When I saw her arrive at the office I thought she was missing a screw. In time I knew there were two of them. He was quite young. She had potential, even if she didn't know how much herself. Sometimes I don't think she was even sure what position she was running for. The job interview was divided into three: a written test, a practice and a short personal conversation.
In writing, it came out awful. The practice was a little better. On personal, he gave me a warning that seemed threatening or vice versa. "I have a son," he said as one who takes out his claws. Aha and then? I said. "Well, that, so you know that I have a son," he exclaimed even more firmly. Poor darling, I thought, his mom is crazy. I stood up slowly and concluded that meeting.
As soon as we said goodbye, I tried to go back to my tasks until a colleague, urged that I make a decision that will alleviate his workloads, specified me with a mixture of mockery and reluctance: "You are not going to hire this one either, right?" I don't know, all she did was repeat to me that she has a son, I answered. "Oh no, then no," he yelled. "Why?" I insisted. "Women with children are less productive, the carajitos get sick all the time, they can't take over the weekend guards, forget it, it won't do you any good," he replied like someone who sings "life is like that, I haven't invented it myself. ”.
Suddenly I felt as if someone had struck the most sacred part of my femininity, my desire to one day become a mother without having to give up my job, the desire that had led me to fight tooth and nail against a society that insists on oppress and pigeonhole us in the reduced spaces where we do not bother their desire for superiority. My partner's response generated so much, but so much anger, that I immediately called the hyperactive little face: can you start tomorrow?
He arrived and I only explained the basics. Back then, I was even less patient than I am today, and I shielded myself from the premise that people should learn by observation. I don't know at what point along the way we hit it off. Probably at the beginning of the day, when there were only four cats in the office and she was distributing coffee or a bread that she bought on the way because some tragedy of everyday life had permeated her morning. You know: not hearing the alarm, waking up without water, discovering that the gas cylinder has run out, or falling into the truck to be able to get there on time.
Before long, I knew that hiring her had been a wise move and that keeping her there too long would be a mistake. So, we should take advantage of those months. I tried to teach him a thing or two, some kindly and some shouting. One morning, one of the most famous, I got sick of reading the word 'decision' written first with s and then with c, so I approached his post and began to hit him with a finger on his head: “come on, decision, first with c, then with s, aja c, s, c, s, yes? But, for the most part, I focused on transmitting other things to her: that women are horny, that we can do everything, that it is always possible to give more, but that it is also valid to get tired, that crying does not weaken us but laughing makes us stronger, than Life would still be screwed up but when wills come together we can ease the burdens.
She carried on her shoulders the weight of not being able to live with her son for not having a decent roof to do so. In that context, every moment with her son was treasured in a special way. When I met him, I knew immediately that that little darling would be the nephew whose paws I would pull out of the mud more than once. He was diaphanous, noble, fucking.
Among my happy memories in that office is reviewing resumes with him: "You won't like this one, the waiting tone is reggaeton," he said after dialing an applicant's number and handing me his resume. When he finished, his reasoning about whether to hire someone or not was always crossed by love for his mother: He lives far away, I exclaimed. "My mom too and she always comes early," he replied. They both insisted on teaching me that everyone deserves a chance. I was trying to tell them that it is not always that easy.
Over the days, she and I began to plan ambitious projects or at least to think that some things were not as impossible as the general discouragement led us to believe. On the way, my partner repeated that that corduroy was crazy and together we invented “too many guevonadas”. His partner, at the same time, cultivated towards me an outrage of force majeure. Once he told me that I wanted to turn his girlfriend into a woman like me: very professional, very horny, very with a roof, a car and everything, but "alone."
His "attack" set off all my alarms. Not because his words hurt, by then I had already begun to understand the premise that would guide my life: between being with someone who hurts and being alone, there was nothing to doubt. But something told me, deep inside, that there was the Achilles heel of my friend, she was afraid of facing certain things "alone". It is very difficult for human beings to understand that we are never as alone as we think, especially when we are militants of solidarity. But, in the end, life put them where they should be: in memory, along with the smaller versions of us.
With my friend I learned that the journey towards personal transformation is not the magic thing that coaches predict. It is not about painting your hair or getting into a gym, although both can be part of the process. It is a journey that leaves shreds of our skin scattered around and it seems a mistake until it becomes a success.
But encouraging us to try, it gave us a roof (aha, a roof) and shelter. It allowed him the reunion with his son and personal growth. Together we have taken on jobs that seemed impossible, we accompany each other in screwed up moments, we tell each other from time to time what are the new fears that prevent us from moving forward, we grow, we continue to grow, and we understand that this is the magic of friendship, being the family that one chose himself.
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