Salvador Salazar

Salvador Salazar

A man celebrates the arrival of 2019 under a shower of confetti during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, New York, on January 1, 2019. (AP Photo / Adam Hunger)

New Year’s Eve in Times Square

On December 31, we didn’t have water in the building. Only cumbia from the Colombian neighbors’ loudspeakers, cumbias and ballenatos to welcome in 2019, the year 61 of the Cuban revolution, my third year in New York. We made Cuban fritters with cassava and sweet potato, and a leg of pork about which we knew someone would say that "here the meat does not taste like Cuba's," but he or she would eat it with tremendous gusto. There was no water and I had to bathe with a red plastic bucket I have hidden under the bathroom sink, foreseeing a post-Soviet or North Korean apocalypse, or that the cistern be contaminated with feces as was the case, 400 summers ago, in the building of a friend in Alamar, Havana. Damn it, to think I had traveled so far, literally, not figuratively, to end up taking a bath with a bucket on New Year’s Eve. But that also has its charm. It has always been easier for me to dream when I’ve gone through a piece of bad luck. That's why when I left Cuba my ideas were left aside, it was enough for me to stick my head out the...

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