OF THE DEATH OF DEATH
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
It was a death seeking generation. They put their own bodies on the line and, of course, also the inappropriate bodies of others: the amorphous mass, the people or whatever you want to invoke demagogically… In Cuba, social action, for or against our so rocky country, has always been linked to the pathetic gesture of perishing.
A pilot and legendary Cuban fighter, a man of revolutions taken, Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz, was killed at 81 in the appalling poverty of Miami, in a corner of this criminal Cuba that accompanies us all to the cemetery.
He will not be the first nor the last (in his family and in his country there is the savory mournful tradition around it). For the historians as for the protagonists of history. The macho men and tough women. Kids or geezers. Terminally ill or healthy athletes. Lunatics or terminally sane. In obscure circumstances (suspected hit by the mob, or the State, or both) or right out in public (perhaps something putrid). The truth is, after killing as far as we can kill in life, sooner or later we Cubans complicitly kill ourselves.
A death loving generation. Of minds beating at the rhythm of death. Everyone excited with the distinguished discourse of the democracy to come or the rabid rhetoric of a retro Revolution. Disgusting.
That is the real message to the new generations: kill or kill yourself before your nearby compatriot kills you.
Luckily, by inexplicable fate of god or his chronic absence, the greatest part of these new generations doesn’t hear, doesn’t read, doesn’t remember anything of its biggest bullies. This forgetfulness is the first step toward a true life, without unnecessary immolations that each has manipulated complicitly at convenience. This state of ignorance is like a transitive period toward the salvation of Cuban bodies, that for quite a while now we deserve pleasure without patria, without gravediggers of political lineage.
Rest in peace, Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz, and a whole army of doomed people sentenced to the gallows of the living dead. I, unfortunately, still remember the terrifying euphony of your surnames in the conversations during family banquets of my childhood. It was the seventies in a Communist Cuba, rural, open and Russified. And those propaganda flyers falling from the sky, and anti-aircraft and landings and shootings and strafings and the calamity or the crime of Camilo and the condemned at La Cabaña and poisonings and illiterates with degrees and sabotage and the bits of the tile roof falling in the food when La Coubre exploded (my mom told me about it, with the same enthusiasm with which my grandmother narrated the debacle of the Maine) were part of our everyday atrocity.
I was six or seven, no more. And I swore I would escape such paraphernalia of pork with beer and human cadavers. Forgive me, I didn’t make it.
May 5 2012