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  • I watch the young woman´s eyes go moist, when I ask her about her mother.

    "We were quite poor, 5 kids, I was the youngest. May Dad held two jobs and made enough money, but he spent it on going out with his drinking buddies and otherwomen. Wit us he was always angry during the few hours of the day he was home, always shouting, always complaining. We always were afraid of him. We always had to buy the cheapest of the cheap of everything, he hated when my mother made some different food, because anything besides tortillas, beans and rice cost extra money.

    My mother was a sad and bitter woman. She worked so hard, but my father never gave neither us nor her any love. There was just one pleasure in my mother´s life and that was buying dishes. Whenever she had managed to save some Pesos, she would go and buy the cheapest dishes in the market. But my father was furious about any Peso we spent extra and so my mother could not unpack and use any new dish. She left these cups and plates and bowls packed and hid them deep in an old cupboard. It was the only rebellious act against my Dad´s dictatorship in the house, but her rebellion never went as far as using any of these objects.

    My mother died a few years ago and we found about 250 packaged dishes hidden away in different pieces of furniture. My father had taken off during her illness, he already lived with another woman. Each of my brothers and sisters got 50 carefully packaged dishes.

    That was 5 years ago. Can you believe that I have not unpacked even one cup or plate? I do not have any contact with my Dad, but whenever I want to unwrap one of these inherited items I see my Dad in front of me shouting at me that I have no right to enjoy this saucer or bowl, I am just barely good enough for the cheapest things ever.

    Listening to myself telling you this I realize that I never allow myself to enjoy anything, not even a cone of ice - cream. I am repeating my mother´s life...."

    She is quiet for a while, I listen to our silence.

    " Tonight," she finally promises," I will change all that. I will light a candle in front of my mother´s photograph and unwrap one dish after the other and I will use the glasses and plates and cups. I will enjoy them for myself and for her. I will not listen to my father´s voice inside my head anymore. I deserve to be happy, don´t I?"

    Art by Kiki ( "Enjoying A Meal)
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