HAVANA TIMES – I titled my first book of poetry La Pendiente (“The Slope”), in reference to the place where I live, located at the foot of a hill to the south of Havana’s peripheral neighborhood of Alamar.
In La Pendiente, I get a number of things about the place and its people off my chest. I use the inclined nature of the terrain as a metaphor for the characteristics of its inhabitants and their relationships.
It is a semi-rural area, a stone’s throw away from a working-class neighborhood that tends to flood whenever it rains: the water flows in small brooks and the roofs and walls of buildings fill up with humidity (which tends to stay because of the abundant, surrounding vegetation).
Such problems can of course be solved, but only with a degree of solvency I do not have and I am far from ever attaining.
Alamar’s proximity is relative: in truth, you have to walk quite a ways to have access to health, food and other services. Social life here is rather monotonous. Though it is a densely populated area, the houses are a good distance away from one another.
There are no clubs, discos, restaurants or cafeterias. There aren’t even sidewalks or parks (with the possible exception of a children’s park, located a few blocks away from where I live). Very few friends come and visit me because of “how far the place is.”
Though living in La Pendiente has its advantages (land for growing crops, fresh air, silence, tranquility, etc.), for me the cons far outnumber the pros.
This is the reason I’ve decided to sell my house – perhaps someone with different tastes, needs and financial conditions will find a different kind of life at La Pendiente. The land and fruit trees there can become very productive if enough will power, energy and resources are invested.
Though small, the house can be expanded, both vertically and horizontally. The neighbors, typical country folk, are quiet and hard-working.
In short, my interests seem to have wandered away from La Pendiente and, with the money from the sale, I would like to buy an apartment in Alamar or Cojimar.