Hernan Jourdan

and the megabyte horses

Here was a place to start

I sang this in an empty house, legs still too short to make me reach the bathroom mirror. I fantasized about squatted houses then. The idea distilled belonging. Belonging to something that I wasn't part of back then –something that took place outside of my empty house and that had nothing to do with the reasons that made my house empty. And so it begun, the magnets pulling me out, and me going towards them. Whatever it was outside of that empty house, I was watching with full open ears.

I learnt about authority and orders of execution deemed unquestionable in the context of state terror, which my parents went through without a lasting fear of streets I don't know how. Simultaneously: dancing, pushing and beer at concert interludes. Riding on the trunk of a station wagon through the highway to the city, driver's age 18? Graffiti and excitement. Wine on the cheap that made me ask for kicks on the park. There was something called "Human Rights" and there was even something similar for children, that considered child labor unlawful, yet the subway filled with six-year olds that stretched their tiny hands to passengers, greeting grief, before offering Saint Mary's picture, illuminated from above. That was around the 2000s, when people debated whether to start calling it the new century or not quite yet (wait until the zero turns to one). Were we (my friends of the same age and I) paying off the nineteen hundreds, which then to me, still in Buenos Aires, just meant external debt, and would we be ever able to pay such debt –and was it legitimate?

While in Plaza de Mayo police men riding horses unleashed their whips against a middle-class woman banging on a cooking pot with a metal spoon I thought of what my history teacher had said once: "this has turned the people against the people", but then who's holding office and working for who? (the question remains a naive one, but I suspect there's a certain power in being able to access it) Do they enter the so-called 1% that so many protested about a few years ago from Wall Street to the streets of Seattle? Argentina is held on display proudly by the IMF right before the national guard in tanks had to break up protests mirrors back something else, and in the North the firearm industry stands to provide the police throughout the 50 states with military equipment and keep people on the line (but 'criminals' too) or send them to jail (that's another private business).

And who cares, really, about what might be wrong in the society we live in today and causing these things to happen? Who cares about the one who steals or smuggles if it's not to make a profit off him or her?

In an empty house where I'm found again, I befriend abandonment as my place to start.