by Albert Chambers...
I yawn as I stretch my body from limb to limb, my fingers pull up sand from the earth. I have risen to the morning sun again. This is usually my favorite spot to rest, right in the middle of this white filled sandy beach. So, I must shake my head like a wild lion shakes his mane in order to rid my hair of the obscene amount of sand that has accumulated in my in my curly locks of hair during the night time. This seems to have become a daily ritual of mine in the morning.
My mother was lucky enough that of the twelve children that she gave birth to, my brother and I were the only two survivors. Well, not true, my brother had been sacrificed in hopes that I would have an 'opportunity' at survival. My mother would usually be the one to stay home for at least a month mingling in nojad with those who came to pay tribute to Nikilo, my brother (Parsons 97). When I learned of this, I despised my mother. Who is allowed to walk freely after killing their own child? So, I write. "Road, asphalt, purity violated under murderous wheels. You, my land, come hidden in my suitcase" (Claridade, no.8, p.1). I have always been the lone shark. I have always tried to make sense of nonsense, like why is my skin so dark. I blame it on the unwritten rule to never stand underneath a tree during the sun's most dangerous of sun-rays (Parsons 92). Thank God for my African lineage or I would have surely died under this treacherous heat.
I am what my country refers to as a coude and would not be so if I stayed home (Parsons 92). I left home around nine years old. T'was the only way I would find a peace of mind, my path, or know who it was that I am, right? Plus, I smoke when, what and where I want to (Parsons 93). "Real men do what they want." That is what Mandello, my childhood friend, told me before he took sail to the motherland. I never wanted for much. I never asked for anything. I grew accustomed to working for my earnings and I took fancy to the opportunity to show my work, no matter what it was. The other guys went around stealing food and drink, especially during carnavale (Parsons 104). What they would do took the form of many names. I call them 'thieves.'
I never took kindly to the ideas of marriage either. It all just seemed way too complicated. Marriage seemed more like a trapped door. It was more like a nine month pregnancy, only it lasted longer and there were a lot more rules. That explains my creativity, I was alone a lot. Actually, it was rare to see me with someone, better yet anyone, even if there was a multitude of people around. I spent most of days looking for inspiration on whether or not I should stay of leave Cape Verde the way Mandello did.
Anyway, I went fishing after a quick swim to wash my away yesterday's troubles. I did not catch much but it was enough. It was only one catch but a mighty big catch I might add. Myth has it that once the "king fish" has been caught, there will be no more catches during that trip (Parsons 101). Knowing that, I set up my fire and my notepad to write a line or two and take a bite. I loved being able to do this.
I wrote a beautiful poem today. It was not like many of the poems that I had been told. I just learned to read and write, otherwise I would have been able to read for myself. The older guys would say that I am doing pretty well though, considering that I am yet to turn fourteen. Today, I looked up from my roasting fire, it took me by surprise what I had found. Wearing the colors found in the sun, sand, and the ocean, a mermaid perhaps, changed my life. I wondered what true beauty was for I had never truly experienced the phenomenon. Like the poem I had written today, I saw with my very own eyes, beauty in the form of a goddess. I love you Cabo Verde but you never made time stop. You never took my breath away. Oh today, look what you have brought to me! My life will never be the same.