In the Middle – Cuba: A Girl Pedaling (Part 4)

I finally made up my mind and found a nice affordable place to live. It’s been a few months and business is not going badly. In the morning I go to work. And in the afternoon, I teach English at home. I have a grupo of five estudiantes who are really eager to learn the language and somehow I’m motivada by this experiencia. I’m aware I’m not making big money but it’s enough to pay the renta and buy some food. My parents didn’t agree with my decisión at first because just like my girlfriends predicted, my boyfriend didn’t move in with me. He comes to see me almost every day but I don’t have the kind of económico and emocional support I need. I feel that our relationship is lacking something. Anyway, here I am, struggling to find a balance between what we both want.

Working in the Centro de Convenciones has been quite an experiencia. I really like the place and everyone around me is kind. I’ve been involved in many eventos internacionales that are carried out in the institución. Therefore, though I don’t earn much money while working for the gobierno, I enjoy what I do and I gain more practical experiencia in this field. And if someday I get the chance to live abroad I will be preparade to work as a traductora.

Carol is still confused about quitting her job. “What would you do if you were me?” – she asks relentlessly, seeking everyone’s opiniones when she already knows the answer. Of course, she has more posibilidades to thrive in the U.S. as a doctor because here salarios are embarrassing compared to other countries. But then there’s her familia, friends, all the people she’s leaving behind. Decisions are always hard to make and they usually have far-reaching implicaciones.

Tony still lives with his mom. He works as an English teacher at the universidad of Camaguey and he also tutors estudiantes at home. On weekends, his lovely child, whom I adore, comes to visit him. So most of the time he is busy and I am understanding enough to realize that children require a lot atención and love. He’s always been a great father. That I’m sure, and that’s exactly one of the things that made me fall for him in the first place. He is also pretty smart and he’s got a lot of technological savvy. His brother studied computer science in Havana city and has taught him a lot. So I can say they are both computer wizards. He’s been involved for months in this nonstop search for job offers abroad because he has always wanted to leave our country. And somehow I understand him. Today, most Cuban people, especialmente the young, are looking forward to travelling and settling in a country where there are better oportunidades for them and their familias. But it’s hard for me to know that I’m not part of his life proyecto. So “what am I doing with a guy like this? I have plenty of virtues.” I keep repeating to myself while I’m trying to have a real conversación with my brain without my heart interrupting us. “Look at you, Pat, you obviously deserve better,” my girlfriends tell me time and again. But it seems I can’t find the strength to end the whole thing. I’m not afraid of being alone, that I’m sure. I’m just in love. And from time to time, I get to hear his impredecible “I love you,” which takes me by sorpresa and changes my mind once again.

Today I wake up feeling strange. For days I’ve felt this swelling under my armpit. At first, I thought I was getting fat but my neck is now swollen too. My madre is worried so we went naively to see my uncle who is a doctor. His reaction got on my mom’s nerves. Obviamente, my uncle wasn’t kidding. The next day I went to the hospital and they ran several medical tests. I stayed there for a week. Everyone in my familia was concerned about my health. I didn’t realize how serious the situación was until my uncle told me they have to perform a biopsia. Everybody came to see me in the hospital that day: my boyfriend, girlfriends, familia, neighbors, coworkers, old high school acquaintances. It was kind of rewarding knowing that a lot of people care about me. The cirugía went well but I still don’t get what I’m going through. I may clearly have something bad. The atmosphere is really tense and despite the usual smile on my face, I begin to feel frightened. Tony has been very supportive these days. I believe he really cares about me. He has come to the hospital every night to see me and I’m pretty sure he’s done some research. But he doesn’t want to talk about it. He just keeps showing this rarely genuine afecto for me. So “what is happening to me? Am I this sick?” The test results will be available in a month or so. I’m quite desesperada right now. I just heard some medical students talking about something called linfoma in the hospital.’’ What is that?’’ I have to find out pretty soon.

Life is like a roller coaster indeed. One day you are enjoying the ride and the next you are screaming. But I remember somebody telling me once that we have to embrace the storms in our life and learn to dance in the rain. I just feel sorry for my parents, my beautiful sister, my familia, friends, boyfriend, and all the people I love. The next few months are going to be really hard. My mom can’t stop crying and wishing this never happened. But I know she’s strong enough to handle the situación. I am too. I come from a familia of fighters so I’m not going to give up so easily. I’m just 25 years old, for God’s sake. There’s a long road ahead of me. So I’m going to keep riding my bicicleta and enjoying every minuto of the whole trip. Don’t you think?

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Marilin Guerrero Casas

Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emotional Estabilidad: The Key to a Happy Life – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Balance – Marilin Guerrero Casas (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Camaguey, Cuba – In the center – Matyas Rehak (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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