El Verano

Artwork by Mano

The Guayabera is a mainstay of Latino culture. Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico- in the plazas, placas, and esquinas you see men wearing them. The Guayabera has four pockets. It was explained to me that according to the cubano culture the proper contents of the pockets are cigars, dominoes, lottery tickets and la pistola. This garment is also a long-standing symbol of men of the people. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and firebrand president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez wear and wield them like a K Street Power Suit.

Women never wear the guayabera, although I think it may be very sexy for them to do so.

The temperature is climbing quickly around here. Spring is basically over. It sure was nice while it lasted. I realized this as I dug frantically through laundry mountain in search of my lime green guayabera. I will wear it often, if not daily.

Other signs of summer around 10th Ave are:

A.C. Intake Fans spliced onto extension cords. (Keep pets and fingers away!) My brother rigs these up for free.

Shirt-free Poker Night.

Trash cans reeking of Grouper carcasses.

Smilac thorns in fat tires.


Coors Lite on Ice.


Waking up with Mosquito bites.

The anticipation of 30,000 college students getting out of town.

Big Dick (the landlord) mowing the dirt and debris in my back yard.

What else makes it summer? Here or elsewhere?



8 Responses to El Verano

  1. The Guayabera can have a variety of different pockets, pocket locations, length of sleeve(long for expensive evenings out, short for every other time), and various patterns of ornate embroidery. The local latin culture dictates most of the variances-i.e. in the phillipines, the Guayabera is pointy in the collar wtih sleve darts and usually polyester-they’re by far the most uncomfortable I think.
    The Cuban traditional is the 4 pocket-my favorite too. Even the original Latinos, the Italians have a version too but it’s generally a dark color with only two lower pockets-double pistolas?

    It boils down(pun intended) to slowing down for the summer, not all the time but most the time. You can’t run well, work efficiently, worry or stress in a Guayabera for good reason-it’s summer, time to relax, sip cool, dripping drinks, and fire your pistola up into the air for fun instead of at someone for reason.

    Where’s my cervesa? my pistola? my sunglasses? my… ah, here in my bolsillos, buenissimo.

  2. “it’s summer, time to relax, sip cool, dripping drinks, and fire your pistola up into the air for fun instead of at someone for reason.”

    Si, porque la pistola es un juguete primara y sobre todo.

  3. A few years ago, corporate sent us a new manager here at the Jiffy. A distinguished gentleman of Cuban descent. It was Guayaberas all around during the “welcome” party. Fine shirt for a hot clime, but I’m so anglo I feel like a poseur when I put it on.

  4. That does it. Mom is going to wear el senor’s guayabera and see if it makes her a mamacita.