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

sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2016

We all know Doris

   Doris had never been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was rather plain and didn’t have anything special going on for her. Besides, she was already over fifty years old and women her age simply didn’t have the same opportunities in life that younger ones. She couldn’t complain about her job, because she had been very lucky to keep it for so long but she would have loved to get married at least once in her lifetime. She had always dreamed of wearing a wedding dress and having one of those fun parties to celebrate her nuptials.

 She had her chance when she was around twenty-four years old. An older man had wanted her in marriage and her father had agreed to it. Of course, Doris didn’t want to marry him but, in those times, women did whatever their father told them to and it was very difficult to do something different than what parents told their children. Doris cried and stopped eating for a week but that didn’t change his father’s mind. However, the old man that wanted to marry Doris died only a couple of days before the actual ceremony so she was saved.

 When she looked back to that memory, she found herself thinking very differently from that young girl she used to be. For example, she regretted the fact that she was never interested in knowing more about the man she was going to marry. Of course, they practically didn’t know each other but she could have asked and maybe, just maybe, that would have changed everything, even the fact that he had died. Yes, fifty year old Doris thought it was a good idea to marry a man that was, at least, thirty years older than her.

 Be that as it may, she never got to wear that wedding dress. Besides, she had to see her two brothers and three sisters getting married. She had to go to their weddings and pretend to be happy for them but she never really was. She also had to go to other weddings, where she was even a bridesmaid. That was even crueler for her because she got too close to the real thing but it just wasn’t the same. It was all an illusion to keep her away from the one thing she wanted in life, the one thing you couldn’t really buy or force to happen.

 In her work, however, Doris was successful. She was the assistant of the principal in the same high school where she and her brothers and sisters had gone. At first it had been weird to work there but she adjusted just fine in no time. Now she loved to reminisce about all those good-looking boys that had walked the hallways back when she was a teenager. She found herself thinking about them a little bit too often and even took to the social networks to track some of them down to see if they had changed a lot or not so much. The results were predictable.

 Before turning fifty, Doris had gone over backwards to get a man. It sounds a little bit too desperate but it was what she wanted. She opened profiles in most of the matchmaking sites in the Internet and also downloaded several apps on her phone with the help of one of her nieces. She even started going to bars on Friday nights to see if she could attract any man. Doris didn’t even mind if it was only a crazy sex night but that didn’t happen either, which was frustrating and also hurtful for her. She felt even older than she really was.

 As her birthday grew closer, she decided to go to all these events that advertised that you would get a couple in no time. Some of them were events where you met several men in a limited amount of time and others were holidays for singles in which the goal was to meet all of the people that were there with you and then just see who you had the best chemistry with. The thing about all of those was that they were only a waste of money. She always came back home disappointed on everything and even sadder than before.

 After she turned fifty, it was as if something inside of her changed. She didn’t want to keep being desperate and accepted the fact that she was never going to find anyone. Of course, she remembered all of those family dinners for special holidays when she had to lie to her family or confess to them that she was still alone. As her family was concerned, Doris had been in a relationship with several men but it never really worked out for several reasons. Some didn’t have a job; some others were scoundrel and they were even a couple that ended up being gay.

 Now that her parents were dead, those family dinners were over. She rarely met her brothers and sisters, only in funerals and such events, which was great for her because that way she didn’t need to talk about her private life. Stopping the lies had been really good for her because for a fragment of her life, she knew too well all the things she need to say to make a believable lie. She was so good at it that it seemed that she was beginning to believe everything she said herself. It was a very sad thing to do and it was for the best that it was all over.

 So, after fifty, Doris was not interested in finding anyone new. She wasn’t interested in anything to be honest. She went from her home to her job and back home every evening. On the weekends, she spent several hours tending to her dog Fluffy and her small but well taken care of garden. It was her pride and joy, as she really loved to spend hours and hours getting everything to perfection. It was her passion and it helped her not thinking about thoughts that hurt her.

 One day, by the advice of her next-door neighbor, Doris sent pictures of her garden to a specialized magazine, just for fun. Her neighbor had said that sometimes they sent people over to take pictures for their magazines and that was always fun. She thought that Doris could be one of the proud owners of a famous garden. At first she wasn’t too sure but one night she decided to do it, just to add a little bit of fun to her life. Maybe it was the wine she had been drinking, but she was as happy as one could be while taking the pictures.

 Days later, she received an email from the magazine telling her that they were interested in a visit and asked her about her availability. Sure enough, they were there the following weekend. Her neighbor stood close by the whole time, showing Doris her two thumbs up every time the photographer took a picture or when the interviewer asked Doris about some of the flowers and she answered in the best way possible. They were only to people but she felt overwhelmed for a moment and had to take deep breaths when they weren’t watching.

 The interviewer, shortly before leaving, told her that her pictures would be in the mix for the next issue, which would portray suburban gardens from the country. She could be in or out, they didn’t know yet so she had to be very attentive of the issue. For Doris, it was a torture to wait that long because the magazine was released every two months. But thinking about it also made her very happy and proud and it was certainly better than wondering why she was not married or why no man appeared to have any interest in her.

 Sure enough, almost a month and a half later, the magazine’s new issue had her garden in the front page and in at least four other pictures inside. There even was an awkward picture the photographer had taken of her looking at her tulips. She was a bit embarrassed by it but many people thought it was a very nice picture. She kept the issue by her bed, to look it every time she felt down. Doris knew not many people knew about that magazine but that didn’t matter because it made her feel great and that’s what mattered.


 However, the following week every single person she met greeted her kindly, smiled and congratulated her. At first she was very confused but then she read a letter she had gotten from the magazine: she had been awarded a prize for the best suburban garden in the country. The prize came with a cash prize and an actual medal that would be given to her in a ceremony in the magazine’s headquarters. For the first time in her life, Doris was really happy, for real, and did not relate her mood to her relationship status. No man could make her feel better than that recognition.

martes, 3 de mayo de 2016

Teacher and student

   His breathing was paced, rhythmically following the movement of his body and his partner’s body too. John had always wanted this; he had had a crush for Dean since the first week of class. But it was only now, during the first break of spring that they had come into real contact with each other and everything had unfolded in a matter of days. Dean watched John in the dark and John felt Dean’s face, as they both exhaled and inhaled in almost the same way.

 They shared a kiss and continued, John having his hands on Dean’s chest, moving slowly. Dean grabbed John’s face with one of his hands and he realized he could cover almost the young man’s entire face with it. He didn’t try to do it because it would have been distracting, but he realized he had never been with a man he could do that too. John was, after all, one of his students in college. He had never really paid much attention to him until an incident occurred in recent days.

 John had been caught cheating on a test and Dean, who had gone through that before, told him he wouldn’t get the administrative offices know about the mishap if he repeated the test another day. John, of course, agreed. The day of the repeat test, Dean was prepared to wait for John to finish but summer had started and he noticed how nice John looked in shorts and in a tank top. He began a conversation with him right when the test happened and the next thing he knew, they were having some coffee not far from college.

 Suddenly, Dean moved a little and John made a grimace out of pain. Dean asked if that had hurt but John shook his head and launched himself at him, kissing Dean passionately as if they were about to be separated. Dean kissed the student but decided to change places. He wanted to be on top now. John understood at once and positioned himself like John wanted to. They continued like that, John grabbing Dean’s hands strongly and Dean kissing his neck as they had sex.

 It was not the first time for Dean, being with a student that is. He knew it was a mistake and that it was dangerous but, somehow, he had also being lured into it by that other guy. He had been a year older than John and had been a really bad student for almost all year and he practically offered himself to Dean in order to pass the class. It wasn’t ethical but he wasn’t able to resist.

 The first time they did it was right in his office, just five minutes away from any person with the power to expel the kid or send Dean to jail. But they did exactly that for several other times, until there wasn’t any need for it to continue. The kid moved on with better grades and Dean just stayed there.

 He had being in a relationship with other men his age too. But he could never really work it out with them. They always wanted so much more: someone with a better body, someone that felt younger, someone that could go with them to crazy adventures every once in a while. And although Dean played with risky things, he really didn’t like to go hiking or diving with sharks or anything like that. He was over forty but he hadn’t been through his mid-life crisis. He just wanted to share a moment with someone and just lived through that. He wasn’t interested in anything more.

 That’s why John was so perfect. He would come in his shorts and Converse shoes almost every weekend, to his house, and they would have sex for several hours. He had lost the ability to know if that was right or wrong. He always reminded himself of John’s age: 21. That wasn’t illegal and they couldn’t do anything with that argument. It’s not like he was a high school teacher. But, nevertheless, he knew he could have problems.

 John finished first but gave Dean some time to finish too. They kissed afterwards and rested for some minutes, before John put on his clothes and announced he had to leave because he had to go help his mother with some arrangement for a barbecue party they were going to have for the whole family. Dean thought that was very sweet but he didn’t say anything. He just gave John one last kiss at the door.

 As he showered, moments later, he realized that when John left, he had wanted to go after him or asked him to stay. It was the first time he felt that. He had never had that issue with the other boy. He had been such a business transaction, that even the sex was not even exciting or interesting. It had been just something to do, and that was it. No pleasure or interest in anything from any side.

 Dean massaged his skin with liquid body gel, John closed his eyes and decided to remember John’s body, centimeter by centimeter. He knew his legs perfectly, his buttocks, his back and his chest. He loved his lips and his hair, cut in the way many young kid cut their hair, shorter in the sides and longer in the middle. He liked that and had even thought about getting that in the barbershop but he realized he would look weird in class.

 After all, college began again in only a week and he had to go back to been, or at least pretending to be, a very old man. Every single student thought that just because he had some grey hairs and was over forty, he was automatically an old man. But he didn’t felt like one. Yet, no one wanted one of those teachers that looks older and behaves like a youngster. That’s simply wrong.

 He opened his eyes again; once he was done thinking about John and about every other sexual experience he had lived in recent years. They weren’t that many although he had tried several new things to bring some spice to his life. Dean had tried saunas and discos and sex clubs, all very fun but definitely not for him. In every single one of those places, he had felt he was an invisible person waiting for something impossible to happen. It was pathetic how, when younger men came in any of those places, every guy looked like a hungry tiger. It was pathetic.

 After opening the windows and pulling up the shades, Dean walked around his house naked, looking for his cellphone. The apartment was not very big, so he got really annoyed when something was missing. He finally saw it on the kitchen counter and remembered that the day had begun with him offering some dark chocolate to John. It had been something very cheesy to do, but he really thought the kid would enjoy it.

 Back in his bedroom, he checked his phone and thought about what was always in his mind: did John really liked him or was it just because he was his teacher or because he needed better grades or maybe even just because he was an older available guy? He always asked himself that and the answers that he came up with were always torture. It didn’t make any sense to be thinking about that. It was something that happened and that was it.

 Then, he heard a knock on the door. He put on some boxers to go an answer. As he went to open, he realized they had not been buzzed in. Behind the door were a man and a woman. The woman presented her badge: she was with the police. She told Dean he had to come with them to the police station. Dean tried to ask what it was all about but the woman insisted on him getting dressed and joining them fast.

 He did so and some minutes later he was been interrogated in a small room. Everything got to his brain in waved the size of a tsunami: apparently, John’s parents had hired a private detective to follow their son, as they realized he was never home. They were apparently a paranoid couple. The detective had taken several pictures of them going up to John’s apartment and they were even infrared pictures and audios.

 Dean reminded them that John was twenty-one. The two officers looked at each other and told him that wasn’t true. They had John’s birth certificate and it confirmed he was actually seventeen. He had finished high school with honors with a very young age and decided to enter college right away. After all, it was his first year.


 Dean realized John himself had lied to him. But why? What would he get from that? Was it because he was afraid? The police formally arrested John and, soon, he had no job to go back too. A horrible chapter of his life had just begun and all because of a seemingly innocent lie.

lunes, 26 de octubre de 2015

Tea with Deb

   She puts five drops of lemon juice on her tea and then tastes it, to know if it’s the proper amount. It is: combined with the sugar and the quality of the tea, the beverage is perfect. She asks for a napkin and sips even more tea, as she watches out for her guest to make an arrival. The café is quite filled with different kinds of people but she would notice someone that shouldn’t be there or at least felt awkward, in a moment. She gives one, two and three sips, still waiting. She even eats some of the pastry she had asked for, instead of waiting to share it with someone else. She has never being very good at patience and it shows: she moves her leg, posed over her other leg, with a rhythmic movement that would put any dog nearby into a deep hypnosis.

 Finally her guest arrives. She’s a young woman called Gaby, the daughter of her late husband. Since he died, they haven’t really seen each other, partly because their relationship was never very good. Not minding that, she waves to the young woman who doesn’t respond but has obviously seen her too, as she walks towards the table. She arrives and tries to smile but fails, instead sitting down and receiving the menu from a waiter that has appears out of nowhere. The woman tells her what’s good in this café, what kind of beverages they have and what to eat, but Gaby is not very focused or doesn’t seem to be at least. She breathes in slowly and lets out air through her nose in the loudest and most annoying way. The woman drinks more tea to calm her nerves.

 Gaby then puts the menu aside and asks her why she asked to meet her.  The young woman is obviously not comfortable, grabbing her purse as if she was afraid someone might steal it away right there. The woman sips a bit more tea and waits a few seconds to answer the question; meanwhile Gaby pierces her with her sight. She then declares she missed her and that since the death of her husband, six years ago, she has been trying to put her life together. She realized, or so she says, that she never really gave Gaby a chance when they lived together, not even trying to form some kind of relationship of any kind. She says she only wants for them to be friends and to be united by the memory or their beloved Peter.

 But the young one doesn’t look very impressed by the words of her former stepmother. She just looks at her and, finally, sighs and smiles saying: “You kill me, Deb. You do.” Deborah, a name she had forbidden Gaby to use when in her presence, has shrills all over her body and turns around instinctively to know if someone has heard the comment. No one is looking at them, actually many customers have left the café, as lunchtime is now over. She sips more tea, which runs out and calls, with a trembling hand, another waiter and asks him for more tea. When she looks at Gaby, the girl is still smiling.

 Gaby asks the waiter for a cappuccino and a croissant filled with chocolate. He leaves, not without looking at the horrified face of Deborah. Her expression has contorted into an awful grin and all because she has begun remembering the past. A past where she hated her husband Peter and had only wanted to marry him for the money but in the transaction she never thought she would have to put up with a little kid, he’s annoying daughter who was in that age when they just look at you and seem to know everything about your life and accomplishments. She was a pretty girl, but annoying like any other kid and Deb knew she had to make Peter realized she was the important one in his life and that’s why she planned getaways together, that didn’t include Gaby.

 The girl, now twenty years old, just smiles. She knows what Deb has on her mind and she loves that the woman is now regretting of have a small reunion with the stepdaughter she never wanted. When the cappuccino and the croissant arrive, she starts eating and drinking loudly, only to annoy her stock up companion across the table. Deb is annoyed, extremely annoyed, as her life has always been one when she faked to be someone that she wasn’t. She had always preferred etiquette and glamour to many other things in life like honesty and hard work. Gaby knew her father was her third husband and that she had now divorced number five. She was what many people would call “a gold-digger”.

 Gaby said it out loud and it had the expected reaction: Deb smashed her fist against the table, spilling her tea and dropping some sugar cubes to the floor. A waiter, apparently someone that had know her for a while, came in fast and helped her clean up and pick up what had fallen to the floor. She stood up and Gaby was hopeful she would leave first, humiliated. But she didn’t, she just dusted off the sugar and some tea and sat down again, with more rage in her eyes that she had ever seen. She remembered then the time she had seen him drink like a sailor because her father hadn’t arrived from a trip and she “needed” him urgently. Of course, the real reason was that she needed money.

 To be honest, the girl didn’t understand how it was that a woman that had been married so many times had no idea of keeping money. One would think a person in that line of business would know to save a little for the future, as looks vaporizes fast and life is more and more expensive each day. She still kept her good looks, her nice dresses and her appointments to the beauty salon, but she was very late in her rent payments, she couldn’t get a job and a former lover had come to her, with wishes to blackmail her, thinking she had money but she had none. He didn’t believe it and kept asking for money.

 Gaby did not know this and Deb wouldn’t tell her. Breathing slowly, Deb told the girl she had not been a great stepmother but that was precisely the reason why she had decided to make contact again; in the hope they could be friends. To the sound of the word, Gaby started laughing, again attracting the attention of the restaurant’s staff and of the few customers. But she didn’t mind, she kept laughing, authentically crying because she had found Deb choice of words extremely funny. She smiled to her and just couldn’t reply back because she found the situation so ridiculous and out of every context. She finally got serious and asked Deb how much money she needed and why she needed it. Deb, of course, started acting confused and offended but it obviously didn’t work.

 Still smiling, the former stepdaughter told her she knew what moved her and what had made her marry her dad. Faking been horrified or something like that would not work, as she had known her much better than her father. Deborah attempted to talk but Gaby continued, reminding her that only she knew about the lovers she had back then and about the amount of money she spend on useless things. She was a shameless whore who just wanted money and a place to feel safe but Gaby wouldn’t be the person to provide for her. She had to find someone else to believe her, to buy into her trap of a femme fatale in distress, a performance for which she was growing older and older, becoming a comedic role.

 This hit Deb right in her pride. Suddenly her facial expression changed as well as her body language. The red in her face did not go away but it was obvious the real her had finally come out. She approached Gaby over the table and, in a really low register, told her that what her life was like and what she had done with it, was her problem. Who she was a result of a series of things that had happened to her and that a spoiled brat like her would never understand. She pitied her for being so blinded by her youth and by her morals, which she would never think were wrong. She said, before pulling away, that she had done what she had to and that she wasn’t sorry.


 It was Gaby who stood up first, grab a bill from her purse and put it on the table. She looked at Deb, not angry but with disgust. She told her that women like her were just poison and that she was just scum, not only for marrying old timers for their money but because she had the nerve to ask her for money, because she knew that’s what she wanted. She had no shame and she pitied her. Gaby turned around and left in a huff, leaving Deb drinking her tea, trembling because of all the rage inside of her. She picture every single one of those men and those lives she had lived through in the past and the only thing she could to was to throw her blessed tea cup across the room and smash it against a wall.

sábado, 4 de abril de 2015

Smoke and Cards

   She spread the cards on the table, forming three columns and three rows from left to right. A total of nine cards were there, all facing down. The woman, wearing a wine red shawl and several rings and bracelets on her arms, passed both hands over the cards and seemed to be talking in a strange language. Her clients were two girls, around twenty years old, who looked at her with eyes open and an expression of fear but also looking forward to her next words.

 The woman then did a sudden movement and asked one of them which card to flip over. The young woman indicated one and she complied, revealing the card of death. The woman then did a speech, explaining the deep meaning of this card. She asked several questions too, ranging from past relationships to dead family members. In less than twenty minutes, she flipped over all the cards and told the girl it all meant she was going to have an unexpected surprise very soon but that she should be weary as someone may be there to betray her. The girls looked at each other and, after paying, they went out giggling, discussing their results.

 The reader waited for them to be far and then called for her assistant, a young woman that looked a lot like her, in order to ask her if more people were waiting. The young girl told her that no and that her lunch would be done in just a few minutes so she could use the time to eat something. The card reader’s name was actually Suzanne and she had been a pharmacist for some time but that job had made her unstable, cranky and bored with life. She had always wanted so much more from everyone and everything and a pharmacy would never fulfill her dreams of grandeur.

 So one day, she overheard some women talking about going to a woman that read the crystal ball in a fair and she decided to go. The woman was a big sham but she learned that people would decide to believe in anything if it’s well presented to them. Before becoming a card reader, Suzanne had been a very practical and skeptic person. In one second, she could debunk any stupid thing people believed in and that had earned her a friendless life and a difficult interaction with men and even with her parents.

 So after seeing all the glitz and mystery of the crystal ball reader, she decided to become Madame Zelda, a mysterious seer that had come all the way from Romania to help souls in need to find their way by reading the cards of their life and other things. Her business, located in a small store in the city’s downtown, was very successful from day one. She had hired her niece Amanda to be her assistant and to give away fliers to every nearby college. Suzanne knew that the younger people were especially prone to believing anything so she knew that was the way to start.

 Six months had passed since that and her strategy had worked. Lots of giggling girls came in and decided to get their cards, their coffee and even their cigarettes read. Suzanne did everything and anything and people would buy what she said and even if they didn’t, she knew very few would tell anything to her face. People were strangely polite when referring to something as plain and simple as the arts of divination. But the point was that they always came.

 A she ate a bowl of pasta with meatballs with her niece, Suzanne realized they looked very much alike: their hand were both skinny, their skin the color of olives, big bushy hair and big brown eyes. She asked her niece what would she like to be when out of school and she told her that she had a dram of becoming a nurse. She wanted to help people and thought the best way was to care for people’s health. In the long run, she might even become a doctor but that wasn’t going to be decided just yet.

 Suzanne then asked her about her sister, her niece’s mother. She was not the best mother in the world, that’s for sure. She had the traces of all the women of the family: beautiful heavy smokers but convulsed souls inside. After all, they had a recurrence of mental issues in the family and Suzanne’s sister Amelia apparently was the prime example. She was always thinking of things that helped no one and had never really cared for her daughter. In part, that was why Suzanne had decided to accept Melanie in her home for her last year of school. She didn’t regret her decision so far.

 Melanie proved to be different than her fellow female family members: for such a young girl she knew very well what to do and what not to do and how to do the things she wanted for herself. After all, she was only sixteen and about to step out of school. Suzanne had already spoken with her sister about Melanie’s education but Amelia had assured her that there was more than enough money for that. The girl was the daughter of a very rich man that wanted nothing to do with them and paid handsomely every month in order to keep them away. And it worked perfectly for all of them so there was more than enough money to pay for her nurse education.

 Suzanne often liked to go out with her, shop around or to the movies. They were both lonely girls, no real friends around and Amelia had never grown fond of her own daughter, always seeing her as only her source of money. It was true and obvious that Melanie felt much more at home with Suzanne than with her own mother. They had fun together and they both learned a lot about each other in only the first few months of living together. They would share magazines and talk about boys, and fashion, and the future. And they both loved to finally have someone to hear them.

 Suzanne’s life as a young woman had been exactly the same, if not worst. She had very few friends because she wanted so much more from life. She was not happy with the crumbs she received from both her family and her present, she had always wanted more. She left home after refusing her father’s orders to study in order to be secretary. He thought there were roles and jobs for women and other for men and that she had nothing to do in a hospital, even if most nurses were actually women. He said he knew that she wanted to become a doctor and he didn’t agreed. So she left and never went back.

 Years later, she attended her father’s funeral and her mother refused to speak to her. After ten years, she still wasn’t speaking to her as if it had been her that had been harsh to her daughter. But that was the way it was. She was one of those women that live for the man they marry and in that moment, she was lost. She nothing and she felt empty and alone. It would take a few more years for her to become closer to her daughters and when she finally did, death came for her too. Now, it was only Suzanne and Amelia and even if they didn’t agreed on their life choices, they called each other every so often to ask how the other was doing and if they could be of any help.

 When she finished eating, Suzanne grabbed a metal box and organized what was inside. Melanie, who hadn’t finished eating, stared at her, looking all the types of cards she had inside, the cigarettes, the guides of how to read the cups of tea and coffee and also the hands. She had everything in that little box and then Melanie realized her aunt’s life was all inside that small object. It all summed up to that.

-          - Aunt?
-          - Yeah?
-          - Are you ever sorry?

 Suzanne looked at her, confused.

-          - What do you mean?
-          - With people that come here.
-          - hat should I feel sorry?
-          - You’re not a real seer. You lie to them.

 The woman was frozen right there on her chair. She had never discussed her business with anyone but Melanie was the person he loved most and she knew they had to talk about it. So she just answered that was the way she had found to feel she was receiving what she deserved from life. The girl then asked if she didn’t feel bad to tell lies to every person that entered the store. Suzanne took one of her niece’s hands and held it. She then looked at her in he eye and told her that people chose to believe what she said and that that was their decision. She knew she was lying to them and she knew it was wrong but her way of living was honest as she was true to herself. Then she took everything out of the box and showed the bottom to Melanie.


 There were two transparent bags and both had money inside. Then Suzanne told her she was saving for both of them, so they could live better and she could put up another kind of store, something better and that she could be proud of. The girl smiled and right then a bell rang. It was the next costumer. Suzanne straightened her shawl and went down to her smoky, cinnamon scented room as Melanie followed her in order to get the door.