The end of Love as I know it

I met my boyfriend back in February, 2008. On our third date we went to El Hatillo (a small colonial town, very popular tourist spot in Caracas) to have some hot chocolate and talk. About midnight, all the places in the town were closing so it was dangerous to stay there for long. But the conversation was going great and it was clear that neither of us wanted to put an end to that date yet. “So, where you want to go now?” – He asked me at the parking place. Since streets are forbidden because of insecurity and we didn’t wanted to go to a nightclub because is too noisy to talk, I proposed him to go to a mall and find some place quiet to have a drink and talk.

We parked at “El Tol√≥n”, a classy mall famous for its movie theaters and restaurants, thus always open even after midnight and filled with people. We went straight to one of the top floors which haves many restaurants. But most of them were as noisy as a night club or ridiculously expensive.

After walking and walking without finding any successful spot to retake the conversation we left at El Hatillo, we decided to just sit on a bench and talk. I think we spend about two hours or more there just talking and talking and talking; getting to know each other a bit better, same as everyone does on first dates. I finally got home about 2 am. Those talks after midnight at some bench in a mall were the basis of what is now an almost two year relationship.

Why am I using this blog, which is a space, made to give a personal perspective of the Bolivarian Revolution, to tell a corny story about a first date? Could you think of something more off topic?

In George Orwell’ 1984, there’s a scene that has always shocked me. Winston and Julia, the lead roles, agreed to meet at some field. Once there, out of the sudden, they are making love. But, they are not just making love. By doing that they are going against the principles of their current government, they are being carried by an emotion even more important than “Big brother” and thus making love in Orwell’ 1984 is not just making love, is a political act. I didn’t get it when I first read it, about three years ago. I got many things but not that part. How does a political system can dig so deep to end up even inside your bed?

Now I got it. I don’t know when I started to get that. I just know I own this recent enlightenment to those daily prohibitions, to those arbitrary moves, to the paranoia they produce around us, to the fear. When you live inside of a Revolution, no part of your life is left outside. It is not just a matter of politics. It’s a matter of moods, opportunities, expectations, economics, history, entertainment, and love. Even love.

The government just recently launched a new move. From January 1st, 2010; the malls of Venezuela will only have right to use the power service from 11 am till 9 pm. If they dare to turn on a light after 9, they will be punished with 24 hours at least without power service; plus real expensive fines. The government says that this is due to global warming, and excessive consume. But we know that ever since the government bought the electricity company, thus having the monopoly of the power service about – two years ago? -; we started to have troubles with power. Blackouts are now frequent especially outside Caracas and not because just when the government bought the company, coincidence acted and we started to use more power; but rather because of the lack of maintenance and corruption. We know how to read between lines, we know how the government works.

I know it would be more responsible to talk about production troubles, insecurity, more about the causes of this power crisis or the government political repression. But you know this blog is more about honesty than about political correctness. So I must be honest and confess that when I heard the announcement of the power regulations of the shopping malls, all I could think of was that memorable date I just told you; next to many other moments I have had after 9 in a shopping mall. My boyfriend and I, for example, love to go to the movies after 9 because they are fewer chances to share the theatre with annoying kids.

Now, if a couple is introduced in a couple of months, when my boyfriend and I will be celebrating our second anniversary; they won’t be able to have the date we had. They won’t have long and crazy after midnight talks inside a mall. That date, which took place back in February of 2008 now looks like an impossible date. That bench is now forbidden after 9 Pm. And the benches at the streets after 9, due to insecurity, have been long ago forbidden. Couples now will have to end their dates before 9, no matter how great the conversation is going. Or they will have to extend their dates at home, even if its too soon to met the parents.

Inside the Bolivarian Revolution, even love, as we knew it, is now forbidden.