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Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.

She Is One of My Readers

May 26, 2014 | Print Print |

Dmitri Prieto

Havana doorways. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — She is one of my readers.

It’s not every day you find out that someone very close to you is also one of your readers.

In this day and age, where we co-exist with an Internet that is too virtual, slow and expensive for Cuba, we have become accustomed to having readers that are, in some way, just as virtual as the web…

But I know her.

Personally.

And I love her.

And she didn’t know I wrote for Havana Times.

One day, however, she found out.

Now, she reads my posts.

It may be true that this business of writing turns one into someone distant from the human, from the feeling of being alive and involved, into something like an observer/recorder, a camera, or a producer/champion of opinions, theories and doctrines…

Once, someone told me that what I did was study machines. This hurt me and dealt my ego a powerful blow (which is good). Today, it is a good pretext to think about myself in depth. Are we truly willing to take on the risks of empathy? Of a total, committed and unprejudiced empathy? Of enduring the penetrating and painful sting of love?

Then, I remember that she reads what I write. And the world changes.

A rose is a rose is a rose…She is she. However, she is also every pair of eyes that sweep over these humble lines and whose meaning and necessity evade me, for they are the self-expression of a country that is not very pure, but that is searching for answers. Your eyes, his eyes, her eyes, the eyes of She-Who-Reads-Me.

If these eyes were connected to a brain and this brain to a heart capable of loving, then things would be that bad after all.

Right?

Maybe.

She and Death are not the same person.

That is why love has meaning, even when our woes, our work and our strivings sometimes give us the feeling of being a hamster on a wheel, or that mythical character called Sisyphus.

Of course, I would love her just the same if she didn’t read what I wrote, and even if she were Death herself.

But she reads me.

And so the rain becomes something more than just water falling from the sky.


What's your opinion?

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    A wonderful tribute to a brave lady Dmitri!

  • emagicmtman

    What a poetic post! I was going to say something about this reflecting your Russian roots, but of course your Cuban are just as poetic; no nation has a monopoly on poetry. It will be interesting to see how this sensibility will change in coming years. I suspect I won’t be around to observe these changes; still, it is interesting to speculate. Thanks again for sharing!