Martín in the mirror

Today, when I woke up, I realized that something has changed in my life, that not even my dreams are the same anymore.

I get up and in front of the mirror I am looking for Martín the little boy inside of me. He is not there. All I see is this old man.

I ask him, “What happened?”  The guy in the mirror remains silent.

”Is it because he doesn’t know the answer or because he doesn’t want to say it?

Life is definitely not the same and I am not the same. I used to be able to daydream. Now I can only dream in my sleep.

Before, in my dreams, there was always water . . . like the sea, lake, river or waterfall. Now only streets and buildings.

I could swear I had the power to fly. I never tried for fear of failure but the feeling of possessing power was present. 

Before, I could talk to dogs, cats, cows, birds, and I could swear that they understood me. Now, I feel like they ignore me.

I don’t know what I did wrong.

Before, I didn’t pay too much attention to time because by ignoring it, it seemed to move in slow motion. Now the days seem 12 hours long. 

Before, on my daily walk on the cobblestone streets of the town or on the malecón, thousands of stories appeared before my eyes and in my head images like a movie were playing. People walking, ladies talking, children playing, street vendors on the sidewalk, dogs sleeping outside house doors, the wind whispering through the trees, pelicans flying over the lake, the sun descending and coloring the clouds red, orange and yellow. I could write a thousand books.  But now, I don’t even walk.

Before, sitting with friends and drinking beer was fun, as the conversations changed with the passing of the hours and the beers.

Now, after the third beer I feel like I’m already hearing the same talks and those that will come with the hours, like watching the same movie over and over again. 

Before, driving at night back to wherever my house was, it was enjoying a moment alone. The magic headlights in my car let me see the trees wave at me, saying goodbye, and the moon with her round face and big smile showed me where to go. I tell Dad jokes to little Martín and we both laugh like crazy. Now, driving at night back home is retracing the path taken early, with the sole objective of arriving alive. 

Before, I felt the presence of magic figures like guardian angels, fairies, elves, and talking dragons that give me kindness, protection and love. I don’t know if that means I was very lucky or very naive to need so much help. Now, I no longer feel that company. It’s as if everyone has retired and now I only depend on myself. It’s as if they were tired of my inability, or did they think that I’m old enough to have learned how to live? Well, now I feel my back uncovered, only cold wind around me. They disappear. They have left me alone. And I still don’t know how to live. 

Before, I always made plans for the near or distant future with excitement and hope of seeing them come true. Now, I don’t plan anything more than a week. There’s no point. It is not mandatory to grow up because time goes by, even if you get older, whether you want it or not. The rate of aging in my case does not correspond to the rate of maturity.

Today I have to live a new reality. I refuse to believe that magic does not exist. I think maybe it’s a different type of magic now, but magic, nonetheless. I categorically refuse to accept that life has to end like this. I will call on the guardian angels, the elves, fairies and talking dragons to meet in a council.  Discuss the terms of their return. Little Martín may die in an old, wrinkled suit, but his childlike soul must remain intact, and his fire-red heart emanating warmth of love and hope.

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Sergio Casas
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