THE CAR

In December of 1988, Jimmy told me that my friend needed a car. The following year was going to be a year of travel. I had to acquire one.

My friend suggested that I find a used car. It would be cheaper and he would check it out. My friend had a very good nose for motors and that is not a metaphor. He knew whether an engine was in good or bad condition just by looking at it, just smelling it.

I liked going to car dealers; I could get into the cars, even try some. On this occasion I got into a Spider, the same model in which Jimmy died. I thought about it. The second I sat down I had to get up quickly. For a moment I thought I was sitting inside a tomb!

I found a car, a red Volkswagen Golf. It was Jimmy's favorite color, "the color of blood", as he used to say. My friend loved it. I managed to pay for it with a personal loan and in January 1989 it was on the road.

The next month I spoke to Jimmy on the phone. He did not agree that the car should be a used one. Jimmy was very funny. I laughed at his remarks.

"If you don't change it, I'll ruin it", he added a little later.

"How?"

"Yes, yes, I don't like that car. You can see that it's a used one. Image is very important. I want a new one; like that, but new".

In that respect one could not trust Jimmy. It was not wise to take what he said as a joke.

I was so convinced that he would ruin the car that by April we already had a new sixteen valve black Golf. "The color of eternity", as my friend used to say. It goes without saying that I received a lot less than I had paid for the old car. I suffered a loss that could have been avoided if Jimmy had deigned to give his opinion at the right moment. But then it would not have been Jimmy. With this type of event, one learned that one had to make the best of the situation or, if not, it would end up being very expensive.

If one follows the evolution of the events surrounding this car, one can get an idea of how unstable life was with Jimmy and my friend. There was no connection to a normal life in any way.

THE GREAT GATSBY

We traveled to see each other, I don't remember the reason. My friend told me that Jimmy had given him another name: Gatsby.

"Gatsby?", I said. What a strange name!

"There is a book and also a movie that both have that name as a title. Rent it at a video shop. Let me know".

I did so. That same night I saw the movie. I could not believe my eyes; that personality, Jay Gatsby, was my friend.

The real virtue of my friend resided in the fact that he had succeeded in harmonizing his intelligence, his heart and his strength. It has to be understood that what he had, thanks to his heart, affection, love, had to be very large to balance and make sense of his other powers. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that these powers did not sometimes present themselves by themselves if circumstances required them to. My friend was that, a strength and intelligence that overwhelmed any opponent and that cleared the way by themselves. At this moment, on the other hand, everything appeared to be filtered through the heart. His strength and understanding appeared to be totally subservient to love.

These powers wore, in a peculiar way, the apparel of affection. As a result, his intelligence lived behind an affectionate look, and his strength was displayed through the elegance of his gestures. Gatsby had a strange kindness that permeated deeply. These few words define him well.

From that moment until the end of this story, I always called him by this name. It was, let's put it this way, his "adaptation", to the form that his spirit took that I had most in common with. Everyone would have wanted to know Gatsby in those days like I grew to know him.