First time up I found I was middle of the file. That scared me. I felt a target. As if my being end of the line would have helped. Doing time, you come to learn about the futility of resistance and the powerful logic of brute force. You have to find a level in your dealings with yourself in relation to the other men. In time, just through letting yourself be counted, you acquire a certain status. You are done with the truths you held with respect to yourself. You become the bean flicked up and down in the abacus held by the strongest inmates. The way you put it, it sounded like you thought prison was all about holding out. It isn't. Its only in here for the first time I learnt to let go.
Year after year he had visited the area, but this time around, despite returning to the same coordinates, he could establish no connection with the past. The rules which built reality had shifted. The heat forced one at every point to stand still and contemplate the next move in advance. The fall of darkness offered great release. An unknown creature whooped from a thicket on the pampa. The animal bore purple stripes down her thighs. Her breasts formed of pink sponge like protuberances. He wrapped bandages around the wound in her side still swollen from infection. The panier of water he urged gently to her lips. One day he would understand what all of this meant. His repulsion of her body lessen. Her monstrous form provoke desire.
The question as to whether I should stay or not was decided for me by the junta. I applied for a leave of absence which was not granted. I asked many people but none remembered her. I saw how in death just as in life a memory is betrayed. What law or spiritual jolt had imposed such fear ? The city was engulfed in suffering but none of it visible. Yet I noticed how the young men wrung their hands. How the women bowed their heads and kept their distance. I guessed her body had already been disposed of. I asked about its where abouts but no one knew. Its difficult to speak about that time in my life. The events of those days are like objects whose definite outline or mass is obscured under a heavy blanket. I'm not sure for how long she was tortured. Perhaps over a period of five days. Her hands were swollen blue her wrists tied off with wire. The pelvis smashed legs broken one foot dangled by a tendon, its shoe half off. Her eyes frozen in a penetrating sideways glare like fear expressed in stone.
A knock on my arm. A woman begging. Her clawed hand an image which repels me. Her child tugs at my trousers. Sluggishly incanting. The poor use the language of infants yet we refuse them.
The windscreen had shattered on impact and the woman in the front passenger seat flung onto the road ahead. The car steering wheel was embedded in the ribcage of the deceased driver, his head snapped backwards. A toddler screamed from a baby seat behind, now pushed forward so that the infant's writhing hands were wedged against his own face.