18 Septiembre 1973

I can tell there are things my mother is keeping from me, thinking I am too young to be able to cope with the truth, but I can hear her talking to our neighbors once she’s tucked me and my brother in and know there are big things going on. I go to school just like I always do. 8th grade is easy, I like the chapter books, but everyone seems tense since the 11th.

Here’s what I know. Dad went to Santiago on the 7th to stay with my aunt, uncle and cousins there and do whatever business things he does for the store. That’s pretty normal, he’ll go stay with them and sometimes bring us along for a week or two, but since this stuff has happened with president Allende, we haven’t heard from him. On the radio (I listen through the door of the living room when I’m supposed to be asleep) they call it a coo (coop? koo? I don’t really know what it is). But apparently, since this coo, Allende is no longer our president. Mom closed the store for a few days and I’ve noticed boxes of books disappearing from the shelves. I guess whatever’s happening has to do with some of our books even though we’re miles from the center of the conflict.

I worry for my dad. I want to know what he’s doing and why he can’t talk to us. Mom tells me it will be fine, he’s just doing things with the family and he’ll be back, but I see something in the creases of her smile that makes me think of the very many situations in which he could not be fine. It almost reminds me of Dad’s stories of his life before Chile in Germany. He’s never told me much, but I know it was bad enough for him to move across the world because of World War II. I just want my mother to tell me what’s going on so I can stop dreading the possibilities.

1 thought on “18 Septiembre 1973

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hi, Alita. I’m sure your papí will be fine. We haven’t been out much since the golpe on the 11th, so I can’t report much, and our school is now closed for the fiestas patrias, so I can’t even say what’s going on there. Are your schools open? What’s it like way down there? Do they even know what is happening here?

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