A Permanent Cure for Sadness by Giovanna Pompele

Think red. Make it a balloon so big its red is deeper than a fresh running wound. A rich hemoglobic red. A red so deep and full Mondrian cries. Miró cries a little too. You have a red so red Mondrian, Miró and all the red specialists in the history of red are in tears.

You don’t enjoy other people’s tears, of course not. You enjoy your red balloon and the otherwordliness of what you just accomplished.

Now think mom. Your mom may be lost, or about to be lost, or lost from the start. Stay with it. Take your mom by the hand and walk her inside the red.

The red suddenly becomes paint, thick and freshly poured. So much lovely red! Half an inch of deep red. Make yourself and your mom, your lost mom, sit in the red and splash your hands in it. If your mom asks, Can I touch your cheek? say yes. Yes yes yes yes. Yes to everything.

Splash red mom! More red! Miró! Rothko! O’Keeffe! Bourgeois!

You are crying. I know you are crying because this is precisely the point when you cry. You sit in red paint, your mom touches your cheek, and you cry. The cry starts from a place inside your ribs, rises to your throat, explodes at the center of your head.

There is no power in the world capable of containing the volcanic eruption of your sorrow. It flows and flows and you flow with it, inside the big red balloon where you are now alone, because

mom is gone.

Mom is gone and you flow out of yourself and become one with the red. You are smaller and smaller and the red is enormous, it swallows you whole, you are lost

your lungs fill up and you panic because you can’t breathe. You can’t move. You can’t see.

You have no body.

There is nothing of you left except some water salt and DNA lost in a sea of red. You say goodbye.

Say goodbye. Go on.

Have you? Good. It is proper to say goodbye when taking leave. Do it with grace. Use the manners you were taught.

Now — I know you are terrified but


take a moment,

ask yourself:





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