Government is one of the great inventions of mankind. Its existence allows us to spend time on our things. If I had to be aware of the operation of the traffic lights on my street, I could not write novels. Whoever talks about the control of traffic lights talks about the cleaning of playgrounds. Right now I am with my granddaughter in one of them. The baby goes up and down the slide without any burden on my part since the municipal government takes care that it is in good condition. If it were rusty, you could injure yourself and get tetanus. Means that good local government prevents children from catching this terrible disease, caused by a poison that affects the central nervous system and progressively paralyzes the muscles of the body, including those involved in breathing.
I wonder why, in the midst of this peace that is breathed in the park, it gives me to think about tetanus. The mere fantasy of suffering from it causes me some of its symptoms: I cannot suddenly swallow saliva naturally. “Don’t think about tetanus,” I tell myself, the health authorities are already taking care of that. It is a bargain to have health authorities that think about ways to avoid tetanus. Else, I would have to take care of it and I would not have time to read Balzac. Whoever says Balzac says Dostoevsky or Patricia Highsmith. My granddaughter now wants to drink from a source where the water is drinkable because there are also people, ultimately dependent on the Government, who make sure that no frogs and snakes come out of the pipes of the public fountains.
As you see, I am very happy with the existence of the Government. Still, I try to convince the girl to hold back the urge to drink until we get home, just in case. For there to be government and safe slides and public drinking fountains, I reflect later, there must be taxes. Precisely, in a few days, at the beginning of November, I have to pay the second part of this year’s. It means that I have to check that I have money in the account. In this, my granddaughter, who sees me very abstracted, comes over and tells me that I’m sure I’m thinking of a novel.
-More or less – I tell him.