He died while the birds were flying south | Culture | EUROtoday
One day in September 1982, when the melancholy of late summer time had already settled on the empty seashore, he obtained the information that his father was dying. When he arrived at the household house he met his brothers, who had witnessed the agony all night time. After the silent hugs, they took benefit of his arrival to have a drink at the nook bar that may enable them to endure the arduous hours on their toes and so they left him alone in the room together with his father. Clinging to the foot of that enormous, vintage mattress, product of darkish wooden with golden rivets, he noticed that the father was coated with a sheet as much as his hips, together with his chest naked and striped by nearly clear ribs, like a Christ descended from the tree. . Mired in extraordinarily labored respiration, every thing urged that from one second to the subsequent, after beating for 84 years, his coronary heart was going to cease and he would accomplish that in his presence. While the father was making ready to surrender his soul, recollections got here to his son that got here from very far-off.
Nothing had modified in that room the place he had been born in that very same mattress just a few months earlier than the Civil War broke out; There was the picture of the Virgin of Carmen inside a glass urn and the mahogany dresser with the drawers by which, as a toddler, he favored to delve into its secrets and techniques till he discovered his mom’s lingerie, the crimson bra, the stockings. of silk, the lace underwear, the jewellery field, the bottles of cologne, all impregnated with a scent of lavender; there was the ewer from the dressing desk, its oval mirror, a bar of Heno de Pravia cleaning soap, the coat rack from which the ebony cane and the straw hat hung, the oil portray that also presided over the head of the mattress, a seated Saint Joseph She retains the Child between her skirts, whom it appears she is educating to take the first steps. Surely on this mattress he was conceived with ritual moans, he didn’t know if with love, with ardour, with reluctance or just by likelihood one summer time night time while the crickets sang and the fireflies shone. This time the moans were not of enjoyment, though pleasure and ache are expressed with equivalent options on the face and laughter and crying even have the similar sound. In the finish, life and loss of life haven’t any different job than to draw one another till they meet, since they can not exist with out one another. His mom additionally died on this similar mattress and his identify, Miguel, was the final phrase spoken by his lips.
That room contained the arcane secret of the total household. Entering it clandestinely, as he did as a toddler, was an explorer’s journey. Now his father was dying there earlier than his eyes with labored respiration, much like that of an athlete about to achieve the end line. He appeared focused on his personal loss of life, together with his eyes closed calling with groans to God in whom he believed to the depths of his conscience. For half an hour alone in the darkened room, the son was shocked to search out that the previous resentment he had instilled in her had became unfathomable compassion. He could not blame her for something, not even his authoritarianism, nor his incapability to precise a sense of tenderness to her when he was a toddler. Although he couldn’t neglect that finger that ordered him to close up or confirmed him the pressured path towards all the pleasures of freedom or the extreme look with which she judged him, in entrance of his dying determine he felt a wierd pity that drove him to like him.
And at that second, his father’s chest contracted, and holding onto the foot of the mattress, the son thought he noticed a white breath being launched from his mouth that was maybe the soul that was escaping him. His father had died and he was the solely witness. With the loss of life of his father, this son, who was all the time taken as the prodigal son, felt that the knot of guilt was untied at the again of his neck. For the first time he felt free. The decide had died.
It occurred at the finish of a summer time, when the birds handed in flocks in direction of the south and the city celebrated the competition of the Virgin of September. After the funeral, this son who had simply found filial love, now free of guilt, returned to the sea to sail till the first downpours arrived that ushered in autumn. It was the time when the tunas got here down from the Gulf of Lion and the afternoons took on the scent of ripe grapes and the flies grew to become very sticky. The terraces of the bars had the chairs, tables and awnings up. It was time to return to the metropolis. In these years he nonetheless had the vital breath to consider that he had come into this world to succeed.
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