There must be others of us who can't wait for the Olympics to be over and for the Independence anniversary to descend in all its fullness upon Trinidad and Tobago. Given my own distractedly on-and-off attention to the sports, I forbore to invest emotionally in the 2012 Olympian enterprise of the Indies.
By unspoken resolve, I scanned results as if they were from games of chance. Screams from two teenage girls in a house next door alarmed me, until I remembered that afternoon's running of the relay final in which T&T won bronze.
Keen on pageantry and on "show business", however, I watched three hours of the opening ceremony, marvelling at the content and thrilling to its reproduction over high-definition TV. The Carnival partisan in me responded naturally to the "presentation", involving drama and pyrotechnics, and the trompe l'oeil turn with which Queen Elizabeth and James Bond appeared to plunge from a helicopter.
So I have time for the "fluff", for the icing on the cake, for relishing the special-event dressing up of a country, putting itself on display for an anniversary party. Shortly, then, Olympics over, T&T is due itself to be the only show in town.
I had hoped that somebody inside officialdom had been scripting plots and commissioning designs and music, exercising a Peter Minshallesque command of extravaganza. This 50th Independence anniversary, then, has deserved its own special-purpose impresario, even its own special-purpose company.
As it appears, the authorities judged the commemoration to be an exercise that could be taken in stride. Where I expected to find a showman extraordinaire qualified by relevant experience and record of accomplishment, I saw instead Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie, to whose portfolio responsibilities delivery of the jubilee occasion was simply added.
It thus fell to a Cabinet minister to answer questions about the content shortcomings of the anniversary website. It is to that minister that my own mind turned on seeing a glaring historical error in an inscription at the exhibition of "steelpan" history at Piarco.
Again, the same Dr Tewarie was summoned in defence of some decorations on public buildings. The feather-shaped fronds in the national colours had struck some observers as either a failed attempt at making one, or a reckless disrespect of the national flag.
For want of a better word, Dr Tewarie called it a "piece of cloth". It came over as a concession that for this big jubilee, the Government is permitting nameless "pieces of cloth", arbitrarily done up in red, white and black, to serve as would-be adornments in public places.
The anniversary, be warned, promises no respite from the prevailing bad mood and bad mind. Such is the T&T condition that subjects every least proposition or output in the name of the People's Partnership administration and related authorities to criminal interrogation. In anticipation of which, it would have been advisable for the Government to keep due distance from the planning and execution of events over coming weeks.
As always, what the Government, any T&T government, is doing, assumes such importance as to overshadow private and popular responses. Indeed, only the Government can undertake to secure presidential pardons for 50 selected criminal convicts. Risky business: one 25th Independence anniversary pardon recipient turned up in 1990 as a member of the Muslimeen militia that attempted a coup.
Yet what happened on August 31, 1962 cannot be accounted as the singular inheritance of whichever persons or institutions constitute the independent State of T&T.
Independence is an entitlement and an achievement accruing to all of us in T&T, and to those who went before. We are free to value it at zilch, as some nationals despairingly do, and to memorialise its realisation however we choose.
Last week, the writer and one-time activist Lennox Raphael recalled sojourning in Brazil at the time T&T became independent. He had travelled with a British colonial passport which, having expired, he sought to renew.
The British consular official, however, grabbed the passport from his hands, making it clear to T&T-born Raphael it was a document he was no longer entitled to possess. Suddenly, the choice of remaining a British subject was no longer available.
Showing an exemplary spirit of proudly private initiative, the ANSA McAL group last week announced its own programme. So far from critiquing the Government-chosen logo and heraldry, ANSA McAL has designed and explicated its own logo.
In today's T&T, one typical detractor's response is that the conglomerate must be "capitalising" on the anniversary to promote its own "brand". It seems entirely in order, however, for ANSA McAL to project its own independent-minded "take" on the national jubilee. The company will distribute national flags to each of its 5,000 employees and has adopted for its own corporate observances the theme "With Boundless Faith", a resonating snatch of lyric from the National Anthem.
The biggest private firm has the same right as the rest of us to give effect to sentiment inspired by the anniversary. On Facebook last week, I issued my own call: "Shouldn't we all come out, flag or whatever in hand, and play a mas in town, without reference to the authorities?"
The response was encouraging.