Well then? What did it matter whether she was living or dead? My mother’s pictures were strewn across the iPhone screen like innumerable stars in a night sky. When I viewed them, they looked exactly the same as the ones who were still living that I had not visited in ages. In stillness, it didn’t matter. They all looked alike. Dead or alive, still pictures of whatever image is carved out of them. What if just for the sake of argument, I placed this picture of a living person right beside that of a dead person? Stilly still—both dead to me or alive. A trick, my imagination played— stirred up an impossible emotion to let me believe that my mother was living and well, just like the living person’s picture beside hers. Her picture beside my mother’s made no difference; they both looked exactly the same. Not any state-of-the-art special credence was given for being alive, but to the contrary. Well, let me be beguiled then, by my imagination, so I may stand up to death—a ruse I had established to alternate reality of still photographs. Believe what you want to believe. Believe it or not, I will elude you— death. I viewed the two pictures on my screen one dead, the other alive. I believed what was before me. I believed they were both alive—no more, no less.