probably what kept him alive so long.” This would make everyone laugh and reflect quietly until Chencho’s brother, Ruly, would say, “He’s probably making his movida on Sex -lora Ordonez next door. She’s gotta be lonely, solita there without urn, er …” La Nora held up the white napkin from her lap and pretended to read it, like her family read the tombstone at the cemetery, “Eugenio, 1943 until who knows?” Ruly’s laughter would sound like a hiccup attack. La Nora then repeated what her uncle would say in Spanish, “Well, it’s a good thing Eugenio is still alive, because we’d probably feel rumbling underfoot from the fight the couple would have about Chencho.” I laughed with La Nora, and then we quieted down. “He’s dead now, too,” she said. She poked her finger into her glass, stirred, then licked it clean, and asked quickly, “No, serious, what do you do to honor your dead?” “I am seriousnothing,” I said. “First time I ever heard about the Day of the Dead was in college.” “They teach it? That don’t seem right.” “It’s not. They made it seem all sacred and solemn,” I said. “They said it was an Aztec tradition filled with honor and pageantry, but damn, if I’d known Dia de los Muertos was more of a cross between a wake and a keg party, I’d have left my rabbit costume on the floor and gone to the cemetery with all you guys.” Christine Granados is an award-winning author who lives in Central Texas. Her collection of short stories, Brides and Sinners in El Chuco, was published in 2006. OCTOBER 19, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31
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