A few nights ago, I was busy frying up corn tortillas when I heard a voice out on our porch which made me jump five feet into the air. If you've ever been to our apartment, we live a little off the beaten path, plus the stairs at our apartment are really weird and our apartment is set way back off the street, so really no one ever randomly appears on our porch. Even Charlie freaks me out when he comes home and says hello to me from outside while I'm inside cooking - it's just so quiet on our porch that it always startles me.
Anyways, the man outside turned out to be Felix, the guy with a limp who sells his carved coconut and calabash creations, like sailboats and bird feeders, all over Picard. I always see him and tell him that I will buy something from him before I leave the island. Well, since he was right outside of our apartment, I really couldn't think of a good excuse to get out of buying something, so I ended up buying one of his hummingbird bird feeders, which I actually really like.
After showing me his various hand-made items - bird feeders (you can take the wings off when you travel); a monkey with a tail that you can take apart when traveling and with eyes made from the beads of an old rosary; pen holders; ash trays; and the ever popular "lover's lamp" (votive candle holder made from a calabash) - Felix sat and chatted with me for a while (so long that I later told Charlie he was in trouble for not rescuing me from the 30 minutes of stories that ensued). I heard all about how Felix met Fidel Castro down at Portsmouth Beach Hotel and how Castro is a very bad man whose skin looks eerily perfect (he doesn't have nice skin but with a few blemishes like me - ummm, thanks?).
Felix also told me about how President Obama was a student at Ross back in 1990 and how at a church service on campus, Felix interrupted the service and announced that he had just had a vision that Obama would become the president in twenty years. He told me, "I don't know if you are close with Obama or anything, but if you are, please tell him Felix says 'hello.'" Sure Felix, will do, since me and Barack are basically best friends. I mean, have you seen my cool Barack Obama notebook I carry around? He also swears that Obama mentioned him in his inauguration speech and asked if I listened to it and remember him mentioned Felix.
Oh Felix, you character, you. You can really tell some tale tales!