From the sky
Look at them. They’re staring at the flowers without noticing their colors, so grief-stricken that not even an insect flying out of the pollen could make them look away. They will be wondering why I’ve done it, they will regret me all their life, shaking their head to unveil some kind of disapproval. And to whoever will look at them with compassion, they will show they are feeling sympathetic.
But it isn’t so.
My poor, old parents, as old as my daddy’s beard and my mum’s deep wrinkles.
There she is, my mother, bursting out in a liberating cry, a mixture of anger for not being able to stop me and bitterness for not understanding me.
Go ahead mum, go on crying, your eyes will become brighter for a moment, just for the time needed to bury me, and then, once back home, they will turn opaque again.
Just like when you waited up for me at night, and I didn’t get back home by the time you wished.
With your bleached pajamas and your rough hair, flattened by the pillow lying on the sofa, you never asked me where and why I had been out so late, but you must have imagined it.
My old man… no, he isn’t crying, just grinding what is left of his teeth, his trembling lower jaw betraying him. Yet, he is standing petrified, as he’s been taught: ‘because boys don’t cry.
There aren’t many people present, relatives seem to have vanished for the shame of being family.
Just a few acquaintances, who have probably come out of curiosity to look into the end of a terrible destiny.. and then there is him, the parish priest…he has never understood anything, but he is saying he remembers me well. It is true, I used to hang out at the local church community centre, and, already then, I just couldn’t stand the word “forgiveness”; why ever should I have understood and accepted a kick at my shin or some older bully’s offense? Why ever should I have confessed to him my human desire for justice if he would then make me say my prayers just to have my soul saved again?
Maybe it all started right then. After all, adolescence is just the projection of what we will become when we grow old without the help of a solid guidance. And so, my dear folks who are still looking at those flowers wondering why I am here, I can’t but blame you for not being that guidance. You are right, I did deviate, I give you that, but, even now, I do not regret it.
The word “freedom” is just being overused, often yearned for and praised by those who don’t know how to achieve it. But for those like us who really longed for it, that word changed form, lost its conventional meaning and finally became an imperative.
You used to tell me: “ Stop hanging out with those troublemakers, you will end up risking your skin! What do you think? Do you really think you can change the world? Nothing changes, that’s life, live with it!”
“Live with it? With what? Should I actually give in to a life like yours? A life of losses and crawling, lived just to comply with a set of commonplace beliefs stereotypes that are only making you duller and duller?”
The more you tried to push me towards the life of respectability and common sense all parents wish for for their own children, the more I felt a fire flaring up inside of me each time I experienced episodes of injustice, nepotism and compromises. A beast within, an ardor like the passion of love, which caused me to just go out there and destroy the icons of that society, all those years repeating the same old story, a story of winning swindlers and spineless wretches.
Listening to the parish priest now…he’s doing his best to describe me as a soul that lost its way! And I wonder… which one? For sure, the Creator would not commit any oppression, wicked action, psychological violence or deception. He will understand me, in a while, when I show up to him wounded by a bomb I didn’t expect to find on my way to revolution. He knows I fought to achieve a balance of positions, always trying to respect the lives of those who were against me. While the other one, no, the other one doesn’t act this way; stuck in his arrogance, he holds the power and does not admit it, he stays within the rupture zone, convinced of being on the right side. We are the ones to blame, the revolutionaries, and we are bound to die in the worst way.
This is how they made us die, without even wondering whether it was the right thing to do… obeying to orders coming from superiors, not feeling any pity, not thinking for a second that a struggle where ten people fight against a thousand is just not fair. They didn’t want to deal with us: our hearts were filled with hope for a possible change, while they only wanted to exterminate us.
So I’ll ask the Creator for one more chance: I want to give it another try. I want to go back fighting, again; because even now that I know what it feels like to die in a bomb attack, I want to believe in life again and fight for the right cause, hoping that a society based on sharing and caring, transparency and fairness may be reality one day.
I will also ask God to be born again from my parents, the same parents who are now looking at my coffin covered with flowers, wondering where they went wrong.
I will try to explain to them that accepting all the injustice in the world passively is not living at all… I wonder if they will understand me after all and become less dull. I wonder if my father will be proud of me then, if he will stop holding his back so straight and look right into the priest’s eyes, if he will stand by me and protect me if I get beaten up by a bully instead of telling me to give in. And I wonder if he will finally teach me that forgiveness is not merely a means used by the weak to favor the strong.
I wonder if my mother will stop waiting up for me so late at night and will learn to sleep peacefully instead, because she knows that at last there’s a better world out there, probably forgetting that I did my bit to make this life better… right when I blew up.