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

viernes, 1 de junio de 2018

He was me


   For a split second, I had been unable to recognize him. But then, as I drew closer, I realized that I had known him my entire life. The only thing was that, I hadn’t seen him in a long while. He was still inside my head but only as a fading memory, as something that wasn’t real anymore but does not want to die and disappear. I looked at him and started crying in silence. Suddenly, the past came rushing in like a flood, filling every corner of my being. Because he was me, only much younger and way more innocent than I am now.

 I hadn’t been able to see myself like that in a long time and I seemed to have changed. Well, it was expected to be that way because many years had passed, more than a decade in fact. Not only had my physical appearance changed a bit but also what I had inside my head. It was like seeing a mirage in the middle of the desert and just standing away from it, hoping it won’t vanish. Because if it does then it doesn’t exist anymore and it fails to become something real, something that I can point to when trying to explain who I am.

 That was one of those damn questions I wanted to answer so bad back then. I really wanted to know who the hell I was and how I had become who I was and how I could move forward. The need to know myself was first and foremost in my mind, so much that it was shortly after when I started stepping outside of my comfort zone, making it easier for others to take advantage of me without me actually realizing it. I was so much younger in mind and body, and so silly and plain. But I guess I was also brave, beyond my wildest dreams.

 I know that because I can see myself now, what I do and what I’ve done and all of that can only be the result of someone having the balls to run away from his or her life and just go for it, whatever “it” is. I never realized the dangers I had faced and that many of the moments I had forgotten were forgotten for a reason. Because it was then, and not before, when I realized that life is not so simple and so easy as many make it seem. Life can be horrible and tiring and just too much for a young person to handle. Just too much sometimes.

 I had no idea before that, of all the things that awaited me. And I know many think that it’s precisely that what gives life its meaning. That mystery and the unknown are supposed to be what living is all about. But they never tell us how frightening it is or how horrible it can be sometimes. You do things and then you realized you have crossed several lines created by mankind in order to controls us and you freak out because you’re not that innocent little boy anymore. You’re a grown man doing things, left and right, and they could be a deal breaker in life with many people or even yourself.

 A movie was the one that made me think all about this. A beautiful simple movie rocked my brain and made me remember moments and facts that I had completely forgotten. Moments populated with actions and thoughts and people, all of them part of that big dream we all call the past. And that dream keeps getting larger and larger and I have no idea if I should keep believing in that dream. Maybe that was the reason why, all of a sudden, everything exploded inside my head. Maybe I have to make a choice.

 But I don’t want to. Because choices in this world are never permanent, they are never something you take to your grave. Choices always get mutated and manipulated, whether you do it or others do it. Nothing is permanent, so why should I do something that makes anything seem forever when, I know for a fact, that forever doesn’t really exist? It’s a thing in our heads that makes us think about our legacy or how capable we are to survive our own lives but the truth is that we don’t. We die and that’s it for us. Nothing more.

 Watching the “me” from the past makes me feel very bad, it hurts me very deep. I disappointed him, so I try to avoid looking directly into his eyes. Because I know that even that figment of my imagination, of that past we keep recalling, can understand that my life did not get to be what we always thought it would be. The paths I walked on are not the ones we always thought we would walk on. And my life is not the life of someone in a movie, but the life a lonely boy who doesn’t really matter in this world.

 None of us really matter, by the way. I don’t want to sound as if everything had happened to me and only me. It is the world that doesn’t give a shit about any of us and that’s why our pasts or presents or futures are not important. Even if we become the worst person on the planet tomorrow, nature has an expiration date on all of us, and that will never change. So the mistakes we’ve done and will do, are never really important in the grand scheme of things. It’s just that we think too much about ourselves as a species.

 Thinking condemns us every single day or at least it should. Most people are drones who live their lives from one side to the other, never really thinking about themselves in a profound way. They fill their lives with things in order to fill holes that they don’t even know if they have or not.  They have friendships and relationships and try to be as similar as the norm says, because if you step out of the line traced by people before you, then you’re on your own and no one will help you survive. You will have to learn how to navigate life by yourself and that’s scary, so few people actually go down that way.

 The only thing I can do now is to wait for my memories to go back to sleep, deep inside my head. They will fall in a deep slumber because they know I have no use for them right now. But they will always be there, waiting in the dark for me to need them or for them to teach me a lesson about myself, again.

 As for the movie, it’s something that happened and now it’s gone. I will probably reflect on it some more but, as I have no one to talk to about it, the need to have that on my mind will also die down. And he will go back deep inside my soul and not comeback for a very long while.

 However, I’m sure I’ll see him again. At least once more before the end.

miércoles, 23 de mayo de 2018

Synthetics


   The small teddy bear looked out through the railing, trying to catch a glimpse of what the other were looking at: indeed, some kind of ship was descending rapidly through the thick clouds that engulfed the tower and soon disappeared beneath them. It was well known by every synthetic life form, that the Spire had been built tall enough to observe anything happening in the vicinity, for thousands of kilometers. The air was very thin up there but that wasn’t a problem for their kind. It had never been.

 Teddy pulled back from the railing and descended with other synthetics to level Ninety, where they had their quarters. Some others were still in the elevator when it closed, as they were heading for the tracking center in the lower levels. Most of those synthetics were what one would call scientists and anything that seemed odd or out of place was extremely interesting to them. For Teddy though, something falling from the sky was not that much of a new thing, as he had seen it happen so many times.

 Secretly, most synthetics were hoping one of those things falling from the sky would be a ship piloted by their former masters, the former rulers of that world. They had left thousands of years ago, leaving behind many of their creations. The synthetics had been something like their offspring and they had been abandoned from one day to the other. It hadn’t happened for no reason: the planet had become toxic for their masters and if they wanted to survive they had to leave as soon as it was possible for them.

 The consequence was leaving their planet to the synthetics, which over the years, decided to take charge of things and try to make the planet more hospitable. It took a very long time, but the air in the surface eventually became breathable and they were even able to recreate water and vegetation, as it had been in the past. Of course, synthetics had no need for all of that as they couldn’t breathe or feel like their former masters, but it was the sense of achievement and purpose that drove them to do all of that.

 Teddy had belonged, so long ago, to a series of children, all from the same family. He had no recollection of when and how he had been made but he knew that he was one of very few toys that could actually interact with their owners in a more realistic way. However, he was left behind as if he had been another working droid, with no mind or soul of his own. He always wondered why he had been left behind and many answers would often come up in his head. The one he liked the most was the one where his owner had just being forced to leave him there, so no one was to blame.

 When the darkness of the night came, the synthetics took their time to recharge and fix themselves if they had to. Teddy had been repaired fairly recently, so he was working just fine. He was about to power down in order to rest for a while, not that synthetics needed it, when an alarm was heard all over the Spire. Through a series of speakers, every single inhabitant of the tallest structure on Earth was able to hear one of their top scientists say that, the ship that had fallen from the sky seemed to have brought back a human.

  Everyone went insane. Some more than others. It has to be said that most of them still missed, in one way or the other, their old masters. They didn’t think much of the fact that they had been left there alone, on a decaying planet. Most synthetics felt that humans had been obliged to do what they did, so there was no such thing as a choice. Many dreamt of the day they could encounter humans again, in order to show them how well they had evolved and how they had recuperated their planet from certain doom.

 Everyone descended to the lowest level of the Spire and did something they very rarely, if ever, did: they gathered outside, at night, by the tower, and waited until everyone was there. When realized they were complete, the scientists exposed their findings while talking from a boulder that was higher than the rest of the synthetics. That way they could speak loud and their voice would reach even the smallest synthetics like Teddy, who decided to sit down as he heard what his companions had to say.

 They showed images of the ship, taken earlier by a drone. The metallic transportation was interesting in shape, but synthetics had never really been that interested in moving beyond the planet. So travelling from somewhere very far to there, was not something that impressed them or interested them. However, the last few pictures revealed what they had all descended to see. Just before the drone had left the area, the ship had opened some kind of door and a silhouette could be seen walking out of the ship.

 Maybe it was the dirt being moved by the wind or the fact that the drone was not fully charged when it started its adventure, but the pictures were not top quality at all. The shape everyone could see in the pictures was indeed something that looked like a human, as most of them did by the way, but who says that no other creatures in the universe has been created the same way? Everyone was in doubts, discussing their points of view, their overall reaction. Then, the scientists announced an expedition to leave for the landing site in order to encounter the creature, whatever it was.

 As they were all connected via a special network, the chosen ones to go to the ship were chosen in a few seconds. Teddy had insisted to go but he was afraid he would be denied the opportunity. However, he was accepted on the grounds that his general aspect might prove to be an advantage if the visitor was indeed a human. After all, he was smaller than most synthetics and his appearance was soft and adorable. No one would dare harm such a cute little bear, or at least not it if they knew what he was and what he was created to do.

 The team left that very night, in order to get there before sundown. The landing site was not that near but they could reach it easily with transportations they had rebuilt after the humans had left. They had their versions of trains and cars, and also planes and even helicopters. They chose to hop on to something very similar to a jeep and go on their way. No one talked during the trip, as they were all very nervous of what they would encounter. What if it was something else, something dangerous?

 The moment they reached the site, they were amazed at how clean the ship looked. It sparkled in the sun, as it was setting. It had only a couple of windows and the rocket busters to help it come down were easily visible. They didn’t have much time to take a look: when one of them approached the ship, the door opened as it had happened on the images the drone had taken. And, as in the pictures too, a creature came out through the door and greeted them. None of them could really believe what they were watching.

 It wasn’t a human. It was a synthetic, just like them. It was just more refined and clean; its parts were made from things no one on Earth had ever seen. He actually looked like a human, walked like one and even talked like one. But they knew he wasn’t real, he wasn’t one of the former masters. It was another one of their creations, just like they themselves had been all those years ago. For a while, they just looked at each other, confirming that all of what they were thinking was correct.

 When it spoke though, the synthetics realized something very important about it: it had been sent by the humans to their former planet, in order to check on it and see what had become of the place they had once called home. The android even played a video for them, recorded a long time ago.

 A human male and a human woman explained their curiosity to see their former planet but also their sadness that the ship would take many years to reach it. However, they thought it was worth their time and effort. And the synthetics agreed, even if they didn’t really know what to do next.

miércoles, 8 de febrero de 2017

Strange place

   The woods outside the small town of Iris, were a very lonely place almost all year round. Not a soul dared to cross through it to get anymore, no matter if it came from outside or inside the small town. People would rather cross the lake by boat to reach the village or simply take the main road that made a big detour around the woods. After so much time of this prohibition having settled in in the minds of the people, they simply didn’t think about it anymore and saw it as one of those things of nature.

 But it wasn’t exactly nature, which barred everything living from the woods. It was possibly the opposite, something dark and sneaky that didn’t wanted for people to penetrate the place were it lived. No birds crossed over those woods or even built nests on those trees. All animals, from bears to butterflies, avoided that patch of the world as if it was something automatic and not something they could do something about. Nature had nothing to do with that chilling place, not at all.

 On Iris, people loved life. It was such a strange thing for first visitors because one would think that living with a certain fear for so long would be quite a marking experience but it wasn’t at all. Children there loved to play all day long and the adults were kind people that loved to greet new souls to their community. They welcomed strangers as if they were a gift sent by the heavens and would also celebrate for an entire day if a new citizen was born inside the boundaries of Iris.

The festivities there were always something to behold: they put small flags of many colors over every doorway in town and they would sing beautiful old songs all day long, celebrating life. They also cooked the best food, especially fish, when a newborn entered their community. They also cooked some sweets that were specially made according to the tastes of the person being celebrated, meaning it was also done in birthdays, which were always a very grand occasion in town.

 The best part though, was the fact that people seemed to be having the time of their lives every single day. It didn’t matter if they were selling products in the markets, fishing on the lake, running around town or cooking lunch for their family, people in Iris always had a helping hand for everyone and big smile to top that with. All traders loved to visit, as they felt doing business there was more like being on a vacation were everyone is very kind to you. The name was famous in the region and the fact that the woods were so close, was baffling to so many curious people.

 They couldn’t understand how those people in Iris could be so happy. After all, those tall dark trees and that frozen wind had a presence that was not easy to ignore when one would travel through the main road towards Iris. People from the small town had moved the trail further away from the forest, many times during their history, but the woods seemed to catch up every time they did that. So every time a particular part of the road felt colder and simply strange, they rebuilt the road further away from that place.

 That work was normally done in a few days and it was something that needed to be done every year. But even so, the people from Iris that worked on the road weren’t even a bit worried about that. Every year, their town kept being pushed away from the rest of the civilized world. When the road was first created, the journey to the nearest town could be achieved in about 10 hours. With all the changes on the road, Iris was now located 12 hours away from civilization and it kept moving away.

 The route through the lake, by boat, was used my traders mostly. And that road was also altered every few years do to the fact that the dark woods seemed to be conquering the opposite side of the lake, little by little, and people now have to change courses a little bit which also made the trip a little bit longer than before. But people just did what had to be done and they tried not to think too much about it because there was nothing they could do, or at least that was the general opinion.

 A couple of experts in biology and other fields had studied the woods from the outside. Of course, most of these people came from other towns and they would go to Iris at least once to study the forest from there. The problem was that they were the only people not to be welcome in town, asked very politely to leave after spending one night in town. People usually agreed to do it in order for them no to cause any sort of unpleasant mood among the normally chilled population of Iris.

 Not many findings had been done by the very few experts that found the dark woods to be a fascinating anomaly in nature. The fact that no life could be detected there was strange enough, no matter if it was on the trees, the soil, the air or even the water that existed in the form of puddles. But even stranger was the fact that every single person that got too close to the forest, and lived to tell the story, would always tell others about a presence that was strong among those trees. There was something there but no one could really say what it was, if it was something at all.

 Of course, the people of Iris were not very big on any of those stories. The few people from town that had grown any interest in the woods, no matter how fleeting, would be asked to live the village and never come back. That seemed a little bit too hard but the fact remained that Iris was not a town where being curious was rewarded in any way. They lived a quiet peaceful life between a lake, some mountains and the main road; they didn’t really need to ask the world for anything else.

 That of course included the answers that so few had asked for but that no one was apparently willing to give. The only possible way to get a proper answer was to enter the woods themselves but even among people from other parts of the world, that was a crazy idea. All studies qualifies that place as dangerous and unstable, because of the road thing, so why would anyone try to enter to find answers to questions that no one really is begging for? One thing is wondering, the other is demanding an answer.

 Only a handful of people had done that, demand an answer from the forest. And the fact was that none of them remained to tell others why they asked themselves that dreadful question. That is because all of them, a group of ten or less, had walked into the forest and had never returned. When that happened, no one really asked for an explanation or for their bodies to be buried or anything like that. Not even their families wanted to know anything more that what was a fact.

 Those people were part of the mystery of the woods and every time of them had entered the forest, it seemed that year was one of especially big growth for that space as such. Trees seemed to get thicker trunks and the cold air seemed to become even colder. It was a very scary thing to think about and that was probably why people just kept ignoring those facts and the conversation over all. They didn’t want to confront the reality of the situation they faced every day, so they compensate it with joy and optimism, as they didn’t have anything else to go for them.


 In about twenty years, a young woman will realize a very dreadful fact that people in Iris will again accept as one of those things that happen and no one can do anything about it. She will reveal to her people that the road will be cut off because they won’t be able to push it further away from the woods. The trees will grow on the trail and the town of Iris will be cut off from civilization, same from the lakeside. They will be prisoners of the forest. And one day, they will all disappear because of it. And even then, they won’t say a word because that’s they way they are.

sábado, 3 de septiembre de 2016

Phalanx mystery

   Everyone that crossed William’s path was always amused by what he did for a living: he was the marketing manager in a company that sold condoms called Phalanx. He was very popular at parties, telling one and ten stories about the funny things that happened both in his department and in the factory where the condoms where actually made. He even knew some other stories about people that had called the Phalanx hotline in order to ask silly questions that no one ever knew if they were real or false.

 The point was that he had a lot of fun at work and out of it. However, for a person that saw condoms so often at work, he didn’t really get to use a lot. In one of those ironies of life, William had not had a real sexual encounter in a long time. He was a very busy person and he always failed to have time to party or socialize except for the events hosted by Phalanx. The few times he met people was in those parties but they were always funny for a while but not for the long haul.

 Every single Monday at the office, they held pitching sessions in which any of the employees of the company could present new ideas to make the product more attractive. Normally, they would laugh a lot more than do actual work but sometimes, once every six months almost, they got a very clever idea that could easily become a big thing in the world of condoms. Anyhow, it was a very fun thing to be in and most people were very serious about their ideas.

 There was the typical things like making condoms into different sizes or different flavors and colors, but then they were the crazy people telling them to sell condom certain foods in supermarkets, or not only having flavors but also smells, which everyone thought was absolutely awful. They laughed a lot the time that someone proposed to print images on the condoms and even the possibility of personalizing them with your signature. It seemed like a good idea but it wasn’t.

 There were some good ones like having a guy dressed like a penis or condom in some popular area and make him do funny dances and stuff and then handing out pamphlets about how important it was to use condoms. Others had made proposals about the packaging and image that they were really considering. As in any industry, they needed to keep innovating and doing different stuff or they would get obsolete.

 But there was one presenter William remembered for weeks after they moved on. William had always identified as a straight man but somehow that man had captivated him and he had no idea why. It was something more than looks and his idea. It was something he could really pinpoint.

 The man’s idea was very simple: in each one of the condom packaging’s, putting a drawing of a different position in order to kind of make it like a challenge towards the couple that was going to use the prophylactic. Everyone received the proposal to mild enthusiasm and only William seemed to be distracted by the guy that was in front of him. For weeks, he had him inside his head moving around, appearing in the weirdest moments and it was a long time after that, when they were executing some of the ideas people had pitched, when he realized why he thought of him so much: he knew him.

 That day, after all work was done, he went to the archive room and asked fro the file on that man. Apparently, he had been working in the office for as long as William had been there. He was his same age and had gone to the same college too. The difference was that that guy hadn’t been able to ascend in the company whereas William had climbed that ladder a lot faster than anyone else ever before. He was very talented at what he did.

 When he got home that day, he was relieved to realized he didn’t like the guy for his looks or something like that but because he unconsciously knew something weird about him. He couldn’t really remember him from any of the classes in college but apparently something inside his brain did remember him and had been curious to reveal that.

 As tired as he was, William relaxed that day with a bubble bath. He was so tired that he fell asleep inside and only woke up because he was slowly sinking into the water. When he got out of there, he just dried himself up and fell asleep naked as he was on the bed, above the sheets. He must have woken up at four in the morning only to crawl under the covers because of the cold.

 After the weekend, he stumbled into his old college partner in the elevator on the way to his office. It was kind of an awkward moment: there was some tension between them but William had no idea why. He knew now that he wasn’t interested in that guy physically and that was the only thing that had been weird before. But now everything was tension and looking down to their shoes and it was very strange.

 For the rest of that day he didn’t really pay attention to anything else because his mind was still trying to understand what had happened in that elevator. He tried to remember anything about that man but he just couldn’t remember him in college. Maybe crossing him one or twice in the hallways but that was it. He was so distracted during the pitching session that day, that he missed every single one of the funny presentations. His fellow managers would laugh and he would just smile.

 The following day, he was lucky enough to have dinner with a friend from college he had not seen in a while. She had always been one of his best friends back in college and now she worked out of the country in a job that paid very well. So they got together and talked and laughed and drank and ate. It was a very fun evening. When the dessert was brought to them, William remembered the man from his office and instantly asked his friend about him. He described him as well as he could and she was surprised by the degree of detail he was able to give her.

 His friend had no idea of whom he was talking about. Then, William looked for a picture on his cellphone and showed it to her. Crazy as it seemed, William had taken a picture of the file on the guy in order to remember his face the next time he saw him and now he got to show to his friend so he didn’t see how awkward it was.

 Then, she immediately recognized him. Trying not to laugh at her friend for having some random guy’s picture on his cellphone, she reminded him that that guy had been a good friend of the people they used to hang out with during college. He would even go to some parties with them although she didn’t even remember his name. He wasn’t a particularly social person but she knew she had seen him a number of times around there with them.

 William thought about that for a long time. He looked at the guy’s picture that night before going to bed and then spent a good half hour trying to sleep but really thinking about why he had no idea of who that person was. The next day at the office, he got the rumor that many people were being laid off because the company had decided to wipe out a whole section in order to make room for new people that were going to be in charge of social media and such.

 As he went to get coffee, he saw the guy from college with a single box, eyes very red, standing in front of the elevator. He had no idea why, but he walked towards him and asked what was wrong. The guy was obviously surprised to see William but he just answered the question: he had been fired. William offered to help him with the box and in the time from there to the first floor, he was able to remember who that guy was.


 They had kissed once in a party. William had been very drunk. He was sure to have vomited at least a couple of times that night. And somehow, in between all that, they had kissed. He gave the box to the guy and told him to call him if he needed any help. The guy seemed confused by that and honestly William was too. He didn’t know why he had said it but he thought it was the right thing to do.