Chapter 1 - The End at Hand
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A Diary of Despair
3/18/1965 Ė Life has always been hard for me, but I thought things would improve, that one day my sacrifices would be rewarded. Now, this illness. Everything else changes in this world, so why canít my luck also change? It is as if God never looks my way, or, if He does, it is only to send me suffering. I feel angry and am beginning to think that God does not exist, or, if He does, He is unfair. I mean, how can it be that I walk the straight and narrow path, struggle so much and so hard, never harm anyone, act kindly to everybody, help so many people, refrain from drinking and smoking, try to be a paragon of virtue, and yet, lo and behold, suddenly death is at my doorstep and I suffer so much from this illness? I was thinking today about how to avoid this suffering and now have decided to end my life when the pain and the disease become unbearable. A gunshot to the chest and all will explode: me, God, and everyone who has harmed me so much. A pause. My father also.
He interrupts his writing and thinks. For the first time, he wants to hurt his father. For the first time, he has a chance to hurt somebody and this tragic death will be his weapon. ...
The unexpected—both that gut-feeling, bad hunch that comes when all is well and routine, or that good feeling one feels when all hope is gone and one’s fate rides on randomness—happens to Joman de Oliveira O. The first time the unexpected comes through adversity, an illness which could take him prematurely to his grave.
When someone like Joman dies, the initial impression is that there is nothing special about it, even if the death is announced. Joman is but one more face in a huge crowd, just a serious-looking face on a sidewalk, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, so that he can cross the street. Just one more common Joe Doe, under thirty and already convinced that his fate is just to work hard and to overcome an endless string of troubles.
Someone like that would be so uninteresting that nothing would justify telling his life story. After all, everybody has to face and overcome an endless string of troubles. To be aware of death’s closeness is unavoidable, even for people as young as Joman. A decision to anticipate death, to avoid greater suffering, is also a run-of-the-mill occurrence everywhere in the world. However, the unexpected appearance of his fatal illness was just the beginning of a domino-effect cascade of events which subverted and inverted his very being. It triggered a revolution that can hit anyone, even if for different reasons and in different ways.
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The book has 11 chapters.
Chapter 2 - Prior Events
How did Jomanís father, an immigrant, meet his mother? What was the wedding like? What was Jomaní fatherís nickname?
Chapter 3 - Tormented Passion
Jomanís birth, his fatherís extra-marital affair, and the other dramas that take place within a family.
Chapter 4 - Struggle
Thus begins the struggle between active Joman and his afflictive mother. The dynamic of the nuclear family.
Chapter 5 - Life's Defeats
Joman begins to get along with other boys, attend school, and experience his first disappointments outside the home. The suffering he passes through during his early years, a secret pre-teen crush, the difficulties he had fitting in, the anxieties and humiliations, the desperate efforts to have close relations with others and be respected, as well as the hazards, are the themes of this chapter, which extends up to the age of eighteen.
Chapter 6 - The Other World
In spite of his fears, Joman moves to another town where nobody knows him..How his shyness influences his choices such as those related to work. The first victories. His first real girlfriend at the age of twenty-five. His marriage. The suffering and harm caused by his shyness.
Chapter 7 - The Hand Tremors
Before the age of thirty, he is stricken with a life-threatening illness. He and his wife struggle desperately to find a cure. The loss of hope. His return to his hometown to relive past experiences in a different way and fulfill his ultimate desire: to be free!
The last four chapters Ė more than half the book Ė are pure adrenalin.
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