Last night I was up till late. I was trying to make sense out of insensible things I created and then I noticed the news article at the corner of my profile. I don’t cry often but, by then, the tears had been let lose. I was crying. Gabriel Garcia Marquez had died, at the age of 87, still young in the works he wrote. The voice of a generation had gone to rest. A final abode for the person who showed us the world that was Latin America, when few others would. He succeeded too, with his novels, he made images that would capture the minds of thousands and thousands across continents. So, I would message my teacher from the States telling him how I cried at the end of “Love in the Time of Cholera” and though his perception of love is different he would know what I referred to.
The thing about books it, there are thousands and millions of books out there that help you grow as a reader. There are very few books that would make you grow as a person. Marquez wrote those books, that forced us to look into ourselves and question, and he told stories like an angel. I remember when I was teenager, I had just suffered a painful break up. It broke me inside. For throughout life I had been told that school relationships and everything would work out, that we had only one true love, and that someone would arrive on a horse any day now, to save us, to take us home. So, when I sat crying on my bed, trying to find the reason why I didn’t deserve love, I ended up reading “Love in the Time of Cholera”.
Did it change me? Perhaps.
Mostly, it left me with more questions and thoughts than I could care to understand or answer. Yet, his poetry hit me hard, it hit me and it made me see things in a different perspective. It left me with hope and tears. Florentino, Fermina, they were closer to me than I could ever hope any character to be. They were mirrors you could stare into and something of yours would stare back. Yes, his writing was not easily read, yes, I encountered problems in following the narrative, but, in my heart I knew that i could read him easily. Because at the end of the day, the guy was a storyteller. It did not matter what story he wrote, of gunfire, or of romance, he would write it with mastery that left you agape, with wonder racing through your mind. And at the end you were left with a story that touched your life, and characters you would never forget.
I feel like I have lost a mentor in the writing world, that I have lost someone who was vital to my growth. Possibly because his stories made me grow up, they were my introduction to an adulthood of sorts and I have never really looked back.
And perhaps after years when i face gunfire, I would remember the moment I opened his book and got lost.