A mask of gray stubble covered his face. Slicked-back hair. Glasses. He sat in a chair next to a bench filled with books and scraps of leather. The man wore a green sweater and a worn navy coat. It was hard to tell if he was a particularly dignified man or not. The thing is, he was coarse around the edges. If there was dignity, it was hidden, quiet. He propped himself up with a cane in one hand while he poured the bottle of Scotch whisky with the other. It went into my glass.
Someone introduced him to me as Maestro.
Colombia has a strong tradition of honorific titles. Profesor. Doctor. Don. Señor. They are titles that grant respect. Awhile back, I had a surprise encounter and met two men who invited me to celebrate with them and drink their rum. They went by a different title: Maestro. Continue reading on Beacon…