Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Unmasked - Jennifer Baljko
Soon, in a few weeks, there will be a big Baljko event in Barcelona. Two of my siblings are coming to visit me. One has been here before. The other decided, on a whim this morning, to join the fun, and make her first transatlantic flight. It will be great to see them, but there is a slight apprehension starting to seize my heart as well. Too many Baljkos in the same room can be a dangerous unmasking of primal, territorial clawing. We tend to play nice most of the time, in three or four hour stretches. But a week together could swing us straight back to the 1980s when the seven members of my immediate plus the dog, two cats, and whatever other mascot happened to find it’s way through the floor boards or into an empty cage duked it out for a sliver of privacy and a healthy does of personal expression. As adults, we live in vastly different worlds, and often have little in common except blood ties. So the momentous task of understanding who we are in the face of each other becomes a strange tilt-a-whirl ride set up on a tightrope dangling over a cliff. Each eccentric behavior brings on a heightened sense of black sheep weirdness, united under the umbrella of collective upbringing.