Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta nothing. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta nothing. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 22 de febrero de 2017

Everything is nothing

   As the blood dripped down to the floor, getting the thick white carpet wet and stained, the man just looked through the window, contemplating the lights of the city that had been his home for so many years. He hadn’t been born there but he felt as if he had. He had always felt like someone from the city and not the son of a farmer. Either way, it had all lead him to that moment in his life and he realized by looking at the city that he was all alone, as he was on the farm all those years ago.

 His name was Alan and his blood was very dark. He barely felt it sliding down is hand, his fingers, falling almost silently to the floor. The dagger he had used, an old antique he had bought on a trip to Vietnam, laid in the sofa. It was clean because his blood had not rushed out from him but had rather been very slow to come out, as if his body was trying to hold on to life as long as it could. But he had decided his own faith and there was nothing that could save him from it. There was no turning back.

 His apartment was very large, with five bedrooms, each with a bathroom. The kitchen had a lot of space to do all kinds of recipes and the cabinets added an almost never-ending amount of storage space. The living room was the part of the apartment where he stood, barefoot, looking at the twinkling lights of the city below. He had other antiques all around the house, including on his dinner table and the small lobby where he had greeted so many of his so-called friends and family.

 There was no family anymore. Helen had left months ago. She argued it was because of him, because he failed to touch her as much as she wanted too and hadn’t really been a sweet and caring husband during their short marriage. He had a different point of view to the matter: Alan knew his wife had been sleeping with someone, almost from the first day they had been married. He had pictures and even a couple of witnesses. But he wasn’t the kind of man to play all his cards at once.

 By the way, what she had said was the truth: Alan had never really loved Helen. The real thing was that Alan had never cared for anyone in his life. He had been born into a poor family with two sisters and three brothers. That house did not have any love either, just responsibilities. He had learned from a young age that what mattered was to work like a horse every day of your life to make some money and to be someone. To make people tremble when they heard your name, if possible. And Alan had dedicated his life to achieve exactly that.

 His eyes were beginning to go foggy and he stumbled bit, almost banging his head against the window’s glass. But he didn’t fell down; he remained where he was, his blood dripping still. He felt thirsty but he didn’t even try to go to the kitchen for something to drink. He just stood there, remembering how Helen had thought she had the moral high ground when they argued for the last time. She was an overly dramatic woman and he asked himself often why he had chosen her and not another.

 Well, that had a rather simple answer: she had been there when she was necessary. Helen was the daughter of a wealthy man, very well known in the business circuit. As Alan was climbing levels, he realized he had to have someone by his side to be supported by others. For some reason, people still mistrust someone that has chosen not to have a family or even not getting married. And Alan was one of those but he had to fake he was just like them. So he met Helen and eventually married her.

 The relationship lasted for less than three years. During that time, she slept with another man at least three of the seven nights of the week. Other three nights she spent at her family home, where her father and mother would shield her against her “horrible husband”. Only one night a week she spend it in her actual home, where she bitched and moaned at everything because that was the way she was, always trying to end something she had agree on building too, whether she remembered or not.

 Alan was not the kind of man to fall in love or have lovers. He had never hired a prostitute or even visited a strip club. He didn’t feel any of those urges that are the norm among men. And no, he didn’t felt it either for men or other living creatures. He didn’t really have any perversions of the mind or of the soul, at least not related to his romantic interests. That was because he had none. Love was not one of his priorities in life. It had never been like that and it would never be.

 It was probably the reason why, after living his farm at a young age and thanks to his own efforts getting a scholarship, he just left his family and never saw them again. They tried to contact him several times and he even checked on them she had checked on his wife, but every time he got information on them he realized he wanted them far from everything he had. His family was greedy and could be summed up as a group of awful people, stepping on each other to climb little bit further. They were awful and Alan did not want to have anything to do with them,

 With no family and no need or urge to love or even to fuck someone, Alan had always been alone. Because, of course, friends hadn’t been a priority either. No friends had meant that he finished high school and college much faster than anyone else. It had meant for him that no money was thrown into useless things like alcohol or drugs, instead he did the best investments possible and got much more money than he had always needed. Friends would have only been a distraction.

 He had always been alone and he had always been fine with been alone. Those long and luxurious trips he had gone to in order to get half of the things he had on his house, had been done by himself. He had no guides and no nagging wife telling him anything. He had enjoyed the purity of those places and he had even felt he belonged to something greater than him, something he had never reflected on in his life. Knowing the world changed some of his preconceptions on people and the world.

 His family was not religious so he had never learned what it meant to have faith. His wife was supposedly catholic but he had never seen her got to mass or say something in that regard. When he traveled, he discovered that spiritual side that had never really been in him. He started having many ideas about it and would spend long nights trying to decipher his own sense of religion and faith. For Alan, it was something fascinating to discover but he never really became a fanatic. He knew when to stop.

 It was during that study of faith, when he realized the kind of life he had lived. In general, nothing too bad could be said about it. His business movements had always been clean, he had tried to provide for a wife who hated him and had attempted to save various artifacts that he thought could be lost if he didn’t buy them and put them on display in his apartment. In his mind, he had done many good things and nothing that could be classified as “bad”. But he was very wrong.

 He had lived a sad, pathetic life, alienating everyone from it. Religion showed him that living with others improved a person’s well being, it improved their lives in ways he had never even thought possible. His life had been lost to material things, to what does not remain.


 Realizing he had done nothing with his life, that he had decided not to give any of what he had to an heir, Alan decided fast and firmly, as he had always done. He grabbed his precious dagger and cut his wrists the best way he could. And then waited, because there was nothing left to do.

sábado, 22 de octubre de 2016

Hurricane Eliza

   There were pieces of wood and tiles all over the place. No house was left standing. The only big structures close to the big were a couple of buildings, which were about seven floors before the hurricane hit the area. Now, they were also a big pile of rubble that was very difficult to put apart from the rest of the rubble from all the other structures likes house and small business buildings and commerce. Everything had been destroyed in only one night and now people were trying to define what they were going to do after such a tragic event.

Anne had always lived in the area. Her parents had moved when she wasn’t even in their plans and the city was only beginning to flourish. Back then; they had some powerful hurricanes too but nothing like Eliza, the storm that had destroyed every single house. Anne had evacuated early the day before, leaving for a shelter inland. That move had saved her life. Many other people were not as fortunate. They had been afraid of leaving their things, their home, so they had been taken away by the storm along with everything else.

 The death toll rose every hour, as more and more bodies were found beneath what remained of the houses. The ones closest to the beach had been the most affected but destruction had reached every single part of town, even those not so nice houses that were inland. Poor people who lived away form the beach and all of the beautiful things also died or were left to live in a pile of what used to be their home. The storm didn’t care who had money or who hadn’t. She just arrived at peak intensity and took everything with her.

It was true, however, that people had been warned long before the actual hurricane hit the city. But every prediction said it would turn north because of the warmer waters up there. Everyone was convinced that was going to happen. And the turn happened but it was too close to the shoe line. Actually, when all the data was compiles, the hurricane’s eye had never touched the ground. It had been away from the coast for only a couple of kilometers. The destruction was maximal that way. Not even something planned would have been so evil.

 Anne spent all of the first calm day trying to find things in the remains of her house that she could use. Contrary to popular belief, people were not helpful or nice. All the opposite: they were vicious and didn’t want anyone to even step on one of the rocks they thought belonged to their house. People got really scared and believed everyone was out to get them and that their pile of garbage was somehow much more important or valuable than the other piles of garbage in the area. Some people even got weapons to protect their stuff.

 Anne decided to explore her space and try to take as many things as she could salvage from the rubble. Of course, there wasn’t a whole lot to take with her, but she did found some valuables like kitchenware and jewelry and other stuff that she could use to sell and survive for some time. Anne was a widow and had never had any children so she was alone in the task of trying to make something out of her life after such a tragedy. She was always almost at the breaking point but somehow always pulled herself together and moved on.

 When the sunset of that first day after the storm approached, she realized she couldn’t save anything else. The lot was still hers but it would take a while for the city to clean the neighborhood. She had to do something else that wasn’t camping there like a lunatic. She decided to pay a cheap hotel for a night and decide the next day what it was that she was going to with her life. As she drove to the hotel, she realized all of what was happening would have been a lot easier to handle with her husband on her side. But he wasn’t there.

 Walter had died almost a year earlier from a strange disease that had almost annihilated his body in a matter of months. They never told her exactly what it was but the quality of his life quickly diminished: by the end of it he wasn’t able to stand on his own, speak fluently or properly use her hands. When he began to drown because of his problems one day, she had no idea she would lose him. And she also didn’t know he had signed a paper that said he shouldn’t be revived in case something like that happened. He had taken that decision in order or her no to make it.

 Walter had been the love of her life, having met him in college. They used to do everything together. They planned and went on great trips and loved to try new things as a couple like dancing unknown rhythms or trying to learn a new language. It was hard for Anne to admit, but it was because of Walter that she had evolved and become a stronger and more loving person. Before she met him, she as a bit too rough and didn’t really care for romance or love or any of that. It was Walter, which showed her how beautiful love could really be.

 Now she was by herself, sleeping in a small bed that smelled like old people. It was pitch black outside her room but even like that she couldn’t sleep. First, her husband had been taken away from her. Then, the hurricane destroyed everything. And now she felt extremely lost and lonely. It had o be said that she had no more family than Walter as she had lived her full childhood in an orphanage. That was what had made her tough in the first place.

 The following day, she returned to her former house and tried to get some more stuff out but it was a very dangerous thing to do as the rubble could fall on her feet or hurt her somehow. It was a really difficult thing to do, to try and remember he things that had any value in order to sell them. She had also saved many things from him and now she couldn’t find any of it and it was making her desperate. She wanted those things to feel a little bit safer, as if someone was actually protecting her. Being alone was too hard after such a thing.

 Suddenly, a group of people from the mayor’s office and the government appeared on a car with a sound device to reach everyone. They were saying that the rubble would be cleared off in the following weeks, as the machines needed for the job weren’t even en route to help yet. They said the disaster had touched many different towns along the coast and that they were trying to make the best job possible for everyone to feel safe and to be able to rebuild if they want that or to sell their lots if they decided that was the better option.

 Anne was the first one to walk up to the car and make them stop by standing just in front of it. She had an impulse to do so and she did. She yelled at the people on the car, saying that they were talking as if it was something they did out of a routine or something, as if town along the coast got destroyed every day. And she also told them that she new for a fact that machines like the ones needed to clear the rubble were available to mayor’s office because of an article she had remembered reading to Walter when he was in the hospital.

 Other neighbors came closer and agreed with Anne. They also thought the government had come to tell lies and to make them feel safe and calm when there was no reason to be either of those. They needed to get mad and to demand what was right, which was the removal of all the rubble as soon as possible in order for them to properly look for their belongings and then decide if they wanted to leave or not. Many people, most of the neighbors actually, came closer to Anne and surrounded her, in order to support her stand.


 She then declared that they wouldn’t move until at least two machines came to clear the neighborhood. They would stand there and not let the vehicle leave. The people in it could walk away but the car stayed with them. One by one, the officials had to step out of the vehicle and walk away, afraid for their safety and humiliated because their corruption had been uncovered. Now, the neighbors hoped for the machines to arrive soon and Anne realized something she had in herself she didn’t even know about.

sábado, 1 de octubre de 2016

Change

   It’s very strange when everything is so familiar but, at the same time, it feels so strange, as if it wasn’t real. Of course everything is real. I haven’t stepped into another dimension or anything of the sort. I just stepped into a plane and, because of the time change, it seems like an eleven-hour flight was only about four hours. I suppose that means I gained some time but I do no feel very fortunate to have achieved that. Again, it feels like I’ve cheated somehow but that’s silly, as many people do it in a day and other lose hours, myself included.

 The body is the one that is the most confused. My mind, I think, can understand the issue but the body, as you know, has a process of adjustment that takes a bit more time. And it’s not only about the fact that time was involved in the process, it’s also the change in weather and surroundings. Things cannot be more different and, at the same time, they are exactly the same. I know: I don’t really make sense. And, to be honest, I won’t be trying to make sense for the next few lines because I think it’s not necessary. Everyone can understand this situation.

 One thing that struck me right as I stepped out of the plane was the cold. I mean, I have lived with this cold for a good time of my life, but I didn’t seem to remember how peculiar it is. It feels like something gently pressuring your body from every side, very gently. It’s certainly not as awful as full-blown winter weather but it had a particularity that I think most people ignore. Maybe it’s because it can go away pretty fast if the sun and the clouds help, not that it happens that often. Oh and the clouds! So many, many thick clouds.

 I forgot I wasn’t going to see much of the sky here. It rains constantly, making the city appear even darker than it is. The weather in some parts of the world really doesn’t help at all, not the people living there or the ones visiting. And it always leaves a lasting impression because it’s the subject people love to talk about. They remember the weather in one place better than many other things that could happen. It could seem as if it wasn’t that important but I do think it is crucial to what someone might think and how a place can be perceived.

 Oh, and I’m coughing. But it’s not the weather here that caused that. Instead, it was the dry cold air in the airplane, which has been really annoying to me in the recent days. Before this flight, I took other two less than two weeks ago so it makes sense why my nose cannot seem to get better at all and why I seem to be in the brink of the flu every day. I think I’ve been able to push it away for a while but it would be difficult to do that forever. At one given time, I will have to be sick again and I’m not looking forward to that at all.

 Another funny thing, or maybe not funny but just curious, is the fact that my bags felt very full but, in the end, they did not contain anything out of the ordinary. Just clothes, some souvenirs and a bunch of paper I like to collect in the form of tourist brochures, magazines, books and others. I don’t really have that many pieces of clothing or anything. In fact, I had to throw away a few things in order to be able to get it all in the bags without making them too “overweight” for the airline’s regulations.

 I will be able to put everything in its place in less than thirty minutes, maybe even counting all of that paper I told you I have. It gets a bit ridiculous when you’re able to put every single piece of your life in two bags and then move them from one continent to the other. It really makes you think about the print your putting into this world and how important it might really be. It makes you think about your life, your achievements, everything. It can certainly be kind of overwhelming, when you’re playing close attention.

 But I did it without paying attention and I think it was for the best. It’s not useful to confront everything in your life in one go. It is much better if you just deal with one thing at a time. That guarantees that you can achieve better conclusions, instead of suffering because of everything that you might “find out” about yourself. I guess it really depends on how much you know and accept yourself. It may be even possible that you don’t have to face any demons because you don’t have any. No one knows how fast people confront their fears and anxieties.

 Sorry, I feel I veered in the wrong direction with that last paragraph. I guess it’s because change is always so hard on people, no matter who you are. Change takes a toll in the heart and the soul but not always in a bad way. It’s just one of those things you have to deal with and I’ve done it before so I know what I’m talking about. It can be very challenging to get from point A to point B, sometimes even impossible for some. But for others, like me in this very moment, it is not a matter of wanting but rather a matter of having to.

 There are clothes on the floor and objects beneath the bed. The bags are there, gently asking to be liberated from all my things and even my cellphone is asking to work in an environment different to the one he was in. Even inanimate objects seem to realize that things have changed. Or maybe that’s just me, imagining things to make everything a little bit easier. Who knows? Or… who cares, to be honest? I think I’m allowed to think and care about many different things right now, especially as I get used to the altitude, which can take a while.

 Page three and I think I have nothing more to say. It feels weird that even my fingers seem to weigh more here. My body in general feels heavier for some reason. Is that even normal? I hope it is because it’s certainly no fun at all. I expect my head to hurt a little bit in the next few days and my eyes to adjust to the light, because even that it’s slightly different. People never think about things like that and the fact is that they really affect your life without you even noticing.

 I have some reordering to do, some things to throw away and some others to fit in their new spots. I think that may happen in the next week or two because everything will feel strange for a while now, even people’s accent, as well as their way of doing things. I now it sounds silly but people are only equal before the law. In all other cases people are extremely different in ways that most people never even think about. I like that but at the same time I know how difficult it can be to adjust. Time will tell I guess. Isn’t that funny?

 I forget to say that I feel different anyways. I mean, I’m no exactly the same person that left a year ago. It may seem like I am, and probably not that many things have changed, but I do feel I have made important changes in how I perceive the world around me. It has been in my best interest and I frankly don’t think all those changes will be annulled being in here. If anything, they will all be but to the test again and that’s what life is all about so I don’t fear any of that. Challenge is a natural process and I, for one welcome it.

 I will have to make adjustments, of course. Pretending nothing has changed is a stupid way to face life. The best thing is to find out what’s the best new way to do the things you have and like to do and then it all becomes clearer and life just transforms into a good path to walk on. And that’s what I really want to happen. I want a path to follow; I want my steps to be safe and not to stumble down from one side to the other. I want to have security and also I want to be certain that life can find it’s way to me and me to it. Does that make sense?


 Probably not. I think that many of the things I wrote here, this morning, don’t make any sense at all. But that doesn’t really matter. I can blame the cold or the bed or maybe even my body. Hell, I can even blame my brain for being robbed of many hours! The truth is change has happened and it would be, at the very least, interesting to know what happens next. So many things are lurking around in life, waiting to be found or to jump on top of you. Let’s just breathe a little bit and take it slowly, trying to avoid pain and just having the best time possible.

miércoles, 16 de marzo de 2016

Homeland

   When Muriel was in the shower, she suddenly remembered how being in a combat zone felt. The water reminded her of the many times they had been under heavy fire and how they had narrowly escaped death. Well, how she had narrowly escaped death because there were others who had gave their lives for the cause that they were defending, a cause that Muriel had trouble understanding now that she was home.

 She had arrived just a couple of days ago, being received by her parents and her boyfriend, although she hadn’t seen much of him. Muriel couldn’t explain it but, she had missed John so much in the filed and now that she had seen him again, she couldn’t even make herself hug him or kiss him or say anything sweet to him. She felt as if her heart had dried out in the desert, consumed by everything she had seen, day after day. She hadn’t even hugged her parents and they had tried and she knew they had felt it too, that awkwardness, like a barrier that now existed between them.

 Trying to scare all the negative feelings and memories away, Muriel decided to shampoo her hair and enjoy the nice odors of her parents’ home. Where she came from, she didn’t really have the chance to wash her hair very often. Actually, she had showered a few times the last month and it was always a minute, two at the most beneath the coldest water a country that’s hot as hell can have. But, even so, she had to confess that made her feel alive.

 The smell of chamomile that the shampoo had reminded her of a time that seemed very far in her past now. She had been picking up flowers with her sister near a house her father had rented in some mountains, not very far from the city where she was now. That time seemed like a dream. Because it was almost false, unlike the burned bodies and mutilated corpses she had seen in the last year. Her mind immediately went to the destroyed cities she had seen; the destroyed cities she had helped become a battling ground. Because, the more she thought about it, the more she realized her presence there was also a problem.

 For many people, she was the enemy and even locals, just people that tried to survive, ran away from her when she tried to come near them. It didn’t help that she was the only woman in an assault team and that the rest of her teammates could be considered brutes. They were man built like a mountain, guys that she had managed to control during training. Some were nice enough, she could even talk to them about what she liked and didn’t like in life, about her boyfriend, her parents, her dream to someday become a veterinarian. But other were just beasts that had to be controlled at all times. And some other times, they were released.

 She rinsed all of the shampoo from her head and then just enjoyed the warm water falling on her black, gliding down her breasts and belly and legs. Muriel instinctively touched her breasts, as if she didn’t know that they were still there. She really touched them and got a bit aroused but her goal was not that but to really feel something, whatever it was. She had been numb for so long that she started touching more and more and then put one of her hands over her vagina and… And she stopped.

 Like a pinch to the stomach, memories came running into her brain, once again. One of those beasts, one of those animals she had been to war with, had tried to rape her on the first week. Luckily, Muriel was a good cadet, a good soldier in general and was able to turn his brute force against him. She threatened him with telling everyone and he laughed at her, touching his penis over his pants. She ran away before he could say or do anything else. That image stuck in her head, even though she had been trying hard to eliminate of her mind.

 She grabbed the soap and decided to clean herself properly, every single centimeter of her body. She even sat down in the shower floor in order to feel she was under a waterfall or something like that. She had always done that, fro, the time she was a child, and her mother always told her that was a waste of water and that people in other countries would have loved to have that water to drink and cook and live. And then she would argue with her and loose.

 Now, Muriel had seen the world and the truth was that she didn’t really cared if a family or a boy or a girl had no water to drink because of her. She simply didn’t believe that it made any difference. For her, she had discovered, the world was full of shit. The world was evil and awful and people didn’t really ended up in the bright side of things. People had bad endings, every single day. People died or they were killed, and there were orphans and fear conquered all of their hearts and that was just how things were.

 What Muriel had done in that country, her killing and her helping, was not useful. She didn’t make any difference by doing those things and she was ready to tell any idiot than helping with such stupid things didn’t help anyone. Being kind one moment and awful the next didn’t make you even or something. It made you human and humans are made to make each other miserable, make each other suffer and, slowly but surely, make competition go away because that’s how the world goes.

 Then, she stood up from the floor and closed the shower. The lack of water noise made her tremble but she inhaled deeply and stepped out.

 She took a yellow towel her mother had left her and dried herself with it over the small mat on the floor that was shaped like a hamburger. She liked that mat, ever since she had seen it once, one of those few times she had been able to chat with her mother over Skype. For some reason, she had shown her the hamburger mat and told her it smelled nice and that she wanted the house more fun with it. It was such a silly thing but that stupid mat was a symbol of the home Muriel wanted to go back to. Her goal was to go back home and see that mat in person and now that wish had become true.

 Walking slowly, she got out of the bathroom and walked to the closet in the next room. She had somehow done that automatically, because of a force of habit that came from years of doing so, but her true attire of the day was on the bed. Her father had gone to a special store were they specialized in pressing and cleaning uniforms. And hers now looked brand new, with every single detail in the right place. She removed the plastic and just left it there, on the bed.

 That green, that shade of color on the uniform, had always symbolized so much to her. And now, she was trying to remember what it was that she had felt the first time she had seen it. And she did remembered but, again, she couldn’t feel it. She knew that the uniform had made her and her family happy and proud. She was one of the few people she knew that had decided to join the army. The reasons were many; include the benefits in education and even health but also because Muriel had been a patriot for a long time.

 When she was just a little girl, she was the one that made her father built a small metal thing to put over the front door of the house in order to put the flag there every time there was a holiday. With time, she just left the flag there because she liked to see it move with the wind. She liked the colors and the shape and how it made her feel. Muriel liked to learn more and more about her country and her community and was really admired by many parents and teachers, not so much by her fellow students.

 But now, all of that had left her. Her patriotism had been left for dead in a horrible battlefield filled with charred cars and corpses, were the only noise was the crying of a baby somewhere. Her flag was a rag with which she had cleaned all of the blood from her hands, as well as the blood dripping from her weapons.


 Muriel put on the uniform and didn’t even look at herself at the mirror after putting it on. She just went downstairs where her parents waited for her in the car, to take her to the ceremony where she would be qualified, by all her brothers ands sisters in arms, as a “hero”.