Skull, No Crossbones

So yesterday when I was walking to work at 8am, I passed some of the usual characters: dirty old men hanging out at the auto repair shop, migrant workers hanging out at the bus station, more old men (less dirty), hanging out at the bar/cafe, some stray dogs, etc. The auto repair shop and the stray dogs were actually passed multiple times, because the entire town of La Puerta seems to be composed mainly of auto mechanics, their dirty friends, and their stray dogs. Anywhere you go in town, you are within spitting distance of that assortment of creatures. Not the bucolic ideal I was hoping for, but whatever.

Anyways, after passing a good number of the town’s old men and mongrels, I came upon something that isn’t exactly a normal fixture in a civilized human being’s daily commute, even if that commute is on foot through a weird little town. It beat out some of the other things I had passed before. Like the day that I had to take a detour to avoid the live donkey standing in the road. Or the day that I almost stepped on a disgustingly smashed bird carcass next to a pile of vomit (outside an auto mechanic). Or even the day that I turned a corner and almost tripped over a metal bowl on the sidewalk filled with pinecones–on fire. No, this was by far the weirdest, most macabre thing I have ever passed so early in the morning.

It was a skull. A skull with some form of decaying animal flesh still attached to it in places.

Now this wasn’t the first skull I had seen in La Puerta, believe it or not. The first day that I drove in on the bus, there was a creature’s cranium laying in the grass by the side of the road, like in cartoons when the artists want to show you that you are absolutely in the middle of buttcrack nowhere, like this:

Now, it probably wasn’t a cow skull like we have on creepy desert backroads in cartoon America, but it was still a skull and it was one of the first things I saw upon entering La Puerta, which was actually unbelievable. I never really thought that I would actually see that.

Anyways, the skull that I saw yesterday was much weirder, because I actually almost stepped on it, so I got a good look at the thing. I honestly have no idea why it was there or what animal it was. It was just sitting in the road, not outside a butcher, not near a particularly wooded area, not near a barn. In fact, it was next to an auto mechanic! God. Anyways, after putting Google to use, it looks like a pig skull, which would make sense since I am in Spain after all. It for sure was not human, which is comforting. Or, if it was human, I should be extremely worried, because there is evidently some kind of alien monster breed of human roaming the hills near my high school. I think pig is probably a more likely answer, but I can’t really say for sure. I didn’t get a picture since I left my camera in Baeza, and when I went back to get a second look in the afternoon, someone had smashed the entire thing to pieces with their car. Smashed. Bone chunks everywhere. Honestly it really grossed me out. BLAH.

Anyways, that was the excitement for this week. Luckily I don’t have to go to work next week AT ALL just because I told them I am going on vacation, so I am robbing myself of the opportunity to one up my disgusting experience for the week. BYE, LA PUERTA! See you in a week and a half!!!!!


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