News of my brothers from La Solidaridad has reached me. They who used to write with me, they who have gone back home, they have lost their audience. Nobody, not even their children, could now comprehend anything they had to say. Nor could anyone comprehend the pain, the pain of this loss. For, now, what purpose do their lives serve without the sympathy of those who succeed them? Of those who are meant to continue their cause? Our cause. In our quest for liberty, we ultimately drove ourselves into this prison of sorts. Trapped in the homeland by the very people we had wanted to set free.
I say “we” as I also find myself trapped in this prison of sorts. Although not in the homeland where my brothers are held unheard, un-speaking, but in a land and with a people we had wanted to break free from. I wander freely in this prison, it’s true, although my words are just as lost. But it is of my own doing… I am trapped here where I chose to remain, and here I shall stay till the end of my days, it seems. Till the end of my days.
And the end of my days is near, I feel. I stumble into the shadows of these narrow streets. I feed on scraps to satisfy my hunger and my craving for one last smoke, just one more… Now and again I wonder if it would have been better to go back with them, if it would have been wiser to leave all we had built up here and carry on with our work in our land. But I was convinced that someone had to stay, that we had to wield the poison of our pens from both sides. I was convinced and so I stayed. And now I am here, at the end of my days, a vagabond with neither purpose nor salvation. Such is my fate.
And such is our fate, my people and I. We are meant to see each of our own slowly drift away. I see walls that have been built all around us, stopping us from moving forward, blocking our past, forbidding us from really knowing where we’re headed and where we’ve been. A people without memory. We have become a blind race, groping our way to a future so uncertain, from a present so clean yet so untrue. And I am here to bear witness to more walls being built, more intricate, more intimate, new walls that divide us and keep even brothers apart. For even brothers have ceased to believe in each other. We no longer see the virtue of unity on this journey. Or, perhaps, we never did. Now there are walls all around us and as we meet our dark fate, we discover that we have built them with our own hands. That which divides us is of our own doing after all.
Staggering, hungering, I wander the streets of this land in search of some answers. Not to be found in the bosom of its trees that sway gracefully in the Mediterranean breeze, but in the turbulent winds of my soul. I wander wearily down these crooked streets as I strive to break through the walls we’ve built… Denying despair, I keep hitting, asking, pushing into knowing, into remembering. Brick by brick, layer by layer… so goes the undoing. I try, I direly try to get through these walls we’ve built so that our history may be passed on to our offspring, so that knowledge of our own may not be thrown over to the other side, given over to forgetting.
I walk these streets to remember, I write these words to remind them. The light on the horizon is slowly fading. But I must write, as they must be made to understand. Soon, it will be night… Shall I read to them in their long and empty sleep? They who have been forgotten must not forget, and they who have forgotten must be made to remember… lest we all die out like faint stars in the vast heavens of time.
For as my people drift away from home, as they now come to where I am, crossing paths with this waning vagabond they walk on unseeing, unfeeling, unhearing. How do I make them listen to the pleading of a past long gone? My people, unknowing. And I am weak… They come here barely conscious of how we once were, how we thought, how we fought. I try to get close to them, tell them about us, our dreams and our glorious past. My voice, almost none… I whisper into their ears in hushed desperation, but I am drowned by this city’s roaring. I am drowned for as they come here, and as I speak, new walls are swiftly built.
And I am driven away…
What pain! What pain! To be spurned by your own kin! No words could ever fathom the depth of this pain. There is only refuge in the company I keep – my brothers in our prison of sorts, reviling the present and our generation’s bitter end. Soon, it will be night.
I retreat into the deepest shadows of this city, deep into its hours of darkness, and there I shall surrender to the wave of profound sadness that has been waiting to take me in. For no words of ours would ever be heard… For my brothers and I have long been forgotten… We are no one. We are lost. We are dead.