01 January 2014

Grape Anesthesia

So I called up the old man and asked him if he ate his grapes.

He did. My mom put them in sandwich bags. Why didn’t I think of that?

And so I asked him “What where you doing 54 years ago?” and he said “Probably eating my last grape.”

The old man is half existentialist, half cynic and half comedian. In Cuban you can be medio anything. In fact, four medios add up to a peseta.

So I said “Seriously, What where you doing fifty years ago when Batista was leaving Cuba”

And he said: “Seriously, We had no idea. I was probably eating the last grape”

And I thought abut it as I saw all the people partying on TV and heard the distant music of a neighbor's party.

The world as we know it could be changing as we sip our champagne and eat our last grape and even with the instantaneous communications of today’s world, we wouldn’t know it.

So I imagined that New Year’s Eve in 1958 and all the hard partying, dancing Cubans sipping Cidra and chomping on grapes totally unaware that the island they were floating on was about to be swallowed up in a whirlpool of change.

And little did those that knew what was about to happen imagine that 54 years later the island would still be sinking into that swirling, bottomless abyss.

The inevitable yearly visit of my asterisk-my cross-the moment where I realize that the New Year celebration is also the anniversary of the day that freedom died-had arrived,

And the second glass of champagne became not a toast but a bitter grape anesthesia.