Infatuation (Jamaica)

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Jamaican Culture

Infatuation

Published Apr 29, 2004

He told her goodnight but she barely muttered a reply. Marie couldn’t help but suck her teeth at the dirty pair of gloves sticking out of her husband’s back pocket. “What?” he asked “Nutting man” she snapped and gave him a dirty look when he turned his back and went to take his nightly shower. Andrew was a tractor driver when Marie married him two and a half years ago and he would continue to be a tractor driver for a very long time because that’s what he loved to do. Marie knew that as well as the fact that he tended to get dusty during the day.

She knew everything about Andrew and she loved everything about him, especially his long lean torso and boyish smile. That is, until two weeks ago when walking back from the shop down the road, a silver BMW pulled up beside her and the cutest guy she had ever seen said “Hi there.” It’s not that she wasn’t used to guys hitting on her , what with her wide hips that the men in her culture adored and her smooth dark skin, but this one obviously had a lot of money and could do much better than her, she thought. She was immensely flattered and though she didn’t normally do those sorts of things she smiled at him and accepted a ride. During the ride Marie repeatedly felt dumb because she thought she failed to sound 'cool’. He, Tyrone, would repeatedly say little phrases and slangs that left her at a loss for words. His favorite was “It’s just a revolution man.” She mentally went through all the reggae songs she knew to decide whether or not the words came from one. Then, when she could think of none she decided that Tyrone was just ‘deep’. Marie was in her first year of teacher’s college and she was learning a lot of new things. The whole college experience was making her feel as if she had been walking around in a very ignorant state and now she was unfolding like a rose with each new enlightenment from her lecturers.

Andrew came out of the shower and found that Marie was still curled up on the couch, never having moved an inch. He thought it strange that she didn’t hurry to put his dinner on the table like she usually did when he got home in the evenings, but he decided that she was just tired. He sat beside her and tried to hold her close but she stiffened. “You okay, honey?” he asked, deeply concerned. “Yes.” she answered flatly and headed for the bathroom. Andrew again chalked up her attitude to tiredness and went to get his own dinner.

Once again Marie was curled up on the couch but this time she was on the phone and quickly hung up when she saw Andrew. Andrew started to smile because he thought she was about to run to him and hug him. She usually did that whenever he came home early and he had tried his hardest to do that today. He figured he needed to spend more time with her as she seemed more than a little stressed lately. She said “’Evening.“ and turned the television on. Andrew hung his head and went to take his shower.

Marie went in the bathroom as soon as he came out and looked around, immediately she felt her temper rising. He had left the toilet seat up again and didn’t put the used towel in the dirty clothes hamper. She cursed under her breath and when she couldn’t keep it to herself anymore she shouted at him to stop his darn foolishness, that he was to act like a man and do better. Andrew was ashamed but confused. She had never spoken to him about those bathroom habits before. He knew he never once lifted the clothes hamper or put down the toilet lid, but he never found dirty towels in the bathroom before or gone in the bathroom and seen the lid up so obviously she always kept the bathroom neat and tidy without complaining .

She turned the shower on and stood under the water which was beating down on her. She started to replay the telephone conversation with Tyrone in her mind, and she smiled. He had been nagging her for weeks to come visit him at his home. This nagging wasn’t just done over the phone. He would cruise unto the college campus with the car full of friends all decked out in what seemed to be very expensive gold jewelry and loud colored outfits. Once or twice there would be a fair-skinned, very pretty girl or two in the car and that would make her very jealous. Each time this happened she would think again that he was too good for her. “Go with the flow baby.” he would plead. “It‘s my intention to satisfy this relation” he would coo. And, whenever she wanted to talk about deeper things like politics or education, he would say, “It’s just a revolution man.” She had spent a lot of time, some which caused her to miss parts of lectures, trying to figure out what he meant by that phrase. First she wondered if it was another way of saying the cliché “signs of the times”. Then, she thought he meant that he himself was still going through stages and changes in his life. Finally, she gave up because as soon as she thought she had it figured out he used the phrase in an entirely different context.

Tyrone was especially pressing this evening, during their conversation, and Marie began to think that if she continued to put him off he’d realize she wasn’t worth his time and she’d be left feeling unimportant again. Her friends and other students on campus were green with envy every time Tyrone came by blasting loud music from the BMW’s sound system. She pretended to be embarrassed when she asked him to turn the volume down but inside she was overjoyed that she was attracting so much attention. Marie thought about his smile and the way he seemed very mysterious and wise because she never saw him laugh out loud at even the funniest things. She made up her mind.

Two days later, Marie called Tyrone and told him to pick her up. He asked her to take a taxi as he didn’t have the car that day. He didn’t say why and she didn’t ask. She took the directions and called a cab. While in traffic Andrew happened to look through the window of the new truck that his company acquired and saw his wife in a cab. Andrew knew what he had to do. He loved his wife but he wasn’t dumb. Lately, everything he did irritated her and he had already thrown out the idea that she was just tired. Furthermore it was getting harder and harder to get Marie to make love to him which in turn was making him more and more tempted to give in to the secretary at work who made it quite plain that she wanted him.

Marie smiled when she saw the house where Tyrone lived, It was big and beautiful.

She was growing deeply puzzled though when he took her around to the back and let her inside what seemed to her like a storeroom at the side of the house. Inside was dark and musty smelling, but there was a small bed and no doubt a few pieces of clothes that she recognized, thrown over a chair which badly needed a new covering . While she was standing there trying to get over her shock, he began to grope and kiss her.

“Wait!” she almost screamed in panic. “What’s this?”, “Where’s the BMW?” “Oh, my boss come back from foreign baby.” “Him have him car.” He replied. She was too stunned to move and seeing the look on her face Tyrone began to laugh. Marie experienced what it was like to be beyond stunned because at the exact moment that he laughed she saw that he had almost a mouthful of rotting teeth. “Wwha, Wwwhat kind of job you do here Tyrone?” she asked. “Me is a big time gardener” he answered proudly after which he began to grope and push up on her again. Before Marie had time to protest, there was a loud knock on the door, actually it sounded more like someone was trying to knock the door off its hinges. “Marie!” Andrew shouted, straining his lungs.

Marie’s legs gave out and she fell hard on her buttocks. “Tyrone,” she whispered weakly,

“Quick before you open di door, please, what does revolution mean?”

He replied, “Well I really don’t know you know baby,” “I heard my boss man say it one day and it sound cool and ting you see, so I just say it.” “Anyway you an you husband have to go before di boss come home cause I would hate to loose dis job.” On saying that, he opened the door.

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