I think the phrase from this post that most haunts me is “I lie in the dark.”
I once went out a few times with the great-granddaughter of General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, the ex-President of El Salvador. She told me stories about how crazy he was, unless you were crazy, and then he was perfectly sane, and then she asked, “So, are you crazy?”
One day General Martínez looked out the palace window and saw a campesino drop in the street. He didn’t think too much about it and turned back towards a group of ministers huddled over a table. They were looking at the location of Indian villages and discussing how they might launch another massacre of the Pipil people. The man lying in the street was eventually carried away to the hospital, where he died that night of smallpox.
The smallpox spread through San Salvador rapidly. General Martínez declared a national emergency and ordered colored lights to be hung from houses and placed in parks. …
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