Toco Wedding

Published on: March 23, 2014

As small as Trinidad seems on the map, there are still places that you can get lost in. Surely you’ve driven off the side of the island, skirted the coastline, magically sprouted fins and sailed across the ocean and ended up on another landmass. Surely you’ve closed your eyes and woken up elsewhere

You’ve got to go wandering, you see? Leave Port of Spain behind. Go past Tunapuna, Trincity and Arima. Go to where you could buy real honey from a roadside vendor and drink rum at bar you’ve never been to before. Go to places where stretches of concrete are fewer and further between. Go to where the road narrows, cracks and slips away into nothingness, where there are only houses and no tall buildings.

When you reach the Valencia stretch you know you’ve almost escaped. You turn the windows down and feel the cooler air on your face; turn the music up and touch the breeze with you’re fingertips. You smell the green on the air and watch the signposts as you fly past them: Matura – 5km, Salybia – 10km, Toco – ?.

“How much further?”

“Does it matter?”

 Smile and realize it really doesn’t.

A sudden heavy shower advances and although it’s the middle of the day, you can barely see a foot in front of you. You laugh because you have no idea where you’re going and it’s glorious. So you turn the music up louder and follow the maxi in front of you that hugs the mountain and sails around the corners for dear life, hoping he does not lead you flying off the cliff or crashing into a crater in the road, hoping he’s going the same direction that you are.

As suddenly as it began the sky lightens and the rain stops. You can see signposts again of places with names that roll like sweetness off your tongue: Balandra, Cumana, Rampanalgas.

Turn a corner and then out of the misty green, the ocean appears grey and churning, the horizon almost indistinguishable from the sea. The coastline is rugged at the bottom of the cliffs and the ocean crashes upon the dark.

And then you are there, where a sign at the bottom of a steep road, adorned with a lanterns and flowers says Hosana. A man you don’t know carrying two bags of ice calls out to you “You come for the wedding? Is right up here. You reach!’

At the crest of the hill, the view of the coastline and the surrounding ocean opens itself to you like a gift, the bar man asks you what you drinking and the groom smiles smiles a bit nervously, waiting. You breathe in deeply and sip your El Dorado rum. Yes, we reach.

Writer: Ayanna Gillian Lloyd
Ayanna Gillian Lloyd is a writer and creative strategist based in Trinidad & Tobago.



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