Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Flash Fiction: The Che Guevara Night by Cecilia Brainard

I'm sharing this short short or flash fiction of mine to honor a friend who recently passed away - Evelyn Ramirez Bosch.  Evelyn, or Ram, as friends called her, was my classmate in high school and college.  One night, she and I and another friend went to Cafe Havana in the Ermita district and had such rollicking fun that I wrote about it.  

Here is the story.   

(Ram, thanks for the laughter and good times. Rest in peace! Love, BabyM)


by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Part of Brainard's collection Vigan and Other Stories (published by Anvil, Kindle by PALH)
Copyright 2011 by Cecilia M. Brainard, all rights reserved

It was the night I call the “Che Guevara Night”—my last night in Manila, so a couple of girl friends and I went out to Malate, now a hot spot in Manila, to the Café Havana de Manila to be exact, Friday night it was, when streets were blocked off and the rotunda teemed with people, not just the baklas of long ago, although I understand Remedios Street still has gay bars—I am always amazed at how crowded places can get in Manila: malls, streets, packed with people night and day— and so at 8:30 we were seated in a corner of the Café, the Remedios side, looking out at the very same street my mother and I used to walk on every Sunday on our way to Malate Church—and oh, the bitter sweet memories of that time of my life when I was sixteen and living in Malate with my mother—but that night the three of us sat in that café which is not really a café but a high-priced restaurant packed with Che- memorabilia: framed pictures of the charming delicious Che smiling, smoking a cigar, and staring down at us, and waiters and waitresses looking cool with their red Che-berets, as we had our paella and lengua and two pitchers of Margarita, and because I’d be leaving the next day, we didn’t have enough time to tell the stories, by women past their prime, two still looking for Mr. Right, and talking about the Mr. Wrongs of their lives, now told with humor, although 15 years ago the same stories were told with tears, three women huddled together, laughing, with Che listening to every word and smiling, smiling, smiling.


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