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Four overheards

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After an afternoon of sumptuous, unrestrained culinary indulgence, bursting at the seams, a friend of Ureña, one of dad’s best friends, liked to say, in fantastically black humor: “Ojala hubiera muerto de niño — para no sufrir tanto.(“I wish I’d died a child — to save myself from so much suffering.”)

Trabajo que no da para levantarse a las 11[AM], no es trabajo.(“A job that doesn’t pay enough for sleeping after noon is no job.”) Used to say another, rather too fond of the good life, friend of Dad’s.

People usually said goodbye to my grandgrandmother Aurora — who is now just over a hundred — with a formulaic, yet earnest, “Take care!” To which she promptly responded, “You take care! I’m over ninety years old, what I want to do now is die!”

Que puedes esperar Parra,(“What can you expect Parra”) used to say Ureña jokingly to my father, “yo me crie con tortillas de sal y chile. Yo no comi pescado, ni leche, ni jamon.(“I was raised on tortillas with salt and chile. I didn’t get to eat fish, nor milk, nor ham.”)

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