domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2009

El primer caldero

Ya dije que mi bisabuelo había sido el capitán del Sirio. Muchos de los náufragos fueron acogidos durante días en los hogares de los pescadores que acudieron a rescatarles. Mi bisabuelo permaneció diez días en casa de uno de ellos. Tenía una familia y tres hijos, el pescador. En su casa mi bisabuelo probó por primera vez el caldero. Si mi bisabuelo no hubiese naufragado jamás habría probado el caldero. A mi bisabuelo le encantó aquella receta de arroz. Tanto, que la transmitió de generación en generación. El caldero es un plato familiar para mi familia napolitana. Es el plato de los domingos. Se ha convertido en un ritual, en un acto casi religioso, como el cordero de los musulmanes o el kosher de los judíos. Antonio era el nombre del pescador que acogió a mi bisabuelo durante aquellos diez días. Hasta que vino un nuevo barco a rescatarlo. Cuando mi bisabuelo subió al barco, esta vez como pasajero, vestía unos sencillos pantalones de tela negros y una camisa blanca de pescador. Mi bisabuelo regaló su traje de capitán a Antonio. Sólo se llevó consigo, de vuelta a Italia, el ejemplar de La incógnita, de Pérez Galdós, el verdadero responsable de aquella catástrofe. Posiblemente el traje de mi bisabuelo siga en el pueblo, guardado en algún baúl, olvidado por las generaciones sucesivas. O quizás no, quizás ocupe un lugar privilegiado en algún cajón, en una vitrina, conmemoración de la estancia de aquel capitán de barco italiano que naufragó en las Islas Hormigas. Podría preguntar a los vecinos por ese traje. Pero no lo haré. Prefiero que el traje se mantenga en el limbo de existencia, como el monstruo del lago Ness, como Big Foot, como el gato de Schrödinger. Las cosas que existen y que no existen al mismo tiempo son aquellas que conforman lo mítico. Y yo quiero que el traje de mi bisabuelo forme parte de la leyenda.

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