When me did lickle a country, yuh know, me use to love watch fight, man. Me was always front seat spectator from di time me hear a pickney bawl out:
“Touch a button.”
or me hear:
“Hot pitata, hot pitata.”
An when lick start fly, a me dat a cheer like me dey a Stadium. No feel no way, but me nevah fight yet (yuh waan mama kill me?) but anywhere it deh, a me dat.
But since me come a Foreign, chile, fight tek on new meaning. One mornin dis girl come into work an announce:
“My husband and I had a fight last night.”
Me start fi scan har fi black an blue mark, an ask har who win. She look pon me funny like, an she proceed fi tell di whole story.
“But dat is not fight,” I say, “dat is quarrel.”
For when somebody say fight, no buf-baf dat an sometime tear up clothes an fling stone. Two people a beat up dem gum, how yuh fi call dat fight, massa? For my modda always say:
“Stick an stone may break my bone but words cannot harm me.”
Nuh true word dat? Fight is fight an quarrel is quarrel. For yuh coulda quarrel till kingdom come, fight cyaan start if yuh no touch a button, no true? See yah, chile, it foreign a foreign fi true. For if fight was quarrel me coulda beat out Mike Tyson long time, yuh no tink so? For doah I am not a meddler or quarreler, Ambrosine doan tek kindly to anybody who mell wid har.
Me tell yuh, chile, dis fight ting getting mi blood pressure up. For everytime me hear somebody say: “We got into a fight,” me heart just lip so, an all me can tink of is fist a fly. An, mek me tell yuh someting, dem use to have some big leather-back gal a my school wha always smell a sardine. Me mek sure dem is mi frien. For, anyhow yuh an dem have nuttin, hear dem:
“Jus wait till afta school.”
An yuh betta find shorter cut dan dem know or mek sure yuh have bigga breddah or cousin fi help out. For when dem deh gal ketch yuh an siddung pon yuh, dere can be no mistake whether dis is quarrel or fight.
Chile, me cyaan understan how dis mixup come about. For if anybody come put quarrel to me, me mouth eena mouth wid dem. But mek dem waan fight, Ambro tek foot eena hand an bird-speed home. For me memba my breddah did go tek fast go fight a school. Afta mama done warn him. Bway come home wid khaki tear up an shoes gone. Mama send me fi go cut switch, an ah tell yuh, nevah again. Him walk far from crowd.
No, sah, quarrel is word unkind but fight is lick dung an mash up. Foreign is real foreign, chile, real foreign.