You could have been a prostitute selling her favors, or equally an interrogator for State Security. The needs were so many, that to exchange your body for a bottle of shampoo or some soaps, was always a possibility. Only your figure was too frail for the trade and your skin so pale, for those foreigners who come looking for the cinnamon tone of the tourist ads. You lacked a “certain something” to carry off the tight-fitting garments of exchanging sex for money, of strutting around outside some hotel to get your family out of a tight spot.
You were on the point of donning a uniform when, on finishing the ninth grade, you thought of going to the Camilo Cienfuegos military school, to escape from a house with too many prohibitions and too much misery. You thought you were ready to become a pursed lipped soldier with access to those little privileges you saw the members of the Army and the Interior Ministry enjoying. The timely advice of a friend made you abandon the shouts of “Ah-ten-SHUN!” and the constant rattle of a machine gun. But if, on that afternoon in 1990, you had not heard the query, “What would you do with yourself, wedged between orders and trenches?” perhaps now you would be intimidating someone in a closed room at Villa Marista, where they take the political prisoners.
You could have been a rafter, a suicide, a government minister’s lover, a censor, a political prisoner, a cop or a victim. It was not possible to emerge unscathed from this crisis of the nineties that touched your life, the collapse of values, the marginal scene where you came of age. Some part of you was left in red lycra standing on the corner, in the epaulet of a lieutenant, in these possible people you could have been, from which by chance, by events, and by your own weariness you were saved.