Egyptian Mummy

RIC J: There is one question that I cannot bear to wait to ask you: How many times have you been dead? 

EM: As many times as there have been deaths in this world.

RIC J: Who were you? 

EM: I was everyone – everyone you have ever met, everyone you will ever meet. Your misfortune is that you cannot escape me.

RIC J: Do you now know the secret of happiness? 

EM: No, but I now know the secret of life: life.

RIC J: Did you like it enough?

EM: Like what enough? Death? Which one? Be clear with your questions, dear mortal.

RIC J: Do you still love? 

EM: Once you have loved, you cannot stop loving. That’s the horror of life – and afterlife.

RIC J: What phrase do you hear most from the other side of the window? 

EM: “Wake up, wake up, my love.”

RIC J: Do you prefer the mouth of the living or the language of the dead? 

EM: The language of the dead because, unlike the living, they don’t lie. On the gate of every cemetery in Goa, two words are inscribed: Aiz Maka Falea Tuka – Today me, tomorrow you.

RIC J: Martini bianco or Metaxa?

EM: Martini bianco when I am in India, Metaxa when I am in Greece.

RIC J: Salmon or red mullet?

EM: You want to kill me? Even human flesh tastes better than any fish.

RIC J: Venice or Lhasa?

EM: Lhasa.

RIC J: Modiano or Camus?

EM: Camus, if only because he is better looking.

RIC J: Life or death?

EM: Isn’t little death life?

RIC J: Hope or expectation?

EM: Both. One cannot exist without the other.

RIC J: Nothing or infinity?

EM: Nothing.

RIC J: Love or forgetfulness?

EM: Love. But you already knew my answer.

RIC J: Finally, in memory of a Sufi patient, define life in two words.

EM: Red circle.

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