July 24, 2021

We are past that dreams of being future

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Those years found me between discovering love and feeling that reality was none other than my own environment, although reading that environment could tell me what I would later understand with the precision that I lacked in my adolescence. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the meaning of that gun on the waist of one of the boys in the neighborhood, a boy who was closer to seventeen than my twelve, but on the block everything was mixed. While I was playing with the cars that I filled with plasticine so that they would cling to the ground and propel them with more precision in the races on the sidewalk, that other boy was armed. What was that gun about in 1974 or 1975? Dangerous ostentation in turbulent times? A precocious right-wing militant or intelligence service? Or a young man who embraced the revolutionary struggle and neglected showing what he did not have to show? None of this happened through my mind of almost twelve years, I only remember that moment from a distance today. But neither can I assert that it happened that way or if it is the sum of fragments of a memory distorted by reality, by television series and comics.

We left Buenos Aires in 1976, when the country stopped being something so dark that only with the passing of the years could I understand its true dimension. Rosario hugged me without knowing that I needed that hug and the lonely walks and walks of that time made me learn by heart the name of the streets of a city that today runs through my veins like blood itself.

He wrote to me with my friends in the distance. The letters and stamps traveled three hundred kilometers and today I see that child in the lonely room that he accepted, in that lonely summer that he accepted, in those new friends from the rugby club that he accepted even though it didn’t seem like the best thing that could happen to him. Fantasy and fiction were his refuge, books and comics, more books than comics. The letters and the friends remained in the distance that the Internet thirty years later would recover. From the director of Telefé cameras to the distinguished guitarist disciple of Frank Zappa. As if his childhood friends had followed part of their own journey without knowing it, without assuming it, but there was or is the story that with the speed of sleeping and waking up finds us with less hair, more memories and with more life lived than to live.

Ellipsis, I came across a note that gave an account of the three decades of Goodfellas, contemporary film but already a classic. Scorsese’s stories are always familiar, close, although the mafia or the wild streets have not been part of my daily life. There is something that brings me closer, like that family of the seventies that gradually disappeared, like this country where “disappearing” has been the way to solve historical-social-cultural problems. Physically disappear or disappear from memory.

I fall asleep, the TV stays on, I dream or I think Scorsese speaks to me, from the streets of New York with his good boys, his comedians, his boxers, his taxi or ambulance drivers, his corrupt policemen, his yuppies after hour, its eternally satanic musicians performing in a Manhattan theater. Its universal, neighborhood universe is almost Rosario. And in the middle of that talk, I understand that the passing of the years, of the years in the family, of the years trying to create, to order the disorder of life, can be measured with a Scorsesean timeline. The plague haunts us even though we think we are safe and dislocated memories arise as a result of the count not ending but starting over. The whimsical of numbers, the relativity of numbers or years, like digital or analog years. I write or at least I try. What can be written? About what or who? Again the fiction revealing that the future can be the modified past and that today becomes the other side of an immediate yesterday or a distant yesterday. Like Robert De Niro’s face in the Irish, digitally retouched. We know Bob’s face at 30 or 40, but this other Bob who reproduces a digital youth takes us (allow me the license and the error) to an imperfect past, to a non-existent past but which in turn has the reality of cinema , which transforms fiction into a new story of past reality and therefore of the future that today is the present. We were born to be past, dreaming of future. The twelve-year-old boy in 1975 today exists in the present to come and makes accounts of each year that happened, of the Scorsesean flashback, because Scorsese is the director of the flashbacks and the narros, as were Bertolucci or Scola. I think about Twentieth century, on Shelter for love, o en The dreamers, on A very particular day, on The family O We had loved each other so much. They are directors of memory, of memory. Perhaps the Italian blood that longs for the years lived. Maybe that’s why I feel part, the Italian part, the blood that appeals to memory, to nostalgia. Deep memory, fictional memory to generate a personal flashback.

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Robert De Niro, victim of digital surgery in "the Irish", by Martin Scorsese.

Robert De Niro, victim of digital surgery in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”.

Along with books, those in which the authors use their biography as a literary reference. I am looking for a way to finish or start a novel about my personal life, to watch the journey of the eternal return, to see death pass before the stories, to witness viral storms and try to remain immune to silent wars, with the hope that there may be something interesting in these words that are lost like the years in which we grow up watching the films that indicate the transience of time. The passage of the calendar invites me to continue, to create with the certainty that there are still doors to open and films to be made.