5 The Widow Ho And Her "Changing Room"…
This woman is a labyrinth, the outer form of a cave, into which I have fallen. The confining space around us is filled with darkness. It is like being buried under bedclothes. We can only vaguely make out each other's faces. We do not dare converse openly because of the echoes whispering from the walls around us. The unfathomable depths beneath our feet render us incapable of moving either forward or backward, and the nothingness around us is spreading. The dangers ahead of us force us to stop, to remove our clothes, abandon our duties, and cling together in the darkness. We are overwhelmed by the feeling of touching each other. We are pushed to the precipice at the edge of existence.
She is older than I, but on the horizon of time she is the shadow behind me.
She says that I am her salvation and her future.
Of course, we never got to see that movie.
Mother's scream when she went into my room sounded like she had discovered a man with his legs severed, spurting out fountains of hot blood – not just a pair of ruined trousers.
But she didn't rush to call me into the house and give me a vicious scolding.
She spent the entire day looking at those "gaping wounds," desperately trying to think of some way to close them. But the damage was simply too glaring. After a whole day of painstaking work, the line where those once sleek and elegant milky white trousers had been repaired looked like some kind of black worm that had moved in and fallen asleep.
In the evening when Father came home they had another huge argument, because of the trousers.
I was hiding in my room like a fugitive criminal, holding my breath, afraid to make a sound.
Mother never ever disciplined me for this. It was as if I had never cut those trousers.
As a matter of fact, even if she had asked me to explain why I did it, I could never have done so. Because the impulse to pick up those scissors was part of a very vague and subtle psychological process. In our house, right from when I was a little girl, scissors were one of the things that I was forbidden to touch; also, the sound of scissors cutting something could generate in me a pleasant and subtle sensation of resolution, like the tingling vibration of an electrical current pulsing through my blood. And on top of these factors, it had something to do with the constraints my father placed upon us. It would have been impossible at that time to explain clearly this confused and illogical mix.
The natural attraction toward forbidden things in an immature young girl whose power of reason is not yet developed, my strongly individualistic nature, and my tendency to push the normal stubbornness in my blood to an extreme conspired to determine the inevitability of this incident.
After I fled the house that day, I walked along the streets flooded with morning sunlight, in a highly agitated frame of mind. After wandering aimlessly for a while, I sat down on a cool stone bench in a little flower garden bordering the road.
Looking across the street at a clump of trembling grass stalks growing out of a crack in the wall, all withered by the hot summer winds, I anxiously pondered what was to come.
As I sat there, my mind began to wander. Suddenly, my inner confusion fell away as I involuntarily remembered the arrival of the spring that had only recently departed. I remembered the clear mornings, the damp mustiness, and the end of the depressing wet weather. The rays of the long-hidden sun pushed down through breaks in the cloud cover, ceaselessly spilling their golden and roseate hues on the Sunday houses, the streets, and the mimosa trees thick with pink blossoms. The air was heavy with the fragrance of ferns and creepers, and exotic birds of every hue bathed in the mauve-tinged morning mists.
Recalling the wild vitality of the spring just past as I looked at the dry summer landscape before me doesn't mean that I am one of those who likes to live in the past or who twists reality to fit their dreams. I have always been able to clearly distinguish between fantasy and reality. The fleeting vision of spring that went through my head was nothing more than a passing moment of nostalgia.
After sitting blankly for a while, I again began to wander aimlessly. 'For some reason, I had completely forgotten about the problem at home and was thinking about something altogether different.