Once I was close to being hit by a car on a central street in San Sebastián. A horn blast from a short distance shook the 206 bones that support me. For a moment I imagined my obituary in the newspaper with the usual formula that says: “He passed away after receiving the Holy Sacraments and the Apostolic Blessing of Holiness from him.” Perhaps I was saved because the Pope was not around at that time. One had been living in another country for some time and, meanwhile, by municipal decision, the direction of traffic in the area had been changed, so that the vehicles that had always come from one side, now came from the other. Successive changes, demolition and buildings confirm the topic of cities as living organisms. In some cases, the excess life of such organisms makes them, over time, unrecognizable even by the natives who, for one reason or another, chose to be absent and return from time to time. Something similar happens with children. You are with them every day and hardly notice their gradual development, while the neighbor’s daughter, whom we haven’t seen for six years, suddenly seems like a different being.
The city is erased and disfigured in memory and, with each return, it is more difficult to feel reflected in it, inevitably losing the possibility of reuniting with who one was. The feeling of reunion that one experiences when observing the façade of his old school, the shops of a lifetime or the old city buses vanishes with the disappearance of all that, so that the present of my city is barely significant for me. The thing is aggravated with the death of so many locals that one knew. I say all this after receiving the news of the closure of the Lagun bookstore and it almost seems that the city has definitely broken for me.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits