After a long day at the beach, watching backflips and swimming to sandbars and eating little cajitas of fried chicken and potato chips for a CUC, we would climb the fourteen floors up to the penthouse. A shower and a Cuba Light*, dancing along to Otis Redding, the Hold Steady, Lady Gaga or perhaps all three. We didn’t even fight over who got the shower first, because nobody wanted hot water on those days anyway.
There’s something wild and liberating about drinking in the shower. It’s just enough outside the norm, just strange enough. Like life really could just be fun forever. And on a sunny day, after a lot of laughs and swimming, it’s the perfect way to wash off the salt and sand. It’s days like this that made me love the cool showers. And the precarious genius of Tomatina parking her laptop in the bathroom.
After a shower its time for the balcony, for reading and writing as the sun slips below the malecon. There’s a
balcony right off my room, and I usually got it and it’s perfect breeze all to myself. The advantage of having your own spot is that everyone knows where to find you, and the company was always good when it came. Somehow writing feels special if it’s from a balcony in Havana. From there I watched the floods, the fights, the niños skating, the guys rolling up to see which chicas would come out that night.
On these perfect days, these three-day-weekends-every-week days, these relaxing in Havana days, these full and content days, the food was somehow always good. Rice and beans, meat that didn’t look creepy, or the occasional pizza or even sometimes POLLO NIGHT! Fresh fruit juice, rolls AND butter-like substitute, and yuca french fries. If there were shortages on those days, I didn’t notice.
These are the days that keep me up dreaming of Cuba, that have me re-creating our playlists, and wishing Havana Club wasn’t illegal to import.
*our very own creation, a Cuba Light is rum (usually some clear anejo havana club aka the cheapest good thing) and water and crystal light mix in a dasani water bottle. for a variation on a hot day, throw it in the freezer and it’s a Cuba Ice.