On the Usefulness of Desire and the Virtue of the Useful

I used to be suspicious of people who carry handkerchiefs in their pockets. When I say “used to”, I mean when I was still living in Cuba. I can’t explain what I had against handkerchiefs exactly. I suppose I felt I was surrounded by things that called for something other than a handkerchief…

A Tradition of Building Walls

Nakamura would come see me at the bar once a week. He’s the kind of person that people can only describe as “normal” or “down-to-earth” when you ask about them. He’d put a lot of effort into becoming that kind of person.

On the Other Side of the Bar

Tanaka didn’t think he was anything special. In fact, he had never once stopped to consider whether his life was of any value or not. When he woke up every morning, nothing beyond the feeling that he needed to get out of bed, to convince himself he was still there, inspired him to draw in the first breath.

Of Mangos, Smiles and My Own Shadow

The spring, which had a late start this year, is hot as summer today. Heading home in the bus, I savor the cool gusts of air that issue from the AC. It is a dry, dense cold. Suddenly, a soothing stillness seems to take hold of my body and sighs take the place of thoughts. I would like to remain like this forever, I tell my reflection on the window pane.

Echoes of a Leap

The jester is on the tightrope, with the king looking at him from his throne. The jester, blindfolded, has to guess his every step. The king — in ecstasy — anxiously waits for him to fall. Who reigns higher? Who’s the fool? Who’s bones are broken even before the fall?

A moon, a voice and a bridge

If you dig a tunnel through the earth you may find yourself not in China but on your own rooftop, even though it’s no longer thatched, but prefabricated and covered with solar panels

Naphthalene, Alcohol and a Kiss

It’s kind of an old pedestrian boulevard, except its indoors. Shops are on the sides. It’s a long walkway with several smaller and narrower corridors that branch off. In that environment are two well-known odors. One is the smell of night, which my bones know from sleeping anywhere in Havana. The other smell is that of mothballs.

How to Be an Actor Sitting in the Audience

That day I learned what cold was, that food could be used for more than eating, that families can survive dismemberment. But what was most important was that I decided this would be my future stage.

Do Electric Sheep Dream of Androids?

With one hand I hit a small conga drum, with the other I drank coffee. My head flew far away, I don’t know where. Then I remembered, the knocks on the hotel door, which even in the fog of sleep I opened. She was standing in front of me. Her smile was the one I teased her about one day.

Flying to a Dream Without Passports

To describe it as a dream would be to miss the point. Dreams always look at one’s own possibilities, though they’re over in a few hours. That moment was too alien, like a strange and confident animal that let’s you pet it and then runs away.