by  Gianfranco Menghini

The golden desert


With all that, his envious competitors have combined to collapsing his company. Paolo Carolco escapes from the revenge. However, like a new Arabian Phoenix, he flies to the desert where a beautiful city, a buenretiro center for the healthiness, is located. There is a strange character waiting for him by longtime. Perhaps, a joke of bad taste? In the conditions in which he finds himself, one cannot afford to deny it and thanks to his experience and talent, once discovered that it is not a mockery, Paolo succeeds in transforming the desert like a gold mine, albeit at the cost of disappointments and bitterness. And, finally, to comfort him intervene in a deep affection by an extraordinary woman, with the awareness that the earthly goods do not endure and with them also the life. It is better so then to live with levity what remains of existence with his new partner. This is a novel that starts almost on the sly, becoming a thrilling story full of scene strokes. The plot, which has as mainstream the Caribbean, continues in the United States and, at last, ends happily in Italy. It has a good rhythm that involves the reader. The dialogues are well-studied, and the many protagonists are delineated perfectly, each with the own role that for few is double. And she, Irina Demiorovna, plays the major character of that novel, pouring into it all her joy of live, her ambitions, her strange love for Paolo. She was seemed a selfish young woman but, on the contrary, having spent her girlhood under the USSR power. She should like to live a westerner country in which to valorize more than her magnificent beauty, overall, her exceptional cleverness.

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The Hotel accommodation was enough comfortable, although all the services were to the feature limit for lack of maintenance. The phone worked once both yes and no. In contrast to that, however, it seemed that the hotel was fully booked owing to the crowd of people up and down by three elevators constantly on the move. It was not clear whether the other three were failures or held in reserve in the case would damage one.
On the first floor, there was a huge bar counter, put in the center of a packed hall of crowded tables to a large extent by external customers. The premise for the two sides had sizeable windows facing the Vedado, the third largest occupied by the bar counter and the fourth, bordered by an iron railing in colorful floral doodles, confronted with the lobby on the ground floor.
In the evening after his arrival in Havana, Paolo waiting that Ceccarelli would come to pick him up to go to dinner at the intimate restaurant, settled at the unique vacant table in the lounge. At one closest sat a young woman who had her back. He ordered a drink. When the waiter, five minutes later, was serving, he saw Ceccarelli mounting the staircase to reach him and, prompted by a hasty impulse, he got up to meet him.
At that moment, he was distracted by a slight reminder of his neighbor who had had to turn towards him, smiling. A beautiful girl, by the apparent age of twenty. She had the perfect oval face, but by the shape before the eyes and by the high cheekbones, of the Latin race. He stayed ecstatic in front of such beauty and unable to utter a word. It was she who, seeing his embarrassment, whispered his hasty a few words in English. She was a secretary of the Russian embassy, asking him the room number, which Paul gave her with some discomfort, then the girl got up just in time to whisper that she should contact him.
Ceccarelli was already ahead of him. He squeezed the hand before sitting. The graceful female figure moved away just in time to mingle with the people crowding the lobby.
The chosen restaurant was the ‘Cecilia’, famous for its seafood specialties. They ate a delicious lobster and a kind of very tasty fish soup that was extremely like the fish soup for different qualities of small fish of which had been carefully removed all bones, pieces of tender octopus, with mussels and shrimp both cautiously freed of its shells. One of the peculiarities of the Havana kitchen was that, in fact, to prepare dishes that would not oblige the customers at the disagreeable task of brooding with the hands to cleanse the food.
Paolo, meanwhile, Ceccarelli illustrated him the future situation of Cuba to accept the tourism, was thinking about the hurried meeting with the beautiful Russian girl. Alternatively, so he argued she was, given that she had not the physical features to the Antillean people and finally because she worked at the USSR embassy. Who knows, then, she would want his room number, which usually ask the prostitutes to combine with newcomers.
He had no desire of an erotic adventure. He had always shunned those quick meetings with women who left him nothing more than a bitter regret taste for a too anonymous report, so that whenever it happened, then very young, and around in the world, had constantly himself sworn to do never it again. But then, accomplice his fellow workers, he fell again. And how could he do otherwise, full of youthful ardor and away from the beloved affections, having to prove finally that him, sexually, stayed on the right side? The comrades, in these cases, are indeed mischievous.
He lingered further to rack his brains. He wondered if the beautiful Russian girl should truly call him. Nor I knew when he should be back in that hotel, neither was sure if the phone should work. Given that next morning must himself transfer to Varadero where should stop for three days to visit as many hotels to include in the new travel overseas programming.
Her name was Irina Demiorovna and when she showed up him naked, Paolo gasped in amazement. He’d never imagined being witnessed of a staging of that kind. She asked him if could use the bathroom while he had naively believed wanted to adjust her makeup and instead, here it is, attractive with all the graces in perfect light. Beautiful and so well made, as to seem a wonder of the creation.
Back from Varadero beach where he had spent three days in feverish activity to visit the three hotels, each of very good standard and in different styles, but so beautiful, new, efficient that, enthusiastic, he had immediately signed the collaboration contracts, as soon as he entered the room of the Habana Libre Hotel, saw the red led phone flashing and but just out of curiosity, since the device did not emit any sound, he picked up the receiver.
It was her. A phone call that a mere combination. The girl knew the day after his return, but not of the time, and if he did not notice the flashing light, she could not contact him, except to meet him, if she waited patiently in the hotel lobby. She had asked him to mount because wanted to talk to him about something important in the work, and he had agreed, wondering why a young woman, known fleetingly in a bar, would venture into the chamber of an unknown man. However, it handled just of a girl, more than very beautiful, to whom he had thought between a visit and the other, so that had found nothing to object, rather, he was curious to know her.