One Minute in Rush Hour

Because one can dream.

I’ll probably be on my way home from work that day. Stuck somewhere on Miller Drive before the Palmetto Expressway. I’ll be sitting there in my little truck and ahead of me a row of cars as is the norm. A few carhorns will start blaring in front of me. “Great,” Ill complain to myself. “Now I have some idiot at the front of the line with car trouble or an accident or something.”

And then the car horns will become a little more ubiquitous. The blaring will be coming from behind me as well. And from the sides. And people heading the opposite way on Miller Drive will be honking too. Some of them will have their windows rolled down. Shaking their fists out the windows and screaming. At first it’ll seem like a combined fit of road rage. Like everyone being pissed at each other at the same time.

I’ll look over at the guy in the Mercedes next to me and he’ll be on his cellphone. Talking animatedly, using his hands to say whatever he cant get in edge wise vocally. Wait, did he just wipe tears from his eyes? And why does it seem the honking is getting louder? What the heck is going on?

The Eagles tune that I turned up to override all the honking just got interrupted. “We interrupt this program to bring you some breaking news…” But I wont be able to hear the breaking news. The car horns are too loud now. As if the entire city, as if every single person in every single car has just gone completely mad here in Miami.

People are starting to get out of their cars, right here, on Miller Drive, in rush hour traffic.

And then it hits me. I dont need a report to know what has just happened. My entire body is riddled with goosebumps. Tears are starting to build up. I open my car door, step out and look in both directions. It’s a madhouse. People are honking and screaming and jumping around. There’s a guy three or four cars back with his elbows resting on the roof of his car and his head in between them. It looks like he’s crying too.

The driver side door of the car in front of me opens slowly. A little old lady works to get out of her car. I make my way over to her, this little old lady that just a few minutes ago I was complaining about being behind of in traffic, and help her out. She looks up at me, tears flowing from a pair of eyes that mirror a gammut of emotions. I try to say something but nothing comes out. All I know is that I have to hug her. Embrace this new Abuelita of mine. Cry on her shoulders. Hold her as if Im holding every single person in my family. My deceased abuelos, my tias and tios that have passed on. My mother. My father.

She will start sobbing then, almost uncontrollably. I do everything in my power to not follow suit even though every single atom of my being wants that release. That freedom that crying brings.

“Ay, mijo,” she’ll say to me through baited breath. “Ay mijo….”

“No llore, Se?ora,” I’ll say, gingerly stroking her near blue hair. “Ya. No mas. Ni una lagrima mas….”

And that’s how I picture it. fidel castro is dead.

31 thoughts on “One Minute in Rush Hour”

  1. Como dice Willy Chirino. “Ya todo el mundo lo esta esperando, Ya viene llegando” Nuestra Cuba muy pronto sera Libre. Tenemos que prepararnos, porque el party va a hacer grande, y ese party no me lo pierdo yo. Como dice el dicho. ” los cubanos vamos a tirar la casa por la ventana”

  2. Great writing, bro. However I envision Castro’s Death as a bunch of celebrations all over the Cuban Communities in the U.S.A But while Castro’s Death is Celebrated I am going to worry about Cuba’s state. I wonder if Cuban exile militants are going to Fight The Cuban government to take the freedom they rightly deserve. I wonder if Raul Castro can be taken out. I wonder if we can get the Cuban “Brainwashed” people to see the true Cruelties, surrounding them. I wonder if Cubans here will go back to Cuba and say ‘Adios’ to the U.S. I wonder if the U.S. government will step in to help reinstate a government in Cuba. I wonder if the Cuban people can co-exist to make a better Cuba. I wonder too much, maybe it’s best if I let the future decide the outcome. So I care not so much of the bearded devil’s death, I really care about is Cuba after Fidel’s death.

  3. Yes, my vision corresponds with Val’s – I also envision tremedo fututeo! The Marlins’ World Series victories will pale in comparison.

    The city and county’s plans will go into effect and everything will be relatively orderly and definitely peaceful – no need for violence or anger this night.

    The next day, people will probably stay home from work, some will decide to do so on their own…others’ employers will give them the day off – total, how much work is really gonna get done? But that night…that night…lots of honking, lots of hugging – both strangers and family – lots of phone calls.

    And me? At some point during that unending night (what – you’regonna go to bed?), as I’ve always planned I’ll make my way to Versailles.

    Once I get in (that’ll be the only night I’ll actually stand “en cola” – I don’t *do* colas) I’ll sit at one of the tables en el salon de espejos, and I’ll order a cafe con leche y tostadas cubanas – they’ll be enough time for mojitos and food tomorrow. I’ll look around at all of the faces, the joy, the shock, the relief, all refelected a thousand times over in the restaurant’s gaudy mirrors.

    Cuando llegue la leche caliente con la colada de cafe on the side, I’ll prepare it, bien obscurito, con un poco de azucar. I’ll raise my thick, heavy taza, tears streaming down my face, I’ll look up and I’ll toast Papi – who in heaven, will be raising his taza de cafe con leche to me.

  4. I think that a celebration will erupt here, but not in the island. As Felix Ricardo accurately points out, the situation in Cuba will be ominous and they would not be able to celebrate, because if raul survives cagastro, he will not refrain himself of slaughtering anyone who celebrates. I am very worried about the future of Cuba… I think that between revenges against cagastro’s henchmen and the big-blast-bang of repression and cruelty that his followers will unleash onto the people we are facing for sure a civil war. Then we have to face reality, the tyranny has suscessfuly instilled a lot of mistrust towards us the exiles. And we experience a culture clash whenever we meet a recently arrived Cuban (and so does he) this is the least of it, because we can understand each other after a few seconds, but that happens on a normal situation, not under a looming repression… I foresee the liberal press writing about “the insurgents” in Cuba, fighting a (terror) war against the real Cubans who are reconstructing their country. Satan Hussein was just a very advantaged cagastro student. In Cuba, the repressive forces are ready to kill, torture, maim and commit suicide once cagastro is done. Cagastrismo is an ideology sustained by a deep fanaticism, we cannot forget that. From the Peloton Suicida and urban terrorist of the fifties to whatever they are cooking now. Besides, the U.S. will have to patrol the coast of Cuba to prevent the exfiltration of all criminals involved with the tyranny and the infiltration of terrorist from, let’s say, Colombia, Venezuela, Central America & Mexico. The G2 and the Minfar have bases on those countries training terrorists in urban and jungle warfare, and even, in speaking and behaving like Cubans. This has been going on since day one. Cuba has been a haven for international terrorists from Carlos the Jackal to ETA to all sort of killers, and Harvey Lee Oswald.
    We are dealing with the personification of evil and with somebody who is planning to have a grip in the future, even when he is already dead. His idea of controling the situation is burning the island to ashes, as he said once: “si nos invaden encontraran solo cenizas”
    I am deeply worried for the future, and many fellow Cubans and Cuban Americans will hate me for saying this, but Cuba is not prepared to face the future on it’s own, there’s a big social problem, two generations of people who have no clue whatsoever on how to live in the real world, how to live in peace, democracy and civility. And many of them are happy like that. Besides the moral problems. What can anybody who has made a life out of jineterismo, pinguerismo, malappropiations and so much more can teach to their children?
    I think that the future of the island is as uncertain as its present, but with a very bright perspective, because the future will start with cagastro’s last breath.

  5. Sorry guys, Im with Hilda on this one.

    Cuba has no future while castro is still alive. And despite all the problems our little island will face subsequent to fidel’s death, I am going to enjoy Cuba’s first day of her future. I am going to party. I am going to cry. I am going to scream at the top of my lungs “Viva Cuba Libre” on every single street corner here in Miami. ill enjoy that day no matter what.


    Me avisas, que voy contigo. Y si no puedo ir, Ill raise a glass to your Papi as well.

  6. Wow, This actually had me to the brink of crying…….I say that bastard dies this year. I van always hope.

  7. Val, I will celebrate the future too. I believe that the future starts whenever the bastard kicks the bucket, and believe me, I am raising glasses for all that from the Heavens are looking down watching what the couldn’t see in life…

  8. I’ve never even dared to think (or dream) of what would happen on that day. I think it might be something like Val described. We’ve been waiting so long! So long, that before celebrating I would need PROOF, that the SOB is really dead and not just another rumor. There’s a bottle of champagne my uncle bought in 1967. Kept for expressly that purpose “celebrating”; but like my grandparents and older cousins, he won’t get to open it. Someone else will have to do it. He died last year. Still waiting to celebrate. We’ve been waiting so long! Hasta cuando!

  9. I agree with all the responses, the day castro dies will be a day to celebrate the beginning of the road to freedom.

    Then our attention will turn to the people of Cuba who will likely face severe crackdowns from the government in order to keep control. There will be hard days ahead. Nothing worthwhile comes easily.

  10. You wont have to wait long Bynki, porque yo creeo que el Tyranno Se muere este a?o. On that I’m sure. If not, then I will grow my beard long, and only shave it off when he dies. Other than that, on the day of Cagastro’s death, I will for sure Celebrate amongst my Cuban Comrades, and I too will toast my loved ones. But I will still have action on my mind. I will keep my ears tuned to Radio Mambi o La Cubanisima, to see if there truely will be a revolt in Cuba, if so the cuban people will need help to overthrow those still in power. I wonder if they’re gonna ‘fucilar’ the henchmen of Cagastro including his brother. Whatever the case, WE WILL TAKE CUBA BACK!


  11. Hmmm I also wonder, Who would be President of the island country once the evil that ruled with an iron fist, is out of power and dethroned. We best start looking now, just like the election for a new Pope, we should do the same for a Just President, a president who will not let Cuba down, or fall into Corruption. A president who will NOT become a Tyrant. Don’t let the U.S. decide for us, for look what happened each time the US had instilled a President in a foreign country. (I.E. Batista, Hussein, etc etc..) we must think this through. If we are to do something for OUR future, we must plan now, and Act on that fateful day. (Laughs) I sound like a rally rouser. I’ll shut up now.

  12. This will truly be an unbelievable day. I can only hope that my parents will be alive to see this. To be able to look in my mother and fathers eyes and see the pain and suffering of 40 years washed away by tears of joy. For them who gave up there country to make a better life for my brothers and sister and myself.

  13. OK…be honest. How many of you have a bottle of cidra (or champagne/cava/spumanti) “para cuando caiga Fidel”?

    I do! We always had on in my parents’ house while I was growing up; and when I got married I put one in my fridge – then I had to explain the whole concept to my American husband, God bless him, he totally gets it.

    Granted, I’ve had to replace the bottle too many times…but right now, this very second, there’s a bottle of Frexenet on the bottom shelf of my fridge specifically for that event!

  14. Great writing here, the post and the comments. Hilda, last fall my husband and I were over joyed to drink the special bottle of wine we’d saved for the day arafat died, now, I’ve got one waiting for the bearded bastard and can’t wait for the day I get to raise that glass. Viva Libre Cuba!

  15. My dreams are somewhat different. I imagine Plaza de la Revoluci?n… like Bucarest 1989.. a helicopter takes off with Fidel, Raul and some more… and never makes it to Caracas.

    And a million Cubans celebrating on the Plaza
    Se cay? Fidel!
    Se cay? el tirano!
    Viva Mart?!
    Viva Cuba!
    Viva Cuba Libre!!!!

    Y espero que ya est? llegando

  16. I want this to happen now!
    But with all the celebration there will be double tributes by the MSM, the movie stars and all the scumbags saying how wonderful of a man he was.

    After his death Cuba will open its door to all his friends for the funeral.

  17. The thing is I don’t want Fidel dead. I want him to be dragged out of a spider hole like Saddam and live the rest of his life in infamy.

    As for Raul… I don’t know… he doesn’t even know what infamy means so…

  18. It was like that during the first few days of the Mariel boatlift (or more precisely, when those hundreds of people slipped over the fence onto the grounds of the Peruvian embassy in Havana). I was caught in traffic, and the car horns started blasting, and people were waving U.S. and Cuban flags on their balconies, and there was something like a spontaneous parade over on . . . was it Lejeune or maybe 8th street? The memory fails somewhat, but only with respect to some of the unimportant details; the remembrance of the exhuberance, the joy, the spontaneity, the sense of chains being broken – this will stay with me always. All premature at the time, as it turns out, but a taste of things that will come to be – and soon by the grace of God.

  19. Something tells me the only other place you’d want to be when the news breaks would be Havana.

    Speaking of, I should check and see if the champange is still chilling…

  20. When that happens, on top of all the other things to worry about are the big nations, including the US which will step to help us rebuild, but like friendly elephants, you have to be careful of sharing a bed with then lest they roll over during the night.

  21. Ever since Y2K, that “psychic” on Univision (Walter somebody) has been predicting the imminent death of the Pope and Castro. Maybe now that one-half of the prediction has come true, the other half is not far behind.

  22. Ese dia me voy para la casa tranquilito, porque el borracho va a estar de ola en ola en la calle celebrando y los seguros estan muy caros.

  23. Just wondering–how do you think CNN will cover Castro’s death? Will they treat those who are celebrating his death with respect?
    I’m not sure I care, just wondering.

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