My last bottle? Mon dernier biberon?
Yeah… nine months old, I was… Parents were both hairdressers. Worked from 7am till 9 in the evening. I was alone upstairs. And I needed to do a poo, but I didn’t like to do that in my nappy anymore. I was alone upstairs. In those days, you didn’t have gates to stop the babies from falling down the stairs or anything, your mum’d say Don’t go near those stairs or you’ll fall down and hurt yourself! And you either listened. Or you learned the hard way. I was alone upstairs with my biberon. And I needed to poo. I cried, how I cried, but no-one reacted even though I could hear my mother dressing hair downstairs in that voice she wore for customers. No time for me. I screamed. Howled? No reaction. So I shuffled over to the stairs, or crawled, I can’t remember. I got hold of my biberon. They were made of glass in them days. Picked it up. And with all the force I possessed, I slung it against the door, which it hit, before it smashed into a thousands pieces, making a terrific noise. Mum came dashing up the stairs. Burst into the room. She saw the shards of glass and the child on the floor in tears. That, she said, was your last biberon! Then she disappeared. Then she came back with something to brush it up with. You, Jean-Joseph, will never have another one! Downstairs she wore her honey voice once more.
Notice the first thing that bitch did? Go for the broken glass and leave the baby to its misery. I remember my rage. The strength of my rage, which I still have today, and the violence prowling within me from the very beginning.
(from Verses Nature, forthcoming)