Suicidio – 11

[The kid that jumps over the city]

I was sitting on one of the beams, right over the reception desk. It was so dark up there that nobody below me could see me, even though my legs were dangling in the air and not too far from their heads. It was like they were in a cloud of light and I was floating over it, outside of it. A few times I thought about jumping down into that cloud, but I preferred being unnoticed and observing them from afar.

The woman said that she was coming from or going to San Francisco, and that she was going to stay only a few days in Suicidio. I liked it very much when she threw her key up in the air. It would have been funny if she would have thrown her key a little higher, and I had snatched it. They would have been all surprised about its disappearance, looking up into the darkness with their mouths open, waiting for the key to fall down again. Although Infausto would have known right away that it was me, even if he couldn’t see me, and he would have asked me to drop the key immediately and stop trying to be funny.

The woman later told me that maybe she was going to sell some mice. Infausto said that pets aren’t allowed in Suicidio, because they can make people happy, but I think that mice don’t make one as happy as a dog or a cat would. Especially that yellow mouse that the woman showed me, because it looked sick, and it didn’t even move much around the cage, it just sat in a corner without doing anything. The best one of her mice was the black one, not just because it was the one that looked more like a normal mouse, it also looked smarter, like it had something to say. And its fur was so thick and soft I could have pet it for hours, although mice don’t like that, and they are too small anyway. It even had a lot of hair on its tail, which is quite rare in mice. Its eyes were also black, but depending on the direction from which you looked at it, it didn’t seem to have any eyes. Just the shape of the head, without any details.

It’s the same with coyotes over the hills at dusk, you can see their forms quite clearly but with no details on their faces. You can tell that they are coyotes but you don’t know if they have eyes or not.

I like coyotes. They are smart and graceful, and there’s no reason to be afraid of them. I remember that they didn’t normally get too close to the house and they didn’t seem to want anything from us. Actually, I saw one coyote up close only once. I was sitting down in the shade by the back door, playing with my five lead soldiers, when I saw the coyote walking towards the stable. As soon as I got up the coyote ran and hid behind the well. A few seconds later, it raised its head over the wall around the well and looked at me, then ran away, as fast as it could, raising a cloud of dust. The coyote didn’t look back, just went to do something else somewhere else.

When the woman went upstairs I didn’t feel like watching the other people. I was suddenly sad and tired. It had been a long day of removing sand from the ceiling of Suicidio. I stood up on the beam I had been seating on and I walked to the end of it, then I climbed the wall up to the hole that leads to the attic, where the mice aren’t pets or will ever be. It was so dark, I couldn’t see my mattress, my pile of clothes, or my toys. I followed the wall with my hands until I found the recess where I keep my jar full of light. The only one in Suicidio. I always cover the jar with a dark piece of cloth so that the light lasts longer. I uncovered the jar and the light illuminated most of the attic. It was a mix of shining light that I had collected when the sun was high in the sky, and oranges and reds from a wonderful desert dusk. I knelt in front of the mattress and prayed for the woman, for Infausto, and then for everyone else. Then I stretched the corners of my blanket so that it would cover the whole mattress. I removed my shoes and I felt more than ready to go to sleep. I covered the jar again and jumped under the blanket before all the light in the room disappeared. Then I only had to close my eyes.

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