Papa…April 17, 1980

Two years since you and I last spoke. Last time you and I were together I was so tall. I was big then, really big. I fought through pain of silence, seeking to put action into my feelings of entrapment. A force to be reckoned with at 19 years of age. Crazy how even when you’re not imprisoned, you still can feel that way. What I realized from my fruitless hunting attempts …and the later disappearances of Professor Diaz…was that no one else was on my side. No one I could find anyway.

I’ve shrunk now, my bones collapse into one another, my ribs fold over one another, my shoulders hunch, my neck bent. But I should feel privileged to have lost so few. It’s due to my Catholic family I’m sure.

José Vasquez, my father. What a good man. He works hard for me and my mother. He came from Spain as a young boy with his father, with God by his side hoping for the best. Almost 40 years ago. to this day. April 17th, 1980.

He struggled hard as he entered the workforce. His father was a doctor in Catalonia, he was used to nice things as a young boy, but as soon as he came to Buenos Aires, things were different. His father had some farm land that produced soy and wheat, and it was expected that my father would take it over once my grandfather passed. By the time he was 25, Argentina had no export power except for in our meat. His father had to sell everything, and they moved further out of Buenos Aires to General Las Heras to a little plot of land. My father went to work at a slaughterhouse, but being the smart catholic he is, he worked his way up to manager by the time I was born.

We’ve been lucky to be so stable in our quaint house…but people around us are suffering. Inflation is getting so bad that it’s getting harder and harder to buy simple necessities. A couple of weeks ago, the Banco de Intercambio Regional failed, leaving families devastated. A loaf of bread now is now three times the price as it was 4 years ago. Father thinks God is the answer. He has been praying more and more, making sure mother and I go to church every week. I don’t really understand how his faith in the church has grown over the past couple of years.

I know they are on the bad side. How can he not see that? I have this sick feeling every time i step into the confessional…the priest won’t keep my secrets. No one will. I see my father giving his pride and soul to God every week…he thinks this makes him stronger but to me he is weak. I can’t imagine seeing my strong, self made father this way but he is just turning a blind eye to the obvious, and hoping faith will save us? God it’s sickening. It’s been four years, we can’t hide from this shit any more. Papa, despertarse, te lo SUPLICO.

1 thought on “Papa…April 17, 1980

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hola, Inés. It’s been such a long time. Thank you for what you write about your father. Are you being too hard on him? I think that all of us are looking for algo, something to believe in. Yes, I’ve heard all the terrible things about the Church, but it’s hard to know where to turn. Si no creemos ni en Díos, ni en el hombre, what is left?

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