I remember how my mother in Cuba bent over the jar of hot milk and blew on it, to cool it off for me, making the sounds of an angel.
I remember how my father in Cuba bent over a little yellow slip lined in nylon with the Prayer of San Luis Beltran, every Friday morning.
My childhood was those two gestures, surely unbearable in their time. And now the only thing I have left of Havana in the ‘70s.
Manhattan 2013has a lot of that city. The same neglect, the same feeling of emptiness, the mute multitudes. Everything is parody and allegory. Even, it seems, New York. Even, it seems, so many autumns, which decades ago were still a real station in Cuba.
I close my eyes on the Number 7 train and it’s not hard to see myself on Route 7.
Then I looked at the infant Cuban night and saw those same buildings in New York, were at the height of San Francisco de Paula or San Miguel del Padron. “A microclimate,” said my parents and they shut the window for me.
As a child I was amazed.
I couldn’t know that I was looking at myself dead already in the future, today, on the elevated in Queens, in a third generation Third World.
I thought I wouldn’t grow up. And I was right. Only I grew up.
There is no way to pray realistically in the United States. God is money.
I am absolutely abandoned.
I am on the point of being happy.
31 October 2013