Refection’s of a “Trinidad Sweet Man”
The Trini sweet man can be a cad, a gigolo, a Lothario. Or just a plain old lover not a fighter. And far from anything I knew or wanted to be. But it just happenned. There was no plan or vice involved. It just happenned. I am an innocent party to this bitch of a karma. Its in the family. Genes will prevail. I swear.
None of this came easily. I was the ugly duckling that grew into the swan and went on to co-star in Korean TV and do some print modeling late in life. But the seed came from the early first years in Trinidad.
Abuse formed the root of obesity that plagued me for the first 12 years. I went from a normal child and as the familial assaults grew, the weight packed on. At 12, I was the proverbial butterball 5 foot 4 and 160 pounds. I did all the fat boy stuff – Hide – gorge and feel utterly wretched. Picked on and bullied, locked out of friends and families houses. It was devastating but it turned coal into a diamond .
Family can give you life and also they can take it away. Death at times was more wanting than life. The injuries I received in early life, did in the end take my life several times. X-rays eventually showed, I suffered severe cranial injuries and had broken bones in my head, face and shoulders that were never attended to. The Trinidad moto of Spare the Rod spoil the child caused fatal injuries and years of expensive surgeries in other countries to correct the damage. These surgeries came after long periods of pain that could not be at first identified due to the depth of the injuries. Ritualistic abuse Trini – style is always fatal. I divorced the family, surrendered the name and lived large. I am not bound by the past. I make me. But I do pay homage to the Trinidad influences, good bad and or indifferent. Its not as trite as saying we have a love hate relationship, as all relationships inhabit that divide. Aside from which relationships are more complex and reflect more of a gestalt paradigm than a linear one. In Buddhism, Narcissism is related to poor family relationships and rearing that give rise to venial sins and dysfunction.
It seemed I was stronger than these fatalities. The will and determination that I had a life to live and it was mine. All mine, forced me back then to start, swimming. I joined The Blue Dolphins Swim Club and a miracle happened. I went from 160 pounds to 125 and I grew to 6 feet In 6 months.
From July to December – that is all it took. I became a young Adonis. I started getting the respect and popularity that I wanted and craved. My family from England did not recognize me – friends at the clubs – reacted as If I was a new person and my life changed. I was never the fat kid, as I saw that memory as a reaction to a hideous force but it made me sensitive and compassionate to all people.
As confidence came with the new look. Charm came easily and the Don Juan Casanova act came over me. It was a game that young men indulge. I loved to dance and to dress with flair, style and panache. I courted the pretty girls with great personalities and gained the Trini sweet man reputation.
I tended bar at The Pelican Inn and I remember clearly the night the Trinidad born, Belgium Baroness hit on me. She was admiring a simple white T-shirt I was wearing. It was from France. At 18, I was young, fresh and very impressionable. She flirted with me until I took off the T-shirt while working behind the bar and gave it to her. Hind sight is everything, here I am at a fun-tastic bar, 18, and in great shape, swimmers build, flirting outrageously for tips. The Bar bell would ring every time a tip was had and boy did I get a big tip and the bell was ringing a clarion.
The baroness also gave me an invitation to come visit her at home. The following day I went to her monstrous mansion and was led right away to her boudoir. Awkward.
Seeing that I was nervous, she began the small talk of seduction. She showed me these photographs of Orchids that were displayed on the walls. Hung in expensive gilded frames.
Her mother was an avid horticulturist and I could relate to it. My grandmother was the same and I thought naively this was a cooling off not a mating topic. I realized too late, that this 40 year old very attractive sophisticated woman was really after me.
Youth is wasted on the young. Here is a virile young man in a Penthouse/ Hustler/ PlayBoy dream scape being seduced by an extraordinary woman. She kept the conversation focused on the orchids and how beautiful they are and just like “a pussy.” She went into graphic detail about the appearance of her own pussy and wanted me to examine it for its orchid like Beauty. Whenever I look at an orchid, I still remember her.
Many thoughts flooded my brain. She was old enough to be my mother was the first. What was she thinking? Yes she was gorgeous, amazing even but I was way too young. Her years in France, Belgium, Spain and London had liberated her sexuality. My body started to react to her seduction, but that only embarrassed me. I thought of what Heather my girlfriend would say, not much, maybe slap my face and rip my hair out.
She went to undress behind a screen, yes it was akin to a Fellini film and I was not yet an actor. I fled. I learnt later in life, that I had to be the seducer. I had to be in control. If you wanted me, I had to decide if I wanted you, at least at first. The hunt was the thing, you could show me interest but I would feign disinterest. I wanted you to really want me and I let your desire drive you mad. Then I wanted you. At least at first. But these are lessons in young love of the art of seduction that were to pay strange dividends later in life. I became a tantric-gigolo in Korea and Japan an accidental role that plays like when in Rome.
But at 18, I was naive, I was kind, interested in life, in you and attempting to be a real friend. The Baroness wanted a boy toy and I was at that time unavailable. It was only after many relationships seasoned me that I understand that this sex, this carnal desire of the flesh was going to become an active part of my life. And I wanted it. I was Latin.
Heather and I had a great relationship. She was this young hyper sexual girl, a born coquette, charming, lithe, graceful, a model. She had I had long talks, great sex and we had fun all the time. One day, we planned a daring event. It was audacious, bold and very sexy. I would body paint her nude torso. She would wear jeans and heels and nothing else. The rest would all be makeup and paint. Pure Illusion.
I set to work and designed a heavy floral print, with vines, flowers, and butterflies and included a scalloped neck line and faux cap arm sleeves. It looked “famazing” and plausible. I like, Paul-Michel Foucault, create my own vocabulary. It’s “Famaze, famazing, famazement”. The effe is for fuck and not to be crass you use it in polite society as you use “fidiot”.
We went to brunch. The restaurant was crowded and yes there was a noticeable hush when Heather walked in. Then back to the usual drone. We were seated at our table and joined all our friends. There were a lot of stares, some covert, others puzzling.
The ruse was – if it’s bold and obvious was it “real’ or an illusion. There are skin tight diaphanous shirts out there and Heather was intoxicating enough to wear one. Except she was naked. She held out her glass for the orange juice to be poured into. Michael another friend was pouring it and the glass spilled over, juice was flowed everywhere. He was staring at Heather’s boobs, realized that she was indeed naked and froze. We did get a round of applause.It was audacious.
I remember, as I was leaving for Canada, I would be leaving Heather behind. And I thought I would introduce her to my buddy Keith Jardim and they would probably hit it off. They did immediately. I expected a little decompression time, as in let me leave the country. But sweet man Keith just moved right in. We were in the upper court-yard of The Pelican Inn and no sooner had I left them alone, lips were locked. I was passing a window as I went downstairs and saw them, I yelled out, “Fuck, you guys, wait until I leave” That was then, Now I would have just gone back and joined in and made a threesome and vie for her attention. I should have left Keith stranded in Barbados, the week before.
My style became a beacon for others and I was asked to guide and dress Keith “the close friend”. The Heather thing was a fling and I had created the hook up. No harm no foul. There was a bro-code, sharing is caring. Keith Jardim, was a bit dull in his dress code. One day he asked me to go shop with him and help him choose some more snazzy clothes. Yes, snazzy was the word used in 1979. I remember we went to the store with his parent’s credit card and I went to town. I encouraged him to buy quite a few items, much to his mother’s chagrin. I think we spent close to $300.00 and she wanted him to spend maybe $100.00. Price limitations were never mentioned just imposed, after the fact.
He was forced to take most of it back. He was only allowed one choice out of the 6 I had encouraged him to purchase. And he was back to his jeans and Polo T-shirts. Which I guess was okay for casual liming but not for the Trinidad Country club, fetes and the ever popular get to together, for some party or another or weddings that happen many times a year. This one experience of being consulted led to years of having people seek me out to wardrobe them. Thanks Keith and based on your recent photos at GUST, you still need style advice. Call me. Keith and I have not seen each other in 30 years. But our lives paralleled, he went on to Boston, I to Toronto, writing, literature and even living in Kuwait we shared. I at the MOD and he at GUST. I was invited to join GUST but Kuwait can be a hostile working environment, so it was a no from me. The Desert takes a lot out of you and I returned to Seoul Korea, where I lived for 10 years.
Time past and in Toronto, I met my wife and did influence her sense of style and evolved her appearance. I guess back then, I was developing my artistic talents. I furnished our homes, designing furniture, painting the walls and working out complex wall treatments. All of it were based on the style and the color of Trinidad. I had two gorgeous girls that became stunning beauties. And a lot of trouble. I had divorced the wife, realizing life was too short to be miserable. And I moved to Vancouver, Canada to reduce the contact with her, as hell hath no fury.Sweet men don’t like detritus drama.
In Vancouver, where I worked in the cut throat film business as an actor or as a production coordinator, developing scripts and attending pitch meetings and Hollywood events.Vancouver is Hollywood north and clothes made the man. You had to become the illusion.
I dressed for success and mingled with the whose who and met, Henry Winkler, Oprah, the Cast of Friends and was interviewed by Entertainment tonight and partied with so many. The French gave the best parties. Met hookers galore. It’s true Vegas, is Sin city. I later worked with Gillian Anderson and David Duchonvy on X-Files. David is way cool. Gillian not so much. She is a much better actress now.
I lost out on one X-files part, that I had auditioned for and got. Final go-sees were called and I was not dressed in character. The role called for a street thug. Dirty, Dangerous and Bad. To prepare, I bathed in dirt. Stuck dirt everywhere. My clothes were filthy, I was unshaven. I looked dangerous at the first round of casting. I failed the second as well I was just me. Chris Carter axed me.
That sense of style led me into my designing clothes in 4 countries and caught the eye of international buyers in Dubai. I was based in Seoul Korea, working as an actor on TV -SURPRISE, a Korean series and I had a reoccurring guest role. The wardrobe department did not have clothing in my size. I improvised by going to the shopping Mecca of Namdemun where there were 20 football fields of buildings with everything you would need to dress yourself.
I discovered it was cheaper to make clothes than it was to buy of the rack clothing. As in way cheaper. A shirt designed by me, would cost $20.00 and one that I may have bought was in the $25-40 range. I now made an extensive wardrobe for my reoccurring guest rolls on Korean TV. The one Asian dude, Joe is wearing a costumed made shirt made from all his old T-shirts. He never wore it, he framed it, as Art.
The gigolo thing was hap chance. In Korea, sex is always on the table at all hours.
Foreign men – especially those that were rugged body builder types were on demand sexually. By everyone, it was a commodity. I fell into. I at first struggled against it but the offers were coming faster and I ran out of reasons to say no. It was just sex after all. Latin men do have a higher sex drive than others, I learnt. I had one Asian doctor prescribe a lot of sex as a remedy for my hot blood. I am not kidding. Its a real thing.
As an educator, I turned it into a teaching moment. And I was a great teacher. Over 1000 students paid for my courses. I decided that it would have to be a Tantra based philosophy which would make it okay.Contrary to western popular perception, the Kama Sutra is a guide to a life of virtue that discusses the nature of love, family life as well as sexual pleasure. The reality, only 20% of Kama Sutra is about sexual positions, the book is about the philosophy and theory of love.
As a Trinidad sweet man you need to know what triggers desire, what sustains it and how and when it is good or bad. So I embodied the philosophy of the Trini sweet man, based out of Asia. It paid well and I got free trips to Japan, China and all over Korea. And it paid for my kids travels, their clothes and life.
If I write any more it can become creepy. It was not. If you watched Billie Piper in her Secret Diaries of a Call Girl, it kind of makes sense. The gig – o -lo thing did not last long, but it did happen and indoctrinated me into the Trinidad Sweet Man club. Remember I never thought I was, the sweet man, but women did. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.. and you cant take all this seriously. 007 – James Bond was considered hyper sexual with 80 sexual conquests. Obviously as he is British, its a very conservative number. The East is not the West and the stiff upper lip Mores do not exist. On working on TV SURPRISE fact and fiction blurred, in as much as this could just be all fantasy or it can be the truth.
The name of origin lies on the geographical coordinates of 12° 5′ 0″ S, 76° 58′ 0″ W. In Trinidad its a name of note but more noteworthy in Peru. In Seoul I met another young Trini, a burgeoning sweet man. I revealed my name and he eyes wide shut yelled. “OMG, you are Trini-royalty” I said “shut the fuck up” and left it at that. Gino my Korean roommate , repeatedly said , “who the fuck are you, a King” . As I tended to lay down the law as all Trini-sweet men do. Namaste!
Cristoph De Caermicheal