Prison Mice

I meet her on my third night there. It is around 4 a.m., but in here, you know no one is asleep. White noise gets a whole new meaning here, how it is never silent. But you get used to it, the moans and the sighs, after a while it just seems like winds blowing through the bars of the walls as through the hollows of my ribs. I spent my first night trying to decipher the sounds; are they crying, or masturbating, or ripping their nails off with their own teeth? It doesn’t matter anymore, it is just wind.

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The Frida Kahlo Paradox

When Frida Kahlo fell in love with Diego Rivera she had already had her heart broken and had made her peace with a life full of pain awaiting her. The trolley accident she survived as a teenager left her spinal and pelvic bones in shreds that will never come together again, and herself unable to have children, something her soul will never heal from. By the age of twenty, Frida had already experienced love, the loss of a never-existent child, the cage of a body cast, the freedom of a paintbrush in her hand, and the ever-present pain.

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Dida and the Red Pipe

In 1967 my grandmother's father built a house on the outskirts of an old coastline town on Croatian Adriatic. It looked towards the sea and the industrial port some kilometers away, from back when there still was a promising industry in Croatia, back when Croatia was still Yugoslavia. On its right was the brick red railway that has been silent for long before I was born, leading to somewhere North-West in Europe, somewhere better. He was a railway man, my grandmother’s father, taught to respect all things red, although I always remembered him with silver white hair. We called him Dida, a colloquial name for a grandfather, although he was not a grandfather to any of us, and that colloquial expression did not come from our dialectical region. For years I thought that Dida was his actually name, today, that is the only name I remember him by.

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