Tuesday, March 18, 2008


At Biran she knelt before the shrine where the great man had been educated, but not for the reason the soldier thought. She'd been feeling unwell since joining the convoy at Guardalavaca.  Perhaps it was the bilious colours of her hotel, a clunky Soviet-built affair in the Brutalist style. Or the memory of an American Airlines jet at Holguin, parked next to a sign that said, "Socialismo o muerte."  The soldier, standing in the shade of a tree with strangely geometrical five-sided fruit, shifted his rifle restlessly.  Would he shoot if she threw up?

"He had relatives here."
"Well, it's where he was born."
"No, not him.  He was a communist, you know."
"Of course, he was, but what kind? Analytic or synthetic?"
"You're thinking of someone else."
"Orphist, then. He was elected, right?"

"So we're off on an adventure," she said, climbing into the SUV.