• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12

The Sculpture

When I was eight we lived in the interesting part of town, close to the river. There were ducks to feed but my mother was always in a hurry. She was tired, and sweet, and I didn’t want to be like her. I unsweetened myself as much as possible, it was the secret to my happiness. Once or twice, I lied about going to the bakery and went down to the river. Once or twice turned into three, four, five times. And each time, the head I found was different. I let the wrinkly blue-eyed smile dry in the sun. Poor you, I said. Poor you, it replied. It was scary but not that scary, and the next head was three-eyed and friendly and I spoke to it and it repeated things I said. Where have you come from? I asked. Where have you come from? it replied. Once, I asked if there were messages from my father but the head just threw the question right back at me. Don’t cry, don’t cry I told myself, and the head repeated Don’t cry, don’t cry. We hushed each other and I walked home. My mother was looking at herself in the saucepan, I kept quiet, as usual, about the discovery hidden in my bag. They lived under my bed for a while, until there were too many to hide. I started shop-lifting. I started fare-skipping. I started gluing the heads together in order to climb my way home.