Photo: Juan Suarez

By Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Semanal)

HAVANA TIMES – My friend Roberto, a war veteran, comes to do me the favor of painting and veneering my refrigerator. I’ve had it for almost a quarter of a century. I maintain it out of necessity and not because I’m dedicated to collecting relics.

After a remarkable effort between the two of us, we managed to take it out to the terrace. There Roberto could work on it more comfortably and avoid dirt inside the house. He does impeccable reconstruction work. As painstaking as that of deactivating a powerful land mine outside Babile, Ethiopia, on the way to the desert.

Once the restoration ceremony is over, three hours outside, so that the air can dry the paint. Roberto has left to help others. I go out to find someone to give me a hand moving the frig back in to the kitchen.

My neighbor, Dr. San Román, in a wheelchair; Pepe, the one in front, with a herniated disc; the weak deaf-mute at the bottom, unable to lift a ten-pound bundle; Francisco, somewhat stronger, with his spine and something else screwed up; the messenger, with I don’t know what thing inside the heart; Oscar, young and muscular, in a nap that I dare not interrupt; in short, nobody useful in the surroundings.

Human stubble left and right. Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, the wall of the building was a meeting place for a group of young people capable of moving the Morro lighthouse to the Christ of Havana, and then, beer in hand, carrying the saint to the pedestal of the lighthouse.

But today there are none left on the Island. Scattered throughout this world moving other lighthouses that don’t belong to them. It just us old folks that are left and all of us together couldn’t bear such a light load for a ten-meter move.

The message is more than clear. In these times of covid-19, we elderly must take care of ourselves to the extreme. And also, with equal emphasis, ensure the health of our appliances.


One thought on “Human Stubble in Today’s Cuba

  • The President of the CDR on our block is now in his late nineties. Eventually there will be a search for a seventy year old to inject some vigor into the system.

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