WELCOME TO THE HAPPY FARM SERIES
A Beauty to Behold
John and the Mystic Man
It felt just like in the movies, the natural lighting was already in place and if I had listened closely enough, I might have heard the romantic strains of a piano or violin, or maybe a guitar, coming from across the near hills.
Mystic Man was stood, stark naked, shaking out his long damp dreadlocks. There was no shame in his game. Mouth agape, I sat, eyes transfixed on his beautiful human form. I would love to paint him. Would I even be able to capture his essence — a wild, free, mysterious being, living in the foothills?
Then I heard the music — a long shrill return whistle. John. How did he even know I was here? I did whistle when I arrived but honestly did not expect him to hear, worse yet return the call.
The gate opened and John stepped out in his rain cloak, hanging to his ankles. He wore strong water boots. My friend was in his element. Both men were in their element. I felt like the intruder.
John noticed Mystic Man right away. “Bwoy, wha you doing out here stark mudderation* nekked? Where u clothes? You on show? You ain’t hear a bad flu goin’ around? You want get sick? I would just dig a hole and bury you up here! I won’t even bother mi head.”
Mystic Man smiled, displaying teeth that looked like Chiclets. He and John had a long relationship based on mutual liking and respect. That much I gathered from John.
I remember when we were small, Chiclets was a popular brand of gum — large, white, rectangular and perfectly shaped. You could buy a box of 2 for twenty-five cents or if you had a dollar, a box of 12. It made better math to save and buy the box of 12. We were not dumb kids.
I do not even think they made Chiclets anymore. I have never seen my daughter with any. Actually, I never encouraged gum chewing so even if she had, she would not have allowed me to see her with it. Chiclets seemed to be one of those products that didn’t make it into middle age.
So, caught up was I in these childhood memories, or something else, that I lost part of the conversation. I tuned back in in time to hear John saying, “okay, later….I will be on the farm.”
My ears piqued. Mystic Man was dropping by. I had every intention of still being here when he arrived.
I. Trudie Palmer
* A Caribbean expression used for exaggeration. I do not know if its English root came from mother or from murder.