Chapter 4: The Taste of Peace
One man said, “I remember one thing, that when his mother died, it was Sunday morning, and we were both sitting in the garden. He said, ‘I knew that old bitch was going to spoil my beautiful holy day. Now, couldn’t she have died on Friday, or Tuesday, or Monday? Why on Sunday? I was ready to go boating on the lake, and I have to cancel my whole program.’”
The neighbor said, “That day I thought this man was strange. His mother dies and he says, ‘That woman died purposely on Sunday. She was always making efforts to spoil all my happiness. Even in death she continued her old habit.’”
Another witness said, “When all the proceedings for the funeral were over, this man immediately rushed to the house of his girlfriend, and they went to see a movie. In the morning, the mother dies; by the evening, he is at a movie with his girlfriend.”
A third witness said, “That is nothing, because after the movie, he was drinking and dancing! His behavior has always been a little bizarre.”
The magistrate asked the man himself, “Do you have any explanation for these things?”
He said, “For everything that I have done I have explanations. My mother dies on Sunday morning: my Sunday, my plan to go to the lake is spoiled - is it wrong to say it clearly, rather than repress it? And anyway whether I say it or not, my mother is dead, so what difference does it make?
“And certainly I was angry. She could have died.there are seven days in the week - why choose Sunday especially? And she knew, because the previous night I had told her, ‘Tomorrow morning I am going to the lake.’ And I am absolutely certain she died on purpose because she was the only one who knew that I was going to the lake in the morning. And as I was preparing to leave, she died. You think I have to give an explanation, or does that dead woman have to give an explanation?”
The magistrate said, “Okay. About that nothing can be done; your mother is dead, she cannot be asked. It may have been just a coincidence. But does it look right to you that in the morning your mother dies and in the evening you go to a movie? And in the night you are found in a nightclub drinking, dancing - do you think it looks right?”
He said, “Absolutely right. Because now, whenever I go to a movie it will be after my mother’s death. Do you mean that for the rest of life I cannot go to a movie? Whenever I go to the nightclub and drink and dance, it will be after my mother’s death. Do you want me to commit suicide because now I cannot enjoy anything - it is after my mother’s death? And what difference does it make whether her death was ten hours ago or ten days ago, or ten years ago?”
There was great silence in the court. The man looked rational, what he was saying was meaningful.