Here, where I live, and everywhere around, big corporations have the habit of buying entire lower-class neighbourhoods, and then increase rent until everyone has to leave. Sometimes they let a few people stay in exchange for whatever slave-like services these corporations require.
Ten years ago, there was the so called “Great Buy-up.” Several thousand people were dispatched, turned landless, or allowed to stay, but now even more under the influence of the corporations in question. I was young then, everything blurry, but I do remember the shanty towns growing seemingly organically from the ground, sprouting up in parks and suburbs.
Today, all the shacks are gone. I don’t know where they, or their inhabitants, went. And I refrain from doing any research.
Similar shit is happening again. Of course, it’s happening all the time, but once again on a larger scale. The difference now is 1) that rents are already record high, everywhere, and 2) no one cares. Already, whenever you leave home you’ll see people sleeping under billboards, in ditches along the freeway, or in hundred-year-old ruins by the railroad. What difference could a couple more do?
Neighbourhoods are being converted into research facilities or factories or new offices or concrete structures behind barb wire, or testing grounds: fenced-in blocks with God knows what kind of chemicals in the drinking water, or whatever, places where desperate people live for free in exchange for a signature there, there, and there. Only to end up dead. I’ve read about people dying in not-so-pleasant ways because of projects like these. Maybe you see why I refrain from research.
Anyway, I suspect my father’s cousin and his twins are victims of the most recent buy-up. That’s why The Man with the Pig’s Heart is coming to stay here… and apparently, one of the twins is to sleep in my room.
Today at the dinner table, all of us silent in the loud sunset’s curtain-filtered light, my mother Marie (who refuse to be called anything but Marie) broke the silence and explained that Albert is to sleep in the Igloo, where he also will set up office, and one twin is to sleep in my room, the other in my sister’s.
My sister, Felicia, or Fela, is seven, but she already has her own room, of which she only occupies one corner, where she sits, humming, playing weird games with her broken dolls and howling fire truck and gnawed-on lego pieces. At the dinner table, she begins humming, too, on a tune probably made up, because I can’t imagine popular music playing any of the shit coming out of her mouth… She doesn’t care one bit what is being said around her.
But I care. A lot.
Because one of the twins is to sleep in my room. This is an issue.