Arnon Grunberg


Funeral hall

“What should I say?” I asked my mother.
“Say nothing,” my mother answered, “just shake their hands.”

Two hours after my arrival at Amsterdam Airport I accompanied my mother to a funeral parlor.
The husband of a good friend of hers had passed away.
A woman at the front desk asked us: “And what can I do for you today?” (My father was buried in Jerusalem; I do not recall any funeral hall. Jews like to bury their dead as quickly as possible.)

Inside the chapel a lady introduced herself to me three times in a row.
I saw an attractive young woman.
A man said to me: “We went to the same high school.”

Nabokov presumably said that “Lolita” was the record of his love affair with the English language.
I should write a record of my love affair with the funeral hall.