Well, mi gran pais has won the World Cup. You know, under different circumstances I would have been screaming at the television, crying tears of happiness over such a triumph, I should be proud. Happy occasions, shrouded with darkness, un sabor unica yet unbearable sits in my mouth from this victory. Argentina doesn’t deserve its pride, even the Yankee gringos say so with their talk of human rights and their cameramen. With all that influence, rather than snapping photos for their papers you’d think they would be able to help us take actions and find los desaperecidos and punish the military bastards that run my country. Many of my students were still thrilled over our soccer match, and I am glad for the win if for nothing else that it gave them a chance to party as I used to when I was a student, rather than mourn the loss of their peers and girlfriends. I was glad to see many of them smiling and cracking jokes for the first time in awhile walking around town….and the girls sporting Argentinian jerseys clinging to the arms of the boys that remain. They looked almost normal and had it not been for the black circles from sleepless nights and anxiety giving it away I could almost pretend that everything was beautiful and right.
You know the other day my neighbors told my wife that while we were in church, the goons stormed our house looking for me. Well the evidence was there, when we arrived home all of my books were on the floor burnt to a crisp. These fools had the cojones to burn los libros de mis niños, leaving them in a pile en la sala. Well, then pobrecita Rosa spent the whole night making up a story for Carmen about how it was she who burned her books, so as to calm her fears. How can you tell a 12 year old girl that a real life monster has visited her room hmm? Of course I want to teach her of the true history of her country but she’s my baby, my little girl, how can we maintain her innocence in such a vile world? This truly breaks my heart, thinking of her. Surely they will be back, and I will be prepared. Rosa is inconsolable and tomorrow she will take the children to her mother’s. These days half the time she kisses me with the ardor of a teenager and the other half of the time she wont speak to me, but it’s only because she is afraid for me. For each silent treatment I shower her more with cariño and reassure her but the truth is, I’m not sure what will become of me or anyone anymore.
Raul has disappeared, his bookstore closed. Mi sobrina, Laura, 16 of my students, gone. I’ve seen once last week, a woman being yanked by the hair off of my bus. I am a man of action. But this madness makes me weak as a timid woman and I said nothing. She was pulled into a car and they drove off. I cannot speak of Raul and Laura now, soon I have to face my children and each time I try to imagine where my friends must be, reconcile the stories I’ve heard with the reality of the missing, I begin to unwind. Later I will write of them so as to not forget their faces, their stories. Rest assured I’m searching to the ends of the earth for them. So for now, I will say adios, buenas noches.