For Manna

Today it’s been 11 years since my mother died. She always had a fancy for dying in such time so that she might be buried on Easter day. This actually happened. Though quite accidentally. Those believing in extra-sensory perception would say, yeah right. Those who like to fantasize would take it as an innocent coincidence. Mother fell in the second category. Though she also believed things. Like, she could never understand why every time she went to visit a friend in a nut house, the whole goddamned place would go quiet. Once she was almost offered a job there. “Imagine,” the head psychiatrist said, “all the crazies gone silent without the help of pills.” But mother was an anti-psychiatrist. She would have liked Foucault, had she read him. Which she never did. She was more into counting. Today we do this. Tomorrow we do that. Today we remember this. Tomorrow we forget that. Mother was making history, even though she was also against history. Mother never looked behind, because she didn’t want to lose life. “History, what a silly idea,” she would say. “Haven’t people ever heard of space?” All talk about time depressed her. That’s why, to make sure that I wouldn’t waste mine the day she was gone, she bought a shroud and the other arsenal that goes into a coffin time before. Like, 20 years before. The shroud was dusty and smelled of chocolate. On the catafalque, when I leaned over to kiss her cold lips, her body smelled of monoi oil. “If we can’t escape death, at least we can eat it.” I hear mother laughing from beyond the grave. She liked aphorisms, and so do I.


I was standing at my mother's grave after 11 years and I thought: death closes the last page in your book, but now I can see that it is not true. As long as somebody writes about you, your book is still open, and as long as somebody remembers you, you are still alive.

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