By Marlon Bute
Ramnarine hadn’t slept well since his visit to the morgue. He hadn’t eaten much either. His anger had not waned. But, he no longer wished that Seetha were dead. He wished that she were alive, so he could ask her some questions. He was still getting calls from debt collectors, even though he had informed them that he never applied for any credit card in his life and therefore couldn’t possibly owe them any money. He was hoping that they would do something about it but all they did was advise him to report it to the police.
Ramnarine looked at the clock on the bedside table and groaned. It was just past one o’clock in the morning. He had to leave in a few hours to catch the five o’clock bus before taking the 5:55 train to go to work. Music was drifting through his bedroom window from across the street. It wasn’t loud and bombastic like the music that some of the young people listened to or like the music that he knew Seetha preferred.
“How does it feel when the girl that you love, says, yes, that she loves you? It is unfair when there is love everywhere and yet there is none for you.”
Maxi Priest was one of his favourite singers. Many nights, back on the island, he fell asleep to Maxi’s mellow tunes.
“Some guys have all the luck, some guys have all the pain, some guys have a little sunshine in their life, my life is only filled with rain”.
He stood at the window. After a while he shoved his hands in the front pockets of his dungaree jeans and took in the scene on the sidewalk across the street. He had opened the window all the way and was swaying to the music that still drifted his way and that now seemed to be beckoning him down to the street below and to the small dimly lit club from which it was coming.
Ramnarine knew that he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. Sleep always escaped him once he had awakened at such an hour and he wondered if the clubbers on the sidewalk, who were blowing plumes of smoke into the air, competing with the man who was barbecuing hot dogs and sausages on a charcoal grill, didn’t have to work the next day.
Ramnarine remained at his window. The cool breeze was caressing his face. He began to imagine that he was there with them, having a smoke or chatting about some inconsequential thing. Like them, he didn’t have a care in the world. Like them, he was happy, free to let off some steam in the middle of the week, unburdened by the travails of the past months.
A police cruiser passed by, slowing down in front of the club, from which the lone officer waved. As it made a right turn and distanced itself from Ramnarine and the frolicking clubbers, his newfound pals, its sirens lit up and it sped off in the night. He imagined that the cop was called to quell a disturbance at one of the rowdy clubs that people like Seetha would frequent.
Ramnarine withdrew from the window, and went to the washroom where he washed his face, sprayed on some cologne and quickly combed his hair.
He would join them. He would leave his apartment and venture down to the club across the street. He would be welcomed there, he imagined. Perhaps, embraced even. He would have a drink or two. He had never drunk alcohol in his life, but he would that night. He would join the happy people.
(Next episode on Sunday)