THE BEST MUSIC IS THE DEVILS

 

The best music is the devils.

 

There are jobs that take you anywhere and open unexpected doors before you. A plumber and an electrician are individuals who go into places that the rest of us can hardly imagine, or into buildings where we would never want to venture in. These places can be a prison, the psychiatric hospital on the city’s outskirts, the museum of science or the room of the most popular porno star. Even though my occupation is not among those mentioned above, I cannot complain, since I get my own kicks. There are computers all around us; their owners feel a deep fear when their configurations are affected, or when they make unusual noises or simply break down and cease to operate altogether. Then they call the technician they trust, or one recommended to them by the mother of the school pal of the youngest daughter of the lady across the street, a technician who by a whim of destiny, happens to be me. And I go there with my case full of tools and programs, asking myself what I might be facing once I go through that door, going down the elevator, at the end of a pretty long car trip (because the client’s house is in Santos Lugares, two blocks from the home of author Ernesto Sabato, and they came to pick me up at seven o’clock in the morning on Easter Sunday). My heart feels as if a vice were pressing on it when facing the possibility of crossing paths with the author of “About Heroes and Tombs” on his way to buy warm croissants or to pick up a newspaper (surely, don Ernesto does not read “Clarin” or “La Nacion”  on the internet, thought I would not know for sure). On the way back, I do not meet this illustrious bard either, but the computer was fixed pretty nicely, and about two in the afternoon, I get home and I feel angry as only I can do, because the raviolis have been waiting for me for a while already, and hunger imposes an exasperating sense of urgency.

 

But I will make no further reference to Santos Lugares; Sabato is not the person I want to talk about…

 

Each occupation has its own characteristics, and some, apart from opening doors to places, half-close the portal that protects the heart, its privacy and its workings. You take the plumber to the kitchen or the bathroom; give him a small cup of coffee in the event his visit lasts more than previously thought; if he is someone you trust, you go shopping or leave him alone with your fifteen-year old daughter, who is sleeping as a log in the upstairs room (of course!, she went out dancing last night with her school friends and went to bed at four thirty in the morning). If the worker is the TV repairman, well, the matter is somewhat different. This gentleman comes into your room, walks up and down the hallway, and knows what is your favorite signal. Maybe he takes your TV with him for a few days, but then he comes back, sets it up on the same piece of furniture where you had it before, conveniently plugs the coaxial and tunes in the channels… If you care to ask him, he might teach you how to handle those innumerable little buttons and those small levers on the videocassette recorder that will be used to record tonight’s game, when you will have to go to your mother-in-law’s place where –of course- you would not dare watch TV there without running the risk of your wife killing you.