In light of the latest reports on the demise of fidel castro, whom the Miami Herald is reporting is on his deathbed, Im reposting the following, back from 2006, when fidel castro was reported to be on his deathbed. We all know that we won’t get any official confirmation of his death – or his aliveness – until the regime deems it is good and ready, and they can optimize the propaganda value of either, so, I suggest we all take the news of his death with a grain of salt.
Sure, the latest news may add a little spring in our step, and by all means spring away, but let’s not get carried away just yet. Let’s wait until the bearded bastard gets carried away before getting carried away.
Just in case tho, it may be a good idea to stock up on the champagne. If the news turns out to be true, it may be hard to find in Miami.
There are probably thousands of them. In Miami, New Jersey, Michigan, Texas. Scattered about the country and world just like their owners. Waiting. Silently. Tucked in the back somewhere behind the milk and OJ.
At one point every refrigerator in every Cuban exile home had one. Chilling. Waiting for the day.
Other botellitas have come and gone. One was opened when they took the oath and became Americans. One was opened when a son graduated from college. One was opened when a daughter had their first grandchild. One was opened, perhaps, when reunited with a long lost relative.
But that one botellita, that one bottle that each time they open the refrigerator door serves as a painful reminder, it is still there. Corked. Unopened. Full. Stoic. Still waiting.
Oh, but how glorious it will be! That day. That day when they pop that cork. That beautiful, glorious day. The new dawn! The day that botellita has been waiting for all its peaceful life.
They will rush to that refrigerator with the news still sinking in, still blaring loudly all around. Cheers from outside their windows. Car horns blaring up and down the streets. They’ll reach past the milk and OJ, delicately grab that botellita that has had such patience. Such determination. Such anguish. Such patience!
And they will pull that botellita out, stare at the label. Remember the day they bought it. How young they were then. How optimistic. How hopeful. How naive. My God, but how young they were!
“Bring me the glasses!” they’ll yell. The special glasses. The expensive ones. The ones in the china cabinet that have never been used. Yes, those. They will set them down on the table. Stare each other in the eyes with indecision, remorse, elation.
Slowly they’ll unwrap la botellita’s foil. Undo the little wire. Squeeze ever so gently that cork. Slowly. Make the moment last. It has been a long time coming.
Like a cañonaso. Cannon fire signifying the culmination. Marking the beginning of time.
They will pour its contents carefully. Dont want to spill a single drop. They have been waiting too long to waste it. They want to savor it. Take it in. Absorb it.
They will take the full glass in hand. It doesnt matter if it isnt bubbling all that much. It’s from their botellita. The one stored in the refrigerator all these years. Back behind the milk and OJ. Waiting for today. This day. The day of days.
They will raise their glass, look up at the heavens, thank God and then, right before the glass’s rim touches their waiting lips, from the most profound and hidden corner of their souls, they’ll make their long awaited toast.
Viva Cuba Libre!
Champagne and tears.