78. THE RIGHT WING BOHEMIAN: In Cuba, the bohemians are bohemians, of course, which is all bohemians ever are or ever have been. Some credible philosophers sometimes hang with bohemians, like Melville living with the cannibals, but only out-of-touch conservatives and their media and, sadly, everyone who believes that media (often including bohemians, who are a very gullible lot) confuse bohemians with the actual left. Bohemians are just bohemians and it's not really odd that bohemians in Cuba are rightists.
Cienfuegos, for some reason, has more than its share. They're a hit with one kind of western blonde. The actual intellectual community in town calls them "sin-verguenzas, sin ideas," just as some San Franciscans call the Haight-Ashbury sidewalk sitters "vapor." Same point.
Dodging along the sidewalk on the Prado near Copelia's, I was stopped by a costume under some reggae hair (though he was white), that at first I thought was a tourist in need of directions. But he was local and, like a Watchtower pusher invading your porch, he wanted to tell me how things really are.
I think also he divined I'm from the promised land and he wanted to touch my hem. Things are very bad in Cuba, he informed me. "What do you mean?" He wanted out. At least, we were speaking Spanish. Usually, this is in low-voiced English, to keep it secret, but I think he knew the people all around us.
"Why?" He wanted libertad.
"What's that?" I didn't listen long. Bohemians bore me and the word "freedom," without a specific context, bores me, and his fumbling response wasn't pinning it down. I wouldn't have sought him out for my survey, and it was hot. I stopped him and delivered the museum woman's message to him. It sounded Republican alright. But everything else in this survey should clarify the difference. What I said and what he said I'll skip. I asked if he signed the petition and he said he did because something might happen to him, so I put him down as signing from fear of consequences, the 4th and last person to claim that distinction.
I guess my rudeness generated some bad karma, since two blocks further on a kid on a fast bicycle snatched my hat.