They don’t know everything, my love, they don’t know… / Yoani Sánchez

sombrasWill there be microphones here? You ask me while poking your head into every corner of the room. Don’t worry, I say, my life goes on with my guts on display, letting it all hang out. There is no place dark, closed, private… because I live as if walking through a gigantic X-ray machine. Here is the clavicle I broke as a child, the fight we had yesterday over a domestic trifle, the yellowing letter I keep in the back of a drawer. Nothing saves us from scrutiny, my love, nothing saves us. But today — at least for a few hours — don’t think about the police on the other end of the phone, nor the rounded eye of the camera that captures us. Tonight we are going to believe that only we are curious about each other. Turn off the light and for a moment send them to the devil, disarm their eavesdropping strategies.

With so many resources spent on watching us, we have conjured away from them the primordial facet of our lives. They don’t know, for example, even a single word of that language made for twenty years together, that we can use without parting our lips. They would score a zero on any test to decipher the complex code with which we say the trivial or urgent, the everyday or the extraordinary. Surely none of the psychological profiles they’ve done on us tell how you comb my eyebrows and jokingly warn that I’m going to end up looking like Brezhnev. Our watchers, poor guys, have never read the first song you sang me, much less that poem where you said one day we would go to Sydney or Baghdad. Nor will they forgive us every time we escape from them — without a trace — on the diastole of a spasm.

Like Agent Wiesler in the film The Lives of Others, someone will listen to us now, and not understand us. Not understand why, after arguing for an hour, we come together and share a kiss. The astonished police who follow our steps can’t classify our embraces, and they wonder how dangerous to “national security” are those phrases you say only in my ear. So I propose, my love, that tonight we scandalize them or convert them. Let’s take the ear off the wall and in its place oblige them to scribble on a sheet: “1:30 am, the subjects are making love.”

14 February 2012