Yonni Barrios, miner #21, came out of one hole earlier today to find himself in another hole sort of situation. His wife, Marta Salinas, was not there, jubilantly rejoicing his return from the earth to the earth, just like she said she wouldn’t be. And like she said she would be, his mistress, Susana Valenzuela was there and couldn’t let go, at least not for a good minute or so.
His wife said she might meet him at home, but no doubt she won’t hold him and hug him the way his lover did. She’s not even planning on staying married to him. I can’t say I blame her, although I don’t think I know how I feel, having followed the whole situation peripherally on account that it just made me sad and there was nothing much I could do to change anything for anyone. I don’t think Barrios should have been banished to the hole for asking both his mistress and wife to attend his arrival, not like this article suggests, but I do think that it would have been polite to acknowledge to his wife that they need to talk.
They aren’t likely the only mistresses when there are 33 men involved, but they are the ones whose fight for one love has been thrown into the spotlight while Yonni sat down in a mine without much light.
There’s a teaching opportunity here. One in which Yonni and his situation show the world, or at least those of us interested in a Chilean love affair (and not one called Brokeback Mineshaft, I swear I read that on some forum today) how to make light of a lover and wife.
Maybe they can remind us that life has a funny way of not always working out they way we plan, and that one day, when we’re going to work, and we work in a mine, that the mine might collapse, or if we don’t work in a mine, that wherever we are, where that is can collapse, be hit by a plane or some other accidentally disaster. And if we don’t love our partner or our life, it doesn’t hurt to be honest, even if honesty can also shake things up.
I was having this conversation last night about how many people stay together just because. Staying together because it’s easy, comfortable and less scary and because it sucks to have to move, split up your “stuff” and talk to the children and pets. And it sucks to have to explain to all the people in your life that you’re life, as you know it, is not so much as you know it anymore. It can be sad, scary and tiring to make change, and less sad, scary and tiring to make water.
I don’t need to be stuck in a mine to understand what it’s like to be shaken up, but how many people do?
Yonni looked happy in this video (below) which I found posted by the Frisky today. Genuinely happy to see his mistress, and even happier to see the light of day.