Is There Pleasure In Suffering?

Flávia Azambuja

            I was 23 years old when it happened. It is a summer night like others. It is hot, the air is dense. I sleep in my bed. I remember to use two electric fans, one isn’t enough. And I keep sweating. When I hear some screams, I wake up. I slowly understand; it is not a dream. Then I find my dad. He talks really fast with my mom. He gestures and walks from one side to another.  I can’t understand what he says. And I am really trying. I feel my stomach sick. I feel dizzy and I am longing to dismiss it. He keeps gesturing so much until I understand; his motorcycle is not there in front of our house. The street is empty, despite the hot night. It seems that destiny conspires in favor, but only in favor of the criminals.

           We decide to call the Police. Some minutes later a sleepy police officer says, “hello”. My dad explains the situation. And the policeman says, “calm down”, then he promises a solution. This reassures us, but soon despair returns when we see two kids dressed like police officers. They are totally unfit for the job; they do not know what to do. They run the police car directionless. We pay for an unprepared police force and we feel insecure. It was a silent dark night. We don’t know where to go. We decided to go in the opposite direction of the police officers, only because they seem not to have any clues.

            Meanwhile, we walk in the middle of the night trying to find the motorcycle. Later we ask people in the street, “Have you seen a blue motorcycle?” The faces of the people are instantly pale. They think and don’t say anything, but some time later, the people start to say, “Yes, we have”. And they tell us “keep walking”. We do the job of police and detective, only because we don’t trust the system. There are people in the street like always in Bagé at hot nights. It is a tradition. The people sit in front of their houses and they drink chimarrão. My family and I like to drink chimarrão too, but only tonight we break up with the tradition: we run after criminals.

            We run, run, and run. We are tired, there is sweat in our shirts, but we keep running until a couple tell us “the motorcycle has not passed here”. We feel lost. We had clues until this moment. My sister is wearing a t-shirt, a skirt, and  sleepers so she can’t run anymore. It isn’t easy to run wearing sleepers. She wants to go back home, but we decide to continue walking. I convince her to keep walking. We fell so close to discover about the crime.

           Five years later, I can’t explain what makes us enter in an abandoned backyard, but something did.  We feel impelled as if a strange force pull us. As we enter, we are surprised there are people in the house. We ask…First, they tell us “we don’t see anything,” but a woman calls me in whispers and says, “I see the motorcycle. It is in neighborhood.” She is trembling while she talks to me. Her voice is intersected.

           I don’t know what to do. I decide to talk to my dad. The people let us enter to spy. There are many trees, the grass is tall, there isn’t light. Then we hear a strange noise. It seems something is being dismantled. We spy and see a huddle twisted iron. It is the motorcycle of my dad.

           We call the Police again. My dad explains where we are and we wait. The police officers come and with them comes the fear for myself and for my sister. I fear dying and I also fear losing my sister. I shedder? despite the hot night. I fear for myself and my sister. I think “something can happen with her”. The police officers decide to invade the house. We stay on the street. There is fear in the air. First I feel hate, but the police officers beat the criminals a lot; then I am plain afraid.

         The police officer shoots and I say to my sister “lie down”. And I  fear for my sister and for myself again. Meanwhile, a thief fled then my dad enters the house again. My dad says “where you should go, my friend? “. My dad seems frightfully calm. I can’t look or pretend like him.

           I would like to tell a happy end but life isn’t like how we would like it to be. I would like the criminals to stay in jail or for them to repent, but nothing. I would like to live this story and have more hope in justice and humanity; however, exactly the opposite happens. The criminals are freed after my dad witnesses about the robbery. The criminals suffering makes me feel “glad,” because they at least suffered. I ask about human rights.  Until this episode, I defended human rights. And I keep defending it, but the sensation of revenge is good and at the same time makes me feel guilty. It is easy to defend something that we have not lived, but after experience everything changes. My dad stays calm although he has a dismantled motorcycle. And the criminals are freed, probably doing the same thing over and over again. This story makes me realize how fragile our life is. And makes me ask about my feelings, how cruel I can be, I almost feel pleasure in seeing those people suffering. I experienced contradictory feelings and know a side about myself, I wouldn’t like to know.

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