Un banco, un hombre, una historia

Elena Baeza Berruti.

bancoMúsica en el equipo, la casa calentita, la una y media de la tarde, la comida lista para ser servida. Haciendo tiempo, mi madre se asomó a la ventana. Al poco me avisó de algo. En el banco de abajo, en la calle, había un hombre con aspecto de indigente en mal estado. Me asomé; ya estaba la ambulancia con el personal del SAMUR social, un chico y una chica y la Policía Municipal, tres agentes. El hombre del banco no se podía mover y estaba sentado sin poder levantar la cabeza. Parecía ser una monumental cogorza, pero me preocupó que fuera algo peor. Pensé: el SAMUR lo valorará y decidirá.

La médico se agachó a su altura (la del banco) para hablarle y el policía que tenía el brazo en su hombro lo soltó un momento y el hombre se venció hacia delante. Decidieron tumbarlo como pudiesen y la cabeza quedó fuera del banco. Siguieron atendiéndole y preguntándole lo que debían preguntarle. Lo que se suele hacer en estos casos es trasladar a estas personas a un hospital o a un centro social adecuado. Pero el SAMUR no puede hacer nada si no hay consentimiento y si no hay peligro inminente para el “paciente”, o como se diría en el sistema, el “usuario”… ¡qué ironía!

El día estaba más que nublado negro. Se presentaba lluvia y más que fresco. Alguien le colocó una manta encima y el hombre quedó así tumbado en el banco… se dormía sin remedio por momentos. La ambulancia se fue, sin nada más por hacer, y la policía tenía que seguir su guardia y también se fue, no sin mirar atrás… Debía de ser un tipo simpático. ¡Qué curioso!… Los nubarrones por momentos se retiraron y no se sabe cómo, asomó un sol incluso cálido que veló el sueño del hombre.

Sobre las tres de la tarde ocurrió algo verdaderamente penoso. El hombre cayó del banco, todo lo alto que era, con la manta revuelta y los zapatos uno aquí y otro allá. Pero nada de esto turbó su sueño, y quedó tirado en posición fetal, ahí en medio del pavimento. Pasó un hombre con un chaquetón muy planchado en tono claro, con pelo cano, alto y erguido. Miró de soslayo, pero sin posar la mirada, sin doblar el cuello. Pasó de largo. Pasó un joven vestido de negro, con un maletín de ordenador… No miró, ni siquiera se percató de que había un hombre en el suelo. Pasó un chico con pinta de moderno ecologista, un poco pasota, por el desliño de su indumentaria y de su camiseta en particular. El pelo medio rasta. No miró, tenía prisa. Pasó una mujer africana vestida con chaquetón de leopardo, con una niña con sus moños y sus trencitas vestida de marca, en rosa chicle. A ellas las esperaba un morenazo (lo digo por lo grande que era) con chaquetón de ante, en un coche muy bonito. Casi lo rozan, pero era invisible, de todas formas… Finalmente, alguien se apiadó del hombre, y debió de llamar de nuevo al SAMUR, porque aparecieron como por arte de magia. Curiosamente se trataba del mismo equipo del mediodía. Entre los dos hicieron reaccionar al hombre tendido y consiguieron despejarlo lo suficiente del sueño como para incorporarlo al banco, lo cual no fue tarea fácil. Retomaron la manta y se la pasaron por los hombros. La médico se sentó a su lado (en una postura relajada, con los antebrazos apoyados en las piernas, exactamente como estaba él) intentando convencerle de que les acompañara. El hombre sacó un cigarrillo, pero era tal su estado que no acertaba a encenderlo. Finalmente, así sentado lo dejaron los sanitarios, que tuvieron que irse.

Todavía le quedaba alcohol en el cuerpo para tres días y seguía tambaleándose pero alguien se sentó a su lado, impidiéndole de ésta forma caer de nuevo en los brazos de Morfeo. Este otro visitante del banco venía con una maleta pequeña y por las ropas que vestía parecía llegar de algún sitio más cálido. Se puso a charlar de forma tranquila y amable con el hombre que debió de pedirle fuego para su maltrecho cigarrillo, porque el viajero se levantó con cierto ímpetu, acudió a un comercio cercano y volvió con un mechero con el que encendió el pitillo del hombre. A continuación lo puso entre las manos del indigente que hizo ademán de no querer aceptar tan lujoso regalo, pero ante la insistencia del viajero, aquel aceptó. El hombre le dio las gracias de corazón y el viajero siguió su rumbo. Ya el hombre debió de encontrarse mejor y en un momento dado se levantó y se fue.

Nada más se ha sabido de él por aquí. Solo sé que se quedó la manta en el banco, que no quiso llevarla como equipaje, que iba ligero de obligaciones, y que a la media hora, esas nubes que le habían dado una tregua respetando por lo menos el sueño de un inocente, empezaron a descargar agua reciamente. Anochecía y la manta quedó extendida en el banco, mojada por completo, pero nuestro amigo… ya no estaba.

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