Blesok no. 106, March-April, 2016
Prose


The Role of My Family in World Revolution

Bora Ćosić



The Role of My Family in World Revolution


    My mother sewed a little bag. On the bag she embroidered the letters “For newspapers”. She also embroidered daddy, sitting on the toilet seat with his trousers down, reading. Daddy looked alive on the little bag, except that, far from truth, he was presented bold, most probably out of revenge. In the bag, they put newspapers, cut with the big kitchen knife. Grandpa was the one who was cutting the newspapers, only those that daddy had already read. I wrote all of this in my homework “Our life in the loo and in general”. Mommy said: “What kind of a pigsty school is that taking out everything in the open, awful!” I responded: “As if anybody asks me!”
    Mommy climbed on the window with a towel in her hand. She would hang here above the three floor high hole and she cleaned the glass. At home they screamed, grandpa wanted to hold her feet, one of the aunties fainted. Daddy asked her: “Do you have to hang while you wash them!” Mommy said: “I have to!” Mommy cooked tomatoes in a big laundry pot, and they boiled. Mommy stood on the small chair and she mixed them from there with a long lapel, from the distance. Uncle said: “What if she falls in the pot!” The tomatoes splashed on all sides, they soiled the wall and burned our fingers. Mommy explained: “What can I do!” Life was full of danger.
    Mommy brought a chicken which made a lot of noise and left feathers all around the house. For a while, I pulled the chicken on a short rope and then mommy got it by its wings and cut off its head in the toilet seat. Mommy flushed, the headless chicken shook in a corner and bled all over mommy’s slippers. This was awful, but fun. Mommy ordered: “Let’s hang the curtains!” The curtains were washed and still wet, grandpa and uncle got them by the edges and pulled them as much as they could. Mommy warned: “They ain’t worth anything if you tear them!” Grandpa rebelled: “As if we’re on a ship!” Mommy responded: “It would’ve better if I’d finished the work myself, although I have no man’s hand!” Mommy rolled pie dough, the dough was long, it stretched across the chairs, the air rubbed against it, you could hear the sounds of it all. Mommy hung daddy’s shirts in the bathroom. It dripped like showers from above, from the wet sleeves, and grandpa asked: “Shall I take an umbrella while I crap!” Mommy was lining the picked vegetable jars along the Bezndorfer piano. The jars were wrapped in scarves until they cool down, and the piano was dented in the middle from their weight. Mommy dried green beans spread on old newspapers, it all rustled above, high on the cupboards. Mommy cut noodles for three months in advance, she spread the noodles on the beds to dry. Daddy yelled: “How long will this state of war last!” Uncle said: “I’ll make a scaffold to move!” I asked: “Are we in the theatre!” Mommy said: “You’ll be looking for me, and I’ll hang from the ceiling!” Grandpa asked: “Why!” Mommy answered: “When I’m fed up!”
    Mommy was eating cabbage rolls, but a piece of cabbage got stuck in her throat. She started to gargle, wave her arms in the air, in the end, she barely swallowed it. Then she said: “I was already in the grave, I would’ve died before everybody’s eyes!” Grandpa said: “Yeah, sure!” She continued: “But it’s nothing compared to that once when I was pushed in the water, from behind my back!” Later, she said: “If it wasn’t for that big sailor who grabbed me and asked you if you could swim at all!” Mommy always told some horrible thing from her life, and then she added another, even more horrible. “And when I fell off the tram, and Mister professor pulled me and everything on me cracked!” The aunties said: “Lucky you!” Grandpa warned her: “You just teach the worst examples of world’s life!” Mommy showed the Trade Youth calendar hanging on the wall: “It says everything here, black on white!” The calendar contained daddy’s sober days, the birthdays of all family members, as well as the anniversary of mommy’s fall down “Ta-Ta” department store stairs. Mommy claimed: “I was neither alive nor dead for eight days!” She counted the time per eight days, fourteen days and six weeks, mommy was mostly fond of the six week period, all of this indicated the duration of some illnesses.
    Mommy had a toothache. She wrapped her head in various rags and roared, we could not recognize her. Grandpa warmed the iron and pressed it against mommy’s cheek. Mommy got burned, regardless the scarf, but her toothache did not stop, on the contrary. Then mommy said: “Here, some bone’s coming out here!” Everybody touched the growth on mom’s leg which later disappeared. Mommy said: “If only I knew the day and hour of my death, I’d be completely calm then!” Uncle told her: “You’re scared of the worm in the apple, not to mention this thing!” Mommy stated: “I saw a maniac in a gate, in Queen Milica street!” Everybody was quiet, and she added: “He only had a raincoat on, unbuttoned, and it didn’t rain at all!” Then she turned towards me and yelled: “Do you have to listen to all of this dirt which is not for kids!” I said: “I have to!” Then she told everybody: “If it weren’t for this poor kid among us, I would’ve told you a film I didn’t even watch!” Grandpa immediately jumped: “This has to be something dirty!” Mommy said: “It’s not, except that he approached her with something criminal in his eyes, and she, all in tears, started to unbutton her lovely marquisette blouse!”
    Mommy went out on the stairs to feed some beggar, and then she said: “Most of all, I love those who come and say my mother died, my father’s in hospital, and I am crazy!” Grandpa responded: “Serves you well!” Mommy explained: “Yes, because then I see that there are more unfortunate people than us and I give them the stew from the day before yesterday which I’d otherwise have thrown in the garbage!” Then she remembered another thing: “When I think that I should spend all day tomorrow making the damn lunch that will be eaten in ten minutes!” Grandpa asked: “What do you want!” Mommy said: “Nothing, I don’t complain because I remember how many blind and lame there are and all that stuff, and thank God, I’m healthy as a horse!” Mommy always thought of many cases of injustice and sickness which was everywhere around us, but in the end she always found something that would make us all very happy. Daddy kept on saying: “Mother is a saint!”, but with some contempt. The aunties gave me a story to read about a mother who picks twigs around the forest, barefoot, and then the wolves come and tear her apart.




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