Have you ever taken embroidery classes? Stupid question. Of course not. Who does that, still, in this day and age? Me. I have. Back in the Eighties, when I was a child, in school. It was part of the curriculum. Along with some other things that, honestly, belonged to other centuries – which explains a lot about the unusual and misplaced person I have become, but that in itself is already another post… So, that was it. Embroidery. Classes every week. And a final work to go to an exposition by the end of the year. Every-single-year.
Needle, thread, wool. Another needle that was bigger and thicker. Another, still, that looked like a hook and it was meant for making carpets. Stitch for this, stitch for that. The right way to put the thread through the needle and move it inside out. Tight the stitch. In a certain measure. Too much, and it would get tensioned and wrinkled. Too little, it would get loose. I looked sideways. The one made by a classmate was moving faster than mine. And looking nicer. Oh, the hell with it. Either way, it would all end up in the exposition. All in there, lined up. Beautiful. Orderly. Who did those things? Who?
I haven’t thought about that in years. Don’t even know how many. But then, one day, I was scrolling through Instagram and bumped into an interview given by a dear, dear actor-friend of mine. How did you decide to be an actor? Oh, it was like this and that. I liked this, dreamed about that, went right, went left. And the writing, happened how? I noticed I had a way with it. Did such course. Was invited to don’t know what. Got the X award. Did the Y job.
It was the embroidery stuff. Right there. In audio, video, hashtags and comments. Beautiful, organized, perfectly alined… embroidery. One stitch, then the other, and other. Pink, green, yellow, brown. Each thing in its own place, in its due order.
Show me the inside out! Show it! Show it if you have the balls! I don’t. But I do.
Flávia, how did you become a writer? Actress? Journalist? Resident of Tijuca, Rio, Porto, nowhere, your own home? Mother, aunt, god-mother, friend, unfriend, neighbour, ex-neighbour, neighbour once again, a person who loves Carnival, hates Carnival and noise, wants to travel the whole world, doesn’t want to leave the house, wants to love, a little bit, moderately, doesn’t want anything, no kind of love, ever again, love a lot, till I lose my breath and get purple and die, no, never ever die, but if die I must, maybe of something that takes the air out of me wouldn’t be so bad, the next novel maybe, never, never again am I to write a novel, started writing one just these days, but I’ve said never again, never is suuuuuuch a long time, and don’t have that kind of time… Ã?… What was it again that I’ve said? What? Where did it all begin? I don’t remember. I remember absolutely everything. Don’t remember anything at all. I feel. Feel that I remember. Feel I remember that first time I saw that person, you know who? No? That’s the one. On the other side of the courtyard. Lost my breath. Didn’t. Don’t remember. Don’t know. Have no ideia. Where was I? Where?…
Where was my needle? Lost it. It was fine, I had a spare one. No, I didn’t. Didn’t know where it went. What now? I went to speak to the nun. She was busy. Wait there. Wait. I was snorting already. What a mess, what an out of control mess that damn piece of embroidery was. I was so behind… The noun sent me back. I should wait siting down. I did. But punched the desk. Softly. Discretely. And I said some crap. More softly. Even more discretely. Out of the room! Who has ever been expelled from a classroom for throwing a little, pathetic punch at a desk? I. I have.
In the corridor, alone, staring at the stained glasses, I thought… How, in the name of the Lord, did I end up there… Had no ideia. Neither did the nun. What happened to you, Flávia? That’s not like you. And it wasn’t. Was it? Go figure… What is? What is “like someone”? Sorry, sister. That’s really not like me. Not al all. Super calm, me. Delicate. Perfect. Glacial. The maker of the best embroidery work, of all the works, ever to be made by anyone.
Got back to my place. New needle in hand. The perfect embroidery work with my name on it. Bullshit. Nobody cares. Perfect. Beautiful. Big-fat-lie. Only the side I show. The other side, in that state… Like everybody else’s. Worse, way worse, probably. Everything on top of everything, entangled, senseless, pointless, down there, where no one can, or want, to see. The exposition goes on. I’ve lost my needle. I am alone in the corridor. How did I end up here?…