He showed up the first day I was in Cuba, in 1987. I was in the house of [Gabriel] García Márquez. It was after lunch, I was sitting in the rocking chair, and Gabriel—Gabo—said to me, “Would you mind moving to another chair? The Comandante is coming and he likes the rocker.” Fidel came in, in his field jacket and his cap. He was very bulky in the chest and was probably wearing a bulletproof vest.
I talked to William Kennedy for The Paris Review, and it was really fun. Had to cut out sections where he talked about Hunter S. Thompson and The Rum Diary, Ingmar Bergman, and watching Meryl Streep perform “He’s Me Pal” in Ironweed. Good times!