Beautiful Pigeons

The child was stillborn. He emerged from his mother’s womb cold and limp. The midwife wrapped the tiny body in a towel and gently abandoned him on a corner table in the adjoining room. The health of the mother was the first concern now so they all turned their backs on the little corpse and rushed to console the mother and father. Salvador gripped his brothers shoulders firmly and told him “Lo siento, hermano, lo siento.”

As mournful sounds of loss filled the room, Salvador slipped away to take one last look at what would have been his first nephew. He peeled the towel from around the infant’s face and stared at what might have been. As he did, the thought came to him that the boy’s color was not as off as it should have been, considering he had been dead now for at least 15 minutes. Salvador took a long drag on his cigar and blew a thick cloud of oily smoke straight into the baby’s nostrils. It suddenly opened its eyes in a nasty scowl and emitted such a sharp and angry groan that it knocked Salvador off his feet.

On November 10th in the Santiago Church, Don José and Maria held their little miracle over the font as the priest recited the sacrament, “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Along with his parent’s names, he was to be known as Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano Santísima Trinidad.

Thirteen years later, Don José caught his son painting over a sketch of pigeons that he had left out. “Pablo Picasso!” he shouted and was about to scold him but instead, tears came to his eyes. José vowed to never paint again.


Jocelyn said...

fascinating as always

cyurkanin said...

Thanks, Jocelyn, I'd forgotten about this one myself :)