FOR REASONS BEYOND CONTROL -third installment of 1833 words
a small patio, where clothes were hung to dry after being washed and scrubbed on a stone tank that was filled with water and through an opening on the side water taken out to rinse. And past this a large room that was built perhaps with a business in mind, however, such plans never coming to fruition, as it is common at this place where big plans are devised, however, just as many excuses arise as to why they can’t be carried through.
It was a great accomplishment when floor boarding was laid and covered the bare earth that until then been part of the rustic décor...There were two entrances to the house, one next to the living room and the second where that large room stood. The main entrance though lead unto a square, one of many, around which houses were built. Kids went out to play on these squares flanked by rundown homes, decrepit abodes made out of brick and mortar, and this insignificant detail give these pitiful inhabitants the ability or pride to look down upon those who can’t not even afford that. These different color abodes aren’t uniformed due to some aesthetic principle of desire for originality, these shades depend on the circumstances under which said tint was procured, perhaps stolen, recovered from some trash, or just found at a discounted prize. These dilapidated dwellings vary in size as well, and alleyways separate one house from another and these strategically built walkways were a source of amusement for kids throughout the neighborhood. It was rare when permission was given to play with other kids however, because mother felt they were a bad influence since some of them were related to neighborhood junkies and other unsavory characters and she loved preaching that her household was better than everyone else’s. But at the same time, she often engaged with other women throughout in gossip and nonsensical chatter, who in turn were the mothers of those unsavory characters listening and pretending empathy towards their hardship of kids who would not listen to their parents and rather than be respectful and hardworking men, instead decided on a life of crime or drug use, or both…often wondered in contempt if insanity was settling in, or those around suffered from amnesia, because the contradictions abounded. The men worked those simple jobs and one paycheck at a time fended impending doom in the form of homelessness, electric being shot down, or groceries not being purchased. That is not to say that every night after dinner, these same individuals don’t have enough money to visit the tienda -convenient store-; for drinks. And while there tell all sorts of nasty jokes and with their eyes undress any woman venturing into the establishment. But most of all bad mouth the women they had the misfortune of marrying, have kids, and now just nags, complains, and never gives the only thing that matters to these creatures after alcohol and soccer; sex. And yes, in that order in case there is any doubt of priorities…
Most houses in that dreadful neighborhood are one level, and only a few are two stories, some have iron wrought fences and doorways, others just dilapidated wooden doors rotting due to the elements. A block away from the house stands a large open field part of which is used as park, recreation area for a school, the largest part for soccer playing this being essential for their survival apparently because these men would rather go hungry than miss a professional game, or not indulge it rudimentary so in that open field. Next to it, a chapel where every Sunday parishioners file in like ants, to listen to a man dressed in funny clothes who explains a passage written in some book by some people who had nothing to look forward to while alive, so figured “hey how about we go somewhere better after we die?”. These same people who bow before an image carved in ceramic and painted always seem angry and are critical of everyone, mostly if this involves change, -oh they praise modification just as long as it remains a theory-, because in truth anything other than the status quo is dreadful. And beyond that chapel a man-made river where trash is dumped and a hide out for neighborhood druggies to indulge their vice. One time a naked baby was found dead at the bottom of this trash and rat-infested water. The streets are littered with garbage, the people’s expressions are full of anger and despondent.
Years later would be told that that dark stare had a way of challenging people just by looking at them, that the stare alone seemed to question everything and would make the other bring up a wall of uncertainty. Insecurity is always on the defense, furthermore, everything should be challenged and questioned, something that is troubling are words said by adults to children that in the end are a deceit, a lie, in order to avoid thinking too much. Instead of just saying, “I don’t know”, they preach what they were told as if law, and refused to go deep into the unknown for fear that it might kill them. It was sad to look at those kids with no imagination, who would grow up to be like their parents, beating their own kids, to curve their ways, because that is how they were raised themselves, those beautiful girls who would marry some fool who would come home drunk and yell at everyone and who knows do what other horrible things. To pity them, meant caring instead despised them, and would fight against becoming like them at all cost…But again, why question everything? What if that was everything, those wealthy ones were born that way and stayed that way, and others born out of misery would remain as such, felt tears of anger, frustration, no, it would not be…
However self-deceit is so evident, it is sickening, these people’s philosophy, or so it seems to be, “if you tell yourself the lie often enough it becomes true” They proclaim to believe in a higher power and religion is the basis for their existence, prostitutes don’t service clients on Good Friday for fear that the Virgin Mary might take offense, murderers cross themselves upon murdering someone, or ask forgiveness upon taking someone’s life; morbidly sick and mocking the importance of the existence just taken.
“Who gives a damn about that crap”, several were heard as animal right activists protested the horrific slaughtering of animals for public consumption “we all need to eat what are those beasts for then”? The inhumanity is latent and contradictory throughout, the ignorance and stupidity of those hopeless individuals that were so quick at making a joke out of everything and anything, but the next second be ready to kill, criticize, point fingers, and voice hateful words towards anything different, or out of the norm. They talk of love, longingly listen to music that their elders listened to and brings back memories of lost loves and departed friends or family members.
They are dramatic, and pious, pessimistic dreamers who talk of grandeur on Sunday night with their friends, but on Monday morning go out and face a reality they despise and wish could do away with. Oh, but they will cross themselves at the site of a church, or just because it is expected and appearances must always be kept. There are dissenters of the norm, and intelligent conversation is heralded, however, not heeded.
Their reality consists of rushing out in one huge mass to face the cold mornings, they live in misery, they complain, but cross themselves in forgiveness for their ingratitude deceiving themselves in a reward that will come upon taking their last breath.
But perhaps deep in their subconscious they are aware that this is not true, because their tempers flare up at the slightest provocation.
Often heard women gossip as they shopped for the meals of the day, usually some greasy food, with a water down soup whose main ingredient was a cheap bone boiled to such an extent that once it dries it appears more like a fossil. Their whole existences are contradictions with a dose of self-condescension and much melodramatics, and at church on Sundays had to hold back laughter at hearing the contradictions and absurdities, that man at the pulpit dressed in funny clothing would preach to those, one second standing, the next kneeling, then sitting, and back at it again, like marionettes…
Reading brought on joy nowhere else existed and imagination conjured images of beautiful places, among elegant people, speaking fluently in words of intelligent love and profound thoughts. But had to consider that the mind likes to play tricks, and questioned such arrogance at believing the majority wrong, however, the more knowledge acquired the greater the certainty upon reading of others who had had similar questions and doubts…There was a precedent, others had felt that uncertainty, and yet assurance that there was more out there than met the eye…
Books were an escape and at the same time a source of endless knowledge paving a path and with each new page augmenting the desire for more. Ambition and desire for more taking the forefront relegating everything else as unimportant and pointless. But ignorance and brutality would come along in the form of that drunk bastard, state in which he was often despite claiming that there never was enough money to cover the household expenses.
“But we don’t have enough to pay the electric bill”, my mother complained one day.
“Find a way to pay it, I don’t have enough and I need a drink”, he yelled and stormed out of the house.
Only the eyebrows were raised in disbelief and head slightly shaken, but not looking up from the book, lest incur a beating, that would come later surely, but at times it is best to prolong the agony. Support and praise were never given, much less love, only words of regret, insults, and cold blooded brutal beatings and once tears stopped coming he became even more brutal and like a careful sadist, always making sure no visible marks were left, “was it planned, or instead, were the blows aimed at a larger target assuring success?” Sometimes mother would try to console by explaining that he, “the bastard” was just frustrated for not getting a raise, or whatever lame excuse she could find, and would just nod still looking at her wondering if she practiced her stupidity, or instead it came naturally…In retrospect came to realize that indeed she believed in what she said, and so despised her even more...
Eventually learned to avoid the bastard and give him spiteful looks whenever possible, the hate was mutual. The disgust towards the beast was the type of abhorrence felt towards vermin that scurries in the gutters and finds sustenance among waste. But had to plan the break, the time was not right yet, first had to get