The daily world war – Washington Hispanic

Rafael Lara-Martinez PhD*

Today M. died, a victim of the daily world war. I barely met her, when I arrived in this city through whose streets she wandered in constant exercise. At first I only stopped to look at restaurant windows and menus. If I went into the shops, I did so to mitigate the cold, rewarm myself and continue at a brisk pace the circular route through the cobbled alleys.

The only words I heard were emitted by passers-by, passing by my side; then the courteous greetings of reception and departure from the stores. Then I noticed that at the doors of the shops —on the banks of the busiest avenues— young people always sat down to ask for alms. There I first saw M., surrounded by friends whose names I later found out when talking to them. X, T, Y, W, Z, etc.

Sometimes, they all met in a full group, with their dogs that barked in chorus requesting affection and food. Other times, they dispersed in solitary song, accompanied by howling in the background. Like the cap at the head of the group, where the relief coins resounded, its members never lacked a drink in their hands.

M.’s face reddened, while the dark circles under his eyes denoted the weariness of living. Party fatigue; the sleepless nights; her constant hanging around friends’ apartments; sleep in the open air, in the middle of cold and wet winter. Who knows. It is difficult to find out the reason for her psychic and moral disaster. Vagrancy was a youthful vocation for those who perished at the age of twenty-one.

Even less, I will know today that his deceased body lies in a cemetery unknown to me, about a hundred kilometers from the city. Her attempt to advise her to go back to work as a servant for the elderly was of no avail. Evasive, she always answered me «c’est pas le moment; it is not the time »to talk, so busy with whom she met. Only through her friends did I find out that piecework produced so little income that it was more appropriate to continue begging. Between social gatherings and drunkenness in the streets.

Today her companions mourn her, saddened by the unforeseen tragedy. They didn’t even attend the funeral, since M.’s parents rejected them because of their lazy profession. Between beers and methadone, they told me, the vomiting choked her in her dream. She died asleep, drowned in the liquid marasmus of her own land. That nightmare is now reflected in the intense mural graffiti that her friends carved from her brief time in the world.

«Pure ramblings», another of them confessed to me, while a dog barked, the second one played, and he balanced beer in hand. Stuttered sadness. “It was not so. M. guarded within him Death, our own Death. The pregnancy of the mara was dissolved in that premature birth. Without a voluntary abortion of the friendship, at night, the anticipated delivery erupted in her mouth ». “Is it possible” —I heard the murmur— “that, in the body, in each part broken off from that fetus that M. belched, you recognized ourselves, failed members of this mara diluted in vapor?”

Today M. died intoxicated and very few remember her. Almost everyone forgot the everyday world war. She was killed by the missiles of nausea, the bombardments of anguish. Her true love was only given to her by drugs and alcohol, during the daily battle for the supreme revolutionary cause: life itself in the face of street harassment and social violence.

But, finally, during the funeral, he managed to sign a treaty, under the slogan “rest in peace”, RIP. In solemn choir, the agreement was certified by the requiem offering offered by his family.

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Professor Emeritus, New Mexico Tech