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Repetition Repetition
by Katerina Charisi
2017-11-12 10:22:45
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When my son comes to me all excited about his drawings I pretend that what I see is super wow; though it is just a crooked house on four plain lines and a yellow stain for a sun. I know I have to be as excited as he is. His confidence needs my verification.

Each time he brings a drawing tor me, I get memory flashes of little me showing my drawings to my mom. She always gave me her …side view as a reply. What I did was never good enough to make her even turn her head and face me. I needed her verification too. And I was determine to get it. So I started drawing on the walls. This time she replied with a handprint on my cheek.

drkat1_400Once my son drew a line on the wall and though I knew I had to scold him, I laughed out loud. The walls in our home are already dirty from our hands and besides, that was the first time he managed to draw a perfect, straight line.

So instead, I drew a circle on the line’s top and he added a triangle for a hat. I drew a broom and he put a smile on the face.

Then we spoiled the wall with little stars.

Drawing on the walls is a little paying back to my own past. A little witch; my belayed revenge for the confirmation I never got.

Since no one was looking at my drawings, and since I was not allowed to draw on the walls either, I started drawing little people in places that no one could ever see; under my bed, behind the couch, even on the floor, under the carpets.

My little people had long, begging arms and short legs, unable to run. They had heads shaped as eggs and full of bad words drew in twirling lines inside them. They had long pauses for eyes because they couldn’t see. My tiny people were blind; as blind was the love I was getting back.

When my son comes to me with his eyes on the floor and his chin touching his bony chest, I know he did something bad and I know I have to scold him. I urge myself to stay calm and ask him what’s wrong, but I never make it; I always end up repeating the same words my mother used to spit on my face, even when I bite my lips and the blood floods in my mouth to make me stop.

Her words always manage to come all the way up to the surface, her words and her own mother’s words, even her mother’s mother words; words like ghost ships on rusty chains, anchored on my gums.

She always looked at me straight in the eyes before leaving her confirmation on my cheek. I always dropped my eyes first. Then I drew another long pause on my little people’s faces so they wouldn’t speak either.

How many words do I have to repeat before I find my own to speak?

I just can’t escape the power of repetition.

How can I explain to him? How can I explain that what I am …is only a sack of flesh condemned to carry its past forever, when I don’t even understand why do I have to do it?

My life’s like an old book that have been for too long in a musty basement; its pages curled and turned yellow, its smell from another life.

Each time I turn my life’s pages I always find a squashed bug between them.

I swallow my blood and suck my nose; I wipe my tears as I end my little compulsive performance.

It’s okay, he says. It’s okay.

I’m sorry, I tell him. She never apologized to me. At least that I can do better than her.

Don’t. You can’t be sorry for everyone’s mess, mom.

Oh, baby, but I have to.

And he is only six.

One day he asked me to pull the couch for one of his drawing had fallen behind.

I pulled the heavy furniture and he squeezed himself in. Don’t come, he said. I got it.

Don’t come. Why? I pulled the couch further and there they were in a long straight line on the wall, an army of little blind people without mouths, their arms long and skinny like forks, scraping the ground, looking for confirmation.


    
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