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

lunes, 22 de mayo de 2017

A wedding

   Once he stepped into the room, the sound of laughter and talk suddenly died down. As he walked to an empty spot in one of the tables, people stared and some even held their breath, as if what they were seeing was something they would have never imagined. The walk he did from the entrance to the table only lasted a few seconds, but it seemed it had lasted for hours. Once he sat down people started talking and the noise in the room resumed after a while, as if nothing had happened.

The man’s name was Peter and he had come to the wedding alone. In the table he sat on, everyone was looking at him although it was obvious they were trying not to do so. They were failing miserably, as he felt their eyes probe him as if he was robbing something instead of just grabbing the napkin on the side of the plate. He was saved by the food, because the waiters started entering the room just in time. They served every single person a small salad and a small cup of soup.

 Peter liked the taste of both things and he specially liked that people were not looking at him anymore. It was a relief that they had stopped piercing his body with their eyes. Instead, they were busy making a critique of the taste of the food and the portions. In every table, at least one person was mentioning how in other weddings the food had been much superior. Also, they gave what they though was advice in order to improve the flavor of the dishes, even when most didn’t know how to boil water.

 Peter ate in silence. Once he had decided to go to the wedding, he had been conscious that he wouldn’t really be able to talk to anyone or share a single honest opinion. He was clearly the most polemical guest in the room but he wasn’t the most ungrateful at all. Maybe everyone knew his past and judged him for it, even some thought he didn’t deserved a seat in the event, yet there he was among all of the, having much more decency in one arm than most had in their entire bodies.

 With the salads and soups mostly finished, the waiters came back. It was as if a flock of penguins had suddenly entered the premises. They were agile and very fast, as they grabbed the plates and carried them out of the room. Only a few minutes after the last empty cup had left, they entered again, this time with the main dish. It was a combination of seafood and ground food, if you will. It was served in rather small portions but it came with another salad, this one smaller, as well as a plate with a baked potato filled with cream and ham. It looked very good.

 They waiters also filled everyone’s glasses with champagne. They would have to make a toast later on, before the cake was cut. Of course, please went at it again, criticizing the food. Some said the fish was raw and others thought it was certainly overcooked. Same with the other meats. Others complained they had received a smaller potato than everyone else and some people even declared theirs had nothing inside. Of course, many complained about the champagne, demanding for a waiter to come in order to ask them for the bottle.

 Peter enjoyed his food a lot. Even without talking, everything was really beautiful. Suddenly, it dawned on him that all of it could have been for him, if things had lasted longer and if love had been a little bit better built. Because every single person knew that Peter had been involved with one of the people getting married and that’s why every single time they looked at him, they followed it by a whisper and questions he knew were not the kindest or of any of their importance, to be honest.

 He tried not to listen to his own head and kept on eating, enjoying the fact that he had at least been invited, which was much more than he could have ever imagined happening, as there was no need to do so. But they had done it and he had complied because he wanted to show everyone that everything was ok, that he wasn’t dying or anything because he wasn’t the one in the altar. To be clear, he didn’t knew if an altar had been involve because he had missed the ceremony on purpose.

 There was no way he would make a scene inside a temple. He did thought about going but at the last minute he decided against it. Instead, he would make it to the party. However, he never intended to be late and make such and entrance but that’s how it happened and the only one he could blame was the taxi driver for being so slow. He even thought of talking to the couple and apologize for that, but he ultimately thought it was better not to fan the fire that people carried around.

 His baked potato was very hot so he decided to leave it alone for a while. The shellfish were excellent, or maybe that was because he hadn’t eaten any for a long time. The other two pieces of meat were a small pork cutlet, which tasted really good with a sauce they had made only for it, and a piece of veal that many people decided to leave on the plate. Peter ate it and realized that it hadn’t been properly cooked. This time, the murmurs around the tables were right. As he prepared to eat his potato, it was taken away by the waiter flock that came and went in a second.

 The next thing they brought were the small plates for the dessert. Peter could actually see that some carts were being pulled into the room. They had a large selection of small desserts on them, so you could choose any to join cake on the plate. Most people were looking at the selection but that was exactly on the opposite way they should have been looking. They were warned about this with the sound of a fork being lightly banged against a glass full of champagne, done by the groom.

 Everyone’s face denoted boredom. That part was often the most boring one in any marriage ceremony. But the sad faces all around weren’t enough to make the groom refrain from doing what coupled had done for generations in a wedding: telling everyone about their love in that small public forum, as if they had to justify what they felt. And many people, in this case, felt exactly that was what was happening, especially when they noticed the presence of Peter once again.

 The groom talked about how beautiful the bride was. He told everyone, with jokes and a charming but used sense of humor, how he had being the lucky guy to ask such a beautiful woman out. It was childish at times, but ultimately effective, as many people had started crying for no apparent reason. The speech wasn’t sentimental, maybe romantic. It was short and people erupted in cheers but no one really knew if it was because he hadn’t talked for hours or if they were really touched by his words.

 Then, the bride spoke for more than thirty minutes. Granted, she looked quite beautiful in her white dress and whoever had helped her with makeup had done a fabulous job. But her voice was monotonous, and people were almost sleeping by the time she finally ended her speech. People applauded but clearly because they wanted to be mice to the person getting married. She was proud of herself and didn’t seem to realize she had bombed so hard. Love had made her stupid.

 They cut the first piece of the cake and, after fake laughs, apiece was delivered to every single person in the room. The cake was not good or bad; it was just fine, like the couple on the main table.


 Before attracting more attention, Peter ate his cake with haste and then left the room. He grabbed some macaroons on his way out and ate them as he cried on the taxi back home.

domingo, 24 de abril de 2016

Turning point

   He walked towards the window and noticed the void was only a few centimeters from his feet. He saw the city, its lights and many smaller figures moving from one side to the other. They could be seen because of the traffic lights and the cars. He imagined, or rather, he asked himself, if maybe there was someone in that entire city that could understand how he felt or what his life was like. But the answer was probably a negative one. He was alone and he had to learn to embrace that or suffer for the rest of his life.

 In his hand, he had the syringe ready to be used. He pressed his hand around it but, somehow, he couldn’t bring himself to do what he always did: inject the client with it so he would sleep longer and then have all the time in the world to rob him of every penny he had. After all, it wasn’t all about two coins. It was about a lot of money that couldn’t be traced once he had done what he knew best. But he just couldn’t do it.

 He was completely naked in front of that window, with a powerful drug in his hand and just couldn’t be the person he had been for so long. Suddenly a couple of tears escaped his eyes and then he knew what happened was really bad. He never cried and it was obvious he wasn’t crying for the guy that was sleeping in he bed. That man had it all and couldn’t complain about a single thing in his life. He cried because if he couldn’t do what he always did, he was done.

-       What’s up cutie?

 A tremor traveled all along his spine. The man on the bed was no longer sleeping.

-       I’m good. I wanted to feel the cold a bit.
-       Ok. Are you staying?
-       Whatever you want.
-       Come here.

 So he had to go back to bed, dropping the syringe in the dark and hoping he would be able to find it afterwards. It would be a disaster for him if someone else saw it and started asking questions.

 In bed, he had to wait until the client fell asleep again but apparently that wasn’t the mood he was in. The moment he got into bed, it seemed the guy had developed a new set of hands. And the younger man didn’t enjoy it one bit. He wanted to pick up his things and leave as soon as possible. But the only way to let the guy do. So he did.

 After thirty minutes or so, the man was tired again and felt asleep right away. The boy got out of bed, went to the bathroom to clean himself and to clean his face too and he discovered that he hated the person that looked at him from the mirror. There had been a separation between the version of him that did whatever was necessary to survive and the him that just wanted to be left alone in order to live in peace. They had lived in peace for long but now it seemed that conflict was coming back to his head.

 He got out of the bathroom and looked for the syringe with the light of his cellphone. It had fallen under the bed. He removed the needle and put it all in an internal pocket of his jacket. He put on his clothes in silence and got out as soon as possible, not before grabbing a couple of bills from the guy’s wallet. The fact that he wasn’t going to do the same thing to him that he did to all others, didn’t meant he didn’t need any money.

 Once outside the hotel, he walked to the nearest metro station and wait on the platform for ten minutes until one of the late trains arrived. There were many people inside for such a late hour but mainly drunks, prostitutes, junkies and many other beautiful flowers of the night. He sat down near the door and realized he was very tired and just wanted to rest. Even his awful bed would be perfect, even in that awful shared apartment in which the other guys living there were more like pigs than men.

 He reflected on his life, thinking he really hated must about it. He would have wanted a nice place with a big bed and a nice mattress. He would have wanted to live alone and away from idiots, who made him have headaches every single day. He would have wanted to just live a private life away from any eyes that would want to ruin that, that would want to judge him for everything he had done.

 But that wasn’t possible. He was poor, even after having stolen so much money. Because there was always a bigger fish and that bigger fish demanded a piece of the earnings or it would do a lot of damage just because. And he had to pay the rent for that hellhole, he had to eat and pay for his metro card. Like any other human being, except he robbed men who were “defenseless”. He didn’t thought of it like that but, whatever.

 Once he got home, he locked the door, turn off the lights and put on some cotton on his ears in order not to hear anything from the outside. He wanted a moment to himself and that wasn’t going to happen if he heard the stupidities of the world outside of him. So he fell asleep soon and he slept for several hours, until he felt he had had enough of his bed. His body felt hurt somehow and then he remembered clients could be assholes so he didn’t give it a second thought.

 Before he could cross any of the idiots that lived with him, he put on some clothes and ran for the door. He bought breakfast with money from an earlier job and tried to eat as slow as he could, in order to enjoy the meal and also to make time go slower. Because if he went fast, night would come again and he didn’t wanted it to come because he was part of it and he had responsibilities there which he didn’t want to fulfill at all.

 He ate bacon, eggs, bread, ham and a cup of tea. It was much more than what he normally ate. Sometimes he would just have a granola bar or something like that. And other days, very bad days, he would stay in his bedroom because there was no money to eat and then he would have to deal with all the other guys shit, They would ask him for money or for drugs or whatever and he was sick to have to do that, dealing with them.

 It was a possibility to send them all to hell, but he really couldn’t do it because he knew what he was like when he lost control. He knew that if he started yelling or something, he couldn’t be stopped. And many times it was not only about what could come out of his mouth but also what he could do to others and himself, physically. He was a very violent man when he wanted to and that’s why he wanted to avoid people in general. They only pissed him off and that wasn’t good.

 After breakfast, he decided to go to a mall and just try to have a normal day, without so many worries. So he grabbed one of the bills he had stolen from his client the night before and promised himself to buy something with that. Maybe a t-shirt or at least an ice cream to enjoy the day. But after looking so many pieces of clothing and so much food, he felt more ill than ever. Somehow, he was worse than he thought.

 He found himself thinking about the man that he wasn’t able to rob and also about all the other that he had indeed robbed. And tried to make sense of all of that. He realized he had no idea how everything had gotten to that point, how it was that a young guy like him had to do such things to keep living. He knew the world didn’t give a shit about him but there had to be more to it than just that.

 Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned instantly, scared as he had being thinking and not paying attention to the people around him. For a minute, he thought it was a cop or a security officer. But it was just Nathan, the guy that charged him for what he did. He knew Nathan had come for more money but he had none. And he was done accepting that deal, because there was nothing he could take away from him anymore. No secrets, no revelations to make to anyone.


 His life was on a turning point but he had no idea if it was for the best or the worst.

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.