Twelve o’clock, noon.
My body is at that precise point where it has ceased to resist the heat and surrenders; it lets itself die a little. It seems my heat threshold is high and I understand: the key is to remain very still.
The murmur of some cellphone speaker with bachata by Romeo Santos can be heard at a distance; I gave in to that as well. The irritation it provoked in me a month and a half ago no longer exists. Survival, they call it.
Also with me is the ceaseless splash of four teenagers taking advantage of a pool that is only active on weekends––Mondays through Fridays it is pure contemplation.
And the sun.
The sun cannot be more perfectly above this plastic lounger that marks my skin. It cannot go through these eyelids more tightly. It cannot be more of a witness to my days in this rehab center, where I accompany my father to recover from a stroke that snatched his words away.
My father is a musician, a retired internist, and a hopeless poet; an amiable creator and singer. The center of everything, like the sun.
In 2013 he suffered an ischemic stroke that left him verbless and without his right hand, but with enough lucidity not to recognize himself. It’s a matter of trying every day in front of the mirror: to unravel neurons, to reconnect with the simplest words, to form sentences to ask for things, to train the left hand so that it does not yearn for the neck of the guitar… to start over.
The sun of this noon knows. I have been at an old hotel turned rehab center of all sorts––totally free and isolated––for over a month and a half. Everything has a halo of past glory that I feel helplessly attracted to: a lobby with huge empty armchairs, tropical flower arrangements and a huge fish tank with three goldfish that hover instead of swimming. All under an energy-saving white light that tells me: we no longer are what we were.
During weekdays I accompany my father to each of his therapies; Saturdays are timeout, from rehab and from ourselves. He walks with his cane without custody, I lie down. I realize these are key days because they settle the tide and everything starts to seem clearer. This creates a breeding ground for understanding, or at least to try again.
Okay, noon, I will lower my guard.
In the midst of this necessary quietude, on this old lounger, the sun makes its entrance to remind me of what my dad used to believe he was. As if he himself was speaking to me through the flash of who he was. Something that does not belong to me, neither today nor tomorrow, manifests itself: a snaking melody. A lullaby for the noon.
Thus, automatically, I babble:
I was the sun
And I shone upon you
I had light
for all my friends
I was splendor
I was the sun.
And so, once again,
I thank you.
About the artist:
Claudia Lizardo holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and works in the mass communications field. Along with Juan Olmedillo, she is a composer and musician in the band La Pequeña Revancha; she works as a writer for Cusica+, and she is passionate about stories.