A few days ago, when I was on my way to work, I passed by the Saratoga Hotel entrance and found a right ruckus, the kind that forms when people get together in any city to see something they’ve never seen before or something new…
Carlos Fraguela’s Diary
I went to the Metropolitan Bank to pay income tax for last year and even though I got there early (9:00 am), I’d have to stay and wait five and a half hours. While I was waiting, I met a retired old man who told me his whole life story and his problems to get them off of his chest.
Today, I got home late in the night and as I was walking down my street, I received a low blow when I noticed that they had cut down two extremely beautiful trees that lived alongside the pavement, half a block up the street.
A neighbor of mine told me her second menstruation caught her by surprise at school, on the day they had an exam and teachers had warned that students would forfeit their right to take this test if they failed to wear their uniform scarves (as many did refuse to wear this symbolic garment the day through).
I believe I was born in Havana in 1964, but I have no memories of my childhood before I was 2. Memories become blurrier the farther I think back. I have a feeling it was a time when one could not easily be free of fear.
Some days ago, I met with a childhood friend I don’t see very often. He’d promised to show me a video of other friends of ours who live in the United States, whom I haven’t seen in years. We were friends for many years and we’ve practically lost all touch.
Recently, I fulfilled my wish to return to one of the coral paradises in Cuba my father would take me to during my childhood and teenage years. I was mostly interested in seeing what state the coral populations in Havana’s west-laying coasts were in.
I recall many experiences centered on animals of all kingdoms. Regrettably, the sea is the one place Jose Marti never described. Speaking of inspiration, I spent nearly one hour with a suckerfish, in its habitat, and I am still dazzled.
The beauty and intelligence of three animal species put an end to all my killing. I would kill soles, octopi and scorpion fish regularly, until I put aside my hunger and began to enjoy conserving these beautiful specimens of Cuba’s marine fauna.
Seeking to take advantage of the warm temperature Cuban waters still retain at this time of year, I set out on a pleasant bus journey, heading for Havana’s east-laying beaches. The trip was memorable for several reasons.