Inocente, inocente

No, that’s not a spelling mistake, it’s Spanish. December 28th is Holy Innocents’ Day, when the Catholic church remembers the babies slaughtered by King Herod. There’s a long tradition of pulling people’s legs, much like April Fool’s Day in England.

I forgot all about it, until my friend’s kid mentioned it in the evening. So when I went home, I decided to tease my husband, Carlos.

He’s 51, but looks much, much younger because he looks after himself. He doesn’t smoke, eats plenty of vegetables, and he runs for an hour almost every morning before breakfast. He’s tall and slim to start off with, and the sight of those long legs in short shorts cheers me up in the mornings. Several female acquaintances have mentioned that they see him on his morning run, and judging by the little smile as they say it, he cheers them up too.

Back to Holy Innocents’ Day. When I got home that evening, I told my husband that the Local Police had been around earlier. Apparently they’d had complaints about somebody jogging “practically naked” in the mornings and they’d heard it might be Carlos. I’d told them that my husband did go jogging, but certainly not naked. “You do keep your shorts on, don’t you? Tell me you keep your shorts on!” Anyway, they wanted to talk to Carlos themselves, so they’d be coming back on Friday at about 7pm, and plase would he make sure he’d be at home. The whole thing had been rather embarassing, and I’d like to get it over with.

I listened to myself with growing amazement, firstly that I was spinning this pile of tripe with so little effort or guilt, and secondly that Carlos was swallowing it whole. I suppose the first thing had a lot to do with the second. That and the fact that Carlos a) had completely forgotten the date, b) was tirede and had a heavy cold and c) knows that I don’t do this sort of thing because I can’t. Honestly I can’t. I can write write it, but not speak it, because it takes several drafts. And there I was spewing it out, curious to find out what I was going to come out with next. It was the weirdest sensation.

Thinking it over, I suspect it worked precisely because I was so relaxed. I had nothing to loose, so I just let my creative subconcious get on with it.

Eventually I got the giggles, followed a second later by Julio. Julio had listened to the whole thing, wide eyed. Then, of course, Carlos realised I was having him on.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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