HAVANA, 21 nov. By: Alberto C. Toppin Photos: Jorge Luis Borges Liranza
Yes, it is still caught. And it fills up. As much as there are public taxis – more than public, shared – and pedaling that take us on a tricycle to any direction – if it is not very far, of course -.
The account has not changed: in the absence of bread, casabe; in the absence of metro, bus.
Public transport in Havana is more like a television series than reality. He has gone through so many seasons that we no longer know how many countries have intervened in the production of this dramatized: China, Russia (and his alter ego the USSR), Belarus, Brazil, Spain.
Like every problem faced by the Cuban, it provokes laughter and humorous laughter at the same time, both the spectator and the protagonist. Sometimes one more than the other or sometimes both with the same intensity.
To the spectator when he perceives that at 7:30 in the morning he passes in front of his sight a brand new P so open door that leaves him speechless. Pass, pass and pass, and comes to remember -the driver of the bus- that has brakes a quarter of a kilometer from where it should stop.
And he remembers with a vigor that makes the protagonists suffer. Those who, inside, cling to the tubes and ask if the driver got a driver’s license at the zoo or at the morgue. Of course, at such an hour the spectators – who are late for their respective jobs – have no patience to repair how many similarities there are between a Chinese P and the very Cuban camels.
Three doors that eventually stop closing and by which the same goes up or down. A frequency that is said and never fulfilled. Two rows of windows that of so many potholes end up loosening and begin to vibrate.
Above, each viewer silently wants to meet the alleged coordinator of this dramatized-nightmare -commonly called inspector- and that this, in addition to not resigning to let the vehicle pass because there is no longer a fly, fits the pants or the saya and I sing the thousand forty to the driver to stop 200 meters or more from the stop.
Needless to say, the most organic performances take place on the set. From the forgetful driver to the most indifferent of those who are seated. There are tears, almost always in charge of children. With luck, the odd scene of verbal violence that ends in silence or mutterings grumbling, although sometimes, only sometimes, explodes in extreme physical violence. Yes, extreme.
A push, nudge or stomp is common, apologize or not. Of course these actors do not need to look so much inside of themselves, and some may not even know Stanislavski. They do not need it. The whole environment conspires so that their emotions erupt and make them worthy of the most distinguished prizes.
Especially at 4:00 in the afternoon with a warmth of July or August, more than an hour’s journey and full breath of essences that make you want to relive – because by then you have a blank mind and do not know feel no part of the body – to die again. There are those who choose to follow their dream of exclusive greatness and faint, and then those who lack such histrionics lift him off the ground and even look for candy and water.
But the worst happens when there is a production failure. When, suddenly, it stops rolling. Literally speaking. The delivery is delayed and the nearest spectators are frightened, despairing; while the protagonists receive an involuntary vacation and are left to their fate somewhere, usually far from their destination.
This transmutation from actor to spectator is reluctantly suffered, although in one way or another it never stopped nor will it stop being on the lookout. Before, to be aware of what scene to leave the set and remind the forgetful driver, preferably with a cry that disables the imaginary microphones; Now, to find the opportunity to return to the shooting.
And in the end, when you are exhausted by the day and in the place where you wanted to arrive, the most worn out of the surprises: tomorrow is another day. You have to shoot again.