Friday, July 20, 2007

Wednesday, July 20, 1977

Psalm 51
Got up medium. Dressed. Cleaned room. Helped with fire. Then Pops caught us nibbling an end of fritter. Help us to stop, please, Mr. O. We ate in our room. Then did kitchen and rested. Got up, and all four of us went to Biscayne. When we came back, saw speedy. Suddenly when we were going home, Matt, Mrs. W's D.(oberman) P.(inscher) came bounding out of bush as mad as JoJo. Ate supper. Put on pj's, heard "Dulci", went to bed. Thank you, Mr.O, Thank you.

I ate:
  • Dinner: vege-burger, rice plantain+green banana sauce, fritters, 1 busta
  • Supper: Oranges, mangoes, 1 fritter
I realized this morning I had been leaving something important out--"The Psalm Of the Day". There are 150 Psalms in the old Testament, and on New Year's day the parents would read Psalm 1 and continue to May 30 (or so, depending on if it was a leap year). Then they'd start again. At that age, I didn't read a psalm every day, but I kept track, mainly because on Saturdays when we held service, it felt like "extra points" if you knew automatically what the psalm of the day was.

"Mr. O" was God. I'm not sure when that started, though I think it was around the time we moved in to the house in Bull Bay. "O" for Omnipotent, and "O" because like a circle there is no beginning or end. (The Rastas talked of "Alpha and Omega" a lot.) And "Mr." out of respect. Poppy wanted us to feel that God was always there and accessible and that we should always be able to talk to God any where we were. And we did... I still do though I can't remember when I stopped saying "Mr. O" in my head.

It's sort of odd, looking back, that July that year was so "quiet." The quiet before the storm, I guess. If I'd picked an earlier spot to begin, it seems like there were a little more people around, and I was a little more observant.

Mrs. W was the landlady. Her house was on the cul-de-sac below us; her back yard was against the backyard of the house across from us, the house Speedy worked in. Her dog Matt was a big, beautiful, scary looking dog. Usually he was always in her yard... I don't know why he was out that day or what happened after he jumped at us (no one was hurt) but I remember he scared the devil out of me.

"Mad" was the Jamaican word for crazy. And JoJo was a kid from up the beach who started out as a very nice and earnest young Rasta brother who carved things out of alabaster and sold them. One day we realized he was crazy... probably schizophrenic. The local story was that he killed and ate a pelican (there were plenty out there; big grey ugly ones) and that's what "mad him". He became "JoJo-de-madbwoy" and when ever we saw him coming, we hid.

Oh, yeah. The Fritter Incident. I guess that could have become a "food issue"... There was but so much food around back then, as you can tell. And frequently, if sis and I were cooking, we'd tear off the little ends of the fritters as they came out of the pan. Sometimes we'd take one and just split it in half, without the parents knowing. In my mind, it was tantamount to stealing, because I knew it meant less for the family. I'm not sure how Poppy felt; I have to ask him now that he's finally found our blogs. But to me, getting "caught" by him was mortifying.

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