Snow in Havana
I went to Havana searching for my lost frozen soul to be melted. I found love in Havana. His name was Victor, my Cuban vampire. His laughing eyes and white teeth staved off the wet and windy grey storms of January and February when the sleet rained down like falling pieces of thin glass.
Victor had seen snow flurries in Russia when he was 19. He was sent there as an undercover agent during the Cold War to Moscow University alongside his 2 other lifelong companieros. Bilingual in Russian, English and Brazilian Portuguese from his spying days in Sao Paolo in the 70s, he was well travelled and cultured but remained a faithful patriot. His father had been Fidel's personal chef and Victor, himself, was proud of his cooking.
I was invited to his apartment in Centro on Calle San Miguel for dinner. It was there that I first saw the winking eye in his bedroom. I could not believe the synchronicity because I had the very same eye in Brighton. The eye was the symbol to ward off evil spirits and mine was framed and above my kitchen door whilst Victor's eye was stuck unframed on a full length mirror looking down watchfully on Victor's nocturnal adventures in bed. The eye was a black sketch of a woman's right eye recognisable from the 60s makeup. The background was yellow. Black and yellow was very striking. Her eye winked depending on the angle it was viewed. It was either open or closed. Mine was the left eye. So here was a connection between Brighton and Havana. Here was a close connection between Victor and myself on that wet, windy snowy day in Havana.
Written May 2015, Buyuk Londra Hotel, Istanbul.