By Rafael Contreras
Cuba Free Press
Pinar Del Rio. – It is said that Monterroso’s short story is the shortest one ever written. Textually it reads: “When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.”
It is true that it is very short, what I fail to understand is why people insist on calling it a story. But let’s leave it at that, it isn’t my intention to discuss this very famous, and very short, story.
I intend to write about the most frustrated, and short, individual in this world; at least that’s how those of us who have suffered through his bouts of frustration and quirkiness have come to see him.
This malcontent had one thousand and one opportunities to gain notoriety but never did. He was a mediocre magician, and also tried to be an actor. He was a policeman, a bad artist, a deficient art teacher, even tried to be a gigolo, but lacked the looks. Then, he found out that there were dissidents in Cuba, and understood that somehow, he could achieve fame.
He searched and dug around in a thousand places, and understood that by being a dissident, he could get people somewhere to talk about him. He became an independent journalist.
One can very easily become an independent journalist, the best thing about it is that you don’t have to be a journalist at all, and by either luck or misfortune, what you say can be read or heard nearly anywhere.
In this, the frustrated man was pleased. Some of his mediocrities were read or heard overseas, but pleasing a frustrated individual is a difficult thing, and he wanted more. He was not satisfied with the sporadic mentions he received in the radio; his occasional appearances in Miami newspapers did not satiate his thirst for fame; he aspired to so much more recognition. He decided to become the most famous dissident in his province, but not by working, he would achieve his fame as a professional schemer.
He turned his house into the Devil’s cauldron. Gallons of café were consumed and tons of nicotine inhaled in an insecure and damaging blend of gossip and intrigue directed at the very brothers at arms of Cuban dissidence. Now, the frustrated man is famous. Every scandal that surfaces against someone is born there, in the macabre and obscene social events elaborated by himself and his unconditionally manipulated supporters. Discrepancies among members of organizations, dissolution of political movements, arguments, and disappearances of projects created with fine intentions are the fruit of the labor, and the shame of this individual.
Now, nearly every one of us fear his entanglements, and the truth is that what we have become is a group of frightened and confused brothers, and that brings me pain.
I hope this story serves as a warning, and maybe it will become the shortest story in the world, but I can’t write anymore about such a frustrated man. Fear not, for there is always hope remaining for us, even in spite of those who seek to do us harm.
But it is very sad however, every morning when we awake, the dinosaur is still there.