Eric Croes

Always On My Mind




I have a name.

It’s not my mother’s name.

I wanted to forget my origins. Deny my past.

Play the bad son. Bring out a free spirit to howl with the wolves.

Our first names were chosen by our creator.

He’s scared too sometimes. He’s afraid to remember.

So to make him happy, we pretend to be intransigent.

That’s the advantage of our size: we impress anyone who glances our way. From the ceiling, we look them up and down. And across from us, everything takes on dramatic proportions.

Actually, inside, we’re full of worries. Dark thoughts, somber desires. Burdens that make us proud.

Look at my drool, taste my smoke, sniff my sweat and tears.

And if you have time, sit down, have some tea.

Listen to me tremble.

A giant can also feel uncomfortable. Never fitting in, always a bit wobbly, a bit off — because he’s bigger than everyone — forced to be strong, to make fun of old death.

This extra size is not without risk.

What makes us up is extricated from our mass. Exceeds even the limits of our skulls. Exits us, despite ourselves. Is exposed to the open air and the naked eye.

When someone leaves me, my eyes seem empty. That’s what you think. Actually I penetrate. Skin, clothing, lies, betrayals. I penetrate the past, I deflate it. Make it a balloon.

I indicate, like an ancient boundary stone: it’s time for elsewhere, it’s time to move on to something else.

Forward, dig — where to?

Well, you know, follow the path down. The ancient furrow. Your life line. Abysses are not infernal like people think. They’re yours.

Look at them move: monkey and bird, crab and hippopotamus, even the viper.

It’s lucky, a snake around the neck. It endures everything.

They’re born in you, in captivity. You thought you were tied. Go swim, find your former lightness.

Underwater, my breasts are pointy. My nipples are armed. Become grenades, mines. Reload fumblingly. And I don’t want to shave anymore.

Who do you want to hurt? What past do you want to ban?

Your name will no longer change. It will be set, depending on your shadows for always.

You don’t prefer keeping an androgynous position instead. Between two shores, like artists.

Sitting on holes, the borders of the past, so they’ll heal. That’s the power of giants. Making fears a strength, strengths a fear — leaving them in equal measure. Overflowing to create better.

So it’s our turn to name you, to free you. We aren’t really scared anymore. We’ve accepted it. We always get out of our profundity.

We exercise our right of reply to our creator. We tell him not to fear himself.

To turn his fear into a strength, and then into art itself, risk-taking, freedom.

We make him a giant in turn. And we give him a name.

We will call you Eric.

- Boris Bergmann, writer