Mary Carmen is a very nice woman, active, enterprising. She was a dancer before she was a bureaucrat, and a good one. She now lives, retired, in her home, which with much, much sacrifice could be rebuilt. She has good taste and is very hardworking, so that whenever you visit you will find everything in perfect order and cleanliness. She has enough time for everything: She reads, watches TV and even visits her friends.  Not long ago she went through a real nightmare caused by an invasion of termites in her apartment, due to a street tree that was sick and no one took care of it, so the unwanted insects made themselves at home in all the neighboring houses as well.  Mary Carmen discovered it one day when she went to open the door of the closet and, with a tremendous CRASH it fell to the floor.  This alerted her, and she immediate took on the task of finding and seizing the undesirables.  She discovered that more than four of her interior doors had been totally eaten away.

Now comes the hard part: finding a carpenter, who also has wood and is not expensive, as she barely has enough money from her retirement to get by. After several tries and frustrations, she finally got hold of someone who could frame doors. Her brother, who lives outside of Cuba, sent her some money to help; she got the rest by making some crafts to sell.

Good news! At last the doors were mounted in their new frames. But happiness, they say, stays but a short time in the house of the poor. Early one morning she discovered that the doorways were swollen shut, and she had new house guests. The carpenter had cheated her. Now penniless and disheartened, my friend found a most practical solution. She removed the frames again. Now all her interior doors are sliding doors. She herself runs them sideways as needed, they simply don’t have frames and are carefully propped against the walls.

Translated by: Tomás A.