The streets have been blocked for several days. The banks are closed. Hospital emergency services are operating slowly. Since Monday ; country lock, confinements. Barricades. Schools, universities, nothing works. It is absolute emptiness, nothingness. The demands are enormous. My mother lives in Plaine du cul de Sac in a very busy neighborhood. I just spoke with her on the phone. I try to be cheerful, alive. I try to be a strong man in the face of the concerns in his voice. That sad, trembling voice. That stormy voice. Deep down, I feel like this is our last conversation. Before hanging up, I want to kiss her very tightly, tell her that I love her, that without her my life will be sad and lost in the emptiness of the night.
Demonstrators in the streets to demand the departure of Prime Minister Ariel Henry Photo: Carlin Trezil
Life will take a breath. Hope will return. Everything will be back to normal. I wanted to be strong and responsible. I wanted to say something to calm him down, but the danger is too real, too visible. I hid my tears. I want to cry out loud! Enough, enough leave us alone. Mom is ill, the psychologist asks that she live in a calm and serene place. But who will hear me? The wind, the sun, the neighbors?
In this room in Delmas 60, I am one of the thousands of young Haitians who are suffering, who are slowly dying. Here, we live to die slowly. Crises crush us. Crises enter our veins, our heads. Crises intoxicate us. We were born in crisis and we grow in crisis. We are a crisis generation.
This February 7 in Port-au-Prince. The tension is growing. The population demands the departure of Prime Minister Ariel Henry
I am one of thousands of young Haitians who are desperate, discouraged. My heart beats at an irregular pace. I look out the window, I see no sign of hope. The trees are sad. The weather is dark. Silence is suspicious and fragile. I feel like this is truly our last conversation. My mother’s voice is seriously uncertain. There is suffering, fear, nostalgia for life. Like the voices of the condemned that we hear in horror films.
I keep my cool. I am a strong man, I told myself in a low voice. On the phone, the bullets ring out as if the shooter is two blocks from me. The bullets go into my stomach. I’m shaking. My feet feel light. I feel dizzy. The bullets prevent me from hearing his voice. “Since this morning we have been shooting constantly. You hear the bullets. You hear. I don’t go near the windows. I have no water or anything to eat. I haven’t seen Peter (my big brother) since this morning.” I told him it will stop. I lied. I lied to keep her cool. I lied to save his optimism. I lied for real. Outside, there is emptiness, panic. Outside, bullets fall like light rain.
The streets are blocked, tires are on fire everywhere. Photo by Carlin Trezil
The last time, a stray ball landed on the side of his left foot. I feel like the craziest man in the world. I hung. I have no strength to call next time. If I listen April in paris maybe it’s to give me a little strength. I walk the streets of Port-au-Prince like a zombie. I no longer have the strength to live. I no longer have the strength to hope. When we lose the strength of hope we lose everything, even ourselves.