Encuentro

Encuentro

Encuentro

Por fin el hombre está sentado frente a mí. Ha pasado tanto tiempo, no recuerdo cuánto. La última vez que lo vi era un niño y ese  rostro joven que venía como una ráfaga de vez cuando, con el tiempo se fue haciendo borroso, pero ahora que él está sentado en la sala de mi casa y reconozco, en esa cara, tatuada por el paso de los años, algunos rasgos de la época en que me enseñó a montar en bicicleta, o cuando nos íbamos de paseo en el Renault seis rojo para la finca de su primo en Buga.

La misma mirada inquieta, la sonrisa leve, ahora más leve porque le faltan algunos dientes, la fuerza de su voz, las manos de dedos delgados que se parecen un poco a las mías, la nariz afilada, como la de mi hermano. Mira por la ventana a unas calles que le son ajenas, y su mirada se pierde en los caminos del tiempo y trata de traer a la memoria el momento justo en que se fue para no estar más y convertirse en recuerdo, en fantasma. Habla y esas épocas borrosas en las que nos llevaba al estadio a mi hermano y a mí a ver fútbol aparecen nítidas, aunque ya hay distancia, la memoria vuelve a esos momentos felices de la infancia, en que los cinco, mis padres y mis dos hermanos, entrábamos al Bolívar, a la función matiné, a ver el Gato con botas y luego caminábamos por la Avenida Sexta buscando un buen lugar para almorzar.

Tiene 62 años y su cuerpo, aunque cansado, aún conserva mucha de la fuerza vital que lo hizo famoso en las calles del barrio y en la gente que lo conoció mejor. Se acomoda en la silla, ahora, después del accidente, dice, tengo que buscar asientos altos, porque si no es imposible. Se agacha y se recoge el pantalón hasta la altura de la rodilla y descubre la prótesis que remplaza su pierna izquierda. Es de colores, nunca he visto una prótesis tan de cerca y las que he visto no llevan tantos colores, es como grafiteada. Se la quita, y veo el muñón, cuando levanto la mirada, me encuentro con la suya y no debo preguntar nada, porque él sabe que su accidente también hace parte de nuestras vidas y como los recuerdos felices del Bolívar, su accidente llega al presente, como la ráfaga de ametralladora que le voló pierna en pedazos y que casi a él y a su padre los deja sin vida.

Entonces, se ve de nuevo en inmóvil ese 1 de mayo de 1998, recostado al Renault 4 de su padre, en la verja de una de las carreteras del Cesar, y ve la pierna destrozada, yo supe en ese momento que estaba mocho, dice, y la mirada inolvidable del comandante guerrillero que se acerca, le levanta el pantalón y luego le pide disculpas, vecino, lo siento mucho, me dijo el hijueputa y se largó con su ejército de mierda.

Se acomoda la prótesis nuevamente, se levanta de la silla y enciende un cigarrillo. Lo veo caminar y entiendo que la fuerza vital que lo hizo famoso en otro tiempo no ha desaparecido, se mueve como si nunca hubiera vivido aquella catástrofe, fue una cosa muy arrecha, dice, pero aquí estamos.

Walter Benjamín asegura que  un secreto encuentro está vigente entre las generaciones del pasado y la nuestra, en la cual el pasado tiene derecho a dirigir sus reclamos. Por eso, el hombre se sienta nuevamente en la silla y me mira a los ojos, que descubro se parecen a lo míos, toma un poco de agua y volvemos al momento exacto en el que se fue de casa.

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