Brief Inventory of Personal Fears
Brief Inventory of Personal Fears / Regina Coyula
Posted on June 6, 2014
As with almost everyone, as a girl darkness was a problem. I loved
playing hide and seek, crouching in the bushes, but when evening came,
the shadows became something dangerous, boogeymen coming to take me
away, and I would run to the safety of adults and the light.
Another of my major fears at that time was that I would get sick on
vacation, With chronic throat problems, tonsillitis threatened to rob me
of the beach; and I had reasons to fear the colds all around me or a
certain burning when I swallowed, or too strong a fan overnight.
Those fears gave way to others, trivial or important, but no less for
this: the fear of failing an exam, losing a boyfriend, getting fat, of
not sounding too combative in an era of ideological definitions given my
petty bourgeois ballast.
Ultimately, the beach lost its charms for me years ago, because of the
sun that pursues us everywhere on this little Caribbean island; I now
had boyfriends and all it would take was for me to look at something to
get fat. Coming from the bourgeoisie haunted me like a ghost in my
youth, I couldn’t compete with those who maintained the discourse of the
barricade, but they lived in the old houses and according to the manner
of the overthrown bourgeoisie.
I continued to be a scaredy-cat, just my fears changes. I had a panic
attack they day they did a caesarean to get my son out. I remember
dressing in white and walking with a gladiolus in my hand to honor
Orlando Zapata Tamayo on the anniversary of this death, and when a car
stopped to ask directions I almost had a heart attack. Last December 10
(Human Rights Day) was another good occasion to be afraid.
Very recently, happy on returning from a seminar on citizen journalism
and social networks in Lima, Peru, I was taken to the “little room” by
customs officials. My luggage wasn’t overweight, there was nothing
illegal, but they did a detailed search of my luggage, and retained for
“customs inspection” SCAN0000, a laptop with charger and mouse, a
camcorder with two tripods and four memory cards, two external drives,
all new in their original box, in addition to my camera, my tablet, a
USB drive and my phone, the latter not even having a charger; articles
that on leaving Cuba didn’t need to be declared for personal use.
The other suspicious articles were four books written by my husband,
which also left with me, a book about social networks I was given, and
the folder with the conference agenda and my handwritten notes.
I spoke to you of far. All these valuable articles often upsetting the
balance of saving money, how not to feel a punch in the gut to see them
disappear into a sack, no matter how much you’ve got all the right
paperwork. At that time it came to mind the cases of theft in customs.
But that wasn’t the greatest fear.
With my hands crossed over my knees so as not to show my nervousness, I
saw how a piece of my privacy was handled with impunity. The little I
said was to make clear the arbitrariness of which I was the object. I
didn’t waste energy, because those officials face other officials; the
political police who ordered the measure.
Then a strange fear is provoked, because I gave no thought to abandoning
my openly critical stance towards the government. The fear that set my
adrenaline flowing, confirmed for me the nefariousness of a regime
which, far from serving its citizens, is allowed to ride roughshod over
them, over their sovereignty.
It’s time to recover this sovereignty.
4 June 2014
Source: Brief Inventory of Personal Fears / Regina Coyula | Translating