In ended up returning to America soon after leaving Tahiti, when I found out that my mother had died. Her funeral was a somber affair, held in Cairo, Georgia, where she had ended up after I left home. Nearly the whole town came out for it. I had never seen so many people wearing black in one place. I was asked to read something, so I got up behind the pulpit, took the microphone, and read a short essay I had composed on the airplane in remembrance of her. Afterward, we made a procession and drove her out to the tiny plot she had purchased, God knows with what money, and we laid her in the ground. I felt very alone, even though I hadn't seen her in years, and it made me think of my father. I miss them both.