My first crush, 13yrs old viewing a performer in a play at my sister’s high school. To me she was a vision, unaware my crush was a combination of her appearance and the role she was playing. With this false insight, I was enamoured with the notion of becoming a similar performer that I might develop a relationship after being introduced to her.


I did join my high school’s theatre troupe only to discover stage-fright and the malady of needing-to-pee before going on-stage. There were a lot going on with me, in my life, unbeknownst to me. The natural was biological about which none was willing to elaborate, another being the imminent emigration to result in the reunion of our mother who had to leave us behind throughout my formative years.


I carried this crush, romantic fantasy with me throughout the years that followed. Not a week went ‘bye’ for the following 5yrs increasing the homesickness feeling in accompaniment. Then, I was able to return to my birth country, most eager to rekindle that spark of what I believed to have been love at first sight.


After landing, I set about finding my lost love. I was to be dealt a blow that was to become familiar as a ‘growing pain’ in years to come. I was able to make contact, and made arrangements to visit her at home. It had not occurred to me that we had but seen each other less than five times entering our teens, and five years had passed with each of us having vastly different experiences.


I made my way to her home. Her mother greeted me and seated me on the veranda with lemonade to cool the heat of the afternoon. She then appeared, not the vision I had carried all these years. Her hair in curlers, slightly acned and underdressed as she was preparing to go out on a date. I put on the best accepting face I could muster, as we sat and exchanged pleasantries that revealed she barely recalled meeting me. I was her friend’s brother, a position I was to have for many decades to follow. Time passed quickly, yet slowly simultaneously, whereupon I bid my farewell never to see her again.


I often thought of her, as the years drew bye. Especially, walking through the few neighbourhoods I recalled noticing how much narrower the roads seemed than in my childhood. It was on one of those meanderings I became aware of the adage, “I could not go home again.” What was to follow only solidified that notion no matter my wishful thinking.


I have visited my birth country maybe seven times in the fifty-five years since I’ve emigrated, the last being the funeral of the man designated my father. A man of whom I have a regard that cannot be defined, as I have no idea/concept of what ‘father’ means. But, we did have cordial relations, unlike the ones he had with my sibling and her relations, as well as my other relatives who knew and talked of their relationship with him.


Through it all, I learned to make my home wherever I am of a mind.




9. Before Emigrating '62


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