Taken from the Saga: The Ciro vs The State Security
Its yellow glass eyes fixed their stare on my slender body, his armor seemed impenetrable and his laser weapon threatened to launch at me its killer charge of single-wavelength light. It was the new G2 Robot manufactured in the Girón bus factory and the Shuyima shipyards that they’d sent to destroy me after the failure of humans. And in that infinite moment in time I could only think of one thing:
“…the screws in your knee are ideal for fixing the leg of my bed…”
Then the robot spoke:
“You’re such a dick!” he said. “I’ve come back to fill my tank with regular gas at the CUPET station in Boyeros.”
At that moment I knew without a doubt, the victory was almost in my hands. The station attendants at that CUPET station add a lot, I mean a ton, of crap to the gas and then sell what they’ve siphoned off on the black market. The robot was poisoned.
Even so, I didn’t want to cause an unnecessary oil spill so I tried to negotiate with him.
“Hey, you! Robot! The screws in your knee and I’ll let you go limp, otherwise you’ll end up in the provincial factory as junk and as you well know… they never recycle.”
“10 CUCs for all the screws in the left leg,” he told me.
It’s true that everyone in Cuba is on the hustle with state property and it certainly wasn’t a lot of money to prevent me from releasing 70 tons of oxide (FeO2), but I spent the last little bribe Bush sent me on buying beans in the Working Youth Army market.
That robot (I thought) was saving to get himself to Miami, he would have flown but, like many other State vehicles, his wings and air conditioning had been deactivated. Only the poor go by raft. Like so many other MININT workers he dreamed of appearing on Oscar Haza’s program, A Clean Hand, to reveal some secrets.
“What do you want the money for?” he asked. “For the same thing (you thought). What? Are you the G2 now?” “I was once but they threw me out, it made me sick when they were all singing the anthem around me in the morning. It was horrible.” “Don’t even tell me. And what do you have to say about the revolutionary slogans?” “I couldn’t repeat a single one, they gave me acute dermatitis.”
I identified with the robot a great deal, so I called the White House and asked to speak with the president. The secretary passed the call to his office and an unknown voice answered.
“Good morning, Ciro. Obama here.” “Who?!?... Where the fuck is Bush?” “I’m the new president. I asked the CIA to cut your budget and to give the money to General Motors.” “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
(Don’t miss the next episode of The Saga of the Ciro versus the G2: “The robotic war against the CIA.”)
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.