January 3rd

January 3rd, 1961. The United States cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Six months earlier, on July 25th, 1960, Ernest Hemingway had suddenly left Cuba. He had lived in a stucco mansion, called Finca Vigia or “”Lookout Farm””, ten miles from Havana for the last twenty years. He left clothing, trophies, manuscripts.

Six months later, on July 2nd, 1961, Hemingway committed suicide at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

I don’t know exactly what that means.

Hemmingway had always struggled, as some do.

He had recently begun showing signs of Hemochromatosis, a disease easily treatable at early stages but by the time he had the diagnosis the damage was likely irreversible.

His family tree is littered with the amputated branches, splintered with suicide.

But, damn. A sense of place is important. A home is important.

Hemmingway, with his cats and his books, looks so at home in old photos of Finca Vigia.

It must have killed him, leaving his home and heart so far away.

*Composed January 3rd, 2015

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