Sandra

My mother got married for the second time.
May be it’s for the the third or for the fourth time.
I don’t really know, I always get confused.
My mother, she only tells me about the marriages after the fact – no wonder I lose track.

The Sudanese messed up everything. For good.
Not that it was easy before him. My father was gone early on. Earlier than any childhood memories. I can’t remember him.
A lot of men followed.
Mediterranean looking machos. Oppressors. Thugs.
I don’t know how many; some I can remember quite clearly, others are only a blur before my inner eyes.
My mother is really into this kind of guys.
And she hits back. Of course.
Not the men.
Me.
Never says I love you, never says well done.

My mother rarely talks to me. When she does, she’s yelling at me.

The Sudanese stays.
He and Mama have children together. Two sons. In quick succession.
The princes.
I become the nanny and the maid.
The Sudanese has never beaten me. My Mom was not so lucky.

She converts to Islam and wears a headscarf.
Christmas and Easter are being abolished.
Not that I hadn’t been isolated before.
Now I am fully on the outside.

Outside of everything.

Only my brothers and my chores.

Someday – time, years, dates blend together in my head – but someday he wants to show his sons his home country.
A vacation just for the men.
No vacation. They simply won’t come back.
It’s hell for mama. And for me.
What am I supposed to do without my chores?
Mama follows them, wants to return her sons, to save them.
I am supposed to wait.
I wait for five years.
Stay back.
All alone.
Mama has to stay with her sons. If not, she will lose them.
I lose in every aspect of my life.
Without my uncle I would have withered in this time.
Everything that had been the substance of my day-today life was gone.
But life doesn’t stand still when you do, next to you, it simply goes on. If you don’t tag along, you will be gone completely. Just like that.
I barely manage to complete my apprenticeship. I cannot always function. Everything is too much.
People are coming too close, at the mailbox, in the metro, in the supermarket.

I don’t get enough free space. Never.

I feel safe at my boyfriend’s, but even that doesn’t work forever.
I was clinging, it seems..
I am kind of used to separations.
He is gone, I stay alone in the apartment.
Too short sighted.
Only when I get the eviction notice, I realize that he didn’t pay anymore.
Which is kind of logical, since he doesn’t live here anymore.
But logic – where should I have learned it?

At least I am in contact with my biological father again.
Not often, but it is good that he is back somehow.

My brothers and my mama are back, too.
Not the Sudanese.
He isn’t allowed to enter the country. Welfare fraud is what they call it.
My brothers are like trees without roots. They don’t get along here, and they didn’t get along there.
Welcome to my world.

A couple of days ago I walked through a subway train. A middle-aged guy said something along the lines of: Look, what a sight she is.
At least that’s what I understood.
I fought back – verbally.
Look like shit yourself – or something to that effect..
I went on and sat down where no one else was sitting.
Avoiding closeness.
The guy came over, took a seat opposite of me and slapped me in the face.
Just like that.

Something is very wrong here.