Oh, words, oh, words
What a strange power you have!
– Cecília Meireles
After fifteen days of vacation, he was in crisis. “What are all my words for? Any words. Including these?”, asked the author to the empty office, to Catota and even to the strangers on the street. Never, never-ever, jamé (sic) has a newspaper article been able to make a despot change his mind. Neither does J’Accuse. How much more a chronicle! Why would it be any different now? And yet, he persevered.
It was even a matter of respect for the reader. After all, there were indignant people in the streets. People brimming with impotence and fear in the face of injustice and arrogance. People treated as scammers and undemocratic just for questioning or disagreeing. People swallowing humiliation after humiliation, sneer after sneer, sneer after – guess what! – contempt.
“Out, Alexandre de Moraes!”, he wrote. Just for fun. Just to make sure I still could. I can, right? And he kept looking at the computer screen as if waiting for a warning from Big Brother alerting him to the unforgivable sin: you are being undemocratic, you fascist! As none of that happened, however, he began to write. And it was then that the miracle began to take shape:
Here it is necessary to interrupt the natural flow of the narrative to say that the readers of that time were awestruck by the two points that hovered auspiciously in the spring blue sky. After all, the author spoke of a miracle, not a curse. Which, come to think of it, was actually a shortcoming of the chronicle-that-changed-everything. In any case, the readers stood there admiring the suspense that did not take long to dissipate.
As soon as the two dots crossed the starry labaro, the text continued as if by magic. The impeccable logic, the carefully mined quotes (including the epigraph), the polished arguments, the precise contextualizations, the abysmally deep analyzes of the supreme psyche, the metaphors that make Shakespeare envious, and, at the end, that exhortation to self-sacrifice: out, Alexander by Moraes! Everything had come together more-than-perfectly. “A masterpiece was born!”, said, at the time, one of those angels who get too excited and then get their cheeks red.
The masterpiece, however, still it wasn’t a miracle. Because all those words would be of no use if they fell on deaf ears or, worse!, were sucked into the great maelstrom of indifference on social media. Luckily, for those who don’t believe, or by Grace, for those who do, behold, the chronicle caught the attention of an advisor to the Supreme Court. Who took care to print out the words and place them carefully on the despot’s table, with a little note on which, with some effort (what a bad little handwriting, huh!), it was read: “Who does this guy think he is?! ARREST HIM, ALEXANDRE!”.
Judging by the title, Alexandre de Moraes was already signing the arrest warrant. But the epigraph with that poet that Minister Randolfe Rodrigues called her good caught his attention. And just for that the despot began to read. And, dammit!, wasn’t the chronicler right? When he realized it, Alexandre de Moraes was in the last line – and in tears. “Data venia, I just wanted to save democracy”, he repeated between sobs, in a last and desperate attempt to convince himself of this.