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
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
This is an image from 1937 of some motorized Canal Zone Policemen. I was grateful for the cop’s intervention that day in front of the Commissary. Image thanks to czimages.com.
Yes, they had closed in on me that night at the commissary until a Canal Zone policeman, who had overheard their taunts and all the commotion said, “Get out of here and leave that boy alone!” This was one time that I had been really glad to see a zone police officer because his instinct had immediately told him that they were about to attack me and steal all the groceries my Aunt had bought from the commissary leaving all of her packages strewn all over the sidewalk. Continue reading
I would have been grateful for someone like this, a Chichero who sells cold coconut water to passengers on the Diablo Rojo buses.
Quickly walking up Calle Estudiante I reached The National Institute with every intention of returning to Colon as soon as possible, encouraged that I would have a place in that new school. But before I could think further I was rapidly ascending the stairway leading to the Grand Hall or “Aula Maxima.” Continue reading
The whole thing was outrageous to me. I hadn’t lived with my mother more than a couple of months in Colon when she worked up the nerve to be scolding me for spotting her in one of her questionable moves. Silently I kept recurring back to the day she abandoned us as small children, to leave us with her sisters-in-law whom she hated and who hated her right back. Continue reading
A very old image of Gorgas Hospital’s Isolation ward. Most probably where my mother had been treated.
By the time my mother finally entered her home again I had the child fed and comforted. I sat in the almost darkened living room trying to read by the dim light coming through the window louvres when, without any regard for the wellfare of the baby, she, as always, burst into a shrieking fit of power and rage and loudly said, “Who do you think you are?” In recalling her usual fits of rage, she always acted like the Alfa female in a wolf pack. Continue reading