Exile

“You’ll be back”-she said- but there was an intense feeling of loss in everyone’s eyes. “And when you get there write to us, write to us and tell us about the cars, the beautiful blondes and please, send us chewing gum”. I saw people too unfamiliar to be gathered in one room. At that point I went to the patio and quietly sat at the edge of a concrete door. Even though it was incomprehensible, the atmosphere made it too obvious that we were in a sort of death. Because to immigrate is almost unnatural, so many parts of a man die inside of him that what remains is precisely that which will make him prevail. “I’ll be back” I answered. Crying was surprisingly bitter. I felt the embrace of someone I thought hated me. I realised that the feeling of loss was a reality that forced me to understand how striking it is to find out the depth of one’s roots, the separation of what forever I’ll call “my peolpe”. “Don’t forget that you have twenty eight cousins on your mother’s side”. “I’ll be back”

I repeated, until within my twelve years I coudn’t hold my lips straight and something like loneliness invaded me.”Things are getting worse every day” timidly said the taxi driver. We passed by my house as we were leaving. “I never saw them like that” I thought.

My grandmother died, as well as others. And whenever I remember our last Christmas, all laughing around a modestly large table, and when I find myself in airports or stations. when agitated handkechiefs cloud the space of people that should be together, I take very good care of being only an espectator.

Rafael Román Martel
JCSC 1989


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