We dedicate this story to all students who will be missing public celebrations of their moments in the sun.
Life, Listen to Me
by Karla Canales
No one will understand your pain, your tears, your sadness, your sighs, your dreams, your goals, your longings, your desire to live or your desire to die. They say that you will be responsible for forging your destiny, that you are the telescope of your universe, of your future, the creator of your world. But always, when you are about to achieve what you want, when you need just steps to reach the goal, when you are missing the last steps to reach the top, they take it out of your hands. So, the race gets longer and the hill further away. And when you think you finally arrived where you wanted to, life pauses. Fate tells you, “You have to wait.” Wait? Wait for what? Wait until I become old or die without having fulfilled a dream, a goal? My first achievement, my first triumph, my first longing? Wait until I go crazy in confinement? Not in humanitarian confinement but in existential confinement?
I spent years imagining myself with cap and gown, screaming to the world “I did it! I did it!” I was excited to see myself dressed as a princess walking towards my graduation, walking towards my diploma, walking towards my destiny. I dreamed of my family shouting my name. I saw myself in the middle of flying graduation caps.
And now, I find myself in front of a computer pressing each key angrily. Imagining myself in the classrooms, in front of my teachers, seeing how their lessons from night to morning, were changed to some files, where my tools are “copy,” “paste,” or “cut.” My desire to leave everything behind, to want to throw in the towel. The crazy idea of just shutting down the computer and not opening it anymore, becomes stronger every day, as I see file after file. What to read? What to answer? What to hand in?
And at the moment of being alone, the torture of my thoughts saying that my dreams are stupid. Where every night they yell at me, “You will never do it! You will never make it!”, feeling miserable, feeling that life is selfish and does not want to let me fulfill my dreams.
Life, listen to me. Destiny, look at me. God, fulfill these girlish yearnings that I have been carrying until now. Opportunity, take pity on me, take pity on this being that is not evil, take pity on this creature. Virus, end now, but not with us, instead end the evil you came with. Go away and take with you all plague! Leave and don’t come back anymore!
But we only see the evil of the virus and not that of humanity. We want to prove who is the strongest or who is the weakest amongst us. We live in a world, in a society where humanity does not exist. We think first of ourselves and then others. We want to live and let others die, where the “I” is more important than the “you,” where there is no balance of justice. Where “women and children are first” has become “every man for himself.”
United States, the richest and most powerful country in America, the country of dreams and opportunities; the country where everyone wants to be in. You have let so much of humanity die. New York, capital of the world, a city that never sleeps, now your people die; and on TV, the nation’s leader, our president, appears saying: “Every Hispanic who has died was a bad person,” and that injecting chlorine is the solution. We are governed by selfishness, unscrupulous ethics, where his gaze is invisible to his people, his gaze is placed on the money.
Your economy won’t rise with the dead.
It will rise with the healthy, not the sick.
I raise my voice for all the unfulfilled dreams.
I raise my voice for every loved one.
I raise my voice for all that was lost.
I raise my voice for all that was lived.
I raise my voice for the ones who couldn’t.