There are sites that mark us forever, not one off so easily. There are houses that live in one, although not dwell, though reine moisture, dust, loneliness, cockroaches, but only ruins remain. The Maqueira house was probably one of those shacks that nobody used to haggle in Jagiiey Grande.
Who would want that hut with roof boards and tight cardboard, crossed in the middle of the street at will? He froze in time, broke with the parallelism of the block and loaded with a few myths, the ghost of the old man Maqueira own and a drop over the street three feet.
But there were not many options: money only amounted to buy that ranch. Sometimes I knew it was going to rain on my mom’s face. Went to the site and confirmed it with my own eyes, and the water came. The rain became a common enemy. My mother cried, I think shame, because poverty makes people grumpy and because in the 90´s we all cried . It was the way of exorcizarnos of demons and special famine. Tears not delirious and feel life at least on the cheeks, to distract many digestive gaps, such crises …
In days of endless downpours I “climbed” in my bed because the house was the drainage district. From there I could see how it was going to raise the water level and when it was a river made a few paper boats, the began to walk across the room and spent hours and hours and waiting to go down the water, watching shipwrecked some dreams .
When all neighbors with brooms in hand slipped their portals, my mom began to draw water from the house with buckets and each milliliter was also litter the street because there was going to stop any waste. In that space looked like it had not reached the Revolution. When my neighbor knew I was elected to attend the Pioneers Third Congress , they told me to raise in plenary the situation of the house, the difficulties we were going through, but I said that, that was not a matter of the organization, I was going to discuss the problems of my school, not those of my shed.
I think in school until they looked at me with pity, for I lived in the ranch Maqueira, but there were others who laughed at my reality. I never had to say worth living there in the house of Jagiiey that filled with water. When Michelle Hurricane passed the ranch went down there and cried as if my mom ever. They declared a total loss. We spent the cyclone in my grandmother’s house for security. When calm was my mom went crazy on a bike to see the ranch and the whole block was there, watching the funeral foundations of a house who flew as Matías Pérez.
We had to lift the rubble walls and pick something acceptable tight cardboard shelter us a while. We lived in overcrowded, slept almost beside the pots and near the bathroom, but well away from the comfort.
We never find the happy fortunes Maqueira. People said that the old man had buried for years some valuables in the house, but there was only earth and land, and also disappointment.
After we got some materials to build a new house aligned with the other of the block, which was at street level and stop being table and board for dressing the ceiling with cement fashion.
Thus disappeared the Maqueira old ranch and with it the threat of rain was gone, I came to crave a bath under a good downpour and my mom stopped mourn by the flooding. But I come back occasionally to my ugly fourth child, I see the eaves filled with bird nests, those paper boats other aquatic dissolved by storm and back nostalgia for what is no longer. The ranch was Maqueira something like poverty, need, frustration, but seems to me revive again, because there are houses that live in one, although no longer dwell.
Translation: Gloria Machado León