—The next leap came when I finished my military service and decided to leave home to try life in the northeastern Cuban province of Holguin. This was where nearly all my parents’ families lived.
My hope was that being in a province far from the capital, the competition in the art world would be less, and that perhaps I could develop my skills as a writer.
At the age of 21, I arrived in Holguin, where the situation was not so hot in the realm of culture. Despite being the eastern province with the most cultural happenings (albeit just barely), I discovered that what was just beginning there was a superficial manifestation of art. The people who I met in that world were living in a sublime surrounding; it was like returning to an innocence I had lost.
That was when I began to feel that perhaps my clothes were too tight or the country was too small. I think that as a defense mechanism I decided to hide that suspicion to the point of almost forgetting it after returning to Havana.
Upon my return I enrolled in a technical course in industrial pharmacology. This was taught at a school in an area of the city called Miramar, which I had never visited.
It was then that I could see that in my country there were wide avenues, large houses, big stores, and clean places of good tastes.
Little by little I got to know the residents of those homes, and often visited them and their kids who studied at my school. Although it seemed that I was part of that picture, which I recognized as Cuban, I noted a great distance between these people and myself, between them and the people close to me. Their lives were different from what I had lived.
This completed the environment surrounding me in Cuba. It revealed a Mexican soap opera-like existence of the rich and poor, and superficial passions.