Friday, July 28, 2017

the last book I ever read (My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel, excerpt nine)

from My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel by Patricio Pron:

Then there was one last photograph of the event, and when I saw it I was surprised and confused, as if I had just seen a dead an approaching along a path with the infernal red setting sun silhouetted behind his back. It was my father just as I would see him in the hospital, in his final years: bald with a white beard on his thin face, very similar to his own father as I remembered him, with large rimless glasses, the glasses of a policeman or a Mafioso, with his hands in the pockets of a white coat, talking, his throat wrapped with a plaid scarf that I thought I had given him at some point as a gift. Beside him were other men, who contemplated him with sad faces, as if they knew my father was talking about a dead man without knowing that he would soon be one of them, that he was going to enter a dark, bottomless well that everyone who dies falls into, but my father didn’t know it yet and they didn’t want to tell him. There were eleven men standing behind my father, as if my father were the sacked coach of a soccer team that had just lost the championship; one wore a jacket and tie, but the rest wore leather coats and one, a long scarf that seemed about to strangle him. Some of them looked at the ground. I looked at my father and couldn’t quite understand what he was doing there, talking in that cemetery on a cold afternoon, an afternoon in which the living and the dead should have taken refuge in the shelter of their homes or their tombs and in the resigned consolation of memory.

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