You haven’t heard from me for the past few days. I flew home yesterday and I’m glad to be here. My intention had been to blog every day during the thirteen in Cuba, but something happened when I sat down on Wednesday morning to write about Tuesday (Day Eleven). Here’s how I started:
“I had just closed my door and was walking down the hallway, heading to the beach. A housekeeper’s cart was against the wall. As I passed by, a black woman in uniform stood at the entrance to a room. I looked. She looked. “Dorelys?” She smiled and nodded. We looked some more.
Dorelys (pronounced Dor-RAY-lee) was my maid sixteen months ago. She speaks very little English but we laughed a lot. She wrote me a sweet note when I left. About ten days ago, I went looking for her. I’m in building 55, although I had asked for 51, hoping to see Dorelys again. When I showed up at 51, a fellow said that she was off sick and probably wouldn’t be back for a month. I was sad. I let her go, wishing her well.
Then yesterday. She had hurt her foot and was back working for one day only, since the hotel was short-staffed. And the building she was assigned to was 55. What are the chances that she and I would reunite? I figure there’s some force at work beyond the ability of my puny brain to comprehend.
Dorelys and I hugged. I kissed her hand. And then we looked into each other’s eyes for ten seconds or so. I don’t do that very often. It was a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my days. And then it was goodbye again. Fare thee well, my dear.”
I think I got as far as “Fare” when my screen began to fill with the letter “q”. That sentence is only five words long but it took minutes of deleting before I got it all done. One q came, then ten and then the scrolling speeded up. Within seconds, I was trying to erase a hundred of them!
I panicked, with absolutely no sense of spiritual well-being intruding on the laboured breathing and sweating of the forehead. I thought I was going to lose my paragraphs so I tried copying the file. When I opened the copy, the q’s kept coming. I saw a virus taking over my laptop, eliminating all the insights hunkered down in saved files – basically turning my machine into a dead piece of metal. I tried opening one of my old files, written two years ago. One little paragraph showed up on the screen, soon to be augmented with qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq “Shut it down, Bruce, before it’s too late!” I clicked the Start button at the bottom left, ready to press “Shut Down”. The address window nearby filled with q’s!
Finally, the machine stopped.
This morning, I took my laptop in to Martin, my friendly computer expert. The diagnosis? The q key was sticking. No evil virus. Life laughs.