Another excerpt from Yoani Sanchez’ Blog (writer living in Cuba)


Myopia and astigmatism

I put on the glasses of optimism and glance out over the collapsing city where I live. With these shimmering crystals of hope, my heart beats more peacefully, without turning somersaults. Thanks to them, I understand that I’m not climbing fourteen floors thanks to an inefficient state—incapable of installing an elevator after five months—but rather I am a fervent ecologist, determined to consume only my human fuel. With this new glass through which I see everything, I see that my plate lacks meat not because of the super high prices in the market, but rather because I love animals and avoid the suffering of slaughter.

I don’t have an Internet connection at home, but the rosy lenses reveal to me that this service is only for officials and resident foreigners. Perhaps they want to protect me from the “perversions” of the web, I tell myself, as would Voltaire’s ridiculous Candide. So I’ve tried, for the briefest moment, to see palaces instead of ruins, leaders who carry us to victory when in reality they lead us to the precipice, and men who are hypnotized by my hair, even though I know they continue to watch me.

The problem starts when I take off the glasses of innocence and look around me, at the real colors of the crisis. The pain in my calves returns in response to the long flights of stairs; I start dreaming of steak; and a blinking modem becomes an almost erotic desire. I toss the glasses of optimism from my balcony, maybe there’s someone down there who still prefers to use them, who would even like to distort the truth with them.