Monday, October 29, 2007

all gone to look for america

As a little girl in Norway I often, too often, heard my mother say to my little brother and myself, 'If you do not behave properly, we will just have to send you to America!' This threat would bring us to line. During the long summer holidays with my kinfolks on grandmother's mountain farm our fears of America would be re-inforced. Mother's younger sister, Tomine, would walk around ghost-like, never speaking to anyone. She was very pretty, but she made us all sad.

'America did that to Tomine,' master Rina used to say. She was the one who had brought Tomine back to Norway with her.

She was only 17 when she emigrated, gay and strong--the things I could tell you. Melancholia the doctors called it. But we all know it was America that killed her.

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