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

miércoles, 10 de enero de 2018

Sitting there

   Sitting there, with so many people worrying about their own business, was kind of soothing to me. It’s an awful thing to say, but I’d rather have that than a place where everyone is clearly waiting to hear what’s up with you. In other contexts, where nothing is really happening, every single ear in the vicinity would hear a bomb like that. There too but no one would really care because they are waiting themselves for some words they hope they might be hearing and other they don’t want to hear at all.

 I woke up very early that day and I have to say it was very strange to just stare at my own feet for several minutes, sitting on the edge of the bed, before I realized I wasn’t really doing anything and I needed to get going. I slowly dragged myself to the bathroom and had a shower, longer than those that I had daily. I wanted to make time feel longer, but when I put on my clothes and grabbed a glass of orange juice in the kitchen, I realized I hadn’t really spent much time and I would be getting early to work.

 It has to be said: I hate my job and the people I talk to in it. I hate my boss and the girl who’s supposed to greet people in the reception. I really hate them all. It’s not just that I don’t like them but I actually hate them, because they always seem to want more information about me than what they tell me about them. They clearly just want to gossip and my boss only wants me as a mule, as a beast to use for work and nothing else. I don’t thank him for this job at all, none of them.

  However, I need the money and no one else would hire me. So I go every single day to work, by bus, standing up and very rarely finding a seat before I reach my stop. That day I walked especially slowly in order to take my time to work. I managed to get there a little later than expected but still at least one hour before I was supposed to begin my work. I didn’t care. I turned on my computer as soon as I got in and started working right then, as I needed to make my lunchtime valuable.

 I was happy when my stomach started growling, towards the middle of the day. It meant I was hungry, of course, but also that I hadn’t been interrupted by anyone all morning. Not a single stupid question or a greeting that had no real intention of being kind. Nothing at all for almost five hours and that was simply the best time I had ever had in that place. I was able to reach some clients, fixing some documents I had to correct and even do a couple of things ahead of time to free my schedule even more. Other would not appreciate that but I didn’t really care.

 The moment people around me started talking louder and stood up to walk towards the elevators, I realized it was my time to run. I went down by foot, through the relative darkness of the stairs and I reached the main gate in a very short time. Luckily, the place I had to go to was nearby, only a couple of blocks away, so my time would be spent in the best way possible. My stomach growled the whole walk towards the clinic, but I ignored it by smiling at the beautiful weather.

 The sun was very high up in the sky and there were a couple of fluffy white clouds there but nothing to prevent the sun from reaching all the people below that wanted that beautiful day to last forever. I was a bit sad to get to the clinic, a place that should’ve been a lot less dark than it was, but I decided to just grab my number and sit down as I waited. The place was not a real hospital or something like that. It was more like a center to get help, something much more informal.

 That was a good thing because I had always hated the smell and the sounds of hospitals. They make my skin crawl. Maybe it’s because every time you’re in a hospital it’s because something wrong is happening with you or someone else. Not even the food is decent in a place like that. So I really don’t like those places. Burt that one was a lot warmer, both physically and in the décor. It wasn’t blue and white but orange and red and green and all sorts of other colors.

 Maybe that’s because people with children tend to go there. I saw at least three very young mothers with their babies, waiting for their turn to speak with a counselor. It has to be said there were not that many doctors there. People were not waiting to have a checkup or something like that. It was more of a social thing in general. I looked at those girls for a long time, and I realized many of them seemed ashamed to be there but they didn’t go anywhere until their names were called.

 I, on the other hand, was there for something between a medical procedure and a psychosocial thing. It’s hard to talk about it but at least I went there. The point of it all is I waited for about twenty minutes until a nurse, a very tall one, called my name and asked me to follow her. She asked me to wait in a very small room. She came back shortly with what she needed. A syringe and a small plastic bag. She asked for my arm and in seconds she extracted a whole syringe of blood from me. The nurse asked me to wait there, as someone would be with me shortly.

 Another woman came in and talked to me about all those things I knew about but I had ignored. She was very nice and kind and even tried to make me asked her questions. Just to be kind, I did ask a couple of things, of which I already knew the answer to. When I stepped out of the clinic, I still had a half an hour to have something to eat. Luckily, there was a fried chicken place in the way to work. I sat there and ate several pieces, with fries and a large soda. I was going to be late but I didn’t care at all.

 I sat on the restaurant’s terrace, where my face could feel the scorching rays of the sun. I didn’t mind at all. I was just so happy eating my chicken, getting all greasy and having such a blast eating and enjoying the sun. It was one of those short moments in life when you actually feel happy, truly happy. I did not feel my happiness then was artificial or the cause of something someone else had done. It was all about me and how good I felt for making a good decision and pairing it up with fried chicken.

 When I got to the office, the boss called me to his office to basically yell at me for being fifteen minutes late. Other people were still talking about the gossip they had heard at lunch, no one was really working, but I was the one being called to the boss’ office in order to be yelled at. I let him do that for a couple of minutes, not really paying attention, just nodding and saying, “yes” every so often. But then, he said something I cannot remember but that phrase somehow struck a chord deep inside me.

 I told him to "fuck off" and then went back to my desk. I did expect to be fired but nothing happened.  Actually, nothing has happened since then, almost two months ago. And now I’m in that waiting room again, waiting for them to tell me if there’s something wrong with me or not. I’m very nervous, of course, but somehow I feel as free as that day eating fried chicken. Because I defended myself once and I did something for me on the same day. I’m kind of proud of those things.

 The nurse calls my name. She’s the same very tall woman. She has such a kind and beautiful smile on her face. It’s so soothing to see someone greeting you like that. She asks me to follow her and we end up in a different room than the one the time before. She asks me to wait for the counselor.

 As I wait, I notice the pictures around the room. They are personal photos and items, collected through the counselor’s lifetime. She really does feel that place, that tiny office, to be her place. I hope I feel that way about a place too, someday. Or something else.

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.

martes, 19 de julio de 2016


   Gustav had been waking up early for year. Since he was a baby, he had a thing for waking up his parents very early in the y day and not been able to sleep until it was later in the day, so late that their whole morning routine was disturbed by his actions. They didn’t need a clockwork because his timing which was always perfect. Every single morning at nine o’clock he would start crying and would do it for about two hours until he stopped and resumed later that day, in the evenings.

 After that, in preschool, he was considered a very different little boy. He woke up before his mother and his father and was able to serve himself a glass of orange juice which he drank as he waited for them to wake up. The bus picked him up at seven and he woke up at six every single day, no exception. As he got older, he was able to dress himself and work the shower in order to have the water in the right temperature, the one he preferred.

 In his preteens, he was teased by all the other kids because of such things. As per usual, they didn’t like him because he was so different. He wasn’t a genius or anything like that. His parents thought he would demonstrate at an early age his remarkable brain and that they would have to homeschool him because of how special he was going to be. But the truth was much different: he was only different because his eyes started to bother him from an early stage and glasses were needed sooner than expected.

 Gustav knew he needed the glasses but he was sure to take them out whenever he was able. He liked to take them off in the bus back home or in class when he was sleepy. Most adults didn’t like when he did that but the truth was he had never grown accustomed to sing them. Sometimes, on weekends, he wouldn0t use them at all, instead playing around the house like a normal kid having no problem with his vision.

 As a teenager he was still harassed by his classmates, pushed around occasionally, especially after gym class. It was the favorite moment of the week for jocks who were eager to prove themselves more important than everyone else. Even then, he was the first to arrive to school and that granted him with a special knowledge of everyone’s ways to do things.

 He realized the people that annoyed him had a really bad problem with sleeping so what he did was just avoid them in places they would never go on and if that wasn’t working, he would always know which classrooms were available to tell them in order for him to be released and them to have a nice nap or even for kissing their girlfriend. Whatever it was, Gustav knew it was useful information.

 Even in college, living away from his parents, he woke up very early in the morning to read the notes he had taken the way before. It was his technique for remembering stuff. The other good thing was that he always had a great seat in the earlier classes of the day and sometimes they did put up the most interesting ones very early.

 Different from high school, Gustav became one of those people that everyone knew in college. At first, he didn’t really have any friends but every single person knew who he was. He soon made real friends and in no time he was going to parties and drinking and smoking and doing every single thing teenagers do if they want to defy the authority out up to control them. After all, Gustav was only special in so many ways and, sadly, not really in a significant one that can save anyone from anything.

 Even after weekend long parties, he found himself waking up drunk or with a huge hangover very early in the morning. No one ever did that so that made him very notable in his group of people. It wasn’t that they made fun of him but rather that that they seem to be really captivated by how strange he was. And he knew they were all looking at him so he decided to be more interesting and started changing his clothes and doing more interesting things with that extra time he seemed to have every single day.

 He started to smuggle drugs into the campus the second year he attended college. Some guy he had met at a party told him about the huge amount of money he could get just buy passing the product from one person to the other, he didn’t really had to sell anything, he just had to help the product get to the real buyer. He never really knew who that person was, but he was very excited about being involved in such a thing.

As he woke up so early, he could easily grab the packages from one site and put it in the next without anyone saying anything. The only people that were awake so early were the members of the cleaning crew and many of them were also involved in the network of drug handlers. He was proud of himself because he had proven himself to be useful in some way. He had never felt that, not in his career and not before at home or elsewhere.

The smuggling business lasted for two whole years until some idiot was busted with a large pack of ecstasy pills in a park, at night. Apparently, she had the stupid idea of trying to rob one pill from the package and when she opened it every single pill jumped out of the small bag and fell into the grass in the middle of campus. The police was notified fast by some older woman and the girl was arrested and possibly sent to prison fro drug trafficking. The thrills ended for everyone that day.

 He knew he was lucky that he never got caught but, even so, Gustav was kind of sad that part of his life was over. Soon, he would graduate and he would have to confront the real world on his own. The truth was he didn’t feel ready to take on anything by himself. He used his morning time to walk around, to get to the roof of his dorm and lay down looking art the sky and watching the last stars of the night disappear. He thought of his decisions and his possibilities in a world that asked everyone to be exceptional, special in some way but no one really was.

 When he received his diploma, he came back home for some time. It was nice to see his parents again and feeling they were as proud of him then as they had been years before, when he thought he was the most special little boy to live in the planet. They were really nice people, honest and full of good principles that they had tried to put into his son. But they had failed and that’s why he couldn’t be in their presence for long. It could get very exhausting.

 Soon, he got a job in the city so he moved to a small place and started making a life for himself. He was lucky enough to land a job that required him to be very early every day so he didn’t really mind. He was a cameraman in a morning show and that always happened very early. His coworkers were always very tired in the morning, having to drink two or even three cups of coffee to actually work. He didn’t need that.

 His superiors realized that and decided to assign him to a reporter that was in charge of all the “night stories”. He went all over the city in the darkest hours to report on what was happening like road accidents, cases of violence, curious occurrences and all types of things that happened really late or early in the day. Gustav felt he was in the perfect place, being able to do his work in the best way possible.

 After his first six months, his boss was so impressed with his work that he decided to assign him the job of reporter after the one they had decided to drop out because of the “difficult job schedule”. Gustav was very thankful because he had never thought of being in front of the camera instead of behind it. He got some classes on how to speak properly and he documented himself on the city. By the time he started, every person looking just fell in love with him.

 For that work, he received a lot of praise including several awards that made him kind of a famous personality in TV. He eventually got married and received many other proposals for similar jobs and he would consider them all because he had finally understood he did have something that made him special. It was just it wasn’t the most amazing thing ever.

jueves, 14 de enero de 2016


   He sipped a bit of the coffee and burned his tongue right away. It was too hot and he was in a hurry, so nothing different could have happened. He decided to put at least half the pot he had made in a thermos and just take that in the car. It was pitch black outside and the van would pick him up in any minute.

Of course he hadn’t had any sleep at all. He usually went to sleep very late and he had in the auditorium at five in the morning, with didn’t really gave him much time to do anything. He decided to not even try to sleep and shower and get ready at around two of the morning, se he could have breakfast before they came to pick him up at 3:30 AM.

 But as things that shouldn’t happen always find a way of becoming truth, he dozed off for a while and he lost the time to have a proper breakfast, which resulted in him burning his tongue and running around his house like an idiot. The van arrived only minutes afterwards so he just took his thermos with him and went as fast as he could, although the elevator apparently had a problem with that, as it felt it took double the time to get to the ground floor.

  There he finally met the man that drove the van, who he apologized to. The man didn’t even acknowledge that an explained him that he needed to check him for envelops, microphones, cameras and so on. The poor guy that hadn’t slept more than half an hour wasn’t sure he was getting what the driver of the van was telling him. The man attempted to touch him but he just pulled apart in fear.

       - “It’s for security, Mr. Thomas!”

 Somehow, that enunciation woke him up a bit and he decided to stay very still as the man checked his pockets (jacket and pants), felt everything he had to feel and even asked him to take off his shoes. He complied to everything as if he was in a boot camp which made them loose about fifteen minutes of their time, that he had thought to be precious. After checking the shoes and even the socks, the man finally told him to follow him to the van.

 Mr. Thomas sat down in the far back, not wanting to talk at all with that man during the ride. After all, it was a half-hour drive from his house to the headquarters of the services firm where they had to pick up a suitcase that had all the information they needed by five in the morning in the theatre. He knew he wasn’t the only idiot waking up at such time of the day and that made him feel a little better about himself. So when the van started moving towards the highway, he was a bit more awake than before.

 As they travelled through an unusual cold morning in Los Angeles, light still absent, he decided to finally have some coffee and just enjoy the ride. He decided to pay attention to the world and the world revealed itself to him in a way he had never seen. After all, it wasn’t everyday that he woke up at this time of day, when every single person that was up seemed to have a certain thing about them.

 The driver was the first in that list. He was a very tall guy, the kind that when they bend over it looks ridiculous. When he was checking Mr. Thomas’s shoes, his body contorted in the most funny shape ever and the owner of those shoes almost laughs, partially because of the time of day but also because tall people always looked funny in the simplest positions. Besides his height, he had this weird thing where the mustache was the same color of his hair, which was blonde, but the eyebrows were very black. Somehow it looked odd, as if he was a big Mr. Potato Head.

 The next person that drew his attention was a lady on the street. They stopped in a red light for a while and he saw this elderly woman, body curved as it was humanly possible, walking her Chihuahua in the middle of the night. What was curious about the woman was not at all the fact that she was walking her dog at that time, which he knew to be very common among dog owners, but that she was wearing the strangest combination of clothing. She had a large overcoat, the color of flamingos. Under that she had a flowery shirt that looked too big for her, kaki shorts and fluffy sleepers with a baseball cap crowning her head.

 She was a sight to behold and that was only for a couple of minutes, before they got in the highway and he only saw some cars and a couple of dead pigeons that had been killed by crazed drivers or just by people that had not realized that birds wee not the brightest creatures in the universe. When he saw those bodies, he couldn’t stop thinking about the poor man or woman that had to clean that up from the asphalt of the highway as his or her job. That thought made him realize he was a very lucky guy with a very good job and that he had no right to complain about something as silly as waking up early in the morning.

 It seemed that in no time they were in downtown Los Angeles, stopping in almost every stupid traffic light. He saw his watch nervously, telling himself that if he was a couple of minutes late it wouldn’t really be that big of problem as the show began a little later than five. But then he remembered he had to pass the information to the people than made a nice little presentation video for people at home to get what the presenters were saying. He worried again when he thought of this.

 It was right then when they finally got to the skyscraper where the services offices were located. He got out of the van and remembered what they had told him: he had to go the information desk and ask for Tamara Parks. Then, they would direct him to the top floor where Ms. Parks would give him the briefcase with all the information they needed in the theater.

 So he did just that. The man at the information desk was a security guard; obviously the person that tactually worked there had not yet arrived. The man gave him a badge and told him to take the middle elevator and press the button to the top floor. Said elevator took forever to arrive and also to get up there. It seemed to be going for ages. He checked his watch several times and repeated to himself that they were on time and that the theater was not that far away. He realized the elevator had a mirror so he decided to check his suit for stains or anything unusual, his teeth and his face. It was right then the elevator decided to stop and open.

 This startled him but no one was outside waiting. He had to walk to an office and wait there in a waiting room for the woman. But he didn’t have to wait at all. She was there and greeted him with a big smile that he would be unable to do at that time of day. She asked him to follow her to a conference room and there he found the briefcase but also two big guys, with black glasses and earpieces. Somehow, it was funny to see them there, as if they were thing to put in a room like plants or statues.

 Ms. Parks explained they were the security team assigned to join him to the theater to ensure all the information got there safely and that only the people that had to see it saw it and no one else. They checked everything in five minutes and then they were good to go. He left the smiling Parks in the top floor but was joined in the elevator by the two big guys who didn’t smile at all.

 He was a bit relieved when he got to the van and this time the driver decided to speed up as he realized time was running short. The theater was not far away and, with the presence of the two big guys, Mr. Thomas had no opportunity to see the outside world, mainly because he was trapped between those two mountains that were apparently people.

 Exactly at five in the morning, they pulled off outside the theater and there was already someone waiting, telling her they were a bit late which was a lie. Apparently people there were very stressed. The four of them walked, almost jogged, to the theater and there straight to the master room when a lonely woman was waiting for them behind a computer. It was Mr. Thomas job to only look at her work like crazy for the next twenty minutes, helped only by another man.

 When the presentation was done, Thomas’s work was done. The big men would guard the briefcase and   he could just sit in the back of the theater and hear the name of the nominees from there. At that point, he was finally awake and also very excited because he knew he was part of something that meant a lot to many people and that was, somehow, the pinnacle of their efforts and the most coveted prize in the cinema industry.