which he always knows about, like a meteor shower, he invites Pericles to stay upwith him to watch it. Rosita, his wife, brought me some women’s magazines shegot from the Neighborhood Circle, a club sponsored by the American Embassy, of which they are members—I’d like to join but Pericles does not think very highly of it.
Saturday, March 25
I find relief from my solitude writing in this diary. It’s the first time since we weremarried that I have been separated from Pericles for more than a week. When Iwas a teenager I used to keep a diary, a dozen or so are stored away in my memorytrunk; I used to spend days in my room reading one novel after another, lost in myown fantasy world. Then came marriage, children, responsibilities.This morning, before my father left for his finca, we had a longconversation. I asked him if he could think of any way to pressure the general torelease Pericles. He told me that in a few days the coffee- growers’ associationwould meet with the American ambassador, and he would present Pericles’s caseas one more violation of freedom of the press, he said it wasn’t enough for thedictator to detain Pericles’s boss, Don Jorge, and to keep the Press Club closedsince January, but now he has gone after the columnists. But he warned me that the Nazi warlock has gone off the deep end and doesn’t listen to anybody, “not evenyour father-in-law,” he told me. My father respects my father-in-law, even thoughsometimes he calls him “the cantankerous colonel,” and he doesn’t approve of histotal obedience to the general.At noon, I brought my husband books and tobacco. We ate in silence. I thentalked to him about family matters; he told me he is weary of the lack of naturallight, and the damp. I don’t like his pallor or that cough of his, which is becomingchronic. He repeated that “the man” feels besieged, trusts no one, otherwise hewouldn’t have consigned him to this basement cell, and wouldn’t keep him lockedup.Clemen dropped by this afternoon. He’s outraged that his father is still behind bars. I told him his grandfather has recommended patience, for there isnothing to be done at the moment. My eldest son is hot-blooded, imprudent;he was cursing the general, calling him “that little shitfaced dictator,” sayingthat nobody wants him anymore, he should step down and leave the country. Isuggested he show some restraint with his words. He promised he would come for lunch tomorrow, Sunday, with his wife and children.Later in the afternoon, Carmela came by, and we had a cup of coffee on theterrace; she is still my best friend, has been ever since high school. She brought adelicious lemon pie. She was very sorry to hear that Pericles had not been released,