I have written these lines for almost a year now when seeking information on February 14th , I found that since 2011, the UN General Assembly decreed July 30th as the International Day of Friendship. I applaud this as a gesture to the understanding of peoples, but I believe that (at least) in Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru they do well in celebrating in a single day love and friendship: the fourteenth day of the second month of the year.
The problem is that I very much believe in friendship and love. But I don't know if it’s whether for the time I lived in, I am utterly convinced that I have been better lover and friend than possibly wife. I have never thought the relationship with a man other than a friend and to reach that point many tiny bits are needed. The first one is to keep both freedoms which don’t imply other relationships. And sometimes lovers suffocate; you can’t tell your lover what you can tell a friend: “give me a chance, now I am busy in a paragraph.”
I don’t deny, even that there might a single sexual relationship you had and remember with such tenderness that those involved feel that they have had one night or two hours of LOVE.
But is perhaps love tied to just sex? I don't think so. Behind a great friendship where there is complete trust between a man and a woman, there is a bit of love. Of course when that spark of desire goes on unexpectedly, as it happens in most of human experiences, it can be sad. Gabriel García Márquez defined it well “The worst way of missing someone is to be seated next to them and knowing that you will never be able to have them.”
It was my beloved Karl Marx, a man I will always worship, (obviously!) who wrote in his economic and philosophical Manuscripts of 1844: “Let’s suppose that the man is a man and that his relationship with the world is humane: then he can only trade love for love, trust for trust, etc. () If you love without being loved in return, that is, if your love in unrequited; if through a living expression of yourself as a lover, you don't become a loved person, then your love is powerless: it’s a heartache.”
In fact if my Moor had in Jenny the wife, friend, collaborator (and perhaps some other relationship besides that marriage) he enjoyed a paradigmatic friendship with Friedrich Engels. Was there love? Yes, and I’m not speaking of carnal relationship, but of that feeling that made possible a monument to friendship chiseled day by day, with a total and selfless commitment.
That man, Fidel, the greatest in the 20th century, in March 1997 told my colleagues Magda Resik and Alina Perera: “No love is similar to another. Love has a lot of chemistry and there are as many loves as chemistries. Love also needs tactics. It’s a contradiction, without contradictions it withers. There are shorter loves, longer loves, more peaceful loves…”
And he added “one always likes to be courted, but I rather court a woman, because when they court me, I felt harassed, I didn't know what to do, it bothered me to be harassed.”
He advised us “Women should never show men too much man that they love him, because when a man finds out they are madly in love with him they get arrogant. The indifference is the greatest stimulant of love”. Although he admitted that in his youth to be courted was “pleasant if he liked the girl.”
Fidel, the love of many Cuban women, on giving flowers said “Yes, I liked it. I could hardly do it” and if woman gave flowers to him “I was really moved.”
Well I am almost finishing: according to the Royal Spanish Academy of Language friendship is personal, pure and disinterested fondness, shared with another person and is born and grows strong with the treatment; concubinage (Action and effect of living together: to establish a marital relationship without mediating marriage bond) and it’s also Likeness, connection among things; while love is: intense feeling of the human being that, from his own inadequacy, needs and seeks the encounter and union with another being; feeling toward another person that we are naturally attracted to and that, offering reciprocity in the desire of union, it completes us, it makes us happy and gives energy to cohabit, to communicate and create as well as feeling of affection, inclination and commitment to someone or something. Aren’t they alike?
I’ll go to bed now and as today I have thought a lot, I will stop in a few moments: I will watch Richard Gere and Julia Robert in Pretty Woman, (a melodrama, a fantasy, an entertainment…) I will fall asleep like that, maybe I’ll get to the scene where she sits on the border of the balcony, while he doesn't because he is afraid of heights.
The film reproduced in fiction what some time ago happened to a person I respect a lot, I laughed and he never knew what of. Forgive me Rolando, I know you are convalescent and you will criticize me for falling asleep watching that movie and not with one of the good ones you run on your TV show The Seventh Door, but… man, today is not Friday, you know that many times I record them and watch them next day! Today I need not to think anymore, just watch the movie until I fall asleep. Ah, happiness for those who love, in any of the possible ways!!!! And let’s do it every day.
Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff