I see the lovers fight. Honeymoon, perhaps, in this Paradise island. The weather is back where it should. Sun shining. Water shimmering in bright turquoise. Sand white ~white dashing~blinding~white.
And the lovers disagree. Fight, politely. He is impatient and a bit fed up. She is bursting with needs and wants unmet. The light is beautiful. They are both beautiful and tired. Their bodies are perfect and young. Their minds, untamed, are trying to adjust to each other. The Caribbean winds pass through them. And they fight. They fight, a little. They exchange words that are not kind and looks that are not sweet. They will feel better later. They will make love and forgive each other. Later. Not now.
The French middle-aged ladies take pictures of each other. The colours are exultant. After two days of non-stop storms, rain, grey skies, the fluorescent island is back, with a vengeance. Wow the eyes hurt. The blue is so blue so intensely blue so painfully blue so precious.
I eat my cheap food and want to feel drunk, slightly. Just a hint of a tad of a little. Just for joy. Despite the fact the cocktails are so atrocious, I want to drink a second one, today. Just today, my last day, while the fluorescent lasts, while this island shows off to me what it is capable of. Just because the blue is so astonishingly blue and I am so grateful.
I have decided the caipirinha is the least evil version of a cocktail here.
Otra caipirinha por favor.
[Oh my. Strong. Strong caipirinha. They do not know about subtlety here.
All the better. Enough nuance where I’m from.]
The light. The light is back. A blessing. A day of storms was fine. Two days of storms has felt less so. Good for sleeping though. Spending a full day in a palm hut in the middle of a beach swept by torrential rain and winds was an extraordinarily effective lullaby. Siesta, nap, plus long~long sleep, no problem. With a bit of time for re-reading Milan Kundera and being taken to Prague in the 1970s, why not, while looking at lovers that do not fight any more, just walk up and down the beach, holding hands.
[One day of storms sitting inside a palm hut was fine…]
Now. I have seen this German couple. They walk. Both grabbing their phones. And then, oops, she takes a selfie of herself, while he ignores her and looks at his screen. I have never seen this before. A selfie taken by a woman with her (probably, just married) husband by her side. She prefers her selfie to his picture. She does not consider asking him to take her in this beautiful honeymoon spot. She prefers to take herself, thank you very much, while he keeps checking whatever you can check in practically wifi-less Cuba. Extraordinario.
I eat my fish. It is the only eatable thing here. The fish is cooked fresh. And I love it. The caipirinhas are so strong I am almost knocked out. But it does not matter. I am writing right now, so the absolutely-not-subtle alcohol is allowing me to function all the same.
I am sitting in the blindingly white sand, looking at all the lovers gathered here, all the couples, young and old, all the packaged and all the improvised romance. I do not envy them at all. I am so delighted in my own space, eating my decent fish and my delicious papaya (the only saving graces in this tremendously, impossibly~badly presented & cooked buffet. How do they manage to torture food so thoroughly?) I smile.
The black birds are back. Watching over my empty dishes. I have nothing for them. I talk to them in English and in Spanish. Shu, shu – Fuera! Needless to say, with birds, Spanish is always more effective.
I want to stroll again. Take in as much blue as I can.
The lovers are everywhere, fighting and making love, eating and walking and taking selfies and maybe drinking caipirinhas (*) as strong as mine.
(*) The mojito I had yesterday was so terrible I won’t go there again. Shame for Cuba’s national drink! The girl that served it was cheerful and confused. I forgive her.
It is so beautiful. I am so lucky. I will go back to exploring the sand, the foam and the horizons, after another plateful of papaya. No more alcohol needed. No more fights, or more lovers. Black birds, watch out. Blue, deep fluorescent blue, here I come.