Epoca de Miedo

Hola amigo, I suppose much time has passed since I last wrote you. Well I have managed so far to escape capture, but not without sacrifice. I’ve quit my job at the university after 15 years. I feel awful leaving my students at such an important and vulnerable time but I kept spotting suspicious vehicles near my work and El jefe, Prof. Leonardo, said that if I didn’t quit for my own safety he would fire me. Pobre Leo now has been detained himself. I continue to live alone in an apartment sin mi familia to ensure their safety, desde un mes ahora, I have lived without them. Extraño the voice of my little girl, the boys sneaking out of la casa to escape to the Tango Clubs, y mi Guapa Rosa making magic en la cocina…me muero thinking of her cooking. But, as much as she begs, I cannot let her and the kids  come home, it is still too unsafe.

Obviously, I am lucky to be alive, lucky to be still living in the city, but I can’t help but feel the worst pressing guilt. My colleagues, friends, are God knows where, fighting for their lives and their values. And here I stay cowering en la casa, relinquishing my political affiliations and for what?  For me, it is almost better to be tortured than imagine the torture of your comrades, and live your life fearful, these times transform me into a coward. Of course I can’t speak of this with anyone, not even my once most radical former students, everyone is afraid and these conversations are socially forbidden. Ese mundo de shit. I long to lose myself in conversation with Raul between the stacks of his molding Marxist books over un cafe con leche. What could those bastards want with a feeble old man?

To make maters worse, Mama has been sick for some time so I have had to spend a lot of time with her. I am convinced half of her sickness comes from worrying about me and the other half from trying to please the hijo de puta. Por dios… she is so disillusioned about the happenings of our country, her head filled with all of father’s politics about the good of El Proceso. I try very hard not to lose my patience with her, she is solamente una viejita, so I do my best not to upset her and focus on the photo albums and her grandchildren during my visits. My father on the other hand, has been gone frequently lately, mentally and physically. When he is home he stares into space and wont address neither me nor mama. The other day, he spilled his sopa con papas all over his lap, it seems mighty man is beginning to crack, thank God at least that shows evidence of some humanity behind his stoic exterior. But if father is suffering I can only imagine the horrors and sufrimiento of those dissappeared.

I must go now, I wait anxiously and hopefully for the release of my friends and an end to this perpetual fear that has taken over my life, hasta luego.



2 thoughts on “Epoca de Miedo

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hola, Rey. How awful it must be to live without your family, but you’ve probably taken the right course. You don’t want to put them in danger. And leaving the university after all that time? I’m still struggling on, but I never feel I can say much in class; maybe it’s better to take your way out and resign. But what are you doing with your time? How are you making ends meet? Do you get to see Rosa and the kids?

    1. Esteban Rodrigo says:

      Hola Steve!
      It is terrible to live without my family and I can only see them about once a month. We are working up to once a week but first we want to settle into our new arrangement and make sure nobody else from La Universidad is arrested. It is honorable that you continue on in your line of work, if it weren’t for mi esposa I too would like to think I might have the cojones to teach and protect my students. I have not yet found work but I am looking into various architectural jobs, in this economy I’m hard pressed to find projects on the one hand, on the other El Proceso does love its beautification projects so there is hope yet, if that is what we can call it-carne in my children’s stomach is what I will call it so that I can live with myself. In the meantime, I must admit I’m driving myself crazy. Rosa made me throw out my books so I no longer have even that most basic comfort. I’ve been tutoring individual students for extra cash in private and trying my hardest to look at this like a twisted vacation, Rosa says I haven’t taken time off in years and urges me to rest-but we both know that’s impossible during such an important time.Thanks always for your concern comrade! I hope things are going alright with you. Are there still many students in your classrooms?

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