What they don’t Teach you in School
First thing, that piece of paper don’t mean one thing. That same paper they give you after three or four years of Slaving away in Babylon system, it don’t mean one thing.
(Of course, it mean something. What you mean? It mean everything)
Alright. Gwaan play fool. Is a set up. A Scam. Me never tell bout it?
First thing that toxic air of purpose should a stifle you. “You can be anything you want to be. Be the change you wish to see, make a difference, knowledge is power for true.”
Damn educated fool.
Them never tell you don’t?
Of course, man. Remember that lecturer from first year? You member her man. You didn’t like her because she was the first one to tell you the truth.
“Hey, some of you going to have to start invent jobs for yourselves.”
And she give that laugh. That same laugh you listen for whenever she break off into one of her stories.
(Same thing. That piece of paper don’t mean nothing)
And you roll your eyes and make up your face.
So how you end up here? Hmm? Not one strand of black hair leave on your head. A time to give the young people a chance. People like you must be telling your grandchildren ole time stories or sleeping under the sun on Seven Mile beach.
Now, that is the realest and most honest thing a teacher could ever tell a student.
You believe her now don’t? Bugger you. Yeah man. That fi reach you. Gwaan dream with your eyes open.
So, just imagine after four years and don’t call this a real job experience cause your granny did tell you. This is not a real job. This country don’t respect educated people. Some a them push up them nose at you.
Watch her to, after she no more than me. Imagine she bust her brain for three whole years and the two a we sit dung a yard. Only she lock up in her White House. A hide out.
“So, what you doing for yourself now?”
You think them give a rass everybody know say job hard to get. Think we nuh see you when you dress up in a pretty suit a march down the road like your Friday come? Yeah man. We see you. And we want justice to. No body no respect poor people neither. So, see, we is the same thing. Only you buss your brain. We don’t have to strain a muscle. Look pon you to, ‘bout you scrape up the people them good good money and dash pon government. Fi them bread butter long time. Good as all owe student loan to. Poor you. Now, a that you call gamble.
Think we don’t hear you from your granny window? Yes you. You with the stars in your eyes always ready to give an Obama yes, we can speech.
So after sending out how much resumes. Gwaan cross your fingers and pray over the paper. And what? Nothing? Gwaan pour water in a basket. Poor people pray to. We ban we belly and bawl. Drop and roll and bawl out fi Jesus.
So, imagine after all of that, now this internship.
(It’s not a real job) so don’t start with that song bout it’s the beginning of an extraordinary life. There is no such thing. You just nuff and extra and life just plain ordinary.
So, imagine now. You dressed for success. You just land. You just arrived. University Graduate and all your accolades.
Yes. Wear the brand-new Mk watch The rose gold one. And matching bag. Time to step into them Steve Madden nude heels. Girl you ready. A your time now. You did even go church Sunday and get an extra touch of blessing. You shouldn’t wash off the olive oil. Yes, step out of failure and walk out into success.
You too nice fi walk pan road. My girl if me did a your man me woulda carry you pan my back. A so you careless you couldn’t even find a taxi man? Nice nice girl like you? Yeah man, gwaan like you too nice.
You can’t go sweat up in a government bus where all sort a nigger who not even have the decency to put on deodorant from Morning. No man. You need to get one of them fancy uptown taxi to exhort you.
How you mean, yes girl a you this. You ready.
Driver, you sure this is the place? No? This is so and so Avenue, Kingston 10? You sure. See the sign deh, you can’t read?
This can’t be it.
What? You were meant for more? Say it nuh. You should be in one of them Skyscraper buildings on Knutsford Boulevard or Kings Street.
(My girl, come back to Jamaica, is full time you forget about the land of opportunities)
Driver you sure this is the right place?
(The man shoulda run you out of him car)
It’s just marl. Is what you want? Asphalt and a garden with a statue? Just step out in your Steve Madden heels and straighten your linen pants. You’re ready, this is it.
Remember, it’s not what’s on the outside that counts.
Touch up your makeup. And walk through like you own the place. Look at yourself man. At least them have a glass door. Look at you girl. Real boss lady, real independent woman. Smile a little not too wide man. Don’t overdo it.
But you try not to twist your ankle walking in the gravel. To not soil your clean cream blouse on the rusty door. Try not to touch anything.
(Lord knows you don’t belong here)
You try not to remember the smell of dust.
(Bet you is paper them sending you to file)
But them could a bright and facety, give who paper? Them muss rass mad. You know who I am? (I am… Graduate of the university– never mind that)
So, you try not to remember the scent of old dust, untouched like fresh ideas, like paper waiting to be filed.
(Everything in this damn country pile up).
Make sure you cross your ankles. Careful. Don’t let that tongue slip and chat bad. You know the way them teach at that prep school from your eye deh a your knee. Yes, speaky- spokey like you can’t mash ants. Sophisticated. Yes. Sophisticated.
You don’t belong here.
Yes man. Tell the lady who you are.
What? The words them hitch up in a your throat?
You are a university graduate…
So of course, When the supervisor sends you to their other branch. My girl don’t ketch heart attack and drop down in a the people them place. Not even ambulance you want to pick you up here so. The Lord will work it out somehow.
Yes. Lord. God did know long time say you don’t belong here.
But you fail the test fair and square.
Yes, go home and wipe the marl off your shoes girl.
Matter of fact fling weh the blasted shoes. That is a whole other story.
Just imagine, after that long day with the shoes squeezing you so tight you walking like nail in your shoes.
On top of all a that the rain decide to fall. And you walking danity using the umbrella as a crutch. Walking like Miss Cindy who rock from left to right taking her own sweet time. Those new shoes squeeze you till your two-little toe bruise. Twenty- six houses until home. Alright. Left foot then right foot. Think about tomorrow. You know what just fling weh the damn shoes. What you working for if you can’t buy yourself a pair of new shoes? Just walk barefoot. Walk and wade through. Never mind the rain. It’s just a drizzle.
Yes. Tomorrow. If you want good your nose have to run.
Wake up before the cock crow with hope flooding your eyes and a prayer on your lips. Today is a different day. New shoes to fill.
Stick. A. Pin.
Now, this is what you call no man’s land. A really where them a send me. Not even a sign. Them even on google map?
Not again. This worse than the first place. More dust. More rust. More ideas stack up.
Just relax my girl you really that shallow?
Alright. It’s what’s on the inside that count.
This is reality now, what you going to do with it?
Dream with your eyes open?
(Lord God please don’t say make lemonade out of lemons)
So, no that it mean?
This is reality. What you going to do with it?
Now, you tell me. Show me what that paper means.