Returning from the Shadows

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

Carnival in Pinar del Rio.  foto:
Carnival in Pinar del Rio. foto:

HAVANA TIMES — “I made arrangements from home and went to Pinar del Rio. I’ll tell you what happened later,” Oliver says to me, his face aglow, as we go up in the elevator.

At lunch, he tells me he had a great welcome, that, on asking about Angel, his mother didn’t hesitate to give him the address of his girlfriend, where he sometimes stays.

“I went over there, knocked, and Sandra opened the door. What a surprise, I hadn’t expected that,” Oliver tells me as tears run down his cheeks.

“When I asked her what she had done to Angel to make him fall in love with her, she replied: ‘I did the same thing I used to do to you. The difference is you never did manage to value me. He gives me everything I need, love.’”

“She had been my wife,” Jorge continues. “She’s much more beautiful now…and it’s so hard to accept this. She has a conservative, traditional stance, typical of countryside families. She’s naïve, tender and sincere. But, like I told you, I’m not in love with her anymore.”

“You’ve kept me in suspense, I’m a bit confused,” I said to her. “What’s the real reason you went to Pinar del Rio.”

“Well… the carnival was going on,” Oliver noted. “The first night, I went out with the two of them to have fun. Though there was some friction, I must say I fulfilled my goal, in a different way.”

“The second night I went out with Angel. She couldn’t go, she had a night shift, and I took advantage of that to let go.”

“Back home, in the dark, I said to him: ‘I’m the same person I’ve always been, and I love you still. Do you remember how we used to enjoy nights like this one? I’ve always liked you a lot, and I’ve realized I definitely like men. What about you? I see you’ve gone for women.”

“Yes, Oliver. I’m very much in love with her.”

“I hope you’re happy,” I replied. “If you ever rethink your decision, remember I was the first.”

“So, you came back in peace, focused and happy to have come out of the closet?”

“Of course, that’s who I am,” he concluded.

Jorge Milanes

Jorge Milanes: My name is Jorge Milanes Despaigne, and I’m a tourism promoter and public relations specialist. Forty-five years ago I was born in Cojimar, a small coastal town to the east of Havana. I very much enjoy trips and adventure; and now that I know a good bit about my own country, I’d like to learn more about other nations. I enjoy reading, singing, dancing, haute cuisine and talking with interesting people who offer wisdom and happiness.

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