“When my mother cooked us pasta for dinner, she spent hours, sometimes the whole day, making sure the sauce and the vegetables or meats were perfect, but never once made her own pasta from scratch, ‘because it took too much time.’ I never understood this about her, until she finally explained it to me one day. ‘It’s the sauce that has to be perfect,’ she said. ‘It’s the pasta’s job to get the sauce to your mouth. In a perfect world the pasta would be perfect too, but it’s not a perfect world, so all the pasta has to do is be not terrible.’ To me, the music is the sauce, and opera is the pasta that gets the sauce to your mouth.”
I scanned the present company, whose vices were all spoken for, scanned the beach around me for anyone who might be present against my knowledge, and then, of course, excluded the possibility of myself. I reassured the company before me that none of us suffered from superbia, and thank goodness for that.