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  • Writer's pictureWellington Lambert

My well-fed fat face

Let’s be elephants


My mother asked me if I thought fish knew they were going to die.

I said that might be the only good thing about being a fish, not knowing.

She said she thought she could see fear in their eyes. In the net, flopping on shore.

She is talking about being in White head and my uncle Sherwin unloading a catch.

I think your projecting, I said to her, their only concern is most likely just trying to breathe.

She accepted that answer, but what do I know, maybe they’re terrified.

We talked about death, about how being 93 is unreal, how time is measured now in months, weeks…days, not years.

She said she woke up last night with dad lying beside her. It scared her, she couldn’t move till he faded away. I thought she would find that comforting, but I think the realness of it threw her off. She is one foot into the next world.

We talked about how humans are born into a world, the only animals tortured by the knowledge of their own mortality. How this mystery is used and abused by those in power. Religions seeking to offer comfort in exchange for control.

Death is the one thing we are all guaranteed to experience. In a weird way I want to experience it with her, as much as I can. Maybe helping her to prepare will help me, but I don’t think so. It still will be as mysterious as it is terrifying.

Then we talked about how elephants go to a specific place to die. So, maybe they know. I don’t think they are scared, I told her.

Let’s be elephants.



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