On March 24, when I was taken to Pedernales, the “Villa Marista” of Holguin, I thought I might have to stay just a few days, listening to the barks and threats of the young Confrontation Boss of Bayamo, which is where they deported me from.
But the strange thing was that I wasn’t interrogated as usual or pre-judged. This time around, a Guard from the Official Operatives, who had no desire to talk, and did not care if I was a dissident or a common criminal, emptied my backpack on the table in front of me and started to inventory my stuff. He wrote it all down on two pieces of paper which he later asked me to sign. There was:
A girl’s pink doll with a yellow dress, hair clips, blue hair bands (pellizcos), colored pencils, a family photo album, a pocket calendar, light brown pantyhose, two gray underpants, three pens, a tricolored towel, a striped shirt, a black pullover with words written in English (he asked me if I knew what they meant), a photographic camera (I had to correct him, it was a video camera and he did not like that), an MP3 player (I had to spell that for him)…and a few other things.
After all that, he asked me about the doll and the hair bands (pellizcos) with a tremendous look on his face of an S.O.B., but I responded and told him that it all belonged to my daughter, to which he said, Yes, but with even more of the face of an SOB, he kept on asking me, “Are you sure this is for your daughter?” To which I responded by asking if I, too, could ask a question, and he said yes, so I asked him, “C’mon boy, why of all the things in this backpack did you start to inventory them precisely because of the doll and the things for styling one’s hair?”
He got serious for a minute, so I asked him before he had a chance to think, “Do you know who Sigmund Freud was?”
But he looked away at the sheet that listed the last items: a small Bible, two letters, a cell phone, a spray bottle of perfume, a razor…
* “pellizcos” is the popular name for the clasps people use in their hair to keep it in place.
Translated by Hank