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?
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?
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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