By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – I don’t normally watch a lot of TV, except for today, it’s a Saturday night, I’m home alone and want to watch a movie. I turn on my ATEC-Panda TV, an old one without a remote control, that I inherited from my mother and somebody appears announcing: “San vicen an de granadin güil olgüis is biebol tu caun in kiuba..”, in a broadcast of the closing speech of a Congress of the only political party authorized in my country.
It’s all rhetoric, a whole load of lies and empty promises. I change the channel and it’s pretty much everywhere. It’s a chain broadcast. Luckily, Multivision saves me with a concert by Raphael, the great Spanish singer who became famous in the 1960s.
But I haven’t been enjoying ballads for a long time, I find them sickeningly sweet and they shouldn’t be taken seriously. “I’ve come from there to tell you to give me a chance one more time.” That is to say, the guy came again, from where God knows, to ask for a chance. I find it pathetic. Raphael’s songs are all the same, they romanticize humiliation, so I turn off the TV.
I no longer want to wait for the movie to come on. I lay on my bed, but my mind is churning and doesn’t let me rest. In two years’ time, it’s my daughter’s 15th birthday and I have no idea how I´m going to give her the celebration she deserves. I need the money I’m saving to fix the house, the roof is about to fall on top of me. These are my two greatest concerns at the moment.
I comfort myself thinking I’m a lucky guy. I am still healthy, young, I have my own house, clothes to wear and food to eat. As if that wasn’t enough, I also have somebody who loves me. She has been a beacon in my life. How can I not love this noble, voluptuous woman that welcomes me home with a smile on her face and loves you unconditionally? It’s enough to tame even the wildest of beasts.
Although she might get tired and leave me, because my polygamous attitudes are often far too macho and not very manly.
At the end of the day, they’re all looking for a provider, a commitment and I don’t want to take on household duties I don’t need to. In short, nobody can resist the flame.
The reality is that the day-to-day situation is becoming unbearable here. I should pray to the God I don’t believe in so that the prophesies foretold by that gypsy I also don’t believe in, come true.
I need so many things, like my own computer and a decent mobile phone, for example. I’ve had the same one for the past 7 years and the touchscreen doesn’t even want to work anymore, not to mention the battery, but a mobile phone costs 12,000 pesos minimum. A computer costs a lot more.
Who the hell has ever seen a writer without a computer? Well, a writer with half their hair and a unique flair.
“What a handsome guy just walked in,” a women exclaimed this afternoon with a lot of self-confidence.
“Thanks, you’re very kind, if only you knew how much I like women like you, that’s why I always swing by here every month,” I answer, biting my lower lip, with a crazy face.
“How rude. And you’re the writer.”
We laugh, a joke between me and the bodega ration store owner, without any witnesses. Meanwhile, she weighs and gives me the 4 lbs from last month (because this Government can’t even guarantee groceries for the month), and I wonder how many ounces she’s stealing.
I need a computer, even if it’s a mini laptop – I beat myself up again. A writer without a computer and cellphone nowadays is a dead man. A Cuban living in Cuba without a relative living “abroad” is a dead man. A Cuban living in Cuba who lives off the family they have abroad is just a beggar with social status. There is no salvation.
“Am I a dead man, a living corpse, a 5th rate scribbler without any talent?”
It’s best to turn off the lights, I have to get some sleep.