Not That, Nor that, Nor the Other

Four packets of condoms, a car rearview mirror and some faulty binoculars.

By Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Weekly)

HAVANA TIMES – The people on the street are desperate, frantic, selling whatever. One requires a lot of sense not to lose equanimity, have a bad time or look for a problem because there are all kinds. From the habitual scammers to the needy who cause grief.

From that not-too-distant time when a policeman persecuted and fined an old person for selling two cigars, a box of matches, a 115-gram packet of Hello! Coffee (a mix of peas and coffee) or a couple of small bottles of crazy glue, I have been a defender of the right of anyone to negotiate something of their property as they deem appropriate.

The current mega-inflationary crisis has anything and everything for sale. The blend of a great despair for money and the unattainable prices. In the quietest residential area of the city, sleepers are awakened by the shouts of someone announcing something for sale.

What I witnessed yesterday must be told.

A relatively young man, but accompanied by a pair of crutches, offered me on the sidewalk four packets of condoms, a car rearview mirror and some faulty binoculars that read “Made in USSR”.

I had to laugh, moving my head like the pendulum of a clock. Then, remembering the fable of the fox and the grapes, I wished him all the luck in the world selling such peculiar merchandise related to sex, the past and the afterlife.

I don’t need condoms for publicly inexplicable reasons. Much less a mirror to look back, and why try to see beyond as far as the eyes can reach…

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