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Getting My Freedom Back

I was struggling ti get free of this Chinese girl. Image of handcuffs thanks to Morguefile.

I was struggling ti get freedom  from this Chinese girl. Image of handcuffs thanks to Morguefile.

Throughout this time of setting up my garage routine and taking in new customers I never lost sight of regainng my freedom, I had placed Pug- La China- on the back burner. She had, however, been stepping up her visits from Colon to see me to pick up money for herself and the baby. Her attitude hadn’t changed, however. She continued to generate stories about me mistreating her- all lies- just to hold it over my head. Remembering how she had damaged my peaceable relationship with the whole of the Westindian community in Bocas, thus forcing us to leave, I tried to keep her visits as short and cool as possible. I would just hand her some money for the baby on the nights that she did come as I saw her step down from the bus in front of the garage.  Continue reading

An Unopened Letter

I kept the unopened letter in my back pocket. Image from Morguefile.com

I kept the unopened letter in my back pocket. Image from Morguefile.com

That afternoon I hurried back to my garage, for I thought of never responding to my father or taking him up on anything he had to offer. This resolve not to respond to him set me free forever and I vowed not to open the letter or read it. At that time in our lives I had a bad feeling about allowing that man who called himself my father to dominate any part of my life again. By the time I reached my garage I had stuck the letter in my back pocket unopened and tried to forget it. I had known that man most of my young life and at that moment I rejected the very idea of having his cruel presence in my life ever again.  Continue reading

The Mysterious Letter

Image of mystery letter thanks to Morguefile.com

Image of mystery letter thanks to Morguefile.com

As  Ma Bea handed me the mystery missive from my father she then continued saying, “You write ya fada chile, For I have this letter a long time and Albert he keep telling me he could not find you no where. You write to ya fada, you hear!” She implored making me become the sole witness to a part of my life that I had sooner forget than rush into. I, however, would listen to that saintly woman, who had witnessed the opening of paths in my life and I would have never disregard what she had been saying to me. Continue reading

A Visit to Old Ma Bea

"Grandma's Hands" by Ernie Barnes and Afro American artist reminds me of Ma Bea. Image

“Grandma’s Hands” by Ernie Barnes and Afro American artist reminds me of Ma Bea. Image

By then all I could remember of Ma Bea was that she was Albert’s mother,” and how she had always said to me, “Albert not home son!” For me she was the only one who could find Albert, or tell him that I had been looking for him. I remembered how I used to pester her about finding Albert to have him look over my art home work before I handed it in to my third year Art professor at Instituto.  Albert Santerbury was my favorite person at the time ever since I could remember being a little tadpole. In fact, he and the rest of my neighbors from San Miguel, were all proud when I attended secondary school at the National Institute, and they especially glowed with pride in our neighborhood when I marched in the large musical band on patriotic holidays. Continue reading

News From Albert Scanterbury

Advertising was in a primitive state in the late 50's in Panama. With his sign painting skills, however, Albert Scanterbury kept very busy with local business.

Advertising was in a primitive state in the late 50’s in Panama. With his sign painting skills, however, Albert Scanterbury kept very busy with local business.

I was was soon to receive a letter from my father from Brooklyn by way of my old friend and neighbor Albert Scanter bury- But more importantly for me was how that letter would become an answer to my prayer. I had long ago stopped having much to do with Pug; we had been separated for a while and, to tell the truth, my immediate preoccupation was my garage job and how I needed to secure a place to live alone on my own and find a way of getting my nourishment in the mornings.  Continue reading

The Luxury of a Routine

Flat tires became oart of my routine.

Flat tires became oart of my routine.

I met the ensuing days with a comfortable routine. On many a night, I would lock myself inside the garage after deciding to stay all night, then do the natural things such as bathing and getting a well deserved night’s sleep on a bed roll on the floor of the garage. In the morning I’d change into my dried coveralls and wouldn’t officially open until some of the guys who worked all night at the gasoline pumps knocked on the roll-up gates alerting me that some customer had been looking for me for a mechanic job. Continue reading