Story 2

raising the ruins

written by Dagoberto Pinto
artwork by MV

What you hope is to get something out of the day that begins. You have the hope that this one does not end up being what others were: routine and boredom, but it is inevitable that on the first walk down the corridor a colleague will appear shouting his disagreement and sowing in the air the branch of thorns that will end, surely, by ruin everything. From then on the battle is fought against that thought, against that insistent omen, that's why it's not uncommon that [you see] who, walking from one side to the other, gesticulates perhaps wanting to knock down the crow of shadows that flutters in his face .

After going to the bathroom, brushing your teeth and saying hello to a couple of friends, you return to the cell, arrange the blankets and get the utensils ready to wait for the call to breakfast. If the television is on in the corridor and the news is tuned in, this will not help you, because, like every day, corruption will occupy the front page and there will be no lack of senator who, with euphemism and tautological language, will try to say that the matter is not so serious and that the solution is definitely not to increase the penalties for the corrupt. This will arouse your outrage.

At the first call for breakfast you go to the delivery place to receive a glass of something that the State has paid for as milk, but that arrives to you reduced to bleached and insipid water. [You get] a bread (if you're lucky) or a frozen arepa (if you don't have it), a slice of bologna or a broth (if you don't have luck) or a slice of cheese and fruit [if you don't have it]. Then you wait for the incoming guard to arrive, that they count to go out to the discount places where you can breathe less dense air, but no. After the counted, the stampede enters: dozens of them, armed with dogs, hammers, chisels, metal detectors and shields that will surely spoil more than your mood. We are all taken to the back of the patio, reduced to mere underwear and searched by one of them who looks at you contemptuously, like someone who tries to induce you to inform you, but you don't know anything and you carry out what you've been ordered without hesitation. You can't take the risk of responding to the insulting look and the dismissive gestures in the same way, because you would expose yourself to reprimand and it would not be something worth remembering.

Later, when the search of the inmates ends, they go up to the corridors to rob our belongings. Without the slightest care they have mixed the powdered soap with the food, they have spread the shaving cream on the clothes, they have eaten your jar of sausages and they have drunk your soda, so they leave you without provision for tomorrow Saturday, no longer you will have something to offer your brother who comes to visit you after four years of not seeing him. When they leave the pavilion, you go upstairs and, looking out into the hallway, you don't know whether to cry or laugh helplessly. All your things roll on the floor confused with the belongings of your colleagues and many of them, after the tsunami, are useless, so you realize that the bad omen was not unfounded and indeed this was not a day of peace in in the midst of the great storm that you live. The hardest thing to understand is why they ruined your anthology of Colombian poetry; It is inexplicable to you the embrasure that they made in the shower, leaving it unusable, you want to curse them, call them dogs, sons of bitches, but no, your heart that loves the doctrine of Jesus Christ cannot allow itself to be pushed by anger and you continue picking up your belongings from the rubble . You get to the point of not being able to contain your tears when you discover the shirt, which the woman you love gave you, ruined because in the middle of the fray some nail ripped her neck and left it fit for a cleaning cloth. You, who saw the tenderness of your wife reflected in her, do not understand anything, you feel humiliated, for being undervalued, but you must continue, you cannot forget that you are a prisoner and that here, perhaps only here, no one cares about you.

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