I’m the youngest of five so naturally I think of myself as, well, the youngster.
I still think so even at the age of 43.
For my work as a journalist, I speak to a lot of people, mostly by phone and less often but still frequently in person at press conferences, interviews, on the street and at events. I have been doing this full time for the past 15 years. I know a lot of people. We say hello to each other and swap stories. Sometimes I run into people from years ago. I did the other day at an event for investors in downtown Buenos Aires.
“Whoa,” the said to me, “I haven’t seen you in ages, what it must be 10 years at least.”
The guy introduced me to one of his coworkers, telling him about my visits to his office in the Economy Ministry back in the 1990s and concluding his presentation with the kicker: “He was just a kid back then.”
Wait a second, I wanted to say. I’m still a kid; I’m younger than all of you. I am the youngster. I am the kid. I am, I am, I am.
Instead I looked out over the sea of investors digging into hors d’oeuvres and sipping coffee and orange juice and I saw something unusual. Many of them looked younger than me. Miffed at the thought, I decided to take the elevator downstairs and run home to show my fitness, a distance of maybe seven miles. On your marks, get set, go! I was off racing through the streets of Buenos Aires to dazzle pedestrians with my speed, my stamina and my youth. Yes, my youth! Yet after two blocks my body redirected itself and took me to the Tribunales subway station, down the escalator and into the first train and off my body took me to my stop and then up the escalator, through the turnstile and up another escalator and out onto the streets where my body walked me home and plopped me down on the sofa.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… That’s how it went.
But in my head I am still a kid. I am. I really, really, really am.