I didn’t want to write, my paranoia was telling me that I had to wait until I was in my right mind again. These last 48 hours I have been irritable, hateful, hysterical, sympathetic, maternal and filled with homicidal instincts… I have wanted to kill and I have wanted to save. I have been grateful to the police for protecting me from State Security and have wanted to destroy this body that responds to the demands of strangers. I have wanted to be in Yoani’s body and suffer the pain, I have felt deserving of the punches or worthy of leading the way to Doomsday. I have imagined myself capable of boring holes in the heads of those who beat Yoani and Orlando, but not me, on Friday, and have wondered why. I have forgiven and have turned around and condemned.
I have felt the guilt and the blame, I have wondered so many things that I don’t have time to answer myself. I have tried to reconstruct the facts two millions times but I think the gaps are getting worse. I don’t remember Tweeting from the patrol car, I don’t know if the first Tweet was when I was fervently clutching Yoani’s waist or when I saw her legs sticking out of the black State Security car. I don’t remember if I called, did not call, who I called. I can’t even recall the face of the Security agent who was next to me. What I do know is that I was resisting the urge to vomit the whole time, I regret not have sprayed all the coffee I had in my stomach all over my oppressor… at the time I was trying to seem strong.
A writer friend told me: You have to wait, every time you write it will unfold, there is nothing you can hide. She’s right, it doesn’t matter if they know: the brutality confuses me, the abuse makes me want to cry, the injustice stuns me, and these last hours I have had to fight a deep Hatred that wants to subsume me.
A single image frees me, I imagine the dialog between the bearded vulture and his son:
“Papa, what did they teach you in the academy?” “They taught me to hit really hard without leaving marks.”
Then I run out of fury and irritation, because a profession so mean and despicable awakens no feeling in me.
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.