Pacy take on growing up with pain of addiction
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.