My features have an Asian quality about them—countenance with a yellowish undertone, curl-less eyelashes, and thick coarse hair—so that it’s believable if I say that I’m from the Philippines or Cambodia. I imagined my Taino ancestors migrated from China through the tundra of Alaska trekking all North America and finally settling in the warm Caribbean. Imagine my surprise to learn they originated in South America, the region of Amazonia and Orinoco. They trekked north guided by the spirits of Yucahu and Atabey. Yucahu approved the island’s fertile soil for growing cassava and Atabey reveled in the fresh waters.
The glass-blower in Murano performed his art in a nonchalant manner. Some of us watched him in fascination but most matched his mood. It wasn’t quite boredom, but more like a hurry-and-get-to-the-point angst that filled the air. The dusty location and uncomfortable benches contributed to the olive aura. Polite tourists discreetly tapped toes. Until the perfect form of a horse on its hind legs materialized before us. A flurry of oohs and aahs filled the cavernous location. Claps ensued and suddenly the drab lifted. The lit furnace activated everyone’s curiosity. What else could be shaped out of sand and heat?
Brian was out of practice in the art of grooming. He carefully knotted the Hermes tie his fiancé gave him long ago. Satisfied the tie dimpled correctly, he focused on the French cuffs. The military cuff links were his father’s most treasured possession, awarded for his service during WWII. His father had been a meticulously fastidious man. He’d be proud of the way his son honored him on such a momentous occasion. Brian inserted them through the narrow opening and put on his Armani jacket. He gave himself a once over. Yes, he was ready to finally say I do.
The mirror at the corner of my desk hovers like the moon with a faint lunar ring. It’s mounted on plexiglass shaped like a mantel clock. The see-through plexiglass gives it the floating effect. The contrast between the time-honored shape and the modern material doesn’t escape me, for I too am a relic in a modern environment, surrounded by millennials who are ready to take on the world with attitudes of entitlement. Hard work? Pshaw … They want money and prestige without the grunt work. They’re like babies who learn how to walk without learning how to stand up first.