Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

My Mother’s Tears

object became part of the scenery—our apartment was a universe! Just as it is impossible to predict the path a weighted ball will take when thrown with force, the wind-up car never followed the same path twice, and this set us against each other in a competition to be the one who launched it on the most extraordinary, the most insane course, the one we would still be talking about at bedtime. Following this logic of one-upmanship, in which we shied away from nothing and put the most muddled plans into action, when I saw my mother stretched out on the living room sofa with her hair like a tragedienne’s offering, I had a hunch that her head might be an excellent starting point, an unusual pole position that would floor my brothers who worshiped this woman like a prophetess they had to guard against and whose good graces they could never afford to lose. With the stealth of an assassin, I approached the sofa on all fours and set the racecar, wound up tight, on my mother’s hair. She shot to her feet but could not, despite her quick reaction, untangle the car’s key as it dragged her hair, twisted, rolled, and sucked it deep inside the mechanism, leaving us no choice but to wait for the end or for two minutes, in other words, for an eternity. My mother did not try to do a thing. Her face wasn’t strained or contorted, it was implacable. And her expression, which was the negation of all expression, did not alter until the car’s motor finally choked. I can see my mother standing there, the car in her hair, glued


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