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

sábado, 9 de julio de 2016

Juno V

   Collecting ice from the rings was very dangerous but also one of the many things they had set up to do on the mission. The Juno V crew knew their responsibilities by heart and every one of them knew everything about their ship and their list of duties. They also knew how to fix the microwave if it broke or how to properly grow food in the small compartments where doctor Wood worked all day every day. Not that anyone thought he would leave or something, but rather he had told him how to do it.

 He was a botanist, one of the best, and had accepted to be on the mission because he wanted to test many of his theories and what better way than in a mission to Jupiter and its moon. It was the perfect place to make tests and try to execute every single one of his theories in order to know if they were accurate. His results would prove essential for the advancement of botanical technology on Earth and in other space missions.

 Wood had tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and apples growing on his small farm. Well, it wasn’t really a farm because of the dimensions of the laboratory and of the food but he enjoyed calling it that, it made it seem less advanced, more grounded. After a few months, he was able to feed the other five people of the ship with his vegetables and they enjoyed their salad thoroughly. It was much better than eating one of those dehydrated meals they had in stock. No one complained about sizes or portions because they understood the difficulty of the whole thing.

 One of the astronauts that spend a lot of time with Wood was Brooke Stone. Ms. Stone was in charge of the telescope and everything related to the observation of the bodies they were studying such as Jupiter, Europa, Ganymede and Io. She love to spend her day taking pictures of them, trying to not only make them functional for work but also a bit artistic as she thought science lack a little bit of that sensitivity only real artists had.

 When she was younger, Brooke wanted to be a painter or a sculptor. But her parents did not encourage that at all. They were very accomplished scientists and believed the only art that made any sense was music and even if Brooke wanted to be a musician, they would have thought it would’ve been a waste of her time and their money. So throughout her childhood, she was convinced to become a scientist like them.

 She didn’t resent them or anything like that. If anything, she was pleased to be there, taking pictures of the chaotic weather of the gas giant, a very long distance away from her parents. They had a very tense relationship and she realized it worked best when they were separated instead of being in the same room. She loved her moments alone, which she used to draw, sometimes copying the picture she took.

 The adventurous one, the guy who took a step forward to pick up the ice shards with a robot, was called Alexei Ibaraki. His mother was Japanese so he had these different features that made every single person turn around to look at him. Not only was he very daring but he was also very attractive and interesting. He was one of those guys that always has a story to tell or that has that ability of making anything they say into something extremely interesting, even if it really isn’t.

 Alexei was also a model, besides an astronaut, and was used frequently in campaigns done in order to encourage children to study the sciences and getting interested into it. After being sent to Mars on a routine flight however, he became also the poster boy of several brands that wanted him as an imaged. His face was connected to beer, butter, insurances, banks, toothpaste and even condoms.

 The truth was he enjoyed that work but he loved to be in space doing work that was more important than selling beer to people that were already going to buy it. As he operated the hand of the robot that collected the ice from Jupiter’s rings, he realized that’s what he wanted to be doing his whole life. He wanted his actions to be remembered instead of his face. Alexei was tired that people only looked at him for his beauty and not his brain and wit.

 Carmen Nyongo, the medical chief of the ship, was very aware of the crew’s problems. She was not only a certified physician but also a psychologist that loved to spend at least thirty minutes which each of them every two days to check on their mental health. This was determined by the agency as something very important as they were going to be very far from home in a place where no one else had been before. They needed some support and Ms. Nyongo was an obvious choice.

 She had worked for years in military hospitals were she proved to be simply the kindest person ever to come in contact with all the soldiers and astronauts that needed her help. She loved to listen, since she was a very young woman. She liked telling her friends what she thought of the world but she much rather listened to them and their dreams and what they had inside their heads.

 Carmen thought people were extremely interesting and that’s why, after medical school, she got a masters degree in psychology. She thought it was essential to get to know about mental health in order to prevent and help people with their physical problems. She was not your average doctor but she had proven, once and again, that her methods made a lot of sense, to her and her patients.

The most frequent one, of course, was the captain. Her name was Katherine and she had been born in the Australian outback. Her parents still owned a big ranch there, where they had some of the best cattle in the country. With all the money they had won with that, they had built up a very good life for themselves and their two children. They rarely went to the ranch anymore, but it had been that place that made them who they were now.

 They lived in beautiful homes and went to the best school. When Katherine said she wanted to be an astronaut, her family didn’t say a word for or against it. They just supported her with money for every single expense she had to make to turn her dream into a reality. So she studied abroad and came back only on the holidays. From then on, the relationship with her parents was kind of broken, not really deep.

 They were not very sensitive people, any of them, but she would have loved more kisses and hugs in her life. She would have wanted to feel some kind of interest from them, but the only thing they did was giving her money and talking to her about it all the time. And when they weren’t they were busy. So when Katherine met Carmen, it was just a natural thing to become a very frequent patient of hers, even before the mission started. She just wanted to come to terms with the fact that she wanted recognition and she was never going to get it, not from her parents at least.

 The last crewmember, the one who made everything work properly, was Alejandro Obregón. Different from his captain, Alejandro had a very difficult life and had to raise himself to the place he enjoyed today. He was the happy father of a very intelligent young daughter. He loved his wife, whom he had met in a fast food restaurant after training in the astronaut academy. She was studying in a nearby university and they hit it off right away.

 They both had a very strong personality, the kind that made them being a little overdramatic but always effective in public. They didn’t mind being looked in the street as if they were crazy. They didn’t mind anything else than their love for each other. They also had in common that they supported a lot of good causes, maybe because they had received so little over their lives.

 Alejandro would always go to marathons supporting any type of disease, would march in the pride parade and would protests in front of police stations or administrative building. He was all about causes and its effects on people’s lives. He really believed everything could be better for everyone. And that’s why he had become an astronaut: he thought that a future where everyone was equal had to involve that final frontier and he was going to be one of those who brought it closer to every other person on Earth.

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.

sábado, 16 de abril de 2016

Hand between thighs

   When Alan woke up, he felt a hand lodged right between his thighs, centimeters away from his genitals. He froze as soon as he open his eyes and realized he didn’t really knew what had happened the night before. Not minding the hand or the soft breathing next to him, he tried to remember where he was exactly and what had he done to get there.

 He remembered going to his friend Amelia’s house as she had organized a party for her boyfriend, who had recently came back to the country after working with an NGO for several months in Africa. Alan had always thought Julio, Amelia’s boyfriend, was very handsome and kind and he always told her that if he had been gay, he would have been the one to get him. Amelia always responded to this by laughing and saying, “Right, you wish”. She had cooked some things, bought other things and had bought lots to drink for the many people that were coming.

 At first, it had been a nice little gathering of people and, as it was a surprise party, it had been really nice when Julio had come in and he was truly surprised to see so many people there. Alan ate a lot and then began to drink, just like the rest of the people. Music slowly changed throughout the night and after midnight they were already dancing all over the place. Everyone was having fun. And that’s all Alan could remember clearly. Memories become blurry after that.

 He turned around his head to the left and realized, although the hand between his thighs was a good indicator, that he was naked. His clothes were all over the floor, his underwear on top of a shoe that wasn’t his. He turned around his head to the right and expected not to see whoever it was awake but he wasn’t. He had his eyes closed and he was a very cute guy. Cuter than most men he had ever had sex with. But no matter how hard he tried; he couldn’t remember who he was.

 After dancing had begun, he thought he remembered drinking a lot more. He probably mixed liquors and that’s why his head didn’t feel so good. And his stomach wasn’t too great either. He closed his eyes for a while and tried to think about what he should do. He ended up remembering a conversation with Julio about some political issue in Africa and with Amelia about how hot someone was. He didn’t really remember who he was talking about but he remembered saying something about an ass.

 Carefully, he lifted the bed sheet to see it if the guy’s ass made him remember anything else but it didn’t. It was nice though and he couldn’t help but appreciating that the guy slept on his chest and with his face towards him. He almost laughed at this stupid thought but he contained himself and realized it was probably time to go.

 The hand was the most difficult part.  The best way to do it was to make him move the hand instead of Alan taking it and moving it himself. So he just moved his legs and feet a bit and that made the guy turn his head around and remove his hand from where it was, instead putting it right under his body. Alan waited for further movement but it didn’t happen, so as silently as he could, he got out of the bed.

 He suddenly had a string urge to sneeze and grab his nose just in the right way not to make a big noise. He had a bit of a dust allergy and he realized the floor was not precisely spotless. There were little balls of dust here and there and he decided to get his clothes fast, before he needed to sneeze again. He grabbed his underwear first, then one sock that was on the bed, then his pants on top of the other guy’s shirt. His shirt was on a chair, as well as his jacket and, finally, his other sock on the nightstand near the possible owner of the room.

 Alan realized two things right there: that he might not be in that guy’s place and that he had no idea where his shoes were. He looked beneath the bed and under every piece of clothing still on the floor but he couldn’t find anything. So if they weren’t there, they had to be outside. Hoping not to have to wake up the guy, he grabbed the door handle and pushed as slowly as he could. The door didn’t make a noise and he closed it with care.

 Effectively, his shoes were on the corridor outside. He got dressed right there and in a few seconds he was clothed and walking to the main door. The apartment was nice, although a bit dusty too in the social areas. There was an opened bottle of wine on the coffee table and two glasses. Those were probably theirs and that really explained why Alan had such a need to eat something or vomit. He had never been a good wine drinker and realized he must have been really drunk to accept wine.

 He put on his shoes right on the door, checked his jacket for his wallet and cellphone and when he felt them, he opened the door, got out and closed without minding the slamming sound. He was out anyway, so he didn’t really care anymore. He walked towards an elevator and press the down button and then had a memory, a confusing one, of having kissed someone in an elevator recently. Not a surprise.

 When the elevator opened, a woman not much older than Alan came out and greeted him. He walked into the elevator and, just as the doors were closing, he saw she was standing in front of the apartment he had just left and was looking for her keys. He opened his mouth in surprise and wondered who she might have been.

 Moments later, on the street, he quickly knew where he was and where he had to walk to catch a bus towards his house. It was very early and it was, if Alan remembered correctly, a Saturday. So that explained why the woman was visiting he guy he had been with. Maybe it was his sister. Or maybe it was a friend that had keys, but that didn’t really make any sense. Or she could have been his roommate. After all, he remembered seeing a couple of closed doors. If only he could remember anything about his likely conversation with him.

 When he got to the bus stop, he tried to straighten his hair and look a bit less “hangover” in the face. But that was probably impossible so he just sat in the small metal bench and waited for his bus. He checked the number on his cellphone and then realized he maybe used the phone the night before. So he checked for pictures and, he certainly had many of those but not the kind he was hoping for.

 He almost dropped the phone and had to lower the brightness of the screen so no one else could see, even if he was alone at the bus stop. There were five pictures and in all of them he was having what looked like great sex with the guy he had woken up next to. He certainly didn’t remember that but then something woke up some of his neurons: in one of pictures, he could see the guy had a tattoo of a Celtic symbol on his arm. He remembered having talked about it but not with whom. Probably that guy…

 He knew he said he knew what the symbol meant and he did: it was about eternity and everlasting energy or something like that. Maybe that had been his so-called “pick up line”. Alan didn’t really use those but maybe it had worked that way for him. He also had a couple of pictures in the party but that he remembered very well because they had been taken early in the night.

 The bus arrived; he passed his card and then sat down in the back row. He looked at people and cars and dogs as the bus took him home and when he finally got there he just took off his clothes again and got in bed. But he couldn’t really fall asleep. He was still thinking of the guy and how guilty he felt not knowing who he was, at least a name or something about their conversation or what the sex was like.

 He really was an attractive guy so Alan wondered how he made it happen. Maybe the guy was desperate or maybe Alan had some charm he didn’t even know was there. Maybe he should have stayed in that bed, with that hand between his thighs in order to know more about that guy and possibly about himself. What harm could it have done?

viernes, 4 de marzo de 2016


   I woke up very late at night, practically in the morning but it was still very dark. Out of instinct, I headed to the kitchen and drank some water, somehow exhausted after sleeping for a couple of hours. Some of the water spilled onto the floor but I didn’t clean any of it. I was too tired to do it, maybe too lazy.

 Walking towards my room, I found myself looking out the window on the living room. The rain was pounding the glass with an extraordinary force, not stopping for a second. Outside it was still pitch black and nothing could be seen except the light of a couple of streetlights covered in the haze. Somehow, that sight proved fascinating but not because it was extraordinary or something like that. It just reminded of something a long time ago, somewhere else.

  He had been removing rocks and dirt until he found it, a shoebox that didn’t look like much but had a small treasure inside. The directions he had received had been correct and now he could finally complete his mission, a very strange one that had been commended by someone he loved deeply. He put the box on a bag to protect it from the rain and ran towards his car. At first, the machine wouldn’t start but it finally did and he was en route to his lover, prepared to see the look on his face when he received the box.

 He called the man and arranged for them to meet on a restaurant. After all, they didn’t really want their families to know and it was going to be much more fun to do it in a public place, with a some eyes looking at them and not even knowing what was going on. He arrived at the restaurant first; a little too wet, and decided to ask for a tea to warm up. The bag with the box was next to him and he had decided not to open it to see its content. He wanted to see Lee’s face when he showed it to him.

 Time went by fast. He ordered another tea and then something to eat and finally the check. He had been waiting for three hours and Lee had never arrived. He felt sad, a little bit betrayed, and knew that all his effort and, a very probable flu, had not being enough for him to show how much love he had for Lee. When he got home, his mother asked him where he had been all day but he didn’t really answer, only grunting and heading straight to his room. He even put on the lock and turn off the lights.

 There was no way he was going to sleep well that night. He hadn’t received a call or a message or anything from Lee and he was determined not to do anything because he was the one who had made a great effort to make Lee happy so at least he deserved to receive a call explaining why he had alone at the restaurant all night.

 The next day, Lee went to work and there he did receive a first message. It was an audio message so he had to put on the headphones he kept in his backpack and try to listen to the message fast, before someone came in to annoy him. At first he didn’t really understood anything. He raised the volume and tried to hear but then someone came and scared him, making him drop his cellphone, which got disconnected from the headphones and started yelling the message for everyone to hear. He was very fast, grabbing it and turning it off, but not fast enough as everyone in the room was watching towards his cubicle. The person that had come to ask him something, left without any more words.

 The message was short. It was Lee crying and telling him that he loved him and that his parents had discovered their pictures kissing on the computer. He didn’t explain how that had happened but he was crying a lot and that was why the message couldn’t be understood in a lower volume.

 He was sad to hear that Lee was sad and even thought of visiting him but he knew his family would not allow that. After all, they were the kind to go to church every Sunday without fail and they celebrated every single day of the Holly Week and Easter and the days leading to Christmas. They were really obsessed with their children having a religious education and strong background. They believe that it gave them a strong moral compass. So that’s why discovering those pictures had been such an awful thing for them. It mean they were failing.

 So there was no way to see Lee. And, ironically or not, he missed his kisses and his hands and his body. He missed the fact that he was a little more sensitive than he was but also much wittier and he didn’t even know it. He was the kind of person that would be ashamed if someone else called them “smart” or “funny”. He didn’t like to be in the spotlight at all, preferring to be the one behind the scenes.

 That phrase is actually pretty accurate because that’s how he met Lee, behind the scenes. He had gone to see this play a friend had recommended and he had never been a big fan of theatre. It bored him deeply every single time so in the intermission he decided to explore around and just look for something fun to do. The exploration served him well as he found a very busy Lee trying to fix some problem with a prop that wouldn’t stand up. He helped him put of boredom and at the end he was already enthralled.

 He had liked his kind face, his voice that was very soft but not acute and the fact that he was there, on the background, all alone. He knew only someone really interesting would be there. They exchanged phone numbers and that was it.

 They only talked many days after that, when he found Lee’s number again and decided it would be nice to have someone to go to an exhibition on a museum he had to attend because of his work. The idea was to have someone to have fun in a place where he knew he would get bored. But Lee was a box full of surprises. He was actually very interested in the subject matter of the exhibition and explained him how everything worked and what it all meant. So it was much more interesting that he had thought before hand and he was able to know more about the guy that kept entering his brain when he wasn’t aware.

 They met several times in the following months and then he asked Lee If he wanted to be his boyfriend. Lee accepted but explained his family situation to him, which didn’t made any difference at all, not back then in any case. They had been together for some months until the parents found four innocent pictures of the two guys kissing and then they treated their own son like a prisoner, not letting him out. He worked from home, writing for a magazine, so he kept his work and they kept paying him but they didn’t know what was happening with him.

 Lee did not have many friends but those few he had tried to enter his house several times and they succeeded on some of them. They were able to tell him what had been going on outside and ask him if he wanted something from the outside. His parents had removed any device from his room so he took the chance to write a letter to him and give to his friend for her to take it to him. It was the only way.

 She was a very kind person who he did not know very well but one day she called him and arranged a meeting. She told him everything about Lee and what he was going through and, after some hesitation; he gave the letter to him. After he read it, he was crying profusely, not knowing what to do or where to go. He felt very lost and insecure. He felt nothing made sense anymore. He wanted to fight everyone himself and let them see what he was capable of but the letter had been very clear: nothing would work.

 The relationship ended and Lee transformed into a faceless god that I see every single time this kind of storm unleashes all its strength against the world. I remember wanting to be like the storm, going against everything in order to get what I wanted. But Lee is a part of my past. Almost a year has gone by and I don’t know anything about him and I think its better that way. Maybe he hasn’t been freed or maybe he was sent somewhere else. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s now free and doesn’t want me to see him ever again.

 I don’t care. He had a special place in my heart. And his treasure is still there, in the top shelf of my closet, waiting to be opened.