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Evening call from my father

February 17, 2011

After a brief exchange of polite blah blah and how have you been questions, my father makes a dramatic announcement:  »Listen, I have something important to say to you when we see each other. «
»Mhmm.« I stay disinterested, looking at the street below. What I wanted to say was »Oh not again. What is it this time?« But some things are better left unsaid.
»Never mind, I will give you a hint now.«
Oh no.
I pause slightly to think of the most appropriate tone and length of my next »mhm«.
»Do you remember Julia?« he asks. His voice is getting excited.
This doesn’t sound like a religious treatise. I get intrigued.
Julia is his best childhood friend’s daughter on who I had a crush when I was about 12 or 14 and who I haven’t seen ever since. They would come from the US to spend the summer in my father’s home village in Serbia every two years. These would be the years where the summer vacations in that hot, godforsaken place with no horizon but the almost endless corn and sunflower fields, would not be entirely an exercise in torture through boredom.
»Well, but do you know she married a sculptor.«
OK, definitely not a religious treatise.
»Oh, did she?«
Now I think I know where this is headed (or as they would say here, I know into which direction the dog points its claw).
»Yes.« His voice gets more excited. »I haven’t seen his work, so I don’t know how good he is, but I can tell you this. She married a sculptor whose father is also a sculptor.«
There we go.
I smile.
He repeats the whole thing in a triumphant voice. As if his point needs more clarification. Or more impact.
»You see?«
He has just proved to me the existence of a higher order and meaning of things. An existence of a divine plan. Destiny has proved him right. Well, isn’t it obvious – I should have became a sculptor.
I smile.
A religious treatise after all.

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