The origin of fear
That’s me at the origin of time, clutching the railing of the cradle.
The closed night is dark like the inside of a hat.
I reduce myself to one word: mom.
Mom, I’m cold, mom, I’m hungry, mom, I’m sleepy, mom, I’m awake.
She is far away, her voice is distant.
I try to go to her, but a white tulle covers me.
Mom does not respond. Mom does not come.
That’s mom crying.
Seeing her I contemplate the eclipse of the sun mid-morning.
I watch the murderous wave that rises over her shadow.
Her cry stops me like a yawn does the dream.
She cries inconsolably in front of the television.
I pursue the circumstance of her sadness in my memory, until a strange notion of light filters in as a promise without end.
I sit next to her. I look at the screen.
I recognize the white suits with black stripes crossing them.
The raised fist that shouts slogans.
A familiar face on that guilty number.
That’s mom, again in front of the TV, with her notebook and pen in hand.
Mom looks. She listens, engrossed.
“May God help us,” says a bald man with a mustache before leaving the screen. The blank page. “El Chino lied to us,” I hear her say.
The flag of Peru remains.
That’s mom being pointed at with a revolver to her head. Inciting the man to shoot.
Arguing that stripping her of what little she has is worse than killing her.
That’s me crying, shaking my head, screaming no!
Her eyes flash with rage and impotence.
I do not understand her.
My interior transforms the bravery into selfishness and in secret I accuse her of treason.
Shouts are heard in the street. The man pushes mom, he takes the dollars and the grandmothers’ jewelry.
I want to hug mom, I want to squeeze against her body, I want to merge with her.
Outside two shots are heard. Mom goes running.
I ask mom not to die, but she does not listen to me.
That’s mom sitting on the bed, devoid of light, of strength, of desire. Empty.
She does not feel like waking up, or getting up, or working, or opening a book, or watching the screen, or eating.
She has spent all her tears.
She wants answers that I do not have.
She calls me urgently, with haste.
I don’t listen.
She wants to hug me.
I don’t go.
She does not want to be a mom.
Neither do I.