Tell Me I Don’t Love You / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo


Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Wait for the spring, Bandini.

The sparrows are universal, birds as strong as warplanes. The squirrels are cats, distrustful and tame, crazy and quarrelsome. The snow is sensual and warm (mmm, sorry, this is something that no Cuban in any other century notes). The sun is blue, translucent, treacherous: the temperature remains stuck at zero degrees Celsius, a unit of measure unknown in the USA. Just as Google Maps has created the city of New York, so the Weather web announces it will continue snowing this Monday beyond the equinox. For the first time in the world, it is a spring delayed.

Wait for the Spring, Pardini…

The subways are the filth of freedom. They are accurate and it is impossible to get lost if you look at the ever-present arrows and maps. They play guitars, pianos, saxophones, for tiny tips. Perhaps even mercy here bets on the profitability of repetition, as in Pop Art, so endemic. Everyone flees the car when there is the aroma of homelessness. I flee too, I also smell of never again having a house to hide myself in in Cuba peeking out at the spasms of New York.

It is a noble people. They look pretty. There is the light of a future. Strangers smile at me. I mostly know Cubans, they are my new neighbors. The waitresses are a genre in themselves, all seeming to be intellectuals working part-time while finishing their great New York trilogy (because it’s obvious that one novel is not enough).

The bridges rise and fall with the tide. I have seen pigeons over the Times Square traffic (like the sparrows they are also formidable birds, wearing suit and tie). On the iPhones there are applications to position the stars, making it virtually unnecessary to look at the sky. The sky is a hallucination, better to buy an insipid hamburger (I know nothing of food in the USA). I walk forests and parks with skating rinks. I would be delighted to break a leg (in theater it’s very good luck to say this and, also, I wouldn’t have to go so fast, because my bones would be sealed with the American new-nationality.

The public libraries are a magnetic pole, cloisters removed from the anomie of the kind drunks of American literature. They leave just a few used books for sale. So time outside the soul of my nation is slipping away. I’m at the point, but I still don’t offer myself in a showcase for hire.

New York, magical and evil stepmother, tell me it isn’t true. Tell me I’m not in love with you.

25 March 2013