Goodbye 2021

By Irina Pino

HAVANA TIMES – This year is almost over, and a new cycle begins. Many are preparing to celebrate with their loved ones; some are sad because they have lost loved ones, either to the pandemic or to various causes. Some Cubans suffer from having family members imprisoned, due to the arrests during and after the July 11th protests. They are the most in need of hope.

I will not have a party, because most of my family now reside in the United States. Here we used to get together for December 31st. But everything has changed, my parents are not here, and my niece, her husband, her mother-in-law and her children are now sick with Covid 19. The two nephews who live in Las Vegas, luckily are fine.

We are here, my son and I. His friends invited him to spend the end of the year with them soI am alone with my cat. I will do the same as last year, a light dinner, watch a movie, and light a candle to ask for good health and harmony, and at midnight, I will throw the traditional bucket of water from the balcony. A custom that implies spiritual cleansing.

During this period I have not been totally locked up, I have broken some rules, such as going to bathe on the coast when it was prohibited. I have not stopped doing my daily walks, without a mask and with the guarantee of being able to breathe fully.

Thanks to the help of relatives, with their food shipments, I have been spared the dangerous lines, with the invariable offer of chicken, hot dogs, cooking oil and detergent (if they offer it by chance). The diet I have followed is basically vegetarian, and my body appreciates it.

I have been happy going to the Bosque de La Habana, the Ecological Park, and obtaining movies and series to watch at home. Reading and writing are part of my life. I recently began to write two books: the first is poetry, and the other is memories of my youth.

Music is essential to living, with the ease of internet on my cell phone, I can download the albums of the artists I prefer for free and find songs that I didn’t even dream of having.

At last, the Yellow Submarine club opened, which I had missed so much. I was able to enjoy GENS, one of the bands that does covers of The Beatles songs. I saw my friends and it was all an event. There was beer on tap that afternoon, so various ingredients were put together to create a euphoric mood.

Likewise, after almost two years without going to Cojímar, I met two very dear sisters, with whom I share affinities such as cinema, music, literature, food, and the joy of living.

If I review what my life has been all these years, I am sure that I will have a positive rather than a negative balance. For example, I had parents who loved me, I have an intelligent son with a talent for creation who is working and helps with the home expenses. I have friends whom I love and respect. Besides, I have something invaluable: my writing.

My diaries in Havana Times are important to me, with them I present my points of view and share them with my readers. I have also dabbled in audiovisuals, making videos with a particular theme.

The experience of each day is unique, to feel the evolution of the world, for example, in technology. In my house we had a Kellogg telephone, it was black and heavy, to call you had to turn the dial with your finger, I loved that mechanism. It is a pity we didn’t keep it, because now they are antiques and worth a lot.

Different cell phone models have passed through my hands, from flip tops to smart phones.

What else can I tell you? In March 2022, I turn 57 years old. A popular song says that 20 years is nothing…, more than 50 isn’t either.

Read more from Irina Pino here on Havana Times.