The future portrayed here is bleak because the observable reality is also grim. It is worth warning readers who are more sensitive to this type of pessimism that, between the reported present and the imagined future, there were countless moments of hope that, for reasons that the chronicle cannot explain, did not materialize. The future portrayed here, therefore, is not just the result of the specific events that I will mention throughout the text; it is the result of many other events, some predictable and others surprising, to which most thought it best, at the time, to shrug their shoulders.
I’m talking about the future where two men talk about what got them there. But I will spare readers more detailed descriptions lest they confuse the imagined but plausible future with yet another vulgar dystopia that abounds. I will say, however, that one of the characters is reduced to a jumble of bones and confused memories that he shares with his cellmate.
Yes, in a cell. Because both are trapped. How and when these arrests took place is difficult to say. It’s been so long! However, the reader who has come this far and who intends to continue reading this chronicle can be sure of one thing, who does not want to make the very heavy spirits laugh or float (not today): there was no “due legal process” nor any possibility of defense. or absolution.
In this hell, the damned have no name, dignity or hope, but they have memory. And that’s what this text is about, which started out obtuse and will continue to do so, maybe it’s the rainy weather or lunch that didn’t suit me very well. In the memoirs of one of them, whom I’ll nickname Pavlovich, it all started when he turned on the television and… It’s best to let him tell the story himself. After all, this is the only pleasure you have left.
“Remember when interviewed the Stalinist on television? They called me a teacher. Of intellectual. Of great influence. I told you…”, Pavlovich began, asking the narrator to continue because he was short of breath. I offer him a glass of water, feeling like a prisoner of myself, and I keep talking like that for something about that event that everyone thought was simple and banal, but which, we know in the future I describe, foreshadowed the many heaps of bones shrunken between the own filth in the many cells of the many re-education camps.
It’s time to the other prisoner, the silent and nameless interlocutor who very well could be you, yes, yourself who is reading me now and wondering “is he talking to himself?”, enter the story. The other prisoner closes his eyes as if dying or reflecting – you never know – and finally stammers a “yes”. He doesn’t add more details, nor does he need to. Just look around to see the very palpable consequences of murderous ideas taken for granted and echoed in millions of empty heads as a sign of “plurality”.
Not coincidentally, the next day there was a PT councilor who invaded a church during a Mass. “Remember?! Remember?”, asks and insists an agitated Pavlovich, so that the silent interlocutor (yes, yourself!) understands the gravity of the fact. Once again, I assume the narrative to tell that the councilor is an “anti-racist” militant and saw fit to invade a church to defend that a barbaric crime – the death of a Congolese migrant in Rio de Janeiro – was avenged.
Suddenly the silent interlocutor widens his eyes and asks Pavlovitch where he is going with this story. What does one thing have to do with another? And what do these scattered memories have to do with this fear that history will repeat itself not as a farce, but as an even bloodier tragedy than that of the gulags? 07085444The man reduced to a pile of bones and some fond memories of the time when hollow men were just a pessimistic image in a poem by TS Eliot begs me to manifest. Let me say that none of that will happen. That it’s just time, lunch, Monday. That the Stalinist will fall into oblivion and the PT councilor will realize the size of his mistake even before seeing the first gray hairs appear. But I can’t say that. I can’t lie.