I’ve had lines from Mozart’s requiem knocking around in my head for the last few days, all sung jovially in the voice of my father. Confutatis maledictis? A mere sunny walk in the park, that man would have us believe. This morning Salon featured a review of a new book about Mozart and mentioned it is the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s death. How could I forget? My father uses 1756 for all possible passwords. It would be his ATM code, if he and my mother trusted ATMs. They feel it is safer to go to the bank and extract large sums of cash every few weeks. Then they conceal these sums of cash around the house to foil any thuggery.
My father used to tell my sister and I stories he made up about Mozart’s life as a child. Instead of the knuckle rapping and poor hygiene that probably went on, his stories involved shenanigans and overturned chicken coops*. Mozart had a friend/nemesis named “Fatsy Patsy Potzengriller.” I will always remember this and no actual facts about Mozart, despite being forced to listen to audio cassettes about the lives of the great composers on car rides. I vaguely remember that Schumann was my favorite subject because he went mad and flung himself into the Rhine. Oh Jesu Christe, anything but Berlioz, please. No follow through!
It’s time for second lunch. Ingemisco tamquam reus.
*It is possible I am actually thinking of Looney Tunes.