By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – Her husband left her back in 1994. That night, Fidel Castro gave the green light to anyone who wanted to leave Cuba. He did so in front of TV cameras and in view of the crisis that ensued after the “13 de marzo” tugboat was sunk, boats stolen and the famous Maleconazo unrest.
Her husband left with a promise: he would work to bring her and the children to him and reunite. However, time passed by, their relationship became weaker and he ended up making a new life, forgetting everything else.
She was left with the kids, juggling everything in order to survive. An old-fashioned, traditional woman, she was never with another man so as not “to set a bad example for her children” until the eldest grew up, graduated in Law, took a work contract in Ecuador and traveled to the United States a year later, where he makes a living as a truck driver, transporting goods all over the USA.
I saw this son in 2018. He had come back to visit and we started talking and reminiscing about our time together as colleagues when we both worked at a law firm. He told me his work was very hard, that it was suited for men without a family because they have very little free time, spending nights in motels, almost always outside the home, but he does earn a lot doing this.
I was jealous but I knew how to disguise it, because only God knows that I keep on fantasizing about losing myself on one of these US highways, driving an iron monster machine at over 100 km per hour, breathing in freedom and with a motel waiting for me every night, as well as a woman to seduce. With nothing to worry about. Just living…
His mother recently told me that the youngest, the only one who had stayed in Cuba, had now left for Nicaragua. He would travel on from there to Miami, where the eldest son was waiting for him. She didn’t give me too many details but I can imagine the dark situation the risky journey must entail.
Fear and concern are written all over her exhausted face, plowed with wrinkles that have cropped up year after year with so much suffering and a solitude that now engulfs her.
She understands that she should not cut her son’s dreams short, that he has a right to live in other places that are less harsh and brutal than Cuba. Places where existence is not just basic -such as eating or getting dressed-, and accepting everything with resignation.
However, she knows that she is all alone now, completely alone in the middle of nothing, and that not even a dollar account can make up for the decline that is her life.