That’s me, with the bird on my head. His name is Peaches.
Standing next to me is my maid, Consuela.
Let me start over. My family was very wealthy. Easily the wealthiest family in all of Connecticut, which is saying something.
I was the youngest of 17 children. My father made his billions as an industrialist in the 30’s. He was an older man and didn’t have much time for his children.
My mother was a socialite and not the most nurturing of women. The care of myself, my brothers and my sisters was largely left up to the substantial support staff in our palatial mansion home.
At birth, we were each given our own maid. They were usually poor Mexican children stolen from their parents by missionaries. A few were bartered for on the black market, usually swapped for trinkets.
Consuela was a few months older than me. My parents’ thinking behind this was that a maid our own age could better relate to us children and our “modern problems” than one who was older. It fostered a strong bond between servant and master, one that I cherish to this day.
As soon as she was able to walk, my dear, sweet Consuela learned the tricks of her trade. I was always so envious that she didn’t have to go school. I would go off and study boring things like math and dodgeball and she got to spend all day around the house, learning to iron my shirts and launder my trousers. What a glorious time she must have had!
Owing to her fiery Latin blood, Consuela could never be trusted to learn English, for fear she would run off and disclose family secrets to the media. So she was taught the sign language and grunts my father had invented for the help to be commanded by. I was able to convey basic emotions to her, like “Get my shoes now!” or “Hey you, it is time for my suppository.”
We had an unspoken thing, akin to love or affection. I never thought of her as my “maid” or my “servant”. To me, she was Consuela, my friend.
Like any good friend, I had Consuela’s best interests at heart. Though she was my elder by a few months, her primitive native brain was far behind mine in terms of intellect. I treated her as one would treat their own child; albeit a child with brain damage who was unfit to be an heir to my tremendous wealth.
I would frequently have to “correct” Consuela’s behavior when she would make mistakes. Again, this was all for her own good, which I put far ahead of my own. I didn’t care if people thought me harsh when I would remove my belt and give her a sound lashing by the soda machine in our neighborhood Burger King, because I knew it was the only way to show her there were consequences when she ordered me a sandwich with pickles on it.
Some would have coddled a girl so innately sweet-natured, but I felt it was my duty to administer tough love to her as often as possible. Even when she had done nothing wrong.
Oh it wasn’t all vicious beatings and nights spent handcuffed to the radiator. As we grew older and our natural urges began to take hold, I began making love to Consuela. Most evenings, from the time I was 9 until I was shipped off to boarding school in England at age 15, we would embrace in coitus under the covers of my race car bed.
Our relationship transcended all boundaries of the physical realm. The love we made was so tender and beautiful, that often Consuela would weep throughout the night when we were done. Even my vicious beatings couldn’t stop her tears. Sometimes, I would simply give up out of exhaustion and collapse on top of my covers, still wearing my pirate costume, her gentle sobs lulling me to sleep like the lapping of waves in the ocean.
I know what you’re thinking, “what the hell kind of English boarding school doesn’t allow its pupils to bring their own servants with them?” But apparently, Father thought it best if I gained some independence from my sweet Consuela.
Since I couldn’t write directly to her, I sent weekly dispatches to my siblings, reminding them to keep her busy with chores and errands. “And don’t forget the lashes!” I would add at the end, as if I had almost forgot! This would always bring a smile to my face and I would chuckle and think about my brother, Stevenson Ranch Filipkowski and his love of terrible, violent beatings. I knew Consuela was in good hands.
Sadly, when I returned home from school, there were no vicious lashings for me to administer to my beloved Consuela. I liked to think she was cleaning toilets up in heaven now, though I knew this couldn’t be true, as her people would never be allowed in such a hallowed place.
It seems that someone had murdered poor Consuela just weeks before I was set to return from the academy. Because she was an undocumented worker and kidnap victim, we couldn’t report this crime to the police and it remains unsolved to this day.
There were all the tell-tale clues of a struggle: a chair knocked over, bruises around her neck. Somehow, the noose which her killer had used to attack her with had become entangled in the rafters of the attic and asphyxiated her.
There were no signs of forced entry and no clues besides my brother’s assurance that “a black guy must have done it.” This was fine for most of my family, but not for me. I dispatched some mercenaries my father had employed to intimidate union organizers to interrogate the entire staff. Though 11 people met their deaths that day in those interviews, no answers ever surfaced.
Perhaps my brother had been right? I tell you, if I ever meet that black guy who murdered Consuela, I am going to have some harsh words for him, believe you me!
In the past, I have relayed this story to some and they have dared to suggest that perhaps Consuela was not murdered, but rather took her own life. This is not only insulting to me, it’s preposterous. Why would someone from such a poor background who was given a second chance at a life amongst some of the grandest people in the country have any reason to do such a thing? She wouldn’t and she didn’t. I will thank you to speak no more on the subject.
In the time that has passed, I have not spent a single five month period without thinking of my dear Consuela at least once. Oh sure, I have had other maids, some much more technically proficient at their work, but none as proficient in the ways of friendship.
Consuela will always have a special place in my heart. Right next to my love of God and Country, behind the shed where I reserve my feelings for my own family, in an old converted outhouse near my left ventricle lives Consuela. Quietly sweeping the floor, waiting for the day her master returns home to fill her life with not just angrily-barked orders and beatings, but love.