The Fisherman: 200 days absent each year from the family (+ Photos)

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By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol / Collaborator.

May, 2020.- Early in the morning, with the first crows of the roosters, Armando Suárez says goodbye to his wife and children to set sail on the high seas. The little ones, sleepy, return kisses and hugs to the fisherman.

For more than 200 days, out of the 365 that the year has, he has nostalgia for the space left by that loved one who is exposed to winds and tides. Longing for the heat of everyday life. The family feels the weight of absence.

Very close to the waters of the Caribbean was the home, just 50 meters from the shore, built with boards of aground boats on the southern coasts, until they moved to a new apartment three kilometers from the shore.

In Playa Bonita was the framework of the old house devastated by Hurricane Paloma and in the port, the skeleton of a ferro-cement, which hundreds of times broke the waves of the Jardines de la Reina with the keel.

The fisherman was born when Playa Bonita still did not have the concrete wall erected in the early 1960s that separates the land from the sea, so that in times of southeast the water does not penetrate the farmhouse.

The story began more than 25 years ago, in the middle of the Special Period (economic crisis in Cuba), when María Victoria, first felt that emptiness in her heart a few months after getting married, but she understood the essential of that absence that it lasted for 20 days in a month.

According to the Portuguese writer Gabito Nunes, the absence of «living to find in the gaze of a person in all improbable corners, to confuse hair, mouths, perfumes. Smile with your lips with a suffocated heart.

She understood this amid the happiness and logical contradiction of a couple. During most of her youth, on quiet afternoons, she sat on the boardwalk looking south-west, observing the sea and the horizon, longing to see her husband’s fishing boat approaching.

Aracelis was then the youngest of the three children of the marriage more than 25 years ago. She also lacked the warmth and affection of her father-fisherman many times, even so she felt a great happiness of a happy girl on each return of her father, whom she hugged and kissed after more than twenty long days.

This story is repeated in hundreds of fishing family homes where the rear of the men of sun and saltpeter is assured. (Author’s photos).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)
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