” “…..” He tilted his head, staring straight into my eyes. “Two hundred pesos, it’s nothing.” Finally, I accepted, taking the money from my wallet and handing it over.
I had a bunch of questions about how Cuba worked which for years had been nagging at me.
None of those questions, however, had much to do with getting laid.
I stepped onto a porch filled with drunken old white men complaining about the heat and whores. The sun was unbearably hot and there was no one walking around. At least fifteen Filipinas dressed in skimpy bikinis were hanging out on the stools around the bar. I was directed to a chair in front of a small stage, and 6 or 7 girls ran up onto it to dance. I had bought hash from him the first time I visited the town, months before.
Across the street, two middle-aged Filipinos were leaning back on their moto-rickshaws, watching me. The girl that brought me in disappeared, and a much older, fully clothed woman materialized at my side. I was feeling slightly hyperactive after the Red Bull fix and sort of waved to get his attention.
As I tried to avoid eye contact with the errant gonad I realised that this guy, with his swagger and dangle, understood Cuba far better than I did.
I was the one struggling to make sense of the place. When I went to Cuba, I didn’t know that everyone went there to get laid.
Not only was I respected despite my filth and hippie-ishness, but I could have any girl I wanted whenever I wanted- for a small fee. I managed to regain some of my composure for a moment, though I was still panting. At that point, another foreign man walked in and became the center of attention. Go sell it to one of these old fucks walking around.” “You need when you get drunk! I found myself tramping along in the dusty streets, still avoiding random prostitutes and street vendors as they pitched their respective services or products. Red Bull in the West has been weakened from the Thai version by the use of caffeine in place of more mysterious components. I’m afraid that if I go to Dubai I’ll be a prostitute.” I could see the frustration in her eyes as she spoke to me. I’m going home pretty soon myself…” I sorted of moaned at the idea, imagining the bleakness of March in Ohio.
My drink cost $.60, but her drink would cost , and that was how the bars really made their money. sorry, but I just don’t have any money.” She immediately jumped up and left, as did the rest of the girls. “You need…” he didn’t seem willing to let me pass and he was starting to make me think about it. He gave me the packet and I slipped it into my pocket discretely, slightly embarrassed at my most recent purchase. ” “Yeah, well, you’ve gotta make it somehow, and I’m sure as hell not going back to Oz…” “I know what you mean…
I propelled myself down the dirty, potholed street with a foggy mind. It was Disneyland for strange old white men dosed up on Viagra. ” I tried to think of an excuse, my mistake had been making eye contact.
My feet itched from the glassy, filthy, rancid dust that seemed to dig into me under the sandals. One hundred and fifty go-go bars lined the blocks just outside of the Clark Airbase, a former US airbase.
People still talk about the time as a kind of mystical disappearance; one day Cuba had an economy, the next day it had vanished.