Amerigo - Bikozulu
3 months ago, 6 Mar 10:21
A friend of mine – Jo – whatsapped me one morning and said, “My daughter died today, four years ago.” I saw this message when I was coming from the gym, endorphins thumping in my ear. I was surprised because I didn’t even know she had lost a child. To be honest, I didn’t want to start my day talking about dead children. Most mornings I don’t want to start the day with stories like this. I want someone to send me a video of a chubby Chinese baby dancing in diapers or smoking cigarettes, or a video of someone – preferably someone fat and black – falling in the rain. Because there is no fun in watching a thin white person fall in the rain, it’s like eating carrots. Regardless, I said the kind things you are supposed to say when someone tells you something as devastating like this. Then she started typing and typing, so I sat in the car and read her long thread. She was planning to go back to Aga Khan and thank the mortician. I say, “Oh, the mortician?” She says, yes, because when she lost her daughter the mortician treated her like a “four year old.” He made her giggle even at that dark time. He treated her dead daughter like “she would wake up.” She wrote, “The worst was when I took her burial clothes but he was off duty and so he said wait for me and he came to attend to her on that day and the following day even when he was still off duty; he prepared her, dressed her up like I wanted and handed her over to me, not in a white box like I had requested because I wanted to see her as my baby and not her in a wooden box like a dead thing. The white fascinator fell over her small face. She was so pretty. My world had stopped but I found strength in who he was.” “What’s this guy’s name and do you think he can agree to be interviewed?” I wrote because that story reminded me of Amerigo Bonasera. You know who Amerigo Bonasera is, right? One of the greatest books ever written after the Bible is The Godfather, by Mario Puzo. If you are the type who’s too busy to read a book you will watch the movie that starts with Amerigo Bonasera – a mortician – asking Don Corleone, the Godfather, for a favour on the day his daughter is getting married because an Italian will not refuse a favour on the day his daughter is getting married. Bonasera wants justice for his daughter who was physically molested by some “American boys.” He went to court but the American courts refused to give him justice, so he’s there – hat in hand – to seek Italian justice from The Don. But first he has to offer friendship by kissing the Godfather’s ring. Don: “Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I done ...
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