Friday, March 02, 2007

50 years from now

Billy Joel said it in one of his hits. “Only the good die young”. Incredibly today, I got the same advise from a much older man. A citizen called “Dr. Báez”. He's a short, gangly, kind of a loose fellow. I always find him in the lunch room (surrounded by the blueish Caribbean sky and sea, a privilege you might say) and he's always up to something.

He came to me with a tight grip in his handshake, pushed back his thick plastic glasses up to the point where the nose meets the forehead and said “Sr. Sturla! Usted es un hombre de los buenos!”. All I could do was laugh. “Ahora ¿dónde yo dejé el teléfono?”. Immediately I assumed he was talking about his cell phone but soon enough I realized he never carried one. So what phone was he talking about? He squinted his shoulders, fell back in his step like almost losing his balance, turned around and said. “Mijo, si te vas a morir, muérete joven porque llegar a viejo es una desgracia”.

His commentary was considered amusing for the rest of the crowd present, one or two laughing on the matter. I smiled, but my inner self grasped for the truth in his words. And as simply as he said it he left the dining area, leaving me unaware and confused. I have said it before (and recently a friend reminded me of it). Time waits for no one. In that process we only get old. Senile. “Alzheimersly” crazy.

He's a good man that Dr. Báez. I don't know him at all but we always salute one another. You can fit at least three lifetimes of mine in his. I'll keep in mind his good advice for when the moment comes to pass it on to a youngster 50 years from now.


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