Merry Christmas from beautiful San Miguel de Allende, a city that is no more beautiful than on Christmas Eve.
The city has been decorated for weeks but we waited until this evening to walk through historic Centro. A perfect night for it — the temperature dropped suddenly, the wind picked up slightly, and there were ever so few people out and about.
This is just a brisk tour through the center of this magical city. I took some photos while Rose handed out tangerines and caps that she’d knitted to a few people. Moppit just sniffed the curbs and wondered why we kept stopping to take in the beauty of it all.
The authors reach some conclusions that are bound to hurt dedicated, hard-working crime-beat reporters and their editors:
“This should be the year where we finally abolish the crime beat. Study after study shows how the media’s overemphasis on crime makes people feel less safe than they really are and negatively shapes public policy around the criminal–legal system. And study after study shows that it’s racist and inhumane.”
It is clear to me that the single greatest invention of our civilization has been the wooden toast tongs.
Since the time of Medieval toasters, this device has safely extracted piping hot slabs of bread. Perhaps even earlier, if certain Egyptian hieroglyphics are to be interpreted correctly.
Suspected fact: Leonardo da Vinci may have invented the wooden toast tongs before there were electric toasters, once again anticipating the needs and aspirations of future generations.
Toast tongs made it possible for countless writers and poets through time to sit at their humble desks and create, undistracted by the burning sensation on their fingertips that a tong-less household brings.
In better times, Prose Cafe is a gathering of writers and others (mostly other writers, I think) in the beautiful Belles Artes. Three or four writers would each read something and take questions. I always found the cafe sessions inspirational. I imagined myself — some day, not right away — being just like them, having something of worth to share with other writers.
These days, Prose Cafe and its sister gathering, Poetry Cafe, are ZOOM affairs. They are both the offspring of the San Miguel Literary Sala whose wonderful Writers Conference is currently underway — on ZOOM, of course.
What follows is the story that I read. As I told the ZOOM audience, this is a work of fiction, except for the parts that are true. (You figure it out).
It is one of a number of short stories in the file marked “Seminary Life” that may yet grow into a full-sized novel.
Declaring war on … well, everybody
It was the beginning of the end — the end of my days as a Catholic seminarian. It came the moment I picked up that heavy metal bucket full of dirty water and heaved it out the third floor window. Sending a loud and long string of curses cascading after it.