An envisioning . . . 1910 and Three Kings Day winding down in the house outside Havana . . .

Oh to be here.

Cuba for Christmas and a palm tree covered with glass bells and garlands of berries. The neighbors all with something else but all of them from somewhere else. Grandfather having fled Prussia when everything went crazy in 1848. From Berlin, not Madrid like half the neighborhood.

Midnight mass and enough presents to wrap around the house twice if not three times. Three cases worth from the cousins in London and one from the ones in Saint Petersburg.

No one small needing amusing. A tribe of children, not just two, and enough toys for each one to play with something different every day. Skinned knees from climbing the banyan trees while someone small enough to fit between the roots has a doll tea party under it with frangipani for sofa cushions and poinsettia for plates.

Bookshelf of romances to read through. One about a girl who ends up in Malta and another about someone in Johannesburg. Grandmother’s, they are. Must be a memory thing. Not a single one about anyone who stayed put.

Book put down and the armoire instead. A bit cold and a shawl. But something leaning up in the back with the brown paper they always use. Someone done up as cupid with the little wings. Grandfather’s uncle as a little one, it says on the back.

Funny . . . all those scandals . . .loose women, gambling and who knows what, but before that of course. . .last one on earth to be cupid but no one knew . . .

Prince Boris Nikolayevich Yusupov  as Cupid. ca. 1800.
Prince Boris Nikolayevich Yusupov as Cupid. ca. 1800. Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, artist (1755-1842). In the public domain. via

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