A Small Measure of Peace

by MAGNETO

I always felt different; in fact, looking back to my early childhood, I knew I was different, not just for being Roma, but maybe for beign gifted. I was a natural ousider, with no friends, except my brother Antonio Eduardo, 13 months younger than me. I spent most of my life, my childhood and my teenage years in Alfafar, my small village, a stranger to everything that was common for other people. I decided somehow to isolate myself, and I did: I saw thousands of TV shows, I read hundreds of books, and read as many comic books as one person can read. I dedicated myself to curiosity, to investigate from my small room, selling socks in the morning for a few hours 4 days at week and running home to be safe again. At the time I had this lifestyle I was 140 kilos, but I wasn’t unhappy — I was focused, and inside me, very deep inside, I always knew someday everything would change.

Then an opportunity came, and I took it: a cinema course. Without concrete benefits, without gaining a title, I completed it and recorded one short film. I took this very seriously. It was the first time in my life I really left my house, since as I left school at 12, I literally grew up in front of my playstation and my plasteline figures. I used to write poetry, narratives, theories, I studied everything without living almost anything. But after the short film, nothing was the same.

Don’t ask me how, but I ended up in Cordoba in a Congress of Roma, a youth summit organized by ternYpe-International Roma Youth Network; and after this, purely by accident I ended up in Israel, where I visited Jerusalem and saw my life change.

Today, after 22 years reading and studying the world and 3 years travelling throughout Europe, meeting all kind of people and living all kinds of situations, many of my ideals and beliefs changed; some for the better, and some for the worse, I guess.

It is the price of being analytical, and logical, and sometimes, sometimes a bit too drastic. So my emotions overwhelmed me many times and though I found myself alone in many dark hours, I still feel, though many people will never understand it, that I have a purpose, a Vision.

My referents were different, not parents or relatives at all, not teachers, but Gods, myths, heroes, philosophers, and antropomorphic entities; eternity, desire, destruction, death, delirium, despair and dreams.

I dreamt strongly since my first years, and dreams always guided me, sometimes while sleeping, some while I was awake, but dreams were always there.

We have passed over 30 locations in Spain, Rebekah and I, in our long way to justice, she as exceptional and beautiful as she is, and me, in my darker hours after a life full of bright moments. But I guess both of us share many things, and maybe it is for this that even in the middle of so many difficult moments, we persist.

We share a dream.

The last night in Spain we decided to split. She went to La Mina with the family of Jose Antonio, and I came to Sant Roc. There Uncle Mariano was waiting for me, for a meeting with the Roma elders of Catalunya. I did not know where to sleep but for me thats not a problem, I love to stay awake wandering, meeting people, staying with them.

So after saying goodbye to Bekah, and by the way it was very, very difficult, after say goodbye, I met Alfonso, primed to meet Uncle Mariano and the rest of the elders and respectful men of Catalunya.

During the meeting Pedro Aguilera, a friend of mine, was talking about antigypsysm while being interrupted frequently; the meeting held all the elders, the police, and many representative. After the meeting unfortunately no conclusion, the same old story, some stakeholders cutting others, and nobody allowing anybody else to do anything at all. I was watching the show, thinking about Uncle Mariano and Alfonso, my friends, with the hope of being able to meet them afterwards for dinner. Uncle Mariano agreed, and we decided to meet half and hour later.

Unfortunately, we did not have phones, no fuel, no GPS, and the van of Alfonso was broken to pieces and rolling by pure miracle. We spent 3 hours to arrive to the Pollo Campero fast food restaurant. Uncle Mariano paid for us and started to expose.

After 4 hours we arrived to the climatic point: there is apparently no way to find a small measure of peace for Roma, we all agreed, we will never be able to agree except that we don’t agree. We were all laughing, but by the end of the night we started to talk and to dream, which is sometimes the key.

We said goodbye to each other that night. Though our conversations must remain between us, now that I have passed through Spain and face the challenge of the Pyrenees, I still believe change is possible, and that it will arrive. And for this, some people, such as Mariano, Alfonso and me, will fight by any mean necessary.

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