Chapter 1

First omission

Ilustration created by Paloma Agüera

Every day, without missing its appointment, there is a moment in which that scene is exhibited on the movie screen that is our mind. A scene that makes me feel that memories are something physical, something recognizable to the sense of touch: a bomb that when exploding releases millions of small crystals that stick somewhere inside my chest.

– I don’t want you to come and get me, ever again!- his face, more twisted with each syllable, turns to somewhere else when I tell him of my intentions to see him less often, as if by doing so the words wouldn’t hurt him. – You don’t have to take me to training or to the institute, I prefer to do it alone. – And, after this sentence, those eyes that used to stare at me, to the only place he thought was safe and not stolen away, began to see, for the first time, a body back that would end up being more familiar than he would have wished.

Cut! It’s the sound before my father starts crying. I am in the first session of therapy and that image, which is always on my personal billboard, wants to be the main character today. It slipped in before I had even said my name.

– Tell me how you feel, Luis – says the psychologist – tell me about that thought in which you get entangled, he continues, knowing the damage that can be done by the stories we tell ourselves, the ones that leave us staring at infinity for a while, the infinity that is only inside our heads.

It was around 2004 and he had already been on a tightrope for some time, literally, it seemed that he was walking on one of them. He was a trapezist who had forgotten his trade and returned to the circus to do his show. The audience booed him every time he fell, judged him. And I, his personal Julius Caesar, showed him my thumbs down when I stopped him from keep coming to pick me up from school. I didn’t want to be seen with him, I didn’t understand that he didn’t walk like everyone else, that he didn’t talk like everyone else, that he yelled at every little detail of everyday life.

When he fell, not always in the literal sense, no one reached out to him, none of those places he used to hold on to when he was “normal” were there. From the supporters there were only demands and pressure and at that point, I, who was lost in a system that does not let you feel, that does not let you cry, that calls disgrace to everything that does not appear daily on television or, currently, in the social media, I refused to support my father, the one person who had always carried me in his arms.

I sat on that bleacher and joined that audience that does not admit any error, the crowd that does not accept the difference, the imperfection. I covered my eyes like we do when we see a syringe on screen. I turned my head as if I was refusing charity to someone who is begging.

“Truly I say to you, during this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Matthew 26:34

– And what do you think he would say to you? – the therapist asks me when I tell him that I closed the door on a fraternal love in exchange for a social approval that it was not so much that in the end. – What would you say to him if he was here in front of you – he insists when he sees that I keep counting the crystals that are scattered on my chest. – Would you pick your father up off the ground if he fell now?

Each of my tears contains a rejection, a “no” for an answer. Each one of them has a “leave me be” a “we’d better stay at home”, “don’t come pick me up”, “I am not part of this movie”, the same one that now my mind keeps screening in delay.

I was a teenager, I just wanted some normality, was that too much to ask?

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