Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Been thinking about Carolina, the gorgeous Jamaican woman. I think most of her friends call her Ro. She's smart and sweet on the surface but fierce when crossed. Her looks may be the first thing people notice about her, but they're the last thing she thinks about. Her perfect posture and lithe body make whatever she puts on look as though it were made for her, but she doesn't care much about clothes. She is, though, mad for shoes now that she can walk again. The higher the heel, the more outrageous the color and style, the more she likes them. Although she wears mostly black in these days of her mourning, she can't help slipping into her brightest, most outrageous shoes.

Two or three years before the airport morning, Ro was in a car accident. Between the two cars, 8 people were involved. All 7 of the others were killed, including Ro's fiance (whose name I'm not sure of yet, but it may be Wade). Ro herself was badly injured—in a coma for many months and hospitalized for almost a year before moving to a rehabilitation facility where she was taught to walk again. For the first months after she awoke from the coma, she couldn't even stand on her rebuilt legs. She has so many pins and plates holding those legs together that, stark naked, she sets off the airport security sensors and theft-detection systems in stores. After a humiliating experience trying to fly home to Jamaica the first time, she now carries notarized letters from her doctor explaining the situation.

She can maintain her perfect figure despite the crap she eats because she now runs 7 miles every morning. One mile for each one who can no longer run for themselves. She runs as a meditation. She runs as a prayer. She runs in thanks for the simple ability to put one foot in front of the other.

Although it's been several years, she's only now beginning to mourn the loss of her fiance. For a long time, she continued to believe there had been some horrible mistake and any minute now he would appear at the door of her hospital room and gather her into his arms. You see, to her eye he had been sitting beside her laughing at some piece of her silliness one minute and disappear-o-ed the next. Vanished. Forever, they kept telling her.

The funeral had taken place while she was lost in that dark place she remembers but can't quite define or describe (the coma). There was no chance to see his body, no time to say good-bye. There was only here and not here. Ever. Again.

Ro is from Chicago and is returning home after meeting the man who received her fiance's heart after the accident. They've been corresponding over the internet for almost a year, and she's at least half in love with him. Or, she was until she met him. When she laid her head on his chest and heard Wade's heart beating inside, she wanted to run screaming from the room. He is so kind and so loving. But he's also Wade and not Wade, all wrapped in the body of a stranger.


So, guys, that's her dilemma. Mine is learning a bit of the patois of the Jamaican language. Anyone out there from Jamaica? Know anyone from Jamaica who would talk with me on the phone or internet? More than anything, I want to get the rhythm of the language down before I start trying to write dialogue.

The bits I've done here on the blog are the only dialogue I've ever written, so that should be interesting. Even without the whole hey-Jerri-let's make-this-harder-by-choosing-characters-with-major-accents thing I've got going on.

But this is the story I feel unfolding. What's a girl to do?


Suzy said...

A girl has to do what a girl has to do....maybe a trip to Jamaica???
It's not of the question for research purposes.....
Such an wonderful story- complex and very real. Keep going my friend...

tinker said...

Try watching some movies/reading some other books featuring Jamaican characters? Go to some reggae concerts and mingle?

If it's the right path, your muse will lead you - follow your muse!
(said in a Yoda-style voice - lol)