卵の緒

見た目は子ども、態度は大人

どうあがいたって、受け止めなくてはいけないものがたくさんある。どうもがいたって、変わらない現実がいくつもある。だけど、それを和らげる方法はいくつかあるはずだ。


出生が”普通”じゃない子どもたちの物語。
構成は2つの短編、いや中編からなる。

表題の『卵の緒』は、自分は捨て子だと信じる男の子、2つめの『7′ blood』は、父親の愛人が生んだ男の子と暮らすことになる女子高生の目線から語られる。

とりあえず、出てくる2人の子どもがとことん大人びている。
料理が出来て、言葉使いも丁寧で、気が利いてそつがない。
その大人びた態度がちょっと現実離れし過ぎていて、物語の流れに乗れなかった感はある。
実際コナン君が横にいたら、ちょっと気味悪いしね。

ただこれは、著者の妹尾まいこさんの視線、大人が見つめる子ども、というか、子どもを見つめる大人、ていうものなんだろうなぁ、とも思った。
語り手は、小学生、女子高生といった一人称なんだけれど、これは大人が書いているなぁ、と思わされる。

別にそれはこの作品の欠点というわけではなくて、物語に勢いは生まれないけれど、子どもを見つめる母親の優しさ、みたいな感覚を味わうことができる。
当たり前と言えば、当たり前。
だって、この文章の生みの親、母親は妹尾まいこに他ならない。
そしてこの人は、自分の文章や、その文章から生れる物語を大切にしている。

「いけないって、あんたはまだ十一でしょう。なのにちっとも子どもらしくないわ。もっと子どもって、人の顔色見ずに自分の思うように行動するものよ。あんたは人の顔色しか見てない。いつもいい子ぶってるのよ。わざとらしくって吐き気がするわ」
七生は眩しそうに目をしかめながら、私の顔をじっと見ていた。そして小さな声でつぶやいた。
「子どもだからだよ」
「え?」
「僕はまだ十一歳だから。……大人に気に入られないと生きていけないもん。一人じゃ何もできないもん。食べるものも住む場所も、一人じゃどうにもできない」

言ってることは分かるけれど、そもそも一人じゃどうにもできない、なんていうところまで子どもは頭が回らない。
でも、分からなくても、それは事実だ。

大人である妹尾まいこは、もちろんそれをわかってる。
僕たちもね。

出生は他の人とちょっと違っても、ここに描かれる生活は、平凡。
みんなが持ってる、それぞれの普通。

静かな本です。
ここに衝撃はないけれど、”普通”の生活には、衝撃なんてないもんだ。

単行本

文庫本

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