I felt like Goldilocks today when, finally, the long announced, discussed and expected (even from abroad), potatoes arrived. I took my monthly prize in my hands (no need to bring a bag): Papa Potato, Mama Potato and Baby Potato, that’s my quota.
I feel profoundly fortunate not to have to depend on the kindness of the Revolution to feed myself; the consequences for my weight and health could be catastrophic.
Even so, we must be infinitely grateful, oh yes Sir, for these three potatoes that we do not deserve to be “given” by our socialist government. It’s the investment of the millennium, no? Three potatoes may well be worth the freedom of one human being, if sometimes it’s been worth less, who cares.
Three potatoes that we will eat, and with them we will also eat all of our civil rights.
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.