When Words Fail Us

Veronica Vega

One of the doors of Havana National Theater. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – While reading the article “Love in Times of Indifference” posted by my friend and colleague Warhol P, I find myself talking to him in my head because we live at opposite extremes of the city and neither of us has a home phone or a cell phone, much less internet service.

I believe strongly in the power of thought, but since we have never learned to consciously tune in to each other, we have to turn to rapid and sophisticated communication devices or a mixed bag of strategies.

Hence, I write this post thinking about him, I send it off via a friend to the editor of HT, the editor publishes it; and one of these days Warhol will check his e-mail in an institution far from his house, see the last text only e-mail version of the website and discover that I’ve been thinking about his pain and struggling with the relative rigidity of words.

Today, I’m thinking about the harm that we humans have done to each other with so many definitions. His ex-partner, who once upon a time felt fearful of being labeled homosexual, might perhaps have felt more comfortable if society hadn’t forced him to define himself sexually.

What if people – in that millennial pursuit of happiness – were able to explore the issue of sex without having to give a name to their search?

Of course, it’s complicated, precisely because the war that has been unleashed for centuries has been in part by and for those who do in fact need to define themselves in different terms than the standard heterosexuality.

But today I can’t refrain from wondering if our victory wouldn’t have been more complete if instead of insisting on the value of a particular sexual orientation, we had defended our right to the freedom of not having to be confined within any category in the delicate and intimate arena of love…. or in the personal and exclusive area of identity.

This perhaps wouldn’t have altered the destiny of that broken relationship, but it at least avoids complicating the conflict of a rupture with worse fantasies, removing the weight of comparisons, myths, and false supremacies.

Drastic changes are akin to birth and at the same time to death. Naturally so since renewal comes from dragging behind us the fruits of a shattering experience. In the agony that seems eternal, we forget that one day not so far off, we won’t even remember those moments; that it’s all a process, as ephemeral as everything we experience.

It’s not in vain that we locate our sentiments in an organ of the body and compare our emotional activity to blood and physical tissues because they express the force of life and the mystery of regeneration.

I wish I could convince my friend that there’s nothing perverse in the intention of the universe. But I know from experience that there are moments in which words can’t compete with events.