Extract from the book “The sea you breathe” by Roberto Hurtado García

Soon Juan thought that he had to get out of that nest of despair and that, to the best of his ability, he would also try to get his little brother out. However, Miguel had already made that decision for himself and, when he turned fourteen, two perspectives opened up in his mind as safe passage for escape: military service or fishing.

Since he was still too young for the first option, the second option took hold. And very soon he entered the Mediterranean Sea, escaping the periodic hell of home – although that could not be called home – to carve out a future, a way out, a green shoot of hope that would take him very far, accompanied only by the silence of the sea. calm or the roar of the storm hitting the deck of the fishing boat.

There were not many other options than to go to Santa Pola or Torrevieja and try your luck on one of the motorsailers that moved at that time. It was not so difficult to find something, since the job of fisherman was always available, but to transport esparto or palm from Cabo de Gata, it would be to go to sea in search of tuna, bonito or whatever along the entire Mediterranean coast or perhaps even much further.

On July 2, 1947 it all began, Miguel embarked on the Gasparito from Torrevieja with an uncertain destination, until October. Later in the Adelina, immediately until January 1948, to return again to the eternal distribution by bicycle through the towns of the region, longing for the time to come again to go out to work again. And so the months passed, shedding its leaves like a daisy, almost without even realizing it.

In April 1949, Miguel opened his eyes, finding himself embarked on the San Miguel. Chasing tuna in the Columbretes Islands, he would sit on deck repairing nets after risky early mornings in which he was often able to end up with his body in the water. A few hours earlier, the deck was full of tuna blood. After giving a few buckets of water, to prevent them from slipping with blood, he had let his body rest in a hammock.

In the silence of the night, he remembered his mother and wondered, with tears in his eyes, what they had done to deserve all that. Meanwhile, a beautiful dawn appeared over the islet of Brig, filling his world with uncertainties that only time would be able to answer. Gone were the times when Juan or Miguel cared what the town girls said about them, not even to remember those sunsets in the castle with Armando. There was no longer time to believe in athletic bodies, in the features of a movie actor, in a dissolute and carefree life.

There was never any place for those thoughts in the minds of the brothers. Now it was time to escape, look for a destination where there was a future, find a place where we could have a future. And that future, for the moment, was at sea.

Source: https://algunoslibrosbuenos.com/el-mar-que-respiras

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