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  • Perhaps life is more intensive when you know that maybe there won't be tomorrow. Perhaps life is more about feeling instead of thinking when you have cancer and doctors have told you that there is no way back. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that you don't mind if a stranger invites you to a coffee. Perhaps we should not wait for this to happen to start talking with someone next to us.

    Manolo is 55 years old, he loves English literature and has worked more than 22 years as a finantial manager of a Spanish company.

    Now that he is sick, he takes life much more easy and has less stress than before. He also regrets the fact of not having read more books.

    "Yes, I've been told that I won't recover from this cancer".

    Sitting in the Café where we met today for the first time, Manolo looks at me with deep, direct eyes and I just try not to look apart during our first conversation.

    We talk about many different things except the weather and the kind of blank words that we use when we talk to a stranger for the first time. I thought it was going to be embarrasing but actually it's not, so either I'm becoming a premium explorer of the world or Manolo is a good man.

    I'm feeling (not thinking) it's all about the second option.

    Manolo tells me that he would love to have an agenda, to plan a trip, to think of tomorrow and to be able to do more things. But he is a clever man -and also a one of character, or so he looks like- and he knows that it doesn't make sense to act that way.

    There is no drama in his voice. While playing with the small pack of sugar and the sport magazine he bought this morning, he asks me why I wanted to chat with him and I tell him that I believe that everybody has at list one beautiful story to tell. Then we talk about my experiment "todas las palabras bonitas" and he smiles and we keep on chatting:

    "I'm father of two kids that are now on their thirties. After I got divorced, I used to live on my own but, since the diagnose, my sister and my kids didn't want me to live alone, so I decided to move to my parents house".

    "My sister, my son and I, we did the promise not to pronounce the word "cancer" at my parents house. My mum is sick and they both are ancien and the word "cancer" sounds for them terrific, so they just know that I'm sick and have to go to the hospital every week for some treatment, but they don't know that I have cancer".

    I tell him that parents are very clever and most of the times they know about us more than we think:

    "Yes, of course. My dad knows for sure. I'm not so 100% sure if my mum knows as well, but I would like to reduce my illness to the minimum impact in the lives of the people that I love".

    Then Manolo tells me that some weeks, when he's got chemiterapy and he is back home feeling really bad, he has to do an enorm effort when mum asks him what he wants for dinner:

    "Thanks mum, but I'm just not hungry today".

    Then she persists, asking him twice what should she cook for dinner:

    "Mum, I said I'm not hungry today. Listen mum, actually I have... Thanks a lot mum, it's just that I'm not feeling hungry today".
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