How do you keep a blog flexible and relevant week after week when you live on a small rock where nothing much happens? I’m not a philosopher so this lack is not the condition precedent for a state of higher consciousness. This is a vacuum of insignificant emptiness. If I lived somewhere more hip or important I could at least envelop myself in a more significant void. Although come to think of it, Iceland is having a moment of significant nothingness and look where that’s got them.
And on the subject of being and nothingness, The Husband has registered a formal complaint about his portrayal in this blog and asked that I find a different fall guy.
“Why don’t you write about your brother?” he asked.
“I don’t have a brother.” I stated truthfully.
“Yes I know that." he retorted. "But you can invent one and make him out to be incompetent and foolish.”
“But darling, you’re the real deal.”
He retreated but celebrations would be premature. This was merely a surge strategy of as yet indeterminate effectiveness. No one side can claim victory. However, for the sake of marital détente I will henceforth only mention The Husband in neutral or positive tones. So I shall simply state, without embellishment, that he is off island during the annual school fair and that this is the second time he has managed to miss this seminal event. Of course I know the G7 did not deliberately timetable their meeting to dampen the fair’s gate receipts. But perhaps Honey Pie could have left the rock without filling in a volunteer form, on my behalf, that has me selling fish cakes for half the afternoon and helping little ones on and off the “helicopter” ride for the rest of the time. Ah, but Prince Charming was probably only trying to save me the hassle of having to choose where my energies and goodwill should be channeled. So, I think it only equally helpful that by the time Pumpkin steps off BA2155 next week, I should have worked out exactly where he might channel his goodwill. Soul mates, me and my Precious. He can have half my Lehman shares any day.
In the meantime I am still in the nothingness. Even worrying about my carbon footprint seems unimportant what with the chaos and volatility of financial markets everywhere. Although, given the extremes of weather on this rock, I should be deeply concerned about the environment. A couple weeks ago we were stripping off because of the scorching heat and now we are in a deluge with storm system after storm system hitting us. In a matter of days we have experienced the floods, thunder and lightning of Marco and Nana. Now Omar is threatening and Paloma is gestating in the wings.
Today we are drowning in yet another flash flood. The 40 foot container I had earlier cleared from the port could not be delivered. There was too much rainwater flowing downhill for the truck to make it up the driveway. The customs officers who were required to unseal the container simply refused to get out of their cars. I suggested they open the half full container at the bottom of my driveway and the officers could step into it, quickly check through my junk, and leave us to offload over the next few days. That would have required that they leave their cars and walk five metres with the aid of a device like, say, an umbrella. But as I had been required to make advance payment for two officers working three hours overtime they lacked the necessary motivation to walk those few steps. As they drove off, cheerfully waving, they said I should go back to the customs office to book them for three more hours overtime tomorrow when, God spare life, they will be able to carry out the inspection.
And so life remains in a state of nothing, on hold till the grand opening of the container, bearing all our worldly possessions from London. I had daydreams of it being like a birthday party where you got 153 boxes of stuff you always wanted. Boxes and boxes of favorite books mixed in with piles of old photos. We would sip from those delicate, eggshell-blue teacups bought in Borough Market and sleep wrapped in soft sheets, infused still with the faintest scent of First and Second Born as babies. But Bajan fear of rain, and rain itself, have temporarily halted that.
To fill the emptiness that had been slated as time to sort through these fragments of memory, I decided to brave the Bridgetown Main Post Office to collect a parcel. And would you believe it I arrived on Customer Appreciation Day. So what if I queued for twenty-five minutes to collect my tiny parcel because only one person was on counter duty. During the wait I was offered a choice of Sprite, Coke or Mauby by an employee. On the way out, another employee, also relieved of working at the counter, thanked me for using the Post Office, reminded me that the Lord is our eternal helper, and thrust a small take-away box of sandwiches, cake and fruit into my hand. That’s the dilemma of nothingness – it’s not clear if the lack is one that you should laugh or cry about.