by Paula Markovitch
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“This is an autobiographical story. The action takes place in the locations of my childhood, to which I always return in my dreams. I can still hear the sound of the wind clearly, never-ending and wet. I see the unfriendly beach. The sea is yellow and grey. Storms make the walls tremble. These are hostile times. At school we are exposed to the overwhelming mediocrity of fascism and its ridiculous ceremonies. I am seven years old. I go to school. I know I must not reveal my true identity to the other kids. I’ve been told that my family’s safety depends on my silence. I’m forced to lie. I lie, just as they told me to. I manage to make them believe my lies. I desperately try to look like all the others but now my mother feels sad and despises me. I am wicked and stupid and make her suffer. What should I say? What should I keep to myself?
What should I do to earn my mother’s approval and please the others? In a world so full of confusion and fear, who are we supposed to be?”