For the most part I grew up like everybody we weren’t rich but we were a little better off than most. In my younger years I wasn’t allowed out side my yard as my mother didn’t want me mixing with the wrong sort of people. Which for the most part meant almost everyone where we lived except for the privileged few she socialized with. That meant the Lewis’ behind us, Vinroy the barber around the road, Ms, Betty next door to Vinroy and the Simpsons’ next to her and oh yeah lest I forget Mr. Johnson across the street which by chance used to be where my father used to buy his weed. One of my earliest memories of my father, ‘Dada’ is he always had a cigarette or a spliff hanging from the corner of his mouth, it seems this is how almost everybody remembers him. I’ll come back to Dada in a bit let me just finish up with the places I was allowed to stop and talk, the Gordons’ across from us and next to them Marjorie and Gladstone. For my early years these were the only houses I was allowed to visit and I would have to be in the company of one of my sisters or my brother how is this possible my father had other kids before he got married.
We tended to start school early as were the wishes of my mother if you could speak you were old enough to go to school. In my house my mother had you reading to some extent by the time you were three years old. For myself she had me reading and in prep school at three years old so I’m told. It might be true since one of my earliest memories is of me soiling myself at school and one of my sisters having to take me next door to the school where our local pastor lived to clean up and since there is no shame associated with the memory I assume I had to be too young to be ashamed. The prep school we attended was Calvary Preparatory which was run by the church we attended. Our pastor was Reverend Cole and as I said he lived next door to the school. We sort of grew up with his kids as well as the Chungs who owned a local supermarket called Easybuy. I seemed to spend my entire school life with the Chungs, from prep all the way thru high school, George, Ducky and their other brother that I never seem to be able to remember his name. There is a story I remember about one of my sisters Tassella, TC for short, she was a lot like my mother and when we were younger she used to fight all our battles. Anyway Ducky seemed to have a crush on her and was always try to mess with her anyway the short of it was she popped him in the head with a rock.
I’m sorry if I seem to be drifting but this is the only way I seem to be able to keep up the speed of these memories. I left Calvary to attend Mrs. Lawrence’s prep school so I could gain entrance to DuhaneyParkPrimary school which at the time had the most people passing the Common entrance exams so you could get to a good high school. I guess at this point I should point out that in Jamaica up until about 1995 the only way to get into high school you had to pass an entrance exam and depending on how well you did you got to go to the high school of your choice.
When I got to the fourth grade in primary school we were told that the class I was in was doing so well and was so far ahead of where we should be that we were being allowed to take the exams two years early. Needless to say this pleased my mother no end but later I would come to regret passing the exams as I ended up with friends older than myself who were into things I wasn’t yet old enough to appreciate or participate in. When I got to high school even though I passed and passed high there were huge gaps in the work I was prepared to do as I had in essence skipped two years of school so I had two years of work that was missing. Add that to the fact that most of the kids in high school had already hit puberty where as I was at least a year away. So when girls started noticing me I had almost no clue but unlike most first formers I wasn’t a virgin. Having lost my virginity before I knew what it was.
All of this thanks to Dionne Levy the daughter of my older sister Pam’s friend Lorna who stayed with us while they were visiting from England. I think I was eight at the time and she was about eleven or twelve. I came home from school one evening and I was entering the house thru the back yard. There was an outside bathroom and I guess she must have heard me opening the gate so she called out to find out who was going inside and I told her it was me. She opened the door to the shower and asked me had I ever seen what a girl looked like and would I like to touch it. So now you when I got my first look at a female’s vagina and about four or five minutes later my virginity was ancient history. A couple of weeks later we were caught under the bed going at it by one of my mother’s friends though she never told anyone. This pretty much went on until she returned to England a few months later...