nineteen twenty five

Isabelle Adjani

Tuesday morning. Post office. Tchaikovsky’s Street. Eight minutes past eight. I am standing in line, waiting for my turn at the window. A woman before me is running an errand and I unwillingly overhear the exchange.

“What year was your mother born?”

The number struck me like a bolt.

For the rest of the day, I couldn’t shake away the thought of our immortality; human imperfection. The fact that time doesn’t wait for anyone, even if they are lucky enough to live to be a hundred years old. I thought of our correspondence from the day before — everything with a meaning between the lines, the heaviness of not being able to speak freely, the pathos of it all. They don’t make them like you anymore and then you need to find a stable relationship. One worse than the other. If I hadn’t promised myself not to cry anymore, I would have.

I felt the weight of your words against my mortality and felt trapped in my inability to do anything about any of it. That’ll be that for us. For a split of a second, I imagined our own responding to the same question decades from now.

“What year was your mother born?”

Does our mortality terrify you as much as it terrifies me?