Blackouts and No Choice but to Get Up


By Pedro Pablo Morejon

HAVANA TIMES – It’s the weekend when I come home and find there’s electricity , although you can never be sure. Blackouts come like a thief in the night, when you least expect it.

In fact, after 10 PM, just as I was about to lie down and get some sleep, it made its badly-timed entrance. Everything went dark. I try to fall asleep using every technique I’d read God knows where.

Lastly, I try a small cup of water with sugar, against my mind’s will. Word has it this does the trick just before sleeping. As I drink it, I remember my time at pre-university and in military service when water with sugar – which we used to call milordo – had become a refreshment fit for the Gods in our eyes, the Coca Cola of our poverty. It must be the same now for lots of people.

However, nothing works, and the heat is relentless. I don’t have a thermometer to measure the room temperature, but it feels like a humid 30 degrees Celsius. Beads of sweat cover my body and I decide to shower. Luckily, I have water.

There are no words for the relief I felt. I enjoy the sensation of water pouring down over my skin and I want to stay like that, with my eyes closed until the water tank runs dry. I don’t know how many minutes I stand under the shower.

I come out of the bathroom and head to the small terrace to dry with the breeze, but not a single leaf is moving. I go back to the hot bed a while later and I feel hot again. Outside, I hear voices from the neighborhors who can’t sleep in the middle of a blackout, and also a crying baby.

I open the shutters in vain. It seems I only make things worse. Mosquitoes make their presence known with buzzing that is annoying, as well as their bites. At this time, my body is a besieged boat that is navigating a puddle of sweat.

This time I have no choice but to get up, go out the front door and join my neighbors who are waiting. It feels like the hottest night of the year. The electricity comes back a while later, followed by cheers.

My skin is a sticky mess. I have another shower, I barely dry myself, I come out of the bathroom, look at the clock that marks 3 AM, I put on the fan, and I let myself fall exhausted onto the sweaty sheets but I’m not sleepy anymore, I’m full of repressed rage.

Sometimes, I’m an apathetic volcano on the verge of erupting.

Read more from Pedro Pablo Morejon’s diary here.

3 thoughts on “Blackouts and No Choice but to Get Up

  • This entry reads like poetry.

  • Thank you Tony.
    Your comment about my writings fills me with emotion.

  • Dear Pedro,

    I fell in love with Cuba and everyone I met there in 2018 on my first visit from England, and made real friends also. In my privileged life, I have had a private audience with British royalty and talked with the homeless, and I regard each person I meet with the respect I would wish to receive myself. The friends I made then, are friends forever in my heart, and I return to Cuba as often as I can bringing currency and gifts.

    Your diary is my daily bread, and will be for all those who genuinely love Cuba and it’s people – it keeps me connected with the real circumstances experienced on an everyday basis, and fuels me to return and bring whatever I can.

    You are the truth. I’m engrossed in everything you write. Please don’t ever stop writing. You are both eloquent and hugely important in this world.

    With gratitude, Tony.

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