Special Feature
December 3, 2010
The wakeup program

Election Day – A fictional series

Last week:

So here I am standing dumbstruck… my political career… shrinking like a snowman in hell… with every passing second….

…In my mind I quickly organise my thoughts – parking aside the negative, discouraging ones and bringing to the fore the vision of the crowd that I must now address. Then I silently say a prayer and begin to speak – ignoring the rehearsed words of my speech.{{more}}

“People of St.Vincent and the Grenadines… forgive me….

…Out of great respect for you, I had pause, to reflect… to pray….

…Listen to me! Do not put your X by the name of somebody who doesn’t believe in you. The only way forward is to understand that our biggest challenge is not a lack of resources or talent; but to eradicate that belief that we are not good enough… that we can’t.”

As the words come out of my mouth I realise that I am talking to myself more than I am talking to them and once again I am rendered silent…”

The Wake up Program with Lucky Larry

“Vincy people! Is election time! Everybody asking me how I voting…. People want to know….

Dem ah try fu guess. But guess what… Me neighbour business nah business me….

Lard… trouble in Vincy land. Listen, ah sorry for dem politicians… ah would never trade me beat-up-no-brand soft mash for their Prada loafers….

Their fate is now in the hands of the masses…. But Vincentians watch how yo vote because after Election Day, tings swing round and your fate will be in the hands of one man – or woman. Which brings me back to the question… the big issue today….”

Horn blast!

“Women in politrics. Can a woman rule? Should a woman rule?

Well we done hear yo arready. According to Alric from Stubbs – brown skin girl stay home and mine baby.

Do you agree? Lines are opened again… so ley we hear what yo have to say….”

“Lucky Larry is Esca”

“Esca, Esca, Esca ah been waiting for your call…”

“Well ah have to call you cause you never calling me.”

“Esca is not my fault. Dese people wuking me too hard. Man ah hardly have time fu breathe…. but doan worry ah planning to run way.”

“Dat’s fine, so long as yo remember fu tek me wid you.”

“Oh gosh man! Why yo telling everybody we business? Hey heeey… comeees. But Esca serious ting now – should women rule?

“Well Larry de Bible is my guide and it tell me dat de man is the head. Woman was created to be de help not to be de head….”

“Why are you sitting in the dark listening to that nonsense?”

The baritone voice echoes around my sparsely furnished living room, startling me upright from my reclined position on the couch.

“What are you doing here?” a question with an accusatory tone.

I watch him walk over to the radio and switch it off and I try to focus on something other than the potent, forbidden memories that are rising like relentless zombies who refuse to remain buried and forgotten. He is wearing football gear, so I know he is coming from a match.

“We need to talk,” he says as he plops down beside me.

“I thought we already did that Christopher. We decided that you were never going to come here again. Yet yo waltzing in, unannounced, like yo own the place…”

He sits up and leans forward.

“Kita, I was there…. last night. I saw you… standing in the light… waging war with your demons. I know what you are fighting and I came because I wanted to ask you again; why are you doing this?”

I swallow hard. I am glad it is dark because I know that my eyes… my face would have betrayed the fear trying to hide within the shadows of my mind.

“I can’t explain it… to you. You will never understand; because you cannot feel the burden that I carry…”

“Hmp!” he says shaking his head. “Oh yeah, I forgot. You are the poor little girl from country, who suffered more injustice than anybody else in the world… who has risen… from the gutters… like a phoenix, according to your party man… the woman who is in touch with the affliction of the masses. Isn’t that the spin to get them to vote?

His words permeate my very core and react with old suppressed pain and anger. The implosion that follows thrusts me upward from the couch.

“Get out!” I scream, a trembling hand pointing to the door.

He gets up and begins walking. Then he stops and looks back.

“I’m sorry I shouldna say dat. But don’t forget Kita I was right there. I went through… exactly what you went through and worse. You think I don’t want to make a difference. You don’t know what I do.

I am not saying for one moment that you should not contribute to your community. But this whole prime minister thing is…” he sighs deeply.

“Is what Chris… too big for me… too far our out of my reach? Is not for a woman? Yeah I know, I shoulda been forcusing on finding a man and settling down…”

“Kita I…”

“I should be patiently waiting for you to leave her…. Are those more realistic goals Christopher?” The question hangs between us, suspended on a strand of paused eternity…

More next week