All my doubts (or my fears to be honest) about banging the pots were dispelled when I saw the images of the First of May for a few seconds on the TV, I couldn’t hold back any more. Even my mother who is a skeptic said, “But we’re in an epidemiological alert! I’d like to see the face of the ‘doctor’ on the Round Table TV show on May 30 who said there was ‘no risk’ to the massing of thousands of people under the sun in 85 degree weather, I wish I could remember his name… I wonder, at times, how he can sleep.”
A little before the pot banging it was raining cats and dogs, half soaked I got to Yoani’s house at 8:30 exactly when we began, we stopped, hoping to hear an echo but nothing: a solitary kitchen chorus, we baptized it later between laughter and disappointment. Ciro, always the performer, walked along the train line, his little pot and spoon in hand, playing a strange little salsa beat: no one responded but no one asked him anything either.
So while in Cuba the pots still don’t sound, because of people’s fear, the minds sound, and that has to mean something.
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.