Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Storytime 7:
Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart*

One day, after thirteen rude customers in a row, a waitress named Astrid throws a plate of clams in the face of a fat man from Laredo who keeps calling her Marry Anne. She promptly stomps into the kitchen, kisses a bus boy named Henry full on the mouth and slams the door behind her. After tossing a few clothes and her cat, Lucy into a suitcase, she hails a taxi down to the docks, walks strait out onto the planks and boards the first boat heading anywhere.

It turns out the boat is captained by a Cuban Ex Patriot named Jorge Veluptus. He is heading for Havana with a boatload of illicit knobs. He wants to turn on all the down-trodden peoples of his homeland and start a revolution. Astrid and Jorge make wild passionate love on the deck of the ship, named the Insolent Navigator. Jorge names Lucy Second Mate.

Astridís unholy temper and boiler room lingo frightens the crew, all of whom are one-legged former whalers who fear that having a loose woman aboard is a sure sign of doom. Omens of Giant waves, midnight squalls and unmitigated swooning fill their sleepless nights. But they reach Havana without so much as a rain shower blotting their voyage. Jorge Voluptus locks the sailors in the hold and sinks the boat. There is no room for Insolent Navigators or superstitious one-legged sailors in their world.

They take to the streets of Havana, Astrid and Jorge, drunk with love, swilling Molotov cocktails, holding roses between their teeth, mowing down police with tommy guns loaded with silver bullets.

Astrid seduces young boys and shy, bisexual girls to their cause. All she has to do is lift her skirt and they fall madly in love with her vagina.

A blind woman selling paieya gives Jorge Che Guevaraís old beret.

Lucy rouses the hackles of every tomcat from Havana to Guantanamo Bay. The cats are the foot soldiers of The End, racing calico bedlam through the palace and hissing at all those foolish enough to stand in their path.

When Castro sees them coming, he pisses himself. In his dotage, he mistakes Jorge for the ghost of his old comrade in arms, come back from the dead at last, leading an army of Left Libertarians and mad cats to dance on the broken back of his failed idealism. Fidel weeps. Astrid takes pity on him.

After the revolution, she and Jorge let Fidel live out his last days in the spare bedroom of their little hut on the beech. The sound of their midnight frolicking in the surf is the last he ever hears. He dies, quiet and repentant in his sleep, Lucy the cat curled up on his fat belly. Free at last.

*After Camper Van Beethoven


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