Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

Michel Layaz

doctor who had known this woman since he assisted her first two deliveries, this woman next to whom other women’s beauty was laughable, this woman whose eyes could blaze with dismal ferocity and deter all attempts at reverence or conciliation. As my mother had ordered, my father was waiting in a room devoid of flowers because she hated seeing those death throes in vases and found their odor as viscerally repulsive as the smell of carrion. He was to wait until she joined him there. The male head nurse, who repeated mundane wisdom like clockwork, imagined it would be a good idea to tell my mother that my father’s presence would be a solace to her and he offered to go get him. This nice boy suddenly discovered how the intelligence, malice, spite, and extraordinary superiority of beings of whose existence he was previously unaware can set fire to phrases, transform them into burning lashes that smite the skin and inscribe it with incurable wounds that will keep him from ever opening his mouth again without first considering who it is he’s dealing with, who it is he’s talking to, or from thinking that any woman is the same as the one who preceded her or the one who followed. The photograph was not put in the family album. There were photographs of all kinds in our albums, just not this one. I was seven years old. The photograph


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