On Christmas Eve Angelo felt jaded. He was not accustomed to feeling that way, and it seemed strange to him. So swept away was he by that feeling, that he had not realized how long he had been sitting in the bathtub. In fact, now that he thought about it, he had not even realized that he had been in the tub all this time. A hot shower always took the tension out of him, but that day, the water seemed to have lost its healing properties. The sound of the water falling on him seemed to bother his ears as if it were trying to talk to him, to say, “Stop this absurd waste!”
Oh, no! No more criticism!
Angelo would not tolerate the water telling him what to do. There were already too many people in his life that did so. All day he had heard enough, he had argued enough, had been angry enough.
So what? That’s no big deal, is it?
It was not. Not in his world. For Angelo, this day was not different from the others despite the festive atmosphere that surrounded every aspect of it. It was just another day full of tensions that resulted in quarrels and conflicts between Angelo and most people with whom he had to deal with every day. Ironically enough, many of them were members of his family. His parents in particular, had the privilege of being at the top of his list with the most likely candi- dates for the infamous prize of the imaginary contest he had created. He called that contest “Today’s fight” and used to award the prize to the winner every night shortly before going to sleep.
He was constantly battling with others, alright. He had no intention of denying that since he knew it was true. But why should it be his fault that no one understood him?
Although the water kept falling on his body noisily, he could hear his parents whispering two rooms away from him. The moment he slightly reduced the flow of the wa- ter, He heard a sob escape from his mother’s mouth. A few hours earlier, she had looked desperately into his eyes and told him with a weak voice: “I can’t stand it anymore!”. The arguments between them had become more frequent and had been increasing. However, it was the first time his mother had such a reaction, and that was the first thing Angelo wanted to wash off himself as he let the water do its job.
She can’t stand it, Angelo repeated his mother’s words in his head.
Why would anyone think that he could actually stand this situation? It’s not that he had the strength of a super- hero, which, according to his mindset, is the only way one could endure hearing the same words every day. You see, that was what had been happening in Angelo’s life. «Put an end to your talk» and «Sometimes you have to listen to what older people say» were the most common phrases that seemed to be recorded on a tape programmed to play the same spoken content every day. Αt least that was the phrase used by adults in his family when they wanted to talk about the repetition of the same concepts, and how tedious they ended up being. Angelo now understood the meaning of this expression, though when he asked his parents for the first time about it, he did not understand what a tape was, nor how it worked.
After all, was there anything to understand from what adults say? Since when do they know what they want? Or maybe they do. They want to criticize him! To scold him about every little thing! Truth be told, Angelo was sure that they woke up every morning for this purpose and planned how they would lecture him from the beginning of the day. This was certainly the case! There was abso- lutely no doubt!
Βut did anyone think that things at school were different? The teachers were constantly shouting, and the classrooms were so miserable, it seemed like their dull walls made the teachers’ voices sound ten times louder. But who cares about them? Let them shout as they struggle to make the kids part of the boring world of the so-called ‘knowledge’ they live in.
These men were not Angelo’s real problem at school. It was his friends. They had been avoiding him lately. “You are constantly against us,” they kept telling him. They said that he had to stop acting like such a big-shot and turn down the volume on his personality. And you know what was the most outrageous of all? That they were not joking about it!
They were absolutely serious when they called him a big- shot.
He just could not wrap his mind around it! He never gave a damn about being a big-shot or acting like it. You know what? The way he saw it, they were all wrong. All of them! It was them who were always against him, not the other way around. With the school year coming to an end, they were clearly on a warpath to prove him wrong and make him look like the only dumb one among the graduates of primary school.
Well, he did not care about those fools! He did not care about anyone and anything, and he would let everybody know that this Christmas, Jesus Christ would not be the only one to be born again. A new, different Angelo would come to life to make everyone realize who he was and what it meant to live around him. That would be something completely different from what they knew.