Frames

il y a
2 min
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lecture
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My parents are out. They won´t be back before midnight. I eat the dinner they left on the kitchen table. Shuffle through cable TV. All sports and adult channels are blocked. I pick up a newspaper, only to realize after a while that I can´t remember what I am looking at, not to mention reading. Without bothering to fold it back, I put the newspaper down on the floor. I get up and stretch my arms and legs. I can´t recall how long I stand there, staring at the bookshelves, because there is no reckoning of that time in my mind. I start to wander around the deserted house, aimlessly.
Photo frames litter my parent´s house, literally. Every table, every piece of furniture, every table, chairs, desks, dressers, and cupboards are full of photo frames. They come in many sizes, shapes and materials. Some are old oak frames, with silver or brass contours, while others are cheap plastic frames won in country fairs or brought over by parents. Frames are everywhere, framing faces who smile at me, stern faces who stare at me, faces of dead cousins who linger on the photographic paper, yellowish faces and sienna images. They all look at me in silence. Their faces, now mute, certainly hold a secret. Is it the secret of afterlife? They scare me and yet, I walk over to the table and stare right into their eyes. I tremble and shiver and yet, I pick up a frame and look at it even closer. I can now smell the frame. It smells of wood oil and rust. There´s now a faint perfume in my hands. Is this how dead people smell, I wonder?
As I put down the frame, my hands are cold and I am sweating under my armpits. I look around and all I see are faces looking at me. I see my young cousins smiling at the photographer, I see three dogs lying on the grass around my grandfather´s feet. I see my mother in her teens riding a bicycle, I see my father with his rifle, I see this house in the background but it is so faint that I can barely make out the outline against the trees that once stood behind, then tall and dark.
I open the table in the dining room. It is a big wooden table, which, when opened, can seat up to twenty-four guests. I walk around the house, up and down the stairs, in and out of rooms, open drawers and doors, until I pretty much figure out that I have rounded up all the frames. I lay them down, one after the other in neat rows until they are all there, looking like an audience or an army, looking at me. Then I shout at them, saying:
- Pay attention! I am talking to you!
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