Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

Michel Layaz

to her head like a suction cup, my mother going to get a pair of scissors, handing them to me and in a voice more cutting than that sharp object I now held tight with trembling fingers, in a voice full of contempt that tramples all remorse, in that voice my mother says: Cut. And I see my hand hovering uncertainly above her head; and the unavoidable necessity of having to cut her hair very close to the scalp, where the car worked its massacre, where the white and pink color of the scalp is visible; and my mother, who will be left with this hole in her hair for several weeks, a hole she never tries to cover up, but instead displaying her wound, will present me alternately as the executioner, the irresponsible one, and the backward child they couldn’t possibly scold or truly be angry with. * At the restaurant, for example. You can defend an idea fiercely, with a ferocity that comes from your conviction for that particular idea. You come up with phrases that besiege, that conquer, you find formulations that compel, your intelligence brims with spontaneity. But you founder at the end of the meal, once you’ve deployed all of your conviction’s words and have begun to delight in your good fortune, to feel you’ve taken on heft—how you founder when, at that precise moment, someone sits down at the table next to you, a man or a


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