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

jueves, 1 de septiembre de 2016

Chance, the dog


   Chance had been their first dog. He had been living in the house for a long time now, he had no idea how much, but he was very happy with everything he had: the food, the toys, his owners and everything else. At first, he remembered vaguely, Chance had been owned by one of the two people that lived in the house. His name was Philip and he worked a lot or so it seemed. Apparently, and Chance had no proof of this, Philip had been convinced to have a pet after he had a couple of crisis related to his work.

 Chance was only a puppy back then. He didn’t remember how his mother looked or how his brothers and sisters looked. His first memory was always Philips face, looking down at him with a strange expression in his face. He wasn’t happy or sad. He seemed more confused than anything else. To be fair, Chance was also very confused but that was because his memory did not work very well.

 The first bonding experiences he had with Philip had to do with the park. As young as he was, Chance would go to the park and meet other dogs and even other animals. As he met them, he remembered Philip was always sitting close by, watching or checking a strange rectangular black rock that he had with him every single time Chance wanted to play or have a moment with him. Once, he had attempted to grab the black rock but Philip had made it clear that it wasn’t something for him to play.

 So Chance learned not to bother his master whenever he was on it. But that didn’t prevent him from noticing that, often when he used the rock, he would become very sad. Chance didn’t like that so he always tried to distract him, trying to make him play by getting the ball or rolling on the ground or whatever that could work.

 Surprisingly, the ruse worked quite often. He made his master smile and even laugh several times and he understood that his job as a dog was to make Philip happy, no matter what. It was a rather simple job but a very important one. In a short space of time, Chance was able to make his master a little bit happier, more of an enjoyable person to be around. Chance noticed this when he saw other people around and they seemed to enjoy themselves more with Philip around.

 That was nice because it meant that those people would bring treats for Chance. Sometimes they brought food and other times they brought toys. Some of them even gave him other things but he wasn’t as excited about those as he was for the treats and so on. The best part was that Philip got out of his house more, although not always with Chance which made him think that maybe his plan had not worked to perfection.

 However, Philip always came back smiling from those nights outside the house. At first, Chance had been worried that maybe he was being sad outside of the house. That would have been a tragedy, so he tried again to be nice and cute to his master in order for him not to o fall into depression again. But when he saw his face, when he felt his mood, he realized Philip was not sad, not at all. Philip was not happy either. It was strange.

 The first couple of nights he left for a long time were just torture for Chance. He would spend his whole evening just pacing around the house, waiting for his master. It was a very annoying thing not to have light in the house when he was alone and he tried to have it a couple of times until he finally was able to turn on the living room light by himself. Chance was so proud of himself that he thought Philip would congratulate him. But nothing of the sort happened.

 Most of those times, when the man went out for many hours at night, he came back smelling very strongly to something Chance didn’t like. He didn’t know what it was but he was certain it wasn’t something good because his master would often vomit on the floor or on the bathroom. Neither smell would disappear for weeks. That was always tougher on Chance because of his ability to smell things better than any of the humans. Something was very wrong with his master but he kept behaving like a happy person the rest of the time so it was very confusing too.

 This happened for what humans call a year. Chance got used to it to happening at least once a week and those nights, he knew it was better to rest than to wait for his master because when he came home he was too busy vomiting and falling asleep to take care of his pet. So he started sleeping earlier and would wake up before Philip on what humans called Saturdays. It was the best because his owner was very nice during that time. They didn’t go to the park or anything, but they had good times.

 The other thing Chance had noticed during that time was that, after he decided to fall asleep instead of waiting for Philip, he would sometimes smell the scent of another human in the house. Sometimes he would see them and sometimes he wouldn’t but out of nowhere, other humans were sharing Philip’s bed. And he knew, because of his nose, that it wasn’t always the same person.

 That was a very confusing thing to happen but Chance had no way to ask Philip about it. And he was clearly not very good at understanding human behaviour as he thought he was. So he decided to be the best dog to his owner and that was it. After all, humans are rather smart and he trusted Philip to get better on his own.

 He had been right about it. For some time, Philip stopped his weekly escapades and he would stay at home with Chance watching what humans called movies, which was basically staring at other humans who were apparently funny or very depressing. Sometimes Philip would cry or laugh hysterically but that was better than him vomiting in front of the door or on the couch. Besides, he now loved to have Chance by him to hug him and stroke behind his ears so that was always great.

 Philip never again went out so late as before but he did go out some other times and Chance wouldn’t worry because he would always return very much tired and alone, so things were improving or at least that seemed to be the case. After all, Chance knew that understanding human behaviour was extremely difficult. They were all so different and liked so many things at the same time. Sometimes he thought to himself that humans were very complicated animals.

 Then, something changed again: a new human started coming often to the apartment. At first, Chance was very reluctant to let that person touch him. He would roar and bark if the hands came too close and he would stay in the kitchen if the situation became too stressful. But what turned him around was Philip actually asking him to like that person. Apparently, it was very important for him that Chance could give that new human a proper opportunity, so the dig decided to try.

 That human’s name is David. David is one of the best strokers Chance has ever met. He just knows were are the best spots in a dog’s fur and its thoroughly enjoyable when he uses his fingers to massage any part of his body. David started coming rather often and Chance got used to him pretty fast, specially because he brought in gifts and that was always better than not bringing anything.

 Chance liked to join David and Philip for what they called movie night, when they had round human food and seemed to be really nice to each other. Philip would often send Chance to his bed early those nights and he obeyed because he knew the very sad times were in the past. He could feel Philip was now a really happy human being and that had been Chance’s goal for a long time.

 Now he had another human to make happy, although David seemed to be happy already. He eventually moved in permanently with them and Chance had the best time of his life during that period. It’s always nice to remember, even when you’re a dog. People think you don’t understand but you do. You understand it all very well.

jueves, 30 de junio de 2016

Unavoidable

   First, they packed everything in the living room. The lamps, the vases, all the little objects around the house, even the chairs and the big furniture. All of that could be covered in plastic and then put in a truck in order to move. It was the biggest thing Joan had ever done and she felt very nervous about it. Packing all of her house, the things that she had gathered through the years, was not easy. Every time she decided to help with the small objects, she started telling a long story about it, recalling where she had bought it or found it or who had given it to her.

 It was all because of her husband, Martin, who had accepted a surprise job offer around the world. They have never really been that far, always enjoying their holidays pretty close to home. That’s how they had lived for the past ten years. But then, Martin had come to the house with that information, the fact that they could choose to go if they wanted to. Her husband was kind enough to consult her before accepting the job. The thing was, she had no idea what to say.

 Joan had never really wanted to travel the world or nothing like that. She had never been an adventurous person. Her personal life dreams had already come to happen: she was married, had a beautiful home and had two young kids. She knew may of her friends thought she wasn’t aiming high or that she was very unusual for a woman in this day an age, but that was all she wanted. She didn’t want to see Paris or London, Joan was happy with their summer holidays when they used the car to get where they wanted.

 However, Martin would receive a very generous raise and the truth was they really needed it. They had always thought of getting a bigger place, improving their life a little bit more. He had always wanted to own a new car, a brand new SVU or something like that. They weren’t big objectives or anything but it was their idea to make their children have a better quality of life.

 The kids were unaware of what was happening but they did notice something was different about their parents. They were always talking about something they didn’t really understand and then they seemed to be thinking of something else all day. They didn’t really seem happy or sad, more like confused and oblivious.

 For the sake of change, she supported Martin in accepting the job. Things changed then because they had to begun moving everything and it was costly. First they had to throw away whatever they didn’t want to keep or give away several things, mostly minor objects around the house. They also planned on selling some of the kitchen items but they would do that at the end of their remaining time at home.

  Some family members came by to help with some of the stud, choosing what they should keep or what they wanted for themselves. It took forever to do all of that, as everyone wanted something. They all wanted to take something or the kids would fight for a thing they had not seen in ages or they would reminisce for hours without really getting much done. So they decided to tell their family and friends it was best for them to be away while they organized everything.

 The day the moving people took away everything in the living room, Joan almost died. She felt very sad that her home seemed to have been robbed or as if anyone lived there. She was exaggerating of course, because all other rooms remained the same. But there was something about seeing nothing in that living room that really affected her. Somehow, change wasn’t something she welcomed with open arms or anything like that. She was afraid of it.

 Joan tried to talk about it to her family, her mother specifically, but she shut her down by saying it was normal to feel strange when moving but that Joan needed to understand that life is best when nothing stands still. She even told her that death was good precisely because of that, as well as children births or accidents or promotions. They changed the game in order to make you learn more and be creative and imaginative.

 But Joan didn’t care for all of that. She cried at night sometimes, after Martin had fallen asleep, as she was scared even more change would come her way. What if her husband changed too much in that other country? What if her children resented her for moving somewhere everything was so different. What if she was the one who changed, really transforming in to someone she had never wanted to be?

 The next room to be cleared was the studio. Lots of books in boxers, an old desktop computer that was sold for parts and some more little objects they had bought in their holidays and such. She couldn’t contain her tears when the truck came and took all those boxers away. She didn’t say a word to the men who came, who had been the same than before. Joan didn’t know what to say or what to ask. She felt they were taking everything from her.

 She was normally very active all around the house and outside of it. She would participate in various school activities or in the community center nearby, she would buy new thing for her house or change the decoration a bit, doing a lot of things by herself. But now, she couldn’t do any of that as it made no sense to keep doing them. No more baking, no more cute decoration in the kids rooms.

 Her children were actually the ones that noticed she had changed somehow. Her youngest, which was nine years old, approached one day in her room and asked if everything was ok. She was now suffering because her kids’ rooms were next. They were sleeping in the sleeping bags they used to go to camp. Their actual beds had been sold and new ones would be bought for their new homes. They had decided that themselves. Children were always looking forward to change, or so she thought.

 Plushies and toys and all other stuff had been selected by them: some were on boxes while others were in bags in order to be given away as donations to the community center.  They didn’t seem to mind. She thought they were going to be very upset once the asked them to do such a thing but there was no outburst or bad reaction. They just did what they had to do and seemed only mildly worried about sleeping in those sleeping bags. They had never really like those.

 The moving men came again and took everything away form those rooms. The following day they came for things of the master bedroom, which was the second to last to be scrapped of its objects. Joan asked Martin to take care of that, as it was a Saturday. He was very fast in deciding what he wanted to keep and what not and she let him handle it all except her clothes. She had to pack those herself, which was also a nightmare. Throwing the old and keeping what she liked in big traveling bags.

 Soon, they were also sleeping on the floor like their children. Two days after that, they were going to come for the remaining objects in the house, particularly some stuff in the kitchen, and that would be it. Their flight was on Tuesday so they had planned it all perfectly. Joan became more and more anxious, unable to stay inside the house for too long. She would often go to the backyard but it was difficult to be there too, as it brought too many memories to her mind.

 On Monday, she decided not to be there when the men came. Martin could handle it. She decided to go to a spa with a friend, to get a full treatment. She enjoyed herself a lot, almost forgetting why she had chosen to do that. Afterwards, they had lunch in their favorite restaurant and talked about the elephant in the room. Joan had no other choice than to tell her friend how she really felt about it all.

 Her friend told her she understood how she felt a lot, because she had lived all of her life travelling. But she assured Joan she didn’t have anything to fear as, maybe, she could discover many more things about herself in a different environment. She could try to get out of her comfort zone.


 That phrase made Joan think all the rest of the day and even the day after, when they were driving to the airport. Once they reached the security area, she realized it was all for real and that it was happening. The moment they sat down on the plane, Martin on one side and her children on the other, Joan realized she had nothing to fear. A few deep breaths and then she was ready to dive into her next big adventure.

martes, 13 de octubre de 2015

Personal

   Now that I realize, I had confused two very different notions. One was being alone. The other was being lonely. I had thought once that I loved being lonely. You know, just a misunderstood soul wandering about, having deep thoughts about humanity and myself. I thought that I loved to be away from everyone because I had so much within me that it was better for others to be away. I was so full of myself, I didn’t even notice how I really felt, and deluding myself into thinking I loved the sound of silence, the sound of the void awaiting all of us. It was all a big confusion and the worst thing is I think I had always known but I wanted to believe so bad I was a special human being, with characteristics no other could have. The truth is no one is unique, not at all.

 The truth is I hate being lonely because it makes me feel sad and depressed. When I’m lonely, I slowly slide down to a point where everything is awful and I stop liking anything and everything. It has always been difficult for me to like myself, to take a look in the mirror and be positive, somehow, about what I see. When I’m alone that’s always difficult, but I’m able to pull through. But when I’m lonely, the story is different: I hate myself so much right then and there. I would want to smash the mirror I’m looking to or my head, if what I’m doing is only imagining myself. It can be awful sometimes, but I guess darkness hasn’t got the right angle yet, as I’m still here.

 I hate people or at least think I hate them all. Always so happy about nothing, proud about a bunch of things I find utterly ridiculous. If I were brave, I would be a bully, someone who wouldn’t think twice before smashing someone head against a wall. But I’ve never being that person never had the amount of courage needed to speak up or to act according to my emotions. And if I do, it’s usually too little too late.  In this era of bullies and bullying, I have never being the one to do it but haven’t really being a victim of it. Shall I cry and despair because they mocked me behind my back or because I was a laugh playing sports? No, that was my reality and I lived with it. That’s what I did and I think I would do it all the same again if I could.

 Because many of these problems started in school, that’s obvious. Before that I had no intention or need to look at myself and then at others and compare what I saw. But even at age ten, I already knew that there were people that were deemed “better”. You know the kind, those damn people who were smart, bright, and very witty with the words and had a very physical self also. They had it all and if they screwed it up they could try it again and again until they were successful. Me, not so much. Once I sucked at something, usually I would suck at it for many years. Even teachers knew that.

 After all, I was educated in the European tradition and they don’t fuck around with education. Not at all. They want their students to know it all and know it good. Which was a shame because I didn’t get all and what I did know fluctuated in time. I was never the perfect student, not even if I was good at a couple of subjects. That only meant I had a lifeline I could use not to be completely fucked by life, but I was fucked only that less violently, if you will. I would have given it all to be one of those nerds, to humiliate everyone at least once. A jock? No, that would have made even me laugh very hard and it wouldn’t have made sense at all. The point of it all was that no matter what, I was lonely and that affected it all.

 If I had had friends, not like occasional “let’s talk” people but real fucking friends, maybe everything would have been different. Maybe if someone had needed me back then I would be, at least, much more confident now and even with a more tenacious personality. Of course, that would make me a very different person but that’s kind of the point. If I hadn’t been alone and feeling the loneliness even from that age, I do think that the road would have been at least a bit better. But well, that’s me, always thinking about what could have been. The truth is that I don’t believe things can just change, I don’t think that I can be spontaneous and positive and social just out of nowhere. That would just scare the fuck out everyone around me, I know as much.

Anyway, that’s what being lonely is. You just don’t believe in change and also because change doesn’t exist when you’re a human being. I have never really seen anyone change and if they do it it’s not because they have actually modified their way of seeing the world. It’s because they have been scared to death by the apparent closeness of death or failure or something that they dread. Changing out of fear is the only real modification people do in their lives and that doesn’t count as you are probably faking in it all, just not to be targeted by whatever you’re scared about. Like if I became very social out of fear to die a lonely crazy guy.

 It’s all applicable anywhere in your life. You can feel both lonely and alone in every situation you face.  The all-mighty love, for example. That thing people feel in their guts, like a balloon that, if not controlled properly, can explode inside of you and make you feel like garbage. Well, that balloon can make you feel very lonely when the other person doesn’t even know you’re there or, worse, doesn’t really care about your existence. Because those couples that last a hundred years, that’s just two people scared shitless that they will never find anyone else in their lives to put up with their shit. So they play it safe and stay with the same person for years and years and years until society pressures marriage upon them.

 Romantic, isn’t it? Yeah, it is. But the real way to feel lonely in all this love context is simply when no one even looks at you. And don’t I know it? I have profound experience on being “looking” for so long that it’s no longer funny. I believe I have gone through most stages a man goes through sexually and romantically without even sharing them with anyone. It maybe why I hate other people, especially men. Complaining and whining about how their life is awful because their boyfriend spends one less hour with them now that he owns a company. Well, I feel so bad for you… Fuckers. That’s what being lonely does to you: if you don’t die, you turn into a very cold and bitter bitch.

 And I have to say I like it. After all, my personality saves me everyday and makes me be “en garde” all day, all the time. Not that I have a lot of things dawning on me or anything but I think I’m an expert now on how to manage some feelings. I have been sad many times before, feeling that anxiety and the need to leave it all and just go. But I know how to control all of that, and swallow it all in order to keep going. Why? I have no idea. I’m not one of those people that’s in love with life or the beauty of it or some of that stupid stuff. I just do it because I have a survival instinct that just doesn’t let me do anything against myself. And I guess that’s good or at least not bad. I mean, I don’t feel lonely every second of my life.

 At times, many times, I do feel happy and I love the few but very important people I have close to my soul. Now, more than anytime before, I have them all in my heart because I need them. It’s selfish, of course it is, but that’s life and I’m not larger that life or better than it. I’m just a tiny part of the whole scheme, so I just do as I feel. Granted, men only want me to fuck me and that’s it, so there’s no love then or in the near future but that I don’t care. The rest of my life is still standing on tiny little sticks and I’d rather have all of that settled on cement before I advance to more “ethereal” subjects such as love. There will be a time for me to do all of that but it isn’t now. You’ll know, I guess.


 My fear, however, is that I engulf so much trying to get by that someday I would explode trying to defend myself against all those things I have in my head. Because I’m no ignorant: it’s still all there, trying to get me every single second. It rests for a long time and then awakens again, ready to fight me to check on my defense. Battles and battles have been fought and they have always concluded when those feelings surrender and they realize I’m not weak enough for them to win. And it’s not that I become the winner, they just decide no to keep fighting. I dread of the day they stop doing that, surrendering. That day when they will not stop and when just keep going, certain of their victory.

martes, 23 de junio de 2015

A princess in the woods

   Inside the coach, the princess stood still, trying not to move a lot while being transported from her kingdom to the one she had been promised to. A marriage of convenience had been settled and her parents were thrilled to know that the prince that had requested her as queen was a very wealthy and powerful person. His kingdom had recently won new territories over a weaker enemy and because of that he had many presents waiting for the princess. But first she had to end her five-day journey over mountains and forests. The road that connected both kingdoms was rarely used and no coach was prepared for such a bumpy ride. Neither was the princess or her escorts.

 Inside the coach there was only one more person: her handmaiden. It was the only person there who could interact with both the princess and the men that were in charge of her safety. The young woman was not allowed to show her face for any reason while traveling to meet her future husband as it was deemed bad luck for any other man to see her before the wedding. So when they stopped for her to go and relieve herself, she was accompanied by her handmaiden and would wear a thick veil in front of her face. She looked strange but those were the customs people respected and it was better to respect them because no one ever knows who takes them very seriously and decides to punish those who don’t respect tradition. The kingdom that they were heading to was a very traditional place and known also for its violent ways.

 There were two guards always riding by the sides of the coach, the driver was also trained as a swordsman and the only footman was also very handy with the sword. When stopping at night to eat and rest, they would always form a small circle around a fire and would talk about women, battles and their work for the kingdom. They also discussed food and their own strength. And every single night, the princess would hear their discussion from the coach. She had to pretend she was fast asleep but the truth was she was fascinated by what men talked about. It seemed that, whatever it was that they talked about, it was real and natural and they weren’t tied down because of tradition or anything like that.

 In the mornings, the handmaiden would bring her breakfast. Every meal had to be consumed inside the coach and they could only stop the transport if she couldn’t relieve herself easily inside the coach. Her handmaiden threw piss out of the window but that couldn’t be done with the rest. For the men, it was funny when they had to stop for the other reason, as with all the rules the princess always seemed like a creature of myth but then they realized she was as human as the rest of them and that amused them but they only talked about it at night, when the women were asleep or at least that’s what they thought.

 Midway to the king’s castle, they realized they had to go slower. The road was full of rocks and very narrow in some points, especially as they got closer to the ocean. So the following days went very slow. The princess was bored out of her mind and the men were thinking about the moment they had accepted to be the escort of the princess. Of course, it was an honor, but the regions they were crossing were far from nice and safe. Many merchants said that the route was extremely dangerous for anyone who transported goods around and that’s what they were doing. Transport someone that was now owned by a powerful king. It was awful to put it like that but that’s how thing’s were: wives were not a companion but an asset of the man.

 One morning, what they feared happened. The pointy rocks managed to break one of the wheels and the two women were asked to descend in order to fix the problem. The handmaiden took the princess by the hand and they sat down on a rock, facing the opposite side of where the men were working. They had a spare wheel so they put themselves to work but then they heard something strange. Or better, they didn’t hear anything. There was not a single sound in the whole forest. Only the ocean on the distance could be heard. They decided to accelerate their work and try to leave the place immediately but that wouldn’t be possible. Very slowly, a group of men emerged from the trees and bushes.

They all had paint on their face and most were pointing an arrow to each one of the travellers.  One of the strangers walked up to the women and tried to get them to walk towards the coach. But the handmaiden started speaking fast, explaining whom she was with and what the traditions were for. The stranger kept moving his hand, trying for them to move but it wouldn’t work. Then, he got close to the handmaiden and she just launched herself onto him, fighting and trying for them not to touch the princess. But then the sound of an arrow put an end to it. It had pierced the head of the handmaiden, who was left on the ground before they grabbed the princess and threw her towards the men.

 The strangers surrounded them but lowered their weapons. They only looked at the people that they were preying on and were apparently trying to decide what to do. They spoke in a strange language and pointed to the princess often. Then, one of them got near the woman but the footman cut his walk. He tried to explain who she was but they pushed him aside and grabbed the girl. They pulled off the veil and revealed her face. One of the strangers, apparently the leader, seemed pleased with himself and grabbed the girl, pulling her towards the forest. She tried to resist without screaming but there was nothing to do. The man was string and pulled her to a place no one could see them.

  There, she knew that she was going to die or worse. She tried to prepare herself in order to fight as well as she could but there was no need because the man that had pulled her to that area of the forest just stood up there, looking at her. She did the same but didn’t know whether he was getting ready to do something or if he was just looking at her. Time seemed to have stopped and she was tired of waiting. If she was going to die, she wanted it to happen fast and soon. But the man just looked and her and finally pulled a bottle from a bag in his waist. He put some water on his hands and started washing his face thoroughly. She didn’t understand what he was doing but then she realized the paint was falling from his face and that, when he finished, he looked like a different person. To be honest, he looked like a person she knew well.

 The man just looked at her and then she asked: “Thomas”? Thomas had been one of her best friends when she was little, they had been best friends until she became a princess and a woman and he just disappeared. He walked up to her and told her that it was pleasure to see her again, more beautiful than ever. Her cheeks turned red and he just got closer and hugged her. She felt nervous at first but then she remembered and everything was ok. It was the person she remembered, the first man that she had loved. She held him strong for a few minutes until she decided to ask him what he was doing in that forest.

 Apparently, she had stopped seeing him around because he had been expelled from the kingdom, as well as his family. The princess wanted to be protected and they wanted a better husband for her in the future so they decided to disappear every single man that had any contact with her up to the moment when she became a woman. They were all sent to other kingdoms, towns, left to die of starvation because they used to be rich people that did what they wanted when they wanted and suddenly they had nothing to survives with.

 But Thomas was stronger than that and he had formed a group of rebels that protected the good people from the bad ones. They protected peasants from their kings, who only wanted them to work and die, so to be replaced easily afterwards. They also fought against traditions and once they had heard about the princess been promised to the cruel king to the north, Thomas personally decided to kidnap her and free her from burden. But she didn’t know what to say or what to do. She realized she was going to become a slave or worse but Thomas seemed too violent, not much different than what they said the king was. But then, again, the sound of an arrow ended it all. Thomas body stumbled down and the princess screamed, watching as the king she had been promised to smiled as he held his crossbow.


 Her life had just begun and it was going to be a hard one.