Arnon Grunberg


Seven people

My mother used to say: “Don’t give me any presents for my birthday because I’ll throw them at your head.”

Two days before her birthday on June 8th she said: “I hope people won’t give me flowers. I’m too old for flowers. It’s too much work for me.”

But on her birthday she said to me: “Seven people called me including you to wish me a happy birthday.”

I asked her: “Did you have a nice birthday?”

She answered: “Nice? Are you out of your mind? This woman stayed three hours for lunch. Three hours. Do you think I have time for that? I have things to do. I have a life. Nice. Nice.”

Then she hung up on me.