I remember some more things about Paqui´s last days. If I repeat myself, do forgive me, but I don´t want to reread all I´ve written already, because then I might get stuck again (too painful). My little gypsy Princess had slipped into a coma and the doctor took me aside and warned me that he had some bad news. My knees were a bit wobbly and I asked if I could sit down. He told me she had
septicemia in the brain and that if she did come out of her coma, she would very probably be a quadriplegic.
His words of doom did not want to register in my brain and I foolishly asked if she would be alright again. He looked at me with a look of pity in his eyes and told me that we could only pray. But… I´d been with her a couple of weeks earlier. when they´d done a CAT-scan of her brain and had assured us that all she needed were a pair of reading glasses! I was a bit of a mess then. I told the boys, who hugged me and we all cried together.
Paqui had told me, when she started keeling over for no apparent reason and had trouble walking, that if she ever ended up in a wheelchair, for me to put her out of her misery. And now what!!??? Quadriplegic on the street? That would be impossible. What then? My mind was reeling!
One evening I´d gone back to the Rancho to get pissed and try to make myself believe that this was all some horrible dream. The next morning I arrived at the hospital to find Paqui´s room empty of her and also of her family. I went over to reception and inquired where my wife was. A nurse told me: “She passed away yesterday evening 10 PM.” No warning, no sit down, please, just that. “Wham, bam, thank you, Ma´am!” I ran out of there, which was foolish in hindsight. I should have asked for contact information, etcetera.
Paqui´s sister Antonia had given me her mobile phone number, but when I tried it, it didn´t work… on purpose?? And as Paqui and I had not been legally married, they would not give me any further into. To this day, I don´t even know where she is buried. It´s almost as if I dreamt her, made her up, because officially I apparently had been nothing to her but a passing stranger. Isn´t the law wonderful? Did I mention that I was a bit of a mess then?
Some weeks later a guy in a suit came up to me and asked if he could talk to me about the Lord. I told him politely that this was not the appropriate time and to please leave me be. He insisted. I told him again that this was really not the time and still he persevered. He must have thought: “Third time lucky!”, but I physically lifted him up and told him that his Lord could kiss my hairy arse and to fuck off!!! He did get the message that time. I was a mite pissed off with the Big Guy around then.
About a month after Paqui´s death, I told Steve and Paul that I couldn´t stand the Cabañal any longer, because of all the memories that haunted me. They fully understood. We broke camp and left Valencia that same day. Next stop Gandia!
To be continued…