“ Feeling better now ?” WW inquired , as he looked at me with something like amusement dancing in his eyes .
The water quickly revived me . “ Yes … yes , I ’ m much better … that ’ s never happened to me before ,” I offered apologetically . “ Okay … I remember now ,” I said , as the fog quickly evaporated . “ Man , what have you got in that tablet ? It was like I fell into a black hole ,” I said , joking now . “ The world is built on an egg-ly basis ! How did you come up with a line like that ?”
WW laughed . “ So you think it was okay ?” he said , obviously pleased .
“ Okay ??” I guffawed . “ I ’ ve never read anything like it in my life ! I mean … where did all that come from ?” I was animated again , my curiosity revved .
WW sat quietly for a moment , as if in deep thought . Then he leaned forward abruptly , his large , piercing eyes locked onto my face . “ Why you approach me , mon ?” He paused , gazing straight into my face . “ Why you offer me the cup of coffee ?” He queried , suddenly reverting to the local idiom . I was caught off guard . Suddenly , I was being interrogated .
“ I … I don ’ t know …” I lied , “ I guess I just thought …”
“ Mon … I see you awhile ago just outside . You were staring at me hard , hard … what is it you looking for ?”
Shit . I was busted . WW had me in a corner , and I saw no way to get around him . But I couldn ’ t exactly come clean either . There was just no way for me to tell him the real deal . I opened my mouth , hoping to stall for time , but instead the truth came bubbling to the surface . My emotions seemed strangely affected . I felt tears welling up inside me .
“ Okay … okay … I don ’ t know exactly how to say this … but I just had a strong feeling that I should speak to you . That ’ s all . I ’ ve never had a feeling like that before . So , there are no cia plots here … nothing sinister or weird … okay ?” I said , wanting desperately to win his trust .
WW flashed a smile and relaxed back into his chair .
“ I know you speaking truth , mon ,” he said softly . “ I feel it , when you first sit down . You searching for something , but you don ’ t know what . So …” he paused as he looked at me with something inscrutable shining in his eyes . “ We can talk some few things , my friend . It ’ s been a long time since I talk dem things to anybody . But it ’ s for a reason that you show up to vex me today ,” he said with a wry smile .
“ You see , I ’ ve pained a lot in my life , mon … and that ’ s when dem things come to me ,” he said , as he relaxed , his speech peppered with the local “ creolese ” idiom . “ I was just a little , little boy , about nine years old when Knowledge first come crashing into my brain . I couldn ’ t stop it … it just flood in ,” he made a dramatic gesture about his head . “ I didn ’ t know what was happening to me , mon , but I just wanted to get away from everybody , even my parents , brothers and sisters .
“ Then one day I was at school , and the teacher was teaching science — and I correct him , you see , because I knew that what he was teaching was not in accord with knowledge . But he caned me bad . He humiliated me in front of the entire class , trying to make me take back what I said . But I refused , no matter how much he beat me , because I knew … I just knew somehow that what he was teaching was false . So he thrashed me again bad , bad , mon .
Then he drove me from the classroom . I never went back .
“ For years after that , I pain every day and night . The only relief I get is to read books — a lotta , lotta books , which I get from the library . I just wanted to absorb knowledge . It was like food to me , mon . It feed my mind and my belly . But as soon as I get the chance , when I was about fifteen years or so , I boarded a ship , and I never look back to Guyana for a long , long time .”
I didn ’ t know what to say , as his eyes probed me for a response . “ Wow !” I exclaimed , shaking my head , “ that must ’ ve been tough .”
“ Well , don ’ t fret yourself , mon . It ’ s okay ! I survive and grow into a big man ,” he smiled as he spread his arms in a grand gesture . “ Dem things don ’ t bother me no more . I just put them down in the tablet whenever they come to me . Of course , I have many tablets by now .”
“ Can you tell me about some of them … the things you write down ?” By now my appetite for this peculiar sustenance that WW called Knowledge was ravenous .
“ Yeah , mon ! But dem things not always easy to hear , you know . I am a High Man … so I don ’ t talk dem things to many people . But you are a very curious chap . I can see by your colors that you are a seeker ,” he said casually , peering at me curiously , as he outlined an egg shaped vortex of energy around me with his hands .