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

viernes, 23 de febrero de 2018

Rollercoaster


   Waking up had never been that difficult. My eyelids felt heavy and sticky. In the glimpses I had been able to witness, I couldn’t really see anything. Besides, they happened every so often, when my body would come back from the induced state the doctors had put me on. I remember opening my eyes wide, right in the middle of the main surgery. After that, I opened them slightly and wasn’t able to see a thing because it was blurry and pitch black. I remember the scent of disinfectant, though.

 I did not now how long I stayed in there; it felt like days, maybe weeks. The day I was finally able to properly open my eyes, I was surprised to find myself in a large hospital bed. Of course, I knew all along I had been in a hospital but there was no way I or my insurance could afford to have such a nice room. I turned on my chest and looked to the other side of the room, finding a very large window overlooking… Well, nothing. I was apparently in a very tall building because I could only see clouds.

 It rained soon after; at about the same time a nurse came in and checked my pulse and other vital signs. She asked if I was able to sit, so I tried to rise myself and sit on my behind, like people do. But I couldn’t. I felt a jolt of pain electrifying my body. She helped me back to the position I had been before and said she was going to get a doctor and some painkillers. The only one I wanted to see was the medication. I had never been a fan of doctors, especially when they tend to ask too many questions.

 Sure enough, a rather large man with a white robe entered the room minutes later and started firing questions. At first, I tried to keep up with him but eventually I stopped answering because he wanted very specific responses that I wasn’t able to answer properly. Besides, he seemed angry somehow, almost yelling at me for not knowing what he was asking.  He hurt me a bit when he grabbed my arm to check my blood pressure and then another jolt ran through my body when he checked my backside.

 That second instant of pain was enough. I don’t even know how, but I turned around and jumped out of bed, away from him. It hurt, but I didn’t care. I reached the doorway and there I faced him and demanded him to go out of my room. He seemed sort of amused by my demand but I insisted, as some tears started to run down my face. Not only that, something had happened and I was bleeding on the floor, heavily. The nurse ran out to get help and the doctor did the same, not before looking at me as if I was a monster. I wanted to die right then and there.

 A group of nurses took care of me. They seemed kind and did a wonderful job at patching me up again. Apparently, one of the stitches had come loose after I walked out of bed. So they had to fix it, giving me more painkillers and even a special medicine to sleep all night. They had intended for me to have something to eat but I seemed far too tired to do that, so they decided to leave that for another moment. I remember sleeping like a baby, having no dreams or pain. Only a great moment of peace.

 I woke up the next morning to a face I had never seen before. It was a woman, older than the other nurses, wearing a nice knitted sweater and matching skirt. She seemed kind, at least if her smile was to be believed. She excused herself for being there but told me she had wanted to talk to me for a while and she had decided it was best if she just waited for me to wake up. I felt a little bit weird at the moment, but the arrival of one of the nurses made the room feel a little bit cozier.

 After a brief check on my status, the nurse left not before telling me she would bring me some food in a moment. I smiled at her because, obviously, I hadn’t eaten a single piece of food for days or even weeks, only having a liquid pumped into my veins. When I thought of food, I pictured chocolate cake and a good big piece of red meat and a cup of tea with lots of cookies and even a big bowl of vanilla ice cream.  Then, I remembered I was in a hospital and realized they weren’t known for great food.

 I was left alone with the woman in the sofa. She stood up when the nurse left and asked me how I was feeling. I did not know how to answer the question and she seemed to notice that because she then asked what my favorite movie was. Instantly, I was able to tell her I had many favorites and would never be able to choose only one. She laughed and told me she loved romantic dramas but also science fiction films with a lot of gore. She knew it was a curious mix, but it worked for her.

 That silly question got us talking for a whole hour, even after the nurse came back with my food tray. As I had imagined, the food was very bland and not especially appealing but it was something and I ate it all within minutes. The woman, who happened to be a psychiatrist for the hospital, was a very funny person and I have to say I felt safe with her Besides, she seemed intelligent enough not to drill me about what had happened. Obviously, it was her job to know about it and ask me how I was after that ordeal, but she knew exactly how to manage the whole situation.

 She came back every day for a week, as I slowly got better. She was just outside the room when another doctor, a kinder one, came in and removed the stitches. It hurt a little but I never felt a jolt of pain again. The man told me that it was all coming up very well and that I could be out of the hospital in a week or even less. That reminded me to ask who was paying for the whole thing but the doctor pretended not to listen to what I said and instead made me remember I had to rest properly.

 I asked the psychiatrist too but she authentically did not know who was paying for everything. We had talked about how I had left my home years ago and how I wasn’t in touch with my parents or any of my relatives. Besides, I told her how they had rejected me when I was outed in school and hypothesized that they wouldn’t even look at me if they knew what my life had come to. She asked if I missed them and I confessed sometimes I did. But most times, they weren’t even in my mind.

 Two days before my release, a nurse and the psychiatrist joined me for a walk around the hospital. They told me I was going to need a lot of physical therapy to be able to walk normally but that it was almost a given that I would be able to do so in a few months. Of course, the therapy had already been paid but, again, no one seemed aware of who was paying for all of it. And to be honest, I had grown tired of asking. Maybe after it was all in the past, I would be able to properly investigate the whole thing.

 The day I was released from the hospital, all the nurses that took care of me came to say goodbye. I cried and they cried too. We had become closer and I felt them as sisters or aunts. My psychiatrist came too, telling me she would be there if I ever wanted to have a word or if I needed something. She even gave me her personal phone number. I thanked them all and went back home, to a small and dirty little apartment in a crappy neighborhood and the reality of having no prospects in life.

 The very next day, I got a letter. A written one. Of course, that was highly unusual. The moment I read it, I felt weak and wanted to run away but I didn’t know where. Suddenly, I felt in an open field where I was an easy prey for anyone to take advantage of.

 Then, I remembered my psychiatrist’s number. I asked her to meet me and she gave me her address. I arrived there within the hour, crying and in a state I hadn’t been in days. I explained to her the contents of the letter: the revelation of the person that had paid for my hospital expenses. It was him.

miércoles, 20 de diciembre de 2017

The model and the artist

   Cecil had always been his favorite model. Because of some strange characteristic in him, Cecil was able to stand or sit or lay down for hours, looking at a certain part of the room, with his eyes closed or slightly moving if that was needed. He could be naked or dressed; he could be pretending to do something or just be there, being himself. He was one of the best models an artist could ever wish for and Claude had been fortunate enough to meet him in one of the artistic gatherings.

 If he remembered correctly, it had been his friend Anya who had introduced the young man to him. They had all been drinking that night and the house that they were in was filled with the scent of smoke and marihuana. And those two smells were there because of the softest members of the community. Others enjoyed other pleasures that left no scent or at least not in a very notorious way. So it was strange to see Cecil, a boy of around nineteen years old, to be walking around there holding a glass of whisky.

  The first thing Claude asked him was about the whisky itself. He wanted to know if that was Cecil’s favorite drink. However, the young man took a while to answer. He seemed to be kind of gone, maybe distracted or bored by everyone and everything in that house, that night. But he eventually said that the drink wasn’t his and that he didn’t like to drink any alcohol because that way the only thing that happened was that he would get disconnected from reality around him.

 His answer was so strange and particular that Claude instantly liked him. That and because Claude adored the sight of younger men. He was not that old himself. He wouldn’t be considered somewhat of a father figure to anyone or anything like that. But he was older than Cecil, for sure and he loved younger men because they made him feel alive and in touch with everything around him. That’s why Cecil’s phrase hit so close to home for Claude, who decided he had to make Cecil a part of his life.

 They would see each other a couple of other times, in other houses, in order for them to actually talk about their interests. It was clear that Cecil had no skill as an artist but he did wanted to work with them, to be able to understand their process and they ways they did their work. So when Claude decided to ask him to be his model, Cecil agreed, even adding a smile to his approval of the agreement. That smile, with soft pink lips and beautiful teeth, was the seal of approval Claude needed. After all, he hadn’t had a proper model for a while and he was certainly interesting in getting to know Cecil better.

 The first time they met in Claude’s studio, Cecil was as silent as he had ever been. He wanted to be professional and Claude was very appreciative of that. It wasn’t often for a young man to respect the work of others and wanted to be part of the whole artistic experience. Claude decided to be bold and asked him to remove all of his clothes at once. He said it almost as if it was an order, something Cecil had to do in order to remain in that world. And he did, in silence, removing every garment with care.

 The moment he was entirely naked, Claude asked him to pose in the simplest way possible: sitting on a high stool, imitating one of the most famous sculptures in the world. Cecil did not say a word and exhibit his body exactly in the way the artist wanted. The painter started his work, first outlining the whole picture and then putting colors. It was something of a rough sketch, a different take on the way he used to do portraits. They were in that studio for several hours, without speaking or eating.

 Claude finished his work when the sun began to set. Cecil moved and stretched a bit, obviously feeling a lot of pain all over his body. But he didn’t outright complain or say a word. He didn’t even ask to see the painting. He did not say anything besides a soft “Thank you” before heading towards the door and running down the stairs. Claude had some bills prepared for him but he had no opportunity to give them to him. He put them away and started smoking a cigarette, as he thought of that beautiful young man.

 They saw each other the following week and Claude was decided on making their second time a better moment for both of them. The moment Cecil entered the studio; he asked if he had to undress once again. He seemed ready to do it. However, Claude asked him to sit on the tall stool and tell him about his life. Cecil seemed surprised, for the first time since Claude had met him. His eyes looked larger and much more beautiful. His face was pale as he tried to find the proper words to begin his story.

 He was a student. His parents had always wanted a doctor in the family, so they sent him to the best university there was. They did not live in the city but in the countryside, where they had a very prosperous milk business. He didn’t say it, but it was clear that he came from a wealthy family. His parents obviously owned a very large company but he phrased it in a way none of that could be put against him. He also said he had a younger sister and a big dog named Larry, who he missed a lot. That last part, made him shake a bit and clean the corner of his eye.

 Claude only smiled at him when he finished telling his story. A moment later, he asked Cecil to wear a large sweater he had seen in a store recently. He would only wear that for some pictures Claude was going to take with an old camera he had borrowed from a friend. As he undressed and put on the sweater, Cecil confessed he had no idea about Claude being a photographer and also a painter. The artist smiled and asked his model of he had been asking about him to his friend in the business. Cecil did not answer back.

 They spent several hours taking pictures. A camera was much less restrictive, so they were able to move around the place and play with objects. Better for Cecil, he was able to avoid any uncomfortable poses and even got to propose some of his ideas for some pictures. Claude would normally never take advice or comment for anyone but himself, but something from Cecil’s story made him agree to at least take some of his ideas into account. It was a nice afternoon of creating art.

 When the time came for Cecil to leave, Claude stopped him at the door and gave him his pay, including the money he had prepared for him the last time they had met. Cecil told him he wanted to be part of their world but he did not want to take any money of them. He confessed he wasn’t there to hop from bed to bed or from one artist to the other. He wanted no mixing of feelings and work, he only wanted to be part of the experience of creating art and money would only make problems.

 Claude extended his arm, with the money on his hand, and explained to Cecil that what he did was a job. He was a beautiful man with a natural ability to pose and to look the way artists wanted, whether it was for paintings or pictures. Claude even confessed Cecil could be great in audiovisual media; the kind artists did sometimes in order to show something in artistic light but with all the new media available for them. He said money was just a reward for being that amazing person that he was.

 But Cecil did not accept the money. He did, however, kiss Claude on the cheek. He did not say a word after that, only running away once more, down the stairs. He left a very confused artist in that small studio where light entered in droves.


 Claude went on to have an amazing relationship with Cecil that was always on the verge of something else. They both knew there was some kind of tension in the air but they had both decided to ignore it or at least pretend it wasn’t there. Something prevented them from being fully honest.

viernes, 12 de mayo de 2017

Singing

   She was in a city she had never been in before. But Claudia didn’t mind at all. She couldn’t pay attention to anything else. Her turn on stage was scheduled in about two hours and she was very nervous.  In the car, she looked at her hands frequently and sang her song in her head, repeating it over and over, in order to prevent any accident to happen. Her hands were already a little bit sweaty and she knew her makeup had to be retouched once they got to the arena, which would be in just some minutes.

 Her agent looked at her and told her she didn’t have any reason to be nervous. The contest she was in was crowded with first timers and Claudia was all but that. She had been singing since she was a little girl and hadn’t stop for a moment. Her first public appearance at a singer had been in a local state fair, back when she was only five years old. Even then, people fell in love with her voice and the magnificent range she had. Many people thought her voiced was tricked or something.

 But that wasn’t the case. That little detail made her instantly well known among the people of her town as well as some others in the vicinity. That was the beginning of her singing career and year and years of investment in a voice that was very particular but incredible subtle too. People just loved it and she made the effort, every single time, to make the best out of every single concert she had. But, somehow, this contest seemed to really make her nervous, beyond anything she had felt before.

 The day she entered the contest, she didn’t really feel she was going to get the spot. After all, many other young singers wanted to be there. The trials for the event were very harsh and it was the first time Claudia was authentically scared for her voice, the reason being she was using it almost everything, without any rest whatsoever. Thankfully, she was able to sing the day she was chosen to be in the contest. The very next day, she decided not to talk for a while in order to preserve her voice.

 The car finally arrived to the arena, entering an underground parking lot and stopping just in front a big door and a woman holding a notebook. She was the one verifying everything was all right. She checked their papers and then told them where to go next: the assigned changing room where Claudia would have the chance to dress up for her performance. She had brought a very nice dress that her mother and father had bought for her just after they received the news of their daughter participating in the festival. The dress was just perfect and so were her parents.

 She thought of them as she put on the dress, which was blue with many sparkles all around. The outfit came with a pair of earrings and a necklace, both made of silver. They had once being the property of her grandmother, another woman in her family that had been known for her amazing voice but did not have the chance to sing professionally. Partly because she decided to have a family before a career, but also because she had to suffer a lot and singing was not a priority.

 Claudia, on the other hand, realized she had never really suffered anything. The irony was in that her song was about exactly that. So she felt a little bit like a hypocrite. So bad she felt, that she decided to try and change the song chosen to be performed in the contest. But it was impossible to change her entry at that late point in the process. She had to sing what she had decided to sing in the beginning, no matter if she liked it or not. She had to look inside herself a connection to the song.

 Many people think that’s bullshit. They think that an artist can just speak about whatever subject they want and there won’t be any trouble and all. But that’s not true. If you don’t feel the subject that you’re going to be handling, there’s a big chance you won’t be able to deliver. An artist is supposed to shake you to the core, by making you realize things about yourself that you didn’t even know about. No matter what art for it is, people expect to be moved in one or the other.

That was the problem that Claudia had with the song and she had to really learn the lyrics and understand the meaning in order to find her unique connection to the song. It took her several weeks to connect to it but she finally made it. The improvement of her performance was notable. Before, it just seemed she was a very good singer, doing a nice job with a random song. But after properly exploring it, her voice and the lyrics appeared to turn in the whirlwind of emotions, pure heart.

 That’s why she always cried after each performance of the song. She did it all the rehearsals and she did it the night she was chosen to be in the contest. And she will probably do it there again because that was the connection that she had created to her song. She thought about all of this looking at the mirror, once she was fully dressed for her presentation. The first performer of the night was already singing and now she had to go and stand in line for her turn to come. It was nerve-cracking and every other singer there looked worried, none of them tried to hide it.

 Thankfully, she was in the middle of a thirty people group. So she didn’t have to wait a long time to sing but she wasn’t thrown into the stage too fast either. She just sang the song inside her head over and over and tried not to look at the other competitors. Claudia also tried to tune out the voice of the person singing at the moment, which was very difficult because only a thick curtain separated the singers on the line from the one performing on stage. It was a rush of energy.

 Finally, her turn came. She walked slowly towards the microphone, that way prevent herself to trip or step on her dress or something. She controlled her breathing and closed her eyes the moment she arrived on the spot she had to be in. She had to wait for her music to begin and that seemed to take years. Of course, they were only a few seconds but it seemed forever then. She even had time to think about her parents, the only people she really cared about in the whole world.

 The music began and her voice began flowing out of her body, filling every single part of the enormous stage and beyond. People looked at her ecstatic but she didn’t looked at the audience. She was singing to herself and to her parents, looking up, to a point far away into the bright lights that bathed her with a bluish light. Her arms moved, her legs were in tension and her chest was doing a lot of the work. But everything went perfect, even better than expect. When she finished, she cried once again.


 The cheers and screams and expressions of joy from the audience were just overwhelming. Everyone seemed to love her song, her voice and her performance. She had really managed to make the song her own and now, even if she wasn’t able to win the contest, it didn’t matter. She had proven to herself what she was capable of and that was something she had not expected to learn there. She had just come to sing and she pulled away from the stage having changed as a person and a singer.

lunes, 30 de enero de 2017

Early hours

   For some reason, he wasn’t able to sleep properly, as he would have wanted. Ever since he could remember, his eyes opened automatically very early, always around seven o’clock in the morning. Every single time he tried to keep sleeping, staying in bed and covering himself up with his bed sheets, he failed miserably as his eyes wouldn’t close for anything, no matter how much and how long he tried. When he had something to do late some day, he just woke up that early and then waited.

 If he ever had to wake up earlier than that, then there was no problem. It was over sleeping that was the problem and not the other way around. Certainly, it was a very uncommon thing, but very real nevertheless. Craig, that was his name, had become an expert in handling all those hours that he normally had to spare on days he didn’t have to work or on weekends. He tried to use them for exercising or doing some of the things he never got to do when he was busy like his taxes and stuff like that.

 It was this early, once he went cycling around his neighbourhood, when he met someone that had a problem with his bike. His name was Rick and he his bicycle on the lawn of a park, trying to figure out what was wrong with it. As Craig had gathered a considerable amount of expertise related to cycling, he decided to stop and help the guy, carrying the bike to a near gas station where they could check the tires for any problems. Indeed, the issue was that something had cut through one of them.

 Rick felt really silly and blamed his accident to the fact that he hadn’t been sleeping much. That small phrase caught Craig’s attention, who rapidly responded by smiling and confessing he rarely slept too much, instead doing things like cycling to spend the time. Rick was very intrigued by that, so he asked Craig if he would like to join him for some lemonade while walking towards his house. There was a place nearby that made an excellent, sweet, lemonade.

 They each bought one and talked about everything as they sipped lemonade and walked with their bicycles on the side. Craig realized, once he got home, that he had practically neglected to actually exercise that day. But he didn’t mind because of two reasons. The first was because he didn’t cycle to exercise as such but to get distracted and spend time he didn’t want to waste. And the other reason was because he had enjoyed Rick’s company too much and would have wanted to spend even more time with him. It had been a nice thing to ask for his phone number.

 He had to wait a week, until next Saturday, to receive a text message on his phone. Rick wanted to know if he was going to go out on his bicycle again, as he had already fixed his bike’s tires and he was looking forward doing it correctly this time. Craig wrote him that he was indeed coming out with his bicycle and that he would love to meet to exercise together. Sure enough, Rick was on the front door of Craig’s building very early on Sunday, yawning a lot but with a smile.

 That day, they both really exercised a lot. They went very far, some ten kilometres away. There they looked for some place to have something to drink and then they came back to Craig’s apartment. As the only thing to drink they had found was a store they had bought some water bags from, Craig decided to invite Rick to his apartment, for a proper breakfast. Rick refused at first, saying he still had to go to his house, but as Craig knew it wasn’t very far, he accepted the invitation.

 The bikes stayed on the basement, behind Craig’s car. On the elevator going up to the apartment, the two men realized they didn’t know what to talk about. They were tired but at the same time they both felt it was necessary to speak, as they were going to spend some more time together that day. But not a word was said in the elevator. On the fifth floor, Craig grabbed his keys from his pocket opened the door. Rick was visibly uncomfortable, as Craig walked stretching his arms into the air.

 They both entered the kitchen and then decided to make omelettes for breakfast. Realizing how tense Rick appeared to be, Craig decided to make the moment very interactive: he would ask the other guy fro every single ingredient for breakfast and Rick would have to look around for it. Surprisingly enough, he was very fast with everything, finding all necessary items in just a few seconds. The game was a very smart way to break the ice and initiate a proper conversation.

 As the eggs cooked, Craig explained Rick everything about his rare condition, where he couldn’t sleep past seven o’clock, how he blamed his childhood for it and some funny things that had happened as the years had gone by, during those early hours. Then, it was Rick’s time to talk about himself. He chose to acknowledge the fact that he was very shy but that he was always trying to push himself forward, in order to meet new people. He confessed that was the first time his experiments had actually been successful. Craig proposed a toast with orange juice.

 They spend the morning eating and talking, until they realized the moment was becoming very awkward again. Thankfully, Rick’s phone rang and broke an uncomfortable silence that had settled in. They didn’t write or called each other during the week. But, at least Craig, certainly thought about Rick when his mind wasn’t busy doing something else. He realized he felt something but he didn’t know what it was and it bothered him. So he tried not to think about it too much.

 The next weekend, nothing. Rick didn’t call or sent a text. Nothing at all. That was the first Sunday in a long time that Craig spent in his bed. He decided he was tired of exercising and instead chose to watch an animated movie he had never paid attention to. He surprised himself by doing that, as he wasn’t the type of guy to watch cartoons but he thoroughly enjoyed his morning, complete with a big bowl of cereal and sliced bananas. He felt like a younger self again, for some time.

 That afternoon he decided to go to the supermarket, as his refrigerator was becoming more and more empty. He normally didn’t worry too much about it, as he normally ate outside of the house, but an urge to eat better thing took over him, so Craig decided he wanted to start cooking more. He was on the pasta aisle when he heard a familiar voice. At first, he thought he was imagining it and got very embarrassed with himself because of that, but then he realized it was really happening.

 Slowly, he moved his shopping cart around the corner into the next aisle. There he was: Rick was talking to a small girl. Apparently she was deciding which cereal she was going to buy. The decision was down to a pink box with princess related stuff painted on it, or a red box with a big panda on the front, eating something that looked like tiny chocolate cylinders. The girl grabbed the pink box and hugged it. Rick smiled and then his eyes moved up, to see Craig standing there like a lamp.


 There was no way of pretending he hadn’t been looking so he only waved and smiled. He didn’t come closer; somehow his legs wouldn’t move his body forward. There was a tense moment, in which the only noise was the girl trying to make Rick move from his spot. They didn’t say anything. Craig was the one who moved first, turning around, almost sprinting to the nearest paying point. Once he was at home, he decided that his early hours would never be used to do any exercise again, or at least not one that involved meeting strangers, as if that had anything to do with his embarrassment at the moment.