Irati’s envelope had passed the Sanfermin night. He felt the crumpled paper, which took refuge in the pocket of his pants, and looked up at the sky for answers. She knew that she and Ernst had opened a forbidden door by accepting its contents: two tickets for the first bullfight of the Bull Fair. Forbidden because it led to improvisation, to anything that could happen, to mixing reality and fiction, and that was exactly the opposite of planning and executing the theft of a Goya painting in the Museum of Navarra to warn of climate change. Now, everything was tangled in his head. I just remembered the beginning. Ernst’s cousin had approached them on a street in the Old Town, he didn’t know which one, and he had offered them those envelopes. The cousin begged him, almost begging Ernst to accept the tickets. Afterwards, bursts of images crowded his mind: a vermouth, two, three, people looked prettier, his cousin’s mother-in-law, the cousin’s cousin and his friends, Juli, the ye-ye girl, the snack of ajoarriero, fireworks, the waltz of the worker, the rock Donibane, the rock Muthiko Alaiak, the second confinement. He thought that in Sanfermin, sleep and wakefulness aspired to make time the best author to write moments of life, of death, of forbidden loves, of eternal loves, of unconfessed secrets. He saw Ernst asleep on a bench in Castle Square, on the opposite side of his. I didn’t know how she felt about him or want to know. Not, just at that moment. A whiplash hit his temple and he didn’t notice anyone following in his footsteps. Suddenly, she received a blow to the head and, still dazed, dodged the second. He turned and was about to collide with Potato. He was grateful that the kiliki was surrounded by boys and girls playing to challenge him. Soon more kilikis, zaldikos and cabezudos, and a multitude of families with their saddles appeared. Or chairs with their families. The Plaza del Castillo resembled a swarm, white and red, enlivened by bagpipers and txistularis in which the eight giants stood out. He felt a shiver or a déjà vu. Those figures aroused a unique fervor. “Grandpa, grandpa, Daddy!” Look, there, there! Exclaimed a girl who was watching the African queen mesmerized. “It’s true, how cute Larancha-la is, hello Larancha-la, how big you are, and how well you dance, yes, yes,” the woman holding the girl replied with the same enthusiasm. “This is Maria,” he explained to Irati. The first two have spent the year giving orange juices to Joshemiguelerico, sleeping with Esther Arata, carrying Braulia and Toko-toko in the saddle and telling stories to Joshepamunda. And of course, dancing with all the couples. Wrapped in that anarchic crowd, made up of night owls, by those who debuted as father and mother, who had not reached the first twelve months of life, who celebrated their fortieth marriage at the hands of their grandchildren and who clung to to this day because tomorrow was uncertain at his age, in them and in them, he recognized a home to return to. Or the one to fight for. Dragged by the emotion of her first childhood memory, she followed those nearly four-foot-tall figures who had just ruined the plan and left Ernst behind. He wandered the streets of the Casco Viejo until his legs begged him to stop, drink a cold beer, and devour a pint of pepper. He entered the first bar he found and only paid attention to its surroundings when the spiciness of the pepper calmed him. Among unfinished sentences, he distinguished some French voices. A man and a woman. Not knowing how, he started talking to them. His memory still retained a minimum of French grammar, and if that didn’t work, he resorted to universal language: speaking very loudly and exaggerating everything. They told him that they had arrived in Pamplona that same day, taking advantage of the fact that it was Friday and Bayonne Day, and that they loved the good roll and what they called coopération patrimoniale of two sister cities. Those words froze in the air and also the following – history, tradition, fête internationale – because they re-established a destination – Museum of Navarre – and added a name – “Ernest Hemingway”. He said goodbye to the French with a fleeting au revoir and went to the Windsor bar. It was mid-afternoon, they had to be there, faithful to their appointment, moved by the work of the famous American writer. The group of guiris who lived the Party with passion, who fell in love with it. That’s why they returned and, year after year, signed the countdown for the reunion, to run the confinement together again and try to understand the secrets of a city that transformed its inhabitants for nine days. Hers was the story of a forged friendship that transcended countries and languages and that old Iruña recognized. He picked up his cell phone to call Ernst. The plan was reactivated. They would enter the Museo de Navarra with them, as members of an international group from France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico and the United States that wanted to strengthen the co-operation patrimoniale of Sanfermin and work on future educational, cultural and tourist projects, including other areas. They would enter the Museum of Navarre disguised as normal: dressed in white and red, sharing a declared and international passion, so equal and so different. He smiled. I loved those parties because of that, because everything could be and not be in a single moment.
today she writes … Katrin Pereda. Pamplona, 1988. Journalist, volunteer and Jacobean pilgrim. Among other things, he has published the novel El árbol de las historias vivas y el cuento igualitario infantil sanferminero El último baile.