Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 3rd 2014 Contents A38
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, February 3, 2014
My eyes were red and swollen so that I viewed
the world through a painful watery glaze. Imps
wearing sandpaper shoes tap danced at the back of
my throat. And I could not stop sneezing---violent,
head-throbbing explosions that caused my brain to
rattle around inside my head.
As the traffic crawled into the city of despair, I
searched for the outline of the once-proud towers
under the heavy grey blanket. From the distance, only
fragments of buildings stuck out, so that the streetscape
looked like it belonged in one of those sci-fi doomsday
movies, after the bad thing happened.
Was this my city? The jaunty, quirky, madcap place
where you could buy designer clothing off the pave-
ment right next to the doubles vendor and the chubby
lady with the crates of oranges and portugals?
What was once the prettiest town in the Caribbean,
the mademoiselle of the 19th century, is now place
to swear at, under one s breath, because you have to
trudge to work there every morning.
"Get me out of here! my brain screams.
Port-of-Spain used to be a place where my child s
imagination would get all the exercise it needed, ever
since that day in Form One when historian Carlton
Ottley took my class on a walking tour of the city,
pointing out its idiosyncrasies, its facts and fables.
There, the waves danced along Marine Square and
the cathedral gazed out to the boats at sea. Over
yonder, Columbus was stepping out of his jokey little
ship in the square, and the intricate wrought-iron
railings on the balconies where shopkeepers lived
above their businesses must have once been so pretty
This place scares me now.
It was just some stupid fires last week, not the end
of the world. These things happen. Stop whining.
Grow up. That s what I might want to say.
But not this rounds, as the youths say. The fires,
the smoke, the noise, the blame, the fretting all com-
bine into One Last Thing which I cannot bear.
I want to be angry, to craft powerful letters to
editors, to wave my fist at someone, to shake some
sense into everyone. But I am too dejected and my
eyes too bloodshot for me to deploy all that energy.
Instead, I feel as though I am attending a slow-moving
funeral. Something valuable and important is being
torn from me.
This is my city, my home, my place to be. And it
is being turned into a rubbish bin.
In one of my Walter Mitty episodes, I strolled across
to Shine Street, where a "For Sale sign hung outside
a pretty gingerbread cottage. Its triumphant spire and
elegant white fretwork were defiant. I heard it whisper
This is my
place to be.
And it is
my name and for 47 seconds I was in there, playing the
piano and caressing the curves of my mahogany writer s
But reality is an unforgiving teacher. Even if I sold a few
body parts to come up with the asking price, I could never
live there. The gingerbread lady would never welcome me
home to a cup of peppermint tea on her little porch.
Port-of-Spain is a place to escape from, a prison where
we get eight hours on the clock, before being furloughed
overnight to dormitories.
And it is no place for people who like to breathe.
Is my city dying?
LONDON---Harry Potter author JK Rowling is
having second thoughts about having ended the
series with heroine Hermione Granger paired up
romantically with Ron Weasley.
The hugely successful author tells Wonderland
magazine she chose the red-haired Ron for Hermione
for very personal reasons having little to do with
She told the magazine she "wrote the
Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish ful-
fillment" and said the couple might eventually need
The soon-to-be published interviewed was report-
ed in The Sunday Times, which also quoted actress
Emma Watson, who played Hermione, expressing
doubts about the viability of her character s rela-
tionship with Ron.
She told the newspaper that many fans doubt
Ron can make Hermione happy over time.
Many fans had hoped Harry and Hermione would
become a couple. (AP)
Harry Potter ending may
be wrong says Rowling
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