Cassandra sits alone in a dark room in Eternity’s basement, it makes little difference, she’s blind and no one ever pays her any mind anyway. No one ever has, no one ever will.
Still, the images that flash though her mind and the perceptions they gestate terrify her, as they always have, as they always will. Being harbingers of what is and what is to be.
She reflects on delusion. Not really a favorite theme, just one that never goes away.
When she was among others that’s what they called her, “delusional”. They’d smile when they said it, pity in their eyes, but to her profound frustration, that’s what she knew them to be. And try as she might, she could never succeed in communicating the accuracy of her foresights. Paris and Priam and Hellen, but especially Hector haunted her memories. That had all been so very, very long ago.
Or had it?
Last night she’d dreamt, she always did.
Last night’s dream involved people in grief wondering at the horrors of which others were capable. A bomb planted in a crowded stadium concert killing dozens, among them many children, the perpetrator, dead among them, labelled a coward. An insane very young man, supposedly deluded with dreams of deflowering virgins in Paradise, although perhaps his reasons were much, much different.
In another place, a crowd of people wail in grief in a tiny village, amidst the wreckage of a mosque where a wedding had been in progress. Out of the clear and brilliant sky a malevolent tube had descended destroying almost everything and everyone, among them many children. Other people wondering at the horrors of which others were capable. The perpetrator safe in a securely guarded room full of screens and computers and what seemed to be video games, hailed as a hero, protecting liberty and democracy; although sometimes in too frequent nightmares others called to him, women and children, and grandparents, and brides and grooms, and the unborn, and a hero was not what they perceived him to be.
In a third place, a large hall at a podium, heavily but subtly guarded, amidst television cameras and photographers and journalists stood a speaker filled with grief and rage, explaining how and why more violence was necessary to undo previous violence and preserve liberty, which was why measures had to be taken to kill more people and to restrict more activities and to invade more privacies and perhaps, if called for, to use more and more extreme enhanced interrogation techniques and to pay more and more costs in collateral damage in the name of freedom and liberty and justice. “We must annihilate radical Islamic terrorists”, she shouts, “and Castro-Chavista narco-terrorists, and Russians too, … they’re trying to steal our democracy, ….”
Cassandra of course recalled the days when her dreams were set amidst more primitive backgrounds but with all too similar results. She reflected on delusion then as she does now. When she was among others that’s what they’d called her, as they would today if they’d let her out of her dark room in Eternity’s basement. “Delusional” she whispers to herself, to her profound frustration, that’s what she knew them to be and it’s what they still are. And try as she may she can never succeed in communicating the accuracy of her foresights. She couldn’t then and she still can’t.
“Delusional” she keeps whispering, over and over and over again. Over and over again.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved