WEBDITORIAL / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

It’s beautiful to sit in front of the TV and contemplate the end of the Revolution. “Cuba’s Reasons,” they call it on Monday nights, this material clearly anonymous. My blog, which appeared for the first time on the small screen, is also called Monday. Post-Revolution Mondays. A slightly obsolete title. The Revolution is no longer even post anything.

It should trouble the Cuban State to not have a television program about blogs and suddenly to launch this hysterical hissy fit on a people illiterate with regards to the Internet. A hypocritical people terrified by the melody with which the political editors announce the imminent arrival of the police. A wheeling-dealing people belonging to no party but continuing to applaud from inertia. A people that continues on, understanding neither pi nor potatoes, but swallowing and obeying while trying to get a visa to a freedom imagined but known to be impossible. A people of ubiquitous Ubietas. A people that aspires to pass from stupidity by not signing and making life a yogurt.

There is a lot of yogurt in the Cuban free blogosphere. Our yogurt is bitter pixels but it’s our yogurt. This yogurt tastes like a magic substance, redemptive, defiant. A yogurt, of course, that begins with Y.

A government that excludes everyone for the good of all is something inconceivably gross. In fact, it is unlikely. So I stay in Cuba, even paraplegic. Because I don’t believe in even one of its ephemeral laws and institutions. Because the Revolution continues to be perfectly breathable being only gas. Because I’ve become addicted to the notion of our nation in debacle. Because I want to attend the murdering birth of the climax, coda of accelerated notes while dead. Because its marvelous to taste the same language with absolutely no power to communicate among Cubans. Because I am a virtual suicide, what the fuck. Because the words are given to me and not coerced nor the is the panic of my mother praying for me to shut up so I don’t go to prison.

It’s overwhelming to be Orlando Luis, I can assure you. The hated, envied writer, vilified by the president of UNEAC — the Writers and Artists Union of Cuba — (which doesn’t yet dare to expel me), giving diabetic hives to the Minister of Culture (who censored only me out of the documentary in homage to the centennial of José Lezama Lima, to the humiliation of its director Tomás Picard).

Once I even dreamed I was Lagarde. I washed my face in front of the mirror in the bathroom and for no apparent reason broke into tears. Raul Castro when General Ochoa was executed by the firing squad, remembering the last century or in 1789. Me flabby, earning dollars and a cell phone on behalf of MININT. Me married, tired, washing my face with soap that smells like a dead flower. With the light blinding me until I wake up with my heart choking me caught in my throat. Argh.

Again I argued with my septuagenarian mother. Whom I have wanted to kill. My mediocre mother, in retreat, raising the alarm, repeating maternalistic shit of the mass-media revolutionaries. Then I wanted to die myself. But that was a long time ago. I embraced her. I grabbed her by the shoulders. I shook her as if she were my daughter, the daughter I will never have and that I recover in each one of my wives. I told her, “What are we doing? You aren’t Catholic, you don’t believe in the Polish Pope who came to the Plaza? So don’t be afraid, then, dammit! This is what everyone in Cuba wants from you, to terrify you, to crush your life in the barbarity of those who read military orders on the news, getting you to take pills wholesale, like when the slobbering hounds of Iroel Sánchez called you nearly a hundred times at the end of February 2009, to insult and threaten you because I was presenting my book of censored stories, Boring Home, at the Fair at the Cabaña, right there where I was going to be beat up.

It’s hard being an angel and having a touch of the devil in your genes. Delirium, delight, crime. To be victim and agent. To be in the skin of everyone and all at the same time in the same place. To be Fidel, to be Zapata Tamayo. Chameleon, cadaver. To be a bird without peace in your veins. Offer your face, offer your ass. Turn the other cheek and to be, however, the first to strike a blow. To explode blood and semen from the highest floor of a workers hospital. Spraying the atmosphere with my lumps of putrid cabin boy and commiserate. Because I am sure that only I have pity on Cuba, so only I can disarm in words without losing even one of my tyrannical screws. Only only only, to repeat is a perverse pleasure in closed regimes. At times I wonder if I will not be the apocryphal son of Reinaldo Arenas. Love me, please, I can assure you that in the end my tragedy surprises us all equally.

It’s lovely to sit in front of the TV and meet Elaine Diaz for the first time in years without harming her, without them accusing her for playing to be my friend on the web or for not considering me a priori an outcast. Without them firing her from her job if she refused to let an old interview of hers with Intelligence be manipulated on “Cuba’s Reasons,” as they have dubbed the Monday through Friday material, claiming to play anonymous footage, the same way that Cuban justice is anonymous.  At this point, no one signs it…it’s residual.

I am watching the barbarity pass like ships stranded in the bay of Havana. I’m in a perfect state of decomposition. Still safe, thanks. I flow, float. I suspect that it is high time to be immortal.

I walk up to the fridge, a probe of the past, put to the test by communisms which the Yanks left abandoned in my dining room.  I open it.  It gets cold just like the beginning, or before the beginning.  Of course, I pull out a smuggled yogurt bottle I got from the black market.  Yogurt with a “Y”, whether they like it or not.  I chug it down.  Glug glug.  Hesigastric rhythm, we can now begin again…  

March 23 2011