HAVANA TIMES — Walking through Havana is becoming a less gratifying experience every time I go. I remember when I was a little girl and a teenager how I used to love wondering through its neighborhoods. I was intrigued by its houses, streets, the coming and going of people… It was my city; I loved it with all of its flaws and its virtues.
Today, I’m walking through the city and I recall those memories. I want to feel like I did back then but I can’t. Havana is no longer the same, it’s aged, ugly, destroyed in my eyes, and not just physically… Havana has lost its spirit, its soul.
It’s as if a cloak is covering all of us, because I also watch people walking around like robots, without strength, without desires. Cars move forward like God-fearing creatures along the city’s streets damaged by time and despair. Buildings which continue to stand by God knows what miracle… as if defying the laws of physics which, no matter how long they hold out, are always a sure thing… And on every corner… past lives accumulate in the form of rubbish, which some people pick up and treasure as if they were searching for their own.
Havana is falling; it’s constantly falling apart… And we feel its pain because we live here. The fact that it ages without any relief also pains us, the longed for wish that it would reach the peak of its life with a little bit of hope. I don’t like walking through Havana anymore, now, when I do, I walk hurriedly, as if to get out of there, to escape all of this grief, this despair.
What has my Havana become? Or to put it another way, what did they do to my Havana? The Havana that existed when I was a little girl has gone. Or at least, I can no longer sense it.