HAVANA TIMES — Everything seems to indicate that the chronic water shortages suffered in parts of the capital won’t be solved any time soon. To cope, people have been creating alternatives such as “doing their do” in plastic grocery bags and then throwing it all into the garbage.
I’m not particularly sympathetic to that practice, but lately I’ve had to resort to it. Why? By the end of this diary post you’ll know why.
Those who read my entries with any frequency know that I’m a lover of countryside and nature. So when there’s water at home, I take advantage of my excretory desires to go for a walk in the green areas that surround my neighborhood on the southern outskirts of the city (I wonder if Rousseau’s famous rides through the outskirts of Paris weren’t inspired by similar purposes).
How to proceed
During my jaunt, I’ll find a remote and secluded area surrounded by tall grasses. Then, in the shade of a tree and enjoying the chirping of birds, I’ll do my business.
I’m relieved to realize that my droppings won’t pollute a river or the sea; instead, they’ll be immediately devoured by countless hungry bugs. In any case, I’m always sure to cover my end product (following the teachings of my cat) so that flies don’t take part in the feast.
Unless the need is at night or during bad weather, the experience was always agreeable, but since I moved to Alamar (housing projects), things have become a little difficult for me in this respect.
Initially I located three sites that met my prerequisites: remote, secluded and surrounded by trees and grass (which I make use of in emergency situations). Nevertheless, one by one I had to abandon those sites. Let me tell you why.
My favorite was a little wooded area with Carob trees, relatively close to home. There, one could enjoy the scent of wild flowers and the moist soil – but not anymore. It seems that people saw me coming and going, so the practice has become popular there. Now the grove stinks and it’s too easy to end up stepping in someone else’s crap.
My second favorite place was an abandoned road that the “jungle” has been reclaiming. It was a site with aura and charm, if there’s such a thing, but it was less so every time I visited. The reason? I didn’t know it but this is a gay meeting place.
People speak poorly of those who hang out in that area, but I really couldn’t care less about what they do. My only problem was the misunderstanding that could arise when I pulled down my pants. I generally like human company, but I prefer to enjoy that sacred moment alone.
The third site was a grassy area near a warehouse. A charmless place, but quiet and peaceful. The only difficulty was presented by the guards, who started to get a little put off by my visits. Will they think I’m up to some shenanigans?”
That’s what I would think during my periodic dumps, up until the one day when the mystery was unveiled.
While wandering through the grass in search of a spot with the right energy for me, one generally free of ants, I ran into some stolen goods (apparently from the warehouse). They were hidden there in the brush. It seems the aim of the guards — as I could then understand — was to keep an eye on the goods. So I had unwittingly wandered into their “trafficking” zone.
This meant I was risked running into “traffickers” (who could confuse me for a police officer) or police officers (who could take me for one of the gang). In either case I’d have a hard time explaining what the hell I was really doing there. So to avoid all that, I haven’t gone back.
Wrapping things up, I still haven’t given up on finding my own sites, but I’m beginning to believe there aren’t any quiet areas around Alamar where one can “meditate” in peace. Too many people are concentrated here, and any out of the way places are already widely used for activities that can’t be carried out in plain sight.
Conclusion: I’ll probably have to stick to using the stinking bag method. As for the peculiarities of this practice, its impact on the environment and how to reduce that impact, these will be the topics of an upcoming post.