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The Mother


Volume 13

March 30, 1973

Excerpts from a meeting with the teachers.

(At the end of a long and distressing conversation that exposes the grudges of a particular individual against her neighbor, then angry remarks, then finally a request for “blessings” for a new trucking company, with a photo of the truck on the back of which Mother is asked to write something, one of the teachers announces that an epidemic of chickenpox and mumps has broken out at the school among the students and teachers, and that one of them has typhoid fever. Mother listens to all that.... This will be the last meeting with the teachers.)

I hope you're not bringing any of that here?

(the teachers laugh, uncomprehending)

Have you taken all the necessary precautions?... Otherwise it would be a real catastrophe.


I hope you took every precaution not to bring me any of it here?

(silence, one of the teachers explains that the incubation period lasts from 3 to 4 weeks)

If you haven't, it's really a crime (there is almost anguish in Mother's voice), because.... There's nothing to explain. It's a crime. I am not AT ALL protected.

in French

in German