Going With China

The original album (soundtrack) to the Broadway play by Oscar Hammerstein. Image thanks to wikipedia.org

The original album (soundtrack) to the Broadway play by Oscar Hammerstein. Image thanks to wikipedia.org

As I walked out the door, I began to reflect on that scene between my mother and me and the way she was behaving. Later on I would find out that China and my sister, Aminta, were fast friends long before I got to Colon. I proceeded to reflect on all my encounters with the Chinita who, until then, had been doing everything in her power to meet me.

In reality, things between China and me began to reveal things to me that night and I discovered that the feature film we were going to see, “Carmen Jones,” was based on the story of an American soldier and his beloved Carmen Jones, a prostitute who after she wins his heart, turns around and rejects him. The characters, played by Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, all resembled China and me and we walked up and down the streets of Colon, her arm in mine, as if we were the glamorous couple that starred in the film. China, dressed in her finest clothes and me, in my new Guayabera, turned heads and we became the talk of our friends. What a dazzling couple we made; the young and beautiful Chinese/Westindian girl who looked like a porcelain doll, arm in arm with her dashing Black Westindian boy- a handsome couple indeed.

But, as in the story of Carmen Jones, our ill-fated love affair would end in a silent tragedy for me as it would be my first dramatic heartbreak at the hands of a woman and she would wind up rejecting me just as Joe had been by Carmen. But, our lives would take a few turns before all of that happened as we two, just coming into adulthood, basked in the allure of acting like grownups.

After watching the movie that night, we stopped for our usual necking. Then, she would suddenly say to me, “I got to get home,” and dart off leaving me hoping to see her again.

This story continues.

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