Licol The Burgeoning Bigamist

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Licol is married to two women. Or perhaps he was married to two women.

First there was the woman he moved in with 13 yeas ago, Nuerky. She has a gaggle of kids, but none of them are biologically Licol's. Licol wanted a family, so he pursued Eliza. Eliza is 19 or so, and has a boy child, Eduard, by a previous relationship. I found Eliza to be attractive and even considered coming on to her myself once upon a time.

So now we have Licol and Eliza together, a 40-odd year-old Haitian born man and the 19 year-old light skinned descendent of middle class Dominican gentry. Before, Eliza was living with her father in Los Japas, but now she moved to Las Callas. Licol, the burgeoning bigamist, asked his compadre Jan for a favor: let my second wife live with you in your house, Jan, while I fix up a shack for her to live in.

Jan's first and only wife, Michella, was away, and that's probably for the best. She's an Evangelical Christian who, unlike most people on this island, believes that one should get married in a church, and that one should not be married to more than one spouse at a time. Michella never would have agreed to this at all, bigamy under her roof. Michella's never would have accepted another woman, Eliza, and her ill-kept child, Eduard, living in what was undoubtably Michella's house. Never mind that it wasn't Jan who was philandering; she would have objected on principle.

I have to admit my predjudices here. I eat every day at Michella/Jan's, and when Eduard was living in their house, I found the sight of Eduard more than a little off-putting. His mom was forever giving him a whipping, he never seemed clean, he always had snot dripping down his face, and Eliza seemed to do little when he cried but give him another beating with a switch. She couldn't be bothered to actually feed the bugger, so his ribs were quite visible through his naked, filthy skin. What really left a lasting impression was that this 16 month- old bundle of joy always wanted to get in my lap while I was eating. Nothing puts me off mhy food more than an uncared for child who, after taking a dump in the open, plays with it and then tries to get in my lap.

So anyway, where was I? Yeah, okay, so Eliza was living in Michella's house while Licol could fix up a house for her to live in. Licol finished the shack, and his new bride moved into it about two months ago. Licol continued to pass about half his nights where Nuerky lives, and to maintain the animals and garden they hold in common. But later, he'd be sitting out in front of the shack. There were rumours that Eliza was pregnant with Licol's child. I constantly asked the two of them if they were okay with the arrangement, and both of them would say "yeah." I never did ask Nuerky for her opinions on the subject of polygyny, but otherwise, everything appeared to be fine.

Or at least it was fine until last Saturday, when Eliza removed her bed from the shack and set it on fire. She left for a couple of days- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday- and today she was back living in Michella's house with only Jan's permission. She heard what I thought of her child-rearing practices, so she was careful to be seen washing Eduard while I sat there and ate.

Licol arrived and told me, not her, that he was hungry and that Eliza was to blame. "Women today," he said, "are not like before. They always want to be walking out in the streets." He punched the air with his finger to make a point and continued: "Is it too much to ask that if a man comes home from a morning of hard work, the woman should have some food ready for him? Is the man not the head of his household?"

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last revised 15 August 2015
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