Two Blows in a Row

I lost nights ghostwriting a book and was paid for that. Consequently, I shouldn’t complain. The question is that I do complain. There is a certain type of work with no price tag attached. Writing a book is not baking a loaf of bread that we sell and forget about it.

My work was just writing, not editing. I trusted someone competent would be selected for the second part of the job, obviously. This week I received a draft of the book that left me so furious I refused to see the pseudo author-editor ever again. A text I helped to write (better say wrote) treated so unprofessionally was the first blow of the week.

Shortly after, one of our new guards got sick and was hospitalized. It looks like he doesn’t have what everybody thinks when we talk Africa. Yet, he is not well. We have an idea of his condition and shall check it soon with one of the doctors at that hospital. It is one of those medieval diseases that remain in Africa, fortunately for us, bacterial and blood transmitted. The risk of being contagious is insignificant. He got it working in construction sites in South Africa, where the conditions are minimal. His illness is also associated with poor hygiene, alcohol and drinking. He is 32 years old and his chances are little. The curious is when we try to explain the other personnel the reason why he got sick and hospitalized, they disconnect their earing system. They decided already that it’s witchcraft and nothing is going to change that. What is a doctor’s diagnosis compared to their certitude, anyway?

I am now used to blows. Blow or no blow, nothing changes. We keep living. And if we have to live, better live the best way we can. The book is upsetting, yet predicable. The guard is truly worrying. It took me time to get used to new faces in this house and I was starting to like the quiet and helpful presence of Albino, who also has the artistic name of Silva. He is a sculptor and he came to work for us already in a very bad shape. We thought it was traditional booze, now we see that it is a lot more serious than that. He had stopped drinking. I am not sure if he will be able to stop the rest.

And I am surviving all that, despite a little apprehensive with an old Portuguese saying: when there are two, there are three.

(I suppose the nearby zouk festival may as well be the third blow.)

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