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Patsy's letter: Rainbow people

Published:Sunday | August 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn, Contributor

June 30, 2014

Dear Mama:

Ah writing to tell yuh 'bout the masqueraders parading in broad daylight down Fifth Avenue. Ah was on me way from babysitting the trolls (yes, me call di spoil white pickney dem trolls 'cause is nuff trouble dem give). Anyway, dat was at dis place dey call di Upper East Side in Manhattan. But one mind tell me fi walk instead ah tek di train. Dat was when me buck up inna dis crowd ah people. Rainbow flags everywhere like confetti. All around me, people was jumping an' waving an' gyrating; dem faces not looking like faces at all, but joy. Joy in every sense ah di word. Joy like Johnny get when him belly full up a mango pon s'maddy housetop; joy weh we did get when Trudy pass har Common Entrance to get into dat good, good school up Constant Spring; joy weh Auntie Bridgette feel when di Holy Ghost tek har inna church an' mek she drop dung. Dat kinda joy me talking 'bout, mama. But wha' strike me di most 'bout dese people is how ordinary dem look. Ordinary like Hi-Lo supermarket, Sunday School, stuck in traffic pon Papine ordinary. Like dey coulda be yuh neighbour, teacher, Sunday School teacher, friend, police, superintendent, ecetera, ecetera.

Me neva know seh dis country exist - dis country wid a rainbow flag. Me used to t'ink seh rainbow belongs in di sky, but dese people prove me wrong. Mama, dey love dem country suh till! Same like how we love Jamaica an' fly we flag high when Usain Bolt come first inna track an' field. Same like how Auntie Bridgette did wave di flag even when di Bobsled Team come last fah di umpteenth time. The rainbow people jumping like dey win something. Some of di man dem tek off dem shirt. An' di ooman dem too.

But mama, dis country wid di rainbow flag have some strange people. Dey have man dress like ooman inna heels an' wig an' make-up! Mama, yuh shoulda see dem! An' people tek nuff picture wid dem. Nobody chase or trace dem like dey did dat man-ooman down ah gully side. Membah him? How dem stone him an' stab him up? Poor man-ooman had to lock himself inside ah Missah Harvey store fi get 'weh from di mob.

Here, in dis parade ah rainbow people, dey treat those man-ooman like royalty. Like Queen Elizabeth when Grandma Joyce seh she visited Jamaica fah Independence fah di first time. Dese people look like dey jus' got dem independence, mama. Dey look like Jamaicans wid ah different flag.

Yuh only dawta,


P.S. Hope me can sen' fah you soon so dat yuh can come an' see fah yuhself.