Jorge Milanes Despaigne
Robin is the driver for an important trade union leader, and he lives on the same block as me.
Recently we ran into each other at the annual party for our block’s CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution). We talked for a while, during which time a few other people were preparing the traditional caldosa (a huge pot of soup) made with lots of root vegetables, a hog’s head, tasty Creole seasonings, and so on.
In our conversation we shared jokes and exchanged anecdotes. He even made a few confessions about his job that he’s had since he was eighteen and that he turned 48 this past June.
One of his funniest experiences occurred one time when his boss, who was traveling with him outside of the province, offered to give a ride to a woman who was the mother of a former co-worker.
The day before, the co-worker told us, “Look, my mother’s going to be ready and waiting for you. She’s older but she’s strong and she’s used to climbing up into trucks, wagons, whatever. So your trip in a Lada (a Russian-made 4-door car) is going to be super comfortable. Brother, for real, I will really appreciate this favor.”
Robin — good at creating an atmosphere that arouses one’s curiosity — didn’t delay in telling the story and he jumped directly into the part about when they picked up this woman, who had been waiting for them for hours early in the morning.
Continuing with the story, he told me: “Jorgito, when I put her bags in the trunk, I opened the door so she could get in. I couldn’t understand what I was seeing, and I can tell you that the poor woman isn’t blind.”
The woman — as long and skinny as a fishing pole — put one foot inside the car and stood up like someone looking for another step to climb up into a dump truck or something. Seeing her suspended almost above the Lada – which took place in a matter of seconds – I started to get worried and yelled, ‘But where are you going lady!’”