Last night I had a dream about it. There was no black powder, no Pulvis Epilepticus, no husband, no daughter to ease my poor mother's fever in this vision. Wolfgang, you will note, not Wolfie or Jack Pudding, but Wolfgang was shouting in Mama's ear, the one that was not buried in her soft, French pillow. (Why French? Was she not meant to be in Mannheim?) My dear brother kept insisting Mama was deaf in her delerium and that if he shouted loud enough to frighten an elephant, he would be able to reach her thoughts. Basta!
In this same paradoxical dream, I am flung upon my Salzburg bed and vomiting with grief. My dear Mama, I cry, I want you back. I see your face through the wrong end of a telescope. When you laugh, we laugh. When you withdraw, we will be devastated. Papa is locked in his room, writing a letter to your son. I'll say a Paternoster for your soul as I sleep. In this infernal nightmare I cannot touch you on the other side of the telescope. This is a world I do not wish to inhabit and so I wake up, entirely wet, calling you by name.
'What is it my dearest child?' you say in that loving way of yours as you approach my bed. 'No, I am not your dearest,' I reply, 'or you would not leave me for Paris.' 'Paris? Who mentioned Paris? You are dreaming, Nan,' and you smile and pull back the covers from my tossing limbs. 'Enjoy what we have together now.'