I am thankful for my new husband’s tipping largesse, that my retirement from the easy cash of street performing doesn’t mean not leaving 25% any more. I am thankful for grocery money, and thankful that until now I have not wanted it.
I am thankful for 2016, for working without earning being OK. When I read on social media,
trying to put together $$$ for artist residency and my bf says he doesn’t see the value how can I convince him?
I am thankful for three weeks plus two weeks plus three weeks plus ten days plus three weeks more without one word of misery. Not one single “do you have to?”
I am thankful for no internet. I am thankful that I can be thankful for no internet. I am thankful that I can refuse to capitalize internet.
I am thankful for the adult pool and the gym and the ability to hope I don’t double my weight in cruise ship buffet. I am thankful for SPF70. I am thankful for plantains and ribs on the clean, secure, private beach that Royal Caribbean didn’t admit was Haiti until 2006. I am thankful for vendors who smile at me and call me ‘pretty lady’ when I am walking alone, and thankful that most of them hold the polite retail mask for a beat after “no thank you.” I am especially thankful after seeing a mask slip, the look of emasculated contempt behind.
I am thankful for the wall between me and the guns and gangs and corruption of ‘real’ Haiti. I am thankful Royal Caribbean provides 300 jobs. I am thankful I see the boys in the woods behind the barbed wire, the red shirt flashing against the rocky outcropping.
I am thankful the wall is only as tall as my head and shorter than my outstretched arm. I am thankful for tiptoes. I am thankful for the older white lady who also wants to know and is unwittingly my accomplice, holding the guards’ eyes with her low voice and emphatic arms. I am thankful for iPhone 5s and quick focus and burst mode. I am thankful to hear another white lady remonstrating with her friend and then saying to me, angrily, “After the barbeque they feed the vendors and security and then they give whatever is left to the boys on the other side of the fence. It’s very kind of them. She needs to just get over it.”
Maybe I am less thankful about that.
I wish that I could wish for less.
I’m thankful that I can’t.
Allison Williams is a newlywed, an editor, and a writer living in Dubai. More information about Labadee, Haiti in this article at the Christian Science Monitor: Could This Paradise Really Be Poor, Desperate Haiti?