Cultural Institution Blesok • Established 1998
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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 04 | volume I | August-September, 1998



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 04August-September, 1998
Prose

Funeral

/7
p. 1
Gabor T. Szanto

The rabbi was my fault, that's definite, it was me insisting that it should be a young man, it was me, being self-important, playing the insider, saying that he was talented and must be given a chance to work, that he should bury my grandmother, my father's mother, because it's for her that the family was now gathering together, die ganze mispoche (minus the emigrants), all the friends and colleagues, those who came to laugh, the grateful survivors and the bored pensioners, the whole clan, all gathering here next to the mortuary since nobody dares go in before the family and at the same time they cannot see how under the velvety surface of good manners is a cruel interference with the life (or death) of a family, how every look of their eyes and every sentence they utter splinters the intimacy of the last hidden moments, but there is nothing to be done, they cannot be sent away, so we all step into the domed chamber, cold air grabs my back, even though the April sun is shining outside, its rays raking away the last remnants of winter, licking at the roof and the walls but the heat and the light don't come into the building and while in the depth of the cellar under the vaulted space there are bodies prepared for their funeral at some later time, one storey higher, one step closer to the end of the ceremony are we, the closer family, placed according to a strict choreography on both sides of the open coffin, the women on one side, the men on the other, all on a small dais, as if on stage, and down there, in front of the ungainly coffin sit the viewers, the audience, I hope they are not going to clap, says a flash of despair in my brain, I push up closer to my father on the bench, I can feel that he is shaking, leaning forward, from the back half profile I can only see his hat, sitting funnily on the top of his head, the rim cannot take hold on the thick curly hair over his round face, it is just balancing there, to avoid falling off, but his body is shaking and I feel paralyzed, even though he is crying in front of these inquisitive eyes, he should at least cover his face so they cannot






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