Comedor

Comedor

Comedor

Hace poco murió un amigo de infancia. Aunque no lo veía desde hace mucho, cuando recibí la noticia, sentí un vacío en el pecho y de repente mi vi jugando de nuevo con él en las calles de mi barrio, cuando venía a pasar vacaciones  a mi casa desde Buenaventura. Mi amigo se llamaba Roberto. Y siempre me pareció que su tamaño era exagerado para su edad. Lo que recuerdo, también, era su voz suave con ese acento porteño, que parece una canción. Y esto de alguna manera me reconforta, porque sin duda, la gente no está muerta hasta que uno deja de escuchar su voz.

La vida nos alejó, pero de vez en cuando nos cruzábamos en el camino. De repente él aparecía en mi casa, en Cali o yo, por cuestiones del azar aparecía en la suya en Buenaventura. Pero sus noticias me llegaban porque sus tíos y lo míos son viejos amigos, así que cada que los veía les preguntaba por él. Por eso me di cuenta un día que se había ido a vivir a Costa Rica, con la  gente con la que trabajaba en el puerto. Supe también que sus tíos no estaban muy de acuerdo con el trabajo que tenía, pero Roberto, pienso, era de un alma indomable, producto de las circunstancias en las que había crecido. Recuerdo que alguna vez me dijo que cuando su padre volviera, le señalaría a uno por uno, de los que consideraba, habían cometido alguna injusticia contra él, para que los levantara. Yo nunca me peleé con Roberto.

La última vez que creo haberlo visto, fue en la entrada de una discoteca en Juanchito. Una casualidad. Iba caminando detrás de un tipo gordo y bajo, que tenía una cadena de oro, más ancha que las cadenas de las anclas de los buques, que le redondeaba el cuello. Roberto iba sonriente como siempre y después de estrecharnos la mano y cruzar un saludo el tipo lo llamó: -Comedor-,  escuché que le dijo. Recuerdo también que sonreí, porque su apodo me pareció particular y luego a la distancia, con un grito de alegría por haberlo visto y de burla, lo llamé así.

Creo ineluctablemente en la implacabilidad del tiempo. Cuando mi tía me llamó a avisarme sobre su muerte, pensé en las distancias que nos separaron, no solo en los kilómetros que hay de Cali a Buenaventura o de Colombia a Costa Rica, sino en las distancias que traza el tiempo a través de la historia la vida. Cuando éramos niños las horas parecían alcanzar para muchas cosas  y las tardes de esas vacaciones eran largas y podíamos, sin afanes, darle la vuelta en bicicleta al barrio hasta que nos dolieran las piernas, luego a pie, después para jugar fútbol, luego para jugar jeimy, bobil, a los quemados y para hablar de cualquier cosa al final del día. Pero luego, ese mismo tiempo se fue reduciendo y sólo alcanzó para vernos con rapidez y tratar de recordar aquellos momento en el que el reloj nos importaba un comino.

Pero el tiempo no deja de ser azaroso. No tuve los minutos suficientes para viajar desde Bogotá hasta Buenaventura para verlo por última vez, pero contra eso no hay remedio ni explicación posible, a veces, solo la muerte nos muestra el verdadero aprecio  que le hemos tenido a algunas personas que se cruzaron un instante en nuestro camino.

Al enterarme de la muerte de Roberto, tuve que tomar fuerzas para llamar a su tío para que me explicara la situación. Creo que nunca le di el pésame, solo le pedí la explicación. Él estaba esperando la repatriación del cuerpo, y no recuerdo las palabras que me dijo, sólo que a Comedor lo habían abaleado en una calle de San José de Costa Rica el día anterior y mientras me hablaba,  me imaginé a Roberto, con toda su inmensidad metido en el ataúd, que debió haber sido gigantesca, y me pregunté si él de vez en cuándo se acordaba de aquellas tardes que disfrutamos juntos en Cali y en Buenaventura cuando a nuestras familias conspiraban para que compartiéramos las vacaciones.

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