«For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself.
(St. Paul: Epistle to the Romans)
It's amazing that my son is turning 20 today ... if Martin was born yesterday. It seems that yesterday I was in labor, or taking him to his first concert and that only yesterday, with 6 years, he decided that he wanted to be a musician (by influence, obviously, of Yusa). On February 12, the day of her birth, it was a day of celebration and joy until 2013. Santiago Feliú, the same friend who brought me the most comfortable gowns and shoes that a pregnant woman could dream of during her trips to South America, a year next spoiled me the date forever, with its occurrence of coming to die just the day when my son, a little his also, was partying with Adriano Feliú, the eldest son of Santi, celebrating that ambiguous age in which they believe that they are not children, age of self-condescension and experimentation, of the first drinks and puffs in secret.
I was a fan of Santiago since my teens, but I wasn't exactly her friend. I was more a friend of Donato. I followed them with my cousins or the temporrary friends for Café Cantante and all the jams that let them play as a duo Salta Saltarina; Listening to them, I must have believed myself great, without being, as Martin thought he was great on February 12, 2014. His 80s Vallejianas metaphors (Se le caen los dientes a mi barba...) are an indisputable part of my emotional youth education. Only he succeeded in supplanting Silvio and Pablo, Los Meme, Los Safiros and The Beatles from my parents' cassette. And for a young iconoclastic, deny me if not, who puts the soundtrack of a house is the boss, even if there live several generations and you don’t know where the food that you put in your mouth comes from.
Then the Santi went to play throughout Latin America with Silvio, he believed things ... he joined the Colombian guerrillas for a while ... I lost sight of him. One late night in the late 90's he came to the tiny apartment that I shared with Mane to consult something legal, a lucid contract that he had signed in Argentina and had him caught by the eggs, or so it seemed. I was then the young one-eyed girl in the country of the blind, that is, the only lawyer here who understood some of these issues. I don't remember if he came on the advice of Xiomara or Iván Latour or who. The fact is that he arrived with his contract, and it turns out that the only ornament that was in those two square meters that made me home was a poster of his. Mane and I worshiped him as a God of our age. Only he dared to put Fidel, the Pope, Gorbachev and Allah in the same sentence, confirming the hodgepodge of emotions that the 90s brought us. And that already threw us head on the hard timba.
Then we don't separate. Our relationship was maturing with us and when we didn't realize we were trembling and we shared on Fridays, almost like a ritual, certainties, drinks, and worries. And laughs. Many laughs. We mocked together with was going on. We invent records and projects with absurd concepts and names and earn thousands of imaginary dollars with each one. What a way to eat shit. Eating shit with someone you love a lot should be one of the things that strengthen a friendship. And cook each other the few dishes that, with the little that you have, you learn to make. And they teach you to play Rummikub. And watch our children grow and love each other. And criticize him a lot the concert bodrio that he gave, wasting the National Symphony. And witness, even without fright, of his first hypertension bats. And notary apocryphal of his last wedding, because the role of divorce did not appear.
On February 11, 2014, Martín had gone out with Adriano and another friend ("take care of me and come back early, he has classes tomorrow") and I had fallen asleep when I felt him arrive a little after 12 and turn on the light of his lamp (that moment when the mother of a teenage son can finally fall asleep). What happened after about two o'clock in the morning is a nightmare that I have never dared to relive in words, although a thousand times it returns me with stubborn precision despite the meager memory left to me by the years and the excesses.
The phone rang at that absurd hour and, half asleep, I heard Gemma insistently ask me about Adriano, if I knew about him, if Martin had already arrived. "Martin is sleeping," I said, as I stood up and checked him anyway. There he was, in his room, innocent, surrendered. "Darsi, MY SANTIAGO PASSED AWAY", he shouted and I thought "Damn, what a freaking nightmare I am having" ... Everything is confusing even now ... Lili was already getting dressed and I was already riding in the car and I don't know if we fly, yes she drove or I drove at a ghostly speed or I teleported. Eighteen minutes after the call, who knows how, we were already in the Emergency Hospital with his inert body, with Gemma in an unstoppable crying - eight months pregnant as she was - and we had already found Adriano (who would arrive at the hospital all sweaty, minutes later, literally running from Infanta and Mangrove).
I had to dress him and comb his dull hair, the hardest moment - with distance - of my half-century of life; I had to tell a lot of people, in Cuba and outside of Cuba. I don't know how I could, half in trance I still remember myself. It has also been my turn to see how Martin, who had him as a kind of hippie uncle with green jokes and a car full of cockroaches, has grown up discovering for himself his poetry, his genius, his rock spirit, his illogical left-handed body.
Su obra grabada, que no he podido ni deseado volver a escuchar ya nunca más, comienza con Vida y termina con Ay, la vida. Como si él supiera que iba a dejarnos huérfanos de su persona, pero que necesitábamos un ser mitológico para personificar tanto absurdo, tanta fe perdida, tanta belleza terrible. Tanta Vida y tanta Muerte. Todo este Misterio.