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

viernes, 20 de abril de 2018

Lessons in the ice


   I would always spend my winters in my friend Robert’s cabin, in the woods just north of the Northern Lake. His family never used it on such windy and cold months but I needed that time to be alone and be able to think for once, about my life, decisions and so on. My family lived far away and I didn’t have any money to go and visit them, so I would pack my laptop and portable Wi-Fi and just cold them from the cabin on Christmas day to wish them all a happy day and talk to them for a while.

 The reason I liked the cabin, or at least the main one, was that the lake was just a few minutes away by walking. Part of it would freeze but the other half would stay liquid because of a strong current coming from a river that traverse the body of water. The part of the lake nearest to the cabin was the one that was always frozen, and I would practice my jumps and twists right there. I would do it for hours, never fearing that the ice would break beneath my feet or that I could be attacked by a feral animal.

 I had grown to know the lake deeply, so I knew very well that the ice was at its thickest when I visited, almost a meter thick at times. That was more than enough for me to spend hours and hours practicing. My skating was getting sloppy and I couldn’t do the things that I was famous for several years before, when I first entered the ice skating circuit. I had been labeled a “star” and “the next best thing to come out of ice skating”. There were gifts and praise and flowers and all kinds of beautiful moments.

 But that had happened then and this was now. Me gliding on the ice, jumping and trying to make a good figure, just to be stopped in the middle of the air by my weight or my stupid feet. I seemed to have lost my form in a matter of a few years and coming back now was going to be the most difficult thing ever. I had made the decision to try my best to make a comeback, a last attempt at glory before I entered well into my thirties. That’s the magical number that you cannot go over, not in this world.

 I had checked out every single competitor I was going to have and they were all much younger than me. The prodigy of the group was a kid that was more than ten years younger, with a small stature and slender body, he was sure to make a big impression in any contest. I needed to work a lot to get to that level, to even get near what the others were doing. No one cared that I had won so many awards years ago. They didn’t care if they had been gold, silver or bronze. I wasn’t in their landscape at all. I was just a memory of a past that wasn’t that old.

 I worked out every single day in the cabin, just after having a small breakfast. I would jog around the woods and do sit-ups and pull-ups and every single kind of exercise to make my body what it had used to be. It hurt a lot and it there were many moments in which I wanted to drop it all and just go back to what I had been doing for the past year and a half. Working at the supermarket and as a cashier in the local skating rink was not bad at all. It helped pay the bills at least. But I needed more.

 Telling anyone about my plans was out of the question. Even after sending my papers to inscribe my name for the upcoming events, no one had notice that I was there, trying to make a comeback. They would only notice me once I stepped in the ice once again to reclaim my throne or at least make a decent attempt at it. I hadn’t told my family or anyone else. No one needed to know about what I wanted to do with the next few years of my life. They wouldn’t understand why I just need to do it.

 Maybe if I had a friend, I would tell them what was going on in my head the moment I decided to go back to such a difficult sports life. But I don’t have any because everyone left me after I stopped being famous and a success. And those who didn’t leave me were alienated by the person I became after I hung up my skates to pursue a more “normal” life. They were disappointed in me and got fed up of my negative attitude towards life. I have always said that I would never hold that against them.

 Sometimes, at night, I wonder about what those people think now that I’m planning to come back to the competitions. Are they going to be still mad at me for leaving everything in the first place or are they going to silently cheer me on? Well, I’m never going to know that but it’s not important. I need to do this whatever the results may be and no matter how difficult it can get. And it’s already pretty hard so I guess things are going to be pretty messy. But that’s the challenge I accepted.

 When winter is over, I will go back to the city and start practicing on a proper ice rink and then the trials and competitions will begin. Everyone will know I’m trying to get back to the top and then everything will become even harder. But I trust I can push through and just get to a point were I get to enjoy skating again. I want to feel what I felt all those years ago, because it was the best feeling ever. It was like walking on clouds and being able to fly over everyone else, doing something most people would only dream about. It felt so special and magical, a one of a kind sensation.

 But before that, I need to get back in shape, I need to be able to be that person I once was or at least someone very similar. I have to learn from the mistakes I made back then and also make new ones, because no one is perfect and there’s no way I’m going to step on those competitions thinking I’m better than others just because I have been there before. No, I need to know that I’m starting over, from the bottom. I need to make the trip to the top with all the dangers and difficulties, because that’s the only way I can do this right.

 Sometimes, I can already feel the rush through my body, going up from the skates to my hair, rushing with my blood which is warmed by the simple power that you feel when you’re doing something that makes you feel unique and present in this world. That one of a kind feeling.

 But then I fell, flat on my ass, hitting myself once and again and again, against the hard and cold ice. I see my body covered in cuts and bruises and I realize I’m just beginning. There’s still a long way to go for me but I do not mind at all. I want to get to the finish line. I need to get there.

lunes, 15 de enero de 2018

Mantis

   Marina had been trained by the best martial artists in the planet and she had been practicing other techniques to make her moves even more fluent than ever. She had always been interested in sports and being fit, especially since in high school she had always been such a chubby little girl. Many of her classmates would make fun of her because of that. She would cry and tell her dad or her mom but by the end of her school years, she didn’t care anymore. She would answer with silence.

 When in college, she decided to become more active and enrolled in karate classes and then she went to a special school were she could learn how to handle a vast assortment of guns. Of course, she would only learn how to use the least complex ones because of her status as a civilian, but that was enough to make adrenaline pump all over her body. When she pushed her body to the limit, whether it was on the shooting range or in the gym, she felt liberated, someone else even.

 It was a surprise to her when, two years into her studies, she was approached in the campus by a man in a black raincoat. It happened at night, which wasn’t the best setting for a woman in campus. Marina had noticed the man walking behind her for a while and when he was closer, she used her elbow to strike his nose and then her fist to punch him hard in the stomach. She started running away from him but she was stopped when he caught up with her, pulling Marina from her sweater’s hoodie.

 She felt to the ground but didn’t loose any time: she used a very powerful kick in the shins to topple the man down and she was about to pull out her pepper spray when the man showed her his CIA badge. She pulled back just in time, watching as his nose bled profusely. She was confused and thought trouble was just a small word for what could happen to her. She feared that she had probably punched some undercover guy in the face. But why was he chasing after her?

  The man asked for help to get up and she did held her arm forward to pull him up. The man tried to clean his coat, covered in dirt and dead leaves, without taking a long look at what was happening in his face. He was still bleeding a lot. He only pulled out a handkerchief from one of his pockets kind of wiped some of the dried up blood off his face, not that it helped much. Marina stood there, afraid to run away but also to stay by the man. She grabbed her backpack, which she had removed when she landed on the campus’ floor.  Everything was fine inside it.

 The man finally started talking. He said he worked with the CIA and that he frequently probed the grounds looking for new recruits. He had been interested in Marina for a long time and had decided to talk to her that night. He admitted to the idea being a little bit stupid, with everything that happened to young women in that context, but he was also glad she had responded in such a manner when he came after her. It really showed that what they were looking in her was definitely there.

 Before Marina could ask any more questions, he gave her his card, with a few droplets of blood. He told Marina to arrive to that address the next day at five o’clock in the afternoon. He would be there to talk to her about the possibilities she could have with the agency and about her past, present and future in college. Before she could even say a word, the man turned around and walked away rather fast. Maybe he was afraid of getting hit again or he had realized how serious the nose thing was.

 Marina arrived at her dorm in minutes but she couldn’t sleep at all after what had happened that night. She was already beneath a lot of pressure from college, with all the work she had to do. She also had her training and her gym schedule. She was even considering helping in a fundraiser which was about helping young woman in campus but everyday seemed to disappear after that man had told her she could have “possibilities” with him and the agency he represented.

 She arrived right on time the next day. There, she met the man again, who had apparently been at the doctor’s because his nose had been properly taken care of. The bandages made him look a little bit different than the night before, or maybe it was the lighting. The point was that he was not alone. A woman, around his age, sat on the desk when Marina came in. None of them smiled or did anything to greet Marina in their space. They just went right to the questions and they did have a lot of those.

 After a long sessions, maybe two hours, of questions about her childhood, upbringing, education and interests, the woman asked her coworker to tell her again about what had happened the night before. Marina was a bit ashamed to hear about it, especially when she wasn’t asked herself about it, so she remained in silence, nodding when the woman seemed to need confirmation of what the man said. The story was short, so she didn’t have to endure that awkward moment for too long. The woman then asked Marina to meet them again the next day, in a new address, inscribed in another card.

 The next day, Marina entered her gym very late at night. The moment she had seen the address on the card, she had realized she knew the place by heart. Her trainer was there and she was glad to have a familiar face there. But he seemed very concerned and could only give her a nod when she entered the place. The woman and the man from the CIA were there and also two other men, closer to her age or at least so it seemed. They were dressed in gym clothes and looked at her as angry bulls.

 They all walked towards a corner of the space, one covered in mats. The woman from the CIA told Marina that she needed to see for herself that what her partner said that she was able to do was actually true. It was the only time the woman asked Marina if she wanted to go through with it all. Marina thought about how weird the whole thing was, how strange it was to be in one of her favorite places in the world but feeling as uncomfortable as she had never really felt.

 She had arrived in gym attire, so the first match began right away. One of the big guys she saw at the entrance was her first match. She guessed the second one was going to be against the other one, if she survived. The man behave more like a bull than like a man but she was able to counter every single one of her blows, no matter if they were kicks or punches, with relative ease. He was close many times, but Marina had trained hard in order to be not only effective but also incredibly fast.

 When she finally did her gut punch move, the other guy entered the fray and toppled her to the ground, making her feel like she had lost every bit of air that was inside her body. She tried to stand up but the second brawler kicked her hard on one side and the other was preparing to ram her again. What she did next was something based more on her instincts than on her actual skills. She jumped on top of the biggest guy, sat on his shoulders and tried to asphyxiate him with her thighs.

 Then, after a few seconds, she jumped down, taking advantage of the movement to kick the other guy straight in the face. He fell down like a deck of cards. The remaining guy was about to punch her when the woman yelled: “Stop!” And he did.


 Her trainer and the CIA guy were looking at her with eyes wide open. But the woman was actually smiling, something that didn’t really fit her appearance. She then walked closer and grabbed Marina by the hands “I have work for you”, she said, without dropping the creepy smile from her face.

viernes, 1 de diciembre de 2017

His scent

   I loved to be the one hugging him, tightly, beneath the covers when it was raining outside or above them, naked, during the summer. Waking up was always one of the best parts of my day because I would notice his scent so very close to me. It didn’t matter how much we had moved during our sleep, it was always a please to feel him close to me. And I think, even if I would never dare to speak on his behalf, that he thought exactly the same thing. I think he loved me back, maybe even more.

 During the week, we would wake up at the same, even if the other had nothing to do that day. Sometimes it was me who kissed him before leaving for work, some other days it was me staying there, organizing my space and feeding the dog we had adopted together. Its name was Bumper, because he loved to bump into everything. Maybe the thing was that our dog was not very brilliant but we loved to imagine he had some traits of both of us. Maybe he was clumsy like me and distracted like him.

 Our favorite days, or at least mine, were Saturdays and Sundays. We would wake up earlier and I would make love to him for the longest time. I loved to explore his body slowly, even to the point that I would turn off my cellphone in order not to be interrupted from that beautiful task. I got to know every single centimeter of his body and I was proud to know every single corner of him. After a mutual orgasm, we would stay silent and then talk about our lives, fun little snippets every day.

 That’s how I think I know him. I think feeling his heart while sleeping, his breathing while we made love and his warmth when we kissed goodbye, it all made me understand him and really know who he was and what he wanted out of life. It didn’t take a long time for us to hold hands in public after we had decided to properly date each other. Same happened with our “sudden” decision to live together. We just knew we had to, it was meant to be and only we could understand the feeling.

 So, it’s pretty understandable that the worst day of my life was the one when a policeman, a man with a stupid face, came to our home and told me they had found him, the love of my life, dead on the street. It happened one night, when he was coming from work during one of those horrible thunderstorms that are becoming more and more common in these parts. According to the policeman, he had been assaulted by a group of men. They had taken his money, his belongings and had then proceeded to kick him and punch him until one of them decided to pull out a gun.

 My first question was simple: “Where is he?” The idiot policeman repeated that he was dead and I didn’t ask again. He offered to take me to the police station, so I grabbed a jacket and went along. It was so very late; I was already in my pajamas. It was very awkward, but I started crying in the police car, en route to my lover. I couldn’t stop crying for a second, only when I had to step out of the car in order to enter the police station. He never asked me if I was fine or needed something.

 The doctor running the morgue was a woman and I was thankful for that. She seemed to care for every single one of those corpses, of those dead people that for some reason were there, lying on their back inside a gigantic freezer. I started shaking the moment I entered the room and I lost any attempt to seem calm when she unveiled his body to me. He was naked, of course, and very white and blue. It’s a silly thing, but the first thing I thought was the fact that he hated both those colors.

 I took one of his hands and caressed it; I kissed his cheek and his forehead and held on to him. I could hear the dumbass policeman asking me if that was my “partner” but I didn’t care at all. I wanted to stay there forever, whit him, even if I had to die too. The doctor was very silent and it was obvious she would have preferred for me not to touch her patient but I couldn’t stop holding on to him. If I had let go, he would have died forever and I just couldn’t afford that to happen.

 However, all the crying and the memories and the deep pain got to me. I had been waiting for him to come with food, so my stomach was empty. The doctor, hours later, told me that could have been one of the reasons for me to faint right there on the morgue. They carried me to the police station’s infirmary and gave me some ramen soup, the kind you can make in the microwave. I ate that hot cup in silence, still crying. A massive headache began to brew.

 His family came in some hours later, after I had signed every single paper that had to be signed. Between those, I had to ask a friend to go to my house and bring me our marriage certificate, which only a few people knew about. It was hard for me to tell his family that we had been married for a couple of months and that it had been his decision not to tell them because he wanted it all to be a big reveal. He was planning it all as if it was the marriage of two famous people. And know, it had been me telling them all of it, with his cold body not too far away.

 They were shocked to hear it all, of course, but I honestly think I was the most affected by the tragedy. I kissed him several times once more, before I had to leave in order to go home. They promised they would arrange it all for his body to be prepared for whatever I would decide to do. I took the doctor to the side, and told her we had talked about being cremated together in a huge pyre, holding hands. She gave me a nice smile and told me to get back to her the next day.

 Sure enough, they sent his body to a cemetery where he would be cremated and given to me. I called his family to tell them all about it and they didn’t say much about it all. They seemed to be still in quite a shock. They did show up to the place and we even held each other for a moment, in silence. We saw his coffin, a very modest one; enter the oven and the metal door close afterwards. Tears rolled down my face but I didn’t cried loudly like before, I was under too much pain to do that again.

 They gave me his ashes and the doctor was there to pay her respects. I hugged her tight and cried some more. She offered to take me home and I accepted. His family didn’t say another word to me, even when I saw them looking at the urn with his ashes when they were handed to me. I wanted to make peace; I wanted them to understand what we had together. But it was too little too late, so I just went home with the doctor. She kindly stayed for a while but I have to say it was better when she left.

 That’s because I spoke to him for a while, as frankly as we had always been when he was alive. I told him he was the best thing to ever happen in my life and that I was proud that I got to meet such a wonderful person in such a shitty world. I thanked him for being my lover and husband, for making me enjoy life and people even more and for always been there for me. I hoped him the best for his afterlife, if there was one. If there wasn’t, I wanted him to know I would always be his.

 Another storm was brewing when I opened my bedroom window. The wind was beginning to howl. One strong current was enough to take the love of my life away from me. I saw him float away and then disappeared into the dark clouds floating not so far away.


 I left the urn right there and then dropped on the bed. His smell was still there. I closed my eyes to feel him one more time and it did work. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever felt. However, when I opened my eyes everything was real and raw. He wasn’t there anymore.

lunes, 30 de octubre de 2017

His right choice

   I took off my clothes and just tossed them to one side, on the sand. The wind was chilly and every single hair on my skin rose because of the cold. But I didn’t put anything back on. I left the clothes there to be carried by the water later on. There was no point in hiding them anywhere or trying for them not to get wet. The truth was I didn’t care anymore about anything and I still don’t. I didn’t even looked back when I started walking, looking at the rocks far on the other side of the beach.

 The water washed my feet, as if a thousand knives stabbed me slowly. It hurt, of course, but I knew that was going to happen and my body was getting ready for it. I was so tired of everything, of people and life and everything surrounding it. I just wanted to walk the beach, the only place that could relax my mind. Eventually, I would have to get into the ocean and breath in some salt water. But I didn’t know when that would be happening. It was better to take it one step at a time.

 Pembelton Beach was far from any settlement. There where some houses close by but it would take them at least fifteen minutes to get to me if they realized I was there, my some miracle. All the details had being chosen carefully. I didn’t want anyone to stop me from being free, at least once in my life. I had felt imprisoned from day one, from the first moment I realized life was just this unfair list of things happening to a mere body, an essence that has nothing to do with anything else.

 Society failed me. Or maybe I was the one who failed society. Anyway, we were not meant to be together. I had always felt strange in social situations, such as parties and crowds. The “odd one”, was my nickname back in high school. People thought I didn’t know that but I knew, I heard every word that they attempted for me not to hear. They didn’t have the balls to say it to my face. I would have preferred that. And it was the same in college and in other contexts.

 To be fair, I have to say that university was the best place for me because I could be whoever I was without really caring about others. I had what you would call friends but they are not around anymore and I don’t blame them. Or maybe I do blame them but, what’s that good for? People have excuses for everything and I have run tired of listening to them. As I said before, I don’t care anymore. Not at all. I just want to move on to something else, whatever that may be. Does it sound tragic and melodramatic? As you might guess, I don’t care.

 After the first twenty minutes, the cold water started feeling less painful, as well as the wind. I stopped crossing my arms over my chest and I just held them to the side. The ocean was getting more and more violent, as a storm was clearly coming from deep into the open ocean. The clouds had rapidly turned from white to almost black. And I could even see some thunders far into the sea. It was beautiful in a way. It seemed everything I felt was being reflected by the weather.

 I would have wanted rain to come faster but it didn’t seem to want to downpour just yet, so I walked on. I remembered many other times in my life when rain had been a factor. When being stood up by someone or just staying home safe, as it was the only place I could really feel protected. I lived with my parents, of course. I still do, in a way. The point is I felt taken care of because they were there and because I knew there was no other way for me. I can hear you think…

 Love was always a really weird thing for me. To be honest, I don’t think it exists. I never did. I did see some traces of it in other people’s lives but maybe it was something else. Maybe it’s just that people are too afraid to be alone and they just cheat themselves into having a relationship that they think it’s based on love, when in reality they just have a very basic human need to feel someone else close by, to feel someone else’s warmth. Of course, I felt that too. Not that it mattered.

 The sand on Pemberton Beach is very black, probably because of the ancient volcanic origin of the region. The big boulders scattered all over are also dark, doubling as a home for many sea creatures. As I walked down the natural path, I saw several crabs, in various sizes. Those small creatures made me think that life may not be as complicated as I think it is. However, they free of our society, our brains that torture us every day with things that will never happen to us.

 Someone once asked me what my dream for the future was. It happened on a job interview and it kind of shocked me. Not only because dreams are not something I have, but also because the question was asked in singular, as if most people had only one dream. Maybe they meant work wise but I just couldn’t answer the question. And I have never being good at lying, so I told the man I didn’t have dreams for the future, only hopes. For a future where I could be free, truly free. Of course, the man ended the interview there and I never heard from that company again.

 I went to several interviews and I applied to so many jobs. That ended recently, when I finally got a menial job at a company handling papers and getting coffee. After so many millions spent and time wasted, I ended up being the guy they ask for more milk or sugar or those stupid stick to stir up the coffee. You can guess I wasn’t very happy with it and that’s why I left it last week and came to this beach. My parents were disappointed but there was no other way.

 Begging was involved in getting the money for this trip but they eventually gave it to me, after promises it would be just for a weekend and that I would help them by looking at some houses for them to buy. They want a house by the beach to spend their elder years. With that excuse I travelled here yesterday and now I’m naked on a beach, far from any other human being that could intervene at what I’m going to do. That’s exactly how I planned it, many months ago.

 Because this idea had been around my head for a long time. It had appeared first when I was in school and many times more until now. The difference is I can finally do it now because I didn’t feel any remorse. I just felt I had to do it and I didn’t care about anything else. There was no other way right then and I did not want to listen to long speeches about people who cared about me, or wanted me stay around. If they did, they would have been around. My parents, they were prepared, or so I thought.

 Pain is always harder at first, that’s always the case. They knew how to handle it and had other children, which helps. As I entered the ocean, after a long walk, I realized it was the right moment to do it. I felt happy for the first time in a long time because I knew I was doing the right thing. I was finally doing something that made sense. My life was explained to me in those last moments and I realized it served a purpose. But that’s a long explanation, and I’m tired now.

 My body was drowned in just a few minutes. It is one of the most horrible deaths but I did it exactly as I had researched it. Big gulps and avoid moving too much. It worked exactly as it was supposed to. I was washed ashore the next day, when they discovered me.


 Now, I’m at peace. I’m finally free at there is no way someone can convince me I didn’t do the right thing. What was my function in life, if not ending up here? I wasn’t good alive, I was a waste of space and matter. Now, I’m finally who I was supposed to be.