Mini essay by my father

This is my translation of a Facebook post by my father that intrigued me. I have done my best to translate but was baffled by a couple of phrases and was not able to adequately capture the colloquial poetry of it. Although his post appears in all caps, the tone is much more humble and soft spoken. 

The “Sejuela” (Colombian slang  derived from “Se fue la” meaning “it went; in this case he is referring to “youth”) appears when one least expects and then begins, treasonously, with the invasions of “little pains” all over. What now, the left knee; now the right ankle; now the waist? This results, from one moment to the next, in a more complicated process to tie one’s shoes or in doing one’s own pedicure (which  can almost leave me immobilized in bed). If one happens to drop something, it is easier to forget about it than to make the effort required to bend over and pick it up.

Recently I visited family in Las Vegas and wondered “Where is that chubby blond boy (blond meaning “light-haired” in Colombia) running down the beach escaping the waves?”  Instead, I am face-to-face with a gray-flecked forty-something, along with a grandson now as tall as myself as well as the realization that it took great effort for me to scale the hills that they routinely climb to take photographs. Me, who used to climb the Pico de Loro up it’s steepest side is now stepping carefully to avoid an injurious fall.

Such a thing this “Sejelua”  which finds you searching all over the mirror for some sign of the handsome boy that used to appear there but that has now vanished. What the hell; one must go on; must laugh; must dance, as the baldness that awaits doesn’t screw around. Tee hee hee.

Fernando’s Original Post

 LA SEJUELA APARECE CUANDO MENOS LO ESPERAS, Y COMIENZAN, A TRAICION, A INVADIRTE DOLORCITOS POR TODAS PARTES, QUE LA RODILLA IZQUIERDA, QUE EL TOBILLO DERECHO, QUE LA CINTURA, QUE DE UN MOMENTO A OTRO SE VUELVE UN COMPLICADO PROCESO AMARRARSE LOS ZAPATOS Y CUANDO TE HACES EL PEDICURE TERMINAS CASI DE CAMA, SI SE TE CAE ALGO AL PISO RENIEGAS DEL SOLO PENSAR EN EL ESFUERZO QUE TIENES QUE HACER PARA RECOGERLO, HACE POCO VISITE A MI FAMILIA EN LAS VEGAS: DONDE ESTA ESE RUBIECITO BARRIGONCITO QUE CORRIA POR LA PLAYA HUYENDO DE LAS OLAS? TE ENCUENTRAS CON UN SEÑOR CUARENTON PINTANDO CANAS Y TU NIETO YA TIENE TU ESTATURA, ME COSTABA GRAN ESFUERZO SUBIR LAS LOMITAS QUE ELLOS ACOSTUMBRAN A ESCALAR PARA TOMARSE FOTOS, YO EL QUE UNA VEZ ESCALO PICO DE LORO POR LA PARTE MAS DIFICIL Y MAS EMPINADA, AHORA ME VEO CAMINANDO CON CUIDADO PARA NO DARME UNA CAIDA, QUE COSA CON LA SEJUELA Y TE MIRAS AL ESPEJO Y BUSCAS POR TODAS PARTES A ESE CHICO GUAPO QUE APARECIA ALLI HACE TIEMPO PERO ESE CHICO SE ESFUMO PERO QUE CARAJOS, HAY QUE SEGUIR, HAY QUE REIR Y HAY QUE BAILAR, LA PELONA QUE SE ESPERE QUE NO JODA. JA JA JA JA

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One response to “Mini essay by my father

  1. Miguel I LOVE this. (And know something of which he speaks.)

    Thank you for sharing.

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