What’s big here today, in my little teepee in the Sidlaws? The Pluto fly-by? The copy of Harper Lee’s new novel I just bought? No. Consuela (my Tejana maid) is spending her spare time practicing on her accordion, that’s what’s big here today. She sings too – Hay Unos Ojos over and over again. I asked her why.
“I’m going busking on my next day off,” she said. “Who can live on what you pay me?”
What could I say to that? Actually I’m generous to a fault, and she’s getting increasingly surly – ever since our tennis match. The other day she came to me and said:
“If a plane crashed half in the USA and half in Mexico, where would they bury the survivors?”
“It would depend on the wishes of the respective families,” I said.
“Ha!” she exclaimed, with an insolent snap of her fingers, “Got you there! They wouldn’t bury the survivors, because the survivors wouldn’t be dead!”
I sighed, and replied patiently, “Valar morghulis, my dear, valar morghulis.”
“All men must die. Even if anyone walked away from the crash, they would still be mortal, and one day would die. At which point their wishes, and those of their relatives, about the disposal of their mortal remains, would no doubt be referred to and deferred to. They would be buried, cremated, left in a tower of silence, whatever and wherever, according to those wishes.”
She scowled, told me I had no sense of humour, and went back to her accordion practice. Really, this is all getting too much, I have one of my prolonged, low-level headaches…