No choice

(Click on the image to enlarge, I wrote this yesterday) I woke up feeling optimist. My plans were to take a quick breakfast and go straight to the university, were both my tutor and my thesis partner were expecting me for a meeting. There was tequeños (a Venezuelan food, like cheese sticks, I’m quite lazy when it comes to explain food) and coffee with milk temptingly placed on the table. My sister in law and my mom seemed very delighted in an interesting conversation. So I decided to join them and from that minute on, it all went badly
I soon realize that their conversation topic was about the latest Chavez speech on his plans on staying on power till 2009, at least. They passed from there to comment the latest insecurity story they heard of: about the son of a friend of someone who was briefly kidnapped near by my house.

Suddenly; with the perspective of a president that I dislike so much staying in power for the rest of my youth life, at least plus those stats on kidnappings and murders hitting case by case the corners of my routine, the places were I’m ought to pass by daily…my tequeños (Did I mention how much I love tequeños?) didn’t taste so good anymore. I should have take four or five tequeños and my cup of coffee and go back to my room to fix any detail of my thesis instead of listening to that talk.

I asked them if we could talk about something else but they can’t forgive me for even trying to ignore the reality. It has never been a family habit to ignore the reality, to be updated with the events and no one wants to break this tradition. Not even me, I don’t want to ignore it, I just don’t want to talk about it 24 hours a day or I will end up more crazy than what I already am, I’m afraid.

As soon as I finished my coffee, I called my thesis partner: “I’m on my way” – I said. – “Oh, you shouldn’t” – She answered me back at the phone- “The students are blocking the university entrance. I could barely get in and they are now at the highway protesting against the Amendment…”- There’s no much to do about it. It’s funny that my thesis partner and I refer to the movement as “the students” now, that deep inside me I don’t want them to block the entrance because I have a very important meeting to attend. And a year and sometime ago I referred to the students as “us” and was blocking the entrance, or the highway myself. So no one knows better than me that this is something they have to do, they have to call the attention about the Amendment what will allow Chavez to be re-elected indefinitely. I try not to feel angry or frustrated and go back to the table.

Two hours later I could finally attend my meeting and there were still loads of students gathered at one of those familiar Assemblies and then blocking part of the highway which is located right next to our campus. My thesis partner and I went to the highway for like 10 minutes to take some pictures and see how the protest was developing and then back to our work. Except for one girl that I saw going to the nursery room and her forehead was bleeding a little (I suspect a stone from a Chavez – supporter driver but no one could give me the exact information); it was a peaceful, almost routinely event.

It is what it is. Even if you don’t like it, it gets into your life, your expectations, your dreams, your thoughts, and your hopes. It gets into your skin, it designs your anxiety. It is just like being madly in love, but in the opposite way (I know, I know… I’m not making any sense).

And to think that I just woke up feeling optimist and my day was supposed to be about nothing more than to finish another thesis chapter and discuss it with my tutor. But to pretend this isn’t happening is impossible. Same as love, you simply don’t have a choice on this kind of things.