He called himself the Pirate. He had seen people come and go, he’d seen the city coming closer and closer. He had seen caves disappear, houses taking their place. Once the caves had all been inhabited by gypsies like himself. Now most of them had left for other poor neighbourhoods. The caves were now occupied by others. Hippies, drug addicts, punks and foreigners living some kind of adventure he didn’t understand.
He went up to the old cemetery almost every day. He sat down in the dry grass on the other side of the path, by the brick wall separating him from the tombs, the place where he was kept. His father.
I don’t care! He said, angry. Every day he kept talking to the wall. He had so many unsolved issues. So much to tell him, so much pain and anger. He remembered his last words as if it was yesterday.
“You killed your mother, you stinking disaster. Now you’ve killed me as well. You’ll die suffering, some day, cabron asqueroso. I swear upon my parents souls you’ll die suffering. The moment you are happier than ever everything will be taken away from you. You’ll die when the pieces fit.”
A curse. A gypsy curse, powerful and dark. He knew there was no escape.
You can’t say that! He shouted to the wall. The voices in his head were unbearable. The memories coming alive when ever they wanted. He emptied the bottle of beer and threw it at the wall. Glass splintered.
A neighbour came walking by, a young Italian boy.
Hello, Juan said with a friendly smile, suddenly ripped out of his inner world. A bit ashamed he’d heard him talking to the wall, but it happened a lot. He was used to it, people thinking he was crazy.
Why you break bottle? The boy asked. My dog can cut his feet.
I’m the Pirate! Juan said. I am the pirate of this hill! I’ve lived here all my life.
Oooookeeyyy… Said the Italian boy. See you later, I guess! He left. Juan was again alone with his father.
You don’t know nothing, he said. His words were unclear, his eyes unstable. He emptied the other bottle and left staggering.
He knew how to avoid the curse. He could never be truly happy. Not even when he was drunk.