Jose struggles to get a good night's sleep
We thought that it was all over when Jose arrived for coffee instead of Patsy. His face was grim and we feared the worst.
Their union had lasted longer than Sinead O'Connor's but none of us wanted to see him leave. Not only does he make the best paella in Ireland but, with him around, the women of Ireland can now safely let their menfolk out without Patsy coming on to them.
"I can't take any more," he said. "I awake all night trying to fix but it no better." With that he put his head on the table as if he were about to sob. This was serious. But where was Patsy? Had he buried her in the back garden?
"I send her Doctor," he mumbled, his head still on the table. "I say to her I cannot do this no more. You must fix or I go mad in de head."
The fog suddenly cleared and we all realised what was happening. While we knew there was always a problem with Patsy, we just presumed he was dealing with it. We weren't certain how because we sure as hell couldn't cope.
You see Patsy snores. Not soft and gentle little snuffles that flutter in her nostrils every now and then, but continuous deep, throbbing snorts that can make a jack hammer sound dulcet. I had the pleasure of sharing a room with her 30 years ago and her snoring was so bad that in the morning I looked like Jack Nicholson just before he loses it in The Shining. She, of course, was as fresh as a daisy.
Now, whenever we go away for a girlie weekend, we book her into a separate hotel and say a decade of the rosary for the people who have the misfortune to be next door to her.
We patted Jose on the arm to let him know we understood. His Spanish eyes filled with grateful tears. This had really tested his mettle.
"I think at first I will be okay, you know? I get those things for ears but nothing work. Pasty, she snore like de train. But last night was de worst of ever I have come here. I love her so much but still I want to put my hand on her mouth and not take it away. I bad, bad husband."
We assured him he was a man among men and how he had stuck it for long we didn't know. With that he got a call from Patsy and a glimmer of a smile crept across his face. The doctor was recommending she attend the sleep clinic in Tallaght Hospital.
Irish/Spanish relations may yet be saved!