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Desde la EOI de Murcia...

“Vetusta 2”

Pilar Castro Estañ


Vetusta 2 What can I say about Miguelico that you don't already know? Maybe just that he belongs to my "illegal" past, to my teenage years where politics was as important as love. In fact, my generation was in love with politics and always after being allowed to express our admiration for people like Miguelico. For many of today's youngsters the word "grises" might mean nothing. And I'm glad because they were next to nothing. So insignificant were they that they no longer exist and only a few remember them. But, at the time, their menacing shadow loomed in the horizon ready to suffocate our dreams of freedom. It's long ago since I last had my eyes revisited by "mi pueblo y el tuyo" images: too many things to be forgotten and my first love to be forsaken. My new home, England, was in the making and my Orihuela American friend, and English teacher, became the bridge to a land with no Tejeros and no pseudo-aristocratic boyfriends. I'm in debt with Vetusta 2 and the Tejeros of the time; thanks to them I am who I am now. Thanks to them I didn't end up like any D単a. Ana, bored and unhappy. Thanks to them I decided to follow on Virginia Wolf's footsteps and get "A room of my own". Thanks to them I've been making my own money since the age of thirteen and have never been supported by anyone. And thanks to them I took, what I call, voluntary exile in England. I couldn't stand Spain. It hurt too much. But let's start at the beginning of it all, which was my father's "illegal" books bought through Argentinian editorials. I recall now that they had to be hidden so that the neighbors and visitors wouldn't see them and report us to the police. I know


it's hard to believe but that's the way things were here only half an hour ago. Miguelico was unknown for me till we created the theatre group "El rayo que no cesa" and adapted many of Miguel's poems to be represented as theatre plays. The music was, of course, by Joan Manuel Serrat and we rehearsed in secret and with a great sense of responsibility. I remember not whether we were successful or popular. All I know is that I very often cried silent and peaceful tears. So that was my first encounter with Miguelico the shepherd. That very same year some of my friends and I would go to the orchard by Miguel's house in order to read and feel nearer the poet; I believe we were all in search of inspiration, for most of us wanted to be writers. It goes without saying that Miguel's house was a sorry sight and that nobody in Orihuela (Vetusta 2) Town Hall gave a sheet (excuse my French!) about anything related with Miguel. After all he'd been a "rojo". It makes me laugh to see so many people now praising his life and works. Where were they all at the time? Why didn't they take a step forward when his life was at risk? Why did they let him die at the prime of life? Why was he unworthy and forgotten for so many years? It's outrageous that the task of cleaning his image was left at the hands of a few youngsters who decided to organize the first National Homage to Miguel. And guess what! The authorities of the moment and the citizens of "Vetusta 2" did nothing to stop "the grises" crash our heart-felt tribute to Miguelico. They surrounded us, they blinded us with tear gas, shot rubber bullets and, in the end, we had to run for our lives. So the first attempt of loving admiration, of grateful thanks was frustrated and I felt as if Miguel had been killed once more. I still remember my mum's face when, the next morning, she


woke up to a house full of "political refugees" sleeping in their rucksacks, all over the floor.Silent people full of sadness , come from many parts of Spain. So that's my story. Vetusta 2 became a place to be avoided at all costs and many years went by till I could face it again. In 2008 I decided it was high time I took my little revenge on a place that almost trapped and suffocated me, a place that witnessed Miguelico's assassination and which later abandoned him.I just put on my trainers and, disguised as one more of the 2008 half-marathon runners, stepped hard on such an ungrateful soil. At long last, Miguel, your neighbors, the people next door pay you their respects. Wherever you are (and I suspect somewhere in your orchard) I'm sure you'll be exclaiming, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they were doing." Pilar Castro EstaĂą. Profesora de inglĂŠs en la EOI de Murcia.


Vetusta 2