The way I see it, once I spoke out against the use of alcohol, I would be rubbing some people the wrong way. And so I did.
One person questioned my authority to speak on the subject, ‘seeing that you don’t drink.’
Well, I had news for him. I drank—well, once but that once was enough and so when I speak on the topic, I speak out of an experience. A baaaad experience.
I know that I told this story already but permit to reiterate, for the benefit of those who did not hear it before.
It was during my other life. I was just recently crowned the carnival calypso king of Nevis. I was seventeen. Young and stupid..looking for attention.
I was at a bar, at the then popular Arcade in Charlestown, with some former school mates of mine.
They were drinking beer, wine and hard liquor. I was taught well by my parents and so I was drinking my favourite FANTA orange bryson. You guys remember those?
Well, my now good buddy, Zumbidigi, came into the bar and greeted us. He then came over to our table and sarcastically stated: “Bwoy no calypso king drinking FANTA. You need a beer.’ Of course the other guys at the table, laughed and jeered and challenged me to take a beer.
Zumbi went ahead and ordered a round of beers for my table and one was placed smack in front of me. I ignored it for a long time but as the jeers became louder and as more people joined in, I foolishly sipped on the thing. It was a Carib beer. From the outset, I wondered how people managed to drink the thing. The taste was far from endearing.
However, I managed about a half of the bottle, just to save face and then I decided that I definitely was not going to drink anymore. So, I made up an excuse about going to the bathroom and dumped the remainder of the concoction into the flower garden outside. I delayed going back in and walked back in with the empty bottle to pats on my shoulder.
Guess what? Zumbi ordered another round for my table.
Well I newa!
I knew that I was not going to drink mine and so I sipped at it for a long time and eventually left the nearly full bottle on the counter, when we decided to go home.
As I headed to the door, I saw the open space and headed for it but somehow still crashed into the wall.
Later, as we all congregated on Main street to catch a ride to Gingerland, I remember sitting down under that section of the building then operated by FELT Daniel.
Now the remainder of the story is what was told to me:
The other guys say that I sat there not helping them to stop cars for a lift and they bawled out at me and I stepped into the road, telling them that I will show them how to stop cars.
They say that I stepped out, almost in front of a car but the car swerved off me and went on its way.
As lights approached, I used my thumb to indicate that I was begging a ride but to no avail.
Then came another light and I stepped out yelling: “A ride!” The ‘vehicle’ passed on and they say that I started to cuss, saying how stupid the driver was.
Guess what? They say what had actually passed, was a BICYCLE!
Well I newa!
They did not tell me how I eventually got home but somehow, stoned as I was, I knew not to enter through the upstairs living room door, in case my parents were still up.
I crawled into the downstairs bedroom and crashed out on the floor. I remember regurgitating all that I had eaten for that day; that week and maybe the week before that.
The next morning when my mother came looking for me to go to church, she knew by looking at me that I would not have made it to church that day. However, I made a commitment from that day that I will never, ever knowingly drink an alcoholic beverage again and so far, thank God I have lived up to that.
Oh yes, know some of you going to say that I am weak and that I am one of those who cannot ‘handle my liquor’ but I maintain that alcoholic beverages are not made for this marvelous body that God loaned us. The consequences are all negative.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?