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“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Chapter excerpt: the country gyal journal

Copyright ©®™ Crystal Evans

I knew what I wanted for myself even before listening to the Kelly Clarkson's song that mirrored the poignance I often felt staring out the window of my grandmothers house during a late afternoon shower that left the air with an earthy perfume. 

I wanted to break away but before that I was happily content with my life. Mama would bring back patty from the factory and we would fry them over in the frying pan and eat it with Gratto Bread. I remembered my sisters and I eating out the peanut butter in the fridge or licking out the milo tin that mama hid in the cupboard. We would pull the chairs and take down Horlicks from off the fridge top and eat it like there was no tommorrow. Our favorite delicacy for lunch was bread and sugar or condensed milk washed down with water. 

When Christmas time came we had roast breadfruit and fried saltfish, I particularly enjoyed using my finger to lick the grease from my plate and if my granny was absent, I would readily obliged the usage of my tongue in the same manner. 

We had jokes and Dolly house was nice. We married each other with Bulla Cake and Water, sometimes we had money to buy dollar cooler and suck suck to quench our thirst as we played in the sweltering son. 

Sometimes when the rain came down like a torrential downpour we remained inside and played jacks and ball or watch Tv. We didn't have Dolls but managed to find some old weaves and plastic bottles to improvised. We had plastic Dolls and our nieghbour Kiesha mother sent down Dolly with clothes set from foriegn come give her. We were not jealous but vaguely aware for the first time that albeit we were never hungry, we still lacked and want. 

Our favorite past time would be carrying water from the standpipe across the cow pasture, early in the morning when the only sign of the sun was a chalky, powdery pinkish haze on the skirt tail of the horizons, when dew water wash your foot like rain and the mist of the morning smelled by leaves. When you use dew water to drop inna your yeye from it's dollop accumulation on the dasheen leaves because your granny  said it would get the gunk out of your eye after waking two mornings with it glued shut with matta.

  We would race across the grassy surface at the same time the common fowls marched across the cow pasture in lines like a soldier and we avoided sliding, falling face down in a pile a cow shit. In the days when we were not staring in awe at the length of Brother Roach Donkey penis, we would be hunting bees, using paper and bottle to trap them, then setting them free. We were oftentimes stung but never deterred, because chasing bees and butterflies were the happiest moments of our lives. 

We had games like Chinese skip when my sisters, I, Doodo Pet, Quennae and Puuchie Loo would play chinese skip until the sun went down or our parents called us home for food. We enjoyed roast goat seed, hog seed and the only thing we hated about Pigs was cleaning out the Hog Crawl. 

Boys were rude but never as violent as they are today. Boys had work to do like tying out the animals in the mornings and my cousin once lost a herd of goats in the hills, he could not sleep in the house as my grand uncle ordered him to find the goats before daylight or don't come back there. He slept in the hills that night even when my Granny cried shame on Uncle Roy for being such a heartless brute. 

I hated playing with boys because they hurtle the ball with too much speed therefore the impact was often more excruitiating that when girls played alone. We got more jokes, winced and pleaded with the boys not to crack a bone when they caught the ball in our usual bat-and-run-a-bound- games. 

These boys were not interested in playing crickets and flying kites on the open field in the searing sun like boys did when I was a child. These boys wanted console games and smartphones like the American teenagers on cable tv. They wanted to drive chromes vans and date women with chrome skin. Everything they valued had to look like silver or gold, shiny and attention  pulling like the lifestyles of those in movies. 

I remembered how my first pickney boyfriend kicked a ball and pushed the bucket of water off my head. It was unponderable the intensity of the hatred he reserved for me up until adulthood. I think he is still reeling over the comment I left him with, one I overhead my grandmother telling a man one day. " even if you gave me you hood, I wouldn't know what to do with it". I didn't understand what my grandmother meant by that but between eating the Mangoes and Guinep he brought from bush for me in a crocus bad, I told my twelve year old admirer that I was not remotely interested in him and his Dolly House business. 

Now I leave this community, glancing up at the regal spread of the mountains posed above the trees, kissing the horizon against the serene blue sky, meditating over the very purpose of my existence. 

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