Going to Cuba: The Traveler

Regina Cano

Havana Landmark. Photo: Caridad

He lives in Miami but travels to Havana often.

He left Cuba with his two brothers on a raft in the 90’s.

However the stories of the voyage cooled the desires of more than one person here.

Along the way he lost a friend, whose son he’s now obligated to visit on each trip, just like a visit to the Rincon Church (where the pilgrimage to San Lazaro is carried out) is mandatory as soon as his feet touch Cuban soil, since he made a promise to the saint.

They say they are doing well. They come in twos, or threes or sometimes alone. They always bring the necessities for their families or they buy those here. They remember their friends and before catching the plane they’ll leave everything, including some of the clothes they were wearing. One time one of them even left barefoot.

The eldest of them still haven’t adapted, despite the years of being away. Being members of the lost generation, they miss their musical socios (friends), the get-togethers in peñas (Cultural sessions that were common in the ‘80s with poetry and trova) and descargas (Get-togethers that included drinks and trova music. In recent times it’s more common to recognize to these as parties among young people.), the bohemian life and unfinished plans.

They always arrive asking for those who aren’t in the country, though perhaps on their next trip they’ll run into them.

They arrive wanting to know about their childhood friends, people from their youth, those from that arid and dirty neighborhood, the one almost without streets. All the time they’re trying to hold onto their memories. They try to get together with everyone, with a happy smile and sometimes…with innocence.

His girlfriends are Cuban, and he likes blacks. But he says, “Black women in the US are very distrustful of white men.” (Of course!)

His best times are in Cuba.

He wanted to buy a house here but he wasn’t allowed. He wanted to make a music video here, but the circumstances and his allies failed him.

He went through the Santeria initiation or Santo process here, as well as got treated for giardias parasites. and had sessions with a psychotherapist.

When he’s here, sometimes he’s sad about having to return to Miami. He says that as soon as he makes some more money he’ll return from that place where as soon as he arrives he has to change the way he acts.

One thought on “Going to Cuba: The Traveler

  • As Thomas Wolfe (the older, better writer, from the 1930’s/1940’s) once said: “You Can’t Go Home Again!” Or, as Heraclitus said: “You never can step into the same river twice.” Guess that is one of the reasons I love speculative fiction on time travel (e.g. “Somewhere in Time,” “The Time Machine,” “Back to the Future”, “Looking Backwards,” etc. etc. Sounds like the folks you describe have become alienated both from their new home, in the States, and their former home, in Cuba. Sort of like folks in Limbo, betwixt Heaven and Hell.

Comments are closed.