Schnookie was the dog who had drowned in ’38 when she and her family were crossing the Danube in a dinghy to escape the Germans. The fox-terrier had panicked and leaped overboard, to be swept away by the current before the eyes of my powerless mother. It’s the only time in my life I cried, she would add, in a quavering voice to whomever was listening at the time. Needless to say, I would feel like killing her whenever she put on this display.
Amidst this defeated humanity, I would find my mother strapped into some sort of a capsule, her blind, staring eyes like saucers, fixed on the ceiling, waiting for the heavens to open like the doors of a store on the first day of the sales.
There we all were, part of that great, middle-class mass being strangled by its elderly. It was reassuring.