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

miércoles, 8 de marzo de 2017

Waste of space

   Every day was almost exactly the same. He would wake up, have something to eat, then shower, look for a job and then lunch. After that, it would be hours and hours of basically nothing until dinner. At night and in the morning he would exercise a bit and before going to bed he would watch something, like a movie or whatever was available. That was life like for him, even after he had decided it would be different. His decisions in life had amounted to nothing and he didn’t know what to do.

 He had been living there for almost a year and nothing had happened, nothing at all. Not a single change since his arrival. He tried to keep it different by distracting himself with movie or by going out to walk around the city, but that didn’t change anything either. It was a perpetual movement he was trapped in, a series of actions he repeated every single day, every week and every single month, no matter the little differences like weather or things like that. Things didn’t change.

 He had tried to change them. He had really tried but he soon realized that one person couldn’t really change the world. Whoever had said that in the past was wrong. A single lonely human couldn’t change a thing in this world. Every major shift had to involve lots of people with a common goal and a certain organization. And he didn’t have that at all. He was alone and he depended on his parents for survival. They weren’t happy for him or anything, but they felt they couldn’t refuse him help.

 The money he received as an allowance was used very carefully to pay for the apartment, the bills and the food. Those were the normal expenses. He sometimes used the money for distractions, going out and that sort of thing. In those instances he would have to remember that he was taking money away for his food. He never minded. Besides, it wasn’t something he did often; on the contrary, he managed his money in the most careful way because it was just enough to survive.

 But that was the thing: he had been thinking for a long time if it was worth it to keep on living as he was. He was draining money from his parents every month, he was sitting on his ass doing nothing, except getting older and older people have a harder time getting a job. But no one was giving him a job, not now or before. Not when he was recently graduated or after his various years of studies all over the place. They had never acknowledged him as a nothing more than a man that could pick up a phone or move boxes from one place to the other.

 The money he earned for such jobs disappeared very fast. Most of it was taken away by the health service they provided, which he never used. And the rest was used to pay debts or bills. Nothing remained. Those times, whoever, he could grab a little more from his parents money in order to have fun, even for a short period of time. He would get drunk, go out and party and just forget about everything in his life and who he was. He lost himself every time or at least he tried.

 He loved going out to dark places with loud music, wherever they could have alcohol. He even tried drugs a couple of times but it wasn’t his thing. The point of it all was forgetting his life, which was pathetic and sad. He was a leech and a waste of space. He remembered that expression once and it had gotten stuck on his head since then because it described so well what he thought of his place in life. He did feel as if he was a waste of space and would have loved it to be different.

 But it wasn’t things are as they are and one’s blind optimism cannot change that. People want every single person in the world to think blindly that everything is going to be ok but the reality of life is that probably nothing will be ok. The world itself is more and more violent, not a hospitable place for actual life to develop. So why should people be blind to that? Why should be people avoid the truth, instead of embracing it and maybe then find a solution for whatever the problem is?

 Many times, he looked around his house and carefully planned his last day on Earth. It was kind of like a game he played with himself when things where a its lowest. He would imagine cutting his wrists on the tub and having one of those almost artistic deaths, with the blood tainting the water slowly and also spilling gently to the floor. It looked almost like a romantic thing inside his head. But it would take too long and that wasn’t something he was very eager about.

 He imagined many other outcomes for his life. Some more admittedly violent and graphic but others were even more subtle that the one in the tub. He had a great imagination, which he used laying on his bed, waiting for someone to respond to his calls looking for one of the many menial jobs the world had to offer. He had realized a while ago that no one was going to give him a good job where he could feel like a real person. He was apparently built to be a slave and he had decided he didn’t mind at all, it was his destiny all along and that was settled.

 Sure enough, he had two jobs latter on: one as part of the cleaning crew in a hospital and another one in a supermarket, doing basically the same thing. He would break his back for a pay that was laughable but there was nothing else to do. However, he decided one day to ask his parents not to send him any more money. They did ask him “why” but he never answered, so they just did as they were told and the subject never came up again, in telephone conversations or when he visited, which was rare.

He had decided he would survive with whatever he had. His meals were greatly reduced and he had to move to another apartment, one even smaller in a much uglier part of the city. He sold some of his belongings too, in order to pay for the first couple of months. He tried to set aside something every month for pleasure, such as alcohol or whatever he would be in the mood for. Those small moments were not of joy but of quiet and a certain peace, which he still enjoyed.

 After some months living his new life, he got very sick with the flu. He stopped earning money for almost three weeks. When the disease didn’t kill him, the lack of food almost did. He actually had to be rushed into the hospital but he escaped it as soon as he could because he didn’t have the money to pay for a hospital bed. He just bought bread and medicine and hoped for the best. He was fired from the hospital he worked in but kept the supermarket job, where they raised his salary a bit in order to make him do more stuff.

 As always, he didn’t really mind. He got better, or just about, and start working harder every day. The hours were longer than before and this time he had to work every single day of the week but at least he was distracted by something. He didn’t have time to ponder or think about what could have been or what the future may hold for him. Those were empty questions now and no one care about the answers. He had lost the will to rebel in any way. He just lived, if that’s what it’s called.

 He was eventually fired from that job too. Not long after that, he decided to jump off a bridge that passed over a highway. His parents had nothing to keep from him anymore, as he had sold almost everything except and old notebook he had kept from when he was young, Inside, he had written a number of stories and he had also drawn lots of characters and abstract figures. They took one look at it and then stored it away somewhere. The man became a memory and, after his parents died, it was as if he had never existed on this Earth.

sábado, 23 de julio de 2016

The killer

   No matter how loud she got, it wasn’t loud enough for anyone to hear her, after all, it was very late at night in a small city in which people always went to bed exactly a the same hour. And even if they didn’t fall asleep, they were inside their homes, unable to help anyone in need. Some said, days later, that they had heard a scream coming from somewhere that night. Psychologists said the people that swore by that were just guilty, saying things that didn’t happen.

 She yelled and screamed more than once. She fought her attacker with everything she had: her purse, her heels, but nothing worked. And least of all against his knife, which turned the street into a butcher’s shop. The police had a real problem when discovering the body because she hadn’t been murdered in alley or by a river. Veronica Slate had been assassinated two blocks away from her house, the night she was graduating from a business class.

 The killer’s face was known to no one and it was very possible that none of the town’s inhabitants had ever seen him. Mainly, because he had never been there before and would never come back. He had no need to and he was dedicated to what he did so he knew exactly how to do things, how not to be predictable and silly over such obvious things as location. People invented his face in their minds, bases on images of killers they had seen in movies. Of course, they were not accurate.

 He moved on to another town and stayed there for a week in a small hotel by the main square. He had no urge there, no need to make a move. He just walked around and chilled until he decided it had been enough. He took another bus and there was a second victim by the end of a very traumatic week because of the celebrations of the national day and a scandal involving a senator and his daughter.

 The body of Rosa Pérez was found in the middle of the most used avenue in that town. It was a place filled with people every single day but, somehow, no one had seen anything. It was a bigger town than the one before so they were sure a camera would have picked up something. But it didn’t. There was nothing they could use, no witnesses again. And they didn’t consider the cases linked but an isolated and strange attack.

 Rosa worked near by, in laundry place that worked all night. She had a bag filled with dirty clothes the night she was killed. The killer had used a gun with a silencer and many people linked her death to gang violence or some sort of vengeance killing. Her children had to bury their mother without a single shadow of understanding above her case. No one knew anything, again.

 That month, another two women were killed by the same man. One was choked with her own necklace and the other one was run over by a car at least twice. The scenes were always disgusting and it was difficult for every policeman to process those cases, as they hated to get their hands to close to such horrifying situations. The coroners were in charge of everything and they were the ones telling the people what had happened and why. Yet, they were still such random acts of violence that no one dared to link one thing to the other.

 As for the killer, he stopped altogether for several months. He was an unstable person that was obvious. But he was and amazing actor too. Not that it was his job, but he could anyone believe whatever he wanted them to believe. Most people loved to think they lived in a perfect world, filled with magic and love ant only beautiful things. And he benefited from that, from ignorance and their willingness to simply ignore that evil was out there, walking the streets.

 He had killed people for a long time now and kept a list of how many he had killed. It was very uncommon, but he knew that one day he would be the one to go to the police and tell them he had done all of those murders, all of those noted in that small notebook. He had dates and sometimes even names. He knew that there would come a time when he wouldn’t be able to do it as he did it now so he had plans to surrender himself.

 In his mind, he would win in that case. He already had won in any case, because no one knew who he was or that he was the same attacker of all those women. He had a clear advantage over anyone that might investigate a little bit too much. He also thought that a very good detective would actually see clues all over the place. But this was reality and there were no Sherlock Holmes’ roaming the streets solving crimes.

 So he stopped for a few months but began again some time in the winter. To him, it was fun to do it in different places, different seasons and to different kind of people. He had even killed a couple of men but it didn’t feel exactly the same. He preferred women although the urge might come he would like to overcome someone as strong as him and that could prove to be interesting.

 His strength and with were his weapons, his most important ones. It didn’t matter what he used to actually killed somehow. Murder weapons could be anything in the world. But his head, his brain, was a machine that planned everything to perfection and that was the real weapon to be protected against. And no one knew it existed.

 He always read in the papers, the rare times his crimes made it there, that killers always had issues with their parents and had problems during sexual intercourse. The truth was he had always had the best relationship with his parents. He had always loved them and they had loved them back. He had the best education and a happy childhood filled with almost everything a child would love to have, including the unconditional love only two really good parents could give.

 As for the sex thing, he never had intercourse with his victims. That could prove too obvious to link all crimes, more over if he had an accident and left his DNA inside the women. No, he wasn’t that stupid so when he needed to have sexual interaction with someone, he would call a friend or hire a call girl. And he treated them right, always. He wasn’t too rough or violent; he was just like any other man. Except he was a murderer.

 Sometimes, he loved to imagine them discovering who he was. He was thrilled by that, the moment someone would notice something like a blood stained shirt or something similar, not that he would be that careless. But he always had fun picturing those ridiculous scenes, created out of movie scenes that always portrayed people’s ingenuity to perfection. But no one ever asked him anything; no woman ever said a word to him before or after sex. Nothing.

 That winter, he killed at least five women. One of them was killed in the middle of a road, so she was found several months later, when the snow began to disappear. Of course, every town and family was destroyed but he was never there to see or hear anything about it. He tried to avoid that because he was simply not interested in the result of what he did. Maybe that was the only thing that made him a little obvious, at least in his personal concept.

 He would love to get away as soon as possible and analyze his urges in order to know if he wanted to do it again or if he went back to his place, to his normal life with a job and a pet and friends. That man was a monster, no doubt. But he was also a neighbor, a coworker, the man you see walking down the street with a cup of coffee, rushing to the subway or smiling at something funny.

 Killers are people, people that have been deformed by what’s inside of them which can have several forms and shapes and interpretations. And this particular beast was one no one ever saw because they didn’t want to. They had refused to believe someone like them could be capable of what he was capable. And he like that.

lunes, 1 de febrero de 2016


   As the doors of the club opened, Hosni stumbled out flanked by two other guys, not one looking as lost as he was. He had to lean against a wall next to the club and just wait there. The two guys that had come out with him did not ask him if he was ok or if he wants some kind of help. Actually, they only looked at him glaringly and started talking on their phones almost immediately. His head felt very dizzy, he felt it turn and turn and not stopping but his body had no reaction further than that. He wasn’t going to vomit, so he just stayed there, looking wasted.

 The guys finally asked him if he was going with them. Hosni shook his head. He didn’t feel up to any task right now and just wanted to get home as soon as possible. As the guys left, he put his hands on the pockets of his jacket and checked everything that needed to be there was indeed there: the wallet, home keys, his socks and a candy. He even opened up the wallet to see how much money he had and realized he was obliged to walk back home, as he hadn’t enough money for a bus or the subway. And even if he had, he wasn’t in the best state to know where to walk to take any of those transportation options.

 So he started walking, at seven in the morning on a Sunday, through a neighborhood that he knew well as he had identified it as a go-to place since he had arrived in town five years ago. He remembered his excitement when seeing the order and the cleanliness and the coldness of people. It was very different from his home country, in both good and bad ways. The nice thing here is that his parents became a bit less religious and were not as tough with rules as hey had been before. The proof was that he was there, stumbling around corners at that time of day.

 Then he realized he hadn’t felt his cellphone in his jacket. He stopped right in front of a disco and people smoking outside watched as he furiously looked all over himself for the cellphone, only to find it in pocket close to the knee. He was wearing the cargo pants that his dad had felt would make a great worker, being able to carry all sorts of things everywhere. Even as he had studied to be a psychologist, his parents were still looking forward for Hosni to come to the family business, which was fixing all sorts of things, like a plumber.

 The walk was resumed, with Hosni checking out a map on the phone and rectifying his route. The small scare of not finding his cellphone had helped him being a little less wasted, he could see things little bit clearer. Yet, he wasn’t walking faster at all. He thought it would have been funny to go back to the club and make the owner or some guy turn on the lights to look for the cellphone. But then he remembered that couldn’t have been possible because electronic devices were not allowed in. He laughed stupidly, alone.

 After stumbling around for around thirty minutes, he finally got home safe and sound. It took him a while to open the main door of the building and he helped himself by holding the cellphone towards the door when opening the door of the apartment, in order not to wake up his family. He was very silent and when he got into his room he took every single piece of clothe of and just entered the cold bed stark naked, falling fast asleep in a matter of seconds.

 The following morning, the voice of his mother woke him up. She wasn’t calling for him but he could hear her in the kitchen, talking to his sister and father. They were probably having breakfast. He could smell the eggs and his stomach practically belched at the presence of the aroma. He would have wanted to eat but, again, his head was spinning. He was not wasted anymore, sleeping had taken care of most of the damage, but his head hurt and he just tried to fall asleep again but couldn’t.

 Besides, as he closed his eyes, he remembered various scenes from the previous night including many that he thought were not real. So he stayed with his eyes wide open looking at the ceiling, deciding which memories were real and which ones were fake. He knew he had a lot of beer and also some drugs, which weren’t allowed in the club but people still had them inside, when employees weren’t around and that was pretty often. The scent of the eggs felt stronger, so he got up.

 His family celebrated that he joined them and he was served a plate. Then, minutes later, he had to unfold the lie that he had been preparing since the day before. He said he had been in a friend’s house, drinking and having a small party with some of his friends that had recently arrived from his home country. All his parents could ask was what news they brought from home and how they were adapting to the city. They didn’t really care for anything else. It was his sister that asked at what time he had arrived and he had planned to lie about that too: he said he arrived around four in the morning, after helping a couple of his friends get home.

 The truth was he had arrived much later than that, even remembering seeing a bit of sunlight as he entered the building. He wasn’t asked much else, and he was thankful because remembering every single lie that he had planned before that night was difficult and made his head hurt even more. He just ate and enjoyed a time with his family and then went back to his room and tried to sleep some more but couldn’t. Again, he stared at the ceiling and just wandered about every single aspect of last night and how everyone had no idea of his real night.

 Later that Sunday, he took something for his headache and by night he was feeling better. He helped his dad around at the hardware store the family owned, as it opened every day, and just tried not to think about that night anymore. Now that he was better, he felt guilty and kind of scared that someone would be able to really now what he had been doing that night and so many other nights, because that one had not certainly being the only night he had gone out in order to be closer to what he thought was being his own real self.

 Since arriving to the city, he had been going out to places his parents had no idea he went and the thought of them knowing was enough to make the headache come back. He was afraid of the response, not only from his father but from his mother too. Even his sister’s response would be very hard to take in. He loved his family and wouldn’t want them to disappoint them or make them feel like he had betrayed them. But the fact was that he couldn’t tell any of them the truth. Because he knew how they would respond and he wasn’t ready for that yet.

 As if his thoughts had been heard in heaven, his father rolled out his prayer mat and felt in one very specific part of the store. Hosni did the same, just next to his father and prayed for a while with him. The amount of guilt that was piling up in his mind was too great and he seriously thought that his mind would explode one day. But it didn’t, because he was much stronger than he realized. After all, he had kept them out of the truth for many years and was ready to do it for many more.

 A couple of friends told him to be real, to live a more honest life and to lift that weight from his shoulders. But they didn’t understand how his family worked, how his religion and traditions really set a standard in which he didn’t fit in at all. Sometimes he had to go to his room when his parents had discussions over news in the TV that were “immoral” to them. He just couldn’t bear to hear them argue over something he felt they didn’t understand. He was just trapped between the life he had while a kid and the life he had now, after being able to go to college and have a real education.

 So, as always, for the following week, he was the Hosni everyone knew. He worked in the store and then he applied for jobs, some very far away, trying to get into the work world and into his profession, which he actually loved. He was charming with people all around him and loving with his parents and friends. He was just a young man full of dreams as anyone else, ready to take on life and just try to get the best out of it. He really wanted to be happy and thought that lying was part of that idea. It was unavoidable and he didn’t really mind.

 H was back in the club the following Saturday night. He had bought a year pass many months before so they knew him well. They gave him a token for a complimentary beverage and then he moved on the locker area, where he proceeded to strip down and only keep on his sneakers and his underwear. Then, he crossed a curtain to the bar where he drank vodka straight. Five minutes afterwards, Hosni was walking downstairs, to the dark room below, where his dreams did not live and he could be as close as he thought he could to the person he thought he was.

lunes, 1 de junio de 2015

Twenty seven

   No, this is not a tale of fiction. What I’m going to be saying in the next paragraphs is all real and why shouldn’t it be? It’s not all about having wild different ideas everyday. Today I decided to try something different because it’s my birthday. No, congratulations are not demanded or needed but they are appreciated. What I want to talk about is the effect this day had over be, what I think about turning a certain age, about the day, about all the fuss around it and how I feel about everything related to turning twenty seven years old today.

 Yes, I’m not that old and maybe you’ll think that I have nothing to complain about or valuable to say but I do. Because I’m only three years away from a limit that separates me between adulthood and been a young man. Of course, adulthood may begin before turning thirty. Many say the body stops growing at twenty five years old, so maybe that’s the real limit. Who cares? It’s not only a biological boundary but also one that, in this society at least, confronts us with who we are and how we do what we do. And to be honest I haven’t done anything worth stating in my thirtieth birthday as a great achievement.

 I personally don’t count education as an achievement. Why? Because I do not live in difficult conditions or at the edge of society. I have a relatively easy access to education from where my parents put me in society and there’s no real challenge in me entering or coming out with a diploma out of a academic facility. I’m not saying at all that I’m smart. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not, and certainly I cannot tell for myself. But the truth is that anyone who pays an education will receive a prize for it after a while. It’s not a prize because of what you learned but because of what you paid. And that may be a hard reality so let’s move on.

 I have a school diploma, a college diploma and a postgraduate diploma. So, I’m set right? In this society, according to my educational stats, I should have a great job and a nice seat from where to look at life from. Well, I don’t. What I have today is not a product of anything I’ve done but of the efforts made by my parents. Being my birthday and all, I think it’s appropriate to thank them for all of that big effort, for everything they’ve done over the years to make sure my life is the best they can give to me. I have clothing, food, a bed and I have never worked in my life. I think it’s fair to say they did a great job.

 However, every person must be capable to sustain itself without any outer help, right? In this society, in any society to be accurate, people are required to start making money as soon as possible, first learning a skill or doing whatever there is to do to have money and then going up the ladder that leads to a better life, a better job and son on. Well, I haven’t got that. I ‘ve never had the need or the yearning to work. Maybe most people won’t get that but I just haven’t had to work. That’s it. If I could I wouldn’t do anything for life but after my last diploma was shipped to my house, I had to start looking for a job and that has been the story of my life for the last two years. And no one has given me a chance to do anything, at least not for a pay, and I’m too old to be bullied into working for nothing. So there you have it.

 I don’t really like to talk about it because I know what people think when I tell them I don’t have a job. People think that if someone isn’t paying you to do something, anything, it’s because you’re just not good for anything. People that have jobs tend to think they are superior to others just because of that and it’s always more obvious when you are this age. People like to feel they have power because they have money: they pay trips, they have a car (which I’m not interested in having, but that’s another story), they move out of their parents home, they have social lives and so on.

 I have nothing of that. Do I want to? I guess. I don’t really know. There are many think I don’t know and all I do to avoid getting crazy is writing. Because I don’t write only because I feel good doing it, because it’s the only thing I feel I can do right, but because it avoids entering into territories I prefer to live alone in myself. In the past, I have been known to hating myself so much, so deeply, so violently, and I don’t want anything to have with all of that again. I want to be far away from that black pit in which all of those hurtful feelings are. The last time I fell, it was awful. And… I always walk by it. Maybe one day I’ll finally for good.

 On a more cheerful note, I don’t really like birthdays. Surprised? I bet you’re not. I think it’s just one of the many ways to control time, to be ashamed of things that you can’t control and ashamed of the things that you can actually do something about, like that job we were talking earlier. Because I know very well it’s pointless to blame others for my failures. I am my problem and, possibly, I am my answer. But how to answer when the question is not all that clear?

 Birthdays to me are very personal, moments that I prefer to spend almost alone, only with my family close by. I don’t like big celebrations because, to be honest once again, I don’t think there’s something to celebrate. Being alive is not good enough for me, not to celebrate at least. And going old is really not something that I like to think about. Because it reminds me of what I haven’t accomplished and who I’m not and that, obviously, unsettles me. I just like to have a piece of cake, something to drink and to eat and that’s all. I don’t like big gifts or parties or going out because of that. I don’t see the point in all of it.

 I would love for someone to really read this because I feel it’s the most personal thing that I’ve written on this blog. I know most hits are just people that open the page and then close it when they see they have to read a lot. Or maybe that’s not interesting at all but it’s kind of a big deal for me because this blog is all about my writing, my fiction creations, not about me as an individual. Actually, I don’t think I can call myself a writer because I write. There is a weight, a universe to the words and I don’t think I have what it takes to be considered an actual writer. Will I get there? I have no idea. I don’t think I can answer that because I don’t like to pretend I know things that are impossible to predict. Optimism isn’t really my thing and reality doesn’t care about what you desire, about how cute you think the world is.

 Besides all of this, there is the “relationship” side of turning a year older. Of course, we don’t get old only on our birthday but every single day. The birthday is only there to mark the change of a number, that’s it. So what have I achieved, relationship wise, in twenty seven years? Shit. That’s it. I haven’t done shit in all that time. Maybe there’s no surprise here either, but I don’t really believe in love as everyone imagines it to be. That beautiful romance full of stupid little phrases and words and corny moments. That love is bullshit. Same for the one that lasts forever, another piece of bullshit. Love may exist but it’s something beyond we can express in words and not only purely romantic, romance is just the stupid part of it. But I don’t really give a shit to be honest.

 I do think seeing is believing, so I have no way to think that love exists if I have never felt it. And I haven’t. I’ve had close relationships; I wouldn’t go as far to say they were deeply committed relationships, in no way profound or enriching. That is the truth. Sex? Sure, like a hundred years ago but sure. But sex is just biological, we are designed to have sex, to enjoy it, to just do it and that’s amazing. But I grew tired of it once I realized people didn’t see me as me when we had sex. They saw me as something else. Yeah, something and not someone. That didn’t feel go and with my personal issues, it wasn’t the best combo. So I just stopped.

 Anyway, this is my twenty seventh birthday, meaning that I have three more years to be a proper adult in the eyes of the public. Of course, to me, the public can go and fuck themselves, unless they start paying me for something. Because let’s face it, that’s all we are about: money and how to live through it. If you don’t think so, you’re in denial. And fuck, I want that money to stop feeling I’m a failure so fuck it. But who knows, maybe things will change a lot in the following year. My experience tells me nothing will change but who knows.

 To finish, I have to state that I’m not being ungrateful. As I said before, I thank my parents every day for what they did for me. I will always be grateful for that. But I’m not like others, I do not parade myself around people and tell them how proud I am for doing things everyone does or at least everyone I know does. Because, of course, I can only care for my micro cosmos and not for the whole world, at least not now. I just think I haven’t done shit yet and that’s it really. Will I ever do something that makes me proud? Who knows? Certainly not me. But hey, I’m turning twenty seven so fuck what anyone thinks. For today, and for many days to be exact, I just don’t care.