The Quintessence of Light – Part One

The Quintessence of Light – Part One

by Peter Halder

     Albert Charter was having a great time at the Dance at the Recreation Hall. He danced, he drank and he wooed Dorothy Bunyan. He accompanied her home when she was ready to leave at 11.30 p.m. “I’ve to work tomorrow although it is a Saturday so I have to get home early,”she explained.

Albert and Dorothy walked hand in hand along Arvida Road and turned right at Greenheart Street. They soon reached her home.

“This is where I live with my parents. Goodnight Albert. Thanks for a great time at the dance. You’re a good dancer.”

“No big ting. It was my pleasure,” said Albert put his hand around her waist and said quietly, “look into my eyes and tell me what you see.”    

Dorothy looked into his eyes, smiled and said with mischievously, “A kiss but not tonight. Bye.”

Albert was disappointed. He said to himself while a kiss is like a vow taken before the shrine of memory, he could not make Dorothy do what she did not want to do. There’s always a next time he thought.

The young man turned around and walked along Powell Crescent to the sandy river bank. “Boat,” he shouted.

A small ferry boat with an Archimedes outboard engine soon arrived from Wismar. The boat took Albert to Dutchy landing. He paid the fare and turned left. He walked some distance and saw that Eytle Cook Shop was closed. He turned around and decided to try his luck at Poka Cook Shop. It was on the way to his home in Section C, Christianburg.

He had walked for about a hundred yards when he saw a man on his knees looking around the ground under the street lamp on the western side of the road. Although peeved over what took place earlier, he felt in a helpful frame of mind. He strolled to the man and asked, “What is your problem Mister? What are you searching for? Did you lose something?”

The mulatto, stood up and told Albert, “ meh sarching foh meh green five dallah bill. Is de lass money me gat. Meh need am foh pay meh rent. Dah ah meh prablem. Help meh man help meh.”

Albert had to turn his head away as the man spoke. It reeked of alcohol. He was swaying on his feet as he spoke. Drunk no doubt, Albert told himself and said, “Okay, I will help you search.”

The two men searched in a wide circle under the street lamp but the money was not found.

Albert turned to the man and asked, “Are you sure you lost the five dollar bill?”

“Ah nah cochure, ah foh shure brudda man, is wuh leff bak aftah meh pay foh me High Wine.”

Exasperated, Albert continued, “Okay then, I would like to know one more thing, are you sure you lost the five dollar bill here?”

“Nah nah nah,” said the drunk man, “meh nah bin lass um hay, me lass um unda a hoose ah Fuss Allee neer whe meh ah live.”

“What, what is that you say? You did not lose the money here where we have been searching for the past fifteen minutes but under a house in First Alley. Is that what you are saying?”

“Xackly. Ah dah wah meh ah seh. Dat’s whe meh lass um nat hay!”

“Well then why are we searching here and not under the house at First Alley?”

“Man, yuh drunk ar wat. Yoh nah gat sense. Ah we caan sarch deh. Deh nah gat lite foh sarch. Unda dis lamp post gat lite and dat’s wye meh ah sarch hay and beg yoh foh jine meh.”

Albert sucked his teeth and walked away.

“For sure


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