Where has the time gone? You are now 28 years old, and I bet you’re already balding; I know I sure am…fuck Dad’s genes right? You’d think we could get a break! We already got his crappy teeth and terrible eyesight, and now we have to deal with the baldness. Awesome.

I’ve been away from home for a long time, but I never forgot about you. I haven’t had much time to write, but that’s no excuse for neglecting the younger brother that I’m supposed to be protecting. Please don’t feel like I’ve forgotten you, I never have. Every second I’m out here helping those that are killing so many of us, I’m doing it for you. I’m doing it for you and all of the others out there that are desperately hoping that the junta doesn’t get a hold of our families.

It’s funny, as I look over this letter, it sounds like I’m writing it to a 10 year old kid. I suppose that’s how I’ll always see you. You’re old as shit right now, but I only have the image of the clumsy kid trying to learn tango to impress Sophia. I bet you thought that I forgot all about that, but it’s the little things that keep my going in these tough years (at this point, hasn’t it become my life?), and the image of your clumsy ass stepping all over her toes will give me joy in the worst of times.

The fact of the matter is, you have almost half of your life without me at this point. While I always noticed your birthday, I never gave you a present or wished you a happy birthday at all. Letters are scarce and I can’t trust the mail, but I never forgot you and I wish that I had made more of an effort. I bet that you’re wildly successful right now, you were always such a whiz in the classroom and while I never told you this, I was always extremely jealous and extremely proud of what you were able to accomplish in this time. I bet you’ll be the next president once this country returns to her former glory and we’re all free again. And then you can make me dance in front of the whole country and humiliate me ten times worse than I ever got you.

Lots of love, and please stay safe out there.

Roberto Rodriguez Clemente



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