once upon a time in Havana part 1

September 8, 2017

I started walking faster. I was wearing a white shirt which some of its bottoms were open and my long brown hair reached my shoulders. After that much walking, I could see that tall buildings. It looked like all of the town was just many tall buildings. I went closer. So close that I realized I was in the town now. I entered a restaurant. –"hi. Good afternoon sir. Don t you need a mambo singer?" and I started singing my favorite song. "listen buddy, here is a restaurant, where people eat. Listening to songs while eating is a stupid thing, especially such an awful voice as yours. Come on buddy. Go somewhere else to find your fame a fortune and stardom, mambo king!" I went to many other restaurants. No one accepted me. I entered a café. As usual, there were many blonde American tourists wearing cowboy hats and smoking cigars, speaking English and laughing loudly. –"hi, good afternoon sir. Don t you need a mambo singer?" he took a look at my top to bottom and said:" no, have you entered Havana recently?" "I arrived just today." "don t you have a house?" "huh?" "it s getting dark. You can t sleep out. Here has been a residence apartment. There are two rooms upstairs. One of them is full. If you cook well, I will let you stay at the room plus 5dollars a week." I looked at the sky. He was right. It was getting darker. I had no more choice. I accepted to start working from tomorrow. I went to the room upstairs. I sat on the bed. It had a very bad sound. I sat on a chair. It had a bad sound too. even the floor had a bad sound when I sat on it. I put my hand on the table. My had was full of dirt. I started blowing out on the table. The dirt went into my lungs. "oh god, is this life?"

As usual, I was walking in the streets alone. I talked, laghed and sometimes sang. Everyday at my free, I used to walk by myself in the streets around the café. I used to think of my future and my goals. I was imagining myself when as I had a lot of money and I was a mambo king. I imagined myself holding concerts and buying myself villas and cars with its money. I had learned the streets around the café well. I thought of visiting other parts of Santa Andressa. I believed strongly in my sense of direction, and I was sure that I won t get lost. The other part of Santa Andressa was not like the streets I always used to walk in. American tourists could be seen everywhere. They never brought women and children with themselves. I did n t know why. That side of Santa Andressa was place for the rich Americans to enjoy their life for a week without family. Maybe some of them were rich doctors, engineers, farmers and businessmen. I was watching them carefully when I felt someone at my back. I turned. There was a man with loose striped pants and green who had a white fedora hat and a golden cross necklace was hanging from his neck. I said hello. "hi, I am Tito. Who are you? Why are you so confused? It looks like it is the first time you’re here." "I am not willing to tell my name. nice to meet you Tito. What do you have to do with me?" "nothing especial. I saw you lonely and confused. I thought maybe you need a friend."

At first I was really in doubt with him. But after weeks, he became my best friend. One day we sat on his pretty red car to go to the beach. He had promised to take me to a quiet beach, because I didn t like to watch American tourists doing silly things. Driving a car in Havana was really interesting. That was the first time I was visiting downtown. I could see very tall buildings from very close. Also pretty cars and wide clean streets with happy people smiling .  Havana s glamour could make everybody excited. Hotels, casinos, carnavals and different festivals. I was getting dizzy. I did n t know what side should I watch. Finally, we reached the quiet beach Tito had promised. After seeing so much glamour, going to a quiet beach was a little depressing. We got out of the car. There was a man wearing white suit and blue shirt with especial style of low collar and tight necklace around his neck whose hairstyle look like the one for most fashionable actors. He was sitting on the sands and playing with them with his hands. Tito said in English :" hello sir. I brought him." My face turned yellow. "what?" I said in English. The man took a look at me. "so you know English." He turned to Tito "who is this guy Tito?" "sir, he has the same specifications as you said. In Santa Andressa. " "ah Tito, tomorrow Fulfinante will arrive Havana by airplane, only to see my partner. That is very shameful for me to tell him that Avanti Aquila has ran away." "sorry mr. Buchanan " said Tito, and kissed Buchanan s hand. His hands were full of rings. He turned to me and said:" what do you do boy?" "I cook at a café." "are you good at acting?" "huh?" "you must act a role." " what role?" "Avanti Aquila , my partner who ran way and spends time in Santa Andressa now. " "why was he your partner?" "to build hotel Exarchopolos , a five star hotel casino." "oh, I must go home." "that is n t a suggestion. That is an order!" "what?" "where do you live?" Tito answered instead of me :" in a dirty and untidy small room above a café in Santa Andressa." "so you know where he lives. Ok Tito. Tomorrow you go to his house and take him to hotel nacional. Just don t arrive before 5 pm. I must escort Fulfinante at the airport. So remember: hotel nacional, room 213." I told myself:" oh, I shouldn t have let him know I know English. I shouldn t have spoken English to him."  

Tito knocked the door. "come in" said a charming voice. I opened the door. We both got in. beside Buchanan, there was a charming man with gray suit, red bow tie and attractive oiled brown hair. "oh mr. Fulfinante, let me introduce: Tito and Avanti Aquila. " said Buchanan to Fulfinante. "which one is Aquila?" "the long hair" "please sit down gentlemen." We sat down. Fulfinante turned to me and said:" So you are Buchanan s partner. What is your job?" "oh, mmmmeee….." "Mr. Fulfinante, I must say something: he is not my partner." Said Buchanan. "you mean Aquila is not your partner?" "Aquila is my partner, but he is not Aquila. Aquila has escaped. A place in Santa Andressa. I asked Tito to find him, but he brought the wrong person. I asked him to play as Aquila. He is not a good actor. You would realize this sooner or later." Fulfinante tried to change the mood without paying much attention to that. He completely forget that he had arrived by airplane just to see Aquila. He started socializing with me and he constantly praised my English speaking. Although he had a bit Italian accent himself. He was Italian. He had immigrated to US with family at age of 6. He knew America as his home. These were things that he said himself. At first, the talk was very general, but after a while, he started asking me about myself. I never told my name to anyone. So Fulfinante called me Avanti Aquila. I wasn t very comfortable with that name, but I accepted it. Fulfinante franternized with me, so I started telling him all my wishes and dreams. Like I wanted to become a mambo king and many other things. When my talks finished, he stared at me with his charming eyes and said:" you can become a famous mambo king and reach all of your dreams. But you must do something" "what? to cooperate with you?" "exactly." "sorry, what is your job?" "business, an unusual business based on honor, blood, brotherhood and protection." "is there good money in it?" "there isn t anything like good money or bad money in business. It s just money." In fact my question was something else, but his answer made me scared. I had no choice. I had to continue. I put my hand on the table and said:" how can I enter this business?"

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