THE FUTURE WILL BE TODAY
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
The night in Cuba is long and damp. A light drizzle snows on the abandoned neighborhoods. The facades soften, trace their inconceivable masterpieces at the point of bursting. Everything is plastic in the middle of the debacle, remotely and very humanly textured. Everyone speaks, there is hope at the end of the disease. The past does not weigh, so passé. The present is technically simple procedure. The future does not happen today at ten o’clock or five o’clock in the afternoon. The happiness was real.
My mother breathes her cardiopathic aerosols. The wooden house is too cold for her emphysema, that sooner or later will also be mine. She always missed a fireplace here in Lawton. To burn wood civilizes. Fire is something that is always strange at dawn. My kitty baby falls asleep after talking by phone with the broken heart of Europe. He withstands much less than me, insomniac tiger. No creature could withstand more than I do now. After several centuries, I’m finally alive again. History is today.
The music saved me, healed me, seduced me, accelerated me. I would give a hug to the Minister of Culture Abel Prieto and tell him the best joke in the world on his unnecessary censorship of my voice in “Trocadero 162, lower,” Tomás Piard’s documentary to be released on December 19 without me. I would ride in State Security’s Geely again as I did a year ago and with less fuss, would take advantage of the crisis to look at the oppressors in the eyes, to give them a chance to breathe better. Like me. In peace. Free. I would ask the President of UNEAC Miguel Barnet if Reinaldo Arenas was a good boy, if he was beautiful naked, if he was ardent or awkward in bed, if he was not sorry for all the pain and despair that kills and pampers us and makes us a blessed race in the ladinoamericano pasture which Cuba should never seek, if not the if not to be surprised by the young man in the nights. Like me, I’ve never slept with a man but just the same have loved him in body and text until his suicide yesterday. I would go disguised in the Cuban street. Disguised, for example, as Orlando. Wolf. Light. Angel (no doubt that I am, better to doubt it: it will more credible then.) I will give money. I’ve always wanted to give money to poor people around me. Buy the newspaper Granma for a dollar. Cones of peanuts for a dollar. See those eyelids lifted to heaven and believe that this is a mistake, but no, it’s a gift: for my birthday the most beautiful is that I give you something. I would randomly make a phone call to a remote country, unknown and exact, and I’m sure I would connect with the steely and sweet voice of a girl, a girl about to throw herself from a bridge under the snow to avoid her birthday that hopefully would be today. Today everything happens among the Cubans of the world, we are all awake and aware of each other. We want better. We are, in the end, far from a people. And, though that call to an unknown number would be very awkward, at least the two of us could laugh for a minute, and then we already know we won the life, that there is more time than Revolution, that Cuba lost, that this is the Friday of truth.
Come on. Don’t become. Don’t cross. Click here. We are everyone. We survive. The damage didn’t work. Duty was green and a cow ate it. Let’s take advantage of the cold front. If you reach out your hand, I’ll give you a magic card. The castle was supposedly a house of cards. I love you. And you know it. Don’t hide. Don’t stare into the emptiness. The emptiness of my gaze is much better. Tonight we will assemble the first fireplace in the neighborhood.
And breathe to say goodbye. Give me a tin of your oxygen molecules. Call me by telephone without knowing me. I’m serious. +53-53340187. You’ll be able to talk with my cat named Diez, like today. I could give you the embrace that generations of generations didn’t have the courage nor the decency to share. Cuba became corrupt among all. It was not a question of government. Cuba is of no government. What a concept. Cuba is you, bobo. I am Cuba. Breathe. This bottomless night I’d also like to chew a big mouthful of your CO2.
Until now. May it not threaten. May illusion be a little vampiric. May the mists ennoble everything. As if there were no more birthdays. As if today were unique. As if the discipline of death is running out. As if the honeycomb were just about to produce royal jelly, juice of all good. Winter is a balm. Like those speedy clouds, like those rare trees that we never learned how to pronounce, like infancy, like your voice.
Revenge is shame. Evil is barely material. Because of this, the spirit will always erase it. Because of this, we talk about it without speaking between you and I. Because of this, we remember that it was still possible to love among Cubans. Because of this, the ministerial embrace and my curiosity about UNEAC. Because of this, the hug that I give to my mother’s artful asthma (her electric nebulizer was ordered for her by another Cuban from another remote country). My mother grows sadder each birthday: I know she thinks that each will be the last of hers and mine. My mother who has loved so much and how much work it cost her to love.
Let’s do it easier soon. There. Now. How lucky you are. Congratulations.
December 10 2010