Every time they say on the news, “Response of the people fighting the activities of a small counterrevolutionary group,” she calls me, terrified. I explain that not all the abuses and humiliations carried out in the streets by the paramilitaries are directed against my person—I would not have the physical capacity to write this—but she doesn’t understand: a mother’s love is like that.
In the ‘80s she wasn’t in Cuba, when she came they told her but she didn’t believe it. She eventually ended up recalling the stories of the repudiation rallies as we remember the ancient fables, real but not lived, subject to materialist skepticism: seeing is believing.
But materialism was abandoned; in the midst of the Special Period* she discovered that Faith can avoid the madness and vitamin deficiency. The Party meetings were transformed into spiritualist meetings, Yoga classes, and classes in healing by the laying on of hands. One day she realized, at times the inanimate world is more transparent and clear than that conscience language that leads nowhere. She gained one faith but lost another: she no longer believes in humans, in anything.
On Friday, December 11, she saw for the first time, on the evening news, what I have baptized as The Horde and its survivors: The Women in White in the midst of a mob of women deformed by hate. A choppy sea, and in the middle, a small white boat barely afloat: the return to animality, to the law of the jungle, violence as a first recourse, the supreme exaltation of infinite human stupidity.
She was in shock for about three hours. I made a few black jokes—I know she likes them—but she didn’t react. I thought everything had died in her but I was wrong, I’ll never know how much humanism is still left in her, at that moment I was sure she had lost it. She looks out the window and understands nothing, wonders “who” and the only answer that comes to mind is, “everyone.” From now on, I know, her loneliness will be immeasurable, the price of having been disappointed too, too many times.
*Translator's note: The so-called "Special Period" was the very difficult time after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of its subsidies for Cuba.
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