I think we all have a mentor whom we follow from the shadows and try to steal a little part of his genius to outline our actions. My mentor died today and one of my dreams just died with him. Ever since I’ve read my first book written by G.G. Marquez, I wanted to see him in person; that didn’t necessarily mean to meet him and talk to him or ask him endless questions about writing. I just wanted to see that he exists as a human being, that such a genius is my contemporary and not some alien or imaginary friend I made up.
I was eighteen back then and every year that dream was on my birthday wish list. Now, twelve years later, I realize that following your dreams actually means struggling for them not just waiting around and hoping that maybe next year will be the year, thinking that they will wait for you forever. Dreams have life sometimes and although we know it, we never really realize that life ends at some point.
I used to devour his books and by the time I was finished, the urge to write something was so strong that I would grab anything handy to write on. That’s how, many napkin-thoughts came to life and later on became stories. To this day, my purse doesn’t leave the house without one of his books in it; it’s like my very own already written notebook which I take everywhere. He wasn’t just a Nobel Prize winner to me, or a famous journalist and novelist, he was like my imaginary friend whom I could talk to and would be there just by browsing some pages.
Erendira (The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother ) used to be one of my best friends, the ninety years old journalist from Memories of My Melancholy Whores gave me a new meaning for the word romance and of course One Hundred Years of Solitude just played insanely with my brain, feeding it and expanding its views. But the one that left a scar on my soul and mind was by far, Living to Tell the Tale, because Marquez wasn’t just a writer anymore, he was also a man with a story of his own.
The bottom line is: follow your dreams because they sometimes die.
Rest in peace, Gabo. Thank you for making my literary journey such an incredible one.