Summer

I’ve been around here less, but I’ve had the joy of being with new friends who bring messages from old friends and with friends I haven’t seen in some time.

The first was Carmen Agredano, from Córdoba, who doesn’t live in Córdoba but in Las Palmas, and who brought me an old card from my friend Manolo Díaz Martínez. Carmen came to give presentations in several cities on the (Cuban) isle and I had the pleasure of enjoying her spectacle on two occasions. Poets to whom Carmen lent her beautiful voice and emotional Flamenco interpretation, with arrangements and accompaniment from that luminary Reynier Mariño, so good with the Flamenco guitar that he literally dances at the home of the spinning top*. Seeing him play, you get the deceitful impression that such flourishes are simple. They completed the spectacle with a most versatile dancer, the actor Carlos Padrón, Cecilia reciting poems and two more musicians (box drum and bass), plus any that should show up casually.  It was a group of friends having a good time, doing what they like to do, transmitting good vibes to the public who knew how to appreciate it.

And two days after saying goodbye to my friend Carmen, Marival and María came to see me from Logroño, Spain. Like the Wise Men, they came loaded with gifts and love from all the friends we have over there. For my friends from Logroño, I gave them a somewhat profound walk around Havana and here in our little garage, we spent the hours conversing.

Although they carry back to our friends all the impressions of having been with us, I am taking advantage of this opportunity to thank Alfonsa and Ane, to Doctor Germán, to Isabel and Colo, to Rafa Pérez Foncea, to the Mongoleles for that little magazine that I adore. To all those who sent books.

Many thanks for the friendships that have given me something similar to a vacation.

* Translator’s note: bailar en casa del trompo translates literally as “to dance at the home of the spinning top.” In colloquial English, the best translation would be “to best someone on their home turf”; but this is one of those literary uses that would be lost in translation … so artful that I just can’t cover it up.

Translated by: JT

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