In sixty years my father had amassed many things. Antique clocks. Group of Seven paintings. Three talkative children. A beautiful wife. Family videos. A fancy alarm system to protect the collection from thieves.
“The need to accumulate is one of the signs of approaching death.”
I value my father’s words of wisdom more than Walter Benjamin’s
“Why did you just gasp?” the Commandant asked coolly.
“Because I mistook my voice for the voice of another,” I responded.
I couldn’t lie to the Commandant. I had attempted it in the past – had attempted it once in Vienna – and he had recognized it at once for what it was: a big fat lie! He could see right through me.
But I am not willing to read the story this way. I take the liberty of freezing the end of the story one moment prior to the sister’s arrival, just before the sisterly kiss turns to a kiss of death. I search within the Talmud’s paean to quiet obedience for the subversive story that lies hidden between the lines, between the letters…