Tuesday, November 5, 2013

La Habana

I posted cryptically two months ago about the insecurities about my weight that almost prevented me from reaching for my dreams.  I can tell you all of those insecurities still exist but are a pale second to what I feel for my first love.  He is far from perfect and yet, despite our unlikely origins, he is perfect for me.  As happy as I am to have done something so adventuresome as hop a plane(s) to Cuba to take a chance with a virtual stranger, I am also sad at the thought of the long road ahead of us to ensure that I wake up the rest of my life at his side.  We have the obvious issues of government and then a slew of personal dragons to slay before we can live out our happily ever after.  I've got my game face on though and because nothing in my life has ever come easy, I will fight with everything I have to make this dream come true just like all the ones before.

Many have asked me to tell them all about my trip to Cuba, you know the forbidden one that I didn't go on.  It was a difficult trip to explain because while I was excited to take my first trip outside of the United States and have my passport stamped "Mexico".  This wasn't a trip to sight see.  It was a trip to meet a friend and decide if the potential was there to become more.  When he began to show signs of Chicken Pox my trip should have been ruined.  In all honesty, we only saw the city for three days, the rest we spent inside with tons of Calamine lotion and sopa, praying for his comfort.  As much as I did see of Havana I also did not.  Those moments I cared for him though, just the two of us, in our little love shack, were more precious to me than any pictures of the Malecon or iconic statues around the city.  The pictures of his joy with his family being together in one room are more valuable than any souvenirs that I did NOT bring back in fear of being arrested and/or fined.  These moments, to me,  are priceless.

He said we must know each other as friends first and I must say that never happened.  Even now, it feels weird acknowledging him as only my boyfriend.  My cousin said it best as he is my other half.  He has made me believe in love, soul mates, destiny, and all that other romantic gibberish.  We were introduced through his brother in law, my patient and from our first email things just shaped into something unusual.  Our pasts, despite living in two very different countries and cultures were strangely similar, our struggles the same, our dreams matching, our personalities equally odd!  Despite obvious language barriers and misunderstandings things continued to flourish into something special and real.

When we met it was after one of the worst travel days of my life but in his arms everything seemed right.  I was racked with nerves at leaving my disabled mother and worried that those I trusted would forget what I had asked of them.  I had no way to even ensure anything but once I put my hand in his, I let my worries ease and trusted that the time we had was only ours and well deserved.  I don't like taking pictures because I miss the moments and the picture that cost them never mean as much to the people looking at them later as it does to you in the moment.  This makes me a terrible photographer.  I apologize for the lack of pictures of all the sights in Havana but each picture is my sights in Havana, the most glorious of sights and what I will keep close to my heart for all my life, whether we work out or not.

I wanted some travel guide description to perfectly describe Cuba and the city of Havana but words, fail me. I will say this: If I could write a song of Cuba it would be a colorful song full of twists and turns, highs and lows, fast and slow, happy and sad.  It would simply be a song of Giraldo since in my eyes he is Cuba.  I do not know all the words and the song may never be finished.  Only time knows for sure.

There are broken buildings, broken cars, broken streets, and broken lives.  To many this is what you would imagine a broken third world to be.  The people of Cuba will prove you wrong though.  They possess a gift, a secret that has no price so will never be bought or sold.  They know the joy of living.  Something lost in this world of mine.  They know how to make everything beautiful, even the broken buildings, broken streets, and broken cars.  I envy this because now that I have returned, leaving him and his magical city behind, I know the door has closed and I once again must live as I did before, allowing time and money to conquer all.

This place is not for every soul just as peace is not destined for every man but for my own heart I have found a corner of the world big enough to bring me the joy and serenity I have sought for so long but small enough to encourage me to reach for it and keep it close to my heart forever.

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