Without Makeup / Regina Coyula

Many years ago, under the impression of the tragic circus known as Operation Tribute, I wrote a story called Makeup which appears in the page links on this blog. I was writing for myself although later with a secret vanity I released it, but when things happen like this letter, I feel it made sense:

Dear Regina:

My name is ________ and my wife is Cuban, although she doesn’t want her name to appear out of fear, a fear she can’t manage to exorcise and that only those who live under a regime can understand.

I am just trying to better understand the reality of your country, as a way to be able to better understand my Cuban family, I have found your blog through some friends and for some months have always read it, in complete anonymity (I am a fairly timid person and my behavior on the Internet is consistent with the way I am), enjoying the use you make of words, your intelligence, and your willingness to share, with whomever desires, your daily life.

But only today, July 17, have I gone to your menu bar under “Makeup” and opened it with curiosity. On reading, what initially seemed to be a story, my heart started to pound. I called my wife and we have read your story. You have written, with the magical capacity with which one writes on a rose petal, the most heartbreaking and sad moment in the life of my sister-in-law.

My wife’s older sister, who lost her partner and the father of her son in a battle of the war in Angola. She is an excellent person, marvelous and I cherish having her as family, but a terrible sadness lives in her heart. The sadness of a woman who can never again kiss the lips of her beloved. The sadness of a mother who cannot put her son in the arms of his father.

I thank you, humbly and with all my heart, for such a beautiful tribute.

Thank you for all you do.

I hope and desire that Cuba can be a democratic and peaceful nation.

Feel free to make our appreciation public.

July 20 2012