Grandpa walked every morning, by the olive tress, on the dusty road from the main plaza towards the grocery store of his best friend: Manu.
Once, when I was 7 years old, I went with him to the store. Out of curiosity I asked him who was the oldest one. Grandpa lighted his cigarette, puffed once, smiled looking to the roof and never answered. I did not ask him again.
Grandpa died when I was 19. At that time he had forgot almost everything, he passed the whole day walking around our house in the capital and spitting over the floors just waxed. One day he opened the door and started to walk away. He walked a long distance before we could find him. I asked where he was going and he barked back that he was going towards the mountains «to kill Indians». His eyes were red and I could feel that he was going to spit to my face if I dared to oppose him.
When I was a kid I liked to run from the old house, bare foot, towards the grocery store. There were always people around the streets that knew me, old aunts, uncles, young cousins. The last time that I went to the town I was 30. While driving around the main plaza I could not recognize anybody sat down on the benches there.
A pinky-cheeks guy of my age waved hello to me. He asked for my family. «Everybody moved to Lima,» I said, from my almost brand new 4-wheel drive black SUV. He told me that he married with the daughter of the school’s director and worked the olives of her family. I said bye and drove towards Manu’s store.
Manu was still there, as old as the things that he displayed on the shelves of his store. He did not recognized me at first. When he did, he seemed to be happy to know that my family was surviving in the capital.
-Who was the oldest of you Manu? I asked before leaving. It was the kind of stupid question that you ask because you don`t have anything else to say.
-Your grandpa did not tell you? We were born the same day. He smiled and turned around to look for some invisible cigarettes.
I smiled back. I knew he was lying.
11 febrero, 2007 at 7:09 am
>Salvando las distancias, me ha hecho recordar al chino de la esquina de toda la vida. Las bodeguitas son un reflejo del pasado… aunque mi experiencia reciente no es buena con allas. La que frecuentaba cerca a Grimaldo del Solar en Miraflores ya no existe. Ahora es … un edificio…
13 febrero, 2007 at 3:38 am
>lo alucinante es que aca en NY lo que mas aumenta es el numero de bodegas!!! porque cada vez mas hispanos-generalemente dominicanos-abren su bodeguita en las esquinas.Aca en el Bronx parece que hubiera una en cada cuadra,