Today, beautiful warm spring day in the heart of autumn, on my way to my sister’s house, under a tree alongside a dying magnolia, stood a little boy with hair as blond as summer, almost white, and curly. Exactly like a little live Eros!
He was wearing pirate clothes and he was fixing and fiddling with little pirate flag and a bunch of stones he had strategically placed on a wooden little table. It seemed he had put up a little shop. It was unclear what he was selling, given that the only thing on the table were those random stones and a wooden little thingy; I couldn’t figure out what it was.
“Good day” the little blond angel pirate boy said to me, looking very serious and ready to sell me treasures!
“Would you like to buy pirate relics from a pirate ship?” he said while folding and unfolding the little pirate flag looking very busy!
“Where is the ship?” I asked. And he showed me testily, as if it was obvious, the two corners of the table.
“Okay” I said “So what are these?” I pointed at the stones, thinking he would tell me they are possibly some sort of magical treasures or leftovers from a pirate’s ship, or alien elements even.
He looked at them and pointing he said: “This is a stone, and this is a stone, and that is a stone and this one is a stone”
I laughed and he looked at me puzzled.
So I asked what was that wooden thingy.
“It is a wooden butter knife I made when I was five. Now I am six!”
I wanted to grab him and squeeze him, so cute he was.
Please have in mind that I do not like children. I would go as far as to say I dislike children and some of them I even loathe. So this kid was something else. He reminded me a little of myself when I was a kid. He had those lonely eyes and he seemed to be living his own story, a story within his naïve and pure little head.
I asked why would anyone should want to buy his stones … thinking again he would tell me that they have magical powers, or perhaps they have some deeper meaning … but he simply said: “Because they are pretty!”
My heart broke in two. Anyone who knows me a little, know that I am an enthusiastic stone collector plus I LOVE pirates!!!
So that did it! I asked: “And how much do you sell this one?” and I pointed at one that to me looked really magical and pretty! He looked a little surprised; as if he didn’t REALLY expect anyone buying anything and for sure he hadn’t thought of prices!! So he thought of it, and he thought of it, and he looked up and touched his chin making a hissing sound with his cute little pink mouth, and in the end he said … “Seven …” And then he pointed and started adding prices on all of them. “this one is seven and this one is seven … this one is 9 but his one …” pointing at a big rock “is ten!”
I said “okay, I am going to buy this that costs seven but I am going to give you ten and you keep the change because you are a cutie!”
His eyes popped!!! He gave me the stone and he took the ten crowns and he kept on looking at it as if it was the treasure of Sierra Madre …
His father was peeking and smiling from their porch and said: “What do we say? Don’t we say thank you and a good day?”
“Huh?” the little blond angel pirate boy said, without taking his eyes off of his treasure :)
This gave me a little strength and hope for my day. Because what was waiting at my sister’s home was just despair …
I went home to find my father in pieces. He is getting worse. The doctors said the cancer has now spread all over his liver. On Monday they’ll tell us if there is a point of doing chemo or not. Because he might not be able to take it since he is old. He is stumbling when he walks … and he looks like he is literally wasting away … melting … disappearing …
The little blond angel pirate boy made me smile … a real smile …
It is rare for me to actually like a child … genuinely LIKE a child.
This has happened in my life three times. Once when I was 12, once three years ago (the son of a priest here is the neighborhood), and now.
All three times they were small tiny blond blue eyed boys. Quiet and calm, with low voices and lonely eyes.
I am never having children. But if I was forced by the forces of all evil to choose between plague, aids, cancer, leprosy, violent diarrhea, syphilis, gonorrhea OR having a kid, I would want it to be a kid like that.
So that I wouldn’t have to kill and eat it ;)