Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Growing up: Remembering my Firsts

My name is Darryn Dinesh Boodan, and I am an adult. What does being an adult mean? Well it depends on how you look at it. When I was 15, being adult meant you didn't have to go to school; you could drive, have your own money, watch porn anytime, and hook up with older women. Now, being an adult mostly means, forcing yourself to go to a job you hate every day, remembering to pay your car loan, not letting your friends find out you still borrow money from your mom, not admitting to still watching porn, and wanting to hook up with younger women.
As I look back on my life, I can clearly see those defining moments when a boy took his first steps towards manhood. These are some of those moments (not in chronological order).

My First Kiss
Everybody remembers their first kiss, especially if it was with the most popular girl in your class. I was in Standard 4, and Debbie Dass told me she would kiss me behind the school, if I bought her a Catch. So my first kiss was a mixture of prepubescent nervous anxiety and excitement, coated with a layer of crispy milk chocolate and caramel. It was amazing. Debbie and I would go sneak off to kiss at the back of the school every lunchtime after that. I was completely in love with her, and even told her I wanted to marry her. Then one day she said she didn't want a Catch anymore; instead she wanted Ferrero Rocher. The school parlour didn't sell that, and, in any case, that was a sign that she was high maintenance, so I broke it off.
I guess being an adult is all about getting value for money.

The First time I Voted
Nothing says you are a responsible adult, conscious of the issues affecting your society, more than a finger stained with electoral ink. On Election Day of 2000, my father dropped me off at Montrose Government to vote for the first time.
"So how it feels to vote son?" my father asked me, as I got into his car.
"Good dad, I hope I make a difference," I replied, showing him my inked finger with pride.
"That's good son, I'm proud of you. I'm glad to see you being an adult and taking an interest in your country."
"Yeah, I really hope Mustapha Ali makes a difference in Chaguanas."
"But Darryn, ent Mustapha Ali is the PNM candidate?"
"Yeah I know dad. I vote for him."
"You went and vote for the PNM?? You serious!"
"Well I read his flyer and I think..."
"Get the hell out of my car Darryn! Walk the hell home!"
While walking home, I realized that being an adult also involved not letting anyone know how you really voted.

My First Drink
I had my first ever drink at Double R Bar on Endeavor Road (Chaguanas). I walked in one Saturday afternoon, sat at the bar, and ordered a drink. I was 16.
"What you drinking?" said the old Indian man behind the bar.
"Well what you recommend?" I asked, trying to sound suave.
"Well, you is an Indian, so rum."
"What me being Indian have to do with anything?"
"Well Indians drink rum; that's the way it is."
"Well what if I wanted a beer?"
"What kind of beer?"
"A Carib?"
"Well that would mean you is a buller."
"I'm not a buller!"
"Well drink Stag then; that's a man's beer! Look at the sign."
" I don't want a Stag. How about a Heineken?"
"Girls in TGI does drink Heineken. This is a rum shop."
"What about Guinness?"
"Guinness is for Creole and dem man. You look like a nice Indian boy, drink rum nah".
So after being schooled in "the way it is", like a responsible adult, I drank my first shot of rum.

The Time I got my Drivers Permit
The one irrefutable rite of passage that transforms a boy into a man is getting your driver's licence. I studied for my regulations religiously and signed up with Imran's driving service in Chaguanas to do ten lessons before I took my test. After my tenth and last lesson, Imran pulled me aside and said that although I was an excellent driver, he thought I was going to fail, and that I should give him an extra $500 to give to the licensing officer, so he would pass me.
"They can't fail me if I do everything correct," I said defiantly.
"Yes they can. They will fail you if you don't pay them. That's the way things work Darryn."
"Well this should be on the news. People need to know how corrupt the licensing office is."
"Yeah Darryn maybe you could lead a march like Gandhi and set the people free. Look, you want your permit or you don't want your permit? Is up to you."
In the end, I thought that endorsing my credentials as a grown man was worth $500. Being an adult is about making a stand.

My First Time
All I remember is Tunnel being packed, me drinking too much rum, the speakers blasting, "All I wanna do is zoom zoom in your poom poom", my parents not being home and Stacy Hiroop whispering in my ear that she liked my hair. Having said that, I'm pretty sure my first time having sex was awesome though; in any case that's what I told all my friends. I guess part of being an adult is knowing how to tell a story in the right way. I wish I had been more an adult and videotaped it.
So let's recap. What have I learnt growing up? Women will always want more, family and politics don't mix, drinking rum is not a personal preference - it's a civic duty, it's better to have a car than morals, and, if you tell a good story enough times, it will eventually become the truth. Class dismissed.

first published in Outlish Magazine 2010 


Anonymous said...

Darryn, I love your style and you're hilarious!

Anonymous said...

LOL@ Ferrero Rocher...indulging in some as I read...post Valentine's Day bluessss. Nice article!