About Me & a Friend with Big Black Balls

Erasmo Calzadilla
Erasmo Calzadilla

For me and others writing in it, this blog serves as an escape valve from much pent up tension. Social tension, the tension of living in a political and social reality that I would call difficult, and that word is not a comparative term with anybody, just a reference as to what I feel.

That’s why many of the topics that spontaneously come to me when I sit down to write are precisely those that I’ve had to suppress for a long time.

The situation gets worse as I am currently involved in a conflict at the university where I have little chance to win, and possibly my professional life will be seriously affected.

So that’s why all the topics I write on are quite bitter, or better said caustic and discouraging. Nonetheless, I’m not always like that.

I have a marvelous hope that is always with me, something like a faith. It’s related to having learned philosophy, which I’ve been in love with ever since, sometimes to the unease of my girlfriend-when there was one. But it’s not that I’m always in the clouds, as one might imagine.

Erasmo, Bruno and Onel
Erasmo, Bruno and Onel

To share with you a little about my personal life, I recently became the friend of a dog, an old mangy Doberman that has been loose in my neighborhood for some time. He has become famous for his long static poses with a fixed look into the distance, and also for his big black balls.

We built a home for him out of old discarded shelving and began to cure his sores, but he goes from one ailment to another, a blow to my wallet and a joy for the local veterinarian.

I have a tremendous fondness for this animal, that comes from who knows where. The dog seems like a bewitched person; I don’t know if it’s because of its large size, the sorrow in its gaze, or for the unique way it demands affection.

My friend Onel and I gave him the name Bruno, because he had the distinguished air of an old and tired butler, and because of his lack of aggressiveness, rare for this race. If anyone knows a pained soul with those characteristics, please send me an e-mail soon.

Now, suddenly, Burno is limping, with an ugly lump on a joint. We had to carry him to the veterinarian, which we were barely able to do. It turns out that the vet knew something about his story: There was a girl that cried a lot after losing Bruno and nobody knew how to find her. It seems more like a fable than reality, but it’s true that Bruno seems like he’s out of a mystery tale.

Now I’ve showed myself that not only can I write social criticism, little disguised venom, but also stories of daily life, not necessarily happy-but about love.

2 thoughts on “<em>About Me & a Friend with Big Black Balls</em>

  • Hmmm? I wonder if this is the same dolorous doberman I saw lurking around Obrapia y Mercaderes in Habana Vieja last March? Probably not, but still there is something tragic about an abandoned dog. Unless they are terribly abused, they are often so trusting. I wonder what happened to his former master? Did he die? Leave for Miami? …or just tire of the daily struggles of feeding and caring for a dog? Thanks for affirming your humanity by adopting him.
    After my best friend died in November of 1999, I rushed to Manhattan and, after a week’s search, found his pet, literally on “doggy death row” in one of the city’s public animal shelters. I brought him back to Vermont, where “Lucky” spent the remaining two years of his life before joining his master in dim Dis (which, given the wretched state of his master’s apartment, in the lower dephs of Manhattan, was not that different than one of the lower rings of hell!) ..

  • I really enjoy your blog entries…the best on this site I think. Mostly because they deal with the everyday realities young Cubans face. I spent some time in Habana and hope to return soon. Your posts are bitter sweet because they remind me of all the good times I have spent with my friends, and also some of the bad. Particularly your post on Gay Cuban youth and the lack of places to hang out. I’m gay and spent some time with gay and straight Cubans, all felt that they had a lack of public social space. I also experienced a friend being arrested simply for walking down the street with me ! I love Cuba and the people I met there were some of the kindest most intelligent people I’ve meet in the world. But I hope that in the future the youth, gay and straight, tourists and locals have more freedom to socialize and learn from each other.

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