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

sábado, 7 de enero de 2017

Accidents happen

   The pain in my legs was, for lack of a better word, horrible. Any movement caused me awful pain, so I had to learn to be still or to move only from the waist up, twirling that part of my body like a gummy candy. The bed they had assigned for me was, thankfully, larger than myself and very comfortable. It even had a sweet scent that I couldn't point to but that I found really interesting and soothing. I think it may have been vanilla or something very similar because it reminded me of my past. For some reason, that smell help me calm down whenever my legs would start to make me feel as if I was in front of the devil in the depths of hell. It was that bad and, looking back, I can easily say it was one of the worst moments in my life.

 The accident had caused me to stay in that bed for months, in that hospital located in the middle of nowhere. The number of patients changed dramatically during my time there. At one point, I could swear we were not more than twenty people. Later on, it felt like a filled up prison holding more than a thousand inmates. And I talk about prison because that's how it felt like sometimes and the building really did help to that effect. It was one of those relics from some war long ago and they had tried, without much success, to convert it completely to a hospital. Apparently it had also been a mental house, a school, an orphanage and even a place where alcohol would be hidden from the local authorities.

 The history of the place, without a doubt, was very interesting. But during my stay I could only think about when I was going to be released. The doctors told me, through a translator they had called only for my case, that my recovery was going to be so difficult that it was best if I stayed there for several months. All in all, I stayed there for around five months until I was finally released. The doctors and the nurses were not the most loving or soft people in the world but they were very good at what they did. Maybe I didn't see them smile very often but I know that they did the best they could with my case and thanks to them I was able to recover. Of course, my legs still have some moments of "weird behavior", but I have learned to live with that.

 After all, only centimeters and seconds had separated me from being dead. Everytime I think about the accident, I understand everything a little bit less, if that's even possible. Because I have no idea how I got to be fighting for my life, my legs covered in blood and my body just aching with pain. I have no idea how I endured after all of that but here I am, I guess. It happens often after I shower that I sit down on a chair in my bedroom and I look down to them and I see some of the scars, still visible below a not so thick layer of hair. I am thankful to be alive and walking around because I have no idea how the hell they did it, how they made my legs work as if nothing had ever happen to them. It's just amazing.

 I am not a religious person and doubt I will ever be but, during my stay in the hospital and even recently, I have found myself praying somewhere in my house. I had never done that before but I guess that when death has been so close, you just want to cover your bases. And besides that, I really think it was a miracle that I could walk again. I don't think it was the Lord or anything like that that helped me recover, but I cannot find a proper way to understand how it all came up to this. to me writing about this, here and now, as if had been nothing. It just amazes me every day and I think many people that know me and that know about what happened to me, are just as amazed by all of it as I am.

 Even the stay in that dreadful place is something I will keep forever in my heart. Because in that place I learned to love myself for who I am and not for anything else. I learned to settle down, to calm down even and let things fall into place before I rush into anything. I had many sleepless nights, many moments of reflection during days in which I didn't do much. I even met some great people and, towards the end, I also had a temporary lover who helped me in more ways than one to pull it off, to survive what I was going through. It wasn't easy and I won't, ever, forget that it happened because it is one of those pivotal moments in someone's life. It had to be that bad to get a slightly better with time.

miércoles, 27 de enero de 2016

Home

   The place had been abandoned for a long time, or at least that’s what could be inferred by the state of the house as a whole. Some glasses had broken, due to the wind or objects hitting them with strong force, moss and fungi had grown in the most humid places and every single object was covered by a very thick layer of dust, except the things near the terrace, through which the rain and the wind of many days had entered and sort of cleaned the space a bit. It didn’t look better as there was a lot of sand from the beach below and fragments of plants and other things. The place was a mess but there was some magic to it even like that.

 Formerly, that house had been part of condominium where only the richest people had houses by the beach, places where they could escape if they needed so. Maybe they had very busy lives in the city or maybe they just wanted to change views from time to time. There were even houses that were visited only once. But the one described was the last one of them all. The others were in ruins: they had been affected by the cliff crumbling into the beach or had just had less luck than the house that still stood there, almost defiantly.

 There were pictures of the people that used to live there or at least own the place: most of the photos showed a couple in their fifties, smiling or hugging and one where they kissed in some sort of celebration. There was only one picture of other people, most likely their children but it could be anyone as humidity had taken its toll on the picture and faces could not really be compared to the others. The point was that it seemed to be the house of people that were probably retired and had decided to have a place far from the chaos of the cities.

 The largest room was the living room, with the dining table just adjacent to it in a sort of platform that made way to the balcony, that had gone unaffected by the disaster that had claimed so many of the other houses. If a person could have been there, they would have seen a fiery ocean outside, a possible storm forming in the horizon and little to no wildlife in the vicinity. In the house, there were some small rodents and insects but no big animals, something had scared them off, or maybe the lack of people was unappealing, maybe they had learned to deal with us.

 Everything in this room was obviously expensive and that was obvious because of how it had stood against the wind and the humidity. The wood used all over the place was obviously of high quality as was the steel by the fireplace and even the fabrics in the furniture. The couple had probably spent lots of days planning what to buy and how to install it inside, how would it look best.

 But now, no one was there. Same for the bedrooms, which the house had three. The biggest one, of course, was the master bedroom that also had a balcony but smaller. The couple probably loved to look at the ocean every morning and talked about that view often. Or maybe, as many humans do, they never acknowledged their privilege, because when people already have something they’ve yearned for long, they decided to move on to some other things and the magic that used to exist is just lost. People are very hard to please.

 The bed and linen smelled awful but that was caused by the broken windows and the fact that rain had somehow created a giant puddle beneath the bed. It was almost a death trap because beneath that puddle laid all the pieces of broken glass from the windows. A human would have to be very careful walking around that room, as large as it was. There was a sofa there and a TV that had stopped working some time ago (there was no electricity) and a very large bathroom inside.

 It had a circular bathtub by the window overlooking the ocean and a lot of space for clothes and to be naked around. It should have been a really nice place to hang out as a couple or even alone. The glasses here had not been shattered yet so the room seemed less chaotic than the rest. The drawers were still filled with things the woman that lived there had bought but rarely used: many types of creams and lotions, bath salts for the bathtub, soaps in every shape, form and odor and several other things that would make a hotel manager blush out of embarrassment.

 The other two rooms were smaller. The one across the master bedroom was a bit larger and its windows were also shattered. It looked towards the entrance, were the cars would have been parked. It didn’t really have anything personal around except a teddy bear that was still sitting on the bed. It was impossible to know who had been the owner of that bear: there were no pictures in the bedroom and there were no other objects to relate it to. And the whole place was done in white, so one it was probably not a child’s toy but who knows, maybe it was.

 The last bedroom was smaller, also overlooking the parking area. That room’s particularity was the fact that it had a rather old computer on a table on the opposite side of the bed. There was a calendar besides it and a small cactus that was the only living thing in the room. It was strange to see that patch of green next to all the rather dull colors of the rooms. It was, without a doubt, a sign of life. But no one was really there to appreciate it anymore. There was even a small pink flower on top of it, but no one would ever see that. No way to know if they did before.

 Suddenly, the room shook as if another tremor had occurred but the force that was shaking the house did not come from below but from above. From the small bedroom, something could be seen in the sky, sort of a shadow slowly moving among the clouds but making the ground shake a lot. It was very high up and its shape or trajectory was very difficult to pin down. After a few moments the vibrations stop and only the sound of one of the paintings in the living room falling to the ground broke the silence. It had held on to the wall as long as it had been able to but the forces of nature had finally won.

 The last space in the house was the kitchen, which appeared to have been frozen in time. Everything there was just as if someone had come and clean it everyday since the couple had left the house. The pans and pots were very still in their places, also the glasses of wine and the entire silverware. It looked ready to be used but no one would ever use any of it again. It was nice to imagine what they had cooked in such a great place, such a clean and white space. Maybe they had thrown parties with lots of canapés and alcohol. Maybe they had been more intimate, and had just cooked meals for the two of them.

 It was weird not to see any grease of any part of the kitchen and the fact that there was no fungus in there but other parts of the house were just invaded by it. Maybe one of them was very into cleaning or had a special love for cooking. That was also interesting. Imagining who they actually were, what had made them laugh in that kitchen, what shows they liked to watch on TV, if they had eaten many times only the two of us in that dining table or if they had spent many nights feeling the night air in their faces and just looking at the ocean.

 The same ocean that now seemed a bit gray and that, strangely, was slowly pulling back. The few birds that remained it the bitch went away and there was only the house to face the destiny that had been set for the world. That house had known love, hope and laughter but also sadness and anger. It had been a house were some humans had decided to live and enjoy their time together but they had been made to leave and cut short what was going to be a long stay. They probably planned a proper life there.


 The ocean was coming back, tall and monstrous. The house, and many other houses inland and far from there, where going to disappear. And with them the memories of thousands, maybe millions of people which only dream was to have a place to go back to when things got unbearable, where they could be with the people they loved and just enjoy the simplicity of human life. But that was no more. That time in that place, came to an end in a moment.

jueves, 5 de febrero de 2015

High School

   I remember I sat down on a corner, by the stairs that came from the soccer field to the main yard, and just ate what I had just bought in the canteen. I believe I had a donut and some orange juice, as it was only a thirty-minute break. Those thirty minutes felt always like thirty hours. I just read something of some book I had in my backpack or looked at what others might be doing. But I stopped doing that quickly because I didn’t want anyone to think I was eavesdropping or something.

 Of course, I already liked boys back then but there was no desire or sexual tension of any sort. Not that I couldn’t be sexual but I thought of the school as a space free of that tension as I rapidly realized no one would correspond those feelings. Especially not the boys I thought were the cutest, normally those who played sports or had some sort of annoying attitude. Somehow that last thing made me look at them even more.

 I got really good at looking at guys without them, nor the annoying girls that always flocked around them, notice me. It’s a skill I still have although I don’t care anymore if a man, straight, gay or whatever, catches me looking at them. At the end of the day, it should be a compliment. Of course, any boy back then wouldn’t have taken it like that. I believe all guys in my school started dating when they were like fourteen but I’m not really sure. It just seemed like it.

 The girls, on the other side, were different. For the exception of some guys, all of them were exactly the same: sporty and mean spirited. But the girls were divided almost equally into two groups: nerdy or artistic kind of chicks and the popular girls. These last ones were only popular because of the money their parents had and because they had a bit more grace than any of the others. They were not especially cute or anything, they were just better actresses from a very young age.

 See, my last high school years were spent in a private school, which used to be very exclusive. Not everyone could get in as money and status were kind of mandatory to get in and if you didn’t have any of those, you had to be related to someone that could help you get in. It was that simple and everyone knew although no one ever spoke about it.

 So I was there, whether I wanted it or not, and I soon realized how much of a nightmare it would be. I had never been great in large groups and there were at least eight groups of the same grade, each one consisting of twenty-five people. That was intimidating and the worst part was, every years groups changed. So you could end up with that person that looked at you as if he had shit under his nose, or you could end up making new friends.

 All right, now we have to clarify that word, that social networking has prostituted in an awful way. A friend is a person that you trust and that trusts you back, who knows all about you and you know all about him or her. Of course the word “all” is not literal, but you get my drift. I think the key to a friendship is trust and that means being real, being just as you are with that person and that person thinking you’re amazing because you are who you are.

 Well, I never really felt I had friends in school. Never. I had good school companions, whose company made the days less annoying and the classes a bit less boring. But I wouldn’t call them friends. They never really knew me and I don’t blame them because I never let them know who I was or who I wanted to be. I think it was, especially towards the end, a huge collaboration effort to make school a bit more fun and bearable.

 They were all women, in my case. Girls that, like me, felt a bit in the edge of the social circles that had formed with the years in that school and we just got along fine because we were all eager to finish up and leave forever. I always related more to women because I found them less intimidating. Even today, I still look more for the support of a women that from a man. Back then, as well as today, I feel intimidated by men. Why? Very easy answer: because there’s always competition between men and I have always hated to compete, as I know I’m no match for anyone.

 Yes people, that was when my self-esteem problems began. I mean, I can maybe trace them back a bit more but high school just compressed al my fears and anxieties into one place. Sports were the worst. Playing football, basketball or even badminton was a torture for me. Not only because I absolutely hate exercising but because it put me in the spotlight. Many will know how awful it feels to be chosen at the end I always ended up being the last or next to last one to be chosen for any game.

 Of course, if that happened today, I wouldn’t mind. I would not play actually and I would have a witty response to anything someone told me. I can be very abrasive but that is a perfect answer in many cases. But back then; it was not a choice to be like that. I wasn’t fun enough to just make a fun statement. The reality was that I was a shy boy and I’d rather shut up that say anything to anyone. I felt bad enough as myself, because of all the pressure around. There was no need to make it worse if I could avoid it.

In class, it was different because there was no interaction between students. All you had to do was stare at the teacher and answer if you were questioned. No, I wasn’t shy because I was smart. I wasn’t smart at all. Besides a few dates and country names I had learned from reading, there was not much more I could bring to any class. Literature, funny enough, was a torture. A load of books I didn’t understand made me miserable. I never read all of them to be honest. That reminds me; in my school all classes were taught in French so it wasn’t as easy as you might have thought.

 Then of course, I had my “nemesis” course: mathematics. To say that I sucked in that class would be a large understatement. I never got anything past the divisions. I only understood equation two years after we had seen them, which of course, was a bit too late. What I always hated was when the teachers said that mathematics would always be necessary in daily life so it was imperative that we got good grades. I never got more that a twelve over twenty, and that was not very often. As for my daily life, I never use equations. Thank God, I’m not a rich man.

 Like later in life, they would always scare us with exams and tests and so on. And, ignorant as one is when young, we would all be scared of them. It’s a natural response that now, I know, is just to make you feel in a rush, in order to be on the lookout for anything. Tests only get easy when you know your answers and how do you that? By understanding in class. Studying at home doesn’t do shit. And sorry if someone disagrees but I’m a strong believer that if you get it the first time, that’s the time that counts.

 At home, I had my TV and Internet. There was no YouTube craze by then, nor Facebook or Twitter. But you could get distracted with chat rooms and even pornography. I cannot say I didn’t check that out when I was younger, it would be a lie. And besides that, the Internet had stories and videogames and news to offer. So I was driven to that and not to study math that was complicated and that, by age sixteen, I had given up to. To this day, it annoys me to see a lot of numbers in a sheet of paper.

 As we all did, I’m sure of it. I handled on one side my home life and, on the other, my school life. That’s why I hated seeing people from school in the supermarket or in a mall. I felt they were invading my space, the one were I felt more at ease, where laughing did not feel out of place. You might think I’m being exaggerated but that’s how I felt. That’s why being parent to a teenager is hard: it’s a person that’s feeling so many things at the same time and they often have no idea how to handle it all.


 In secret, and I’m sure many did the same; I was looking forward to the end of high school, the graduation ceremony. People often say how that time of your life is perfect because there was nothing to be worried, you get to have lots of friends, first loves and you were just happy all around. But that is a filthy awful lie, because it’s not the same for everyone. I wasn’t happy there, at all. I didn’t have any friends and, much less, loves. I wanted to get away from there and once I did I made sure to live a life I could say “Well, it may be crappy but this is mine and I’m me. And if you don’t like it, fuck off”.