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Obituary For a Nonexisting Man by Joachim Frank

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  • Some time ago I received a letter from my cousin, a letter I unfortunately misplaced. The letter – so much I gathered -- announced the death of his father-in-law.

    When my cousin married his girl friend, my lack of sympathies toward him immediately extended to his newly wed. I must confess I never gave her a chance; her peculiar taste that had attracted her to him -- of all people -- disqualified her thoroughly in my eyes.

    They had met through an advertisement – his or hers, I was not able to figure out -- that stressed a love of nudity, Flamenco dancing, and traveling. During the wedding, the Club Mediterranean was mentioned, being whispered among relatives as something distasteful, almost obscene, much like the words “consenting adults.”

    Although I had met her on many occasions, her father was never mentioned. There was no father at the wedding either. For all practices and purposes, then, he did not exist. Now that father, my cousin’s letter said – the one I had misplaced -- had passed away. Even though the letter had now created him shortly after he ceased to live, his absence, or better nonexistence to me, as it had accumulated over the years, was so strong that I promptly forgot the news about his demise and with it, once more, the fact of his former existence.

    Recently, at last, I found the letter again. From what I gathered he was, let me say this, a thoroughly decent man.
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