Bus Report #726
I was looking out the window, as I often do, and my gaze landed on the trash can on 16th at Guerrero.
There were magazines in the trash and the magazine on the top was an issue of the New Yorker that I recognized without a moment's hesitation - it was the Cuba issue I remember so well - an issue from January 1998.
Isn't it strange what we remember when we least expect it? I saw the flashes of color: yellow, red, camo green and it was instant. Of course. The Cuba issue. I've got that at home.
A moment later, the Marketplace episode I was listening to played a snippet of the song 'Chan Chan' by Buena Vista Social Club, a Cuban band that exploded onto the scene back in 1997.
And suddenly I was miles away from the 22 Fillmore.
Instead, I was sitting in Rao's with books for my Amherst classes with Benitez-Rojo, and Junior Profe, drinking Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Transported back to school, and studying, and hearing Cuban-accented Spanish, and reading Cuban literature and trying to put it all together towards my thesis work.
At home, I dug out the magazine, yellowed and dusty.
And again, this morning, with Cuba still on the brain, NPR tells me that Richard Blanco is the Inaugural Poet. And I remembered reading his poetry all those years ago, in a collection of Cuban-American writers I'd bought at Avenue Victor Hugo in Boston.
I hopped out the bus to get my morning coffee, craving, instead of my usual Thermos fill-up, a cafe con leche with lots of sugar.