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

miércoles, 25 de octubre de 2017

Boxing wounds

   Curing the knuckles had become something of a tradition after each fight. His gloves had to be removed carefully, or the pain would drive him furious if he had lost or would have ruined his moment if he had won. The Hammer was the nickname chosen by the fans to refer to him and he certainly had some thing reminiscent of that object. Not only was he overwhelmingly strong, he was also taller than most boxers and would always use that in his advantage, in very clever ways.

 Carefully, some pure alcohol would be applied to his hands and to the rest of his body, wherever he could have scars. This was done after he showered himself thoroughly. It had been known to happen that he was so weak after a fight that someone went into the showers with him in order to help him stand and use the soap. That normally happened when he had lost and it wasn’t a nice thing to witness. He would always be furious those times and it wasn’t great to be near him.

 The Hammer had started fighting very early in his life. He had been a bully back in school but, thankfully, his religious upbringing had helped him seek an exit from his ways through a sport and boxing had always been very popular in that neighborhood, one of those parts of town where every single person has their family working in some store or factory. Boxing saved The Hammer from becoming a butcher, a machine operator or even a cashier. His future was slightly brighter.

 He started in fights celebrated behind closed doors. He was still underage so it wasn’t legal to make him fight but it was the only way to properly use his skills. He had such rage; such need to be fighting other men. It was fantastic to see him use his fists, one, two and then both almost at the same time. His legs were fast too, so he had it all to be the very best boxer ever, in the world. And he knew this, so his ego started to grow each day, like a weed. It just got into his head.

When he reached adulthood, everyone in the boxing circuit knew exactly who The Hammer was. His techniques and legendary way of finishing his fights was very well known and he had received acclaim from every single part of society: the poor, the rich, the workers, the owners, the old and the young, as well as from men and women. That was in part his undoing, or the moment he started going downhill. When he lost for the first time, the felt everything that had happened before was just forgotten by everyone else. He thought he was going to be ostracized.

 However, that’s when he met Howard. He was a guy his age but not physically fit like him. He wasn’t fat or lanky but just not someone as big and powerful as The Hammer. He was shorter and had shown the way of words and books. Recently returning from his stay abroad, he had gone to the university and learned quite a few things around there. He was well known once he got back to the neighborhood because he had chosen to become a nurse instead of a proper doctor.

 His parents were not pleased by his decision and it was clear everyone in that part of town had their opinion about Howard. But he simply did not care. He had lived there before and he knew people would respect that, even if they spoke behind his back. And they sure did: in the supermarket and on the street, pointing and giggling and laughing out loud. It was especially the youngest ones around, repeating their parents behavior, who shouted word to the man, with no response heard back.

 Two days after he had returned to the city, his sister decided to take him to a boxing match. She wanted others to see how Howard was a real man, and such a sporting event would be the perfect way to make them realize all that was said about him was a lie. When they reached the venue, they sat very far from the ring but were able to see perfectly when The Hammer lost, again, against a huge blond man who seemed more like a refrigerator than like a real human male.

 Each punch, each swift move, hurt Howard deep inside. He was certain that was not the kind of sport he liked to see and he didn’t want to see that ever again. And then more punches came and some stitches blew open. Blood was all over the place and The Hammer was soon announced as the loser. Howard was so affected by what he had seen, that he just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. However, his sister had to go to the bathroom and took especially long that day.

 As he waited, he saw the refrigerator man passing by. He seemed more like a robot than anything else. And then came two guys, holding The Hammer and trying to take him to his dressing room. He was badly beaten and it was obvious that place didn’t have a proper infirmary. His need to help kicked in and Howard helped the men carry The Hammer and take him to a sofa in his room. There, they waited for the nurse they had brought but she seemed overwhelmed by the blood and she lacked most of what was necessary. Howard jumped in, not thinking.

 The woman and the men helped him get what he needed to patch The Hammer up. His face was severely swollen, he couldn’t speak at all. Alcohol was rubbed all over, carefully not to burn the fighter. Howard himself took off the gloves and the shorts and the shoes. Everything had to come off in order to help properly. It took several hours, effort and supplies, bought from a nearby pharmacy by the boxer’s friends, but he was eventually saved from further damage.

 Howard’s sister had left, so he decided to join The Hammer and his friends to his house. He still lived with his mother, near the melting plant. He was carried by the men and left in a mattress on the ground, which was apparently his bed. He slept on a room downstairs, by the kitchen. The men, thanking Howard, asked him if he wanted to have something to eat. His stomach ached, so he accepted. So they all left to buy some fried chicken and he was left alone with his patient.

 He changed some of the patched done and tried to clean the man’s face with a moist cloth. He carefully washed every single centimeter, trying not to make him feel any pain. However, The Hammer woke up as Howard was cleaning his neck. He wasn’t anxious at all, or nervous. He moved his swollen lips and Howard realized he was thanking him for his help. Howard smiled and the boxer tried to do the same. If anyone had been there, they would have told the male nurse that Hammer never smiled.

 They stared at each other and no sound was made. The Hammer wanted to say something else, to try and pretend he was feeling fine. But every single bone in his body felt like it was bruised. He could stand it but he didn’t really know what else to say. Out of nowhere, Howard resumed his task of cleaning the sportsman, finishing his neck and then moving on to his hand and forearms. He finally cleaned his feet, which made the boxer laugh and then yell some curse words because of the pain.

 Howard tried not to but he couldn’t hold the laughter. He tried to apologize but he couldn’t. When The Hammers laughed to, apparently ignoring his own state, he realized there was nothing to fear about his reaction. Laughter was definitely needed.


 When the laughter subsided and just moments before they could smell fried chicken, the boxer grabbed one of Howard’s hands and told him his name was Kevin. They both smiled. Afterwards, they all ate and new relationships began to blossom, slowly.

viernes, 23 de septiembre de 2016

Physical

   The first thing was to remove my clothes. I had no problem with that except that the area destined to that wasn’t at all empty. One of the men that served as janitor in the premises was taking a very long time emptying each one of the trashcans in the area and then two other clients stepped in. But as fast as I could, I used my towel wrapped around my waist first and then I removed the underwear. When I was ready, a woman was expecting me at the door. I thought she might not be very happy about me taking so long to get undressed but the truth was she didn’t seem to mind.

 I followed her through the maze like first floor of the building and then we stopped in front of an elevator. She told me, as if she was telling me something she had learned by heart, that there were no rooms available on the first floor so someone was waiting for me in the fifth floor. I just nodded, as if accepting that would change anything. I was already there, I had paid up front, so nothing I could do would make the slightest different whatsoever. Waiting there for a while was not the most comfortable thing though.

 I always thought they gave you some kind of robe to cover your whole body but that was not the case there. Everyone one I saw, including myself, was wearing just a towel around the waist and that was it. If someone wanted to cover more they had to use their arms or probably ask for a second towel although I had no idea how that would happen, as the workers in that place tended to disappear in the places you needed them the most, like in the dressing room that was filled with other people so it would have been the same if one of them was there.

 In front of the elevator, other clients started stopping by. I was surprised to see a woman but then realized she probably had an urge to do it too so it made sense if you thought about it. A man with his back covered in hair also parked himself in front of the elevator. He was very tall and all his furriness was very distracting. It was like looking at a very large bear or something of the sort. Each one of us was accompanied by someone form the place, which was kind of weird. In any other place, we would have been very easy to pick out from a crowd.

 The elevator finally opened and we all, the six of us, got in. I felt a sudden wave of heat when the doors closed and I realized I had my face only centimeters away from the hairy back of the tall guy. The woman was on a corner, not even faking she was not liking it so much. She wasn’t alone as I had the sudden thought of staying in that elevator once it got back down. There was no way in hell I would be staying in such a place. I had committed a mistake and needed to save myself from it as fast as I could. My mind was racing.

The door finally opened and we all got out at the same time. It was as if we had been liberated from jail or something. Each one of the assistants from the place took each one of us in a different direction and I think we all thanked them for it. I walk by a large quantity of door and then the woman that was leading the way told me to wait inside one of the rooms. She opened the door and revealed a really nice office with something I hadn’t seen in a while: a big window overlooking the city.

 As I stepped in the room, the woman slammed the door behind me leaving me completely alone in a space I had never been in before. I saw the table, the classic one, right there in the middle. There were also some chairs all around and a sofa, although I had no idea why that was there. Was someone staying overnight to sleep in that office? Or did they have an audience each time they were with a client? The seating capacity was unusually high for what I would have expected in such a place. The view though, was the best part of it all.

 I got close to the window and looked in front of me: the city appeared to be all at my feet. The tallest building was not that tall and all the people and cars looked like ants under my feet. As I was barefoot, the sensation was even more powerful and funny. I decided that if I ever won the lottery or if my job gave me the possibilities, I would try to live in that area in order to get that same view from my bedroom and even my bathroom. Imagining that made me smile like an idiot and ignore that the door had been opened moments ago.

 My towel almost fell to the floor the moment a person coughed, obviously trying to get my attention. I thought they would knock first or something but no, that wasn’t a thing in that place. When I turned around to see the person I would be involved with for the next hour, I realized there was something wrong. Well, not wrong but it wasn’t like I was expecting it. The person who had coughed was a man. Granted, he was a very handsome man who was probably very good at his job but I wasn’t expecting a male on my first time there.

 He noticed my hesitation to get near him and it was him who walked towards me and extended his hand for me to shake it. We did that and it was very amazing to feel that the man was very calm and had one of those smiles that make you very mellow in a second. He told me that the person assigned to me wasn’t going to make it so they had decided to send him instead. He apologized for that and hoped I didn’t mind him being assigned to me. I was so relaxed by only watching his face that I didn’t answer with words but only by shaking my head affirmatively, with a silly smile.

 Out of the blue, he grabbed one of my hands and I thought I was about to burst into happiness. Why did it felt so right, so perfect? I had no idea back then and I couldn’t find the reason why many days afterwards. His touch was a very special thing, that was for sure. He took me to the table in the center and told me to lay down there for him. Again, I nodded and smiled like an idiot, unable to actually talk like any human would normally do. There was something about him that made me act like that and I didn’t care what it was at the moment.

 I laid down on the table for him, still smiling. I looked at the ceiling as I smiled and I was so distracted by my strange behavior that I didn’t notice he had already started. His hands were a little bit warmer than before. They glided down my skin with grace. My body started feeling every single touch as if it was the first contact with anyone in my life. It was such a strange feeling to have but I certainly like it and I think I got him to know that a couple of times.

 He started on my arms and then on my neck area and then my chest. It was a really nice experience. People had told me that it sometimes hurt but I realized they had all been wrong or had visited awful places because that guy was making me feel as if he was taking layers and layers of unnecessary stuff from me. He was taking away all the things my body didn’t need anymore and I truly began to feel lighter, to feel as if I could float away and wander around the room if he wasn’t there to hold my body. It was a very nice feeling.

When he moved on the legs, I have to say the magic went away for a second. I have always been ashamed of my legs so having someone touch them was not a very easy thing for me. But he did his jobs in such a way; I just didn’t care about my problems anymore. As he did my legs, he asked me to turn around in order to do the rest. I complied almost without hesitation, turned around in an instant. In that moment, I didn’t want such an amazing experience to end. I felt so much better than when I had entered the building.


 He finished with my legs and then did my back and neck in order to finish. When I felt his hands off me, I felt a bit sad. So sad in fact, that I laid there way too long. When I turned around to ask for his name, he was gone. The woman that had brought me there was waiting at the door, again. We took the elevator down; I dressed in the locker room and left feeling much better than I had ever felt before. But I was also wondering about him, I could still feel his hands all over my body. Who thought a day in the spa would be so rewarding?

viernes, 14 de agosto de 2015

Thoughts by the beach

   As I woke up, I felt the soft caress of the sun on my back and feet. I also felt it all over my body: my arms, my thighs, my neck. It was just the best way to wake up and to remember what is great about the holidays and the world. Work and work and work. Who even likes doing that? I doubt anyone does. People should learn have to live for their work; their work should revolve around them. That obsession for perfecting things for someone else, I will never understand. What is so great about being a slave? Why are so many people proud of that? They parade around parties and life declaring to anyone that will listen how much they love their work and how much they do for it. To me, that always sounds pathetic, even if their work is actually great.

 As I turn over and feel the sun on my chest, tummy and legs, and most importantly on my face, I realize that I’m not one of those people. I mean. I don’t even have a job. No one has ever given me the chance to prove my worth as an employee and that will probably never happen as I’m a writer and the game there is a little bit different, although I guess I’ll have to be nice to my editor and my publisher, once I’m finally in that situation. No, I’d rather not think about that right now. Why would I ruin such a beautiful day by torturing myself again with the same thing again? It wouldn’t make sense and I’m simply not interested on feeling like crap just for the sake of it. I have felt like that before and I have to say that I’m not a fan.

 I sit down on the sand and look at the ocean, hearing the beautiful sound it makes. I don’t hear the children playing ball or the youngsters with their music and loud conversation, I only hear the ocean and its beautiful sound that makes any soul become calm. It is nice to think about all the people that have sat where I’m seating and have wondered about life, just as I do. This beach has to have a very big history of tourists and locals that span many years. Many some woman waited for her husband to come back home here. Or maybe, two men realized they loved each other right here. Or maybe a little girl discovered the beauty of the night sky and grew older loving the stars and constellations.

 To me, the world is always amazing by itself, but some people make it a little bit more special. Not every person has that gift, though. Some people actually make some places even less special than before, which is something pretty difficult to make unless you’re a really shitty person. But the world is filled with them. To be honest, I do think the world has more good people than bad people. But it also has more dumb people than clever people. And I don’t only mean according to education, because sometimes a man can be really smart without going to school and another man holding a doctorate can be the biggest moron you have ever seen. Because knowledge and intelligence are two very different things.

 I’ve known my fair share of guys that are just full of knowledge but almost entirely non-intelligent. And no, there’s no relation to stereotypes that people have because there’s always someone that breaks the stereotype. But there other that are walking proof of them, like a photographer who wears sunglasses and a long coat or a stupid blonde. Those are proofs of stereotypes. But, of course, there are many exceptions to all those “rules” and it’s not difficult to find them. People are just not that simple to categorize because they have a way of always surprising you with what they do. Have you ever felt that, that completely confusion sense of aw in front of someone you had no idea existed?

 The sand feels really nice on the feet, especially after walking so much from home to the beach. I touch it with my hands too and realize the grains are very soft, which feels even better on the body. A game of volleyball has started very near and the kids that were playing with a ball are now running around the beach with a kite on their hands. It’s funny to me how some parents have everything their kid might need on their car or, in the case of mother’s, in their purse. It’s like a magic trick although, it saddens me because they bring so many things and it makes me wonder if the reason for it is that they don’t really know what their kids like. Parents have always been oblivious to tings like that but now more than ever.

 I’m not saying that parents before were amazing because they weren’t always or all of them. But isn’t it more and more common to see a couple just ignoring their kids instead of hearing them and seeing what their opinion is of the world? Isn’t that interesting to everyone: to hear what a child, a person that hasn’t been here long, has to say about the world? Of course, kids are biased because they learn by looking and by repetition, not much difference to birds. The difference is that many kids, if raised right, have the gift of doubt from an early age. I don’t think I’m going to have any children, but if I ever do I hope they are inquisitive at all times, doubting everything and asking questions when they feel like it.

 I’d rather have that than some kids that only drool and cry, a reflection on bad parenting I guess. Oh, there they are. It’s those gym guys that always come to the beach to play volleyball after they have been working out in front of everyone. To me, that’s some funny shit. And sorry if I offend you by saying that but, honesty is paramount. People get so obsessed and fixated on something that it can become their whole lives. I mean, yes, the guys are very hot and sexy and attractive but they’re not interesting or at least they don’t look like it. Another stereotype I guess. Yeah, there’s the ball and they have started playing, like clockwork. And I noticed I’m not the only one watching.

 But that makes me turn my head and face the ocean again, which seems a little bit darker that before. I look up and see a big gray cloud, hovering just parallel to the beach. But my head it’s still with the boys playing volleyball. I instantly cover myself by pressing my legs against my chest and by “hugging” my legs. As I put my chin on one of my knees, I realize what it is about those guys that I don’t like. Well, I already know but it is awful to be reminded that I have a way of feeling less than them. Society had made them the model and not me and when I walk around without a shirt the sight is not as… pleasant, I guess. They make me feel like shit and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s not their fault but the fault of the media that created ridiculous standards to match our ridiculous society.

  The gray cloud moves very slowly, as a lion deciding whether to launch itself towards the wildebeest or wait there for a better catch. Because of the cloud, the climate has gone colder and the sun cannot be felt anymore. I guess that for me the day is over, so I grab my backpack, put my towel inside and stand up. As I put my backpack on, I glance one last time to the see. That big mass of water has so many secrets and no matter how much I stare at it, it won’t reveal any of them. I guess that’s one of the many things that amaze me about coming to the beach and just appreciating the natural aspect of it instead of looking at people.

 I turn around and walk slowly towards the showers, which are located by the sidewalk made of concrete. There I clean my feet and my whole body from many grains of sad that may have taken residence anywhere on my body. I clean my waist by putting my hand just below my bathing trunks and then I see it. Or rather, him. One of the guys playing volleyball hit the ball too hard and sends it close to where I’m standing. The guy that comes to pick it up, instead of taking the ball, has decided to stare at me as I clean myself. Once we have eye contact, he takes the ball and returns to the game. I do not move as quickly. I move aside and dry myself with the towel and, as I do, I look towards the guys.


 He’s the tallest one playing, nice body and very cute smile as they play. Maybe I imagined him looking at me and he was really looking at someone or something else. But maybe not and that possibility is good enough for me. As I end the drying session and put on some thongs, I realize he’s looking my way again. And he decides to wave, saying “goodbye” I guess. I do the same and he smiles and let’s say I can die after having seen that smile. As I walk towards the metro station, I realize it had been a very good day for me. But it hasn’t ended yet as the night might come with more surprises. As I enter the station, the rain starts to pour. I knew I had to leave fast.

lunes, 15 de junio de 2015

Torture

   He was tied to one of the tubes coming out of the wall, tied with a very thin but resistant rope. He had attempted to free himself from it the first few days but he realized soon it wasn’t going to break. His clothes had been taken from him long ago an the only thing that reminded him of the past was a scar he had on his left calf, one that he had gotten while playing with his parents in his family’s farm a long time ago. It felt like a whole life ago because every single day memories appeared to vanish, a handful at a time. This was aggravated by the fact that he didn’t know on what day he lived and how much time he had been “living” in that basement, with the vermin and the insects that came and went, probably waiting for his body to finally succumb to starvation and thirst.

 But amazingly, he held on. Someone with a bag with holes in the head came in with dry fruit everyday, just a spoonful of it, and a bottle tap of water. That was all he got for the day and it made him feel each day more miserable. Even more when he remembered everything that he had eaten before, with his family or by himself: burgers, pizza, meat, pork, fish, vegetables, fruit, bread, candy, soup, pasta… It hurt his stomach to think about all of that but it helped him too because if he still remembered all of that it meant that his mind wasn’t all gone yet, it meant his essence was still in that frail and sick body that he didn’t recognize anymore, except for the scar.

 It was that scar that made him go on too. Because it reminded him of things and the only way to take that away would be to chop off his leg but it didn’t seem as if they were going to go to that extreme. What did happen was that once every so often, he guessed that once a week, he was taken from his basement to another basement or some other room in the same basement, and was also tied there and tortured. They would cut him, kick him, punch him, beat him with a stick or grab his head and push it into a big pool of water they had in that room. It was awful because it lasted for a long time and because his torturers never spoke a word, not even to yell at him, so it was even scarier than one would think.

 It was strange but, when he would come back to the basement where they kept him tied, he felt home. Maybe that was because he really didn’t remember what his actual home looked like. He didn’t remember if he had a family of his own or just his parents or even if his parents were still alive. It was like trying to solve a puzzle with half the pieces missing. He just couldn’t remember and that frustrated me. When they tortured him, he sometimes asked for the truth, he asked them to tell him who he was and what his life was like before this happened. But they never told him a word. Not even his name, which he had lost a long time ago.

 Another thing he didn’t remember, unfortunately, was the reason he was being held there, if there was an actual reason and if he even knew what it was. He felt he did knew, he felt he even knew who was behind all of it but after trying for days and nights, he just couldn’t remember. Was it possible that the people that held him hostage were putting things in the water he drank for him to forget everything? Or was it just a natural effect of being deprived of freedom for so long? Another thing he missed was the sun and the wind and the colors. He remembered all of that still but there was no natural light here, no soft wind to caress one’s skin and the only colors were white, black and grey.

 It went on like that for a long time, maybe even years, until one day they just stopped putting the dry food and the water in his cell. After a while, he just knew he was going to die. Maybe they had given up on him giving any information and were just waiting for him to drop dead and be done with it. When lucid, he imagined they had other prisoners and that maybe they thought at least one of those knew whatever it was they thought he knew. He wouldn’t be the last one to be tortured that was for sure. The thought made him feel uneasy but strangely not annoyed nor sad. Because if he died, he would finally be free. He never imagined to go out alive of this one and to know the end was near was actually almost a happy thing. He was trying to prepare himself for it and just concentrated a lot on keeping the remaining memories inside and not give them the satisfaction of taking them

 One day, after no sessions of torture, they took him to the other room and id what they had done before. They even brought an electric device and electrocuted him with it. He finally felt his life leaving him behind but then they stopped and tied him to a chair that appeared from nowhere. He was dizzy and wanted to die soon, he just wanted them to leave him alone and go away. If he died, he wanted to die alone and not with a couple of men besides him with bags on their heads. But then the door opened and another person entered the room and this person didn’t have a bag on his head. It was a tall man, wearing a tailored suit and a hat. He stood in front of the tortured man and just stared, with no expression on his face.

 The hostage was too tired to keep his head up, so he just let his head hang there, looking at the wet floor. This appeared to go on for ages until of the men sat him down straight again and slapped him hard. The hostage opened his eyes but he was to week to stay awake anymore. He felt it was time go but they wouldn’t let him. He was about to protest when the suited man said a word: “Tom”. The hostage felt as if they had sunk his body in ice. That name meant something, something very close to him. He mumbled but couldn’t form a proper sentence. The man in the suit, however, ended the moment by nodding to his men who took the hostage back to his cell.

 Tom. Who was Tom? Was he Tom? That single piece of information was invaluable and yet he had no idea what it meant. But it wasn’t important because no name would give him the freedom that he wanted. To be honest, he didn’t even know if he wanted to free anymore. Death seemed so attractive, fast and good at that point. So he put Tom, however that was to a side, and just lie there to die, closing his eyes and trying to lay on the floor as comfortably as he could. His wrists were bloody because of the rope and his face was bloody from several punches on his eyes. He would close his eyes and just go away, leaving every piece of this shithole called world behind. That was home for him now.

 But then, he heard something in the distance. It felt like a small tremor and he was certain screaming followed it. But maybe he had imagined it. He was in a basement and there was no way to hear what happened far above. He closed his eyes again but another tremor hit closer and then the door burst open. Two men, now with no bags on their heads, came for him. They took him from the armpits and dragged him through a long corridor that ended on a metal door. The door opened to a long staircase that was covered in snow. The men dragged him all the way up. There, other prisoners were being rounded and some men had rifles. They were going to execute them. They had had it with them and they were going to die now. He seemed to be the last one so the man put the prisoners in a circle and pointed at them He closed his eyes and breath slowly.

 But then another tremor. It was an explosion, a bomb. It hit the nearby part of the building, scaring the executioners. They were distracted by the collapse of their bunker, now on fire and breathing black smoke. Bu they remembered they had prisoners and shot a couple of them before some other men came. There was a fire exchange, time during which he really tried to die because he didn’t want to become someone else’s prisoner but the fight ended fast. The new men helped the survivors up and took them to a truck nearby. The truck left the place and they all fainted from exhaustion.

 Days later, the former hostage woke up in the bed of a hospital. It was night but he could recognize, from deep in his memories, the sound of that machine that poured a health serum into his bloodstream. His eyes were not working great but he noticed a window and he saw some lights outside, buildings. Voice could be heard from the other side of the door and then a bunch of people busted in, the lights went on and he suddenly had two nurses and a doctor all over him. They checked every single part of his body. He cried a bit, but they didn’t notice. He cried because he was free and that had been impossible.


 After a while, everyone left except for the doctor. It was a woman. She spoke gently and explained to him what was right and what was wrong with him. But that didn’t matter anymore. He was finally dying, slowly and in peace. He saw the woman leave in a hurry before his eyes closed and he could only hear the sound of a voice. It was a nice, warm voice that he knew he loved and cherished. It was Tom. He remembered. And then, he left this world to see Tom again.