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

sábado, 13 de febrero de 2016


   Just the sight of the stretch marks in his arms, close to his armpits, was enough to make him swim abruptly and very fast, further into the ocean. He could see the people and the beach getting away, he couldn’t feel the bottom anymore and, when he stopped, he noticed he had passed the border marked by the buoys. He swam towards one of them and rested there for a while. He was very agitated because of the effort, his chest going up and down. It seemed he was having problem breathing. Shortly after, a lifeguard boat appeared and offered him help. But he was able to say that he didn’t want any and then swam towards the beach.

 It took him a little more time getting there, making a few stops along the way. The salty water of the ocean mixed with the salty water from his tears, but no one knew that or noticed that in the beach. No one really had seen him going that far, everyone was minding their own business, not caring if a guy just swam like a mad man. When he got to the beach, he stood on the edge for a while, cleaning his face and letting the water drip from his body. Then he walked up to one of the showers by the walkway and showered thoroughly there, he had sand all over the place. When he finished he walked up to the parking lot and changed by his car. No one was there to watch.

 After that, he drove home and there he ate one of those salads, the kind you buy in the supermarket and are already done for you. He was hungrier than a salad but he didn’t want to go out again and eat something else. He instinctively gazed at his arm but he had a shirt on now and didn’t bother to yank up the sleeve or anything. He just finished his salad and then sat in front of the TV and put some silly documentary about aliens. They were always on, always with some crazy theory. They were the best shows for him to sleep to because he didn’t really care what they were all about. He only knew he was really tired.

 When he woke up, the room was in darkness. He looked at his watch and just sat down, covered his face and then stood up. It was time to go to the gym. Once he got there, he realized he was too tired. He tried several machines in a very short time but he just couldn’t do much on any of them. He didn’t know if he was tired from his earlier workout or if he was just not in the mood to do any exercise. Even though he clearly wanted to leave, he made himself stay at least an hour. He didn’t wanted to waste time, even if he preferred to be home reading or watching TV or doing whatever else felt more attractive than being in a gym, not being able to do much. Again, in that place no one really looked at him and he luckily wore a sleeve shirt too. Somehow he had never been a sleeveless shirt type of guy. He just wasn’t many things…

 When he finally came out of the gym, he intended to go and eat another salad in his home but he chose, instead, to go and walk around for a while. He was very close to home but he didn’t wanted to go there just yet. He wanted to think for a while or maybe not think at all. He just wanted to keep moving because when he stayed still he began torturing himself and he didn’t wanted that at all. He walked looking at the people going up and down the street, some were alone and others were in couples or even in groups. Some seemed happy and others not so much. Some were in a hurry and others just sat in the benches and just were there, not doing much more than looking at the cars and at the people, like him.

 He stopped to check out many store windows, some of them selling toys, others videogames or home appliances or even art. The street on which the gym was located, the same that passed near his house, was very commercial and active. And as the night progressed, more and more people popped all over the place, entering bar and restaurants, greeting people with hugs or only a cold handshake. It was Saturday night after all and everyone was out and about, no one wanted to be alone at home and he was certainly one of those. Normally he wouldn’t really care but this time was different. He felt he needed to stay outside for the remainder of the night because if he went back home he would do the same thing he did every time his thoughts cornered him.

  People never really watched, never really cared. They always excused themselves on a false sense of modesty or on a fake respect that no one ever asked of anyone. When he exercised in the gym the first few months he had a trainer. She was very strong and beautiful. He knew she saw the marks on his forearms, on his forehead. They were difficult not to look at if one really thought about it but she never mentioned anything and they saw each other everyday for at least three months. How could she not say anything? Did she really not mind or was she appealing to that false sense of respect that no one ever asked for? It’s not that he wanted to be asked but at the same time he did, he needed to be recognized.

 But no one had ever asked, no one had ever been interested. Besides he was very good at curing himself, he knew how to do it in order for anyone to miss the obvious marks. But nevertheless, they were obvious and anyone could have seen the problems, what was bubbling below his surface, that emotionless face and the stretch marked arms and the tired body. Everyone knew but no one cared. He was aware with that everywhere he went, even in that street, walking among people that seemed to be having an ice time with each other, that looked like they couldn’t care less about what happened beyond that place.

 He stopped at a small park and realized he had passed his home several blocks ago. He turned around but as he did, a voluptuous figure appeared in front of him. He didn’t really want to have that interaction, not then. It is common that the only people that see those in the shadows are people in the shadows themselves and these people really were. The police, the city officials and the neighbors all knew about it but no one really did anything to prevent it. Prostitutes had taken over and had taken the park as their place to work and get work. The lamps were not as bright as they could have been and some places were just very dark at night. Not only prostitutes hid in the shadows and he knew that well.

 Before she could offer him anything, he told her he wasn’t interested. She walked closer, in order to get in his way. She was very tall and had very strong legs and a wide chest and back. But she had the most luxurious head of hair he had ever seen on a prostitute. He repeated himself, told her he wasn’t interested. She then explained what she could do for him, what she liked to do and what he might like to do. She got neared but he took a step back. She smiled and he didn’t and she put a hand on his shoulder. It was a heavy hand and he felt as if he had sunken a couple of centimeters because of that hand. She assured they would have the best time ever and that she wouldn’t charge him too much. But the think her arm, pulled her hand off him and told her he wasn’t interested.

 This time he walked away and heard the prostitute insulting him and saying a bunch of derogatory terms, one after the other. She was like a machine of insults and, it had to be said, she was very creative about it. He tried not to hear any more that meant that he had a small penis and just walked home as fast as he could. It was late and the weather outside got very cold without him noticing. When he got home he took off his gym clothes and put on a pajama. Again, he turned on the TV and tried to watch some documentary about sharks, then a movie about some teenagers lost in an island and finally some cartoons. But the thought was already there and he couldn’t get the image out of his head. He had to do it, he had no option.

 Hours later, he was in his bed, head on the pillow looking up but with his eyes wide open. He was shaking and his arms were slightly opened, as if he was playing to be an angel of sorts in his own bed. But it wasn’t an angel one would have thought of when looking at the large blood stains in the blankets. They were rapidly expanding, forming the wings of the possible angel. But no real angel could have been found there. He closed his eyes to sleep and, this time, he cried again. He understood this was the day in which it finally got to him, in which he lost his grip on everything. He was finally lost and there was no one that could save him. Then again, there was no one at all.

lunes, 18 de mayo de 2015

Once a year

   As I woke up, the first feeling I got was that he was still there. And that was all I needed. I didn’t want to think about anything or anyone else. Having him there, next to me, was an achievement I couldn’t compare with anything else. It had all happened so fast that, for a moment during the night, I thought I was dreaming every single moment. And to be honest, I didn’t care. It was the best dream in the world, if that’s what it was, and I would try to spend as much time in it as I could, enjoying myself and being happy for once in a long time.

 The thing was, he had always seemed so distant, so elusive. But at the same time, He wasn’t a stranger to me; it wasn’t as if I had met him just last night, no. We had been acquaintances for a long time, having mutual friends and meeting in several parties and gatherings in the recent years. Yes, years. When I met him, he was different. Maybe it’s because I’m falling in love or something, but back then I didn’t noticed his physical beauty, nor his internal one. The only thing I saw was this very serious guy, rarely laughing at my jokes (and I joke a lot). The only thing he did was taking his girlfriend’s hand.

 Yes, I know. She was very beautiful to be honest, with her long black hair and big green eyes. I think they worked together or something. I haven’t got to the moment where I can feel comfortable asking about his past conquests. Maybe it’s too early to do that. But she was a nice girl and I have to say that the first time I saw them I liked her better than him. He was so cold, looked so boring and simple. Not my type of guy to be honest, so I just never got close enough to talk to him.

 The next year, we met again on a cocktail party. A mutual friend of ours happened to be an artist, a photographer and we were both invited to the inauguration of one of his exhibitions. To be honest, I had not planned to go. It wasn’t like he was my best friend or anything but another person I knew was going to be there and she told me there was going to be free alcohol and lots of cute guys to look at. As I had nothing better to do, I dressed with anything and left my home.

 There, I would meet again with him. The girl with the black hair had not come with her. In her place, there was a brunette, much shorter than him and with more personality in one nail that he apparently had in all of his body. She was looking at the pictures and telling jokes, making friends all over and being, for all intents and purposes, the life of the party. Again, I talked to her a lot and I laughed with pleasure because the woman was a riot. Yet again, he was very cold, standing always behind her like a stone bodyguard, just there to take care of her. Sometimes he looked somber and that was the first time I saw a glimpse of his beauty, his mysterious tone if you will.

 But just after that, I met someone somewhere else and I wouldn’t think of him for a whole year. I got myself in a very strange relationship, with a man that had a child. If there’s something stranger than that, I would like to know. It worked fine at the beginning, I have no complaints. His little girl was very nice and he was a great guy in bed, has to be said. But it all went to pieces when we were about to celebrate our first year together. I discovered he had been cheating on me for a couple of months. From then on, I have to say it; I have never trusted people very much. He looked like a great honest guy. He wasn’t and that took its toll on me.

 It was during that period of feeling like shit when I saw him again. But this time we weren’t in any party or nice cocktail event. No. I had decided to go out of my house to buy some groceries to the supermarket. It was one of these huge markets that sell everything. I was dressed a bit crazy, as I hadn’t even showered, but in those days I wasn’t taking to much attention on anything. Anyway, I met him by the frozen foods, when I was trying to reach for the only chicken lasagna left. Out of nowhere his taller self reached it out and gave it to me. To this day I remember that moment because when I looked at him, he was smiling.

 He told me he remembered me from some parties and that he had always thought I was funny. In my head, I doubted that. Not only because I wasn’t buying anything a man said but because he had never seemed amused by me in those parties. He had to be a great actor or something. To my surprise, he wasn’t an actor but a graphic designer and he had come to the supermarket to buy some cereal, which he loved. We talked for several hours there, in the aisles filled with kids persuading their parents to buy them some candy or older men looking at how the butcher did his job. In a very strange way, it was a very nice walk. Something had happened to him that changed him but I didn't dare to ask.

 At the end of that afternoon, we separated in the parking lot. We didn’t exchange any numbers or emails or anything. At least to me, that wasn’t a priority now and maybe he had felt that or he was in a similar place. The good thing was that I smiled all the way home. Somehow, I had finally seen directly to those beautiful eyes he had and I had taken a liking of them. His face was just there, on my mind, for many days after that. I regretted not asking for a number but maybe, and this was the most likely thing, he had just been nice. I was sensitive because of my breakup and making decisions was not the best idea.

 The days passed and I started working and living more normally. I even ran into my ex-boyfriend but all I could feel was disgust. Because there was no love to feel but he was still the person that had decided to lie to me, to make me feel worthless on purpose and I just couldn’t forgive that. He barely said hello but I didn’t care at all about what he said or how he said it. I just wanted to get over that time in my life and soon. So I just nodded and went on with my life. I had never seen him again and, honestly, I couldn’t care less about where or what he is doing. I think that is the right way to feel and I don’t regret a thing.

 However, I kept thinking about that beautiful guy, the guy with whom I talked nicely for what seemed know like just a moment. I wasn’t in love of course but I really wanted to see him again and find an explanation for what I felt every time I thought about him. So I just went for it, calling mutual friends, trying to get something about him. And then, one night, it hit me: Facebook. It was so obvious and yet I hadn’t thought of it. Why call people when they have their friend network for everyone to see? So I looked at the profile of the guy that had done the photography exhibition and browsed his friend’s list.

 His name was as beautiful as he was. I didn’t add him right away or anything. I was too nervous and it seemed like a very serious step to take. So I just bookmarked his profile and let everything be for a while. I finally told my friend, the one that had convinced me to go to the exhibition, about the guy and how much I thought about him and his stupid face. She was surprised and I was surprised that she was. She told me that, in her personal opinion, he wasn’t that special. She thought he had nice ears, which I found to be very funny, and that his eyes had a nice color, but that was it. She said he was too tall, too skinny and looked like a zombie.

 Somehow, I got mad at her. I didn’t screamed at her or anything but I wanted to. He wasn’t any of those things. So right after we met, I sent him the Facebook invite to be my friend. To my surprise, he accepted it just a few minutes afterwards. We started chatting and he seemed as nice as I had seen him on the supermarket. I checked some of his pictures and was glad that I could see that face for a longer while. As it was the end of the afternoon, he asked if we could meet to have a coffee and chat. Of course, I said yes.

 All of that happened about a year ago. We spent several months going out for coffee, watching movies together, having lunch and just chatting for hours on hours, no matter if that was on the phone, the computer or live. He was a nice person to be around and I could feel he was comfortable with me. At one point, he got to my place to watch a movie and he took his shoes right off, put them in the right place and sat on his favorite spot. He felt comfortable and one of those nights we felt like kissing but we didn’t.

 That happened another day, one he prepared with anticipation and that lead to this day. The day he planned started with a nice dinner, a great a fun chat and was followed, of course, by a movie. We held hands, kissed and never saw the end of that movie. We made love for hours and I have to say it was amazing. And now he’s there, breathing softly at my side and I’m already planning to serve him a big bowl of his favorite cereal, which I know from that time in the supermarket. But for now I’m just going to watch him closely, in silence, because I’ve just noticed I have fallen in love. It happens.

lunes, 20 de octubre de 2014


Flora Summers was a psychiatrist. She worked in a facility, the biggest in the country, that treats different types of disorders.

She decided to study this field as her grandmother suffered from senile dementia and had died during her last year in high school. She loved grandma and the ineptitude of the people in understanding her condition had been essential in the decisions Flora made from then on.

Now over forty, she married a gynecologist and had a young son. She watched over her mother with great care as the probabilities that she would suffer the same illness her grandma did, were very high.

Everyday, she was in charge of watching over the patients in ward C. In the mornings, she made her rounds, checking them out, talking a bit, watching over their diets and recent behavior. She had lunch in an office with a window towards the patients dining room as she liked to see them in different kind of situations. She thought that was pivotal in understanding their diseases.

One day, she realized Thomas, a patient suffering from depression, had been moved to ward D. Ward D was reserved for those that were deemed "untreatable". She hated to go to that place as the people that attended the patients there were rude and did not treat anyone well.

A week later, Thomas's room was taken over Rudy, another young man. As psychiatrist of the ward, she had to interview the patient so they could now what kind of medication, diet and treatment he should follow.

When he entered her office, she couldn't help being sad: he looked like a ghost, very pale with big dark circles beneath his eyes. He had beautiful eyes, the color of honey. She started by telling him that. She had read he suffered anorexia and depression had already kicked in: he had attempted to kill himself twice.

The boy wasn't very talkative. Not uncommon to be honest, except in those with diseases like persecutory delusion. He looked at his hands all the time, answering only in "yes" or "no" and sometimes just shrugging. When he left, she realized it was yet another one of those cases, the kind you never knew how to solve or how it would end as they depended highly on the patient and their surroundings.

The days passed by and Flora tried harder to make Rudy come out of his shell. She had been sent information about his school and other activities and had even visited his parents. No, she didn't blame them although it was clear he had never felt like he could talk to them, as they only found out about his condition when he committed suicide the second time.

After that, she summoned him every other day to talk and she started, after having read every piece of information, with a blunt question:

 - Why did you tried to hang yourself?

This time, he looked at her, nervous.

 - I have seen many patients that have attempted to take their own lives but hanging is quite  uncommon.

Then he talked, the words just poured out as if she had said a magical word. He told Flora that he wanted people to feel bad for him been dead, even his parents. He wanted all to see him as miserable as he was.

Over the course of many sessions, Rudy told everything the doctor already knew and more. She had learned he was a TV fan, watching all shows and watching all kinds of movies with his friend Robert. He said he loved candy and specially ice cream. Flora told him she could bring her some next time but that threw him over the edge and she had to call a nurse to calm him down and take him to his room.

Rudy was visibly upset by something and had decided not to eat. But what was it? Flora knew that he had a profile in many social networks, that he didn't liked sports and that he had just finished high school. So, what was wrong?

In the next session, Rudy told her he was sorry to have lost his temper but that he didn't like to talk about food. Flora answered they had to, as that seemed to be a part of the problem. She told him he had anorexia and depression, and that the combination was hard to live with.

Flora asked him to give her his hand and, with a bit of hesitation, he did: she pulled up his sleeve and made him look the marks the cuts had left there.

 - That was the first time, yes?

He nodded. Next she asked him to take off his shirt and take a look into a mirror on one of the corners of the room.

 - What do you see?

He knew what she meant: the skin covering the bones and little more. Rudy did not say a word. He pulled down his shirt and cleaned off a tear from his face.

 - Do you see a healthy person or an unhealthy one?

Rudy answered he saw a fat person, a person no one wanted to be with, someone that felt ashamed. Flora told him she was going to change his diet a bit as he needed many vitamins and nutrients to be healthy. He didn't care.

On the weekend, the doctor thought of Rudy while watching her son play in the garden with her husband. She thought of how awful it would be if her son felt like Rudy, misplaced and ugly. She was brought to reality when the phone rang. From outside, her husband watched her cry and went in with their son.

Months later, she continued to work in the facility but had also started a venture of her own: at least once a week, she would visit a school or a college's auditorium and then just talk with young and older teens. Her subject: the destructive beauty standards in our times.

As it happens, the day of Rudy's burial, his parents approached Flora and thanked her for her help. They told her that Rudy wanted to get better but just couldn't. His sister, a young and beautiful twelve year old, talked to her after her parents just couldn't do it anymore. She told Flora they had found things in Rudy's laptop: apparently he had been bullied as he had uploaded pictures all round and he had been attacked for being "ugly".

Even more, he had written somewhere he felt bad because of what he saw all around, the beauty standards that were impossible to follow and that he had felt more and more guilty because he wasn't like everybody else wanted to be.

Now Flora knew why what happened, had taken place. She had decided to make something for her community and started the talks, to teach teenagers not to feel obliged to be something they weren't and to love yourself. She always said "being healthy is not the same as been skinny or muscular. It's about loving your body and doing the best for yourself".

Now, she really felt she was helping people and not only keeping them safe or sane. She thanked Rudy for this and always made sure her son knew he could talk to her.