My mother is afraid of loneliness. She’s watching me helplessly – even telenovelas fail to make her feel better. She’s staring at me like some fearful young heifer. Not to worry, I’m cheering her up, just as loneliness tears a chunk off of her. You’re not afraid of loneliness? she asks me, lips covered in blood. No way, I reply . . . I was lying, of course, and my mother lashed out at me with a thistle. And so violet was it that suddenly evening descended.