The truckers were the real heroes

Our plan last night was to put up shelves in our wardrobe and further reduce the chaos of our living conditions, which seems to involve shifting boxes from one room to another, until it becomes unmanageable, then redistributing the boxes to other rooms. Every few days we generate enough garbage to fill the bus and go to the dump, but the total amount of stuff in the house seems to be growing.

It’s quite dispiriting.

So much so that we were quickly distracted from shelves and boxes after I started playing Costa-Gavras’ Missing, recorded on our digital TV drive several months ago.

It’s a great movie. Confusing at the beginning only to reflect the chaos at the start of the coup d’état. Jack Lemmon is fan-bloody-tastic as the conservative curmudgeon who, after a painful series of revelations, realizes that he has been more naive than his idealistic son, and that normal rules of behaviour don’t always apply.

The title above is a quote from one of the American military advisors during the Chilean coup. It stuck in my head, reminding me of other events where “heavy” labour was manipulated by conservative forces: mafia-controlled teamsters in the US; Romanian miners leading a counter-attack to the overthrow of Ceaucescu …

… Yeah my mind gets to thinking …

I had a Chilean cousin-in-common-law in France some years ago, an artist who made delicate mobiles hung before the painted canvas, who seemed to spend more time politicking in the ultra-cliques of Parisian écoles, who was put through the German highschool in Santiago by his hat-maker mother, who decried the Allende years as times of chaos and roadblocks (by those truckers), and who never understood the fuss about Pinochet.

I was very fond of him, nonetheless, for his naivety in life matters and his attention to detail in his art. He had lived uncomfortably in sin with his girlfriend in Paris for 20 years before he learned that his wife had unceremoniously divorced him in Chile almost as soon as he had left the country. All those years he had denied himself the right to marry and have children. At the age of 50, he was more surprised than disappointed.

After the movie finished, I cleared up the debris in the living room before trying a nightcap in the form of a dram of 37-year-old whisky that was mistakenly sent to us in a Christmas hamper (shortcake and champagne). Standing in the demi-gloom of the cupboard under the stairs, I raised the lid off the box, and it looked just like a coffin.

Maybe it was an association with the movie. Dead bodies splayed on the skylight of the morgue.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t enjoy the whisky.

Over to you!