Monday, February 1, 2010
A Dozen Snapshots
My six years old brother, who makes money returning glass bottles to the shop, brings home a donkey he’s bought for a fiver. He wants to keep it, but mother says that the third floor in the middle of town is not a good place for a donkey. My brother takes the donkey round to see if his friend would buy it off him.
At dinner my father tells me not put my elbows on the table. I ask him why, and he brings to the table a book called ‘Table Manners’. I promise to read it if he washes the dishes in my stead..
I hear my mother screaming: “Either the snakes go or I go,” when she finds the snake boxes under my bed. She hates snakes. I tell her that the snakes stay. But she wouldn’t listen. She sends me to set them free, and locks me in my room for the rest of the day.
My girlfriend and I swim in the deep sea. I suggest that we swapped swimmers, and we do. It’s a silly idea, as we laugh so much that we nearly drown.
A dog, as big as I am, runs wildly round our backyard. Everyone is watching from the balcony. When I go up red and breathless, they ask me if I was afraid.
After every dinner one of us boys washes the dishes. When it’s my turn I stand on a chair to reach the sink. I ask my mother why my sister doesn’t take turns too. She said that it’s because she’s a girl.
Every night in the summer I take the jeep and drive on the sand to see if the sea turtles come out to lay eggs.
In my late twenties I am asked if I am gay. He gives me his telephone number in case I change my mind.
I wake up and I don’t know if it’s day or night. There are guests talking in the living room. My mother lifts me from the cot and wishes me happy birthday. She gives me a puzzle of two swans on a lake.
My brother and I keep fighting until my mother locks us in our room. We jump from one balcony to the next all the way down, and then run up the stairs to ring the bell. I never saw my mother so confused as when she opens the door and sees both of us. After that we make sure we give her plenty of reasons to lock us in our room.
A beggar tells me he is hungry and I ignore him. But when I realize that he didn’t ask for money I chase him and ask if it’s food that he wants. He says he is hungry, and I buy him a hotdog and a pizza. He kisses my hand. Ever since whenever a beggar tells me he or she is hungry I offer to buy him food. Mostly they want money.
Only in my twenties after a big explosion I found out why I shouldn’t put metal spoons in the microwave.