I’ve always had reason for fear, especially after my children were born.

But I must confess that during my life I’ve suffered, as I recall, three strong addictions:

The Havana baseball club.

My first boyfriend.

Coca Cola.

I had to say goodbye to all three at almost the same time, after the year nineteen-fifty-nine.

My first addiction: I was a hardened fan of the Havana club. I cried, I chewed by fingernails, and when they lost a game I was spiritless, especially if it was a championship. As a little girl I went to Cerro Stadium dressed in red, like Little Red Riding Hood.

With the second one, my first boyfriend, it was the same as with the first, but in addition, he robbed me of my sleep. Even today I dream about him from time to time: I see him walking toward me, just like when he left, and I hide, because I don’t want him to see me as I am now.

With my third addiction, CocaCola, I was a compulsive consumer. It was all the same to me, the normal bottle, the familiar, or one of those machines that you dropped a coin into (5 centavos), and a cup dropped out first and then transparent soda, and then the cola. Sometimes I even cheated and removed the cup so there would be less soda and then put it back for the cola to make the taste stronger.

Years later when I went into the foreign service and met up with it again, it was like going back to see a relative. I was silly, and at a dinner I’d been invited to I ordered CocaCola, because in the half-light of the restaurant I confused it with the color of the wine. Until one day a waiter noticed and said to me, in front of everyone, Ah coke, the wine of the Americans.

After that, ooh la la! I started drinking wine and I loved it, but just as I was getting used to it, my diplomatic time ended and I returned to my planet and have never seen it since.

Moral: Try not to acquire addictions, they enslave you, I can promise you, and even if you wage a pitched battle against them, and achieve victory, you will always get hurt. Especially if they are the same kind as my second.

April 10 2011

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