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my joint tastes blood

I have a guardian angel that protects
me and takes care of me.

And I hate it with passion.

In fact, this is the thing I hate the most in my life. I hate that this angel is in heaven, taking care of me, protecting me, being the voice of my conscience. I hate that he has become an angel and despite he is a constant on my being, I can’t touch him, kiss him, yell at him, party with him, cry with him…

I hate that this angel is my brother.

Sintu was born in a cold January day in 1973. Our mother, one of these “fashionistas” of the time, and against all the proper customs of the fancy society, decided to substitute the “pink or blue” and go for the “red”.

Now, let me tell you something about my family: we do not produce pretty new-borns. Period. We do change, in a few months, to gorgeous babies, but when we come out, man! There is nothing pretty about us. That is a family trademark that, apparently, continues its course in generations to come.

So there you have, this skinny newborn, black-as-night-unmanageable-pointy-in-all-directions hair, discolored skin as a ghost, constantly crying, and of course, ugly as hell.

In red.

They called him “the Vietnamese”. What the hell did we know about beauty-around-the-world, but I am guessing.. 1973… war… ok. You get my point. Not a pretty sight, anyway.

But Sintu grew, in fact, to be a beautiful baby, blond, happy and full of life. From a very young age he showed his own trademark: he was constantly getting I trouble for helping others, he had to defend his sisters, his friends, his animals, his plants, the crazy neighbough from the third floor, the moon… everything!

S´hauria d´haver dit Salvador
(his name should had been Lifesaver)

It sucks he coundt save himself.

Sintu grew to be an incredibly likeable person. His temper got him in trouble many times, but the same temper got him out in no time, with a smile, and most likely with a skirt -probably two- following him faithfully. Yes; apparently, “Don Juan” talents and great physical attributes are, also, a trademark in our family.

By the time greasy pimples began to fade from his face and he started wondering what he was supposed to do with his life, he saw his older sister -my older sister- settled in. And he saw me, traveling all over the world with my studies, my surfing and my love stories, and the bug of knowledge hit him and he left too.

Many motorcycle accidents filled his body with metal -MC is another trademark in our family. While in London, He helped a boy with whom they went backpacking in Thailand. The boy turned to be the son of a renown politician there. He got drunk with some of the most important English business Jews. He managed to sneak as a waiter into a premiere for Janet Jackson and was kicked out and abandoned in the middle on a highway. We did swim together in a dangerous ocean in Martha’s Vineyard…

He lived -he lived, he loved and he was terribly loved by everyone. At around 3pm on May 15, 5 years ago, he was laying on the asphalt, full of blood, his motorcycle at 100 meters away, his sneaker at 5, the lawn mower he stupidly had around his neck, at 1.

A stupid accident, and he was gone instantly.

All things come in three:

1.- his woman was leaving him.
2.- a freak accident in his property and he got second-degree burns on his upper body.

My mom saw it coming.

He flew from Menorca to my mom the weekend before, just to surprise her, for mother’s day. My mom saw it coming- like he came to say goodbye. My mom refused to say goodbye to her son.

If you want to see him, now is the moment –the man said.

My mom refused to say goodbye to her son.

Mamá, I will go in with you if you want. If you don’t, I will stay with you outside, I told her

Mamá, he is sleeping -my sister said, tears on her eyes, voice trembling, a shy smile on her face.

I was high pregnant and weeks away to deliver my second child. Seeing my brother in that box, “sleeping”, full of peace… never felt that much pain in my life; I thought I was going in miscarriage…

Què he fet jo perquè Deu em castigui d´aquesta manera?
(What did l ever do so God punished me like this?)

I had never saw my dad crying before. A couple hundred people flew that Wednesday from around Barcelona to Menorca to say goodbye. Hundreds more flew on Friday from all over the world to our hometown to say good bye.

My mom said goodbye to her son.

Sintu was cremated. Because he didnt belong just underground; he did belong to the earth, to the ocean, to the sky, to life… we decide to carry his ashes to his favorite cliff on the south side of the island and let him rest there.

Ón és el meu papa?
(Where is my dad?)

Arnau, his 4 year old son asked me, while we were walking towards the end of cliff.

El papa és mort, Armau, i ara ell vui al cel. El papa s´ha convertit en un àngel. Aquestes cendres són com les estrelles que surten a la nit. Les hem de tirar al cel, el papa les agafará i les convertira en estrelles.
(Dad is gone, Arnau; he lives in heaven now. Dad has there become an angel. These ashes we have here are like the starts that come out at night. We will throw the ashes to the sky and he will grab them and turn them into starts.)


I light up a joint. He is lying on the asphalt; his body cover with blood, with his linen pants, his cotton t-shirt, one sneaker on, the other some meters away. I sit next to him.

– Do you know you are dying? I take a puff and give it to him. – Do you have pain? Do you feel anything?

He takes a long puff and smiles. Oh! That corky smile…

Bibi, tranquila, que no pasa nada (relax, everything is ok) he says

I am anxious; I want to know everything. Those 10 minutes, is he suffering? Does he know he is dying? Does he know he is leaving us? His son? Does he know? He takes one last puff of the joint –he smiles again.

– Toma, acabatelo, que yo me tengo que ir. Te quiero, Bibi. (take it and finish it, that I got to go. I love you, Bibi)

I look at what is left of the bloody joint. This is the dream I have over and over for the past 5 years when I dream my brother.

And every time –every single time, when I open my eyes… I taste blood in my mouth.

22 Comments Post a comment
  1. So sad… But still beautiful. You write well.

    It was nice seeing you yesterday. 🙂 Take care!

    – Kari.

    May 16, 2010
    • takk søtta,

      det var veldig fint å treffe deg også i går. Neste gang må vi prate litt mer 🙂

      ha en gos 17 mai, i morgen.


      May 16, 2010
  2. Beatriz #

    Silvia es la primera vez que me meto en tu blog .
    Cuando vimos la foto en tu casa nunca pude imaginar que fue asi. Ahora te entindo mas. Lo siento mucho, tuvo que ser muy duro. Pero tu forma de contarlo es preciosa.

    Un besote muy grande.

    June 11, 2010
    • Gracias Beatriz. Pienso – o quiero pensar, que a él le gustaria que lo contara asi..

      Un beso, guapisima!

      June 11, 2010
  3. MT #

    Eg må skrive på norsk…..
    …eg har lest dette nydelige minneordet før.Sterkt.
    Du har ein fin guardian angel Silvia.

    Stein Mehren er ein forfattar eg har kjær,han har eit vakkert dikt som heiter “Jeg holder ditt hode”,eit kjærleiksdikt tenkjer eg,i vid forstand.

    “Jeg holder ditt hode
    i mine hender,som du holder
    mitt hjerte i din ømhet
    slik allting holder og blir
    holdt av noe annet enn seg selv
    Slik havet løfter en sten
    til sine strender,slik treet
    holder høstens modne frukter,slik
    kloden løftes gjennom kloders rom
    Slik holdes vi begge av noe og løftes
    dit gåte holder gåte i sin hånd”


    June 26, 2010
    • MT: velkomen her, jeg setter masse pris at du lage komentarer of intrykk.

      Jeg leste diktet og … huden min kryper: det var like vakkert å lese som smertefulle. Takk for at du deler denne.

      jeg skjønner MT gjøre smart, dyktige, intelligente kommentarer på Bloggs, men jeg ser ikke MT gløgge tanker på en personlig blogg. jeg er nysgjerrig … og jeg har lyst til å “lese” deg … er det mulig?


      June 26, 2010
  4. MT #

    Hei på deg Silvia,takk for gode ord.

    Eg har ikkje eigen blogg.Av og til tenkjer eg at det hadde vore fint,men eg veit ikkje kva eg villa ha formidla.Det er litt “nifst” også 🙂

    Du,jammen er du flink til å forstå nynorsken min:)

    Fin dag vidare på deg og “din”


    June 26, 2010
    • mmm… “you would be surprised”

      Prøver du, jeg er med som en av dine “followers”


      June 27, 2010
  5. dufmanno #

    This is beautiful and so sad. I wish he was still here for you as well.

    May 12, 2011
    • thank you darling 🙂
      a mass will be celebrated today – as every year – on his memory… That gives me some comfort.

      May 13, 2011
  6. I am speechless. Or wordless? I really have no idea what to say here in my comment other than, what an amazing and amazingly heartwrenching moment you have shared with your brother. I am not on very good terms with mine as he is an extremely hard person for me to take and very different from me so this post makes me wonder. It makes me ask my self…Could I share a tender moment like that with my brother? Even if it was a last moment?

    This post makes me take a breath, exhale and wonder.

    Thank you.

    May 14, 2011
    • Thank you, darling.
      I must admit that I never had the greatest relationship with my older sister – she can be quite hard to handle also – but after my brother died, things got into perspective somehow and i decided to “let some things go” here and there with her…
      and I always say good bye – just in case…

      May 18, 2011
  7. Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too wonderful. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful site.

    May 20, 2011
  8. Bibi… feia molt temps que no sentia aquest nom… Bibieta Fassbinder… Mai he volgut buscar ni saber res de cap Fassbinder… per a mi, Bibi Fassbinder és una noia que venia sempre amb un somriure als llavis a la botiga amb crosses… escoltàvem acid-jazz i The Smiths… i m’hi vaig enamorar… era fàcil, seria estrany que no hagués estat així.
    I el germà, en Sintu, quin somriure, quina energia… Un dia va sortir d’un cotxe parat al semàfor i va saltar fins a l’aparador de la botiga. Va donar uns quants cops al vidre de l’aparador i em va dir a crits “Jordi, records de la Bibi! està molt bé! he parlat amb ella avui!”. Crec que era quan la Bibi vivia a Connecticut… no n’estic segur…
    Quin somriure! em va fer tan feliç aquell dia… mai li estaré prou agraït… jo tenia 20 o 21 anys… com ell.
    Silvia, he llegit aquest post i tot i que no ho pillo tot (el meu anglès és justet) m’ha colpit. Fas molt bé en escriure, en deixar aquí tot el que sents i en compartir-ho amb tothom i sobretot amb els que t’estimem.
    Ànim i una forta abraçada

    May 21, 2011
    • La Bibieta Fasbinder… m’ha posat la pell de punta :)))
      El Sintu va tenir un accident ara fa cinc anys (ja saps: ell i les motos) un accident d’aquells tan tontos i ridiculs, que sembla tot una broma.
      Pero no, no va ser una broma, va morir al instant deixant un mico de 4 anys – l’Arnau, confus i desesperat com tots nosaltres.
      Gracies per contestar, carinyo… m’has portat molt bons records.
      Un petonet ben fort, Jordi

      May 26, 2011
  9. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

    May 21, 2011
  10. I too lost my brother to a ridiculous set of circumstances. It’s been over 20 years now, but it still feels like yesterday. Your words are healing. Thank you.

    June 1, 2011
  11. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, let alone the content!

    June 20, 2011
  12. LKD #

    I feel for you on this one! I too wish my angels weren’t angels! ❤

    July 30, 2011
    • Lorna, darling, thanks for your kind words… l missed you!
      But wait. Which angels have you watching over you? (having one is hard -haven more than one… uff…)

      August 3, 2011
  13. Anja Weltzien #

    Tårene triller…
    Så trist at du bærer en slik sorg Silvia..
    Vakkert skrevet.❤
    Vi savner dere her i Bergen.
    Klem fra meg til dere..

    May 16, 2017

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