The Ciro and some friends went camping at Varadero. They were there a weekend and returned in an interprovincial Astro Yuton. It was only 27 Cuban pesos and the bus left them at the bus station in Boyeros, Havana.
At Tarará a two-person police patrol, a man and a woman, stopped them. They asked the driver for his papers and cited him for speeding and made him get off the bus. The passengers were left with grim faces waiting on the bus, watching through the window as the driver protested and complained about something.
Someone sounded the alarm, “They’ve taken him!” Right there everyone got off, they already had the guy inside the Lada. They threw themselves on him and pulled him out right under the noses of the police who weren’t expecting the beach rabble who wanted to get home quickly on Sunday. The cops did the most reasonable thing: flee. The poor driver was excited, telling the story in detail: the talks, threats, arrest.
People were emotional, almost all had experienced some form of harassment from the police. They decided to collect signatures (complete name and identity card number) and everyone signed, they took photos and gave everything to the rescued victim so he could file a complaint.
They arrived a little later than expected but everyone was proud, sure that the driver could say it had been the best trip of his life.
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.