“I reached the end of my adventure and my savings,” begins Fernando in the interview. His attitude is melancholic but hopeful as he watches the suitcase. Soon he will fly to Houston, Texas, where his siblings live, for a new beginning. The luxury apartment where he lives is now empty, after a 5-day garage sale where he gave away all his belongings. Only a few books, skulls, and boxing gloves remain, piled up in the corner where I ask him to pose. Today he has bidden farewell to his friends, after three and a half years in Cancún, and he opens up telling his story.
Fernando is from Caracas. His family could afford a good art education for him in NYC, but then the failure of the country's economy led him and his siblings to search for opportunities abroad. He moved to Cancún, México, with his old girlfriend, but the change was harsh, and he broke up with her after a year. He got a highly paid job as a butler in a luxury resort and fell madly in love with a Mexican girl. He thought he had found the ideal partner, but she left him in Dec 2019, giving him “a taste of the same medicine,” he says, remembering the abrupt way he ended his previous relationship.
“I got deeply depressed. I had to let go of the past, but I couldn't digest anything. I lost faith in love; perhaps I was blind and missed some signs.” A dark cloud oppressed him for months. He even stopped walking Mowgli, the dog he had rescued from the streets two years before: “He peed on the furniture around the house,” he says.
Fernando felt a compelling need to vent his rage and started boxing. “I gave and received many punches while sparring, but I felt thankful, even when a girl broke my nose. There I found a good comradeship.”
In March 2020, his boss announced to the employees that the tourists would stop coming and they would have to fire everyone in order of seniority. Fernando took the chance to go back to art, did some paid illustrations, and bought a bicycle for food home-delivery. “Cancún keeps being dead, and it's time to leave this nice house that haunts me, as I planned to live here with my girlfriend.” Eventually, I portray Fernando, but first, he puts on some earrings and, while I draw him, he tells me more of his story…