This character is called Rafael. It is not an indirect reference or homage. It was just the name that came to the writer as he was writing the first sentence. Like any self-respecting character, Rafael came into the world with a single purpose and, for that, he was born all dressed up in his Sunday clothes. He’s going to vote.
As befits a voter, because the character is more than 16 years old. The writer who conceived it so hastily gave it other attributes, namely: pointed ears like those of an elf or an ass (why not?), abundant hair (why not?) and, in his pocket, an unlimited credit card. (why not?). Besides, Rafael is, for all intents and purposes, a smart boy – or at least hardworking.
Once Rafael was born, it is worth saying that he just had a hearty breakfast in order to participate in the party of democracy. Watch out! Is everyone okay there? I forgot to warn you, but Rafael is prone to attacks of violence when he hears people talking about a “democracy party”. And this is another circumstance of the character that the writer must clarify: Rafael doesn’t believe in democracy, he doesn’t like democracy, maybe he even hates democracy. “Yes, I hate democracy,” he clarifies. And that’s why Rafael is leaving home to vote null. Or blank – he’s not sure yet.
The decision to vote null/blank was taken a long time ago. Even before Rafael was born. The writer doesn’t know exactly when. And it is at this moment that the character gets up to finger the person who created him with so much love and affection and say that it was on 25 September of 2021, in a discussion interspersed with sarcasm and jokes, during which Rafael realized that he was simply much superior to the rabble (his words!) that “is in this dispute between Jair Bolsonaro and Lula”.
The writer, with all the patience in the world, considers arguing that in 2021 he had not even thought about the possibility of writing this chronicle, but he gives up. It would be a waste of time. Let’s go ahead with the story. And it’s better to run, because Rafael is already there, almost entering the polling station. Notice, reader, how the character lifts his nose and, all dapper, greets strangers. And he climbs one, two, three flights of stairs to the main hall of the Paulo Freire school, where, every two years, he is invited to place diffuse hopes on one or more people with whom he has never exchanged a single word. Rafael sighs.
“That one doesn’t work”, he says to the writer – who didn’t even ask him anything. “Not that other one either”, he adds, without the writer having to ask him for any kind of clarification. “You can put it in your chronicle that I don’t have a pet politician”, he asks, or rather, sends Rafael to a writer who, in his haste, forgot his notebook. notes. Besides, who does this character think he is to go around issuing orders like that? I won’t write down any crap.
The writer gets lost in this useless resentment and, when he realizes, the character is already facing the mythical and, you know, infallible electronic voting machine. Without paying any attention to the poll workers, the writer moves forward and places himself next to Rafael. For federal deputy he votes 9999, turns to the writer and laughs. “Who cares?” he asks. For state representative, 99999, the same laugh and the same question, summed up in a sarcastic arch of the eyebrow. For Senator, 999. “Oops, I slipped on the button here,” he says. For governor, 99.
The character is about to vote for president when he is stopped by the writer’s firm hand. “Leave me!” he asks with a hint of desperation in his voice. At this time, the writer is still trying to explain that, at this very moment, he must have a confused reader, thinking that this is a chronicle of apology for abstention, of praise for the null and blank vote. “I doubt there are people who think such a thing!”, says a suddenly surprised Rafael. And, for the first time since coming into this world, scared.
The writer then asks the character to explain to the reader why he intends to vote blank. “Isn’t it clear already?”, asks Rafael, a little impatiently. The writer answers no. That the reader wants everything chewed. Even more on a Saturday chronicle. Sighing, rolling his eyes and pouting, Rafael explains that he’s going to vote blank just so he can say he voted blank. “I need to show that I’m above the rest”, he says, with the unfiltered honesty of invented men.
Rafael presses the arrogance button, listens to the little tune and leaves feeling superior to his wife. rabble (his words) waiting in line. On the street, before disappearing into the labyrinths of the writer’s imagination, Rafael still has time to ask if it is really true that some would read the chronicle as an exaltation of the null and white vote. “Will they not realize how arrogant I am? Ridiculously arrogant? Will they not capture all my pride?”, asks Rafael. The writer does not respond. After all, what he never lacked was the hope of being understood.