Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Night Time Musings of A Garvin: Conflicted

Ever had someone disappoint you? Yes, I have! 
Ever had that disappointment morph into a myriad of other emotions? Yes, to that, too! 

So, who did the disappointing? Someone who I've admired for quite some time because of their strength of character and values. I've thought of them as one of my many role models. You can say that I've always had an idea of who they were, and what they stood for; that was until a year ago. I could say that their actions came out of left field, but I’d be lying if I did. The signs were there, but I ignored them because I was too young to truly comprehend them for what they were. Then, that bitch came into the picture, and comprehension dawned on me as the shit hit the fan.

Initially, I was shocked; what, how, who, when, cómo? It eventually dissipated, and I was left with this empty feeling, which I would later identify as disappointment. Their actions were not in keeping with the values they stood for. Their change in attitude and perspective was astounding. It’s like, you thought you knew this person, but one day he/she decided to take off their mask and show you who he/she really was. Maybe, he/she adopted a new personality altogether, and secretly suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Seeing the change left me reeling. The disappointment was still there, but unbeknownst to me, other emotions had begun to fester. I noticed anger, even hatred, when I saw their face, heard their voice, or someone mentioned their name. I picked up on hurt when I saw how their actions had affected the relationships they once adored. Confusion reared its ugly head when I laid on my bed, in the dark, desperately trying to understand it all. I can’t even begin to describe the betrayal and helplessness. 

But, amidst all those negative feelings, I still held on to a glimmer of hope. Overtime, I developed this blind optimism. My naiveté sprang into action, and I started to look forward to their visits. I started to believe their impassioned declarations that they had seen the error of their ways, and their intent to change. I was asked to be patient, and although I had my doubts, I agreed because I wanted it so much.

That was a month ago. Nothing has changed; the bitch, and the “new them” are still very much present. Yet, they continue with their reassurances of impending change. Sadly, my patience has begun to wear thin, and I've noticed a trend. The apologies, grand gestures, and admissions of guilt only seem to come when they want something. The harsh reality is that nothing has changed. I was being used... emotionally manipulated... nothing more than a pawn in some twisted game of chess. Soon, all the negative sentiments that I thought I had done away with came rushing back.

And, that’s where I’m at right now. I ask myself: "What’s the point of hoping if nothing is going to change? Why put myself through all this? Should I even care?" I'm left feeling apathetic to it all. I wonder how long that's going to last?

Until the next post! 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Lawd Fadda Dis Is Heat!

Hello! I'm editing this post in front the fan. 

During my yearlong sojourn in Neiva (I've always wanted to write that), I used to complain about the sweltering heat, a lot. And, like most foreigners faced with a less than ideal situation, I compared my host country to my homeland. I swore up and down that Trinidad was never this hot, and that the breeze usually quelled the heat. Most times, I would end up giving a monologue about, "The Perks of Living on an Island".

Over the past few weeks, except during those rare occasions of torrential rainfall, I've come to the conclusion that I treated Neiva unfairly. I was wrong, and I'm sorry! You see, I've been experiencing a level of heat (not sexual) that is on par with (does this make my apology moot?), and sometimes, surpasses (better?) that of Neiva, and lies somewhere between the temperature on the sun’s surface and the deepest pits of Hell. The intensity of the sun’s rays coupled with the absence of clouds in the sky has been an inconvenience, making my existence an uncomfortable one. Before you think me dramatic, allow me to explain.

I went to school and actually paid attention to my Integrated Science teacher, so I’m aware of the importance of sweating. Quite frankly, I could care less about regulating my body temperature when there are rivulets of sweat, cascading from my hairline down the side of my face; or when I have pit stains, and feel sweat on my butt after sitting for five minutes. I go through all this and more whenever I leave my humble abode, which is annoying. I have to wipe my face at regular intervals. I feel uncomfortable talking to people when I look like a fried bake. I’m afraid to raise my hands, pass a certain point, to wave to people; I end up doing that awkward and ridiculous "throw your head back in greeting" thing. So stupid!

Between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM, my fan is rendered useless as it recycles the hot air. This doesn't bode well for me for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’m fascinated by the art of sleeping, and I enjoy perfecting my skill. It’s quite difficult to do so when the fan doesn't keep you cool. Have you ever had sweat behind your knees and/or neck? Trust me (because I'm an authority on sleeping), it can make sleeping during the day a nightmare.

If the fan keeps recycling the hot air, one would assume that an easy fix would be to put up the curtains and open the windows, right? Wrong! This brings me to my second point. I enjoy having my curtains down; it gives the room a nice cozy feeling, makes me feel like a sexy, hibernating bear, and keeps Ms. Murray’s wandering eye away after bath-time. I lose all these perks when I have to put up my curtains and open the windows. And, to make matters worse, the sun ends up coming through the open window in all its blazing glory on my bed. Everything I've just mentioned (moves hands emphatically hysterically), has interrupted my daytime sleeping in ways I can't even begin to enumerate. The bane of my very existence! 

Travelling has become a task in itself. Lately, I've had to either deal with the pungent odour of perfume/cologne mingled with sweat or had to sit next to sweaty people, who disregard the considerate notion of “personal space”. To my chagrin, it doesn't stop there. I've become obsessed with the directionality of the sun in relation to where I sit, when travelling. For example, I know that, when leaving Grande before midday, I have to sit on the right-hand side of the maxi to avoid the sun, and vice-versa. Thus, I get very upset and/or nervous when I enter a maxi with no seats in my desired position. Sometimes, when it becomes too much and I have time to kill, which is almost never; I wait for the next one. 

Honourable Mentions: The heat has made my skin overly sensitive, so much so that I can’t wear certain fabrics. At home, I always want to walk around naked, but I can’t. I've actually thought of going to the beach to escape the heat, and I hate the beach.

So, there you have it! It’s been really hot, and I hate it. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do, except write a blog post, because I live here.

Until the next post! 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

What's In A Name?

*chants, "Goosbraba", and rubs earlobes* 

I’m ANNOYED because someone misspelt my name, yet again! I HATE that some people leave out the “R” in Garvin, or else, add letters to my first name, and come up with “Garving”. Like, seriously, what’s a “Garving”? And don’t get me started on those who spell my surname P-A-R-S-O-N! Ugh! Helloooo, there’s supposed to be a big ole “S” at the end! Unless it’s “Garvs” or “Gobin” or "Garvos" or “Fari”, whenever I see those other travesties done to my name on Facebook, security logs, or in emails, I just want to punch someone in their trachea. 

Before you think me ridiculous, maybe I should explain why I feel so strongly, and I suppose, violent about all this. It’s simple actually; I believe that names are important for they are part of someone’s identity.

Now, because I feel this way about names, I tend to try my very best to spell people’s names correctly. This extends to placing the correct title in front of someone's name. So, I’ll ask a question, do a Google search, and look on Facebook, etc. I do this because I believe that I am respecting this person's identity; you know, who they are, all that they have achieved, their history, etc. Quite frankly, when I see my name misspelt, I feel disrespected. I can't help but think that I'm not worth the two seconds it would take to ask a question, or proofread what you wrote. I mean, I don't expect you to go as far as I do and search on Google, but you could at least pay attention to my email signature, or my name as it appears on my profile and at the top of the message pane on Facebook chat.

I was named, Garvin, after my grandfather, who died one year before I was born. Tafari is my African name, given to me by my father. It could mean, either “The Chosen One” or "He Who Inspires Awe", and it was the birth name of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, KING of Kings, LORD of lords, Conquering Lion of Judah, Defender of the Judean Faith, The Light of the World (he was born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, FYI). Lastly, there are only a couple of people in Trinidad with the surname “Parsons”, which makes it one of a kind, to a certain extent. All this has made me VERY PROUD of my name; it’s unique in some aspects, it has history, it links me to the grandfather I never knew, and it has a powerful meaning. In short, my name is important, to me.

This brings me back to my initial point about your name being your identity, in this case, MY identity. Knowing what my name means and where it comes from has shaped the person that I am, as much as, or maybe, more than, any experience that I've had. This feeling has manifested itself in several ways. Aside from becoming “irrationally” upset when I see my name misspelt, I've come to write my full name on anything from forms to my Facebook profile. I, also, start by introducing myself with the words “I am” instead of “My name is”, which says a lot.

Whew! It feels great to have gotten all that off my chest. Writing this post has served to remind me why I get the way that I do. What's more is that I'm going to continue demanding that people get it right in the most polite way possible. For future reference, I AM GARVIN TAFARI PARSONS!

Until the next post!