It was a late spring day in 1981. Ana Severino clocked off early from the paediatrics ward in Hospital de Madrid. The new national healthcare system meant there were more and more staff on the ward, so no-one would notice her leave a few minutes before the end of her shift.
It is a sad time when there is more horror in reality than there is in any of our imaginations.
Our thoughts go out to anyone caught up in the atrocities in Ohio and Texas.
Mama was in what Nana called “a manic phase.” She paced around the yard, cigarette in hand, while my brother and I waited for our father with her.
Come now, Stranger, and be at your ease. It is true that in the past I was cruel to travelers, but those days are now long faded. You see before you a broken creature. I will do you no harm. You must be weary after your long journey. Sit yourself down. Take what food and drink there is. It is only the simple fare of a shepherd, but I offer what I have.
John Martin was hired by a funeral home. Retired, poor, he was to be night watchman. Alone in the former mansion, a Victorian, all he had to do was wear his uniform, walk around the four stories, including the attic and the basement, and make sure nobody had broken in.
“You’ve never told me why you and Chris split up?”
“Does it matter?”
“No, but you’re hurting.”
“Don’t say that mum, I’m not fucking hurting.”
“…Sounds like your fine.”