country, I still don’t want her!”
His answer: “Go ahead, do as you’ve planned; “If you can!!!”
The woman claimed, as they both walked out of the bus, the man had disappeared. And later on, she was shocked to feel, just when about the time for the doctor to proceed with the abortion, the baby leaped in her womb, afterward kept on kicking. Finally, the doctor shook his head and said, “I cannot proceed with this procedure Mme. This baby is vividly alive, and constantly playing soccer in your womb. Besides, you would risk losing not only the baby, but your life as well, if I proceed.” She was furious of course. And when she went back home, she said she had one goal: “One way or the other, I will get rid of this baby.”
She continued her quest, she drunk several cups of tea daily. By her house was an unfinished wall, tall enough for her to jump off every morning. But, that little soccer player not only lived full term, she was also overdue. By then, the baby’s grandmother who closely monitored her pregnancy, had a dream one night. She saw a beautiful woman with a blue shawl, sprinkled with gold stars, came to tell her: “Be aware Idovia – the baby will be born tomorrow, and it will be a girl.” Immediately the old lady woke up, and sent news ahead: “Go tell that witch, who is my daughter, “The baby will be born today, and I’m on my way, and I better don’t see a scratch on her when I get there!” As the old lady heard in the dream, it was so. On the same day, while the woman was drinking her last cup of murder tea, she went into labor, and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. But she still wanted no part of her. Thankfully, the old lady was there to grab the baby from the woman. Then the old lady chose one of her best friend, to be the girl’s God-Mother, who also loved her dearly. Her father continued to care for her, although he married the other woman, a couple months later.
The little girl was special indeed. She had a heart full of love and compassion for everyone around her, particularly for the poor. Quite often, she had vision, and vivid dreams about her surrounding and the future. She was loved by everyone, with the exception of her mother. Unfortunately, the woman’s heart was so hardened against the child that she would never learn to love her daughter. But, the Almighty’s sense of humor should never be questioned. For He gave the little girl a gift of genuineness, which was enough to drive her mother insane!
- At three she would tell her mother whom she called auntie: “I can see angel’s auntie, but you will see demons because you are not nice to me.”
- At four, she would not drink tea, instead she will answer: “Drunk enough tea from auntie’s stomach, now am immune to poison.”
- At five after a butt whooping, she would tell her: “You are too mean, and God don’t like evil, so don’t blame me if He calls you home today.” (Thank God, her grandmother kept her away for a couple weeks.)
- At five, when the milk lady came to collect her money, and when her brother told the lady: “Mom is not here, and she forgot to leave the milk money.” The little girl answered, “Why are you lying? Mom is right behind the door lady, think she was waiting for you, since she saw you coming!”
- At six, after she dreamed her mother was leaving in a plane, she ran toward her mother with excitement to tell her:
“A man with long hair just told me “You see that plane up there, your mother will soon get in that plane, for she wil travel to a faraway land.” The mother who was talking to a friend slapped the girl on her lips. When the girl asked her “Why did you slapped me for? It’s the truth” The mother replied:” Because you are talking about my damn business”. The girl then said: “If it was only your damn business, the old man wouldn’t have told me about it!”
“You say one more word, and I will cut off that smart tongue of yours. Go head, just one more word!” The mother said out of anger.
The girl remained quiet for a moment, then she walked back toward her bed to lay down. The mother yelled, “Why did you go back to bed? It’s time to get up!”
The young girl answered: “I know. But I went back to bed to see if I can go back to sleep, because I forgot to ask the old man something.”
“What did you forget to ask him? Get off the bed I said.”
The girl answered: I forgot to ask him if you were coming back after you left iin that plane? “If so, could he use his magic to make sure you never come back!”
The end of the story: “Let say it was a good thing the little girl was able to run at the speed of lightning to the church next door!” LOL
My father owned a convenient store in Haïti, a small town, about forty-five minutes from Port-Au-Prince; the Capital of Haïti. During the summer, our family often spent a few days vacationing there, since there was also a house right behind the store. But I recalled one particular weekend, my aunt and I went up there alone, since her mom (Aunt Sawsaw” was the one in charge of the store. I was probably 13, while she was 18 years old.
That Saturday morning, when aunt Sawsaw had to run some errands, she left my aunt and I alone in the store. But, since she knew how much we loved sardine, she gave us a long lecture before she left.
“You see that box of sardine on the shelf up there?”
After we looked up, we said: “Yes Aunt Sawsaw.”
“Now, whenever I come back, if I don’t see it right at the same spot, I better find the money in the cash register. “Do you hear me?”
“Yes!” We both humbly answered.
Immediately after aunt Sawsaw left, we climbed on a high chair and grabbed the last box of sardine. After we seasoned it with some lime and hot pepper, we ate it with some fresh bread, and avocado. In fact, we even had some cookies for dessert, plus some soda to seal the deal. “If we were going to get in trouble, it might as well be all worth it.”
Well, to be honest, this was not my reasoning. Because, even at thirteen, I was still very gullible. In fact, everyone knew I could not lie for a million $$$. So my aunt being aware of this fact, and out of fear that I would end up telling her mother the truth, made it her mission to rehearse the whole scenario with me prior to her mother’s arrival. Yes, we spent the whole day rehearsing.
“Listen to me! ” She said. “I know you don’t know how to lie, but you must try to remember what I’m about to tell you, or we’re both in deep trouble! “Whenever my mother ask you about the box of sardine, even if she waits till next year or five years from now, you must always give her the same answer: “We sold the box of sardine right after she left.”
I answered, “Yes auntie.”
“Again, if she says, “Where is the box of sardine?” You are to answer:
“We sold it and placed the money in the cash register drawer.”
If she says “What did you girls ate while I was away?” You must answer:
“We ate some peanut butter and bread, and had some lemonade.”
Two hours later when aunt Sawsaw finally arrived, her first glimpse was the high shelf. Of course the sardine was gone. Then she said “Oh! I see the box of sardine is gone?”
I promptly replied, “Yes auntie, we sold it to a fat lady with a red dress, and the money is right in the cash register.”
She said: “I see. Mm-Mm!”
A couple minutes later, when my aunt came to greet her, she said: “So you girls ate the sardine?”
My aunt answered “No mom, we sold it to a young girl, right after you left, and the money is in the cash register drawer.
Aunt Sawsaw said: “I see. Mm-Mm!”
About four hours later, right before bed time, aunt Sawsaw called me: “Nadège, grab the comb, come and scratch my scalp so I can tell you some tales.” (It was common in our Country at night to listen to the old folks sotries prior to bedtime.”
“Ok aunt Sawsaw!”
I rushed toward the room with great anticipation because I loved to listen to her old stories. But, just about fifteen minutes later, in the midst one of her story she stopped, then after she stretched her arms, closed her eyes as if she was falling asleep, then said,
“So, with what did you girls ate the sardine again? Did you girls broiled some plantains and had some lemonade?”
I answered: “No aunt Sawsaw. “We ate it with some bread, had some cold soda, and some cookies for dessert right after you left!”
Is that my Foufoune I see?”
‘OMG! It is you Auntie Mango tree! Me said you always wore white, so I always didn’t stop.”
“Who is Me? And yes, I always wear white!”
“You have a blue dress on auntie?
“I do? You sure it’s not white?”
“Auntie, you don’t know who “ME” is? We saw him on our way here, he said he was my uncle!”
“Oh! You must mean Mama’s neighbor. But his name is “Put-ME-Down” my girl! “It’s a long story, first come and give me a hug! Cant’s see too well, but can tell, seven of you are standing in front of me?”
“Yes, Auntie. My sisters and bro are here with Papy.”
“Gineer is here too? Oh my! Now I understand what Titletales was saying. She rushed here like a storm, to say “Heaven came down! Heaven came down! “Kill the white goat, wash the mangoes, we need some coffee and bread. “I will go fetch the buckets for the shit and pi!”
“So I answered who is coming?”
“Don’t know auntie, but must be very important people!!! “I’m Just the messenger – Ain’t telling no tales either!”
I gave auntie a big kiss and a hug. As she held and kissed me, she said: “OMG! Just skin and bones – Now Gineer, hope you don’t think you’re leaving today, got to take care of my girl before she leaves.”
Then she asked me: “Foufoune, have you had your laxative this year? Bet you haven’t – Titletales, bring here the coffee, the mango and bread, and go fetch me some herbs and the oil for the laxative. My girl needs cleansing, she’s nothing but skin and bones!”
“Yes auntie!” Answered the young girl.
“Bring the buckets here too, just in case those City folks need to shit and pi!”
“Yes auntie, washing them now!”
We all sit down, as coffee and bread were being served to us. A young man carried two large bags of mango, and placed them before us. After auntie was informed about my school grades, she said.
“Now Gineer, thought you were in the strange land, don’t live there no more?”
“Papy looking puzzled, “Strange land?”
“Yeah! You know, where money is falling all over the ground! Then she turned back to ask Titletales who was sitting on the floor, not too far from her.
“Titletales, what’s Smart-girl new name again? She just came from the strange land.”
“Oh! Her name is American-Now auntie!”
“Exactly! American-Now was sent back here, because she didn’t show the green paper they asked her for.”
“Green paper? You mean the green card?” Papy said.
“I don’t know Gineer! “Where is she anyway? Let me have her tell you her story. Oh! Here she is!”
“Oui auntie. Good afternoon everyone! “She kissed everyone of us, went on to kiss auntie as well.”
“Come and tell these folks why the tall white men sent you back from the white people’s country – You know she’s a business woman now! “Tell them about your business too!”
Amerian-Now was wearing an American Flag top with a jean. She laughed then said:
“I went to the strange land up there three years ago. After the plane dropped us, I saw the cloud, (snow) I realized I did not want to stay there because it was too cold. “You see aallll those clouds up above our heads, they are heading straight to that strange land. It gets so cold over there that, even when I was wearing ten panties, and three stockings, my butt was still freezing. Couldn’t feel my nose one day, and thought I was dying. “Hell! How was I supposed to breathe without a nose? I thought to myself.
While I lived there, I saved auntie Coucou over $100.00 in electronic bill. (Electric bill). “After I told her one day: “Now, why do you need to pay that extra bill for the fridge, when you have a freezer right outside your door and your backyard?”
“Auntie said, “Now we can’t use outside to keep our food freezing?”
“Why not? Leave everything up to me auntie, and I promise you, your electronic bill won’t be so high by next Month.” So I kept all the meat and the juice right under the cloud that fell in the front porch, and they were never spoiled either. “Even when I made my lemonade, I just went and grabbed some cloud, blend it in my juice, and it was so cold, had to soak my teeth in some warm water afterward. Damn! Oh! Excuse me you all for cursing. “I learned a few curse words while I lived there.”
As she turned toward auntie Good-Mercy, she said:
“Auntie, I forgot to tell you that too. “People curse over there like rain falling. They fart and burp on people like crazy too! And, nobody will say a damn thing to them. Oh, excuse me again for cursing.
So one day, I was seating on the train, when that woman kept on burping and farting right next to me. It was so loud, everyone could hear her. So the last “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,” she did, I turned to her, and said:
“Didn’t your mamma taught you some manners? “You don’t “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” on people like that, and don’t even say “excuse me!” Then she looked at me as if I was crazy. So I said: “Keep on looking at me like am crazy, I will turn you into a cow. You already sound like one anyway!” So that’s when a pretty white lady said to me:
“Which accent is that from?” I answered her:
“Do you see me cooking? Besides, even when am cooking, I don’t use any of the accents you white folks use here; they no good for you. Sometimes, I may use a tiny piece of Maggi, but that’s about it!”
Then she looked at me as if she didn’t understand, one word I said. So another tall black man said: “Oh, she was not referring to the accent, as in seasoning, she wanted to know where you were from?”
“Then why didn’t she just asked me that? Even If I told her we season our meat with lime, and hot pepper, she still wouldn’t know where I was from! Well, I’m from Haïti. It’s on the ground, down there. You guys are up here in the sky, but we are an Island from down there. Everybody started to look at me funny. Finally, I heard one voice asking me: “Did you say, you were from Haïti?”
“Yes I Am Mam!” I answered her.
“And did you just say you were going to turn that woman into a fat cow?”
“Yes I did. If she doesn’t stop “Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr on people!”
OMG! Auntie, everybody started running to the next section of the train. I had the whole space to myself!
“When I realized it was because they were afraid of me, I laughed and thought to myself: “Shuut! If I had that much power, I would have turned them into $1,000.00 bill, not a cow!”
After she laughed herself to tears, she continued: “And people from the strange land talk very different from us too. One day a guy asked me “What’s up?” I turned and looked at him. “What’s up?” You asking me? You should tell me what’s up. You are the one from the strange land up in the cloud, aren’t you? I’m from the Islands, way down there!”
That was the day, I was on my way to the store to buy some oil to cook for auntie. When I got there, guess what I saw? Some yam, and some mango, plantain and avocado for sale. But those damn things were so expensive, they were asking over $1.00 for one mango.
“You mean, a whole green Dollar? I would never eat a mango again!” Screamed auntie. “We sell these things for two pennies, and the strange people are – “Oh! Maybe it’s because they have to plant them in the cloud. Do they taste the same as ours?”
No Auntie, they get them from Jamaica. I don’t think they know how to plant them in the strange land. The avocado was even more expensive. So I took one, and went to the lady who was doing the ringring with the little machine in front of her, then asked her: “Are you crazy? Why are you charging a dollar for each mango? That’s too expensive. In my country, I shit and pi on those stuffs. I can even get you some for free, but you guys will have to pay for the plane ticket for them.” Suddenly, everybody started laughing. I didn’t know what was so funny either. So, the pretty white girl answered me:
“Please go speak to the Mager, at custom service.”
Then Papy said: “You mean “the Manager, at the Customer service?”
She answered as if it did not matter:
“I guess so Gineer, but I said what I heard. So when I went to custom and asked for the Mager, they answered: “Who?”
I answered, “I want to speak the the Mager, at custom service!”
But, thank God, he was standing right there. He turned and looked at me. Then, heaven came down!” I could hear my heart beating;“Bip-Bip-Bip,” and almost fell out of my chest too. “Never seen a good looking white boy like him before. But, he had a strange name. His name was John. So after he kept on saying, “Can I help you?” I finally came back to myself. Because I was already thinking of all the cute children we could have together. So she turned toward auntie to say:
“Now, auntie I know you taught us to keep it sealed till we get married, but I tell you auntie, I wouldn’t wait till I get married with him.”
“I can see why? Because when he came down here to check our lands, at first I thought he was God, and I’m not interested in no man either.” Auntie answered while laughing.
“He came to Haiti?” My father asked.
American-Now answered “That’s what I’m trying to tell you all, Am a business woman now! But first, let me tell you what I told him about the mango when I finally answered him. I said “Now sir, my name is Smart-Girl. I cannot understand for the life of me, why are you asking me to pay so much for these mangoes? In my country, we have over 20 acres full of them. In fact I use to shit and pi on them, when I was a little girl. And my little cousins are still running butt naked all over our land, shitting and piing on them too. Then, I squeezed the mango right in front of him and said: “And those mangoes are not even good quality either. No-no! For god’s sake, where are you getting these crap from?” So when I was done talking, the Mager was staring and smiling at me. My heart went “Bib-bib-Bib” again. Then he said, “You seem to know what you are talking about. Where are you from?”
“I was embarrassed to say I was from Haiti. I didn’t want him to start running like the others did in the train. “So he said: “Are you from Haiti by any chance? “I have a good friend who’s from there as well!”
“Yes, I sure am!” I answered him smiling. While in strange land, they called what I was doing “Flirting.” Because I really, really liked him.”
“Well, they ship them from Jamaica.” He said.
“Are you serious?” I yelled at him. Those things are shit and neat quality, they no good! “In that case why don’t you buy them from Haïti – from my family?”
He smiled, then he said, “Here’s my card, let me check the head something, gelation and custom, and I will get back to you. So please leave me your phone number so I can all you.”
Pappy interrupted her again to say: You mean “Regulation and custom.”
“That’s probably what he said. But, he said something about a head too. I didn’t know what he meant by that. Was it a cow or chicken head? I thought the white man didn’t believe in voodoo? So that was my only concern about the cute Mager.
So Papy answered, “No. He was referring to Voodoo. He meant he had to follow up with upper Management.”
“ I still gave him my aunties phone number and address.” And when I walked away, I realized my but was shaking : “Vip – Pip – Vip- Pip, Boum – Boum!” I turned to look at him, because I was embarrass. But, he was still looking at me! Hihiho!”
“You all know the end of the story. “He came down with another fat looking white man to buy some land from us. Now we ship some stuff back to them, including some coffee. 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 strange land? She’s a tall, green lady standing in the ocean She’s holding some fire in her hand!”
“Oh! You mean in MANHATTAN?”
“Now Gineer, when I went to see her, she didn’t look like a MAN to me. And the people from there even said she was a woman, not a man!
To be continued