Self Fulfilled Prophecy

storyThere is a blood curdling story that Andy recalls reading as a kid, written by Gabriel García Márquez about a woman that dreams of a horrible misfortune that will take place in her village, so she relates it to her eldest son at breakfast. The son, in his turn, passes on the prediction to his friends while playing billiard. The rumor reaches the butcher, who tells it to his customers. Every housewife then tells the story at the dinner table and then it reaches people at work and children in their classrooms. By 8 PM, the whole town is immersed in mass hysteria and the streets are a stage of a bloody exodus. In the panicked crowd, the mother finds her son and says. “I told you something bad was going to happen in this town.”

Those who live in terror of being a big part of something like this, like Andy, fear to interfere with destiny, whether it is a football match or not. And, so, people like Andy often become somewhat paralyzed and do nothing. It is not laziness, as some people victim of shortsightedness like to refer to it. It is just that people like Andy want to live free of guilt of weaving collective disasters.

Andy’s wife’s usual reaction to his thoughtful inactiveness can be characterized as irate. She sometimes shouts at him when he is sitting on the couch watching a football match and slams doors. Andy does his utmost best to appease the beast roaring from the insides of his wife’s chest and wonders how it is possible that, with the bestial clamor that shakes the very foundations of their house, and probably the rest of the neighborhood, there has yet not been a coup in Portugal and thinks it is only a matter of days.

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