June 14th, 1982, Argentina surrenders to the UK
Since I was 19, I’ve I felt so deeply alone. I remember Hannah Arendt, and her words, not so long ago, they brought me to my feet. Even heading into University, I felt this great hope, this everlasting fire inside of me that somehow drove me to keep working, to keep studying and feeling that things would be okay. I’ve been this subtle outsider watching everything since the beginning, since 1976, when my high school teacher was taken. I’ve seen three people gone. Diaz was the last, Professor Diaz, his disappearance, that was the one that drove me insane.
I moved from Las Heras into the city 4 months ago. Last time you and I talked, Papa still found solace in the church. It still continued, so much so that I just had to leave. It’s truly devastating to see your parents fall from their pedestals. When you see this man, the epitome of masculinity, purposely blind himself to avoid the obvious, what can you do, as the child? I grew up I suppose. That’s what happens. I started to soak up what José Reyes was ignoring. I soaked up all the bitterness, so now, I have the bitterness of two. I’m working at two restaurants to save money. I’m living with two flatmates, Mona and Sofia. We spend our evenings smoking cigarettes and reading about Che. Daring are we? Maybe. Sofia went to UBA, and her two best friends are desaparecidos. They ran a secret group that focused on goals similar to Les Montoneros, and obviously socialism is subversion. Almost two years ago they were taken. In my flat I have to admit that it’s hard to keep optimistic.
BUT…I feel the occasional happiness. I’m in love, I think!? When I moved into the city back in March, I was taking an evening stroll around San Telmo, getting used to my surroundings. Admiring the shops, observing closed businesses, I could see the results of the recession, and yet I felt this new hop in my step. Studying history couldn’t get me a job for shit but it definitely made my move into the city more enjoyable. Understanding the history of my new streets, the transitions and movements of cultures over time, made San Telmo much richer for me than others. Anyway, in admiring the cobblestones on my walk, I slammed right into a guy. I knocked him fully on his back, he dropped all of his groceries, his glasses flew off, ugh it was so classic of me. I scrambled to help him, but he stayed seated, watching me as I gathered all of his things…why was he staring at me? I had no idea.
Gustavo, his name was Gustavo, and he wasn’t that handsome, he wasn’t that smart, but alas there he was…Ever since our first week together we’ve melded into one. My stories have become his, his have become mine. That’s what happens I guess. Here is this somewhat uninteresting guy, 28 years old, an engineer like all the others in this city. Yes despite his not-so-intriguing qualities, the familiarity of our bodies keep us entrenched in one another’s emotions. I swear our codependence is wildly unhealthy, but the danger in becoming close to individuals has in a way made it more appealing. What if he is taken from me like Diaz, Selma and Senor Baez were taken? What if…
While I watch the city ofB.A trudge forward each day, I sense an overall staleness, an immutable boredom almost, created by the culture of fear. And of course, this morning, Gustavo and I heard the news on the radio….we lost the war. OF COURSE we lost the fucking war!! Is this a joke? Galtieri, Videla, the Junta, they have been so disorganized in their methodologies. Look around us, nothing is working. We as a country are failing to function, failing to even exist as a force of power and the Falklands prove it. Forcing people to speak Spanish in schools where people mostly speak English? Driving on the right side of the road instead of on the left? It’s just embarrassing at this point. Honestly I feel almost hopeful for the first time that change is gonna come, because Galtieri was really grasping for straws with this one.
Even with this new hope, the subtle sensation of change…I still keep to myself. It’s as if I float through every day life, interacting with those closest to me about “real” things, but I am actually separated from everyone by a translucent layer of impenetrable mesh, the mesh that keeps me from accepting my situation, from allowing happiness.
This is because I’ve never shared by biggest secret.