"Long time no see. Welcome back. How you do?" Amar the young fruit-vendor greet.
"I ketch the terrible, awful American flu, the one they talking about in the news over there," I say.
Saturday morning was the first time I really appreciate we good ol' Guyana sun (GOGS) while buying me fruits and veggies. The GOGS warm-up me cockles...though I must admit, I ain't know what 'cockles' is, I only read about it in books. I think it is somewhere in me lungs, because as soon as the GOGS shine upon me back, the thought pop into me head, Ahhh, the GOGS is warming me cockles.
I believe that all that air-conditioning in America ain't good, I believe it is what gimme the fever and the hot-and-cold shivers and the cough and the mean, green glob in me chest. But, I must admit, if a certain auntie (I ain't naming names) did wash she hands before she touch me tea-mug, I swear I wouldn'ta ketch the 'flu.
Amar the fruit-vendor is working up a response, I can see he mixing mischief with a smile in he face. "Well, at least you bring back something from America," he say.
He mother laugh quiet-quiet as she arrange them apples.
As sick as I be, I laugh too. As we does say, If we don't laugh, we gon cry.
Truth to tell, this was the first response from we-the-people that ain't scare me. As soon as we-the-people hear about a sickness, we does talk about who-and-who dead from it.
Whops, right off the bat, one cousin in America tell me, "You must be careful, one friend didn't take all her medication and she died in her sleep."
I tremble with fright at that, but Mr. Abdool the taxi-driver make me shake as if I had the ague.
From Florida, I phone he in Guyana to arrange a pick-up for me at we airport. "Assalamalaikum, how you do?" he say. Then he voice rise. "You got to be careful with tha' 'flu, babe. It make one whole set o' people in America kick the bucket."
I know it is we-the-people's way of saying, Take care, look after yourself. But, as a True-Born-Hypochondriac, fright 'n' fear 'n' terror make me avoid buckets since I come home.
I rest me bag on Amar stool to think better about things. "You know, I didn't ketch this dammm 'flu. Ketching something mean you run after it 'cause you want it. I hide from the bleddy thing but it ketch me," I declare.
Quick as a wicked wink, Amar respond. "Well, at least America give you something."
Being a generous gal, and...y'know...they say sharing is good, I contemplate briefly coughing in he face.