Fri. Feb 28th, 2020

the honor of cats

The only reason why, from a certain age, we pay attention to doctors and monitor ourselves with analysis (except for the ecumenical fear of death) is because survival has already become a matter of honor. Not to disappoint those who, by affection, need our presence is the only thing that stops the exceptionally playful characters from beating immediately until the last day by the bars.

The Madrid of Fuste, the natives, are called “cats.” Joaquín Sabina, despite being born in Úbeda, earned that category with his experiences and words. In my Catalan city of birth there is a bar, where the modernists were cited, which is also called “The Four Cats.” There, Úbeda’s must have grown and raised because, more than seven, he has twenty-eight lives. In some of them, he survived playing in bars in Madrid in the 70s that the police then closed. In others, he found a new existence going from the acoustic author song to the electrified cast ballad. In the one beyond, he overcame a stroke. In the next one, he lost his voice in a corner of a stage, in front of everyone, and found it even more scratchy. All those successive lives of Sabina have been coupled to some of the main historical circumstances of recent years in our country: the anti-Francoism in the seventies, the gratifying substances of the eighties, the consecration of the classics in the nineties, the indomitable third age of medical monitoring in the new century for example of millennials, etc. It is a biography of collective moments full of epic; It would be strange if Sabina, when something happened to her, was in the privacy and reflection of a monacal retreat in Yuste.

That is why it is endearing and makes us closer to that artist citizen the fact that, floating between so much epic, all his last vicissitudes he has survived have been of tremendously prosaic origin: a lack of air due to anxiety on stage, a bad fall from the tables by the classic presbyopia. I anticipate that we still have to see some more Sabina, stored in one of those twenty-eight lives that are still whole. Do not discard the future of a Sabina who leaves a mustache canoe and hypnotizes us dearly from the position of irreverent grandfather. It’s as if Pancho Varona, with his long hair, was already rehearsing the “look” for that imperfect future. Let us thank him then that, after so many years of poetry and epic, the peaceful time of leisurely prose arrives and even Joaquín’s accidents are of the common type of people. They say he did not see the white line that marked where to stand on the edge of the stage and a malevolent castizo says that, of course, with his past, who happens to put that signal to indicate where to stop, if by pure reflection of memories he sees that kind of line and you throw it.

Now, once again the born survivor has overcome a good stumble. It would not be good to anticipate the events, because at the time I write these words there are still forty-eight hours of observation in intensive surveillance, but everything is going well. And I know that collective desires travel totally in the sense of that optimism of the will. Rubén Amón once told me that I was against the inclusive language of Carmen Calvo because, if applied, I would be turned into Sabina. Well, understand that, to those of us who are followers of Barsa, it is understandable that it is difficult for us to imagine ourselves as mattresses. But I think that, if I had been given the ability to write some opening verses such as “ours lasted, which last two ice fish in a whiskey on the rocks”, I would have happily compromised with converting to Atlético de Madrid at least for a while. You have to take care of those brains. Our share of recent sadness has already been filled by Gistau. There are mythical and unrepeatable minds. If something happened to Joaquin, my mother, how could we miss him.


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