On Sundays, in the late afternoon, I feel a recurring unease. It begins with a slight, imperceptible tingling in the stomach, then a heaviness in the arms, and finally a tightness in the chest and a chill in the soul. The imminent death of the afternoon, and with it the weekend, fills me with a sensation of incompleteness. Time is running out and there are issues to resolve.
From my time as a high school student, Sundays are sad days. Incomplete days in which I cannot start anything, waiting for transport to take me back to school, seeing my friends again. And then spending hours recounting our weekend adventures. Some, like Roberto, stretch Sunday a little further, bringing music and drink with them and continuing the dancing on the dark balcony, or on the roof of the dormitory, partying until exhaustion or the dawning of Monday makes us stop. When there isn’t any transport the adventure of traveling on my own starts, in the trains and buses still running. An adventure that almost always ends by the side of the road, signaling everything that passes. As it’s impossible to predict the duration of such a haphazard journey, we have to hit the road earlier. And the Sundays are that much shorter.
When I start working, I think the character of Sundays can change. And for a while, it’s true. I amuse myself, even though diversions are expensive. And scarce. A few years go by and I discover that working doesn’t satisfy a vital need, rather it entangles me in a confused network of circulars, intrigues, resolutions, black outs, opportunisms, procedures, quarrels, voluntary work, much less transport, egotism, production campaigns, professional jealousies, generalized inefficiency, vigilance work, envy. A lot. Nothing makes sense. Much less is logical. Only the amount of fanfare matters. And the enthusiasm. Always the enthusiasm. Yes. In its always greatest expression: unconditional enthusiasm. And Sundays become a prelude to depression.
Six years ago I started making a living on my own. I don’t have hours, because the bananas don’t stop growing at 5 pm, and the clients need their equipment working so they, too, can earn a living. I exchange the security of a wage at the end of the month for the freedom to say what I think, not to go where they order me to go when I don’t want to, and to excuse myself from the pantomime of raising my hand to achieve the sacrosanct unanimity. Many who would call themselves my friends haven’t been to my house since then. Others who in truth are at my side, though they are in Spain, warming the chest with an unpalatable coffee. To be free can mean to be more alone, if those around you continue to be slaves. For six years I haven’t marked a time card nor gone to union meetings, but Sundays continue to be sad days.