Ariel Glaria Enriquez
HAVANA TIMES – That was the last day I went to work at the Colonel’s home. After lunch, I spent some time with him on his balcony. There were only buildings as far as the eye could see. It was 1 PM.
“Ever since I retired, nobody comes to visit me, the neighborhood has become a disgrace and I feel like I’m living in a jungle,” the Colonel began by saying.
“Everything was different before. My subordinates loved me. There wasn’t a day that passed by without one of them coming here to see me. I remember two lieutenants, brothers, who used to come to my house every night to play dominoes. They would argue the whole time. If they lost, the other one was to blame, when they won, then one was better than the other. They fought so much that they stopped playing together. So, while one played, the other one would go for a walk. In my opinion, neither of them knew how to play properly. But, they amused me. That went on until they were sent off to the Angolan war. Since then, it’s been… Norma, how old is Julian?”
“Thirty-seven, he’ll be thirty-eight soon. Why?” Norma shouted from the living room.
“No reason,” the colonel answered. “I also had many drivers. I treated all of them as if they were family. One of them even taught Norma how to drive. He was a very nice young man. I believe he was from Las Villas. When he graduated, I never heard from him again. That was… Norma, how old is Ivan?”
“Thirty-four. Why?” Norma shouted again.
“No reason,” the colonel said. “Then, when the USSR began to go under, I was friends with three Russian officials. They were crazy. They lived as if they didn’t care about anything anymore. They liked fish so much that they taught Norma to fish with a stick and me in the water. It was a really fun time. Back then, my three daughters were born. Two of them live in Cotorro now. The other one lives in Old Havana…”
I didn’t wait for the end. I ran out of there as fast as I could.