Thursday, January 18, 2018

Speak, parable: That transgender pawpaw*

SUCCESS VILLAGE: In short weeks, I'll be marking a ten-year anniversary of residence in this place. Up front, it is identified by blooming bougainvillea and hibiscus, framed by banana fronds.

At back, a recurrent transgender pawpaw marks the spot. The pawpaw shoots eight or ten feet high, neither promising nor delivering fruit. Cut it down, advised the Dominican lady in the Pentecostal church next door, denouncing the hollow-stemmed plant as a “male”. Since I never forked out the root, the pawpaw keeps coming back, and I keep gambling for a fruit prize. In vain. Living here is itself a gamble, or so a foreign-based son is convinced, and tries to convince his father. A euphemistic rendition, “Success Village” is overshadowed by the repute of “Laventille”, of which it is geographically a part. We who grew up in the area defined by the Eastern Main Road, the Old St Joseph Road, the swamp to the south and the hills to the north, lived a separation from what was called “next Laventille”. The “next” was otherwise understood as Desperadoes' Laventille; ours was Highlanders' Laventille.


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