Those irrational and terrifying manias that arise in the deepest part of the gut and increase with age… Having no return, it’s convenient to manage them rather than fight them. You’ll never defeat them, so it’s important to adapt and make sure the animal doesn’t break in order to avoid the subsequent penance. Every morning, very early on, when I walk to one of my jobs, almost always in the same area of the sidewalk and in the roomy zombie phase, I cross paths with a guy. A year or two ago he greeted me with a smile and affection. He also raised a colleague’s hand to extend the greeting. I returned it as is, somewhat surprised. I knew that every time I met this man, a complete stranger, I would have to say hello. Since then the ritual is repeated every morning. At the same time, in the same section and with the same hand-mollusk gesture. And that obligation, slowly, haunts me. It has been a slow, relentless and gradual process. We draw the same smile every time we see each other. Sometimes we allow ourselves slight license, so instead of raising a hand, we bow our heads with goofy smiles as if we were cowboys entering the saloon to sip a few shots. That daily and morning repetition begins to overwhelm me. It burns me crushes me During the past few weeks I had censored my ‘punk’ desires to suddenly slap him in the face in an attempt to forcefully break that bad routine. But I backtracked because it’s definitely not a plan. In addition, the man exudes a gray elegance so good-natured that it resists any violence. He wears a jacket with colorful elbow pads, goggle-style sunglasses, well-pressed pants and today’s trendy sneakers. And he always looks clean shaven. It seeps into, in essence, harmless fixes. Yesterday on Friday he stopped me very nice: “Hey Palomar, shall we have coffee?”. Vermee I replied: “Of course man, that would be a pleasure.” Damn, less bad. He was a high school classmate. We share high school. Now I have to salute him till death separates us.