(4) Kellits to Kingston
Street vendors, it must be noted, were predominantly female. One further attribute of the itinerant, independent sales woman would hold me transfixed, in sheer awe; the ability to stop her march across the city, in mid stride, squat down on the road still balancing her basket of produce on her head and urinate luxuriously and abundantly on the ground inside her skirt, the skirt providing the privacy for this necessary act, there being no public facilities for this function. Having relieved herself, she stands up, gracefully regains her stride and resumes her sales pitch.
“Come get you sweet, fresh, nice, blackie mangoes!”
Evidence of her relief sparkles in the sun, trickles down a slope, steams on the once dry asphalt…
This morning the wind is transmitting the sound of a street vendor in the distance. I rush from the backyard to track the progress of the vendor. The message from the male voice is broken in the wind.
“-- --- twinkling -- an eye ---- ---- be changed ---- ------ to ----------- ty. ---- to --- ---- -nointed!”
A minute more and the message becomes clearer.
“In the twinkling of an eye, man shall be changed from mortal to immortality. Hail to the Lord Anointed!”
Ascertaining as he approaches that this is not an ordinary street peddler selling mangoes, but indeed a latter day prophet forecasting the destruction of the world, relating presages of impending doom, having just recently escaped a near rapture in Kellits, I head for the cellar, the crawl space under the house, to hide from the second ending of the world in a month, to muffle the sound so as to escape hearing what I am hearing.
“IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE MAN SHALL BE CHANGED FROM MORTAL TO IMMORTALITY! HAIL TO THE LORD ANOINTED!”
The Suddenly Enlightened One is passing the house now and the cellar space under the house has just become a resonance chamber. Far from muting the message, it has amplified it and again given rise to anxieties which will be frequently renewed. In fact, this message and its variants reiterated weekly in our church was to be for me a continuing source of terror and apprehension.
“Ackeeee!” “Bammyyyy!” A woman street vendor is singing her sales pitch while going down the road selling her wares in the opposite direction from the prophet. From my seat in the crawl space under the house I allow myself some creative editing and mix their messages which are rendered palatable as follows:
“IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE MAN SHALL BE CHANGED FROM ACKEEEE TO BAMMYYYY! HAIL TO THE LORD ANOINTED!”