I take this title from Elena Garro and apply it to Mexico. The days have no order, sometimes there are four Mondays in a row or two Thursdays, each day has a color and some have black braids. But sometimes, as in the movie Groundhog Day (Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis 1993), one day repeats itself: the same military start, the same “spirit”, yesterday’s jokes, misinformation and tiresome anecdotes that they say again with the same mocking smiles and the same attacks. Mexico is trapped in December 1, 2018 perhaps with no hope of moving into the future, but with the risk that it will start to go back in time, but will we go back to the future?
In Don Flor’s territory, Sunday is red and the word lust is painted on the door and, further down, largesse. In the other country of the other Don Flor, any day it can lose its original color and turn red without anyone being surprised. It is not uncommon for there to be more than 100 violent deaths in a day, ten femicides or for it to become the OECD country with the highest excess of deaths (50% more deaths), probably due to the mismanagement of the pandemic and neglect of other diseases, eg diabetes. Life in this terroir is so light.
But how is it that there can be too many deaths? Does the OECD with all its seriousness approach the universe of Garro or Ibargüengoitia in which everything is absurd, sometimes even becoming a mockery? They are the girls and young people who had to return home and dine and dream, the men who returned or did a job and left a hole in the world, the women who had to go out to do their things; things that no one will know how they were done. There are no “excess deaths”, there are the guilty, the irresponsible, the negligent and the liars. And in the red Sunday that is repeated of the second Don Flor there are them in abundance.
In the land of the first Don Flor, Eva and Leli were not afraid that “our Lord Jesus Christ” would dry their eyes by looking at what they shouldn’t have; In the land of the other Don Flor, Milo and Santi were not afraid either because “our Lord Jesus Christ” could not know everything. Thus, one went to dinner with friends and another went to get married, but Mr. de Palacio, who feels like our “Lord Jesus Christ”, cannot bear “extravagances”, he has to act with discretion because that is the mark of the house: it seems that one lives in the just mediocrity. Irrevocable Juarista phrase (remember that in the world of this other Don Flor all the phrases are from Juárez, even those that say Morelos or the famous “time is money” said). If you act with discretion you can go unpunished or hold ostentatious celebrations. If this discretion is not heeded, you can end up in jail or unemployment. The only one who can show off his money and his houses is the lord of the electricity and the downed systems. The problem is not doing things outside the law but being discovered.
Garro says that sometimes the days were absent because the week had gone to the Teloloapan Fair and then the first Don Flor stayed in the center of the absent days. The second Don Flor leaves the days and goes further from Teloloapan, to New York, to talk about warm water and black thread, discoveries that will allow him to walk acclaimed by his followers while announcing that the price of things is rising, but that does not matter to the worshipers. Nobody questions him head-on for that. It is already known that it can make a Monday or Thursday bleed with blows.
The first Don Flor saw the pleasures drawn on the mats, he heard the groans in empty rooms because they were smeared on the walls that smelled of dirt and neglect. The second Don Flor does not hear or see anything that he does not say, neither the pleasures of organized crime celebrating his party nor the complaints of the victims, of the parents of children without medication.
That week! Full of colors that turn red, punishments for indiscretion, high prices and proposals that are not.
This other Don Flor says that he is happy, but let’s remember a phrase from Jardiel Poncela (whose? Well, who quotes Jardiel Poncela at this point in the 21st century?): There are two ways to achieve happiness: one is to become the idiot; the other, to be. You choose.