I wish that as adults we could ask Santa Claus to fulfill our desires. Right now, on this fresh Havana morning, with a black sky brimming with starts, I would like to have the power to fulfill my dreams.
What would I give to be sitting in a corner of the massive Camp Nou de Barcelona stadium, this Monday, November 29, to enjoy the best match up that can be seen on the planet today: el Barça-Real Madrid.
If it’s football we’re talking about, I have many dreams to fulfill. To visit the Maracaná of Rio de Janeiro during the Flu-Fla derby. Or Anfield Stadium, in Liverpool, when the Reds take the field while their fans sing, “You’ll never walk alone.”
I would also love to see a baseball game in the new Yankee Stadium in New York. Or be entertained by a seeing my idol, Kendry Morales, painting the four corners with the Angels. then eating at a Taco Bell or a McDonald’s and hopping over to the Los Angeles Lakers to see the fantastic play of Kobe Briyant and Pau Gasol.
I wonder if one day we’ll be able to be tourists. Take a walk in Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo or the old San Juan. If not all of them, at least one city. Whatever.
I’ve saved the best wish for last. To visit the Swiss city of Lucerne with my daughter Melany. And beside the peaceful Lake of the Four Cantons, to chat with my mother, my sister and my niece Yania.
Seven years ago, on November 25, 2003, they were forced by political circumstances to leave their homeland. My mother had two options: risk going to prison for her work as an independent journalist, or try to make a better future for her oldest granddaughter and her daughter.
Left behind in Cuba are her other child and her other granddaughter, 7, whom she has never met in person. It is the price we pay for thinking differently from the Castro brothers. My family in exile and I on this island, more of an island than ever, mired in the deteriorating economy and a ferocious crisis of the system and of values.
There should be a Santa Claus for adults too. And the power to ask for wishes and dreams, And to make them come true, in my case, to spend a few days with my family, visit places and sites that enchant me, and return promptly to Havana. The 491-year-old lady who is always there, waiting for her family to return.
December 1, 2010