What's wrong babe, did mummy not give you enough attention?

I don't remember much of my mum. I don't have many memories of her while I was growing up. The only image I have of her is her current one. I know how she looks now, I know how she behaves now and how she loves her dog, Delilah, but I can't remember how she used to look like or act like ten years ago. Sometimes I try to think how she was before she got her job but I can't remember that either. The strongest memories I have of my mother is when it was Christmas and she was heavily pregnant with my brother. I remember her being in the kitchen wrapping mine and my sister's presents, with her huge belly being on the way. She told me to close my eyes when the turn of my gifts came and she told me not to look where she was hiding the presents. Of course I looked and I ran to my sister, gave away the hiding place and we went and peeped, tearing only slightly the wrapping paper. I don't remember what I got that year but I know that I was jealous of my sister's huge doll with long, elastic arms and legs, which you could wear and walk around with it.

The next memory is New Year's Day 2000. We used to have guests every New Year's day and it was right after our guests had left. We were in my brother's room and we were fighting. I don't remember why, but I remember I was yelling at her that she has no idea who I am. Pretty dramatic for an eight-year-old I have to admit. That night I witnessed my mum's first panic attack. Years later, she confessed to me that for at least six months after that day she was battling with
clinical depression, but I was too young to remember her being ill. I vaguely remember how scared I was every time she was having panic attacks, and how I was trying to be good because mum had 'sensitive nerves'.

Thinking back to it now, and after she had a relapse when I was much older I can't help but feel culpable. It comes from the fact that every time my mum had a panic attack it was because I said or did something. And the funny thing is that she has told me that her very first nervous breakdown was when she was pregnant to me. Coincidental? I don't think so. And when I was seventeen and she was taking all those antidepressants I felt so angry at her. I was a teenager, I had every right to be an idiot, aggressive, melodramatic and everything a teenager should be. But I couldn't because if I behaved like a teenager my mum would get sad and maybe kill herself. I felt she was selfish taking that away from me, not realising that the selfish one was me.

We talked about it a couple of years ago and she said that she got scared when she realised that she was so ill that she wasn't capable of caring about us. She said that she only wanted to sleep and she didn't want to deal with our lunch or our homework, if we brushed our teeth or anything. She just wanted to be left alone. Even today it scares me to think that my mum had all these thoughts, not so much about her not wanting to deal with us, more about the moment she realised she doesn't care about her children and how awful and guilty she must have felt.

My mum is alright now. She still takes her medication, she says that it doesn't hurt taking them as a precaution. I know she is probably addicted, but it's fine because she is better now, she has her job, she finally has friends and she loves doing her nails with awful kitsch colours that I hate, but I'll never admit that to her. She looks happier now.


I am not sure yet if I want to sing you or write you.
I lie at the backseats of your car with my eyes shut, half-conscious half-awake, while my mind is trying to guess how much of the road home we have done already. And then I open my eyes and I am disappointed that we only did this much. And for a fraction of a second I do not recognise this building and I believe that you are taking me somewhere else, somewhere where magic exists. You pull under your flat and I cry because the disappointment of not going somewhere else, broke my heart. You ask what is wrong now, and I say I don't know, I don't know why this keeps happening. You believe me but you keep pretending that you don't believe me. You are afraid. You don't trust me these days, you worry that I lie even when I'm saying the truth. Even though I do lie now.

What will happen now, when will we be free? I hate everything. I hate him and her, and the other one, and I hate mambo and sex. Your drugs are boring, and your dance moves are always the same and I hate you. I hate planes, English, ashtrays, plastic bags, I hate lies, but especially the truth. I hate New Years Eve and electric fireplaces and the fact that every tattoo should have an important meaning and I hate the book binding that is based more on glue rather than thread. Your high-school annoys me and your friends are stupid. Your fears are childish and your car is fat.


Allegory – Act One

There is a tiny dancer that is living with her tiny grandmother in her house. The tiny dancer likes to play all sorts of games while her tiny grandmother is cooking dinner. Her favourite game is playing the Witch. The Witch is always played in the fancy dining room; a musty unworldly room, with heavy furnitures, where the curtains are always shut, because 'the sun eats the furniture away' as the tiny grandmother always says. The spooky dining room is perfect for the Witch because of the old pictures of the scary people on the dark tapestry. Although the tiny dancer loves to play in that room, she avoids looking at the frames because she knows that all these people are dead now. Dead people can move when they live in frames, she knows it, she's read it in a book. And as much as she loves hearing stories about them from her tiny grandmother, she doesn't want to hear the stories from them. One afternoon she is playing the Witch with the Taro cards she's made on her own and somehow her arm is stuck in the frame of the chair. The tiny dancer is now panicking because she is convinced that the dead people in the frames are going to get her. But she doesn't cry because she knows that this is what they want. So, she sits there, stoically, trying to keep herself calm. She sits there with her arm trapped, and silent tears are falling down her tiny face. After a while – or a couple of days, time is hard to track in the spooky dining room - her tiny grandmother comes in and sees that she is trapped. Her tiny grandmother thinks that it's a good idea to tell her a story about the dead people instead of releasing her arm.

'Back in my village there used to be two children that were so young they couldn't talk yet. One day, they were playing in the backyard when one of them put his hand in a hole of the stone paddock. His hand was stuck in the hole and when he started to cry the grown-ups were gathered around him trying to release him. They were trying for at least two hours – maybe it was a couple of days, time was hard to track in the backyard – everything they could think of, but nothing seemed to be working. Finally, his friend approached him and asked him in a language that no one understood: ''Packa-Packa or Poocka-Poocka?'' and he immediately answered ''Packa-Packa'', while removing his hand on his own, with no effort at all. When he was asked what those words meant years later, he simply answered that his friend asked him if his arm was straight or if it formed a fist, when he first put it in the hole. Because, they only way to get something out, is to pull it out with the same shape it had when you got it in. If his hand was straight when he put it in the hole, there was no way he could get it out while he had a fist, because there was not enough space to fit a fist out.'

After telling her that story, tiny grandmother asks her tiny dancer 'Packa-Packa or Poocka-Poocka?'. Tiny dancer answers 'Poocka-Poocka' while she is easily releasing her arm on her own.

The months are passing by, and the tiny grandmother is teaching her tiny dancer about life. She is telling her stories about the Amazons, and Judith and her cousin, Yolanda. Tiny grandmother says that Yolanda is so strong and beautiful that when she walks the pavement breaks from her power of her presence and men around her faint from her beauty. Tiny grandmother insists that tiny dancer should be like Yolanda: beautiful and powerful, untouchable and fearless. Tiny dancer has tried in multiple occasions since then, to break the pavement but she hasn't succeeded. She runs and stomps and jumps but the pavement is not bowing in front of her power and men definitely don't faint from tiny dancer's beauty, just yet.

Tiny dancer is to trust no man. Tiny grandmothers teaches her well and reminds her that her dignity is what will make her great, and her brains is what will make her powerful. Now tiny grandmother has to leave and visit her old village for a couple of weeks and tiny dancer cries at the train station
while her mother is consoling her. What will tiny dancer do for two weeks on her own?

When I was a tiny dancer, I used to lie that I hate pink because I didn't want people to think that I am weak and girly. Now that I am a grown up I tend to buy pink shampoo because I have a need to feel more like a girl. I get pink razors,  my tongue is pink, my underwear is pink and when I scratch my skin too hard, it also becomes pink.