Ariel Glaria Enriquez
HAVANA TIMES — On the zinc roof of a produce and livestock market in Havana, two flies converse.
Fly I: Have you met the Argentinean fly, yet? He’s got all the flies in the dumpster imitating his Argentinean accent. That’s why I haven’t set foot there in days. The last time, I heard him say Havana is paradise, that it’s far too cold in Buenos Aires, meat doesn’t rot and you can’t find a single dead dog on the street.
Fly II: Didn’t you tell him there’s plenty of dogs but no cows here?
Fly I: You’ll have to tell him. I don’t even know what a cow looks like.
Fly II: Did you notice they replaced the plastic bottle they hang over the meat? I wouldn’t even go near the one they had before. I was afraid I’d get stuck to it and that a spider would get me. I’m more afraid of spiders than rolled up newspapers.
Fly I: Look, look, that’s the Argentinean fly over there. See how big he is? You put three like that together, now that there’s no food around, and we’re screwed here in the market. Let’s head over to the cables.
At the cables:
Fly I: There comes the old lady who lives with you.
Fly II: (Rubbing its front legs) One day, I heard her say that she’d give anything for a glass of fresh milk. I was above her, on the lamp pull-chain. It brought tears to my eyes.
Fly I: You told me that story before.
Fly II: Yesterday, they gave her half a pound of sweet potatoes less than she bought. That’s why I brought my cousins over and filled the market with flies. I am very comfortable at her place. She lives alone and the bathroom’s always dirty. One time, a social worker came over. After the third visit, she wanted to move into the house. The neighbors got her out. They’re the only help she’s got and, as long as they don’t clean the bathroom, I’m happy. I’m going to see what she’s buying. Keep an eye out for the Argentinean fly.
Fly II returns to the cable twenty minutes later.
Fly II: She bought a slice of squash. She didn’t have enough money for a head of garlic. The vendor chose the head with the smallest cloves and sold it to her half-price. Before, I saw her buy some pork ribs. For the same price, the butcher sold her the old meat he had. I recognized it because I’ve been rubbing my legs on it every day. If it weren’t because this butcher doesn’t mind us settling on the meat, I’d go look for my cousins.
Fly I: I spoke with the Argentinean fly for a while. He rubbed his legs when he saw the unfrozen meat. He says you won’t even see that in the Pampas. He doesn’t strike me as a bad fly.
Fly II: I saw him inside the market, on top of a cassava.
Fly I: Did you see how much the price of black and kidney beans went up? People count the money and even say thank you after paying. I would like to know what the Argentinean fly thinks about this.
Fly II: There comes my partner. We agreed to meet on top of the meat. See you later.
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