There was a bust that resided on top of our bookcase. This was a rather large bookcase with three doors. The shelves on the left were assigned to each one of us for our school books and supplies. The rest of the bookcase housed miscellaneous books and my father’s collection of “Selecciones del Reader’s Digest.” He had issues dating back to 1930. The bookcase itself was originally in the living room area and later moved to the dining room. But at each location the bust was prominently displayed.
It was a bust of a Fakir. The face was brown, the turban was white with yellow trimmings. As I remember, it was very detailed and impressive. I have no idea of its value. It was just part of the family. As we grew up we became very aware of it and named it “Fakir del Librero.” Santiago even made up a song about it to the music of “Amor Bajo Cero” by Los Cinco Latinos.
Mima used it to play tricks on people. She would bring it down and put a jacket around its shoulders and make it peek from behind a door to startle them. Her masterpiece was a trick she played on my cousin Dalia, but I will expand on this in a future entry.
I eventually did ask my mother about its origin. It was given to them as a wedding present and although she told me the name of the giver, I don’t remember it as it was from someone I did not know. One of Mima’s customers expressed great interest in it as an art piece.
I don’t know what became of it after my mother left Cuba, but it played such a part in my childhood that its image is forever present in my memory.
Fakir del Librero: I miss you wherever you are!