In those days, to drink laudanum was a very common custom. Someday, I read a story about Nietzsche’s madness caused by laudanum. Goya drank laudanum and, it’s supposed, laudanum caused his deafness. A deaf man in a house built by phantoms and black figures. That man was a great painter years ago, a man who made the portrait of the king of Spain and his family. Who’s that man? Now, he is mad in a mad house of cannibals and broken dreams of Enlightenment and reason. And this deaf man can’t listen yet to the lost echoes of the French Revolution. You have laudanum for one day more, Mr. Goya, we will have dreams for one hundred of centuries more, Mr. Napoleon. We will go to France, Bordeaux, but we won’t be back to our country and we know it. That is the place we will die, that is the place we will be born. We have here all we would need: nightmares and dead children and tortures and blood and broken promises of reason and faith. Years ago you were a man of the Enlightenment with many ideas for social peace… but now you are just an old man with the thinking of the old Spanish society: pain and bullfighting and Dionysus and blood and smiles before a crime. It’s now time to remember, it’s now time to forget and forgive… but they can’t do it? What? Forgive, forgive, forgive me mother when I escaped from home and I tried to find my own way. I was wrong when I thought that a different world is possible… no, mother. Now, I believe you, phantom, I believe mom, I believe you father, I believe you my beloved Spain. It’s time to talk with the beast who comes with three numbers and one thinking. Scared? Of course not, I know him, I know it. I know the fear and I know how to escape from the paradox. The end and the beginning have always the same answer for different riddles. It’s time to die, Mr. Francisco de Goya, it’s time to imagine a world involved into shadows and mists. Tell me now the secret of nightmares, the secret answer of the Death, the mystery of living and deceasing, the mystery of being alive year by year, day by day, second by second. Are you still alive, painter? Are you strong enough to take the pencil and make your last nightmare? Take the last drop of laudanum, master, we will need it. We will need every drop of poison to configure our darkest dream, to imagine our final descent to hells.
We can hear now the crying child faraway. It’s clear and silent, it’s horrible and terrible, cruel and painful. It’s beautiful.