Jorge Milanes Despaigne
During the vacation break, many people travel from one province to another either to take time off or, less frequently, for work. Every year many people show up on my block, relatives of my neighbors. A few weeks ago something unusual occurred; I felt it, but I couldn’t imagine such a powerful energy literally coming so close to home.
Early this morning a group of young guys I didn’t know —presumably the relatives of my neighbor across the street— greeted me from the second floor of that house and yelled down to me, “How’s the family?”
“Just fine,” I hollered back, though surprised.
I wondered who they were. I know almost all everyone in that family, even the ones who don’t live there, but these were totally new faces. Nor did I know that my neighbor rented rooms in her house. What was certain was that on weekends they would speed off in fancy cars and didn’t get back home until almost dawn.
Yesterday some of them brought home some musical instruments, which I figured were for a band they were in. Nonetheless I didn’t pay much attention to their origin. Today my cousin burst into our house almost sprinting. He said that because a change in the schedule, he had to go by and pick up his colleagues in front of our house. I asked him who they were and why he’d come back to get them.
My cousin is the promoter of a musical group, and until a few months ago he had been working in Matanzas Province for a band. Though he’s quite responsible, and especially enterprising, I admit I never imagined that he was working for a group that today has Havana turned upside down with reggaeton rhythms and the themes of their songs. Their music deals with social disputes by relating to everything down to the most common substances, like aceite y el agua (oil and water) – the title of one of their hits.
I was truly surprised when he told me, “Compadre, the guys up there in Esperanza’s house are Los Confidenciales, the group I work for!”