Clyde's manifesto on life
Wise is the fish who discerns the water’s wetness.
My child, does the rumbling of the ocean speak louder than the fire of your belly?
Has the world’s wildness made you an acolyte of your own mind? Be still. You are not the mouth which gapes at the red sky.
Rather, you are the green stars. Rather you are a fearsome note, blue and bending. Monkeys know which trees to climb. Do you?
When you quiet your mind you will be left with only your whispers. To whom do you listen most?
No one is nearer to you than you. If your arms are not full of another’s work they are full of your own.
Only you can see the yellow lights which flash behind your eyes as you sleep. You saw the path in the past, there is scar on the bottom of your feet which remembers.
There is a prize at the end of the path for the brave.
The path is circular. Gather together.
There is work and drink to be done.
During World War II, the US set bases on Trinidadian soil. It was a heady, frenzied time—a time of Nazi submarines prowling Trinidad’s coast, of America’s first introduction to Calypso, of sharp-tongued Calypsonians critiquing American influence while singing jazz-influenced tunes, of dapper young men wearing the wingtips and sharp-shouldered suits of the Yankees.
Clyde was a man of this time, and afterwards, when he became Trinidad’s first black Auditor General. He was the kind of guy who was friends with both government men and market women, listened to Handel, believed in aliens, slaughtered his own chickens, and was always impeccably dressed. It is this legacy Clyde’s honours.
In a sea of showy, Clyde’s is as mellow and easy as aged rum on a cool Sunday evening. From music to menu, décor to decorum, Clyde’s aesthetic choices are never concocted—they are recalled from a time past by the people who know it best. It is the distinction between complicated and complex; prizes decency and wit over snark; knows rum inside-out; and is the master of its own culture, which it warmly shares with any who enters.
Clyde was the island’s first black Auditor General—a feat considering the island’s long, fraught history of colonialism. Clyde wore crisp shirts, neatly tucked, plucked his own chickens, listened to Handel, and was an ardent fan of wrestling icon Abdullah the Butcher. “Where is he now? Feeling fine, flying around the universe in his space ship,” Chris reflects.