( …CHAPTER 1… )
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
I looked up.
I saw two moons.
I said, “Shit, Orlando, today you’re gonna kill.”
Perfect, in focus, insane.
The winter night in Havana as a red shroud.
I thought about my mother.
I thought about Ipatria.
I thought about me, about us.
Of all the dead and all dead loves, how to distinguish?
I thought about the beauty and lies of any Revolution.
Crime, screaming, wanting to run, anger, tenderness. Enough.
I was going crazy. Finally.
I did not want to go crazy. The idea terrified me.
I was terrified to realize that the madness was now pure truth.
“No, please,” I whispered to God or to anyone, and I closed my eyes and began to pray.
In silence. I do not know how to pray. They didn’t teach me in time.
In the middle of the night without Cuba. What do you call at this hour in the world this illusion of a city?
Havana, pray for us sinners …
Under the color-blind traffic light at 12th Street and 23rd Avenue, the most central and desolate corner of the universe. Most central and deserted.
Havana, now and at the hour of our death …
Two moons, Landy, fucking amazing.
I started to pray but the pain did not leave.
The worst always remains. The rest are words.
I opened my eyes. My eyes of undefined color. Of water.
The moon was still there.
Unique. Immeasurable. Inert. Myopic.
A nocturnal sun on our bodies again and again Cubans butting heads in the middle of the night.
“Orlando,” he said, “Orlando.”
I wiped my tears.
I stood up.
“Your name is Orlando and you will not kill,” repeated in the loud voice of no one: “Your name is Orlando and never ever ever are you going to kill.”
I stuck out my hand at a taxi charging dollars.
I threw myself at the car.
The driver avoided me slamming on the breaks and swerving. Then he made a U-turn and pulled out with tires screeching toward Zapata.
He fled from me.
Like my mother.
Like any revolution.