A Bruise on My Belly

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — At the problematic time of 4:30 pm on Wednesday, I took the route 5 bus to get from the Havana municipality of Vedado to Old Havana.

To my delight, the vehicle wasn’t so crowded — like it usually is — so I tried to walk to the back.

As I proceeded, I accidentally bumped into a middle-aged woman.

Her reaction: She gave me a hard elbow near my lower rib.

My “counter-reaction”: I doubled up in pain and asked in a pitiful and innocent tone why she had elbowed me.

Her erroneous accusation that I had pushed her seemed a bit suspicious — simply because I hadn’t done that — so I questioned her with a gaze, searching for a lucid answer.

Perceiving the delirium and paranoia of this woman, I moved on, feeling bad about my bad luck.

But at that moment a strange feeling came over me, and when trying to decipher it with a friend, I was able to realize that it was a sense of powerlessness.

According to my friend, in situations like those, one — helplessly — asks: Why do I have to share a bus with people of questionable mental health?

Why must I inevitably expose my physical wellbeing to unsafe and violent spaces?

How many more bruises must I get for them to cease their so many inconsistencies and blunders?

Some other questions came to my mind, and my helplessness… is increasing.

Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.