Pacy take on grow­ing up with pain of ad­dic­tion

Cape Times - - BOOKS -

THINGS EVEN GONZÁLEZ CAN’T FIX Christy Chilim­i­gras Loot.co.za (R165) MF Books

RE­VIEWER: JU­LIAN RICH­FIELD

CHRISTY Chilim­i­gras is a 24-yearold Greek South African from Joburg. Chilim­i­gras’s mem­oir, Things

Even González Can’t Fix tells her story of grow­ing up in a space of pure chaos. With a crack-de­vour­ing fa­ther and a pot-smok­ing mother, Christy, known as Mouse, looks to her older sis­ter, Tiger, for guid­ance.

“Chil­dren of ad­dicts are cu­ri­ous things. We’re deathly se­ri­ous. We tin­ker on the edge of the worst case sce­nario. We’re manic in our joy.

“We mean to dip our toes but rather dive head­first into ex­tremes. We de­spise drugs, and peo­ple who do drugs. And then we fall in love with boys who per­pet­u­ally have a joint hang­ing from their lips.”

Her story is told at a rol­lick­ing pace and in a writ­ing style that should res­onate with a mil­len­nial read­er­ship. Christy writes with much per­cep­tion, and a heady mix of hu­mour and non-self-pity­ing pain. In her own words, de­scrib­ing the Chilim­i­gras sis­ters: “We’re tough, with just enough room within our cracks to let some hurt in. Just enough hurt to pre­vent us from be­com­ing rag­ing ass­holes, but not enough hurt to make us sad peo­ple. Sad peo­ple don’t be­come suc­cess­ful peo­ple.

“Sad peo­ple be­come ad­dicts. And herein lies the daily strug­gle for the child of an ad­dict. Be happy, but not too happy. Any­thing too happy feels in­sin­cere. Any­thing too happy feels out of con­trol and dan­ger­ous.”

By the end of my read­ing, Christy had pushed my pa­ter­nal in­stinct but­ton, and all I was des­per­ate to do was to give her a hug, and ask her if she was okay.

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