The writer and one of the biographers, knowledgeable as none of the history of Ibagué, Camilo Pérez Salamanca, recreates us with a text full of mixed feelings in the midst of the pandemic. El Cronista.co reproduces it for the message and the charm of the narrative.
While we are still alive, we are killed in the streets by the media, the evil-doers and the gossipers.
This morning I went out to get vaccinated against the terrorist COVID 19. Before entering the first floor of the Tolima governorate, where a team of health professionals attended to those over 70 years of age with rigor and diligence, I went to my friend the shoeshine , the same one that beautifies my shoes for almost three decades, and when I sat down he was surprised as if he were in front of a ghost, he asked me:
– Are you the writer?
– So they say. – I answered.
He was still tense as if he didn’t believe my answer. Asked:
– What’s wrong that doesn’t polish me?
– Do you know Chamorro? He asked me.
– Yes, I studied with two of them, with Oscar and Omar
– The ones from Alaska?
– Yes, with them, why?
– Last week, having coffee with other friends, Omar arrived and told us all that we knew the writer Camilo Pérez Salamanca. Most of us said Yes. Someone asked what happened? – He died of COVID last week. Another said, No wonder I have not seen him again. Another friend asked him: Did you go to the funeral? And Omar replied: No, they cremated him.
While I was waiting for the nurse’s chop with the COVID vaccine, I remembered that in the past, at different times, three extras were broadcast on the radio with the deaths of Rafael Parga Cortés, rector of the University of Tolima, that of the poet Emilio Rico and that of the painter Mario Lafónt, later the three appeared as ghosts walking through the third race. This morning, at the news of my death, I too felt like a ghost.
Having been the same Chamorro who announced to me the death of two other friends, whose obituaries I already made on Facebook, I wondered: Will Chilito Rey and Alfonso Garzón be alive?
I am alive! and as the photos that accompany this publication bear witness without haste and wanting to continue being it, because as the shoe shiner said when he said goodbye: “What eagerness to live a hundred years anyway”.
Camilo Pérez Salamanca
March 31, 2021