13-EXPRESO E 1

En el Tanque

Por Mauricio Villafañe y Nicolás Bernal

El paso del tiempo, a uno, lo fue poniendo en otros lugares y en otros viajes, en otros colectivos (porque no es ni bondi ni micro, es colectivo). La vida está hecha de lo que fuimos y/o de lo que hicimos: la infancia y la primera juventud quedan como marcas indelebles en la vida de todos y todas. Y ahí aparece la imagen de nuestras calles de tierra, de los paisajes de nuestros barrios (la vía, el Tanque de agua…).

Ahí uno se pone a pasar las noches de verano sentado en la vereda, patea sapos, comparte el mate primero, la cerveza y algún cigarrillo pionero luego, aprende, dándose mil palos, a andar en bici… Era un espectáculo aparte sentarse en la Arévalo a ver el desfile de jinetes bien montados para el día de la Tradición, familias enteras. Los baldíos circundantes eran nuestros, eran el mundo a explorar, a conquistar: frondosos árboles, pequeños reinos de pertenencia, las fogatas a los santos, fulbitos con buzos que hacían de arcos y sin limites precisos ya que no eran necesarios. Yendo al tema que me ocupa, el colectivo a Empalme pasaba por la Arévalo.

Mi barrio, mi lugar en el cruel mundo, la Patria de mi cuadra, se encuentra en una etapa de transición entre Lobos y Empalme, más cerca del Cruce, eso sí. Eso lo reconozco y muchos lo saben, vivo en la 221, a dos cuadras de la Güemes. ¿Ahí arrancaría la “zona de influencia” de Empalme? ¿O más adelante?

Esto es materia de discusión aún entre lobenses y empalmeños. Mi condición transitoria me pone en la responsabilidad de decir que tanto unos como otros somos amigos, parientes, novios/as, etc… La fuerte identidad empalmeña debe ser reconocida por los lobensistas extremos, ahorrando enfrentamientos y discusiones.

Esos hoy pintorescos colectivos empalmeños fueron, desde la primaria, el móvil predilecto (antes y después de la bici o de ir a pata, más allá del auto de papá) para ir al Centro o moverse hasta lo de un amigo, lobense o empalmeño él. Ese colectivo ha permitido más tarde traernos desde el Centro después del boliche, ya en pedo, habiendo dejado de ser un inocente niño en guardapolvo.

La experiencia de ese viaje hace a mil imágenes: el boleto a mano, las monedas, sentarse o bancársela de parado. Las charlas con los amigos. Bajarse por adelante (“en el Tanque” decía yo), rompiendo la regla sagrada del “descienda por atrás”: nunca entendí esa directiva. Un espacio de sociabilidad en movimiento. Su existencia hacía desplegar toda una serie de sentimientos: la ansiedad por su llegada, la esperanza de que sea pronto porque se hacía tarde o llovía y la garita frente al FONAVI se copaba fácilmente. Ese ir desde casa hasta la esquina rogando que no aparezca para no dejarnos a pata y con lluvia, peor. Las monedas en el bolsillo del guardapolvo: primer atisbo del ahorro y de la racionalidad económica. El conocer palmo a palmo el viaje, el aprender su ciudad mas allá de su cuadra y de su barrio. Saberse las informales paradas, aprender las convenciones, como la de darle el asientos a los viejos y viejas del pueblo y del timbre para bajar.

Mi propia situación de viaje, traída ahora desordenamente a la memoria, tenía un punto de inflexión: llegar al semáforo de Amanecer, en Cardoner y Olavarrieta: ahí veía llegar a casa aunque aun faltara. De ahí doblaba y llega a la Angueira, costeando la vía por un par de cuadras hasta la Irigoyen, cruzaba las vías y le metía hasta el Cruce. Ahí emerge otro momento clave; listo, el semáforo dobla a la izquierda por la Arévalo y seguro paraba en la garita histórica del Cruce. Ahí me tenia que parar y decirle al colectivero: “en el Tanque”. Bajaba, llegué. Cruzo la Arévalo, corro media cuadra hasta casa, abro la “tranquerita” sigo corriendo bajo la parra…

Mi expreso que no es café

Otra vez me expreso sobre el gran expreso, a pensar las cuadras que nos faltan todavía, a rogar que el colectivero tenga un buen día, a rogar que maneje ese gordito simpaticón. Otra vez me subo al gran colectivo, pasan los años y los caminos se hacen más largos, a mirar por la ventana esquivando las ramas, a dejar el asiento para las viejas que vienen con flores. Otra vez corriendo por colgado, observando si viaja algún conocido, a pagar con diez pesos que igual te da cambio, a pensar quien vive en Lobos o quien en Empalme.

Otra vez el olor a tierra que bien que me cae, en la Arévalo mirando el galpón de Provincial, a jugar con un chiquito que se da vuelta, a buscar un capicúa que traiga buena suerte. Otra vez la madrugada empieza esperándote, en la puerta de una casa o en la estación, a intentar no vomitar para no quedar mal, a rescatarse y no dormirse para bajarse bien. Otra vez te puteo en esta lluvia y no venís mas, pasan los años menos veinte o y diez siempre es igual, a leer en los respaldos aguante el Comercial, a buscar el martillo de emergencias que nunca apareció.

Otra vez otra novia que visita a su novio empalmeño lo hace en colectivo y este la espera en la garita donde le parte la boca de un beso, el colectivo tantas veces amigo pensativo, en combates contras duras decisiones, único testigo, de tu cabeza y esos viajes, de situaciones acertadas y otras en lamento, en el mismo viaje en colectivo, que bueno el colectivo, que hace un recorrido por todos los escenarios que hacen tu historia, la de los primeros pelotazos, los primeros ring raje, los primeros besos, los primeros cigarrillos, las primeras caminatas, los primeros bailes. Que grande el colectivo, el gran expreso bipolar de Empalme a Lobos, de Lobos a Empalme.

¿Y la Aguada? Sobre tu cuerpo Aguada, me desespero, Aguada…

(de la edición Nº 18, abril 2013)

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