The bar, like so many others on this small Caribbean isle, was little more than a square shack, open on three sides, with a small kitchen in the back. The early afternoon sunlight poured relentlessly down on the rusty tin roof. I dashed underneath to avoid the ultraviolet deluge.
"You look like a man in need of a drink," the barmaid said, her raspy voice suggesting years spent in a intimate relationship with cigarettes and whiskey. "Had a hard night?"
Yes, I did have a hard night- sleepless in what should have been paradise. Roosters, confused by the street lights, thought it prudent to crow throughout the wee hours. In my half-sleep, their cries turned into the cries of slaves being beaten on the sugar plantations. That had been long ago, but perhaps not that long.
"You're pretty observant. I couldn't sleep. I better have a hamburger and a Coke instead."
"Bad dreams, huh?"
"How long do you think spirits hang around? A year? Ten years? 200 years?"
"If it is anything like a bad love affair, it's as long as they suffered. One year, a one year hangover. You must be a 'sensitive'..."
"Yeah, a sensitive... yeah, that's it, I must be a sensitive"
"You don't like it here, do you?"
"It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I just don't want to die here."