What it’s like to be Cuban-American – Part 1

I will post these little “insights” from time to time, so, here, without further ado, is the first:

It’s the weekend. A beautiful Saturday morning, skies are blue, no clouds, and it’s pretty hot. You decide to take advantage of the fact you live in Miami and you pack your cooler, grab some big, colorful towels, folding chairs and umbrella. You stop somewhere on the way for suntan lotion and sunblock. You are going to the beach!

So you get there, park your car, fill the parking meter with enough change for the day, grab all your stuff and head straight for the shore. The sand is already hot but it doesn’t bother you as in a minute or two you will be frollicking in the Atlantic Ocean.

You stab your umbrella into the sand, set up the folding chairs and pause, for a second, to take in that delicious sea air. There’s little kids everywhere, playing ball, making sand castles, jumping in and out of the beautiful blue-green wet stuff. All the while the waves hitting the shore is a constant song.

You open your cooler, grab a cold one, pop it open and drop into your beach chair, ready to relax.

You see a couple of kids pulling something out of the water. It’s hard to tell at first what it is because of the waves. They’re struggling with it even though you’re pretty sure it floats. When they finally manage to get it out of the water you see that it’s a piece of wood. It looks like a two-by-ten, a piece of lumber about 5 feet long. It has some ropes tied to it.

So what’s your first thought when you see this?

“Geez. What if that’s a piece of someone’s raft?”

6 thoughts on “What it’s like to be Cuban-American – Part 1”

  1. I wouldnt worry about it too much David. I’ve done the same damn thing a million times. Laugh at something that on the surface, IS pretty funny, then realize what a mental lapse I’ve just had.

  2. The ability to see the potential in something “found” is amazing, isn’t it?

    To a kid, the imagination would shout…a raft! And, they’d be picturing themselves making a raft and cruising off to adventures unknown.

    To an adult, like yourself, you think of it as the remnant of a raft….already used. And, you think of the people who were on it.

    I don’t know how to merge those two things anymore…to take reality and innocence and make them work together. I wish I could. I have to shut off reality to enjoy the dreams of children and I have to turn off the dreams of children to deal effectively as an adult.

    Shouldn’t there be something in between?

  3. Yes, there should be an in between. I’ve always said that the day a kid understands how good it is to be a kid is the day he stops being a kid.

  4. Apparently I almost think like a Cuban then because that was my first thought when I was done reading the description…only to find, two sentences later, you thought the same.

    I will admit, however, I didn’t think of the raft as an escape vessel for the reason you did. I know I will the next time I see one though.

  5. They had a “balsero” (rafter) exhibit here last year at a gallery. It was horribly depressing. Some of the “rafts” (if you can call them that) that some of these balseros use are so rickety, so small and so flimsy that you think these people would have to be completely nuts to try to cross the Gulfstream in them.

    Of course, they are not crazy, just repressed to the point where they prefer to risk their lives to get out.

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