I got an invitation to my friend’s house for a dinner. Its interior was painted white, quite simple but monotonous, which made the sole yellow warm light over the dinner table decorated the elegance of the living. The heating system was on and warming quite every air of the living. Not enough to start sweating but enough to not feel cold wind sneaking through window. Sebastian just finished cooking. The zucchini perfumed its death on air, lettuce did well its role of coffin. Salad, pasta, and baguette were a good combination for us to pray the death over the table. We, just as any other solid modern people, were about to celebrate the rites that repeat over every sunset. As we all know, bloody wine is a necessity to disclose and close up the mass.
When I stepped in the living, three were already sitting. I took out the wine I brought on table. I recognized the gratitude of Sebastian and Melissa, the couple I deeply love. There was another girl, Amber, showing her timid smile uncontrolled. We saluted one another, a bit of hug exchanged, then I sat on the chair. Spotify was playing drum with a dreamy melody. I didn’t feel familiar to the song, but the voice was somewhat sad and touchy, letting me know that the hearted pieces reflected well with the after sunset navy sky.
– Any is my disrespect not taking off the hat. I would love to show that we share the same roof, just as every congressman does in the House or as every believer in the church, but I’m afraid that my unorganized hair look would be offending one’s sight where merges my consideration to ask you a favor to give me the permission to keep my hat be put.
– We haven’t brought such attention on it, so please don’t mind, you are not offending anyone here. On the contrary, your company joys us. And thank you for having brought the wine to the table.
– For you, a thousand times over (Everybody giggled. all know that this phrase is cited from the book ‘the kite runner’). Thank you for the invitation. Before I came up to this apartment, I had chance to have a short conversation with Ma’am Lilly (she lives in the first floor of this building) and every visit I make here our encounter pleases me. Such a pity that her eyes hunt to distinguish the good and the bad. Every time I feel exposed front of her gazed eyes. Maybe she still doubts that I might bring some awfulnesses to this building. But for the meaningless efforts she put her life over, I saw her aura has become blurry. Her time is up to the end soon and even her dog feels it too. Over two thousand years the logo has taught us that when we start to believe falsely that we can distinguish the good from the evil, we would be expelled from the paradise. Such a shame that she is about to get expelled from this paradise.
– Do mind of mentioning such things close to someone’s death. But you are making a same mistake assuming that this world we live in is a paradise which can refer as the good. The main point is not to judge, and just to let things be as if it were. By the way, she is a lovely person that cares and preocupies the administration matter of this building. We rather appreciate her for doing so, than by critizing how her aura appears.
– Which only last until her end that comes shortly.
– How was your weekend trip? Do tell what has caught your eyes during the travel.
Amber interrupted me on the right moment. Otherwise I would have molested Melissa with my boring argument. I hadn’t met Amber before the dinner. So Melissa must have mentioned to her the trip I made last weekend. Being interrupted with a distintive theme didn’t bother me at all, for it was far away from the small talk we used to avoid: climate, name, study, nationality and etc. Not only such culturally biased naming doesn’t reveal one’s personality but demonstrates the grade of injected education we need to withdraw: All of us are from the same race and from the only place, the dust and the simplicity. Every moment we observe to evolve and to reach to the complexity. But small talks blind us to do so, for it is hard to find added value of information nor generates an embracive perspective in them. I appreciated her for asking about what I’ve caught during the trip.
I made a trip to the most east side of Argentina that touches the coast (Obviously as so I am one of the east siders). It took five hours for me to get to the town from the Capitol. My route merged with that of Jessy and Malu, another married couple that I deeply love, and the first day of my arrival Jessy and I ended up to the police station. This story was the only story that was put on the table in that dinner, and all others were just a variation of the sole story: how Jessy and I ended up to the police station. We opened the wine bottle, served the plates. When the food and wine meet, they talk.
Now, here comes the story:
Arriving to the bus terminal around nineteen hundred, Jessy and Malu were waiting to receive me. I gave them a big hug then we marched to the house. It was a two-story house, three blocks away from the beach, and a beautiful spiral staircase was connecting between the floors. It was a bit narrow to step up, but it gave me a sensation that I’m on a real travel to an unknown world. A pup was beautifully bothering a recently born kitten on the first floor. Since Malu needed to attend to school, Jessy and I decided to walk along the beach drinking mate. Thanks to not being here on the high peak season, the beach has remained empty but only by the cuasi full moon. Stars were visible not like in Capitol. Malu left to school, Jessy and I were walking along the beach drinking hot mate. The warmness of the beverage helped us to be brave against the coldness of a winter night.
Jessy is a certainly black skined guy, and I am a dark skined. When we sat on a banch in the plaza, it was like there were only several coloured dots on a beach-taken picture. It was a calmness that some people cannot endure without breaking silence.
– How is your life treating you being here away from where you spent your mayor life, Jessy? I imagine that you moved here for Malu to be with her, but sometimes it’s not the love but the fear that makes us move to be with the lover. It’s not about creating spaces but being afraid of losing what was filled in those spaces. Are you happy being here?
– I can’t answer. I’m satisfied, if that can satisfy your curiosity. I have a job in broad communication production, I have a home to stay and someone to stay with. Now I am enjoying this mate and the conversation that this mate sucks up from us. Certainly this town is small and distint from that of summer. You might be able to imagine this town be packed in summer with amount of visitors and travelers, enjoying the indifferent sun and the envious waves toward the sun. They stand between them when the nature is powerless before the man race. The man becomes nature and the nature humanizes. In this precise moment of winter it is impossible to experience that convert. We feel so small in front of those gigantic waves and coldness of air. We feel vulnerable and only defend us with this mate.
– Envious waves that try to reach the sun…? We human already have learned the result of that, based on the Icarus falling story of Greek mythology.
– I wouldn’t be too sure about that. The Capitol is still being built to scrape the sky. We live in the era that we never go deep down, but go up to scratch the sky and the roof that we are living under. We are the envious waves that break on the top where surfers enjoy to mount. From the beginning the sun never moved, we always moved toward sun and failed. We empathized ourselves by being in the beach to see all the history we are making.
– I thought human race already lost their capability of empathy.
– We did. Neoliberal forced us to be individualistic, and only when it effects us individually we care. Social norms of empathy had fallen. States have built the most effective surveillance method: competition between individual citizens. Now we don’t empathize but satisfy by others’ failure. At the same time private profit has become individual, letting the lost be socialized. I pay to compensate your lost but I don’t get paid for your earning. This makes all of us depressed. I’m afraid that Argentina with Macri governing this tendency would accelerate and worsen.
I talked to Jessy that I would love to walk the Main Street of the town, where locate mayor restaurants and shoppings. We cleared up the mate and stood up from the banch. There we saw two local police officers approaching us. One male and another female. They stopped us leaving the site.
– I need you two to show me your identification.
The male police officer told us with authority, with monotones and slow but clear tone.
– We haven’t done anything wrong here, just taking mate. Can I ask of what reason we are being held here? Jessy spoke back.
– We got a report that the local cameras have captured two suspicious men. So we need your identification.
I recalled that none of those officers’ uniform indicated their surname. It was just a blue printed uniform, which means they are local police. I was informd before, without certainty, that local police doesn’t have rights to impose the law but just to arrange the order. I wasn’t sure how is the law in Argentina but many cases I experienced that civilians also have rights to refuse to show their identification when the police officer is not being mutual (which is an abuse of authority) or the purpose is not certain (we are not living in dictatorship). Even they refuesed to show us their identification.
– So you think we are being unjust?
Then those two police officers called back up. In few minutes, two more police officers arrived. They were in black uniform with means they are municipal level, not a local. Neither of them had their name tag put on the uniform. They also refused to show us their identification or police registration, but kept asking us our identification.
– So you think we are unjust?
They called two more officers. One was tall, just like Jessy. He shook my hand strongly and presented his name Lopez. We were asked whether we think they are unjust to them or not. Two girls arrived who were near us taking mate in the beach. The police told them that can be witnesses for whole this event. One of the girl asked them, who presented us later as Elisa
– But what is the reason that all of you are holding these two lad here? They were just drinking mate here just like us. But they get to be questioned and to be suspious because they are a black and an Asian, and we are not, because of being women?
The police told the two girls that they don’t serve as witnesses anymore.
Jessy was on the phone with Malu. We didn’t think Malu would receive the phone call since it was time that she would be in class. Jessy kept calling her and finally she attended. Jessy explained her that the police wants to take us to the police station. By the time we already surrandered us and gave them our identification. It was totally eight officers and two of us with two more witnesses. The first female officer that approached us came back with our identification, but they didn’t want us go. The officer who presented himself Lopez said,
– Why are you such nervious? Are you hiding something? I want to see your backpack.
It was Jessy who had a backpack. Jessy asked first the identification of Lopez. He told him his name is Flores, officer Flores. That moment I confused, since I thought his name was Lopez all along. Maybe Flores could be his surname, I thought. Jessy told him about his right of personal property so Flores wouldn’t touch his bag, rather it should be Jessy showing off his bag. Jessy took all articles out of the backpack (a notepad, three pens, a tumbler for hot water, a mate straw, a mate bowl and a case that contained mate herb). He even turned the bag inside out to show them he didn’t have anything more. The faces of police still demonstrated the distrust, just like the faces of the people in the magic show, feeling like they were cheated or something. They might want to see a bag of marihuana but that didn’t occur. Jessy was no magician, and none of us was on the mood to do such practice. Jessy was on the phone still talking and explaining to Malu what was happening, until Flores interrupted,
– I want you to turn off the phone.
– I am just informing my wife that you police officers want to take me to the police station even after I handed in my identification and showed off my backpack.
The police officers got violent. The mobile flied off, and I witnessed Jessy was thrown to ground. They handcuffed him and took him to the vehicle. There were three officers left around me, asking me to pick all the belonging. I did what I was told, then I was moved on another vehicle to police station.
– So the human empathy has fallen. Do we have any hope for further generation? For further evolution?
Amber Interrupted. I tried not to be skeptical. At last Flores falsificated his name, which Jessy and I discovered at the police station. Malu arrived with her lawyer friends and an uncle who is a news reporter of local television. This helped a lot to calm down the situation and after five hours we were released from the police station. At the return to the beautiful two-story house of them, we cooked for late dinner. It was almost midnight. Malu said,
– The best part of this day was to meet Elisa, one of the witnesses tha police refuesed to take as a witness. She walked all along to the police station to defend you two. She worried that you two wouldn’t have any acquaintance here in this town. This town where the violence is deeply embedded as a power game. It was such a fortune that she is not from this town, she is from Mendoza. If she were from here, she would have ended to become a perfect witness for the police against us.
I replied to Amber finishing my last wine;
– I met a girl named Elisa. She works in the Ministry of Education and Culture in Mendoza, as she told us, and is about to publish a report about education. Such hope lays on her publication, on such work done by authentic people of value. I haven’t read the publication, nor have her contact. But it still affects us, in the future or in this precise moment.
– Sure, my friend. This wine is also from Mendoza and thanks to this and your story with Mendocian girl we are having a great dinner talk here.
Sebastian added and we all laughed.