Tag Archives: family dysfunction

A Big Difference


The RAE dictionary like this one is something we wish we had in the library. Image.

The RAE dictionary like this one is something we wish we had in the library. Image.

Our holiday at the beach was brief and my companions from Abel Bravo dropped me off at the stairway entrance to my building at the close of the day. I found my mother in good spirits, for a change, and talking with some of the neighbors about her son in “Abel Bravo College.”   It was, in fact, the highest level of public education accessible to all humble households throughout the province of Colon at the time, as I explained before.  I started taking note of the differences between Abel Bravo and my former school, The Instituto Nacional, in small and large ways. Continue reading

Bobby’s Son


Bobby Grant at age 95, a few months before his death.  God bless him.

Bobby Grant at age 95, a few months before his death. God bless him.

The mysteries surrounding the care and treatment of women that I had learned earlier on in my life from that terribly pragmatic pimp in Marañon were working like a charm.  I was keeping the beauties of Abel Bravo at bay and clinging to my studies as I had never done before and, what’s more,  my mother seemed to respect my apparent alone-ness although genuine conversations between us were quite rare. Continue reading

The Crew With a Different View


Chart of the male reproductive organs.  Image.

Chart of the male reproductive organs. Image.

That first day at Abel Bravo College I found myself in our classroom pretending to read a book in my attempt to isolate myself from the rest of the boys. This, after all, had been the way I had developed to protect myself from any emotional attacks I feared would follow me from Panama City. Continue reading

Baggage Handlers


Image thanks to Wikipedia.

Image thanks to Wikipedia.

Those events of my youth and our history, as West Indian Panamanians, up to and following my experience in Abel Bravo College, had always managed to shock me. It had always been difficult for me to understand that what unfolded before my eyes were the first steps toward madness and family dysfunction in the making. So that all those years in our upbringing had us hauling around all that emotional baggage and, in fact, tripping over it. Continue reading

A Colonial Legacy


Coming from a legacy of a colonial era gone by when betrayal and self-hatred was part of the way of life for our people, I could safely say that Iwas really suffering in its aftermath. It had begun leaving its imprint on us as individuals and as a community in many sickly ways. Even today we continue to manifest these traits of a disastrous inheritance leaving us as an unsound people. Continue reading

To Reach the Unreachable


Don Quijote de la Mancha and his trusted servant Sancho Panza. My dream of completing High School had become almost a Quixotic quest. Image.

I was eagerly awaiting the beginning of the school year and, soon, my entrance into Abel Bravo College, as my Westindian people proudly referred to it. By then, however, the ability to find work at all, any kind of honest work, had become one of the prime reasons for the demoralization of an entire generation of black youngsters like myself. Colon, not to mention Panama City, had become a desert of human hopes for young job seekers like me and the many youths I was meeting up with who desired to continue their quest of seeking an education at the “College.” Continue reading