My mother and I have never been especially close, and have drifted apart over the past few years. Although it has always just her and me, our polar opposite personalities never quite clicked. She’s worked at a nightclub in Cordoba her whole life, which I’ve never fully approved of. I’m 43 now, and she just turned 60 recently. I never wanted to be a mother after I saw how difficult it was for her. When she was young, and for most of my childhood, she was a dancer and performer at the club. She’s a beautiful woman, and singing and dancing let her experience a glamorous life, even for just a few hours a night. Of course, she no longer works as a performer, but manages the club instead. I’m impressed that she has been able to handle the finances of the club and keep it running on her own for the past 20 years or so.
However, I know that it isn’t just the local older gentlemen and their dates frequenting the club on the weekends. A group of young professors meets at the club every so often, taking advantage of the fact that a Cordoba nightclub isn’t the first place they are expected to congregate. They don’t have bad intentions, but rather just want a good place to meet up and discuss literature and foreign films. The club tends to get crowded, but I know that they stick out from the usual club patrons. I’ve explained to my mother that this could mean trouble for her down the line if her club becomes known as a good hiding place for intellectuals to meet up, but that advice has fallen on deaf ears. I know how sympathetic she is to academics, especially with me being a teacher. She is aware of how vulnerable we are and truly wants to help out, even at the expense of her own safety.
I haven’t heard from her in several days, and I’ve swung by the club and her apartment, but haven’t gotten a hold of her. I’ve called many times, but she hasn’t answered. It isn’t out of the ordinary for her to escape Cordoba with friends for a week or so, and in her younger days she would go on impromptu vacations with boyfriends all the time. But, I can’t help but be overly concerned now. She has put herself in a very risky situation with the intellectual groups hanging out at her club, and I can’t help but think that the police have taken her in for questioning. I can’t imagine that they would arrest a kind 60 year old woman, let alone throw her in a prison camp. But, with all the news headlines lately, I’m starting to fear that she’s been disappeared.
I’ve hear horror stories every day, and even my closest friend, Alicia was held in a prison because of the literature she was teaching to her students. Alicia was one of the lucky ones, as she was released after a few weeks with just a few scratches. The psychological scars will last forever, but she’s grateful to be alive. Thinking of my mother in the same situation keeps me up at night, and I know that if she is taken in, my safety is in jeopardy as well. I hope to hear from my mother soon, but until then, I can’t help but worry constantly.