Sometimes I have few memories, I prefer to go long so I can move forward, others I need to know why today I am here in a life so different from the one I would have scheduled a year ago. I’m mixed with days and memories, but some moments seem not to go away and live again in every news story, in every new testimony.
Call the Beep, coordinate schedules, count inputs, go to the pharmacy, inventory, pass list, assemble backpacks, re-pass list, make groups, go out on the street, not fear, always to the wall, not die like Mufasa, healings, baking soda, lemon, handing out masks, hiding, ordering, coordinating, taking data, containing and being content, breathing deep, sweeping, surviving, planning and returning, , pass ready, warn that we are ok, distribute ourselves, return to your safe place, shower to get the rage, helplessness, fear that you did not allow yourself to feel, stay with the gratitude, companionship, hope that all this will be worth it.
In reaching the square you find yourself, recognizing, we deliver some masks when they were not yet official part of any clothing, spray some baking soda, start thinking about where to move forward, there were few of us. We arrive at the central bandejón of the Alameda to look together, we see people running, crying and screaming: something new happened… pass the green ones on the side, comes the confusion, some smoke and itches, itches, itches; I hear my companion’s cry and almost as echo replicates in mine: we had been sprayed with pepper spray. We held hands, remembered who had magnesia milk and dressings, held back, calmed down and repeated to each other the instructions we had previously given to others: do not unprotect our eyes, cleanse and not despair. Again we found that the white apron was not enough, this was premeditated and the potential damage imminent. We weren’t sure, I doubt we’ll ever be again as long as we’re on our side to those who rule us.
Already quieter we realize that they surround us: they protect us, escort us with shields to safe place, they thank us, for being there, for resisting. Our own shield, our own symbol, that of resistance, makes sense again.
We manage to hang out with the rest of the colleagues in our little corner, the wounded start arriving: we take out pellets while we take data to make complaints, we don’t want impunity, we want to be able to follow our patients, our colleagues. Sometimes we have to stop to help each other, the gases do not forgive, in that comes the gentleman always to give us water and two ladies take out of the wallet a lot of bandages to donate them to us, they thank us again.
The hours pass and it starts to get dark: the sweep is coming. Comes the most violent moment of the day, where no matter who you are, no matter why you’re there, the streets are theirs and they give themselves the right to sweep with you, with the same weapons they bought with what they were able to afford the missing hospital in so many territories, pensions, our own education. The first thing we do is tell each other, to see that we are all well, to see how we will resist today to be cornered like rats, there we are, without seeing, but listening to the pellets and tears, new colors and smells come out, we do not know what chemical they took this time or how we can take samples, as we can see that they want to harm us at this level. People of all ages run around us and try to enter the perimeter of our stall bounded by a string, we let in two children and an older lady, our psychologists contain them, the rest look ahead with arms up waiting to be safe.
We are, we are all right, now we collect everything and we hope we can convince the greens to go where they are fenced. I take off my mask and put on my best face of stick, tachycardia I wear it the same, cold sweat, fists clenched by rage: I am a doctor, as if it were a super power we escort ourselves in that we are personnel of help, so say international treaties, even if this government does not care.
We’re on our way to the subway to leave a roommate, the rest of us stay together, they ask us for help, we hand out masks again, baking soda and we go into the entrance of a building to heal the wound of a pellet that didn’t reach its target: it was in the cheekbone, there was a very lucky pair of eyes. It’s a relief to know that a bloody face has both unscathed eyeballs. G’s are backcrying for those who can’t count the same thing, for those of them for whom we couldn’t do much more than cover up and move.
We go on, two friends stop us to help one who wears a cloth grabbed by wires on one of her legs. We looked for a safe place and carefully uncovered, had a desphoration: cuts of all tissues to almost the bone. We wash and take a deep breath, my companions are with me, we can do it, our new friends are not going to go to a health center and we are the ones who can do something now. We set up roles, I’m the only one with medical training, but I’m surrounded by tremendous sheer. We wash and the suture begins in layers, in which a neighbor looms and asks if we need anything, our patient shouts «A new constitution», we laugh, we cry, we get excited.
Likewise the recent 25 where we remembered again that moment, in the ditch, lighting up with lanterns, between companions, feeling that any risk is worth it, that we are infinitely privileged, that it doesn’t matter to get to a car with wheels busted to headquarters when militancy had given you with whom to form a brigade, that there is no fear when you realize that what can be lost is so little compared to what we are gaining , that with these little gestures we put our grain of sand on the right side of the story.
The content poured into this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.