Daily Investigation

20 Apr

I suppose it must happen in all the places God spread across the land. Watching, to intimidate the peace of the world with surveillance. It must be so, more or less so. In the four corners of the world there must be these little men born to annoy some and make others happy.

My genetic attitude to the police comes from the interminable minutes that they detained us along the highway that runs from Sierra Cristal to Holguin, where without any sniffer dogs other than themselves, they stripped every student traveling to the School in the Countryside, of two or three pounds of coffee each. (The more adventurous always carried 10 or 15 pounds.)

They almost never stripped the loads of the teachers because they were the ones who gave a cut to the cops.

The method, at least in those years, was to leave a package of about 20 pounds in the doorway of the bus or truck. The guards were searching, we were outside, they took a slipper full of coffee here and a doll stuffed with granules there, until they picked up a good load, and they’d toss us a reprimand and send us on our way without bothering to detain us.  This happened year after year.

One day, when I was finishing high school, I heard the confession of a teacher friend of ours. Since then I thought it must happen in other aspects of daily life. So no one can convince me otherwise. A police officer should always be where something happens, on the contrary, they are sent there to make it happen.  Certain influences on innocence start to work for a lifetime.

Twenty years later life is the same, and on a trip from Holguin to Havana the searches, seizures and fines form part of the daily life on the highways of the country.

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