It is possible that nothing is impossible and improbable that it would be. Having put that forward let’s put things back and accept what has yet to be given. Facebook was a game changer and things were just like this in the 1960’s. Why start at page one when you can start at page six?
Calypso Fannywagon knew nothing, nothing more than she loved him so. She felt him, tapping out his cooling, calming rhythms on her slick moulded surfaces...his strong hands making her resonate and sometimes even trill. His adept and knowing roaming, in closing circles of her universal shape, her sections...each of them a connect, a quick route to her limited but capable ability to permeate the tranquillity of the balmy air with her sweet, sweet notes......low and soft... dulcet...then sharp! Sharp and piercing. He played her...she sang for him...just him. She was his instrument.
But Calypso Fannywagon could not be his only. No. She was made for many. She was the creation of minds, hearts and hands...of need; needs of release and dance and movement. She was crafted for ceremony of the carnival of the souls...and the streets. They pushed her slowly from behind and tapped her...and tempered her...and they all watched and listened. How could they not? "What is Calypso Fannywagon?" a young child asked his dancing mother.
"She's an old drum honey."
Oona Chut had little need of Calypso Fannywagon, they weren't friends. There was a time many years ago when they were thrown together but that was by circumstance. It was him. They, both of them, Oona and Calypso, true beauties in their time were inevitably drawn to him. He was branded; by the folks on the dusty side of town they called East Dry River, a badjohn, a lothario. And some even said...a bandit. His name was Buford. Buford Marmatron.
What Oona and Calypso had in incomparable beauty they lacked in sense. Buford was a bird. A migratory bird of medium size (as far as birds go) but as vapid as these two sought after glamazons were in their bursting youth, Oona and Calypso were not foolish enough to think that size mattered. And migrants...well; these two Salomé’s knew that we all had to come from somewhere.
Buford liked to stand in rain soaked doorways and listen to street drinkers playing Tiger Feet on his tiny stolen transistor radio. "There's dat badjohn." the East Dry River locals would sneer in their island patois, "Buford bloody Marmatron, listen’ tuh dat shit music. Foolish bandit." and they'd suck their teeth and walk on. An old beaten-up yellow Pontiac taxi pulled up to where Buford listened to his pop music and Oona Chut alighted on the curb...her scuffed white shoe stepping into a puddle.
‘There's a FINE set a feathers’ Oona thought to herself glancing at Buford, slowly closing the warped taxi door behind her and stepping onto the worn pavement. Her small, cream coloured vinyl hand bag with the broken clasp opened, tipped and spilled her loose change onto the wet concrete. Buford flew up out of the doorway swept down and snatched Oona's coinage into his beak and flapped off. "Yuh lousy bandit!" she shouted at him as he made good his escape. The street drinkers turned away.
The tinny lyrics of What Becomes of the Broken Hearted screwed out of the stolen transistor radio. Oona called out to nobody in particular, "Dat fuckin’ bird have meh money! Somebody! CATCH HE!" and she gave chase splashing into puddle after puddle unaware that her brassiere strap had snapped, her tangerine blouse had flung itself open and her creamy tan breasts were now as animated as her scuffed white shoes as she barrelled along the steaming wet pavement after a migratory bird...and he was gone...up and over the rusty galvanise rooftop of Calypso Fannywagon's Rumshop...on the corner of Federation Way and Stewpot Street. And that's where an out of breath Oona gave up her frantic pursuit and staggered into the coolness of Calypso's. "Woman!" a female voice screamed out, "All yuh breast bouncin’ out! Cover yuhself up! Plenty man in here an’ yuh go give dem erection!" And that's how Oona Chut met Calypso Fannywagon.
Calypso's was exotic and remote...like a random Facebook status...but they hadn't invented Facebook yet. It was still nineteen sixty-five. To Calypso Fannywagon, Calypso's wasn't faintly exotic or remote. It was her home, business and life. To Oona Chut it was the first place anybody other than her mother ever showed her any kindness or concern. She had no money but Calypso saw to it that this titty hysteric with a broken handbag clasp and an open tangerine blouse had a large, straight glass of rum...free......and hours later, as tiny inebriation bubbles burst quietly around Oona's head, Calypso Fannywagon calmly said “Tiger Feet ain’ been written yet. Dis bandit, Buford...?" Calypso knew of him too. She'd first seen his fine feathery body in wet doorways years before."...He ahead ah he time...or he stolen transistor radio is. Dat song yuh heard, it ain’ a hit until de nineteen seventies an’ we still in nineteen sixty-five, ent?" Ent, the local, short expression for ‘not true?’ Oona passed out.
A sound like thousands of frozen peas falling from the sky and colliding with the rumshop's rusty galvanise roof woke Calypso. She lay in bed; half-awake for some five minutes...her eyes closed...her pillow warm and her bedding rumfled. The familiar sound like falling frozen peas were fat raindrops disgorged by low, heavy, dark and turbulent clouds coming down in torrents, sheets of water that pounded the tin roofs of all of East Dry River's ramshackle homes and shops. From the rusty galvanise of Calypso's own rumshop home rainwater sluiced off the roof in constant flows as though many mighty hoses were trained on it. It was the middle of a tenacious wet season of tropical storm after tropical storm all of which threatened to blow into full force as hurricanes. The precipitation was at times relentless and the constant humidity all consuming. Everything felt slightly damp and every corner, cupboard and item of clothing had begun to develop that tell-tale scent of mustiness that hung in the air of every home for the duration of the season. The only relief permitted would be when the skies would lift and the strong sun would bake down on all that was wet and steam away the flooded gutters and pavements. In full roasting heat windows and doors would be thrown open. Wardrobes or presses and cupboards, opened too, would be left to air as the settling winds, turned now to gentler refreshing breezes would be welcomed to waft through the dank homes and shops.
"Lord, let meh get up from dis bed yes?" Calypso mumbled to herself, motivating and rising onto her elbows. She lazily swung her legs to the side of her small double bed and slid her bare feet back and forth momentarily on the warm wooden floor of her little bedroom to the back of the rumshop. The splashing from her roof on the concrete ground outside told her that there would be plenty of pooled rainwater to sweep out of the rumshop's tiny customer area to the front where blowing rain was easily driven in under the locked-up front door. In the corner of her bedroom, next to its only little window a half-full bucket caught the drips from an annoying ceiling leak and next to the bucket, in a rickety sort of day bed, Oona Chut was still quite asleep. Calypso crossed to the door, removed her flimsy salmon coloured nylon dressing gown from its permanent hook on the back of the door, wrapped it around her half-clad body, glanced one more time at Oona...rolled her eyes to the ceiling and the noise of her frozen pea-peppered galvanise roof and stepped out of the room. As she moved along the short, dark corridor to her tiny toilet-cum-bottle storage area, she put her right hand in her dressing gown pocket and gently fondled a small feather.
"Lady," Oona Chut whispered unnecessarily to Calypso, there was nobody with them in the customer area of the little rumshop. "Thank yuh fuh de drink last night...an’ fuh de little bed fuh meh tuh sleep but I worried fuh how I go get home..."
"Chile," Child, Calypso chuckled, "where yuh live anyhow?" Calypso was sweeping the last of the usual morning puddle of water out of the rumshop's front room, out onto the pavement and into the gutter of street. The deluge had eased, stopped and lifted. The sun was growling down and evaporating the storm's puddles and lagoons that swamped the middle of the potholed streets on the corner outside of Calypso's Rumshop. Six roughly made wooden tables and one long, banged-up metal table had their higgledy-piggledy miss-match of chairs up ended on them where Calypso had worked on the floor around the tables pushing away the water with her splayed bristle broom.
"I travel from Tunapuna. I live just outside a there." Oona stated, a little louder. Tunapuna was some five or so miles from Calypso's Rumshop. "I lost all meh money tuh dat funny bird." There was a slight whine to her voice now. Calypso was quick to rest Oona's growing anxiety.
"Is alright gyul." Girl, Calypso sighed in both their shared sing-song accent. "Don't fret. I go make sure yuh have yuh money fuh a taxi fare home." Oona was only slightly relieved by this promise.
"But how? Why? I already owe yuh fuh plenty rum from last night...not so, ent?" She proffered, hesitantly and going back to a whisper as though somebody else may hear of her dept to this stranger.
"Chile..." Calypso uttered and sucked her teeth. There was nothing in the age difference in them. Neither was a child. It was just the term of friendliness they shared, generations have shared when talking to one another...like saying mate or honey in other lands.
"Chile," Calypso continued, "if yuh not in a big hurry tuh travel home yuh can help me around here for a few hours?"
"Yuh mean do a little job or so an’ yuh go pay meh de money tuh get home?" Oona asked loudly and smiled with more ease. "Yes den, dat fine. I ain’ in no hurry. I don’t have a job to go to. I come here looking fuh work, tuh East Dry River. I had an interview but I suppose dat gone now as dat funny bird thief meh money an’ I end up here!" Oona laughed for the first time since meeting Calypso and Buford thieved her spilled loose coin.
"Well, I almost finish in here." Calypso said gesturing with her chin at the last bit of wet shine on the stained, weathered wooden rumshop floor. “Why don’t yuh open up de windows an’ de backyard door...just back there so...let some breeze through an’ I go see what else I can get fuh all yuh tuh do. Yuh back strong? Yuh can lift boxes?"