11. April 2013 · Comments Off on Herself Once Again · Categories: D. 5 to 8 years

My mom is like her old self before the war.  She takes me to the movies with Lieutenant Anjo.  I sit between them.  The movie is in technicolor.   I have never seen a movie in color.  The movie is called Can’t Help Singing, and that is what they do.  It is glorious.  I can’t get enough of the colors and the songs.  I wish it would just go on and on.  My mom says why don’t you sing for us.  Sing for your supper, she teases.

When I tell my sister she says that I exaggerate everything.  She says that I do that, and when people go and see for themselves what I am talking about it’s never as good as I say.

I feel just the opposite.   I can never describe well enough what I see to make people feel the way I do.  I always think they’d know if they could just be there.

But soon there are things that I don’t tell her.  She is never there.

I don’t tell her that my mom takes me to Lieutenant’s Anjo’s apartment at the barracks.  That there was a cocktail party there and many beautiful people came in party clothes.

I would never tell that Alfredo, the Lieutenant’s man servant, let me hang out in the back where they mix the drinks and tell jokes.  Maybe he was told to send me home but got too busy to remember.  But I think he knew I wanted to stay.

Alfredo taught me and Charlie how to carve a flute from a reed.   He told us when to go and sit on the guava tree at night.   We saw soldiers playing flutes, beating drums and dancing in skirts that rattled and jingled with the rhythm.  Charlie had to whisper no, don’t jump down.   He held back my hands before I could clap and dragged me back to the house.

guava tree

I would never tell my sister how much fun it is to ride on his horse with the Lieutenant, or how happy our mom is with his friends at the military club.  Even Charlie likes him.

We always call him Lieutenant, never Uncle.   I know that my sister does not like him.    His name is Lieutenant Anjo, and she thinks it’s clever to call him Lieutenant Diabo when only I am listening.

I wish my sister and the Lieutenant would like each other.  Why do we have to take sides?

horsestatue copyRiding on the dashing Lieutenant’s horse, I thought of this statue near our old house on the slope. (Joao Ferreira Amaral, Governor of Macau in 19th century)

Comments closed.