|Mercedes Barcha, Gabriel García Márquez, Gonzalo and Rodrigo.|
|Gabriel García Márquez and Rodrigo García Barcha.|
You weren’t born yet when the Spanish flu pandemic scourged the planet, but you grew up in a house where storytelling reigned and where a plague, like ghosts and regrets, must have made for good literary material. You said that people would speak of long-past events as things that happened in the days of the comet, most likely referring to the passing of Halley’s comet early in the 20th century. I remember how eager you were to see it with your own eyes when it returned toward the end of the millennium. It mesmerized you, a mysterious clock striking the silent hour once every 76 years, a cycle approximating the time allotted to humans. A coincidence? Probably just another red herring. You were an atheist, but you also pondered that it was inconceivable that there was no master plan, remember? No teller of the tale. In this regard you now have more insight than I do, perhaps.A pandemic is back. Despite the great advances of science and the much-celebrated ingenuity of our species, our best defense so far is to simply stay indoors, to hide in caves from the predator. It’s a humbling moment for those with at least a little inclination toward humility. For others, it’s another bothersome thing to crush.
|Rodrigo, Gonzalo, Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha|
I think that if you were here now, you would, as always, be enthralled by man. The term “man” is not much in use that way anymore, but I’ll make an exception not as a nod to the patriarchy, which you detested, but because it will echo in the ears of the young man and aspiring writer you once were, with more sensibility and ideas in your head than you knew what to do with, and with a strong sense that destinies are written, even for a creature in God’s image and cursed with free will. You would pity our frailty; you would marvel at our interconnectedness, be saddened by the suffering, enraged by the callousness of some of the leaders and moved by the heroism of people on the front lines. And you would be eager to hear how lovers were braving every obstacle, including the risk of death, to be together. Most of all, you would be as endeared to humans as you ever were.
Rodrigo García (@rodgarcia59) is the director of the coming film “Four Good Days,” with Glenn Close and Mila Kunis.