I am not the most expressive fellow no matter the situation, when tears, sentimentalismo, sadness and the like are not only expected, but demanded.
However, the recent deaths of two pop/disco singers in my age range moved yours truly to express a few thoughts about death. The subject is rarely discussed in the so called social networks, except when finances, funeral arrangements and likewise crap is an opportunity to write.
In the childhood stage two deaths marked your host. The first, in sixth grade. Roberto Velez was his name. Certainly ironic to pass away, squashed by one of those typical yellow buses, moving students in Puerto Rico from the country side to the city.
Roberto's memory is still around. His smile and powerful laugh, was something to envy; particularly if one tends to question if any laugh is worthy of the situation.
Next was Nestor. One of 3 brothers, whose father I was able to see once in a while, in Savarona. I 'knew' him from my visits to the basketball court in that neighborhood, close by the Catholic chapel in a dead end street in the country of Caguas.
His head was smashed with a baseball bat by a fellow named Valentin. Their differences started, in the mentioned court. Nestor was a brilliant basketball and baseball player, as his brothers.
Savarona, a working class vicinity, before the invasion by Dominican islanders, in the 70's was divided culturally, economically and socially by a street called "EL MILLON".
We, living to the east of that chabola, were rich in comparison. To make the story short, at least from my perspective, there was some resentment between those who were closer to the untouchables in India, in terms of living conditions and opportunities, than us. A few houses down their boundaries.
The thing is that young poorer people then used to get into horses for the 'fun' of the riding and else. Playing basketball and horse manure on the surface within the lines are not compatible.
The argument started about them horses shitting on the court. I have no doubts about that, even though 48 years later I declare I was not there. But I used to play ball then and saw them horses around the high grasses.
The thing is, for the record, the hostility between these two segments of the population, the working class with possibilities of a 'better future' and the lumpen good for nothing without it was evident.
One hot afternoon day, I got home from the shitty Jose de Diego elementary with leaking roofs, and heard the news. Nestor was dead at 18, he could not have been older, by the horse loving inner city youth, who got a few years in jail and probation.
48 years went by. DIVA our house companion animal is not doing much better after the original treatment. If you believe in god, LALO was offered to ameliorate the pain of the loss.
I believe all living creatures deserve equal affection. My feelings clash frequently with the masses. At this moment, I can write that flora and fauna are worthy of respect and love.
YET one thing remains clear, when the loved ones
are just suffering in pain to prolong their lives with medication and tubes.......is not more 'human' to end their pain and suffering?
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