Journal Entry April 16, 2012…in a sun stroked, Havana libre analgesia haze, I wrote my final thoughts.
Today, I serendipitously made the acquaintance of a much older Canadian gentleman. We met poolside as the sun began to climb in the Cuban sky, turning it a brilliant blend of amber, mauve and pink.
This gentleman had been out for his morning run, and I was getting ready for mine. In an effort not to go back and wake his wife too early, he engaged me in conversation.
Sizing him up quickly before our conversation started I assumed he was athletic, married, and well-employed. I was right on those three counts. I had not, however, pegged him as the stereotypical pig who travels to poor, foreign countries to take advantage of their women. As it turned out, he was married to a woman my age (he was old enough to be my grandfather).
As he spoke, I had a flashback. A few years ago I stood agog on a street in Camaguay, witnessing the scene of a newly married couple. It was a very young woman having been wed to another, much older Canadian gentleman. The bride was weeping, while her mother shoved her off to a classic Cuban car, and her new husband groped under her bright dress. Ugh.
As it turns out, the gentleman I was speaking to was in the December of his life and had married his May bride three years earlier. He had not since managed to import his souvenir/care-giver/housekeeper into Canada and as a result travelled to visit every six months.
I let him ramble on and on about the reasons why he chose to marry a Cuban woman. He said that she understood him because of the politics of their native countries (originally he was from a communist country). As a result, she had been well-educated in a communist system and was a wonderful and intelligent companion. “And,” I wanted to say, ” a much better fuck than an eighty year old“.
Later on today, as I painted my toes, taking shelter in the shade of my porch, I caught sight of their backs, walking up the hill from my gazebo. From that vantage point, they were fairly unremarkable. Benign. But later tonight, the truth was told from a different doorway.
As I munched away on fresh-from-the-sea lobster , in walked a very overdressed woman in a form-fitting black satin cocktail dress. The dress had rosettes along the entire length of each wide, shoulder strap and had been paired with stiletto heels. “Satin,” I thought to myself, “in this heat? Is she loco?”.
She was looking down one side of the restaurant as if she were lost. It wasn’t just that she was over-dressed that made me take a second look, it was because, although she wasn’t thin by any stretch of the imagination, the dress fit perfectly and flattered every curve. It was not a cheap item of clothing that she was wearing, nor were her shoes.
This woman’s hair was twisted in a small knot on the top of her head, and she had applied enough make-up to make my pores weep just thinking about it. She was Cuban, and likely looking for the wedding party that had come through and was settled in the courtyard, I thought to myself as I nodded to the waiter who was pouring more wine into our glasses.
Wrong again. On queue, in walks Mr. Canadian Pervert. He was wearing a white and black short-sleeved shirt with a yoked collar. His shoes were actually short boots with a heel. You know, the kind that went the way of Saturday Night Fever and unprotected sex. His pants were black and tight enough that I had an unwelcome image in my mind of how thick his 80-year-old trouser snake might be. I drank deeply from my wine glass hoping the booze would soothe my traumatized imagination.
The old pervert placed his gnarled, arthritic hand on the black-dressed-beauty’s back, looked around to see who was watching him claim his property, caught my eye, winked, and then guided his wife (hand still on her back) to their table. I squirmed thinking of how uncomfortable the weight of that hand must have felt against the sweaty satin. I took another drink and motioned the waiter back for a top-up.
Flashback to earlier this morning; Mr.Canadian Pervert had really worked at convincing me of his status as a respectable gentleman. Was it his fault that I had made assumptions about his personal integrity? Should I have been alerted to his perversion by the trifecta mention of how exercise increases testosterone levels and how important testosterone is to maintain as a man ages?
Perhaps I should adjust my judgement of the matrimonial transaction that has taken place between these two consenting adults.
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe they are really in love, or maybe they’re just both realistic about the benefits and drawbacks of the currency they offer one another.
Perhaps this marriage left me feeling like it was a lop-sided bargain in favour of the man. Or maybe, in my heart of hearts I really wish that I could meet an intelligent, fit, man who could protect me as I made my way to a table in a restaurant, wearing fine clothing that he had chosen and paid for?
Nope. Not my style. But I felt terrible judging this other woman who I didn’t even know. Hell, maybe she could tolerate his sweaty old body pumping away on hers for a few nights a year in exchange for regular injections of money into her Cuban purse. I hope for her sake that she has a real lover somewhere out there in this humid and sensual country, keeping
romance sex love alive for her.
Clearly this university-educated woman had chosen to be the breeze, whereas I had been born in a country that made it easy to choose to be the gale.
As I sat at my table, enjoying the company of my age-appropriate and companion, eating the food that I paid for and ordered for myself , I knew, from the inside out, from the root of who I am, that I will never be anything but the gale, nor do I want to be any other way.
Journal Entry April 21, 2012; As I portered my own bags at the airport, I watched Mr. Canadian Pervert usher his bride of three years into a cab, with bag upon bag of clothing and shoes and other ‘stuff’ he had purchased for her.
At the airport, I sidled up to Mr. Canadian Pervert, slid my hand way up his saggy thigh, brushed my soft lips across the wrinkled skin behind his ear and cooed about a Michael Kors dress that had my name all over it. Not.