Love in the Time of Cholera
How we cite our quotes:
He looked at himself for a moment in the carriage mirror and saw that his image, too, was still thinking about Fermina Daza. He shrugged his shoulders. The he belched, lowered his head to his chest, and fell asleep, and in his dream he began to hear funeral bells. (3.51)
Is it strange that Dr. Urbino hears funeral bells right after he finishes thinking about Fermina Daza? Or are we accustomed by this point to García Márquez's constant pairing of the themes of love and death?
The evil lie about the pavilion of consumptives had ruined his sleep, for it had instilled in him the inconceivable idea that Fermina Daza was mortal and as a consequence might die before her husband. But when he saw her stumble at the door of the movie theater, by his own volition he took another step toward the abyss with the sudden realization that he, and not she, might be the one to die first. It was the most fearful kind of presentiment, because it was based on reality. (5.106)
Unlike Dr. Urbino, who's been thinking about death since he was a little kid, Florentino doesn't think much about it at all. In fact he's pretty much in denial about it until it becomes really obvious that both he and his lover are aging and will eventually die.
A few years before he had gone to a dangerous assignation, his heart heavy with terror of what might happen, and he had found the door unlocked and the hinges recently oiled so that he could come in without a sound, but he repented at the last moment for fear of causing a decent married woman irreparable harm by dying in her bed. (5.106)
Florentino knows he's getting old when his fear of death starts impinging on his amorous adventures.