Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

My Mother’s Tears

a gift can resemble combat or capturing a castle. But it’s for you... The fishing rod’s for you... Go on! Take it... My father enunciated each word as if he were speaking to someone who was hard of hearing. My father was irritated to see me so timid, so hesitant, my shoulders hunched in a sign of exile, so devoid of courage, treating words and my own body like enemies or allies ready to betray me, and if no one else heard it, I knew my father’s voice was also saying other, less pleasant things, phrases slipped to me on the sly, phrases that did not need to be articulated for me to hear them. I tried to gather my wits as best I could, to find some coherence, something reassuring, like an algebraic formula or an irrefutable proof. I was searching for rational explanations when all I had to do was look up and extend my hand without further ado. There was nothing more to it: a magic couple had appeared in our house with a fishing rod in their baggage and the rod was not meant for my two brothers. How could I drop my false impassiveness?... How could I overcome the impossibility of being born someone else?... The woman had run her fingers through my hair, fingers as silken as my mother’s scarves, fingers that left me quivering from head to toe, fingers that spread so wide they could enfold my entire head and this woman directed a curious smile at my mother, that is, her smile had nothing unusual about it at the start, but as soon as it took shape, as soon as it reached its apogee, instead of remaining in


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