Sponsors, Alcohol, and Old Friendships
Sponsor is the most used word in Cuba right now, ever since the Biden Administration decided to implement a new visa policy for migrants from four countries, including Cubans, in an attempt to stop mass and uncontrolled immigration across its border with Mexico.
Amid shortages on the island, this measure has unleashed some kind of mass hysteria, with lots of people dedicating all of their time and efforts looking for the person that might sponsor them and help them escape the hell that is our country.
Methods range from asking a relative, to prostituting themselves with a stranger.
It’s 9:30 PM, I’m relaxing at home waiting for the Saturday movie to come on when there’s a knock at my door. An acquaintance has come for legal advice. I left the legal profession (or rather I was left without my legal profession) 14 years ago, however, it’s not strange for someone to show up every now and again to clear up a doubt or to ask for guidance.
This time, the person has come under the influence of alcohol. It’s clear, you can smell the alcohol off him a league away. He’s the kind of person that disgusts me, the kind that thinks they’re better than everyone else because they have four dollars in their pocket and a car. I’m about to ask him to leave but it’s too late, I’ve invited him in and he’s sitting in the living room.
When a person is drunk, even a little bit, a switch goes off that doesn’t allow them to gauge what it is they are actually saying. I know from experience.
I remember, years ago, one bad afternoon when I had the “great” idea to down a few shots of Havana Club rum. A small glass was all it took to feel this drunken stupor, that allows you to think that you’re still in your right mind.
I had just come from picking up my wife at the time, when we ran into a friend.
“Let me introduce you to Segito, he’s gay but he’s a colleague and friend,” I told my wife.
“Pedro, what kind of disrespect is that,” he defended himself.
“Right, let me clarify, this is Segito, he’s bisexual but he’s my friend,” I replied.
He walked on, clearly annoyed, and I didn’t understand where his reaction came from while my wife, embarrassed, gave me a good pinch.
The reality is that Segito, let’s say that’s his name, was and still is a man of effeminate gestures, who tried hard to cover up his homosexuality at the time.
We had been quite close friends when we were working at the law firm. I thought he thought highly of me until everything changed one day. We were in the Criminal Chamber at the Provincial Court handing in a document when I noticed a woman looking, and I don’t know whether it was because of her great-looking body or her confidence in robes, but it was out of touch with the seriousness of the place.
I went up to talk to her with the intention of charming her, and when I came back, Segito, somewhat annoyed and cautionary blurted out: “Boy, your standards are low.” At that moment, I felt like he was interested in me more than a friend and I was sure he was gay. Ever since then, I began to take a certain distance without explaining why, to avoid any misunderstandings.
Well, anyway, going back to my visitor, he had no problem asking me what he needed because his wife had found the desired “sponsor”, who they’d met via WhatsApp a few months ago, and now was the perfect time.
He also told me a number of morbid details that turned my stomach, and I don’t think anyone would admit to them, unless they were drugged.
“I’m sorry, I can’t help you, the truth is that I don’t know anything about immigration law, tell your wife to ask her lover,” I told him and I stood up as a sign to say goodbye.
I stomached another of his confessions at the door for one more minute, until he left. I closed the door and was able to finally watch the movie, that had already begun a while ago.