December 30, 2001

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the school of the dead

Cixous writes: "The first book I wrote rose from my father's tomb. I don't know why; perhaps it was the only thing I had to write then. I had to write then, in my poverty, in my inexperience, the only asset: the only thing that made me live, that I had lived, that put me to the test, and that I felt because it completely defeated me. It was my strange and monstrous treasure."

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In school on the day of his operation, it was a kindergarten day like any other. I remember the smells the best... exhaust from the school bus, the mixed aroma of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, balogna sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and 30 little half-pints of milk all pulled open at once. My mat, where I take my nap. My teacher, Mrs. McCarthy, who knows my father is getting rid of that gallbladder and who touches my shoulder a few more times than usual that day.

And then it stops. Fade to black.

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