Thursday, August 20, 2015

From the Mediterranean

Masks from Ghana on one wall.  The glass sliders they face muffle the shore pound of the sea.  The photos on the third wall are from their frequent trips to Africa, she and her son and her husband. A door in the fourth wall leads to the emptier parts of the house.

Listening to Beninoise pop music. She’d reluctantly moved back to Valencia.  It’s been long enough. Come on.  Let’s go home.  And she’d returned to the continent only once since, and then only to Lusaka, a year after the accident, to attend memorial services.   

She misses getting together with the women in their neighborhood, joking with each other about childrearing prowess, bragging about punishment techniques, one would admit to spanking but “open hand only” and still have to defend herself from wild threats by the others to call child welfare. And the sign-ups for soccer, flag football, the cost of cleats.

Digital control.  Media, phone, media, lighting, room climate, security, the red light shows game on.  The jet skis in the yard, tarped and covered with pink and white and brown and gold blossoms and leaves.   

Too many masks.  And on the other wall the frames are out of alignment, or the pictures are slipping out of the matting, or the frame is empty and you just see the wall behind it, or there’s just a grimy dusty outline of where a frame was, or just a nail. 

Song lyrics in French and English.  

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