Bullars and burly police!
My intention was to go to Bohemia’s last lap and get on “wotless”.
I had been in the relative safety of my home for most of carnival 2011, fighting a constant, gnawing desire to shake my “cock bottom” sensually and violently for a sustained period, in full view of other people.
Carnival Tuesday night at 9 pm nature won over, I quickly showered, put on a pair of jeans one size too small, an old t shirt, older track shoes put two hundred dollars into my pockets , got into my car and headed into Port of Spain.
I almost turned back at the Twin towers, the traffic slowed to crawl and it took me 40 minutes to get to the Colville Street exit onto Ariapiata Avenue. It would have made no sense to turn back because the traffic was crawling East, as well.
The traffic cured me of my desires and I took the first parking spot on the pavement outside the Licencing Office on Wrightson, planning more to wait out the traffic than on shaking my ass in Bohemia and hopefully picking up a bed warmer, as I did last year.
I crossed Wrightson road, walked up Gatacre Street and headed west on Ariapita Avenue, just before Murray Street I had to climb the pavement as there were barriers on the road to keep spectators away from the masqueraders. By the time I stumbled through the jumble of people and reached the corner of Murray and Ariapita, it was 10:30 pm and I stopped to catch my breath in front of one of the now ubiquitious Syrian gyro vendors. Only in the West Indies would Arabs be making a mint selling Greek food, mainly to Africans and East Indians!
I looked up to see a line of Police Officers, wearing yellow t shirts with POLICE emblazoned in black across the front, walking indian file up Murray Street. The drunken teenaged girl sitting with her group of friends on the pavement opined loudly “I wonder if they going to the gay place?”
From behind me the Proprietor of a roadside bar offered editorially, to no one in particular, as he looked at the serious faced line of 20-25 officers wielding batons, some wearing latex gloves and others donning them “ they going to share real licks” and then again for everyone’s benefit “They going and share REAAL licks”.
Just at that time the head of the Indian file veered into Bohemia. The Girl in her drunken stupor shrieked “is they self they going”. I remembered a few of the Police Officers looking ashen face and I thought to myself that they were probably hoping they don’t get recognized/outed.
It was over in a less than 3 minutes, the music ended and from my vantage point on the pavement, I watched as a few Lawyers, a foreign Diplomat, a Law Office Manager, a Golfer, a Reverend, an IT Managers, a Pricesmart Clerk and other members of TT GAY community reluctantly leave Bohemia at 10 40 pm on Carnival Tuesday. One of the men was someone I had promised a “wotless” wine, inclusive of my touching my toe.
After the Police returned to their post at the corner of Ariapita and Murray, I decided to linger at the corner, seems like a lot of other folks from Bohemia had the same idea. So there was a virtual buffet of gay men and women loitering on lower Murray Street. There were butch dreadlocked lesbians, femme fatale lesbian, the stereotypical limp wristed gay boys and men parading in the latest fashion or skimpy costumes. The islanders who treat Trinidad carnival like a gay pilgrimage and the buff gay boys.
So I guess it was no surprise then in the face of this marauding mob that the Ministry of Works truck filled with Police Officers flanked by SUVs filled with more Police, was desptatched 20 minutes later. They ran into Bohemia and banged their batons on the galvanise fence, creating a somewhat melodic percussive noice. The result was a gay dispersal , out of Bohemia then down Murray and up Murray.
Again within 3 minutes it was over and the yellow shirted police with their rubber gloves got into their transport and headed up Murray Street. I would like to think that they were heading to stop another “illegal” gathering so as to ensure that the celebration of flesh ended at midnight.
So I did not get an opportunity to behave “wotless” and think I may make my own pilgrimage to Bajan Carnival later this year!