A simple phone call
The phone had rung three times and the answering machine invited to leave a message: “Hello. Hope you are well. I’m calling to tell you that your mom just died. So sorry. You must be strong. But don’t worry because we’re all going to take care of burying her here, I’ll call you after the funeral to let you know. A hug. Bye”.
The news was given to me with the dissimulation with which serious things are usually said. I did not articulate a word. I would have liked to say many things or scream, cry and lament. I don’t want to talk: just write.
Writing that before the message I already sensed that something bad had happened would make me appear here as a good son. However, I will not write such a thing since last night I had not even dreamed. The night had been heavy and long. I was in front of the computer for five hours, of which I spent four surfing the Internet and one reading and answering some e-mails.
There have been several calls, but none have been answered. I am unable to answer, but I know that by doing so I will listen to myself and I don’t even want to listen to myself. It’s better that way. Yes, it is better. Then I only hear the voices of acquaintances who call quickly because, noticing that I don’t answer, they leave their message: “Hello, I’m Carlos Martínez and it’s to tell you to count on me right now.” «-Hello love, it’s me, I just found out about your mother and from my heart I tell you that I’m sorry. I’ll look for you later.”
There were no more messages because the recorder only picks up three. Anyway, it’s better this way, three calls were enough to continue strange to the dimension of the situation. First my mother dies; then Carlos says to count on him and pretends to forget that two years ago after calling him and telling him that he was urgently needed, he chose to leave, until today when he leaves me that false message.
But the height of hypocrisy has been the last message. She says: “hello love”, a category that she has long shown to be unaware of and then she expresses that she feels it from the heart. And lastly “I’ll look for you later”; Listening to this seems insulting to me because it was she who a year ago consciously let me get lost and even when I gave alarming cries of a frightened child, she never took care of me, so why should I believe her now?
I turned on the stereo and listened to Schubert’s Ave Maria. I thought it was the right music for the occasion. I knew that this moment was special and I even remembered that I had thought to be ready for when it came. I had indeed thought about Mom’s death. However, he was now in a state of catatonic isolation.
I listened to two classical music records and I had a feeling that at any moment I would cry and I was ready to at least sob, but it wasn’t like that. Noticing that I wasn’t crying and that sleep had abandoned me, I then decided to take a bath and assumed that perhaps I would cry there. I looked at myself in the mirror and my face seemed heavy, careless and malevolent, maybe a little stupid, but I didn’t care.
Leaving the bathroom and after getting dressed I made the decision to read a book. I felt I had to do it and I remembered that book by Albert Camus where the mother of the main character had died and that he behaves oblivious to that fact throughout the book. With that book in my hands, I felt embarrassed just thinking that I could use my real situation to experience such a well-crafted but fictional story. I thought: My mother really is dead. Instead, Camus’s book is just literature. I recriminated myself.
To circumvent this feeling of helplessness, I will tell you that for eight months I have been writing a story that I hope will become a book. The story reconstructs my life, which I have planned to write in twenty-two chapters, twenty of these were designed to write about my mother’s life. She is important in the structure of the story, because as I was the youngest of her children, I was able to spend the first twelve years with her.
Basically the beginning, plot and outcome of the story I write rest on those first twelve years. After that, the years that followed have been only epilogues and that is why I have allocated two chapters for it. I know how the book started because I have already written twelve chapters and with the death of my mother, with whom I talked and remembered so many details, I don’t know how to continue. However, I know how it will end because the ending was the first thing I conceived. Paradoxical, right?
I just felt the need to tell you how that book will end, but I think better not. The end of that book is likely to be the end of this vent. No matter. It doesn’t matter the end of that book or this story, or any ending. All endings are fatal.
And fatality is heavy. The weight weighs you down. Overwhelms fatality. Rinng! Rinng! The phone rings… Do I answer?