Sunday, September 25, 2011
Smaller and bigger boxes.
One day I woke up inside a box. It was an enormous, yet standard carboard box. I don't want you to think this was some sort of Kafkian experience in which the box was empty and there was no way out, no... it was completely the contrary, inside that box I had all the comforts of my room, it was actually my room, but made of cardboard.
In all my confusion, I approached to the door which was just a cut in the weak wall exactly at the same place where the door in my room would be. Outside the box, I found myself in another box. Confusion became curiosity. Where was I? What was happening? I tried to find the way out of the box only to find out that I was again in another box which contained, not only the box where I had come from, but many other boxes. This one was way bigger box, other people walked in it, I knew most of them: people from work, family and friends, others were people I had seen before but I did not know personally.
I treked around the box, I could enter to most of the other boxes, and inside those boxes there was nothing but many other boxes. To some of the other boxes I was not granted any access on the grounds of not complying with the basic access rules. While many others were able to enter, I was rudely driven away of the messy cut carton entrance -- it was "them, and I".
As the morning went by, I grew bored of the box, I wanted to get out of that place, I was starting to get claustrophobic, and I was craving some fresh air. I have to admit I was naively expecting to escape into open air upon leaving the box, but to my dismay, I left one box to be in a bigger box with the same attributes as the previous box. I really did not know most of the people here, the only thing we shared in common was that we all spoke Mexican Spanish. Again here, I was allowed into some boxes, and restricted to go into other boxes... us and them, them and I, you and I, but never Us. Even if we were all inside a big box, even if we were all Mexican, we were split appart in groups. If you know the Venn-Euler diagrams in mathematics, you know what I am talking about.
I started relating with the people of the boxes I was allowed into, we were friends, they gave me a sense of security, of belonging, of being, but then it was too much, and I wanted to see the sun, to hear the birds, to see the blue sky or the rainy clouds. The next box I was in was huge, I could hear English, Portuguese, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and some other unintelligible languages, people coming in and out of boxes, to get into some boxes I had to show documents which showed all about me, at some other boxes I had to produce evidence that I was not planning to stay, something like a visa. The men at the entrance of some boxes pointed their weapons to my head making clear that they would rather kill me before letting me in. Mexicans hung out with Mexicans, Brazilians with Brazilians, and even if the Dutch talked to the Spaniards, and the Spaniards went out with the Japanese who liked to talk to the Cuban, there was always that sense of separateness, they were "the others", they were not us.
I felt a member of the Mexican box, and I prefered to be with the Mexican, we understood each other. I then realized this was a false sense of security. Inside my the Mexican box we were split, and inside each box there were other "others". Outside this box, there were other animals, dogs, cats, cows, lions, sharks, turtles, and birds among many others. Dogs and cats were allowed into our box, but rats were not, and we were scared to go into the shark's box, and still there was no glimpse of the sun, and then I thought -- would there be a day when I will get to see the sky? Are this boxes really necessary? Do we need fierce aliens with aweful weapons to come and attack our earth in order to feel as the same kind?