Sometimes, when the loneliness sinks its teeth into him, or he remembers the grandson he doesn’t know and who doesn’t speak Spanish, he seeks solace in drink. Which is the main cause of his loneliness. For this he lost his job, his marriage, his son and many friends.
As a child he wanted to be a sculptor, but the fear of his family’s reaction stopped him. His father, the son and grandson of blacksmiths, didn’t want to know about any artists in the family; and so that he wouldn’t have to go through what his father went through, so he could make something of his life and not lose out on the opportunities presented by the changes just starting to happen in the country, his father practically forced him to choose between medicine and engineering.
He had recently graduated to a large workshop. The workers, hard and honest people, were accepting, little by little though with suspicion at first, until they came to respect him for his technical ability and his fortitude and integrity in the face of any test. The bosses saw him as a threat to their positions and from the start they declared war on him. For almost twenty years he accumulated successes and friends, some setbacks, and a few—but fierce—enemies. He begin to drink in the long days spent meeting the always growing plans, although meeting them did not serve to modernize the plant, which teetered on the edge of obsolescence. He introduced innovations and developed technologies that then became mandatory across the whole industry. But he never sweetened a phrase or was unclear about a responsibility. He always said what he thought and so was never allowed to enter the inner circle. It was a kind of conflict, good for keeping the plant running, but not for being invited for a weekend of fishing. He never had a car. They authorized a telephone so they could call him at any hour to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. Until he got tired. Aware of his problem with the bottle, he didn’t want to give them the pleasure of catching him in a mistake while drinking so he left, with his head held high.