My biggest fear during Easter is that a child will burst a balloon. That’s why, knowing that that week is approaching, I start to tremble. When the brotherhoods wait for her with fervor and enthusiasm, the brothers polish their staffs, the Nazarenes iron their habits and the women who will not leave Nazarenes smooth their mantillas; When the bearers do squats, the foreman clears his voice and the older brother brushes his clothes, I tremble at the thought of a child’s balloon bursting in the official race. Because? Because I live one hundred meters from the Mosque-Cathedral and, for seven years (yes, this will be the seventh), during Holy Week I also live one hundred meters from the official race.
In a few days, the entire perimeter will be covered by floorboards with boxes and chairs covered with red fabrics, which give it elegance and cover the boards that contain them, and a palisade around it, which gives it the appearance of an impregnable fortress. And it is: it is very difficult for anyone to sneak in without a subscription. The streets surrounding the mosque, already narrow, become so thin that barely a line of pedestrians can pass along the outer edge. Despite this, during the processions, they grow in number and crowd against the fence, trying to see the steps. It is the attraction of a unique framework, especially if they make it difficult for us. What would happen if a child’s balloon burst, a motorcycle engine produced a small explosion, or someone set off a firecracker they had left over from Christmas? They all sound similar: like a gunshot or a bomb.
They will tell me that this could also happen before, when many processions paraded through these streets (almost all of them, I think). Also then there were floods of people who gathered in the areas with the best vision eating pipes, smoking and leaving all kinds of waste, organic and inorganic, on the ground. Also then the processions arrived, from the north and the south, marking the route with trails of wax drops that, when dry, made it easier for pedestrians and motorists to skid and fall. What happens now is that the official race brings together much more people and occupies a fixed space that reduces the mobility of passers-by. This space is located in a labyrinth of narrow streets, some with no exit (like the one I live in) that, in the face of the panic reaction that a sudden, dull noise, perhaps that of a balloon, could trigger in people, will become necks. bottles, or in mousetraps, perfect places for many people to be crushed.
That’s why I have decided that this year I will perform. I will not run away like the previous ones. I will arm myself with a long needle, I will stand in the Tendillas and when I see a child with a balloon heading towards the river, I will sneak up on him and prick him. It won’t take him to the official race. That if not. When I finish with the children coming from the north, I will go to the Roman bridge, get those from the south, and I will repeat the play. If the parents protest, I will brandish the needle and give them my arguments. If they are smart, they will understand me. Why not? If the brotherhoods watch over our Córdoban souls, I am going to watch over our bodies. They deserve it too.