Raft of Tires
Let us go then, you and I… Like a patient… lobotomized with Trotsky’s ice-pick. Let us go, through certain half… dim back-alley Havana streets where “los gusanos” dare to meet—away from the teeth of the revolution. Let us count those that fled, let us count those that are dead, upon the tires and detritus taken by the gulf stream…
That was all she managed to write before she wrote: the hell with this and left her pen upon the sheet—atop the desk flecked with underwater light as the sun sickened and dropped to its nightly torpor. Here came the darkness and all she had was a useless page, a throbbing writing blister, and bare feet on the cool granito floor—dusty in patches, and littered with small particles that she couldn’t see but felt like tiny talus fields at the edge of her desk. The nightly ceremonial firing of the cannon from Morro Castle snapped her out of her stupor, and soon she would hear the drunken pelotons of tourists making their way through the street out front—with their old city cliches and their first world cavils.
There were many nights she wished she could have gone with her brother on the raft of tires and taken her chance on the vagaries of the Florida Straits—especially now—that his escapade had resulted in her eviction from so called privileged housing in the Old City. She, again, attempted to make her mother’s style of lemonade out of this harsh cask of lemons—so she reasoned that she would no longer be kept up nights by the drunken Europeans’ and Russians’ tone deaf renditions of the folk songs they heard every night on vacation—and that she’d no longer be subject to the leers, propositions, and manhandling by these “elites” that humanity kept flying into the island. Maybe her aunt’s place in Pinar del Rio would be a quiet and more productive place to translate Modernist poetry into Quechua…
What I’m Reading:
“The ice cubes were melting. The species were dying. The last of the fossil fuels were being burned up. A person collapsing in the street might be collapsing from any one of a hundred things. New things to die of were being added each day.”
—Sheila Heti / Pure Colour