’M PEEING, NOW. I CAN feel I’m peeing. I’m cold. I
don’t want to open my eyes, I don’t want to look at the
window. I can hear some footsteps. I know, Mama
opens the door. I’m on the bed. I can hear her coming
closer. Good morning, Ballerina, she says. We must change,
it’s a new day today. I know. I know very well it’s a new day,
because I wet myself, and because it’s the morning. Mama
is drying me. With a towel. It’s rough. It hurts. Then she
puts stockings on my feet. I know it’s winter.
In the evening when Mama and I are standing by the
window, the chestnut tree doesn’t have leaves and the birds
no longer sleep there. She’s putting my stockings on,
Mama, caressing my toes. Oh, my beautiful Ballerina, she
says, we’ll put some ointment on now, every night, on your
toes, you know. Otherwise you won’t dance anymore. Look,
what they’re like, they must hurt. And she strokes my toes,
I’m in the kitchen now. Sitting at the table. Looking at the
is in the hall, smoking and looking at the yard.
The ash falls down. He stands and looks. Mama is breaking
bread into a cup of coffee in front of me. I look at the milky
coffee, I look at the bits of bread falling into it. I grab a
spoon. I slurp. I chew, looking at the hall.
is looking at
the yard. Then he takes his hat off the hook and puts it on.
He looks in the mirror hanging on the wall. It’s quiet. No
one talks. He doesn’t look at me. He steps out into the yard,
I see him, he’s leaving. To the bar, says Mama. I know he’ll