Opium Dream

by Oscar Plazola

It didn’t stop raining for three weeks. The hope that his dream would come true and the constant thunder did not let him sleep that last rainy Wednesday night. And then everything did change.

Margarito lived in the neighborhood of La Palmita. He worked as laborer. One day his friend Indalecio told him they would soon start building in Cañada del Atascadero and that many workers would be needed. Margarito said he would think about it, because at that time he already had a steady job. Construction in Cañada del Atascadero started and what at first looked like a pair of houses, soon became a huge conglomerate of luxury buildings, Capilla de Piedra.

One day Margarito could not walk down the path of the Cañada leading him to Santo Domingo, near the arch of Atascadero. He liked to use the path to go to el Centro, or to linger along it, spending hours watching the trees that were in the bottom of the gully. The reason he was given for not letting him cross, was that the area was private property. He asked: "Since when?" The answer was: "Since construction began." Soon there was more discomfort and inconvenience. His house vibrated every time the trucks with material came to load or unload. Water was scarce and some days he had none. When some of the inhabitants of the neighborhood Palmita tried to file a complaint, the construction manager answered that they will take care of everything, but he never said when. The matter got worse when residents began to fill the apartments. Noise increased with all the cars. Children stopped playing in the street because of the heavy traffic. The old people and the ladies no longer could walk a half of block because the risk of being run over by a new resident's oversized truck. Water began to dwindle much more frequently. With the water supply failing, unhappy neighbors talked about how to resolve the situation. "Let's knock them down with stones!," someone suggested. "Let's cover them with graffiti!," said others. But none of that was possible. Everyone went home crestfallen and hopeless after the meetings.

Then, after the first week of rain and thunder, la Cañada del Atascadero began to flow with all the water, an excess of water, including that which previously had been absorbed by the land now covered by the new construction. The water now form small springs and brooks running under those new buildings to get to the bottom of the glen and there mix with water coming from Salida a Queretaro. If this continues, Margarito thought, the Cañanda will wash all this friggin' mess away. It kept raining a week and half until the night Margarito could fall asleep.

Thunder crescendoed, mixing with a huge continuous noise like that made by dumptrucks unloading material, but gigantic. Almost simultaneously, the sound of glass breaking rang out, seeming like all the bottles of the town hand were crashing on the bottom of la Cañada. The land, which had been saturated and turned to mud by excess water and weight could take no more. Luxury buildings and giant trucks and everything turned into an avalanche. The land was responsible for swallowing everything that bothered it.

The rooster sang. Margarito woke up without remembering falling asleep. Was it just a dream? He resolved to not walk through the Cañada del Atascadero until heavy rain came again. If it hasn't already, with a little luck and a rainy week, my dream may come true, he thought as he closed the door to go to work.

**************

Oscar Plazola, a Mexican, poet and writer who is spoiled, the Mexican poet Benjamin Valdivia baptized him, as a dictator of urban histories and his work as urbanizations. It is relatively easy to find in his work the influence of authors such as Chava Flores, Jaime López, or Joaquín Sabina, even of poets like Ricardo Castillo, Efraín Huerta or Nicanor Parra. However, he is an author with a voice of his own that does not deny the tradition of nonconformists and anti-silence. We are the news, we are the statistics, a grain in the governor's ass, the stain in history that is not talked about, a disposition that God forgets. (Universal Disinherited) The city and its letters go together with a casual and provocative voice, based on one's own experience and in the very perception of a paradoxical World. Nomad among urban conglomerates that he loves and hates at the same time. The critical charge of his work is, however, lightened by the action of the acids of irony, humor and mockery that he sometimes exerts against himself. And already at the gates of heaven, Saint Peter did not behave, here you can not go in, go to hell, mammon, here you have no place, you're a fucking pedestrian (The soul of a pedestrian) In short, risky and carefree author who has mixed his experiences and his vision of the world to create a simply different style.

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