By Eddy Montilla
(Taken from Real stories told as fiction)
When I was a child, my mother told me more than once that the difference between a dream and reality was only one step either forward or backward. During my silent nights, with only loneliness for company, I always wonder in which direction I gave mine.
I have thought about my mother several times today. She could not finish her schooling, but she loves reading, making orange preserves and talking about politics. I think it was for her great ability in her second pleasure that the philosophers and intellectuals of my small town used to come almost every Saturday at twilight to the backyard of our small house for their gatherings. One day, during one of their customary conversations, one of them noticed how simple my mother’s garden was, only surrounded by roses, and paradoxically, how the beauty of our garden was, nourished by the same characteristic.
”What is the best place for a flower?” He asked, while rubbing his hands and looking at them with the same expression as scavengers usually have.
And their answers were as varied as contradictory: “Fallen petals floating in the still water of the bathtub.” One said. “On the bed, over a white sheet.” Another said. “How about in the kitchen to make a mother’s job more bearable or in a crystal vase in the living room to welcome the guests?” They continued their brainstorming sessions until it occurred to one of them to ask my mother the same question, I don’t know why, perhaps because he wanted to know how those who have never heard about Nietzsche or Hegel or have never read Oscar Wilde think. My mother, who came out the kitchen at that time with her preserves in hand, answered him quickly and naturally:
”Right there.” She said, while pointing out to them the stems. “The place where it was born.”
My mother, without understanding the reason yet, sold few preserves on that day and, as spontaneously as her answer was, they gradually began to leave our house, like the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees in the biblical passage of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery: “…beginning with the oldest.” (TO BE CONTINUED)
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