Tomaz and I have the best story. We met through an old boyfriend of mine about eight years ago. We sat drinking one night talking about our mutual knowledge of Jamaica as said boyfriend and I were heading there for my family reunion. He knew the country well because his mother was from there. So was my father. See where this is going? No sooner did I hit the beach with the extended fam did I find out my dad and his mom were related, making Tomaz and I second cousins. Crazy! We had no idea.
On this night we met at the very same bar that that initial Jamaica conversation started years ago. And of course our intertwining heritage dominated the conversation. There’s even a book about how our two families came together, so the least we could do several generations later is have a drink in downtown Toronto. It’s ridiculous that we hadn’t really done that yet.
We stirred up each other’s deepest memories of weird relatives and exaggerated folklore. But we also share an even stronger bond. Our respective Jamaican parents both died when they, and we, were too young. And be it nature or nurture, we live with it in similar ways.
I wonder also if it can be attributed to our shared blood line that we ended up in the same city, living blocks apart, with similar interests and more than a handfull of mutual friends. I think about John Stockhausen and Evelyn Clerk hanging out together in 1950s Jamaica maybe talking about the kind of kids they’d hope to one day have. Meanwhile here tonight, Tomaz and I discuss a future of dinner plans, summer vacations and scoring concert tickets. I think our young, cousin parents would be pretty happy about that.