The Reflection of An Old Man

December 4, 2014

I’m not even sure how to begin – I’ve decided that this is the last time I will be writing of my life, a reflection on my experiences, a reflection on myself. I sit here today, an old man of 79, alone. I never was able to find love, never able to come to terms with what it might have been to be a husband, a father.

Everyday is sensational – not in the colloquial manner, but a definitive one. So much of my time is spent enveloped by memory, reflecting on the terror of what was, and how that destroyed what could of been.

Sometimes I find wishing just a single tear would roll down my face, not because I’m sorrowful – it’s something much deeper than that – I hope, I try, simply because I wan’t to know what it is to feel again. Fourteen days was all it took. Fourteen days to break me, forever. I live those moments -trapped in the rank, dripping cell – nearly every time I close my eyes, with each recollection so simultaneously real and surreal that I am crushed by the sheer enormity of what was forced upon my country – upon me. Yet now, emotion is something I can only wish for – if only I could cry, so that perhaps I could feel something again. 

Instead, I stare out my window, and feel nothing.

Nothing at all.

I watch as kids play fútbol outside of my building, immersing themselves the game that once transcended mine own reality, that let me escape – and even now I cannot feel. I am a World Cup champion, I suppose there is something to be said for that – at one point it was all I ever dreamed of, but now it seems so trivial, so numbingly banal. 

Videla, that man – that monster – took more than just the lives of friends, more than the heart of Argentina. He stripped me and countless others of everything that could have been, robbing me of the man that I could have become.

Because of him, I feel nothing. I am powerless now to change that – why didn’t I do more? Why did I let him take that from me? 

As I write this, I realize that it was a choice. And I simply made the wrong one. Fell into the darkness of self-pity, wearing the mask of the victim for so long that it is all I now see when I look into the mirror. My reflection is not one I’m proud of – seclusion in my self-created hermitary has not been kind aesthetically – a scraggly old man, greyed and small looks back at me.

When I look into the eyes of my reflection, I sometimes see the man that I could have been. The family that I could have had. The father that I could have been. But in a blink it’s gone. 

And now, alone in this world, I sit, I watch, I reflect.

And I wonder if I even am.

1 thought on “The Reflection of An Old Man

  1. ssvolk says:

    Thank you, Diego, for sharing your life with me. I think you are being hard on yourself. If one thing that we should have learned from what happened was to be kind to others, than we must also learn to be kind to ourselves.

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