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

miércoles, 11 de octubre de 2017

The day he wanted to be someone else

   Trying to sleep on that big room was an impossible task. Not only the windows had cracks that let the cold wind of the night in, the stone floor prevented anything to be very warm, even under the covers. It was a dreadful place to stay for a night and John had to stay there for, at least, a whole week. It had not been his choice to go on such a remote place for a vacation. If it had been for him, he would have stayed in his cozy tiny apartment, with his cat Michael.

 But a letter had come on the mail telling him to wait for its writer during that week. It didn’t specify a date and the only thing he could learn out of it was that, whoever had wrote the letter, he or she knew a lot about him and about his family. In three pages, he wrote things that only a family member would know. It was very eerie but John had a sister and a brother, so his first reaction was to think it was one of them, or maybe even his parents, who would be most likely to actually written a letter in paper.

 After finishing the letter he emailed his family and told them it was a very funny joke, especially with his birthday approaching, but they all responded that same day telling him they had nothing to do with a letter. They even joked that the world was too advanced for such thing and that they hadn’t touched a piece of paper or a ballpoint pen in years. And to be honest, John hadn’t done either of those things either in a long time. Paper and pens where only in banks. So who was behind all of it?

 He decided not to respond and just doing nothing. Maybe it had been mailed to him by mistake or maybe it was just a very bad joke. There are people in the world that don’t really have a good sense of humor. Many have a deviant kind of humor that only a few people understand and sometimes only them. But the letter was not even funny, on any level. Maybe it was just a random thing, someone hoping to get a reaction out of the blue. It was possible, John said to himself.

 However, as the dates in the letter grew closer, John received another letter. It had the same kind of calligraphy but this time it was way shorter, more concise and had a certain air of urgency. The person that had written knew that it was difficult to believed someone that knew him so well was written but it clarified that it was a matter of life and death. The letter begged for John to go to where it was indicated and wait there for more information. He had to trust his instinct. And then the letter finished with a simple but resonating phrase: “You have to come because you need to close that chapter for good”.

 That really scared John. He had never discussed his past with anyone else. Not even his family knew everything that had happened to him when he was younger, the things he did when he was out of the house. John had always been the kind of child to stay behind, to have a small amount of friends and prefer to play with toys or videogames at home instead of going outside. But he did try to be another kind of person and it was then when it all happened. The trip reminded him of everything.

 He arrived to that sad hotel the day the week indicated in the letter began. He had to ask for a special permit in his office, permit that was strangely granted very fast. It was not very common for him or anyone else there to get permission to leave for a whole week that easily. The whole situation felt really strange, as if someone else had had some sort of hand in the whole matter. It was a very scary situation but he decided to ignore those facts and just do what he felt he had to do.

 The hotel was the only one in that small town, located about three hours away by road. As he had decided a long time ago not to drive a car, he had to take the bus and that experience was worse than anything because of the delays and all of the walking he had to do. It wasn’t that he hated walking around or anything, more that he really didn’t wanted to move more than necessary for whoever had lured him to that far away place. The town was made of maybe twenty blocks, more or less.

 The hotel felt more like a cemetery than nothing else. The only difference was the fact that there was a roof over his had. Aside from that, you could really feel the same kind of cold weather; the same ripe smell all over and that very sad light that makes you feel unhappy about being alive. The second day there, he woke up rather early. After a cold shower, he decided to walk around town and hope he could find the person he was looking for right then. Or should that be the other way around?

 The cold wind was powerful, descending from a mountain range that seemed to be really close. A woman in the grocery store told him the temperature was always the same every single day of the year. No summer days, even if the sunny was high up above them. The rays of sunlight also felt cold in that part of the world. She also realized John was a visitor and she recommended him to go to the nearby hills for some fresh air. She assured him it was much less depressing than the small town. Hearing her say that, gave him a little bit of hope, which felt out of place.

 He went to the hills every single day, for the next few days. On day six, he decided to leave the following morning very early. All that time in such a small town was making him insane. He wanted to hear noise again, to hear babies complaining and people being awful to each other in the street. He wanted to hear the sound of cars and planes and trains and he wanted to have his cat Michael next to him to warm up his feet before going to bed. He didn’t belong there.

 That day, he walked all over the place and stayed in the hotel lobby for at least three hours after lunch in order for his so-called host to come and tell him what it was that he knew, what the hell he wanted to speak with him about. He waited and waited, hearing the sound of the clock and the snoring of the man that tended the front desk. He wanted that awful week to end and was furious to have been made to spend one of his legal holiday weeks in such a sad a depressing town.

 In the afternoon, he headed off to the hills again. He did like to see the landscape, the mountain and a river far away. Sometimes there were some sheep around and he loved to caress them. That day they came again and he wanted to touch them one last time but they left suddenly, as a figure wearing a large overcoat walked towards him. It was a man, a very frail looking man, maybe the same age as he was. When he was closer, John was able to see a scar above one of his eyebrows.

 Then, he gasped and walked back a bit, scared of this vision of the past. Even without saying a word, he knew who that person was. As a teenager trying to get people to like him and having friends, John had stolen the keys to one of his classmates’ parents’ car. It had been done on a dare. He had to steal the keys and drive the car down the road. It was a short trip, a crime without victim. Or so he thought. The man standing in front of him was the kid he had run over that day, so many years ago.

 He had always thought the kid was dead. He had left them there, on the pavement, to die. He had turned around the car and left it at that. He always thought the police would find him. But nothing ever happened and John eventually learned not to think about that day.


 And yet, there he was, the victim of his attempts to be a normal kid. John wanted to be someone else and all he could produce was a horrible accident. His victim had traced him down for a long time and had been watching, waiting for his moment to come forward.

lunes, 2 de octubre de 2017

The tower

   When Samuel woke up, the first thing he felt was the stone cold floor of the tower. It was made out of huge rocks that had probably being recovered from the river down below. The sounds that the water made stumbling down from the mountain could not be heard at such heights. The cold wind blew and he was finally awake to see the horror of his situation. He had been trapped and put in a tower, far away from anyone that would be able to ever rescue him from his ordeal.

 Before losing his consciousness, he remembered a gentle smile and green bright eyes. He almost remembered huge yellow eyes and fire. But nothing else. Only those four things and when he put them together in his mind, they didn’t make any sense at all. It was as if he had many fragments of one story in his head but not the whole thing. He could put them in any order and try to make sense out of it, but it was useless. Even if he came up with the right idea, he wouldn’t know it.

 After waking up, he walked to the balcony and saw the land beneath the tower. There was an immense forest, larger than any he had ever seen or heard of. His motherland was located near the ocean. He had seen mountains only from afar and now he was surrounded by them. He had water so close he would fish every single day with his friends, for his parents and the townspeople in general. Now, the river was only a glistening thread that sometimes shone beneath the trees.

 Sam walked back to the tower’s interior and saw his new kingdom: a straw carpet on the center of the room, a bookshelf with many dusty volumes, a large wooden table with some fruit going bad on a basket on top, a chair, and a something resembling a bed but much smaller. It was uncomfortable even looking at it. Only one pillow and one thin blanket on top. It wouldn’t be enough for the nights on such a high place. The final touch was two doors: one half broken, going to the terrace, and the other made of solid metal, leading elsewhere.

 He ran to the metal door. He tried to push and hit and kick the door. But nothing happened. It wouldn’t even make a sound. It was just there, impervious, being the frontier between his cell and the rest of the world. He banged at the door, crying and yelling, desperate all of a sudden after realizing some mad man had imprisoned him. He begged for his life and for his sanity but no one came. He put one of his ears against the cold metal but couldn’t hear anything besides the wind. He was probably alone in that damned tower.

 Samuel tried to look for something else around the room, something to help him, but there was nothing there than what he had already seen at first glance. It was just that room, with those objects. No magic or mystical thing behind it all. For a moment, he had felt like one of those imprisoned damsels on children’s stories. But his situation was far worse than what those ladies had gone through. His captor was not even there. And he only had bad fruit to eat and nothing to drink.

 He decided to grab an apple and bite a chunk out of it. He felt the need of food in his stomach and maybe it would be best for him to think with a somewhat filled stomach. But he ended up eating the whole apple. In his rage against himself, Sam threw the apple’s heart over the balcony, and looked how it fell several meters before disappearing among the trees. After he saw that, he started crying and sobbing. He was going to die for sure and he had no way to ask anyone for help.

 Night fell soon enough. He closed the wrecked wooden door but it was useless, as the freezing gusts of wind entered through the huge cracks. He got into bed, with all of his clothes on, and just lay there, trying not to fell the cold that pierced through the thin blanket. Besides, it was too short, so either his feet would froze or his chest. He decided to get up and use some of the bigger books on the shelf to cover his feet. They were more dust than paper but his idea worked. However, the sadness he felt prevented him from falling asleep quickly.

 From afar, he heard the noises made by the forest. He closed his eyes and tried to remember the faces of his family and friends, his adventures to the beach and how he was congratulated for a week after having caught the largest lobster ever in that area. He had been so proud and had provided for his family for a whole month because of that feat. The pride lit his heart and that made the perfect temperature to fall asleep and visit his home in his dreams. He needed it badly.

 As he dreamt, he saw the yellow eyes again and the fire but he also remembered something more: a laugh. Soft, almost imperceptible, but capable to chill every single fiber of one’s being. The laughter wouldn’t stop. It got louder and louder and louder. Until the green eyes appeared, the sound of metal was heard and everything became silent and peaceful again. Then, saw a smile and felt his heart filling with heat again. But this time it wasn’t pride that was doing the job. It was something much more powerful. It was love.

Samuel woke up all of a sudden. He had felt so good but then something had changed and his eyes just opened. But no one was in that place with him. He was still alone and the wind was still entering through the rotten door. But it was day outside. Not only that. His blanket had been replaced with a thicker and larger one, with many bright colors all over. And the moldy fruit was replaced with baked goodies and fresh fruit. The books though, were still as dusty as before.

 It was obvious someone had entered the room. He stood up in the middle of the room, looking for more changes, and he realized he had overlooked something very obvious: he wasn’t wearing his boots anymore. Those were outside, the sun shining bright over them. And his vest had been put on the chair next to the table, nicely folded. He could finally spot something, the only thing, out of place in the whole room: a pair of wool socks made into a ball, on the bookshelf.

 He walked towards it and grabbed the ball but, just when he did it, a piece of paper fell down to the floor. The bad thing was that the damn wind pulled it over to the balcony and through the biggest crack on the wooden door. Sam raced after the paper and was able to catch it just as it was flying over the edge of the structure. He pulled back so hard out of fear that he fell on his behind, hitting the stone floor hard. He couldn’t get up so fast, so he decided to read the note first.

 It was short and very concise. It read: “Nights are cold. P”. That was it. Nothing more. No explanation of who the person was or why he or she had imprisoned Samuel on that tower. Nothing more than a kind thought made into a pair of woolen socks. They were new and Sam learned they worked wonders in order to try to keep the cold at bay. But it was a pain in the butt not to know who had been there to leave that present. Not even the actual pain could put his mind to rest.

 The man from the coast stayed in that tower for a long time and each night, new food and objects would appear out of nowhere. Sometimes, he would get a new book; some other times it was board games he could play by himself. He even got more clothes, all which fit perfectly.


 In time, he learned to live in the tower. He doubted his host less and loss until, one day; he eventually met the person who had put him there. And the first thing he did was to cry. And then, he looked at the horizon, and knew exactly what to do.

viernes, 25 de agosto de 2017

Recurrent dream

   I like lying on my bed every morning for a while, after I wake up. I clean my eyes and walk around naked for a while around my room, trying to decide what to do next. And what I always do is just lying there, watching the rood or staring at the window. Not that I’m actually using my eyes right there, I instead imagine another world, another place. I do that because, every single morning, I feel this is not my life. I feel my real self is somewhere else, living through something very difficult.

 It often happens that when I dream, I see this man in one room. It’s always the same room. I can see a bridge through the window and there are two beds, very neatly made. Everything is clean and there are also plushies everywhere. The man that I see sitting on one of the beds, the one nearest to the window, is not really the age one would think someone would have if you saw all those plushies and toys and several other stuff. It seems he’s stuck there, in that place, who knows for how long.

 I stared at him for so many nights. The dream was always the same and it would dissolve into my usual slumber after only a few minutes. It never lasted long so I couldn’t really pick up many details. After a while, I trained myself to be more aware of the dreams and try to really look around. The first thing I discovered was a teddy bear and that image stayed with me for long. Last Christmas, I even made the mistake of remembering the bear as if it had been mine, only I never had a bear.

 Oddly enough, my mother told me I almost had one. My grandfather had plans to buy one the day I was born, in order for him to be the first person to ever give me a gift. He wanted to have a strong presence in my life and he had decided a bear, carefully made and wearing a red shirt, would be the way to do it. Sadly, my grandfather had a heart attack some days before my birth, so he never got to buy the bear and I never got to meet him. That was the first time I had heard the story and it gave me chills.

 So, of course, I kept trying to figure out the recurring dream I had been having. But, for months, I was stuck in the same place every time. I saw the bear and then, when I turned my head towards the man, I instantly blacked out and then moved on to another dream. Well, to be honest, the first few times it happened I would wake up in terror, sweating and just too scared to go back to sleep any time soon. Those nightmares gave me dark marks under my eyes but I countered those by choosing to jog at night around my neighborhood, a very quiet place to think.

 I would come back sweaty and tired, ready to go to bed without any disturbance in my head or in my life. But the nuisance was there nevertheless. The dream returned a few days after and I just managed to handle it the best I could. I tried hard to discover anything new but it didn’t go anywhere. So I just decided to play a layback role every time, hoping my unconscious mind would get bored of playing the same dream over and over again. But it didn’t. It kept insisting.

 My parents entrusted me with a very large company, the main one in their corporation. It was started many years before by my grandparents and I just try to keep it going forward. We manage various companies dealing with trade and that makes my job very challenging but very fulfilling at the same time. I have been able to visit half of the world and I have learned so many things, even more than the ones I learned back in college, where I graduated with honors. I had always excelled.

 In my family, every single person trusts me with their lives, their secrets and their money. Every time there’s a problem somewhere, they call me to fix it or at least to call someone else to fix it. Since my high school days I have been connecting with various people around the globe and I have now an enormous network of friends and family in every single corner of the planet. Everywhere my jet lands, I have someone doing a party for me or at least treating me to dinner.

 Maybe it’s the dream, but I have found myself thinking what would my life be like if I hadn’t let this life. I think I would be fine. Maybe not rich but I would like to think that I would be as driven and smart as I am right now. I even think I would be just as much as attractive physically and socially as I am now. I have learned not to be ashamed of myself or of my various assets. I have made efforts in my life so I think it’s ok to let people now I’m very proud of everything I am and what I’ve done.

 That man in the dream seems worried. He’s not very well dressed and, to be honest, he looks bored to death. I cannot really make up his face entirely. I mostly see his body, like a shape, sitting there on the bed. It was a long time after I started having the dreams when I realized the man was actually moving the whole time. He seems to be writing, typing something on a laptop computer in front of him. The night I discover that fact I woke up tremendously excited because there had finally been a breakthrough. Whatever that was, it was going somewhere.

 You may not understand this, but I need to feel I’m always in control. I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak or something that crazy. The thing is I like to understand everything that happens around me, even if I’m not very familiar with whatever it might be. That’s why, when I travel, I try to meet locals and I ask them many questions in order to better understand their culture and their states of mind. It’s a unique way to understand a whole country, in order to do proper business.

 That’s why I cannot stand that I have the same dream every night and I cannot see or get what’s happening. I even got to a psychiatrist in order for him to explain what’s up with my head but he told me it was a pretty normal thing and that, once it resolves itself, it will simply go away as if nothing had ever happened. Normally, I would never doubt a professional but something tells me this is something else, this is maybe something much more powerful and convoluted than I thought.

 Then, Camilla came to my apartment. She does that frequently. Sometimes I go to her place and sometimes she comes to mine. My family has been pushing me to ask her to marry me but I cannot seem to find the time to do it. She’s very beautiful and entertaining, she has even heard every single detail about my dreams and has tried to help me find a solution. But something tells me I shouldn’t make that big step until I solve whatever is going around my head. It feels important.

 The last time she came, however, something changed. The dream happened as always but, when I was supposed to wake up, I finally got to see him. The man actually raised his face towards me and looked at my eyes with his, which were sad, kind of red. Then I woke up. I was sweating again. I got up as silently as I could, walked to the kitchen, and had some water. I was trembling a bit and my breathing was off. I tried to calm myself, trying to remind my mind it had been just a dream.

 I just realized the man I had been seeing in my dreams, for so long, was me. Those eyes were mine, that face was mine. Every detail was a copy of my real self. He looked sad, despaired and hopeless. I felt all of that inside me and I guess that’s what made me shake so much.


 However, what scared me the most was the fact that I got to see, through his eyes, what he was doing on the laptop. It happens he was writing. It was a short story and it was how, every so often, he had a dream about being someone else, having a much better life than the one he had.

lunes, 27 de febrero de 2017

Best actress

   After a very long night, she left her award on the table beside her bed once she had gotten to her home. It wasn’t really home but it was the place she was staying for the moment and that was good enough. Her brother had said goodbye some moments ago and now she was alone, late at night, removing everything from her earrings to the very expensive dress she had been offered. The shoes stayed besides a chair all night, the first thing she had removed, not a surprise.

 For a long time, she contemplated the award and she was glad that no one else but her was there too watch because she would have been too embarrassed. But alone, she had the time and opportunity to really look at her prize, the crowning achievement of her career after only having been working for ten years. She knew she was a very lucky girl, so contemplating the prize made it all so much more real, something even more thrilling. She smiled and then she heard someone at the door.

 It was one of her assistants who announced that the people of the jewelry company had come to collect their things. She didn’t quite get why they would come to her so late, but it was better that way because she had been very worried all night, trying to protect her ears and neck from every possible accident, which was very difficult with all the people around and all of the moving and talking and waving. She removed it all, handed it to her assistant and told her to give it to them.

 She would have given them their things in person, but she was very tired to do so. Hoping that the people that gave her the dress wouldn’t appear out of nowhere, she walked barefoot to the bathroom and took the dress off there. She hung it on the closet and then brushed her teeth and washed her face. She had the feeling of having been running through a coal mine or something like that, maybe because the make-up was now running down her face after so many pictures and poses.

 The pajama she had brought was made of two pieces: blouse and pants. They were both filled with teddy bears, which made her laugh. She put it on and quickly after she was already in bed, looking again at the little man that was standing on the table beside her. She couldn’t stop watching him and she knew it would be difficult to look at anything else for the days to come. But she had to make an effort because life was still going and not everything stopped because she had received a prestigious award. It was difficult as it was so beautiful.

 The actress stared at the statue and slowly fell into a deep slumber. In her dream, she was not in a fancy dress or even in her pajama, but dressed as a waiter in a restaurant she felt she knew but didn’t quite know where to put it. It felt strange but then someone asked for her and she ran to offer her services. The man that was ordering looked exactly like the actor who had won that night, just before her. But the expression on his face was the one of someone who didn’t know her.

 He wanted some apple pie and coffee. She wrote on her notepad and then left for what she thought was the kitchen. But once she pushed the door, she was the character in the movie that had made her a winner that night. She had the same dress she had put on for so many days, several months to be exact. It was bright yellow and had no real features besides its color. The fabric and even the smell felt just like she remembered them. It felt it had all happened a long time ago.

 She then realized she was inside the movie and it was her moment to perform. As she had done several times for the last few months, she did her dance number, the big one everyone in the world had been talking about. Almost at the end, a man would lift her up and then put her down again. But this time her partner during the dance number was no other than her actual father. It wouldn’t have been very shocking if it weren’t for the fact he had died a couple of years back.

 She was glad to see him again. He didn’t smile or talk to her at all; he just danced in the most beautiful and gracious way possible. When the time came for him to lift her, he did the most amazing job at it. She cried and hugged him but it seemed she was the only one doing the hug. Maybe it was because she was imagining him but he wasn’t putting any type of pressure on the hugging, he seemed to be there only for the sake of having someone standing in for the real dancer of the movie.

 It didn’t matter to the young actress. She hugged very tight and wanted that moment that wasn’t real to last an eternity. But as dreams often do, they end in the most sudden way. She soon found herself awake, still sitting on her bed, with her neck hurting because she had fallen asleep in the most uncomfortable position ever. She gave her a soft massage but didn’t leave bed, instead she looked at her award again and, only for a moment, she imagined it to be a smaller version of her father. That made her smile just before adopting a better position to sleep.

 Someone came for the dress when she was sleeping. She thought it was a very good idea not to wake her up, maybe everyone thought she deserve everything that day because se had achieved something not many people had been able to. And she was rather young and that even more uncommon. When she finally woke up, it was already late but no one had come to bother her. Again, she sat down at the edge of the bed and stared at the prize, which seemed to be waiting for her to wake up.

 It had lost some of its brightness, maybe because so many people had touched it. She could actually see fingerprints all over the statue. The woman stood up and looked around for her purse, where she thought she had the special cream they had given her to clean the award. But then again, she realized it was not something that had to be done on that very moment. Actually, there was something even better she could do right there, before anyone knew that she had woken up.

 She grabbed the award and felt it: its weight, its shape and height. It was not cold or warm. Then, she acted as she had just received and acted surprised and bewildered for a moment, not in front of a mirror but in the middle of her room. She was suddenly interrupted by her assistant who talked through the door: she had a long day of interviews for magazines and TV shows, so it was time for her to head to the shower and then running around the city to get all of her commitments done.

 As she entered the bathroom, she left the award on the counter, by the sink. She removed her pajamas and underwear and then stepped into the shower. There, she used hot water to relieve herself of everything that felt like a layer on her skin, things that were not really there but only on her mind. She had finally made it; she had finally become the person she had always wanted to be. And now, the path to be walked was new and amazing, painted with the most beautiful colors.


 In the shower, she smiled. She stared at it again, just to know it was there, and then smiled once more. She felt so damn lucky.