Posts Tagged ‘human speech’

Human Speech (1): From To Fetch A Thief


January 10th, 2011 Posted 8:55 am

We parked and went into the office, a very small office but full of interesting smells. I’d forgotten all about Mexican air and what’s in it. This is a big subject that I promise to get to later, but for now let’s just say Mexico’s a great place if you’re interested in smells.

A woman with gray hair in a long ponytail sat in a lumpy old chair, watching TV and smoking a thin cigar. Bernie said something in that way he did when we were down in Mexico. The woman said, “Three hundred pesos for a single, or twenty U.S.”

Bernie took out his wallet. “Your English is great.”

“Should be,” said the woman. “It’s my first language.”

“Yeah?” said Bernie.

“Graduated from New Trier High back in the day. Plus a year at Central Illinois.”

“Hey,” said Bernie.

“Now I’m back down here.”


“Papers,” said the woman.

“Ah,” said Bernie.

Human speech could be very easy sometimes – yeah, hey, oh, ah. Bernie was a master. As for what they were talking about, that was anybody’s guess. I didn’t dwell on it; in fact, the whole thing vanished from my mind right away, because all of a sudden a mouse popped out of nowhere, ran right by me – smelling strongly of butter, by the way – and disappeared into a tiny hole in the wall. I looked up. Bernie and the woman seemed to have missed it all.


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