Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta annoying. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta annoying. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 21 de mayo de 2016

The apartment

   Arthur just couldn’t keep himself from doing a party. He always had to have one. It didn’t matter if it was only him and a few people or with a large crowd. Somehow, he needed that at least twice a week and if holidays happened to be occurring, the number grew considerably. Once, he even drank every single night of one week. The amazing part of it all was that the following week he looked good as new, as if nothing had happened.

 Having him as a roommate was particularly difficult. The parties were one big part of it but also his lack of order and cleanliness. Every time he cooked something, the kitchen seemed to have exploded: every pan and pot was in the wrong cabinet, there was rice all over the floor and even small puddles of water or other liquids on the floor. He would also get ketchup on the walls, and would never, even by an act of kindness, get the trash out to the street.

 Normally, a person like that would have been thrown out of an apartment after a couple of mishaps, but there was an important detail to be considered: the two bedroom apartment, which had a large living room, a balcony, a very big bathroom and comfortable rooms, was owned by Arthur’s father, who also happened to be one of the richest men in his country. The man was very powerful and it wasn’t a surprise he had properties a little bit everywhere.

 Anyhow, that’s how I met Arthur. I remember having arrived to the city, from my country and after a twelve-hour flight. I had browsed online for days until I had finally found a proper place to stay in. The apartment looked incredible and the price was just insane. At first, I thought there had been a mistake but, after I decided to write, they confirmed that the price of the room I wanted was correct. Immediately, I booked the room, excited to have found such a bargain.

 When I arrived, a month later, the first person I met was not Arthur but his father. I had no idea of who he was back then and even now I don’t really now the extent of his power and wealth. After all, Arthur and I are not from the same country and his father is not very well known to me. However, he was very kind, greeting me as I arrived. He made a brief tour of the apartment and then asked to have a chat after signing all the papers.

 He wanted me to understand something: his son was going to leave there too and that’s why the rent of my room was so cheap. I didn’t understand at first but he said I would I due time. He only asked patience of me and swore I would be glad I had decided to live there. At first, I thought he was just exaggerating. I was very wrong!

 Arthur had grown to be a very tall guy. His feet were big and his hands too. His head was a bit smaller compared to the rest of his body and that made him look weird at first. Of course, the first few days were just perfect. The apartment was not only huge and very well located; it was also very modern and had everything one would need, even a maid that would come in every Thursday to clean up. She was a very chatty woman and it was nice to talk to her when she came.

 The first party occurred just after the first month had gone bye. It was a big shock to see at least twenty people, all over the living room, drinking beers and watching some show on the TV screen. Hours later, they would turn the music up and start dancing and jumping and being all crazy. The rooms were separated from the living room by a corridor, which could be closed by a door. And if you also closed the door of your room, the noise wasn’t too bad.

 But the noise factor was only a part of it all. It was much more annoying to be walking to the kitchen the next day and having to avoid stepping on someone that was sleeping on the floor or on food or on the various puddles of beer. Of course, when they all went home, they would never clean anything up. Everything would remain as it was, as if a bomb had gone of in the middle of the living room and also the bathroom. It was just too disgusting.

 I called his father the first time. I was furious, telling him about all the vomit there was on the bathroom floor and about the unconscious bodies on the living room and the smells and the amount of dirty dishes on the kitchen sink. But he just calmed me down by saying he would send Minerva, the maid, to clean up and that everything would be fine. Then, I decided not to day a word because I thought it was a once in a year thing, once every six months at least.

 Minerva came and cleaned everything in less than an hour. It was as if she was magical. And she didn’t say anything about all the disgusting things around. I kept complaining to her but she only nodded and said “Yeah”, which should have been a red flag but I just didn’t see it. When I wanted to comment on the mess with Arthur, he argued he was too busy and would just leave the apartment or get locked in his room.

 I had never been the type to ask fro friendships or to want to have a huge bond with the people I lived with. I just don’t think it’s necessary. But I was willing to try if it meant getting sure that bomb didn’t go off again. However, Arthur didn’t let me. We spoke very few words and that was during my whole stay there, which lasted a full year.

 Arthur seemed like a very private person but then he would bring two buddies to drink beer and watch a game in the living room. And then they would start smoking pot and then some girls would arrive and then more people and suddenly he would have a party on his hands that he even wasn’t around to handle. It was wasn’t uncommon to arrive late at the apartment and finding a party where the person that lived there appeared to be missing. People he invited, of course, didn’t care. But it was stressful not to find him when the mess was going out of control.

 Neighbors didn’t complain for two reasons: the first one was the apartment was actually sound proof. So it didn’t really matter how loud the parties could get, the people on the same floor or on the one below (as it was a penthouse) could only hear a very soft hum. That was it. The other reason was that they know who was the owner of the apartment and it was a general consensus that they didn’t want problem which someone like that.

 So complaining was not a popular thing. And those parties and that mess happened every single week of the year except for two glorious one in March, when Arthur was forced by his dad to visit his family back home. It was the only time Arthur shared a bit of his life, only to complain about it. When he left, the calm in the apartment was almost overwhelming but it was welcomed.

 I could sleep a lot better and could use the TV without him been there. I could keep everything the way I liked it and even Minerva told me that I should leave her more to clean. I enjoy those two weeks thoroughly but was always afraid a party would appear out of nowhere because that’s how it worked. I went out a couple of days and arrived late and it was so strange to get there and seeing no drunk people on the floor and having a clean bathroom to pee in before going to bed.

 Of course, that didn’t last long. Arthur came back and the following months were just as horrible as the rest. I endured because my parents were really glad I didn’t have to spend so much money on a place. I also didn’t want to break the contract, which stated that if I left before the last specified date, I would not get my deposit, which I needed. So I had to endure by going out of that place every day of that summer.

 I went to the beach almost every day. I even made a couple of friends there. But then I would have to go back to the mess. I reminded myself that it was only for a few more months and then it would all be done. I would go back home and I wouldn’t have to care about cleaning floors or doing dishes that hadn’t been used by me.


 The last day, we had a conversation. It was very surreal. He said he was very sorry about how everything had been between us and regarding the apartment. It was obvious his father or someone had talked to him. Or maybe it was him, who had had a revelation. But, honestly, I didn’t care. My luggage was ready at the door and I ordered a taxi on my phone as he spoke. We just shook hands and I forgot all about him, until today.

jueves, 10 de marzo de 2016

Helena's wake

   Roger and Helena had never been best friends or anything of the sorts. They had been the type of people that are kind to each other in high school and just say “Hello” and “Thank you” when it was needed. However, Helena had done something else that made her kind of special to Roger: she had been the only one to know he’s secret and had kept it for herself through the last four years of school. She had realized he was gay because Roger had been careless once speaking on his cell phone just after school and she had been the only one to hear him. They never spoke, they never agreed on anything but she never said a word and he was thankful for it.

 Now, many years later, Helena was dead. Roger had known of her tragic fate also by mistake, by chance, when reading the newspaper online one morning. The world is so plague with bad things that happen like terrorism and wars and so on, that sometimes road accidents pass unnoticed. The news of her accident was just a very small article, a few lines, but her name was there clear as day and he remembered it. At first, he thought it had been some other woman called Helena too but it the evening news they put on her picture and he confirmed that it was her. Roger wasn’t devastated when he realized it but he felt very sorry for her family and friends. It was a very tragic way to go and he then recalled the fact she had been a good person where most people wouldn’t have been.

 So, the following day, he decided to attend the wake as well as her funeral. Through the paper too he learned when the wake was going to take place and it was just after work hours in small mortuary not very far from his home. He tried to dress up as sober as he could, trying not to put on some colourful shoes or socks, which he loved, and stepped in the mortuary feeling very strange.

 The reason for this was because he felt he had stepped in high school again. Many people from back then had come to pay their respects and many were reunited in small groups talking about her but also talking about what they have been doing in the last few years. Many of them were still friends, at least on Facebook, so they knew exactly what the others were up to even if they pretended they didn’t know. But Roger was the only one that had not kept any contact.

 He had never had any real friends in school. His best friends had always been kids from his neighbourhood and friends he had made along the years. People at school were for him stupid and full of themselves, always trying to fake who they were and trying to know things that didn’t concern them. They were arrogant and very cynical and he just hated all of that so he never really tried to be friends with any of them. Not that they would have let him be a friend of theirs.

 He crossed that hall when they were all chatting as if they were in a school reunion and entered the room were the body and the family probably were. The ambiance there was very different. The family was crying and very close to the casket, which was closed. Roger instantly remembered what he had read about the accident and understood exactly why the casket was closed. He felt a bit dizzy but then someone came and held his arm. He was about to scream but the didn’t do it because he saw Helena’s mother broke into tears and also because he realized the person who had done that was someone he remembered from back then. It was a girl called Linda and she had always had a crush of him.

 Roger greeted her and she looked at him with those big annoying eyes of hers and talked in a sweetened voice that was just sickening. It was as if she was still trying to get him after all these years and it was just annoying. So, in a moment of genius, he told her he wanted to give his condolences to the family, which was effective: Linda let him go and he was able to walk towards the mother, who was still crying.

 Approaching someone that is such a state is always the worst but he had no choice as Linda was looking at him from the other side of the room. He followed an older woman who also came to pay her respects and the mother broke into tears and held her, even when they didn’t really seem to know each other that well. Apparently the poor woman was so socked by her daughter’s death that any person was a good person to cry with or on. Roger helped she didn’t do that to him, because he really didn’t liked to be touched by strangers but when she did he didn’t really mind. After all, she was a mother who had lost a child. And that’s something we can all agree is heartbreaking.

 He shook the father’s hand too and greeted Helena’s brothers, two big guys who he remembered from the rugby team back in high school. He instantly blushed when looking at the older one, whose name was Finn. Roger had had a big crush on Finn when he was about sixteen years old and he remembered going to rugby games only to watch him play and, more importantly, look at his butt. So it was really strange when, after shaking hands, Finn winked at him. For a moment, he thought that hadn’t happened. But it had.

 The former classmate stood there, by the casket, for several minutes. He wasn’t a religious person but he wanted Helena to know he was thankful for her being the person she was, for not telling anyone about his secret as he wouldn’t have been ready at that moment to face people about his sexuality. These days, however, he didn’t really mind.

 When he saw Linda coming to him, he decided to be honest so he asked her if they could go to the hall. She grabbed by he arm, again, and went along with what he said. Roger forced a conversation about life and what they had been up to. He wasn’t interested at all in Linda’s life but just wanted to be clear and get rid of her arm that felt more like a very annoying claw hanging off him. She talked about some boring job in engineering and he just nodded and when they were in the middle of the people outside he asked her about his relationships. Silly as she was, she giggled and said she had had some boyfriends but that she was available at the moment. And then she giggled again and put her hand on his shoulder.

 His moment had come and he was so happy to do this. It was like going back to high school, back then, and then just flip them off, as he would have liked to do. So he smiled and said the truth, which was the best way to discourage anyone, he said that it was a funny story because Helena had been the only one in high school to know he was a gay man. And that now, as a married man, he looked back at school as something so far away in his memory that he just smiled when he seldom thought about it.

 Linda was obviously shocked as she removed her hand and looked as if some horrible news had been announced via speaker. It was really like being back in high school and he enjoyed it thoroughly. What he had not realized was that people were not talking as loud as he did so every single person had heard what he had said. That was why the room had gone silent and then he looked at all the stupid faces around him and just smiled and couldn’t help laughing. When he did, no one laughed along but the sound miraculously returned to the hall.

 He kissed Linda on the cheek and told her he hoped she had a nice life. Then he marched out and he felt, very accurately, that many eyes were fixated on him. But he didn’t care at all. He decided to keep walking until he was outside and there he went to the nearest store and bought a pack of cigarettes. The storeowner lit up the first one for him and he went out to smoke in peace, happy about he had done, amused by the whole sad event.

 Then someone greeted him and he saw the large figure of Finn coming closer. They shook hands again and Finn said he had no idea he smoked and Roger said he didn’t but he had felt like it a few minutes ago. Finn laughed and then asked if it was true that he was gay and was married. Now it was Roger who smiled and nodded. Finn told him he had always known and not because of Helena but because he had noticed Roger looking at him often around school. And he said it was funny because he had always liked him too.


 It was an awkward moment but Finn proceeded to tell Roger he was about to get married to and he just wanted to invite him, that’s why he had come after him. Roger smiled again and promised to go with Jake, his husband. Then they started chatting about life, likes and so on. And when the conversation finished and he went home to Jake, Roger realized he had made a new friend, which was a very odd thing to get on a wake. He wondered if something weirder would happen at the funeral.

sábado, 21 de febrero de 2015

Flights

   The flight had not been awful but my body was just sore from being seated for so many hours. Somehow, those airplane exercises did not do the trick for me. Besides getting in the way of some people, they didn’t accomplish anything. When we finally landed, I felt my legs weakened by the journey. And to think I still had six more hours to go. But at least I had twenty hours to refresh and relax before hopping into another aircraft.

 I went through customs quite fast, and then headed straight for the airport hotel. I had my only bag with me and was certainly happy to be able to sleep in a proper bed for at least a few hours.

 The lady at the counter of the hotel seemed a bit distracted by something and kept looking towards a TV located in a small meeting area besides her post. I asked her if there was something wrong and she said something about a hurricane that was battering some islands in the south. It was feared that the storm could come this way. But, at the moment, her words seemed not all that important to me. As a matter of fact, the moment she gave me my bedroom keys, I had only the bed on my mind.

 The walk from the front desk to my room felt short and, seconds after I closed the door, I had stripped to my underwear and was making my way into the cozy queen sized bed. I fell asleep fast didn’t even remember to put an alarm in case I slept longer than I expected.

 I had a dreamless sleep, very nice and cozy. When I woke up, I saw the sun through the curtain, which could only mean that the day was coming to an end. I grabbed my cellphone and realized I had slept seven hours straight, which was perfect for a guy that had to make another six-hour flight the following morning.

 I stayed in bed a few minutes until I realized I could have a nice hot shower and change my clothes, which I did. I even sang through my entire time in the bathroom. For some reason, a hotel made me feel special, more so when my company was the one that had to pay and not me. After changing clothes to a less constricting combo of shirt and jeans, I decided to head down to the restaurant.

 When I got there, I noticed there was no self-service but one could order anything from one of the waiters, which I did: a big cheeseburger with fries and onion rings. Yeah, I was starving after my sleep. The television screens were still broadcasting images from the storm in the tropics and warned people in the city were I was that they should be mindful of the storm for the next few days.

 When my burger came I ate it so fast, I surprised myself, and the waiter, who kindly asked if I needed something else. I told him to bring me lemonade and to put it all on my tab, as I had no money to pay and even If had had any money I wouldn’t. After a week of hard work, I had earned all the nice treatment.

 There were only a couple more tables occupied and some people on the bar. I looked at those people, the kind that have their first drink of the day at four o’clock. It was nice to be that careless with one’s decisions, although maybe they had interesting jobs or just lives that required that extra kick. As I drank my beverage, I saw them all one by one and realized I knew one of those men: he had worked with me years ago but he had left, probably fired but I did not know for a fact.

 He noticed I was looking at him and stared back and, clearly, he realized who I was. He waved, a whisky glass in one hand, and came walking towards my table, smiling like an idiot. I had just remembered I did not like him very much when he took a seat just besides me.

 He acted all surprised and shocked and happy to see me but somehow I know it was all a lie. I normally knew when people were being deceitful to me and guy just didn’t seem quite honest to me. He smiled a lot and I had always mistrusted that and he had stopped drinking, which was clearly a bad sign.

 The man started talking about his new job, where he traveled a lot and met many famous people. He was something like and insurance guy for the wealthy or something like that. To be honest, I did not pay much attention to anything he said and, from time to time, I would look towards the screens still showing what was happening in another part of the world.

 He obviously noticed me doing do because he started giving me he’s opinion of the matter, as if an opinion was able to change the path of an incoming storm. Yeah, I clearly remember I hated that guy. He was always trying to be visible, attracting everyone to his stupid life and just trying to be funny and just coming out pathetic. He was the kind of person that was desperate for attention and I had never cared for any of that.

 Without any warning, I told him I had some affairs to attend in my room and shook hands with him. As I walked away he told me to email him some time and I nodded but I clearly had no intention to do so. I decided to get around the airport, which was huge, and walk around until my flight became available on the screens all around the place.

 The airport had three terminals and each one was simply huge and well connected, so walking was just a pleasure, looking at people come and go, the pilots and flight attendants and all the colors their uniforms sported. Besides, I had always liked airplanes so my favorite thing to do was buying some candy and then seating by a large window and stare and the planes moving all over the tarmac. It was like watching ants work on giants or something. Maybe that’s what was attractive to me…

 After getting bored and running out of candy, I decided to shop for some souvenirs. They weren’t for me but for my friends and family, all of whom loved to receive t-shirts and fridge magnets after I had traveled around the world. My mother had a collection of those and I had already bought her some in my earlier destination. I found a store that sold several of those, shaped as animals and fruits so I bought a whole bag.

 My sister’s gift was a bit trickier as she loved clothing but I always seemed to forget what size she wore and which colors she was into right now. They changed quite often and it was hard to keep up with it. So I just bought her a black sweater with a funny image on it thinking it went with everything and even if I got the wrong sixe I could tell her I thought she could use at nights or something.

 For my friends I bought boxes and boxes of chocolate and candy. That was what they liked, besides booze, which I couldn’t buy because I had always been scared a bottle would break and then of my underwear would smell of vodka or something. Some of the candy I bought were filled with rum and gin so that would cover me with them.

 I went back to my room, realizing my flight was only three hours away. I got everything I had bought into my suitcase but I couldn’t make the chocolate boxes fit in so I took that on their bad and hoped for security officers not to annoy me about it. I took all my things; check the room twice for things I may have left around and then left the room. In the front desk, the receptionist was busy on the phone, speaking occasionally. She hung up and attended me quickly to go away rather hastily.

 Not thinking twice about it, I walked straight to customs again, then to my gate were I sat down to wait for the boarding procedure. As I checked my emails on my phone, an airline worker dressed in light blue and with jet black hair walked to the counter and spoke on the microphone.

-       Ladies and gentlemen, Air Jet has to announce the cancellation of this flight due to a serious event that has taken place. We will take care of accommodations and will help you get into a later flight to get to your destinations.

 People started to quarrel with her and, not talking to a microphone, visibly tired and fed up by passenger’s attitude, she said:

-       A man committed suicide. He, somehow, got to the building above this gate and  jumped. He landed… he landed on the plane.

 Everyone was now silent and the some of them where walking towards the window. Although far to have a good look, I was sure I had seen correctly. The man that killed himself had been talking to me some hours earlier