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

viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

Interview

   That elevator ride fell as if it was going to last forever. I don’t really know if it stopped in every single floor but it really did seem to. My hands and my legs kept shaking and I was failing miserably in trying to control them. I was very nervous. I also kept cleaning the sweat off my hand with my pants, which wasn’t the best idea to have when going to an interview. At one point, I felt I was going to faint. The people there with me seemed completely oblivious to my personal struggle.

 When I finally got to my floor, after every other was gone, my legs seemed to be unwilling to help me anymore. Only a few step away from the elevator, I felt I couldn’t walk anymore My feet actually hurt and trying to move my body was very challenging. I have no idea how, but somehow I got myself to the reception, which was very close by. A woman heard my name and told me to wait in a seating area. Around me, other people were also waiting, all younger than me.

 I felt as if I wanted to run away from that place. When I checked every single face in that room, I realized I was way over my head. I had come thee looking for a job but these people were clearly much better for it than me. I even bet that some of them had much more experience than I and had even already worked somewhere else before. Their resume was quite possibly a long list of names, which they could put in there as a reference, from a clothing store to a big multinational company.

 I had my resume in folder I had brought and I instinctively wanted to check if I had put everything that was worth written on it but then remembered there wasn’t that much to tell, so I refrained from looking at it and instead tried to force my eyes to focus on the window that was very close by. It wasn’t easy to look out through it but it was much better to stare and try to imagine and quieter world than attempting to breathe normally with the typical methods that had never had a any real results. Looking through the window was my way to escape.

 I needed to do it if I wanted to keep breathing. The only way to make myself relax was to imagine a wide array of situations that could happen inside that waiting room or outside of it. It didn’t really matter. The point was that t all had to be happening around me, so the false memory, the invention, was all about making me feel like someone I wasn’t, at least for some time until I realized I was being childish and I needed to breathe a little and just move on. The thing was that it wasn’t always as easy as it sounds.

 Suddenly, the woman called my name. She told me to go through a door and then walk down an aisle to another door marked “Human resources”. My interview would be taking place in that office. Before leaving the waiting room, I had a brief eye contact with another guy waiting there and I have to say the only thing I could see n his eyes was fear. He seemed really terrified somehow and I kept thinking about him even after the interview was over, many hours later.

 I walked slowly towards the office and when I finally got there, no one was waiting for me. The place was empty so I had to check if I was in the right place. I was. The best thing to do was to wait outside, by the door. The person that was going to do the interview had to be very close by, so there was nothing to worry. However, I was shaking so much that my teeth started to make a very annoying noise that I had to try really hard to suppress. This was definitely not my element.

 The person finally got there and it was a woman. I was a little bit disappointed because I thought a man was going to ask me the questions. I’m not saying one is better than the other in the workplace but it is a fact that men are typically less harsh in interviews, unless you get a guy that had more in common with a buffalo than with an actual human male. But whatever, anything can happen so I just sat down, as she did on the other side of the table. The room seemed to have gone smaller.

 There was also a very particular scent but I couldn’t really point at what it was. She was really trying to be very nice and that was good because I felt my hands shaking much less than before. However, she started talking about work and about many things I had no idea about. She kept talking and talking and I just nodded at some of her comments and then answer some questions she threw from time to time. It was kind of hard to follow what she was saying but I did my best to do so.

 At one point, she stopped short and offered me a beverage. My bladder was full because of how nervous I was so it wasn’t an option to start drinking water or whatever she offered. The other reason I refused was because my throat felt closed to anything trying to go in. Every time I spoke, I had to clear my throat because it felt as if I was waking around the Sahara desert. She clearly noticed something about me but didn’t comment on it and I was very grateful she decided not to ask. My feet kept moving and my hands kept sweating profusely.

 She then asked me for my resume and I handed it to her. She looked through it for a couple of seconds and then put it on a huge pile I had neglected to see. At least some fifty other resumes had to be there, waiting for something that would probably never happen. She talked to me then and I feel like she said some important things but I wasn’t listening at all. The sight of that pile made me realized that I was fooling myself, that everyone was fooling themselves with this charade.

 I had no idea why I did it. I had never done anything remotely similar. I would normally just wait until the person was finished to say something, if I did because most of the time I was just a zombie that shook hands and maybe cracked a smile in order not to look like a complete mental patient. My mouth would normally be too dry to say a word and my body too shaky to keep making that moment go longer. So that was one of the few times I really surprised myself.

 My voice cut her off; making her stop her speech about something I have no idea. I noticed too that my body had made me stand up, which I even didn’t realize. Slowly, I grabbed my resume from the top of the pile and told the woman I was very grateful for the opportunity but that I knew that I had no real chance of getting such a job. I was highly overqualified in the academics side of it but grossly under qualified as experience is concerned. So my chances were pretty slim.

 I told her I knew of those kids outside would be getting it because it was just easier to make them do whatever the company needed and they could even pay them less because they were just beginning, even if they had worked for ten years already. Age was one of those things that companies used at will in order to grant or deny benefits around the workers. I knew that’s how it worked, even if I had never been paid to do anything in any company, anywhere to be perfectly honest.


 The woman had her mouth open and I thought of shaking her hand but I was shaking so much already and my hand was so sweaty that I refrained myself from doing it. I excused myself and left the room, almost running back to the elevator, which filled up once again and seemed to take years to get to the ground floor. My resume escaped my hands, falling to the floor. I felt a bit dizzy, probably hungry already. As soon as the elevator got to its destination, I ran outside, to the sun and the air and the freedom of a world that didn’t needed me to keep moving.

viernes, 23 de septiembre de 2016

Physical

   The first thing was to remove my clothes. I had no problem with that except that the area destined to that wasn’t at all empty. One of the men that served as janitor in the premises was taking a very long time emptying each one of the trashcans in the area and then two other clients stepped in. But as fast as I could, I used my towel wrapped around my waist first and then I removed the underwear. When I was ready, a woman was expecting me at the door. I thought she might not be very happy about me taking so long to get undressed but the truth was she didn’t seem to mind.

 I followed her through the maze like first floor of the building and then we stopped in front of an elevator. She told me, as if she was telling me something she had learned by heart, that there were no rooms available on the first floor so someone was waiting for me in the fifth floor. I just nodded, as if accepting that would change anything. I was already there, I had paid up front, so nothing I could do would make the slightest different whatsoever. Waiting there for a while was not the most comfortable thing though.

 I always thought they gave you some kind of robe to cover your whole body but that was not the case there. Everyone one I saw, including myself, was wearing just a towel around the waist and that was it. If someone wanted to cover more they had to use their arms or probably ask for a second towel although I had no idea how that would happen, as the workers in that place tended to disappear in the places you needed them the most, like in the dressing room that was filled with other people so it would have been the same if one of them was there.

 In front of the elevator, other clients started stopping by. I was surprised to see a woman but then realized she probably had an urge to do it too so it made sense if you thought about it. A man with his back covered in hair also parked himself in front of the elevator. He was very tall and all his furriness was very distracting. It was like looking at a very large bear or something of the sort. Each one of us was accompanied by someone form the place, which was kind of weird. In any other place, we would have been very easy to pick out from a crowd.

 The elevator finally opened and we all, the six of us, got in. I felt a sudden wave of heat when the doors closed and I realized I had my face only centimeters away from the hairy back of the tall guy. The woman was on a corner, not even faking she was not liking it so much. She wasn’t alone as I had the sudden thought of staying in that elevator once it got back down. There was no way in hell I would be staying in such a place. I had committed a mistake and needed to save myself from it as fast as I could. My mind was racing.

The door finally opened and we all got out at the same time. It was as if we had been liberated from jail or something. Each one of the assistants from the place took each one of us in a different direction and I think we all thanked them for it. I walk by a large quantity of door and then the woman that was leading the way told me to wait inside one of the rooms. She opened the door and revealed a really nice office with something I hadn’t seen in a while: a big window overlooking the city.

 As I stepped in the room, the woman slammed the door behind me leaving me completely alone in a space I had never been in before. I saw the table, the classic one, right there in the middle. There were also some chairs all around and a sofa, although I had no idea why that was there. Was someone staying overnight to sleep in that office? Or did they have an audience each time they were with a client? The seating capacity was unusually high for what I would have expected in such a place. The view though, was the best part of it all.

 I got close to the window and looked in front of me: the city appeared to be all at my feet. The tallest building was not that tall and all the people and cars looked like ants under my feet. As I was barefoot, the sensation was even more powerful and funny. I decided that if I ever won the lottery or if my job gave me the possibilities, I would try to live in that area in order to get that same view from my bedroom and even my bathroom. Imagining that made me smile like an idiot and ignore that the door had been opened moments ago.

 My towel almost fell to the floor the moment a person coughed, obviously trying to get my attention. I thought they would knock first or something but no, that wasn’t a thing in that place. When I turned around to see the person I would be involved with for the next hour, I realized there was something wrong. Well, not wrong but it wasn’t like I was expecting it. The person who had coughed was a man. Granted, he was a very handsome man who was probably very good at his job but I wasn’t expecting a male on my first time there.

 He noticed my hesitation to get near him and it was him who walked towards me and extended his hand for me to shake it. We did that and it was very amazing to feel that the man was very calm and had one of those smiles that make you very mellow in a second. He told me that the person assigned to me wasn’t going to make it so they had decided to send him instead. He apologized for that and hoped I didn’t mind him being assigned to me. I was so relaxed by only watching his face that I didn’t answer with words but only by shaking my head affirmatively, with a silly smile.

 Out of the blue, he grabbed one of my hands and I thought I was about to burst into happiness. Why did it felt so right, so perfect? I had no idea back then and I couldn’t find the reason why many days afterwards. His touch was a very special thing, that was for sure. He took me to the table in the center and told me to lay down there for him. Again, I nodded and smiled like an idiot, unable to actually talk like any human would normally do. There was something about him that made me act like that and I didn’t care what it was at the moment.

 I laid down on the table for him, still smiling. I looked at the ceiling as I smiled and I was so distracted by my strange behavior that I didn’t notice he had already started. His hands were a little bit warmer than before. They glided down my skin with grace. My body started feeling every single touch as if it was the first contact with anyone in my life. It was such a strange feeling to have but I certainly like it and I think I got him to know that a couple of times.

 He started on my arms and then on my neck area and then my chest. It was a really nice experience. People had told me that it sometimes hurt but I realized they had all been wrong or had visited awful places because that guy was making me feel as if he was taking layers and layers of unnecessary stuff from me. He was taking away all the things my body didn’t need anymore and I truly began to feel lighter, to feel as if I could float away and wander around the room if he wasn’t there to hold my body. It was a very nice feeling.

When he moved on the legs, I have to say the magic went away for a second. I have always been ashamed of my legs so having someone touch them was not a very easy thing for me. But he did his jobs in such a way; I just didn’t care about my problems anymore. As he did my legs, he asked me to turn around in order to do the rest. I complied almost without hesitation, turned around in an instant. In that moment, I didn’t want such an amazing experience to end. I felt so much better than when I had entered the building.


 He finished with my legs and then did my back and neck in order to finish. When I felt his hands off me, I felt a bit sad. So sad in fact, that I laid there way too long. When I turned around to ask for his name, he was gone. The woman that had brought me there was waiting at the door, again. We took the elevator down; I dressed in the locker room and left feeling much better than I had ever felt before. But I was also wondering about him, I could still feel his hands all over my body. Who thought a day in the spa would be so rewarding?

sábado, 27 de febrero de 2016

Shooting stars

   The shooting star crossed the sky fast, almost not giving anyone time to properly think about their wishes. It was a silly tradition but people had been doing that for so much time that, it made no sense not to do it. Monica watched it from her bench, comfortably seated there with her son Matt. He was complaining about not having been able to take a picture of the shooting star but Monica didn’t hear him. She was still thinking about her wish; about the only think she really really wanted. But it was one of those impossible dreams, one that had to defy science if it were to become a reality. So she knew there was no way.

 When they got home, Matt was still talking about the shooting star, how he had read about it in a book in school and how his teacher had told the class that shooting stars were just space junk, little and medium rocks that get trapped in the atmosphere and burn. Monica was now listening but she didn’t have anything to add. She felt tired and wanted to rest. Her weak had been very difficult and Matt could talk for hours if she didn’t said anything back. So she asked if he wanted some macaroni and cheese and, of course, he said yes. She gave him a big bowl and sat down with him in front of the TV, watching some animated movie. She didn’t eat. He fell asleep after he was done.

 Carrying Matt had been easier before, when Luke was alive. But things change and now she had to do all that by herself. Her friends told her to start dating, to look for someone to spend the rest of her life with. The truth was she was still young but the memory of Luke was still so fresh that she would feel as if she was cheating on him or something. That was silly but it’s always a difficult thing to go through. Matt, luckily, had been far stronger. He did cry at first and sometimes he asked things about Luke and heaven and things about his days as a baby. But that was it. Monica was his world now.

 Tired, she went to bed right after leaving Matt on his bed. She washed her face, brushed her teeth and put on some old pajamas. She looked at the bed and sighed. It was a king size bed in which she navigated every night, not capable of being still, not capable of keeping her body on her spot. Her body knew Luke wasn’t there anymore but her brain apparently had other ideas as she often saw him besides her before closing her eyes, his kind smile and big nose. She loved that big nose.

 The next day was a Saturday. She realized it was late because the sunlight was hitting her right in the face through the window’s blinds. Monica normally woke up early because of Matt but apparently her state from the day before had caused her to oversleep. She was about to convince herself to stay even for more time but then she heard a loud sound, something crashing against the floor, shattering. Matt had probably attempted to get his breakfast by himself and now there was glass or bits of plates all over the kitchen. That’s the just of a mother for you. She begrudgingly got out of bed, put on her slippers and went down to the kitchen.

 Not having arrived yet, she started telling Matt to get out of the kitchen so she could clean first and then make him pancakes. But it wasn’t Matt who came out of the kitchen.

 For a moment, she felt she couldn’t properly breathe. She had to grab the sofa and try not to fall down. Her heart ached and her eyes were trying to focus on something else and not on the person that was coming closer, grabbing her, helping her not to faint. She was very scared but her body was not responding properly, so she could fight her helper. She was powerless and she was crying too. She couldn’t stop the tears or her heavy breathing. The man laid her down in the sofa and looked at her with his kind smile and his big nose.

 Matt finally came out of the kitchen holding a broom. Before he had seen his mother, he told Luke he had cleaned all the man and that now they could keep cooking for mama. Then he looked at her and his voice was lost. Luke told him to come closer and tell Monica to breath slowly. He would start with breakfast so they could properly begin their day. As he disappeared into the kitchen, Monica was able to breath slowly. She grabbed his son’s hands and tried to talk but nothing would come out. He told her that she should breath slowly and that Dad would take care of anything. She then heard him singing, and that confused her even more.

 Luke had always sung. He loved to do it and had always had the dream to become a professional artist. But then they had Matt and money was needed so he entered the retail business. He managed a big department store and that was a good job that gave them many possibilities, even money for a guitar and lessons for Luke. As a matter of fact, he was coming back from his first audition when the car he was in with a friend was hit by truck and killed them. She went to the morgue and saw his body and cried and yelled. And now that same man was in her kitchen, apparently cooking her favorite type of eggs.

 She pinched herself once and again to check if she was dreaming, Matt looking at her a little scared. She indicated she wanted a hug and Matt complied. As she did so, Monica could still hear the song they had danced to on their day being sung by Luke. Her wish had come true and he was somehow there. She inhaled deeply, caressed her son and stood up, then slowly walked to the kitchen.

 He was chopping onions and bell peppers. He had already done that with some tomatoes and had a big bowl of eggs he had already whisked. She saw him from the doorway but Matt entered and opened the refrigerator. He pulled out a carton of milk and the big bottle of juice. It was a bit heavy for him so Luke helped him and he then saw his wife standing there. He asked her if she was okay. She just nodded, controlling her body in order not to faint. She was amazed at how good she was at trying to keep everything in check.

 Luke approached her and told her she had to add all the spices to the eggs. He stood up behind her and passed Monica some pepper, salt, paprika and some hot sauce. She poured the sauce slowly and he grabbed her hand and her body shook uncontrollably. She excused herself and his response was to hug her from behind and just say: “I’ve missed you so much”.

 Monica turned around right then, her eyes very open. She was touching his face, which felt real, and kissed him. He felt real then too. She then remembered the first time they had kiss, one day after class in college. He had bought her some pizza and she had bought the drinks. They had been talking about some new movie and how amazing it all was, the visual effects and the story and so on. And then, a shooting star crossed the sky. They smiled and then they just looked at each other and kissed. Simple as that.

 Matt made her comeback to the present, or whatever that was. She was holding Luke very tight and realized it was an opportunity and that she would have to be very stupid not to take it. She went along with it, cooking breakfast and laughing at the table, helping Matt do the dishes afterwards and planning a great day for the three of them. They went to a park to which they hadn’t gone for a while and gave Matt a kite to run around with and took pictures of Luke teaching him how to do it. Monica also tried it but she wasn’t very good.

 After that, they decided to have a small picnic and Matt fell asleep for a few minutes, full and tired. During that time, the couple just held hands in silence and looked up at the sky, very blue and without any clouds. She felt she had so many questions and so many things to say. But she didn’t want to break the spell of the moment. So she didn’t say a word and just held him hard. He gently squeezed her hand and they played that game until Matt woke up and they decided to play a short game of football.  They were both good kicking it and blocking the goal post. They played for hours, the here of them, until the stars began to appear in the sky and the cold settled around them.


 Again, they saw a shooting star. And then Monica turned to Luke and saw he wasn’t there. She smiled and sat on the grass. And Matt, he had vanished too.

jueves, 11 de febrero de 2016

Not there

   A small crab ran across the beach, fighting the powerful gust of wind that was sweeping the area. It moved fast and then burrowed himself into the sand, disappearing in a matter of seconds. There was another creature in the beach. A young woman, dressed in plastic boots and a coat that resembled the capes that superheroes used in comic books and movies. It was red and the boots two. Not like the crab, she just stood in one place and looked at the ocean and how the waves were becoming bigger and bigger, how they appeared to be alive. The water and foam came closer and closer to her feet but she did not move. She seemed out of herself, in a way.

 Finally a wave crashed violently against the beach and reached her knees. She seemed to have woken up from a dream, only cleaning her legs with her hands and turning around, walking up the natural hill that had formed because of erosion and went back home, not far from the sound of the ocean. The sky was becoming darker, both because of the time of day but also because of the storm that was brewing in the ocean. The woman walked slowly towards her house, soon joined by a beautiful Labrador dog that was of her property. The dog’s name was Chance. Hers was Amelia.

 She entered the house through the back door that led to the kitchen. She took off her coat and boots and left them in a small cabinet she used for such purposes. Walking in socks, she grabbed a beer from the fridge and petted Chance who followed her everywhere. She crossed the house towards the living room, where she lay down in a sofa, drinking her beer and letting the dog sleep by her feet. But the women wasn’t calm, she was apparently trying the drink the content of the bottle in one gulp and even some of the beer slid down her chin and neck. She cleaned it with her sleeve.

 The main door, a room away, opened to reveal her husband coming in. They had been married for about a year and had come to this house, owned by Amelia’s father, to get away from everyone else. Their anniversary was the next day and they didn’t want to have to share that day with anyone else. Or at least that was the original reason they had for coming to that windy beach. He went straight to the kitchen, left some bags there and organized its contents, and only after finishing he sat down on an armchair across Amelia.

- Isn’t it a bit early?

  Her only answer was to burp with no shame or limit. She had finished her beer so she left the bottle by the sofa and looked at her husband, her eyes sad as they could be. He looked at her too and they wrestled with their eyesight for almost a whole minute, until Amelia asked her husband Matt to come to her in the sofa and he refused. She heard her footsteps going up, to the bedroom. She decided to follow, seeing night had already fallen.

 When she entered the room, he was taking off his shoes and putting some slippers. He always complained about some of the shoes he had brought recently, because they all made his feet hurt a lot. He had just being out in the supermarket for a couple of hours and he felt blood pumping through his feet. Amelia sat down by him on the bed and took his hand. She squeezed and he squeezed back but they didn’t look at each other. They just sat there in silence, only illuminated by the very week light of a nightstand lamp.

 The moment was broken by a thunder in the distance. They had not seen the lighting so maybe the storm was out in the ocean but they knew the night was going to be long. Matt looked at Amelia and proposed to her to go down to the kitchen and make some dinner. She tried to smiled but couldn’t; only nodding and releasing his hand from her grip. She walked down first, arriving at the kitchen where Chance was smelling his plate. She had forgotten to feed him and proceed to pour some of his food into it before Matt saw her. But Chance had to eat earlier.

- You always forget. Is like you don’t care about him
- I do.
- Really?

 Matt had that quality that some people have to make you feel, with simple words, like a bug squashed against a wall. Of course she loved the dog but she had been thinking all the day long, going away to the beach   and the dog didn’t like the beach, possibly because it was very humid or because of the crabs. Maybe if the dog had come with her to the beach, she wouldn’t have forgotten to feed him. But it was too late for that now and the dog was eating already.

 Her husband gave her some vegetables to cut into dices as he marinated some shrimps and cut some slices of eggplant. He had always loved to cook and invent new recipes. It drove him away from everything in the world; he became the only person alive with all the ingredients, focusing only on how good it had to look and how nice it had to taste to any palate. The recipe they were doing had been created by him, several years ago.

 Amelia cooked the vegetables with a bit of oil and butter. They had to be nice and crunchy. The shrimps were cooked in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper and also some paprika. Amelia looked at him, almost smiling to the prawns, so much happier than ever before. She loves to see him smile but it wasn’t often that she saw that these days. Then again, she didn’t smile herself too often either. He proceeded to fry the eggplants after submerging them in water. The smell was all around the house.

 In each plate, Matt served two big slices of eggplant topped with shrimp and vegetables. He poured some olive oil to give it a nice look and asked Amelia to take it to the table. He took out a bottle of wine from a special fridge he had bought and joined his wife at the dining table. It was a small space, the table only for four. They sat one across he other and sat in silence. Matt poured wine into two cups that had been set up by her and they just started eating in silence. It was really good and Chance had followed them to see if they would give him at least a bite of what they had cooked.

 But each one of them was too distracted to notice him, panting included. Amelia wanted to tell her husband how nice it all was but something in her throat didn’t let her. It was as if she had a knot there that wouldn’t let her talk her mind. It wasn’t that she feared her husband or anything like that. She loved him deeply but she knew she was know miles away from him and had been like that since her mother had advised them to come out here and get away from all the eyes and the ears.

 He was distracted too, cutting his eggplant and then sipping some wine and then looking out the window to the storm. From that room, during the day, you could see the horizon and part of the ocean. If there had been light, he would have seen the darkness of the tempest and the violence of the waves in the sea. But now he could only guess all of that by the lights of the thunder and the resounding sound of storm, that seemed like a monster rising from the water and howling, trying to caution every other living creature from getting near him.

- It’s good.

 Amelia had finally said it and as she did, she knew she had committed a mistake. Her voice broke off and couldn’t speak anymore and he looked at her for a moment and just stood up, walking towards the living room. She followed him, thinking for a second he was leaving. She grabbed him by the arm and he pulled her apart, almost in disgust. Her eyes were filled with tears. It was then he said, he finally said what she had dreaded for some time: “You killed her”.


 The only thing Amelia could do, out of rage and despair, was to grab the bottle of beer she had left there earlier and throw it towards him. He dodged it just in time so the bottle crossed the room and smashed against the window, which broke into thousands of big and small pieces. She was breathing heavily and he seemed scared. She finally shed a single tear and said: “Never. I could have never”. The wind entering from outside froze them, leaving them like statues in the middle of the house, thinking of the unborn.