Several years ago, in the waiting room of the airport at Tuxtla Guiterrez, a handsome young woman, 30-something, struck up a conversation with me and plainly found me quite interesting. Her obvious enthusiasm for me grew as we spoke until at last she could restrain herself no more and told me that I was the sort of man who would be just right for her widowed mother. We were the right age and everything. As this has happened to me on several occasions I have come to take consolation in being the sort of person who appeals to handsome young women who care about their mother’s happiness.
Post Script: At the time this happened there had been recent fighting with guerrillas and the young lady and I were sitting in a building ringed by soldiers in sandbagged machinegun positions. But colorful as those details might be, they weren’t really part of the story and the art of story-telling lies in part in knowing what to leave out.