atajo_salva arellano

The shortcut

Too often we took this shortcut. For years it was the shortest route that connected Mutilva, where we lived, to Pamplona; even though we had to cross several fields, we would still take it everyday. Whether with spring´s green wheat or winter´s cold smell, our bikes snaked fast the little path that led us away from the valley (although my friends from the capital always think that “Mutilva is Pamplona” they do not know what it entails, poetically at least, to live in a valley). During the last years of school, my schoolmate Mike Etxeberz, the funniest lunatic I’ve ever known with the most improbable stories, crossed these fields with microclimate. With him I watched one night a moon so big it covered the sky. So bright and fantastic that, although it might sound strange, made me doubt its existence. Even now I still remember it like it was a dream, I can’t recall until what point it was real or what was reconstructed by my crazy head. Cuckoo.

Even in rainy days we still took the shortcut and often sat on our desk with our backs splashed with mud. My mother used to tell me, not without a reason, that one day they would not let me in. But before that could have happened, one sunny day while Mikel and I pedaled innocently, we came across two topographers that were taking measurements of the field. They had already planted their authoritarian tripods on our way, trampling the grass and making holes in the soil.

Later on they put up a fence cutting the passage and soon began the constructions. You could not even arrive muddy to school anymore. They made buildings, a bike path and landscaped the roundabouts. There were small pieces left with weeds and thistles but most of the shortcut turned clean, gray and cold, and my yellow Conor, companion of adventures since I learned how to swim, soon died. I would think it´s sad if it wouldn´t be Mikel who was riding it.