By ELLY VARRENTI
You want to come to the opera with me tomorrow night? Free tics.
What is it?
Magic Flute. Mozart.
Thanks. No. I can’t.
Why? You got a better offer?
No. It’s just that…
What? You hate the soprano? You used to sing with the soprano when you were both young and hungry and had dreams of becoming a star. What?
No. I just can’t listen to opera anymore. I particularly can’t listen to Mozart. He was my sister’s favorite composer and since she died I just can’t listen to Mozart. Not even mashed up versions of him in the supermarket. Not without falling in a heap of dirty gasping sobs or little discrete inaudible ones.
Sorry. I didn’t realize…
Actually it’s not just Mozart and opera, it’s any classical music and anything by the Beatles or with Latin American panpipes. Or anything in Spanish. Or Queen. Not any political songs either. Or …
Okay. I get it. Sorry. Sorry. How long’s it been now since your sister…?
2 years, 6 months and 9 days. But some days it’s like it just happened and I can still feel like I did when Mum told me that day. I dropped the phone. I fell to my knees. It was like what they do in the movies. I ran outside and down the middle of the street with my Ugg boots on and when I reached the bush on the outskirts of town, I cried and screamed at the gums. Why! Why did this happen? She was remarkable. So smart and so beautiful and funny and unusual. Why was her experience of living in the world so unbearable she had to kill herself? Anyway…. And then I just lay down on ground and everything, and I mean everything, just, stopped.
It must be so hard for you and your mum and the little boy. Time. It will take time. It’ll never go away completely, I know. But I’m sure that in time… I mean, it’ll fade. Sorry. What do I know? Talk soon. Take care. Talk soon.