Revolutionary Vigilance, a Permanent Task He raised his hand at the meeting. The director had told them "don't hold back," so he took advantage of the chance to say what he'd remained silent about for months. He started with the very low wages paid to public health workers. Then he talked about the dirty bathrooms, the water shortages, that the only sterilizer was broken, the leaks all over the hospital. He continued with the heat in the waiting room packed with patients and the lack of surgical instruments.
I remember him well, leaning over the table with head bowed and a vacant look. Carlitos was barely 20 and his every gesture carried the reluctance of someone who had lived too much. The young man ended up emigrating — like so many others — and I suppose there is little time in his new life to let the hours pass lying around bored. However, I continue to see this physical image of apathy and a lack of personal projects everywhere I look. It’s as if the body is speaking and, with its posture, it is saying what so many mouths remain silent about.
Someday when a Cuban body language glossary is prepared, it will include this pose of « falling into the abyss of nothingness. » This appearance of already being defeated, like Carlitos, that so many young people and not so young people present in this country. It’s the nuisance of moving your hands, the droopy eyelids, the permanent drowsiness and a certain relaxation of the lips which barely articulate lazy words, when they are not reduced to simple monosyllables. That the clock is ticking doesn’t matter, life passes and it doesn’t matter, the country slips through our fingers and people couldn’t care less.
While the heroes stand proudly on their marble pedestals, reality finds us bent over, tired, throwing ourselves on the first piece of furniture we come across. Is it perhaps the rebellion of indolence? The muffled scream of disinterest? I don’t know, but everywhere there are these poses that betray a lack of personal and national dreams.
Click here for selected English Translations from Yoani Sanchez’s newly launched newspaper, 14ymedio.