castroisms / orlando luis pardo lazo

and that’s how life surprises you on a saturday night in manhattan, as if it were the most uninhabited corner of havana. there are no differences. the world is like this. horizontal and simultaneous. we are all here and now. we are all contemporaneous and we act to probe the limits of god.

so in my country there are thousands of state bodies. the only way a country has to exist is through the death of its citizens. the revolution is above all necrophilia. democracy would not have to be any different. it’s very easy to talk about transitions and pacifism. this is an outrageous naivete. or a hypocrisy that disgusts me.

there is no social change without control over who dies and who can live. to me, right now, the cuban democrats are telling me all the time: shut up, asshole, you’re not one of us, you don’t agree with us for the criminal cause of freedom.

you know what? stuff your democracy. i never asked to be part of the pie. i’m free. and what’s more, i’m cute. and what’s more, i’m madly lucid. and what’s more, i’m touched by the gift of language and imagination. and what’s more, you all remind me of little castros. you think in castroism. you talk like castros. you gesticulate like castros. without castro you would be lost in the universe. you are castro. not the replacement castro or a posthumous castro of the opposite sign. no. you are really castro, i’m telling you. more castro than castro, because castro improvised on his trail of nameless murders and you are doomed to imitation, which is always more authentic than the original.

and that’s how life surprises you on a saturday night under the leonids falling in the skies of manhattan and you realize we never knew each other. fortunately. there is cubanness far beyond cubans. the united states is the only third world country, this is obvious. but it is the only country. the rest are a battleground, slaughter as training, as entertainment, as sterility. the stars fall one after another and there is nothing to do but watch them fall one after another without anything more to do than to watch them fall one after another.

i am going to die in this country. i don’t know if they will send castro’s executioners to kill me or if i am going to die alone, walking through the tunnels of some pissy station, or in one of the corridors of a thousand doors in the buildings where cubans in this city are hiding from cuba. i want to bear witness at least to the looks. in havana it is no longer possible to look. in manhattan it’s impossible to stop looking and for them to stop looking at you. the people have a barbaric beauty. but they have forgotten. they talk too much. the american language is one of the worst in the universe, communicating nothing, pure emptying of guts. i wonder if americans won’t have a lot of fear of speaking. the english in my father’s books like a dead language. the colloquial english like a triumph of castro in america.

midnight approaches. the trains rush everywhere. i open my mouth and don’t pronounce a single word. for the first time i have hopes, for the first time i am afraid. i don’t want to be them, i don’t want to be you, i don’t want to stand in for the little castros. i don’t want to think in castroism. to speak like castros. to gesticulate like castros. to be another castro of authentic imitation lost on the planet. i don’t want to be me again.

16 November 2013