Monday, September 1, 2008

mon frère meurt

On more than one occasion I have accused my mother of adopting me and never telling me the truth. I am convinced that I must be from somewhere else. Of someone else. I do not belong, that much is clear and, as I get older, it has become acceptable.

As I watched him die, during those excruciating days and sorrowful nights, those words frere and mort flitted through my hurting heart. Even in a language I love he was still dying and even French couldn’t make it beautiful. I allowed myself the familiar sojourn into conjugating those painful sentences, however badly.
I would go back to Linda’s house, sink into her huge comfortable bed and sleep fitfully, dreaming that no one was sick, not in any language and that we were together again. In my dreams I would hear and only partially understand French, but I knew that whatever they were saying, whatever we were saying, it didn’t involve him dying. I felt that familiar language wrap around me like a sweater, warm, comforting, satisfying.

I am beginning to realize, just now, over a half-year later, that there was no depth to my soul prior to his illness. What I thought was deep was not.

It was all a lie.

I have now gone to such a place that I never even conceived, never wanted to know. The word ‘sub-depths’ comes to mind. It is as if I have uncovered, and still discover daily, the crypts, the untouched tombs of my soul. The places I never knew, I am just meeting, shaking hands with, encountering. Mme Mazuet told me that I could enter the Foreign Language contest that they hold each Spring. The funny thing is that there are poems, stories and prose in this language that I don’t even know. I don’t know how to tell them yet, I don’t know how to get them out because I don’t have all of the language. I don’t know how to say it.

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