Infinite Refuge

Infinite Refuge

Infinite Refuge

Infinite Refuge

Synopsis

In this memoir, accomplished author Virgil Suarez draws his memories of his family and friends leaving Cuba and ties these through verse and prose to his experience of exile. Suarez writes, "Those old ghosts of places we knew, lived in moments we survived, those are the things I'm afraid of." But those old ghosts populate his memories.

Excerpt

I confess not the obvious. I don’t care much for television. the last news story I watched unfold in its entirety was the O. J. Simpson chase down the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles. My eyes kept watering because I wouldn’t blink, that’s how fixed on the screen I was. I kept asking myself why I continued to watch, but it was to look at all the people lined up by the sides of the highway, holding placards of support for their once-running-back hero. That was long ago.

This year I’m in Key Biscayne, Florida, on vacation, when my mother calls me from Hialeah to tell me to turn on the television. “Mira eso,” she tells me, screaming her words into the phone as usual. I ask her in Spanish what, what is going on?

“Turn on the television,” she says, “and you will see the disaster that Cuba is!”

And I’m thinking, what in the world could have happened? What does my mother know that I don’t? I missed the Tiananmen Square showdown between the Chinese university student and the tank. I missed the fall of the Berlin Wall. I missed all of Monica Lewinsky, President Clinton’s videotaped deposition. It seems I’ve missed most of televised contemporary world history. But I read the newspaper. The New York Times is enough for me. The Miami Herald for the hometown news.

My wife and I had gone to see the Wim Wenders’ documentary about the Buena Vista Social Club, and both my wife and I were blown away by the decay of Old Havana—it didn’t look like the grand city at all (of years past, maybe in 1959) . . .

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