The truth is that we did not want to go to Pedro Luis Ferrer’s concert. Ciro was rehearsing and I was dripping fat drops of sweat in front of the computer (literally) trying to decipher a code error in the HTML in the off-line version of the blogs. Outside, summer was pure fire.
Then I received Yoani’s call saying they wouldn’t let her enter the concert, with a mini repudiation meeting and all. I say mini because they are no longer able to call on thousands of people willing to shout “To the wall!” because cameras and microphones try to stand in for the apprehension that was previously supplied by hundreds of people wanting to make you grovel on the ground. What happened is that both Yoani and Reinaldo were good in front of the cameras. In my case it was a little while since I’d played cat and mouse with State Security.
Again, I pity the artists and intellectuals. They don’t even know that State Security has filled all the seats; they have no voice nor vote in their activities, they can’t even choose their guests nor interact with their public. After they didn’t let Yoani enter no one else could go in, the median age of those who heard Pedro’s concert this afternoon was 60, while behind the bars of the Museum of Decorative Arts railing we young people were looking at the illusion of empty seats and dreaming of applauding the themes and shouting the refrains. Sadly, the audience who came in chartered buses (we verified it later) didn’t have the least musical disposition.
But still I had a ball: I took photos of the security guys, saw solidarity among those who yesterday one would have seen repudiated, shared the afternoon with people my age and found out that State Security doesn’t like ballads. As we’d already left home and wanted to celebrate Macho’s birthday, we went to G Street. Ciro was playing the guitar until one in the morning (El Comandante and Alpido Alonso were, as always, among his most requested hits), I met a blogger and finally decided that we're not going to lose one of these holidays (anyway we have to earn them with our working wages, no?).
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.