Self Portrait At Twenty Years . I set off, I took up the march and never knew where it might take me. I went full of fear, my stomach dropped, my head was buzzing: I think it was the icy wind of the dead. I don't know. I set off, I thought it was a shame to leave so soon, but at the same time I heard that mysterious and convincing call. You either listen or you don't, and I listened and almost burst out crying: a terrible sound, born on the air and in the sea. A sword and shield. And then, despite the fear, I set off, I put my cheek against death's cheek. And it was impossible to close my eyes and miss seeing that strange spectacle, slow and strange, though fixed in such a swift reality: thousands of guys like me, baby-faced or bearded, but Latin American, all of us, brushing cheeks with death.