Today, Havana is under a crying sky. I keep walking and walking trying to remember the name of the street and all I could think of is your name. So instead of looking for you I keep spelling your name like a prayer. I’ve finally found the courage to ask about you. Belkis tells me you work in Vedado, that you still write poetry and that you’ve managed to sell more than 20 paintings.
I keep on smiling and Belkis on talking about you.
« You should see him, he is as handsome as the first time you’ve met him. He still has a picture of you, you know. Loca, how could you have let him go? »
I don’t say much, but I am glad to have some news from you. It has been exactly, how long? I forgot to count the years. I never had the courage to write more than twice a year. You’ve always told me that I gave the impression of being indifferent. I remember when you called the first time and told me: « I need to know. »
« Know what? »
« Was I a one night stand? »
« I don’t think so, were you? »
« Here you again! You never involve yourself, do you? »
« Well, I didn’t want to bother you, so I thought I would call you later. »
« Later? It has been a week, a week! »
I wanted to laugh, but I couldn’t, I wanted to tell you that I was really afraid to bother you and that was the reason why I didn’t call. But you kept talking and finally said: » I am coming right now. »
I remember how you would take my face between your hands and ask me: « I wonder if you would forget me in an hour or if it would take you less time? »
I like to dream that one day you would appear out of nowhere.
Belkis’ husband calls her on her cell phone. She has to leave but insists on picking me up this evening so I could meet her family. Besides, nothing beats a real Cuban meal, how can you eat in the hotel?
And she has already prepared a flan for me. I must have been Cuban in a past life as I could eat flan every day and she knows it. She sends me kisses and starts running to get a cab.
A soon as Manuel sees me he tells me like that Teresa came looking for me. « Don’t go out again, it will start raining soon. »
I don’t know why people tend to protect me. He laughs when I tell him: « Yes boss, I will not go out without an umbrella. » The lobby is always busy and few guys that I know are still sitting at the bar. I wave and keep going when I hear your voice.
« Mi locura. »
A’la Bali, Hanine y Son Cubano