Cuba April 1961
Angel sat on the step of his hacienda. He smoked as he watched his granddaughter play in the street. Her red dress was slightly torn in the back, not bad though, another few months out of it. Angel took another drag. From the house radio, El Commandante was still talking.
The Americans are coming. They will invade us. Be prepared.
He’d love to turn El Commandante off for a while, but that would be foolish. Not when neighbors watched you. And other neighbors disappeared.
A trickle of sweat slithered down his forehead, moving past his sun crinkled eyes, nearing his cheek before Angel wiped it away.
Nothing like Cincinnati in summer, he thought. You learn what sweat is there.
He wondered if the Americans, however they came in boats or planes, knew how to sweat Cuban sweat. Maybe their abuelos told them if they were here in the Spanish American War, like his Abuelo had been. Maybe their Abuelos told their American soldiers. Maybe Kennedy did. But they would learn the worse anyway.
Angel “El Loco” Bardo remembered the sweat from el Norte, from his America.
“When we invaded them, “ he whispered to his memories. “We showed them we could play their game, their beisboll. We showed them then, and will show them now.”
One more puff. He tossed what was left to the gutter and called his granddaughter to his side. El Commandante went on and on. Angel’s granddaughter laughed as she hugged him, he patted her head. She sat next to him.
They spoke of her papa, and she was quiet for a time. He sensed her worry. Her father, his son, was in the army. He was at the Bay of Pigs, waiting for Kennedy. They hugged.
Later that night, to keep them both calm, he told her the story of his time in America.