Many Rivers to Cross – Pt 1

This story of a young, single parent, Jamaican man; caught in the corporate world of the Caribbean with a young son to raise while developing his profile as a hardnosed masculine guy who’s overwhelming success is soiled by the title “unmarried” or so he believes. A burden that he carries even as his rugged sexual appeal keeps drawing risqué type women into his life. Will he find true love with his old flame, or shall he meet a true Caribbean queen to rescue him from the rivers of Babylon.
Screen one

St John’s, Antigua:

On an enchanted Island in the North Caribbean Sea, the sun wakes up the sky with streaks of golden light that leave me at the mercy of nature’s bountiful beauty. Another day is about to unfold. Another day of drama and sheer pleasantries. Last evening I went to bed rather burnt out, tired of the ups and downs of the corporate ladder I have been climbing and making the giant leaps for over a decade. Since I finished college in Kingston; and returned to my life here on this small island my life has become a drag.

Antigua with its inviting beaches and laid back lifestyle is cool I guess, but not when you have to be thinking about clinching that all important deal that could make or break the Caribbean’s only real successful unit of integration.

Yeah, I am chief marketing officer with the WICB – the once super cricket team, world-beaters for over two decades, until Australia beat them at Sabina in 1995.

The WICB is not what I thought it would be. Can you imagine that this ship, with all the lip service that is being thrown towards unity and togetherness, has been more about ruthless power, pretence and insularity?

My boss is Board President, Ahmir Pervez. He is, like always, at loggerheads with the rest of the executive team. A former Managing Director for the Samsara all inclusive chain, he knows not much about the rudiments of the game of cricket off the field, having only played regional cricket at the junior level. Many wonder how he got the job, but then he has stature and face boy appeal from his experience with tourism business and since the WICB was in the red, I guess they wanted a man with a solid track record to bail them out.

Mr. Pervez was the one who called me up for the job, as he needed a heavy-duty youngblood, who was goal oriented to help overhaul the machinery, and create some dollars and publicity for the sinking ship.

I loved it at first, everybody welcomed me with open doors, but the longer I have been here, all seem to have changed as the appearance of those doors now drive fear to my balls.

” Knock Knock” can I come in

Sure son, I was just about to get up and to the bathroom to shower before rushing off to work at the Recreation ground.

That’s what I came to ask Dad, can I come with you today to watch the Match. I know I said I didn’t want to go at first but Coach said that all the guys should make every attempt to attend, as we would get a better feel for the importance of the game.

Yes, Craig you can come along, I don’t know if I can get you that seat in the commentary box again though…. I will have to call Eric the production director at Trans-world International to see if they can find somewhere for your little butt to rest in the box.

Its okay Dad, Raymond and his father are going to the match and they are taking Kevin as well. I just need to have a pass or ticket to enter the ground.

Craig, are you sure you want to go with Mr. Johnson.

Yes Dad I know you will be too busy and most of the time the commentary box becomes crowded anyways with folks that are drinking alcohol and seem to have lost their brains.

I believe you on that one son, many times I have to jump around and appear busy while refusing another round while hanging out with the TV crew and scoreboard guys, even ball by ball announcers seem to overindulge.

No wonder they sound so wild and maxed out audio-wise… Yeah son it’s all in the booze, that’s why I stay away from the wild crazy parties cause I am on the job and Mr. Pervez expects me to always be sound and reasonable.

The match starts at 9:30 am and if you want to catch Mr. Johnson and beat the long lines at the Sir Vivian Richards stand you need to get ready now…let me find my wallet so you can get some lunch.

Thanks Dad. So you think young Barrington Simon will make his debut today ? Everyone thinks he is ready for the test level…

I think they will play him in this match, but if he isn’t selected most definitely he will play in the second test in Kingston. They always like to play a debutant in front of his home crowd.

So we will see young Graham Foster today then…?

Yes son Mr. Croft told me yesterday that the selectors are going for youngblood and Graham has proven himself by hitting a record 8 centuries this season in the professional league.

Here is 300 dollars son, the pass is in the driver’s seat pocket, you can take all three for you and the guys.

Later then Dad, I have my keys and will ride with Mr. Johnson cause I know you will have to lock up shop at the ARG tonight.

You are right on that …let me get to the bathroom before you hear seh is me cause dem to have a late start.

That Mr. Ahmir is going to want me to confer with every member of the board, our sponsors, selection panel, umpires, press box personnel and visiting team officials to paint a pretty picture on a situation that is getting uglier with each series.

7:37 am let me stop by the office and see if Richard is there…. Richard Cummings was the Public relations/Communications Liaison, a former West Indies batsman with an enviable record. Being the first Virgin Islands man to make the West Indies team. He smashed some 2700 runs in his eight year at an average of 75.23, with some 20 centuries to his credit.

Cummings was an all rounder he bagged some 34 wickets in his career at a 15.24 run rate. Not bad for a part time bowler who made cover drives his forte.

The guy could play ball for many more seasons, but resigned from the game claiming personal reasons. Many thought it was because he disliked the new Captain Russell from Jamaica and felt his time had come to captain the ship on the field.

Well if limelight and running things was his delight, he was our PR man but seemed to have plans to rise to higher heights within the board.

Mr. Ahmir has asked me to watch over proceedings carefully as he expects Richard to try and sabotage this Digicel test series between us and the touring English men.

England was now King pins, the first time in decades, arriving with a much-vaunted team last Friday. Playing no warm up games before this, the first test match of this series. Billed to be the most watched test series in history, millions are at stake as the clash of cultures of Post imperialist colonial might versus a rising conquering union. As the Caribbean was heading to be in Union by 2005.

He never answers his celly… well his car is not here….

Let me call Mr. Ahmir and see if Richard is there yet, but then dutty Ahmir is going to complain about my being late….

Ah!!! These people and them domination and control leadership…geeish

If it wasn’t for Craig mi leave this Job already and headed back to Jamaica long ago. But he needs me to remain here in this environment, away from the hustle and bustle of Kingston.

Rachel wants to see him but I just don’t think he should live in Kingston, not today at least.

Yard is so messed up, murder rates quadrupling, last year some 1300 murders for a country that is not in a civil war.

Then there is Rachel’s dysfunctional lifestyle, she’s always seeing another man and has little use for Craig.

He always complains how she leaves him at home to watch anything on TV, and she has that DSS cable crap with over 100 channels.

To be continued…

About the author

Nicholas StJohn