Cereso for boys (2/3) | The Herald of Aguascalientes

Carlos Reyes Sahagún / Cronista del municipio de Aguascalientes

I am telling you about the time when I went to boston, and not exactly Massachusetts, and I did it, not as a client, but as a guest, to discuss the book with members of a reading circle Stones for Ibarrain the Cereso for men at the exit to Calvillo.

Like you, I have my routines more or less established: from home to work and vice versa, and in the meantime the movies, the errand, the mass, some visit… But ma’am, sir: of course going to jail is not part of them . So that day all the acts that I carry out, what I do daily to get ready to carry out my occupations, are marked by the feeling of strangeness that the activity that I will develop shortly produces in me, and the certainty that this What do I do, this is so common and ordinary, so everyday, it is forbidden to the men that I will see in a few moments…

Thinking about the above gives the acts that I carry out, preparing my breakfast, turning on the television to, between bites, watching the news, going out into the street, driving the car, etc., a singularity of the one that they definitely lack, precisely because they are the most common, but that today they generate a wonderful well-being for me: I am free; I am free.

From the outset they warned me that I should not dress in certain colors, to avoid the possibility of being confused with a tenant of the place. This blows my imagination. What if he was taken hostage? What if some security guard confuses me and they leave me hidden?… I arrive at the scene with enough anticipation, because the entry process is long and slow, and while I wait for Martha, I look through Doer’s splendid book for the umpteenth time, rescued from English and from oblivion in 1988 by the publishing house Vuelta, the one promoted by the poet Octavio Paz. I randomly read some fragments that I have underlined, and I only regret not having been the one who wrote the volume, or the one who experienced the feelings that gave rise to this text, in which the “sidewalks and dirt roads, which begin without a purpose and end without a destination”; a text that becomes endearing as the reading progresses, and in which “Memories are like corks taken from bottles… They inflate and no longer fit.” Anyway, I didn’t write it, but I’m glad I read it…

Martha arrives and we begin the entry procedure, that is, we pass through the various filters that will allow us to reach the small assembly hall where this group of readers awaits me.

At the first control I have to leave keys, rings, telephone, wallet – not that I brought the big thing; the Hidalgo tickets!-. Also the car keys? Everything!… Then, in a second control they check me; I’m not going to bring a pocket battleship. It’s a mild review, even milder than others I’ve experienced at, say, the Victoria Stadium.

I leave the examination room and face one last control. I am greeted by a pretty blonde girl, all smiles, all kindness, and Elton John, who on the radio that the security guard listens to sings his marvelous song Sacrifice, a jewel pregnant with tenderness, a song that, I suppose, speaks of a forbidden love, perhaps the desperate effort to steal a little bit of beauty from life; something that doesn’t go anywhere but that can be important… A relationship whose sensitivity builds a prison… A prison infinitely worse than the one I find myself in.

With that song; with that message, I am received in jail. I write down my name in a large notebook, check-in time, and then we walk down a corridor, with walls on one side and a wire mesh on the other, which separates this section of open spaces, if such a paradox is possible, an esplanade that can become basketball court. We arrive at a small auditorium, I go up a small platform and sit at a table, like a presidium.

What kind of men make up my audience? I don’t know, how could I? I watch them carefully; I look into their eyes, trying to go to the bottom of their souls, immerse myself in them to know their motivations, their feelings…

while I talk about these Stones for Ibarra; From the mines of Asientos and Tepezalá, from the Evertons, who came from San Francisco, California, I observe these men who wear orange uniform shirts and beige pants. I look at them trying to recognize someone, but no; nothing. The only criminals I know are free and doing their own thing… But yes, finally I do recognize someone. There he is….! But he also recognizes me, so he almost immediately stands up and walks out of the auditorium.

I see these men as I remember Bishop Salvador Quezada Limón (1951-1984), the lottery vendor Kid, that boxer whose blindness resulted from a blow, and who was condemned to survive selling chimeras, characters that are summoned by the magic of the word of Harriet Doer etc., and I try -useless effort-, to transcend their eyes to know their life stories, the thoughts that animate in their minds; the facts that led them to this place. I suppose that there are among them those who are serving sentences for sexual crimes – always sex as the motivation, explicit or profound, cultured or natural! -, murderers, drug dealers, fraudsters, and one or another guilty of being poor and even innocent… How to know? (Congratulations, expansions for this column, suggestions and even complaints, direct them to carlos.cronista.aguascalientes@gmail.com).

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