” To Gaelle, for the care ” is one of the thanks of Joseph Pontus at the end of From the line, one of the most brilliant examples of workers’ literature in recent years. A book in which the author narrates his own life as a precarious worker with studies through various temporary employment agencies in shellfish manufacturing companies and cow slaughterhouses. A worker in blue overalls, one of the few that remain, thanking those who have shared his sleepless nights with him for the care, his broken back, his days in a bad mood, his nights writing after the cut and those in which he could not even give him the good evening.
Care and tenderness run through a work that can be smelled, first of the fish that the author treats and then of the blood clots from the slaughterhouse, but above all it is felt. The author’s regret for not missing the chop to remove his wife’s grief and financial uncertainty, to free her from burdens. His pain from being so exhausted that he can’t spend any more time taking his dog for a walk on the beach. The book is spent taking care of, and they do not stop taking care of him. Like when his mother sends him a letter full of love and tenderness with 50 euros so that he does not have to work hours on Saturday and thus be able to have a full weekend resting and enjoying with his wife. What would we be without care more than spoils without the strength to live.
Josep Pontus died shortly after having had success with his first book. He was barely able to enjoy it, but we still have the sweet taste that he could see how his work gave him a happy couple of years with his wife and their dog Tok Tok. Taking care of yourself is also wishing those who share our social trench pains a minimum of joys. Alberto Prunetti, one of the current authors of reference of the working pen, dedicated to him an obituary of skin and commitment, the only one that can be read in Spanish thanks to the translation by Nacho Lorente. Because we are few with a class conscience and we have to take care of ourselves and give ourselves a voice.
Prunetti’s works are published in Hoja de Lata, a small Asturian publishing house that gave us the gift of letting us read Asbestos and that he has the courage to edit with a class conscience and a taste for good handwriting. You could say that I love them for what they do. That is why it does not stop me from seeing how with that sensitivity that they show in their selection they enter into the game of contempt for care, in that dynamic of censorship of everything that does not follow the precepts of the workerism of another century. They are excusable mistakes when a magnificent job is being done in the editorial field of the left because they will rectify it, but that does not mean that honoring that affection we stand before with a frown when it hurts those who protect us the most. Care cannot be neglected because the working class is not without it. Because they, who historically have taken care of us, deserve that now we put their demands before us, that it is time.
To despise care just because it is associated with women in order to undervalue them as a symptom of weakness and make them antagonistic to unionism is part of the worst doctrine of the dogmatic left. Not only because it is done considering them a hindrance to the only demands that are considered authentic, but because they are just as much a working class as they are. I cannot conceive how one can speak of unionism without mentioning care, without being the core part of the accompaniment work, camaraderie and solidarity that make up the main value of unionism. But what is a resistance box if not an active exercise of caring?
Let us take care of ourselves who share griefs and losses and do not despise those who are like us with different ways of naming the same pain and the same sorrows. The working class is only one and names itself in different ways, none better than another, recognizing and taking care of ourselves is part of the only shared struggle that is worthwhile.