El alma

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Leaning against a fence in front of the Mogamma, the revolutionary takes a break from the battle. He doesn’t think his name is important, nor his age or occupation, because these days everyone together forms a fist that strikes the table with force and makes the king leap in the air over and over. Thus, work (or the lack of it) or regional disputes are the least of it. It doesn’t matter where someone is from, the road still to be travelled is so wide and full of possibilities that everything could change in the blink of an eye. He feels an intense pain on his face and a burning heat in his heart. He has spent all day going from one place to another with his poster, carrying crates of juice or water... doing whatever he can to help.

The broken nose he received yesterday from a stone thrown when the Mubarak supporters assaulted the square was tended to at the field hospital in the alley behind the Hardee’s. He was lucky they didn’t hit his eye. Now that the sun is beginning to go down over Tahrir, now that the palm trees seem to fall with their elongated shadows on the cobblestones that serve as ammunition piled in the corners beside the metal sheets, now that the grey of the government building appears lit and the evening prayer has got many of those who surround it concentrated on God, he has stopped to meditate. Time has flown since he left home on January 25, gave his wife a kiss and, with his son in hand, went out to join the demonstrations. Since that day, how much time has gone by? A week? The days have stretched until day and night have been joined. He remembers the muffled sound of the shots and the blows of the stones on the metal and he looks around him and it seems impossible that these are the same Egyptians who such a short time ago walked around worrying only about their daily bread.

He cannot imagine any other option but victory exists. He looks at the men and women walking by the roundabout he has ridden around in taxis so many times. He observes them reading newspapers, eating, praying and it seems as though his body is weightless. He feels light and free, like the suspended dust of the desert that surrounds him. Perhaps bringing his son every day isn’t the best idea. He isn’t ten yet but he wants him to see this. He wants him to feel the way he does right now, as he sees how the sun illuminates the buildings on the other side of the street, free, light... Free

by Nuria tesón