meanwhile, back in trinidad, the adventure never stops…
December 13, 2008
been meaning since i settled, to post about “the state of things” back here in sweet trini but that seems to not be how i operate- the more i want to post about something, the less it happens. plus, “the state of things” not really my style, anyway.
but i at least wanted to say out loud that i’m (still) happy to be home. so many people wondered why i made this move, expressed doubts at my continued desire to be here, as though i didn’t come home while i was away and see for myself, as though i didn’t pay attention to the state of things while i was gone, as though i didn’t have the determination to do the things i always (repeat, always) said i intended to do, as though i never said i never wanted to leave in the 1st place, as though where i was wasn’t worse politically and otherwise, as though is enough to say “it have nuttin for we here” without making the effort to stick around and create something for we here- like they doh know me at all.
talk all you want about the crime+traffic + traffic+crime- i spent 10years in washington dc, sometime murder-capital-usa, 5 of them in the trinidad neighbourhood(dc); trinidad w.i. have nothing on traffic+crime i ent see already, from the bullet that buss through our window casing, cutting its less-than-parabolic trajectory through our bedroom, and lodged itself in our guestroom closet within the 1st 9months of owning (or rather, owing the bank for) our dc house, to war crimes committed by a gov’t that trusts it can make anything true by saying it often enough because it wukkin for them thus far. kidnapping may be (currently) bigger in sweet trini than trinidad dc but we lived in crime central, sharing our neighbourhood with the biggest dealer with the best stash in the city, bullet-studded turf wars, and swat teams, where police capture criminals (the few occasions they do) using their cars to bounce them down in the road. we learned the difference between firecrackers and gunfire by listening to it zinging by our doors+windows while ducking in the living room, knowing fully that bullets do sometimes strike the same place twice while luck might not. we even had the prerequisite pipers doing shit like breaking into a car to steal a box of dead on our street.
so i not saying everything sweet in trini but it still worth my time+effort to help make something more of this island with such potential, and if i fighting up somewhere, better fight up here where i still actually have hope for people, love for this place, plus navel string drawing tighter, pulling me to work to improve our lot instead of running to deceptively greener pastures that only offer more of the same, and worse, without our best weather and food and beach and music and mas and the sweetness that still here under the shit to soften the blows.
we sold our trinidad dc house in april and came home; a friend still living blocks from our (s)old place wrote me in mid-july that while: “…coming down mt. olivet [ave] one night last week from home depot…one of those rarer occasions when the traffic turning right onto west virginia [ave] was longer and backed-up so i took the left lane across west virginia to turn onto montello [our old street] and came across 2cop cars, at least 4officers. there was a car ahead of me, they were getting carded. officer asked me to see my id…i showed it to him and he said i didn’t live in the neighborhood and should go around. i said, what’s the problem? he said, with so many deaths in the area they were carding everyone going into the neighborhood and suggested i went around. i told him i know the neighborhood very well and would take my chances and he permitted me through. there were more cops sitting on penn [ave] who didn’t stop me and another cop @ the other end of montello near florida [ave]. it was the clearest i’ve ever seen montello of people. quiet and clear, and creepy. that park (the community center) down montello from 1425 [was our house] has a tree on the corner with all kinda memorial stuff from where one person was murdered. that was the only night i had to deal with the roadblocks, but saw the cop lights from down 12th [street] at least 1other night. otherwise i live just far away enough that the roadblocks didn’t affect me. so many killings (8 or 9) in the trinidad neighborhood in the last few weeks that the city set up a roadblock to monitor the neighborhood for 6days…”
and this was before the supreme court reversed the dc gun ban…he blogged about his experience, including heavy police prescence circling his non-trinidad block, and a washington post article explaining the police justification and justifiably angry civilian response; less than 24hours later a shooter opened fire in our old neighbourhood, wounding 7 and killing 1 (visiting minor), delivering an excuse to maintain the unconstitutional roadblocks in trinidad, dc.
i feel baddish for the couple that bought our house, but they can fight their fight on behalf of their people; i’ll be here fightin’ up with mine in sweet trini.
disclosure: this post is also over @ sweet trini’s urban folk tales.