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This is a story I was once told: a corpse was thrown out of an airplane.
This is a story that consists not of words but of images.
There is a woman in her apartment. We are at the dining room table, drinking tea, looking out at the smog of a grey winter day.
She is telling me about a family member in country A. She is telling me why he went to live in country A. She is telling me about his brother. Young. A radical. Didn't know what he was doing. Was organizing a factory. There was a girlfriend, maybe she was a wife. The police came in. She pretended like she was one of the workers. Maybe. An image of a scarf, a head wrap, a bandanna that she pulls over her head to fit in with one of the factory workers.
She is telling me about the man's brother. His name was S-. Arrested at the factory. Trying to organize the workers.
His parents went to country B., his brother to country A. I don't know the sequences here.
The facts might be wrong.
It doesn’t really matter.
His parents moved overseas. They got a call one day. They were asked to fly to a mountain village to identify a body that had an identification card with their son’s name on it. They flew across the ocean. Found their way to the mountain village to identify the body. It wasn’t their son.
I’ve thought about these words forever.
I’ve thought about this story forever and I refuse to verify its authenticity, its truthfulness.
Because it’s possible that this story, these images, have been at the root of every single word that I write.
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