Ohhhh I’m in LOVE!! Argentina, B.A, my Beautiful Cuidad, Futbol has reunited me with you and MARIO KEMPES. Muerda es LINDO. My mom says it’s sick to have such a crazy crush right now. Maybe it is kind of fucked, but so is everything around me. I get to be 19 years old, don’t I???
Recently, I’ve been torn between the pursuit of my youth and innocence versus the pursuit of politics. Every once in a while whimsical distractions will come along, like Mario, and sometimes I’ll engage with them, and other times I don’t. I’m not really sure how else to survive unless I indulge in simple joys. Revolutionary thinking is exhausting, and to be honest, I’m wishy-washy in pursuing it. Señor Baez, now gone almost three years, taught me the importance of indulging in ourselves just weeks before he was taken to La Perla. “Time like these force us to lead lives of distrust, silence and fear,” he said. “The only way we can fight back is to trust our brains, our hearts and our bodies.” So, Mario, you are MINE for right now, and I’ll choose to find you sexi and kiss your poster until it’s time to get back to reality.
I can live in this little bubble, I am able to get by right now. After I graduated from high school, I took one year off to help Mama at her farmstand in Belgrano, but now I’m enrolled at the University of the Saviour in the city. I’m studying history. It’s not really history, but rather a manipulation of our past and present into a mold of what La Procesa wants to teach us–the glorification of the west and Christian values. Everyday I sit in class, and it is obvious that even the teachers understand the paradoxical curriculum. Preaching faith, retelling the histories and narratives of my country with a colonialist perspective, while Videla captures the students around us.
On Thursday, the day before the final futbol match, an insane thing happened in one of my classes….I was in my religion class, which has about 50 other students in it. People in my class were buzzing with excitement about the match on Friday, speaking loudly about the celebrations and fiestas surrounding their afternoons. After ten minutes, we all realized that our professor wasn’t in class yet.
My religion professor, Professor Diaz, is in his late thirties, U.S educated, pretty militantly Christian. He is one of the more conservative professors in my school, you can tell even by his shoes, their consistent shine, and the sound they make on the hardwood floor as he paces in front of the chalkboard. He is never late. After 20 minutes, the topic of conversation shifts to his absence, and finally he enters the room, pallid, his shiny shoes covered in mud and his hands visibly trembling, still with his hat on. All the students are silent, and he slowly lifts up his head to reveal a puffy face, and eyes red from obvious crying.
“Hello all, I’m sorry for my tardiness, I had a lunch meeting that ran over. Lets begin.”
I couldn’t help but stand up and ask if everything was alright.
“Ms. Reyes, please sit down, class is beginning.” And on he went with a traditional lesson on the New Testament.
I approached him when class was over.
“Professor, I hope you everything is alright, you seemed quite a mess when you came in.”
“Ms. Reyes, it is best that you keep to yourself in these cases. I am a good catholic, a good Argentine, a follower, not a fighter. But these things mean nothing to them if you are exposed to the wrong people, if your past is not in line. Do not reach out, do not talk, do not ask questions. Ignorance keeps you safe.”
He had regained his composure. Eyes wide with fear and anger replaced the paranoid trembling I had seen in him when he entered the room. I saw a changed man in front of me, I swear.
So, at this point I guess the question is when will i join? It’s hard to resist a regime that isn’t directly hurting me. Yes my education is suffering. But, it’s free. Yes I’ve lost one person, but one is nothing in comparison to those who’ve lost their whole families. But if Professor Diaz isn’t safe, then who is?
I assume it will get harder to ignore the facts as the regime moves forward, so I better indulge in Mario’s beauty while I can.