El Cero

short stories

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Eleuterio

Eleuterio, a shepherd for the last 25 years. Nuevo Leon.

‘Can I take a photo of you?’

‘Can I go and stop two of my sheep running away?’

Fear

– Is the regular sight of heavily armed convoys with covered faces unnerving?

– It can be, yes.

La casa de mi hermano.

I don’t think anybody who grew-up with my brother, neither family nor friends, would have expected him to have a house and a family in such a place. It’s amazing how life twists and turns. It had been around two years since I’d seen him, so as I was on the continent I started here, reacquainting myself with my nephew, my family-in-law and meeting my new niece. Life can be good but it’s never as romantic as it seems.

Home

Sitting on a bench in London recently, eating a tin of tuna with a few bread rolls for lunch, gave me an acute sense of homelessness. It’s been dawning on me over the last couple of months that I haven’t had a home to call my own since August 2009. It’s not that I’ve been destitute, I was just completely uprooted. I’ve stayed in the spare rooms and on the spare beds and sofas of family, friends and also complete strangers. I’ve slept in hotels, hostels, my wonderful tent, glorified caves and of course under the stars. It’s been a period I never expected to have. At times I’ve had a clear direction and aim but at other times I’ve just been wandering, bumping into places, landscapes, communities and the people that live within them. It’s only now that my life is changing again that I’m looking back and thinking about what’s just happened.

Emily

Waiheke Island

Lake Whatipu

Reefton

Tasman

Lake Tutira

Hawkes Bay

Tolaga Bay

Tammaty

Tyrone’s Place

Miranda

Dad and Iona

Tynemouth

Pat

Elswick

Max