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Chucho – written and illustrated by Sebastyan Armero

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The sweltering afternoon Sun was floating over Granada. The giant ball of magma burned the eyes of all those who dared to tilt their heads upwards and made the pavement sizzle.

Calle Desidia was a narrow street made up of small, chaotically cramped houses of different shapes and colours. The city was dead since most of its inhabitants were asleep, enjoying their siesta, and wouldn’t crawl out of their soft, comfortable beds until before the sunset. Chucho was sitting on the front porch of some house, drinking his beer and staring at a sphynx cat that was sitting still on the opposite side of the street and staring back at him with its left eye, the only one it was able to open. The sphynx cat had scars, scratches and bruises all over, most of which seemed to be getting worse rather than healing. Chucho was amused. After all, this cat was the only available form of entertainment he could find at that time, in the quiet, lonesome neighbourhood. He was a slim, tall man in his mid twenties, with dark, messy hair and a vacant stare in his big, light-brown eyes. His mother often told him that he seemed absent, lost somewhere else with his thoughts. Chucho was still living with his parents, since his indecisiveness, laziness and forced melancholy never allowed him to go further. But then, he didn’t actually care. He was stuck like a dog on a leash, tied to his parents‘ tiny house with his own mental barriers. His family was very religious, and though Chucho himself never really believed in God, he sometimes prayed to him for good fortune and used God’s will as a justification for his unsuccessfullness, saying that he had no control over his fate and that God didn’t want him to get anywhere. His mother gave him the name „Jesús” for good luck, and kept reassuring Chucho, as well as his disappointed relatives of the great destiny that was awaiting him somewhere in the “near” future. Chucho himself believed that he was just an unlucky genius, misunderstood by everyone and loved by no-one, except for his mother. He once wanted to be a painter or a visual artist of some sort. However, after seeing several people who were younger and undoubtedly better than him, he gave up, considering himself to be too far behind and too old to try improving and getting on their level. If it wasn’t easy and he wasn’t the best at it, he didn’t want to do it. After graduating high school, Jesús was left with one single friend – Pablo. However, Pablo was currently unavailable, since he had got in a car accident not long ago, after overdosing on drugs with some girl and smashing into a parked ice cream truck, and was undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at a hospital. For a while, Chucho tried to keep up with Pablo’s unhinged lifestyle. However, he had an immense fear of needles, especially the dirty ones, the ones Pablo often used to spice up his life and get in a good mood. After being offered one, Chucho decided that this wasn’t quite his thing and returned to his daily routine – pondering and complaining about his misery until sundown, and, realising that it was too late to start doing anything, going to bed and planning the life-changing moves he would make the next day, but then never actually would. Time went by very quickly. Every day was the same, and hours kept flowing through his fingers like water. It was getting dark already, and people were coming out, ready to swarm the streets. The cat had run away a long time ago, but Chucho was too busy drowning in his sorrow. His self-absorbed thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a laughing, seemingly happy couple that was walking past him down the street, straight to the city centre. The man was holding a little girl in his arms whilst simultaneously chatting with his wife or girlfriend, Chucho wasn’t quite sure. They were all elegantly dressed, and both the man and his female companion seemed to be only slightly older than Jesús himself. “How come this isn’t happening to me? Am I doing something wrong? No. There’s no way. After all, I’m not the one who decides, right?” he said to himself, looking at the sky. “Whatever. There’s no point in trying anything now. I’m too old”. Jesús followed the couple with a disgusted stare until they disappeared out of his sight, after which he took another swig of his beer. He looked around. What caught his eye this time was an older man with a receding hairline, who was standing not very far away from him, fiddling with a massive key ring, gradually inserting random keys into the lock and taking them out again, after realising they weren’t the right ones. He was in the middle of opening his tiny shop, revealing his sweaty back as he turned around to try to unlock the door again. Chucho looked at him in disbelief. He never understood people who worked hard for little to no money. “Doesn’t he have any self-respect?” he mumbled. “Pathetic. What a loser”. Chucho smirked at the old man while he wasn’t looking, got up off the porch and started walking back, to the place where he would be greeted with a warm dinner and his mother’s loving smile, the place he wasn’t going to leave in the near future, or maybe ever at all. But what could he do? (sa)

chucho no edit ink 001


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