Some of Life, Again

19 Feb

–Wake me up at six.
–I want to talk with you.
She shuffles her feet on the wood floor. It sounds like someone is sweeping. Away from me. She goes back to the room and pulls shut the drapes. I hear her settle in bed. She pushes her body into the soft mattress and changes sides until she falls asleep. I love that about her. She doesn’t stop until she drifts.
My shift starts at seven and goes until five in the morning. Ten hours, four days a week. Only they’re not consecutive. Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday off, Thursday night, Friday off, Saturday off, Sunday night. And it changes every week, the days I mean. I am never able to sleep properly. Neither is she. We pass the days walking through fog and mist and the hot, July humid air, and we temper it with tequila and gin. It’s how it goes. I love that. I love that we know exactly what is taking us down. There is no gallantry in that, just truth.
I go to the kitchen and sit at the table with a little glass of clear Slivovitz. It’s not the home made stuff you get in the old country, but it does the job. It softens it all. There are three books to get through and a stack of newspapers. Everything is still now. The five clocks ticking sound like someone is swinging slats of wood at the walls, in an urgent rage. I hear her shift in bed again. I hear her prop herself up on her elbow.
–Are you reading?
–I’m sorry.
–It’s all right. It’s just the papers.
–I was thinking…let’s go away.
–Go to sleep, you have a good hour.
–I can’t. Let’s just go away.
–Mexico. No. Cuba. Let’s go to Cuba.
–Funny. I’m just reading that El Barbudo resigned.
–El Barbudo. The Bearded One.
–He did?
–His brother took over. Nothing’s really changed.
–Let’s go anyway. Nothing’s really changed in fifty years.
–We can’t go from here. They won’t let us.
–So we go from somewhere else.
–Go to sleep.
–We’ll take a boat.
–Go already.
–I can’t. I can’t stop anything.
–I can’t.
–Just try.

It comes in from the sea, somehow. From the feet, and then slowly up the legs and the rest. We are both standing in the powdery sand with Rum and Chachaça cocktails and the music rushes up and envelops us.
–Ladies and gentlemen, Francesc d’Asís Xavier Cugat Mingall de Bru i Deulofeu!
She takes a long hit and smiles.
–And singing with him, Miguelito Valdés!
They go into a strange version of Perfidia. Ilsa and Rick are dancing to it in Paris. Then back to Cuba by way of Casablanca. Something lifts up from the hips and takes me back away from the waterfront. I watch the two of them still standing, listening to the musicians.
Then Cugat says:
I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve.
And we all applaud.


One Response to “Some of Life, Again”

  1. bobbyclobber 30/08/2008 at 8:11 PM #

    Ahhhhh….1959…the year that “Organized Crime” was delt the “Fatal Blow” in Cuba!!!! The USA has had an “Iron Curain” around Cuba ever since!! This should tell anyone with even a half a brain…who runs and controlls the White House.

    Others who have done so, even with in the rules that the USA puts down, are known as “The Axes of Evil”.
    Like in most cases dealing with the ‘Western News’ one must do a 180 and then your dealing with the “Truth”

    So,… you so called, “Free People” are really under the controll of “organized Crime” and those who are not free…. are not. I believit’s that simple….I know I leave myself open to those who accept the news media of the Western World and believe it, but, hey, were free to make opinons…aren’t we.?.?.?

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