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Eaves-dropping Lie-za’s phone call


Hold yuh breath Mom! It’s only me. Ah was so busy, ah say to meself, ley me reach yuh early dis morning before yuh mek other arrangements foh Sunday. Ah know yuh’s ah lady who does plan yuh thing early, yuh and Tanty Mary. But ah giving yuh an early warning dat ah coming foh yuh on Sunday, and yuh spending de whole day wid me and my friends at de Office, we, all de girls taking our Mothers out foh de day. We go have ah bawl.{{more}} Ah picking yuh up 7:00 a.m. so put yuh phone to alarm, and dress early, ah want yuh looking splendacious. So Sat-dey go and ley Wandah do-up yuh hear in de latest style and wear something nice eh! We going to ah special breakfast hosted by ah newly formed Organ-I-say-shun called de MDMDM as in Mother’s Day Meals for Deserving Mothers. Ah know yuh not ah breakfast lady, but just to tease yuh happitite, ah ordered specially foh yuh, de fear-foh-it omlet yuh uses to mek foh me and daddy, de one wid cheese, tomato and mushroom, and local chocolate-tea yuh fear-foh-it drink. Ah forgetting dat yuh not ah early break-fast lady, not to worry Mom, we could skip breakfast because at 10:00 a.m is Brunch-time. Hear dis Mom, dey having callalloo wid cray-fish soup, Corned-fish, black-fish, souse banana; and Mom, when last yuh had modungo bakes? ah ha! Ah know yuh if is one thing yuh looking forward to, is yuh “two pon top one” 3X Mackeson Stout. But wait till yuh hear what dey serving foh lunch Mom. Curry goat! yes Mom, local goat meat, ah know yuh don’t eat sheep, nah because we not in touch, ah still remember what yuh like and what yuh ain’t like, ah Love Yuh Mom.”

“Ah went shopping foh swim suites foh both of us, we going swimming Mom, mother and daughter look alike, like long ago, and don’t tell me about de water will be too cold, it’s ah warm water swimming pool, and dey’s ah poolside Bar and live string band music, ah remember how yuh uses to tell us bout yuh days of dancing Quadrille and May Pole to de music ah de string band. Well yuh will hear lots ah de good ole folk songs; we might even shake ah leg Mom, yuh and I, ‘member de ‘mother and daughter’ ting we had? yuh trying to teach me de three steps waltz? And daddy playing jealous in de corner?”

“ But how come yuh so quiet, Mom? yuh not even answering me. Wait, who is dis? is Tanty Maaary! How yuh doing Tanty Mary, long time nah see. No! No! No! don’t say dat, ah would ah pick up yuh voice, ah so certain Mom would answer, ah didn’t even recognize yuh at first, yuh sound so much like Mom, in fact yuh and Mom got so much in common, ah remember Grandpa uses to say yuh and Mom look de same, walk de same, laugh and talk de same all yuh yuh had to be Siamese twins! Grandpa was not easy. ”

“Way Mom dey? What yu mean Mom in de Hospital, again? Since last week yuh say? Yuh mean to tell me my mother in Hospital since last week, and nobody ain’t even got de manners to call me? Tanty Mary, way yuh mean yuh don’t have my number and nobody know way ah dey. Nah because nobody not seeing me, ah dey right hey all de time ah not overseas.”

“By de way, way wrong wid Mom? Tanty what yuh talking bout? Since when Mom ha’ pressure and sugar? And me ain’t no ah ting bout dat? Do yuh have de Hospital number and ah room number foh my mother? What! my mother not in any room, she in Female Ward way everybody dey in de open! Lord have mercy. Why my mother doing dat to me.”

“ Look how things does happen, Ah ain’t hear from my mother foh just ah couple months, no is not ah year, six months de most, so ah say ley me give she dey usual; surprise, As yuh see Tanty Mary, I dey hey planning ah big celebration foh Mom to spend Mother’s Day, and my mother pon Hospital bed, next thing, instead ah me giving she ah surprise, she giving me de shock dis early morning. My mother could ah pass— away and ah won’tah know ah thing. Thank yuh foh telling me Tanty Mary, ah coming over dey now.”

“Oh yes, Tanty Mary, is me again, ah want to beg yuh ah fear-fah, ah want yuh to go wid me to look foh Mom, and hear nah, call de Hospital and tell she ah coming to see her, call me back and tell me way she say. And before ah forget, hey’s my number.” Same time like de phone cut-off. And wid dat is gone ah gone again!

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.