Sunday, August 26, 2018

SERAFIN THE DOG

SERAFIN THE DOG

     Before I came to Uruguay I bought a puppy that looked like a piece of white yarn. It was a Poodle or Poodle dog that grew quickly until it became one that barked and scratched nothing else.
   My two children, the girl was already 7 years old and the boy 3, became attached to Serafin and did not separate from him. I had to see them when bathing in the pool with a lot of shampoo, how it cooled despite the heat and wanted to escape. But my children enjoyed the act as if it were a party.
    Then they dried it with an old towel and then it was fun time: they threw themselves on the kitchen tiles, laughing and joyful, while Serafin licked their faces and they laughed happy and happy.
    I would sit on a chair and watch them wanting to also throw me to the floor and share their joy, but I held back. A father can not behave like a child, so I thought. But I felt happy for a few moments while my wife, busy in the kitchen, apparently was indifferent to everything that was happening.
    The time has come to go to Uruguay and the face of my two beloved children crying spontaneously while I climbed the ladder of the plane is fixed in my mind as in a photograph.
   Two years passed until the title was revalidated here in Uruguay. I called them every month.
   On one occasion I wanted to speak with the boy first and with a voice cut by the cry he said:
   -Dad. Serafin went to the sky of the dogs, yesterday.
   I wanted to cry because I knew what that meant.
   -It's like that, son. To all the dogs we love, it's time for them to ascend to heaven. Your mother will get you another one.
   The girl, who was already a few years older, also said with you saddened:
   _ Pa, Serafin died.
   _ He went to heaven as your brother said and you have to believe it until he discovers it for himself.
    The boy took the receiver.
   _Dad. And when you come?
    -Soon. Soon. My son.
   - You always say "soon" but when it's "soon"
   -Already. God willing, it will be very soon this time.
   Years passed. I was the director of a private clinic and I collected the money and rented a house for the family to come. But when I told my wife she told me that they were calm there and that there was no need to emigrate.
  That was a hard blow for me. I got used to it and sadness overwhelmed me. I sent her dollars every month.
   When I turned 18, my daughter wanted to meet me and she came from Cuba as an emigrant to Uruguay to join her father.She was beatiful and with long legs. I was not allowed to enter Cuba because I was a professional doctor and stayed.
   Finally, after 17 years of separation, they gave me an open letter, passport and permission from the embassy to visit my family. My daughter had got a job - and even a Uruguayan boyfriend - accompanied me.
    I only remember my arrival in Guantanamo between tears and kisses.
   One night later, being in the corridor swinging in Bermuda for the inclement heat my son approached. He was already a 20-year-old man, handsome because of the exercises and tall because of the genes inherited by the branch of the maternal family.
   He kissed me on the cheeks and asked me what Uruguayan women were like. I told him vagueness so he would not get excited.
    _Papa, do you remember our dog Serafin, that poodle we wanted so much?
   _ Of course I remember, son.
  _ And what did they tell me that he had gone to the sky of the dogs?
   _ You were a tender boy. You could not tell the truth until you discovered it for yourself.
    -Do you know something?
   - What tell me, my son?
   _ The sky would be very boring without our dogs.

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