We have a technological wonder…a ram pump (kind of a free energy device)…that supplies water from the river that runs through our land, to our house.
Several of our pipes decide to give out all at once and so, I have been into town for partsseveral times over the last couple of weeks. This is more than I usually go and that might explain, to some degree, the extra encounters I have had with people.
The oddities of those interactions are, to some extent, likely also due to the fact that we are at mid hurricane season and it is hot and sticky and people’s insanity levels are a little higher now than normal (whatever that is). Here are some quickies; some sound bites, if you will, of what I have experienced since I last wrote this column. I hope they amuse you as much as they did me.
1) I am walking down the street to the second plumbing store in search of the right size coupling for my pipes when I am accosted by this young white man (obviously not a local) dressed incongruously, in 99 degree, 99% humidity in a suit. I already know he is nuts.
“Have you been saved?” he asks me.
“From what?” I wonder aloud.
”It is time that you found Jesus,” he asserts.
“If he’s lost, you go find him,” I tell him in return. “I am busy looking for a 1 inch coupling.”
“Jesus is the answer,” he tells me.
“I don’t recall asking the question,” I reply.
“Damnation awaits you,” he asserts.
“No, my dammed water awaits me,” I say.
“The judgment day is coming,” he warns me.
“The judgment day has come and gone,” I tell him, “and you lost. Hot out, ain’t it?”
And I leave him to ponder my sins and his sweating head filled with its decidedly un-christian thoughts.
2) Passing by the phone company, I see a uniformed cop arguing with a dreadlocked Rasta. A small crowd is gathered, enjoying the entertainment. Among the gathered bystanders is one of my neighbors. I join him. “Hey,” he says, “evryting irie?”
“Ya, mon,” I reply as we touch fists, then hearts. We turn our attention to the boisterous dialogue.
As it turns out, it is the classical argument about the supposed laws of God versus the imposed laws of man that is unfolding.
”We caught him selling ganja in town,” says the cop to the Rasta, “and he told us he got it from your field.”
”Then he stole it. I don’t sell to anyone. I grow for my own use.”
”It is still against the law to grow,” says the incredibly patient policeman.
”Jah made ganja for man to use,” replies the Rasta, “it is his law that I follow.”
”We leave you alone with Jah’s laws if you stay in the hills,” says the cop, “but here in town, it is the laws of the country that apply. He was selling your stuff in town.”
”Why don’t you arrest him for stealing then?” Asks the Rasta “He stole my herb. That’s against both your laws and Jah’s laws.” With that said, he turns and walks away, muttering something about Babylon and end times.
”What are you standing around for? Go about your business,” exclaims the cop to us gathered around, venting his frustration on us.
”That cop sure was patient with the Rasta,” I say to my neighbor.
“Oh, they be brothers,” he replies, “Dey argue all the time like dat.”
3) I am walking down the street yet again to the plumbing store for parts.
A local crack addict, who I recognize, but who does not remember me from our previous 100 or so encounters accosts me with, “Give me a dollar.”
“Why?” say I.
“Because I want it,” she tells me. Simple enough and straight forward too; no bs…however…
“I want a million dollars,” I say, “but I am not asking you for it am I?”
“What? Just give me a dollar,” she says.
“Why,” I ask again.
”Cause I want it.”
“Well,” I say, “I have no money to give you today but I do have some crack for sale.”
Without even pondering the incongruity or total lack of probable veracity of my statement, she says, “how much?”
“Ten dollars,” I reply.
“But I only have 5,” she says.
“Let me see it first,” I say. Sure enough she pulls out five dollars to show me.
“Let me have it” I say.
“Where’s my crack?” she demands.
“Between your right & left temporal lobes, filled with all the little graves of your dead brain cells” I say and move on as she screams various nasty things about my mother.
4) Now I am returning to my mountain, away from the heat, dust and noise of town. In the center of the island, two miles from our home in the rainforest, is a traffic circle. This once was a British island, so you gotta have traffic circles. In the center of this traffic circle is a 50’ circular garden. Quite pretty. To set the stage…
We are in the rainforest. We get over 250 inches of rain per year. We are now in the middle of the rainy season. For five days in a row, it has been pouring rain while I play in the mud fixing my water pipes. (That by itself is a cosmic joke.)
Today, it is hot, sunny and muggy with clear blue skies. As I approach the circle, knowing I am only moments away from home, safe from the insanities of town, savoring in advance that cold beer in my fridge, I see a white tourist lady (clearly identified by her rental car & pale complexion) pouring bottled water on the flowers in the traffic circle.
Maybe the missionary was right; the end times are upon us; signs and wonders abound. Who knows, perhaps it is because Mars is so close. Then again, maybe it is just the heat and that hurricane passing us by; or, my karma to be amused? It sure is good to be alive and relatively capable of just fixing my broken pipes, something really meaningful and something that makes sense amongst all the
nonsense, inanities and insanities of life on planet earth.
My pipes? Well, I end up washing all the sweat & mud off myself standing under the returned continuing rain pouring out of the end of my newly broken eaves trough. Tomorrow, I’ll work on the pipes again; maybe even fix the eaves.
‘Fixing a hole where the rain gets in,’ sings Paul in my head.