Ariel Glaria Enriquez
HAVANA TIMES — At night time, sitting in front of the TV in my home. You want to go to sleep but you haven’t written anything. My conscience says.
ME: I can’t think of anything to write about.
CONSCIENCE: You spend the whole day thinking about a million things and picking fights with almost everything and now you’re saying you can’t think about anything to write about.
CONSCIENCE: Lately it seems like we’re walking along different paths.
ME: It’s very easy for you to throw a fit. Why don’t you suggest something instead?
CONSCIENCE: Talk about your paranoia…
ME: At this time? You want me to end up asleep and drooling?… please.
CONSCIENCE: Then write about the punishment that, according to your paranoic instinct, could fall upon Havana Times collaborators.
ME: I don’t have proof, and…
CONSCIENCE, interrupting me: Say something about all of your friends who have left Cuba and who you haven’t heard anything from. Of the few who have stayed and the uncertainty it stirs in you to think that one day these too might leave, of your siblings who you don’t know whether you’ll ever see them again… of the fear of becoming a foreigner in your own country.
ME: I’ve thought about that but it’s such a common and sad subject.
CONSCIENCE: I understand. You think that Cuba is designed so that experiences, wishes and even dreams are all the same, but your own point of view could make the difference.
ME: Maybe, but it would still be sad.
CONSCIENCE: Sadness is also shared.
For the first time, I concentrate on the program that’s showing on TV. A Mexican chef is cooking dishes where the main ingredient is chocolate: What a lack of respect! My wife shouts.
CONSCIENCE: Did you hear that, there you have something to write about. Surely for those (above), getting hold of chocolate isn’t a difficult task. In fact, I know you can already picture one of these big shots running to write down the recipe, while you and your neighbors switch the channel.
A new silence.
CONSCIENCE: Give your opinion about how scruffy and skinny Cuban people are today.
ME: I could, but it isn’t their appearance that most concerns me but what has broken within Cubans.
CONSCIENCE: And within yourself.