- WHEN A SINGLE SOLITARY STRING IS PULLED-
March 13th, 2010
I regret not having done this before. As callous and preposterous as this sounds, tragedy seems like the perfect fuel to trigger some kind of inspiration on a purportedly uninspired scribbler. A night fraught with bewilderment, confusion and gloom threw everybody into a state of mayhem where nothing could be seen nor accurately known. Nobody was able to utter real facts and even authorities were perplexed and proved to be useless as to what was really happing. Development was smashed to smithereens by a single solitary string pulled by nature. It felt as if everything had sunk deep for an entire day and subsequently rose having brought a new but worse land, with reborn people having altered personalities and appallingly changed voices. I only remember having recklessly jumped from the top part of my bunk bed and calling my dad who had undergone a similar experience when he was about 8 or 10 years old. Then, I recall my having unconsciously place myself under my door frame and hugging my, until that moment - emotionally unknown sister-in-law - action that seemed to last for an entire hour when in fact persisted only one or two minutes, and rambling some nonsense about the intensity of what was going on. Nothing could be seen and an outrageously unusual noise, too late to be called normal, was begging to emerge. Shouts and screams permeated the block and everything was falling from its place. Nothing made any sense to anybody.
I vividly recollect having wheeled out: the earth is still shaking, still shaking, still shaking, and still does. When nothing was furiously moving around folks began trudging towards the hills carrying all kind of blankets, bed covers, some tends and swiftly arranged backpacks. Groups plodding in the street made night seem like any random afternoon with the only difference that they wore unfix clothing. The ones who were not shambling towards higher grounds were stationed in yards sharing theories, comments, fears and mechanically piercing non-existent traces of calm and tranquillity.
One of the things that came after was something I never expected to come to pass. People helping each other, people coming close, people that never greeted one another were gibbering about an injured neighbour and about what was taking place then and there. I reckon that disaster does bring people closer together and engendered feelings of understanding and warmth.
March 27th, 2010
Right after gloom took over, darkness ensued. Isolation was the result of a long awaited event and everyone's worse nightmares were materialized. Every place was increasingly boisterous due to the fear and concern but silent due to the lost of communication that rendered all the most powerful companies useless and laughable. The only voice that could, at the time, shed some light upon current affairs was a regional radio which became everybody's greatest hope.
When obscurity left terror came as an unwanted neighbour. The imposingly majestic bridges were down and so were people's supplies. Hearsay was to prevail. Savagery was triggered by dread and the consequences of people most inner fright was to contrast the unusually arose friendliness shared for one another. I reckon that no one really knew what was to transpire, everything began to run out, supermarkets were not open, stores were beginning to close, bread was non-existent, light and water supplies were gone.
Little by little was it revealed that thousand of houses were down, buildings had collapsed so had school and many hospitals. People began to get worried as the death toll started to rise to over 700 hundred. The only sources of actual information as to a similar occurrence were parents or grandparents. They would allegedly tell one what was to be done and what had been like then and there.
As daylight saw the wildness, the riots and the robbery night saw a more unsettling darkness. I hitch-hiked to another place on the third day and I could see that chaos was in every corner of our city. Torches, street fires, bandages and whistles gave birth to unprecedented flashes of a post cataclysmic city where paranoia was one's worse enemy.
After two or three days the armed forces were belatedly displayed. I guess that the common excuse could be that there were no references or previous experiences that could lead one to believe that masses would react the way they did. Anyhow, the queuing, the curfew, and particularly the green ones massively equipped on the street echoed the aftermath of the one incident that created division among Chilean society and that now under a right wing government were - quite ironically - meant to become the one thing that would reunite common citizens, the one issue on which everyone would agree.
As I was growing gradually and visually more aware of the consequences of the happening I began to understand the real purpose of the green ones, the culprit of it all. I could not easily get the hang of the queues in particular and was discombobulated as to some restrictions that were settled. And suddenly, the slowness woke me up and I began to see things for what they really were. The import was not the night assignments but was it education that people had to undergo again before being allowed to be free again. Individuals had to be re-educated and the world had to be sent to school anew to suppress the inmost overwhelming blackness that had welled up from within.
A few more days later, a wise chap hurled something about the necessary qualities of this event. Before 27th buildings were being built on as fast and easily as sand castles on the beach. Such constructions were swiftly multiplying like ponds do when it rains and was it not going to cease until a catastrophe would come about. A test had to be taken, a test that had been passed by cheating, and that would in the long run unveil the truth.