No, people didn't just go out and dig graves next to the park benches. It hadn't always been a park. It had been laid over the cemetery. Officials, in an effort to make the big cemetery a popular tourist attraction, had re-zoned the area and done away with the small one. Promises were made that the dead would be relocated, but everyone knew it was a lie. Life went on in the neighborhood surrounding that small square block, and people forgot it was there.
I discovered the park one day shortly after high school graduation. I was getting private lessons for my college entrance exams. I was on my way to the tutor's house that first evening. It was six o'clock, and the sun was just about to set. In Punta Arenas the sun was so chaotic. In the dead of winter, the sun was down way before classes ended at four, and in summer month's darkness lasted from eleven to three.
I passed the park on the way there, and found it quite interesting. The park itself was raised a good meter above the street, held up by a wall of cement. It took up one city block. I thought it might at one time have been a plaza. The only thing I noticed at that point was the trees. They were strange and short; all twisted and stunted.
It was almost nine o'clock when I left. Down the street there was a group of boys kicking a ball around. I heard a mother yelling for one of them to come in; it was late.
At the corner of the park I stopped for a minute. In the park, I noticed a flower bed blooming with colors. It was early in the year for flowers and late in the day for them to be displaying. I decided to see what kind they were.
"I don't think I would put one foot on that accursed soil if I were you."