HAVANA TIMES – Carlitos, the “Box Loader”, has passed away. A neighbor told me the news. It left me stunned. After a highly emotional silence, these words erupted from me:
But, what happened? He was young, only 40-something years old, active, full of energy.
He was taken to the hospital yesterday with a pulmonary embolism and they couldn’t take it out.
How unfair, bad people don’t die! God calls the poor in spirit first…
He worked all day long. He was always coming and going, taking boxes and bags of garbage out of the La Puntilla shopping center, before 8 AM.
Always on the move, locals in my neighborhood knew they could count on him for whatever they needed and he never refused to do work for a small sum. Even though he never asked for anything in exchange, people gave him money.
He had an enviable optimism. He seemed to be OK with his lifestyle.
He wasn’t physically attractive, we never knew of him having any romantic relationships. He lived with his relatives and his night-time entertainment involved going to talk with the guys who look after parking lots about everyday things. He would take a shower and go and talk to them for a couple of hours.
He was defined by his simplicity. I never heard him speak about his private life either.
Maybe he was leading a double life, or he might have had a mystery to reveal…, now we’ll never know.
A short life, without a tree, child or book. What Jose Marti would call a full life. He has gone through life without achieving these wonders that leave a mark, a fragment of history. It’s sad. He never traveled; he never did anything extraordinary.
We have to accept it; the man has now left his body. Maybe his spirit will take on another form of existence and continue to be useful because he always did things for his friends and acquaintances.
His existence on this Earth was to serve everyone else.