Every day I wake up with a final decision which is generally the opposite of the day before: Am I going to bang the pot versus am I not going to bang the pot. Today, for example, I’ve decided I’m going to bang it, I don’t know if I’ll manage to keep to that until the first, or if I’ll simply go back and forth between yes and no and if I land on yes on Friday, then I’ll bang it.
And then when I land on “yes” I fall into other deeper debates: Will I bang the pot in my house? Will I go with a few jugs to the Malecon? Is a pot a weapon? Could we get a little jug band going here? Lia says we’re going to go to the Malecon and have ourselves a party and probably that’s the best option.
I could bang on a pot every day for Cuba, for permission to leave, for the prisoners, for the system, and for nothing, for the great metallic sound of “ME? NO!”: any reason and no reason sounds good to me.
I will bang the pot for all my friends who would like to bang one but don’t dare, I’ll bang it for Yoani and for Edgar, and for me and my neighbors. While banging I’ll secretly wish that the next call will be to do something like “Turn off the light.” I think I could convince even my mother to turn off the light… I haven’t been able to convince anyone to bang the pots and pans. I’ll do it really hard so it will echo and I’ll be sorry if it doesn’t reach the ears of everyone in every part of my city who is also banging.
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.