You and your little brother find an old chessboard in the wardrobe. Next month you come back and the piece has been moved.
You and your little brother find an old chessboard in the wardrobe. Next month you come back and the piece has been moved. You suspect your father. He denies it. You suspect your mother. She denies it. The chessboard disappears and your father is moved to hospital. You are now alone in the house. You become obsessed by the board. You spend hours looking at the pieces, their position on the board, their faces. You need to see every single move. You are unable to sleep.
You are taken to your father’s hospital bed. You sit beside him, as he watches television, letting his mind drift. You watch his face, his expressions, his mannerisms. You put the chessboard in front of him. You make the move. He winces. He doesn’t win. He doesn’t let you see the next move. You put the board in front of him and he winces again. You sit next to him and you wait. You wait for his last breath.
I am not saying this is a good way to spend your life. I am just saying that in our case, it was an ordinary way to spend our lives.
When you are six, your mother goes away. You are taken to a small village on the outskirts of Madrid, to live with your grandparents. You have lived in Madrid since you were born. This is your first time in your life away from your mother. She comes back to Madrid a week later, to look after you. You are terrified. The thought of leaving your mother behind is unbearable.
It is the summer of 1981. There is no internet, no mobile phones. You are not allowed to watch television, which you find very boring. The nearest place to get a haircut is two hours away by bus. You spend your days in your grandparents’ house, reading, drawing, playing with the family dog. You make a lot of friends. Some of them play with you in the fields behind the house. Others are older than you. You play at school with their older cousins. One day, one of them puts a gun to your head. You run and you hide. You go home and your mother is furious. She accuses you of making up the story. She tells you she will never let you go back to the village.
A few days later, you are taken to a park on the outskirts of Madrid. There is a shooting range there. Your grandparents take you there. The men who work there tell you to sit on a bench. They point the gun at your head. You have no idea what they are going to do. They shoot a few bullets in the air. Then they shoot a few bullets at you. The first bullet hits your leg. The second bullet hits your leg. The third bullet hits your leg. You are lucky to have survived.
My grandmother was quite upset by this. She never liked guns. She thought they were barbaric. The men who work there do not agree. They think you and your mother are “idiots”. One of them shouts at you. You are too afraid to speak up for your mother. It is the first time you have ever heard her spoken about in that way. She was never a fool. She was no idiot. She is the only mother you have ever known. The others take your grandmother away.
You find your grandparent’s old chessboard in the attic. Absentmindedly, you move a piece. The next day, an opposing piece has been moved.
You´re forced to eat a green apple, which is definitely not your favorite.
Your child has taken over your house, and you´re tasked with finding a place to sleep.
The cat is gone. You find the cat at the zoo.
You decide to try a new recipe from a book you found in your grandmother’s house. It’s not what you expected.
You travel to the country to visit your brother-in-law and his family. The road is blocked with a massive wall.
You start a new job with a company that only hires you. Your boss warns you that there may be a drop in your pay, and you´re not sure what to do.
You don’t like your father’s new girlfriend.
You see a sign in front of a man’s home that says, “I won’t work for money. I’ll work for love.”
You get married and your mother calls you from the bridal shower. She asks you to buy her a house, which is a first.
You go into a supermarket and find a toy for your child. You know that you must pay for it, and you don’t know how to get out of the situation.