This morning I woke up and started getting ready for work. I got a message from a friend living in France that one of the nicest people I'd ever met had passed away in Ciego de Avila yesterday.
A big man, a bass player (like myself) and a shameless joker Pino will be fondly remembered as one of the first real friends I'd made in Cuba. He took me into his house, we played music together, we drank 10 peso rum and laughed and ate rancid cheese until we nearly passed out... and all this before I even spoke a single world of Spanish (the only language he spoke). Despite the fact we didn't understand each other on a verbal level for a while, there was always that mutual understanding that come from those who are cut from the same cloth.
I'd like to think that even my cloth was somewhat small and tattered compared to him that we had much more in common than we had differences.
One day in one of my man drunken moments I took out my little Spanish Phrases book and looked at him and very seriously I said: "Donde esta el museo?"... I don't think I've ever heard a man laugh so hard at such an obviously ridiculous question considering we were sitting at his house eating at the time.
And it stuck, after that every time I saw him I could hear him and his friends saying "Oye muchacho donde esta el museo?" And that was that. It's not really funny unless you're there. but honestly it's the most humor I can muster up today.
I can not attend the funeral of my friend, but I will be there in spirit and I will be there for his family as much I can.
So Pino, this one's for you and one day we'll find that pinche museum.