How much do you love Guyana?

Feb 11, 2019 Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom, Kaieteur News, https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...-do-you-love-guyana/

After the fourth beer, my friend’s tongue loosened. “Boy, Guyana is a beautiful place. Folks back home just do not know how good they have it. Look at us here in this freezing place. I would give anything to be outside Pet Boy Shop sipping a cold one on a Friday afternoon.”

“You miss home?”  I asked.

“If I miss home? If I miss home? I love Guyana. I love Guyana!” he replied

“Are you willing to help out the people of Guyana?” I queried.

“I am always up to help out. Just name it and you will have it. I love my country, he said, pointing to his car parked outside,” he said.

There was a Guyana flag hanging on a thin slender pole attached to his front fender, a miniature flagpole flying the Golden Arrowhead, the symbol of patriotism for so many immigrants. The flag hung wet and wilted from the weather. It was faded but still much visible for all to see.

“See that flag,” he said, “it goes wherever I go.”

That was obvious since wherever he went, he did so in his car.

The conversation switched to other topics. But that was only a temporary reprieve. After the fifth beer, the love relationship with Guyana resurfaced again. My friend began again, about how much he loved his homeland. I decided to question whether it was love or nostalgia.

So I asked him, “You love Guyana? Why do you love Guyana?”

He paused for a very long time. He took a sip. Looked at me, took another sip, but did not answer.

I asked him again, “Why do you love Guyana?”

He looked at me and then said, “Guyana is my homeland. I love Guyana because I just love Guyana. It is where I was born. It was where I grew up.  Why would I not like Guyana?”

I interjected. “I was not disputing that you loved Guyana. I was just asking why. If you love something or somewhere, there has to be a reason why you love it. Is that not so?”

“Sure bro, but I love Guyana and I know that you love Guyana. Do you not love Guyana?” he asked turning the question back on me.

I had to remind him that he was the one who said that he loved Guyana and I was really trying to find out just what it is that he loved about Guyana.

He continued, “Guyana is my country. I don’t care what nobody says; Guyana will always be my country. I am not going to sit here and deny that I come from Guyana. I love Guyana because I come from Guyana. It is my country.”

“You had a dog which you gave away last week,” I reminded.

Sure he said, “I gave the dog away.”

“It was your dog?”

“Sure. It was my dog.”

“You loved that dog, did you not?” I asked.

“Yes I loved it.”

“If you loved it why then did you give it away?”

“I gave it away because I had to?”

“Just like how you had to leave Guyana,” I reminded.

He was finally seeing my point.

“Look he said, “I know where you are coming from. If I love my country so much, if it belongs to me, why then did I leave it. We all had to leave it for our own good. Sometimes you have to leave what you love.”

“But you still love Guyana?” I asked.

“Yes, most definitely.”

“How deep is your love for your country?”

He said, “I love my country and I will go back there because I love Guyana.”

“Would you give up your job and go back and live in Guyana?” I asked.

He looked at me, pushed his glass away, stood up, and strode away from the table.

“I have to go now,” he said.

He went out to his car and drove off. The flag on his car still hung limply, refusing to be revived by the draft caused by his sudden acceleration.

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