Home > Laritza Diversent - Translated from the Spanish > Frustration and Pipe Dreams

Frustration and Pipe Dreams

While waiting for public transport to take me to my house, I look at the faces of the passersby. Wondering what would be in the minds of each of them, in passing I reflect on the reality of my life.

A little while before, I was shocked by a man of about 50 or 60 years old, dirty and disheveled. He walked with a stagger with a little soft drink bottle in the back pocket of his trousers. The yellowish liquid in the container revealed that it was rotgut alcohol. Would could have brought him to that point?

He saw that he was observed and walked slowly. His thick tongue prevented me from understanding the gibberish he spoke. My salivary glands reacted to his breath and the stench of farm animals that he gave off. I nodded and walked away. I kept looking sideways, to not attract his attention.

In an instant he emptied the sidewalk, full of people who had been waiting 25 minutes for the P-8 (public transport bus) in front of the capitol. He spoke of his exploits in Angola, at the same time articulating phrases in Portuguese. Meanwhile, I was curious to know the depression that made him take refuge in alcohol.

Perhaps because of regret for having taken the wrong road, I speculated in my thoughts. He could not recover from the mistakes he had made. In a chain of ideas, I ended up thinking about my son and of the moment he confessed to me that he wanted to be an athlete in order to travel abroad. Why does the new generation dream of leaving the country? Would it be desire or the instinct to live in freedom?

I thought: Would that be the right way to realize a dream? For me it is not. Not after watching my neighbor, one of the mulattas favoured by tourists, end up in a correctional facility for having the same illusion.

Dreams are not always realizable possibilities, I concluded. Then I sighed, he is still a child. At 10, he lacks the experience to decide his future. The P-8 was about 10 more minutes late, long enough to see the homeless man, who had not stopped shaking, walk away after feeling rejected.

During this period of time, doubts assailed me. How can I prevent my child, when he grows up, taking refuge in alcohol to escape his frustrations? What do I do when he understands that speaking of the future in this country is to refer to pipe dreams?

Laritza Diversent

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