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Then over the zocalo Don Roberto would fly through the many-layered and fabulous night, changing the frequency of the townspeople’s transistor radios...
This time, when Don Roberto entered the glitterball, the two men smoked cigars, and Don Roberto told Josue Maldicho about the tower and its lancet windows, a tower indeed so tall that it was said that the servants aged unspeakably climbing the stairs that led from its cellars to the large, muraled study at its pinnacle. The mural depicted the history of the region, so delicately crafted that once, when Don Roberto spilt wine on the eastern wall, he had to use great speed and diligence in cleaning up the accident: had he not, the volcano called ”La Malinche” would never have existed. So it was that the younger servants worked on the ground floors, the middle-aged on those floors of the tower which lay only slightly above the cloud cover, and the aged where the air was so thin that only those who had faded, who needed less than before in their diminishing lungs, could survive. Don Roberto, of course, ate, slept, and lived on the floors above his servants. ”The stratospheric Don,” whispered Josue Maldicho with reverence, as brilliant parrots, conures, and jandayas disguised slyly as parakeets joined in chorus above the zocalo-a chorus that agreed with Maldicho, if not in reverence: “Yes, the stratospheric Don.”
”You flatter me,” disclaimed Don Roberto, the end of his cigar glowing in the darkened interior of the glitterball, its smoke rising invisibly through the gaps between the mirrors and into the air above the zocalo, where it rose toward the moon, passed through several time zones, and dispersed in a country where the dogs laugh, where solid architecture is valued, where the stars bowed in magnificent homage, and the years turned under.