My darling son: depression at your age is more common than you might think. I remember it very strongly in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when I was about twenty-six and felt like killing myself. I think the winter, the cold, the lack of sunshine, for us tropical creatures, is a trigger. And to tell you the truth, the idea that you might soon unpack your bags here, having chucked in all your European plans, makes your mother and me as happy as could be. You have more than earned the equivalent of any university 'degree' and you have used your time so well to educate yourself culturally and personally that if university bores you, it is only natural. Whatever you do from here on in, whether you write or don't write, whether you get a degree or not, whether you work for your mother, or at El Mundo, or at La Ines, or teaching at a high school, or giving lectures like Estanislao Zuleta, or as a psychoanalyst to your parents, sisters and relatives, or simply being Hector Abad Faciolince, will be fine. What matters is that you don't stop being what you have been up till now, a person, who simply by virtue of being the way you are, not for what you write or don't write, or for being brilliant or prominent, but just for being the way you are, has earned the affection, the respect, the acceptance, the trust, the love, of the vast majority of those who know you. So we want to keep seeing you in this way, not as a future great author, or journalist or communicator or professor or poet, but as the son, brother, relative, friend, humanist, who understands others and does not aspire to be understood. It does not matter what people think of you, and gaudy decoration doesn't matter, for those of us who know you are. For goodness' sake, dear Quinquin, how can you think 'we support you (...) because 'that boy could go far'? You have already gone very far, further than all our dreams, better than everything we imagined for any of our children. You should know very well that your mother's and my ambitions are not for glory, or for money, or even for happiness, that word that sounds so pretty but is attained so infrequently and for such short intervals (and maybe for that very reason is so valued), for all our children, but that they might at least achieve well-being, that more solid, more durable, more possible, more attainable word. We have often talked of the anguish of Carlos Castro Saavedra, Manuel Meija Vallejo, Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt, and so many quasi-geniuses we know. Or Sabato or Rulfo, or even Garcia Marquez. That does not matter. Remember Goethe: 'All theory (I would add, and all art), dear friend, is grey, but only the golden tree of life springs ever green.' What we want for you is to 'live'. And living means many better things than being famous, gaining qualifications or winning prizes. I think I too had boundless political ambitions when I was young and that's why I wasn't happy. I think I too had boundless political ambitions when I was young and that's why I wasn't happy. Only now, when all that has passed, have I felt really happy. And part of that happiness is Cecilia, you, and all my children and grandchildren. Only the memory of Marta Cecilia tarnishes it. I believe things are that simple, after having gone round and round in circles, complicating them so much. We should do away with this love for things as ethereal as fame, glory, success...
Well, my Quinquin, now you know what I think of you and your future. There's no need for you to worry. You are doing just fine and you'll do better, and when you get to my age or your grandfather's age and you can enjoy the scenery around La Ines that I intend to leave to all of you, with the sunshine, heat and lush greenery, and you'll see I was right. Don't stay there longer than you feel you can. If you want to come back I'll welcome you with open arms. And if you regret it and want to go back again, we can buy you another return flight. A kiss from your father.