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Nothing is free these days

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Nothing  is free  these days

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Dear Nesta,
ARE DE  BES’ T’INGS in life really free?
How you, girl-chile? I down hey abidin’ in de faif as usual, but sometimes I cyahn tell yuh ef  I comin’ or goin’, ’cause dese days I got to keep tightenin’ muh belt summuch dat I might soon look like I goin’ t’rough muh collar!
Food an’ utility prices tekkin’ a toll, so yuh could imagine how vex Philomena had muh de ethuh day when I hey strugglin’ an’ she come preachin’ to me dat I shun worry ’bout neffin-so. I should look ’roun’ an’ see dat all de really important t’ings in life don’ cos’ one penny! – air, sunshine, water.
Well, I had to stop she right dey to point out dat onless she usin’ sea water evuh day, we all got to pay fuh dah commodity . . . an’ it en cheap.  Jes’ check wid de Water Aut’ority! Is true air an’ sunshine free – I ’gree we jes’ c’n exis’ too long widout dem two – but she in turn should see my point dat we got a bariffle o’ t’ings – much mo’ substantial – we could never benefit from onless we fork out col’ hard cash!   
Once ’pon a time, we coulda exchange beads an’ even barter li’l sugar fuh potatoes, but we now got to face de fack dat money tek over, an’ it hey to stay! An’ yuh could bet dat all de gran’ t’oughts ’bout  peace o’ min’, love, happiness, good healf, frien’s en gine change dah fack! (Some o’ dem same frien’s disappear like magic ef duh feel yuh broke).  
How yuh expeck to keep good healf ef yuh cyahn buy good food an’ vitamins or get to de doctor fuh check-ups? Peace o’ min’ is one t’ing, but it could fly t’rough de winder real quick when yuh cyahn feed de trildrun an’ de bills start pilin’ up. Yuh get sick from worry, but yuh cyahn go to de doctor – no money – so de onlies’ t’ing lef’ to do is beg, borrow or t’ief! De day might be beautiful – sun shinin’, breeze blowin’ – but you cyahn enjoy it; wuh you need is some cash to ease yuh problems!   
Now I would be de firs’ person to acknowledge de impo’tance o’ spiritual wealf – de great peace it provide de soul – but I could also get peace o’ min’ ’pon board a ship enjoyin’ a seven-day cruise ’roun’ de Caribbean! T’ink how happy all dem people feel, flyin’ off to London fuh de Games ’cause duh could do so, widout worryin’ ’bout bills when duh get back! Dat is peace o’ min’!  
I know “nature bugs” fin’ great satisfaction in early mornin’ walks, lissenin’ to de birds twitterin’ at sunrise, the waves splashin’ ’pon de beach, de win’ murmurin’ t’rough de trees, dew drops ’pon de leaves –  all is music to duh ears, an’ sure, it cos’ neffin! But to me, hearin’ de announcer call out my name as de sole winner o’ de million-dollar lottery would soun’ as ef  de whole ban’ playin’!
Now, don’ get muh wrong!  I believe in dat Higher Power to get we t’rough life – but I don’ t’ink it is de answer a store-owner want to hear from anybody when ’e want ’e money! Even when yuh enjoyin’ dese “free” t’ings o’ life, money involve somehow, so it en no use pretendin’ an’ livin’ in a dream, or else yuh might fin’ yuhself eithuh coolin’ out at Her Majesty’s pleasure or payin’ a visit down Black Rock!  
Ness, wevver or not you believe it, yuh mus’ admit dat we still need money for a good life!
Tek care o’ yuhself,
Yuh frien’, Babsie.