Nothing could have prepared me for this. While growing up, during one of the many cool summer nights when I would just lie and imagine what my life would be like, I never imagined that things would turn out this way. Not exactly. But I somehow knew it would be… extraordinary, for lack of a better word. And even at such a young age, it made sense that it would end up like this. You see, despite our power of reasoning, the subconscious is our most powerful tool. I am not going to pretend I understand how the mind and the world beyond the living are connected, let alone explain it, but I always sensed that some things are simply beyond our power of understanding, and the more open you are about it, the more likely you are to glimpse just a bit.
I did manage to have something of a normal life in my adult years, while I was trying to make do in this world like anybody else, with real problems, real issues and concerns. Little did I know that my past experiences would come back in a most strange manner, and would take away my daughter’s bright future, and her sanity.
I wish I had been less selfish; and I regret thinking my life would carry on normally. We can choose to ignore certain things, but eventually, they will find their way back, demanding to be heard and demanding much more, if you, like me, try to hide them.
Every day I visit her at the center. This “Well-being Center” as it is called, in a feeble attempt to avoid the stigma. Nonetheless, it is what it is, and I need to take my responsibility for what happened.
Slowly I drink the cup of tea the nurse offered me, while I wait for her. It is a nice and quiet place, and I must convince myself this is what is best for her and the rest of us.
As I observe the ducks on the pond, following one another, I start to drift off into my memories, into the past.
It was a gray city, very gray. Beggars lay in every corner, side by side with trash cans and waste, and getting the same consideration from passersby. It is an austere, damp city. Finally, the dictatorship that ruled the country and the region had been overthrown, but our country was in pieces and its inhabitants were barely surviving. Due to the blockade and imposed restrictions, food was hard to get. We would only receive a few rations, which we would trade for medicine, warm clothes and guns. We had dreamt about the end of the regime for so long that we had not considered what the aftermath would bring.
It had all started over a decade ago as an extreme measure by our then government to stop a wave of violence brought about by the worst financial crisis our country had ever seen. From one day to the next, people’s life savings were gone, entire factories and businesses went bankrupt, and banks and financial institutions shut down and were protected by private paramilitary groups. People were scared and angry. They had trusted the elected government, which filled their own pockets while watching our country collapse, and then they took off after raiding our country´s treasury and securing safe passage for themselves and their families to another authoritarian country across the globe with no extradition treaties. The same old story.
After being left in such a state of despair, we were relieved when the Principal General of the Armed Forces set out a contingency plan for 6 months in order to contain the violence and establish the terms and conditions for various loans with international funds to help us out of the crisis. How naïve, you may think. But you must understand, people were desperate to believe, were desperate enough to let someone take charge and guide us through to a democracy.
Six months went by, and, of course, it wasn’t enough to fix the deep crisis of our country, so we let them stay longer despite some democratic groups warning against it. As history is bound to repeat itself, they never left. Not voluntarily at least.
Many years of torture against political dissidents and human rights activists followed, many years of bad national investments, poverty, and a complete disruption of social support systems, which determined that the only opportunities for an entire generation of kids were drugs, crime, and accusing the opposition of spying, treason, and attempting the murder of those in government. You know, the usual.
Then, a new wave of hope came along, although not by the hand of a person, but by organized groups. Even today, no one knows for certain what happened that night or the events that led to the death of the Principal General of the Armed Forces. I am sure someone will investigate that in the future, but at the time nobody wished to put the responsible person behind bars. As horrible as it sounds, this X assassin was a hero of sorts. Well, heroine, really, but just a few know that. In this case, the patriarchy worked to my advantage; since if someone starts digging into the past to find a culprit, they would be looking for a man. If the system sucks, at least use it to your advantage. That’s how I came to be the chosen one, nobody would suspect a skinny young girl. I have to admit, though it shames me, it felt nice when the General realized that his life would soon be over.
I would not say I was proud of it, but it certainly taught me how to use the system, even if I didn’t understand that at the time.
(…to be continued…)
January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)
March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)
April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)
July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)
August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)
September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)
October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)
November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
December: I Can’t Breathe – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)
Background – Context
In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: Montevideo, Uruguay – Urban sunset – DFLC Prints (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed