Chilly Monday

Self knows she shouldn’t complain: after all, yesterday morning in Chicago, the snow was blowing in horizontal gusts. Still, this morning is a tad too chilly for her taste. She stays indoors.

She tells herself: write. Forget the leaking kitchen sink, forget the garden, forget the coffee. Just write.

Self is waiting for the plumbers to come. Why is she remembering a conversation she had with Dearest Mum last week, about an uncle who died? Dearest Mum had chosen to tell self, in a voice full of profound confusion: “And after he was cremated, do you know that his ashes weighed less than a pound?” Last week, self’s irritation was extreme, perhaps she was thinking about upcoming trip to Chicago. At any rate, self responded: “What difference does it make, that his ashes were less than a pound? Is that because he had cancer? Do ashes normally weigh more than a pound?” And Dearest Mum says, “What are you talking about? Who knows how much ashes weigh afterwards?” And self said: “Then why do you act so surprised that his ashes weighed less than a pound? How much did Ying’s ashes weigh?” And the conversation stops dead, just stops dead. “I’m just saying,” Dearest Mum says again, slowly. “That his ashes weighed less than a pound. That’s all.”

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