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

sábado, 20 de agosto de 2016

Big versus small

   Amanda hated that big departments store, the one that had being opened just a few months ago by the highway. It was mainly because every time she drove past it, it was packed with people and everyone from every corner of town had at least been there looking around. Besides the crow factor, she really disliked all those big brands that didn’t really specialize in anything, instead selling every single thing under the sun. It seemed greedy to her, from a business point of view.

 Everyone else loved it, even her own family. The day they had the idea to go to buy some of the Christmas supplies to decorate the tree; she was adamant in buying them in the Christmas store she had always gone to in the neighborhood. It was owned by a very nice woman who brought all of the objects from her town, where many of her family members helped in the process of making the ornaments. But now the number of people going there was diminishing a lot due to the new big store opening so close by.

 She decided to due that shopping herself in the small store from the neighborhood and found everything she needed right there. It was appalling it see that there was not one other person buying anything in the store and it was the precise season to do it. The owner of the store was so grateful, so gave Amanda one extra box of silver handmade balls for the tree. She didn’t wanted to accept them but looking straight in the eye of the woman, she decided it was best not to argue.

 When she returned home, she discovered her family was not there. Amanda was very angry because it was clear they had gone against what she had said. Of course, she hadn’t forbidden them to go to the big store but she was very disappointed that her own family was not supportive of the people they had known their entire lives. When they arrived with bags full of stuff, she ignored them and had an early night.

 Her husband even attempted to have sex with her but she refused, turning all the lights off and giving her back to him. There was no way she was going to have sex with someone that didn’t respect her convictions and everything she stood for. So she just closed her eyes and tried very hard to go asleep fast. She took several hours to do so, whereas he fell asleep in a second.

 The following morning, she discovered the fridge and the cupboard had been filled with products from that big store. Every single thing from there was twice as big as a normal product: the cans of beans left no room in their space, the soda had to be displaced next to the fruit to fit into the fridge. And the ice cream occupied almost the whole freezer compartment. To Amanda, it was obscene.

 Every time in the following days and weeks leading to Christmas, it was really hard to pass by the small store and seeing how no one was entering. One day, she decided to do something about it. She stopped by and looked for the owner. She spoke to her briefly about wanting to help her make the store the preferred Christmas store once again. The old woman was not convinced as she thought the big store was too attractive for people to stop going there.

 She confessed Amanda to have been there and told her hat the boxes of decorated balls and other ornaments for trees had many more product inside and the cost was ridiculously cheap. It was practically impossible to sell something cheaper; it would be like giving it away for free. She seemed very sad about her discovery; maybe even to the point she wanted to cry. But Amanda told her they could make something about it.

 The first step of her plan was doing what Fanny, the owner of the small Christmas store, had done before her: Amanda had to go to the big store and see for herself what it was that people bought there and why they all went there instead of shopping for nicer things in the small family store. It was difficult for her to confess that she had to go there and that’s why she waited for everyone to be busy to do it. Her husband and kids were in their final weeks of work and school, respectively, so it was perfect timing.

 The day she went to the big store, she was able to find a parking space in no time, even with most of them being already occupied. For a moment she felt please but then remembered what her mission was there. Inside, she decided not to ask anyone where to go because she thought it would look kind of strange if she ask for Christmas decorations and days later the other store got new things.

 So she wandered around, looking at the frozen foods section, which consisted of five very long aisles, the pet area that was like a small city and the automobile department, which had a very strong smell of new car, an aroma she had always loved. It was something very difficult to ignore but she was able to do it once she finally got to the Christmas ornaments area, which was packed with people looking for stuff.

First, she took pictures with her cellphone of what they had on display. Then, he paid close attention to the items that people seemed to be buying more. She pretended to be curious about some teddy bears to hang on the tree every time a worker went by her. She knew they wouldn’t appreciate her corporate spying at all. After an hour or so, she decided to go back home and analyze the situation.

 The very next day, she visited Fanny to have a talk about the ideas she had for the store and its products. The first thing was to give it a new look, inside and out. So she did a whole presentation, kind of a proposal to Fanny, of what to do and how to it. Fanny was so moved by the passion Amanda had put into it that she decided to go along and let her try to make her store an important part of the Christmas tradition again.

 Amanda’s family began to wonder where she went every single morning and afternoon. Her and her car disappeared so often that her children began to miss her mother’s presence, even if it was only to complain about something or if they needed her to take them somewhere in the car. Those duties were passed on to the father, which was definitely not very pleased to be the new chauffeur of the house.

 Back in the store, Amanda and Fanny had bought supplies in order to start the remodeling. They weren’t going to do something very deep because there was no time to hire professional to do any profound work. Besides, Christmas was not very far away and they had to take advantage of every single day they had. The idea was to have the store ready by December the 1st, in order for Fanny to get at least three weeks of good sales. Amanda felt they could do it easily.

 The first thing was to ask Fanny’s family in her hometown to change the design on the balls. They had to make new designs, more modern but still hand made. They decided to go with new colors and themes for each of the boxes. The idea was to make every single box of ornaments a very unique one. Fanny’s family was very happy with the idea and they got to work immediately.

 The second part of the remodeling was decoration. They spent a whole afternoon looking for the right paper with the perfect colors to do the decorating inside and outside. They also bought a 3D projector, which illuminated a wall in the outside and gave nice images of Santa Claus and other Christmas characters. That was the most expensive thing but she assured Fanny that it was going to be a great investment.


 They worked together intensely for the remainder of November and when December the 1st came, they held a big inauguration party where they invited every single person in the neighborhood. The new ornaments arrived just in time and they flew off the shelves, having to order a second bigger batch the next day. The store was a success and it was Amanda who had made it possible. She felt really proud of her work. She had proven everyone, including herself, that she had a very good head above her shoulders.

jueves, 10 de marzo de 2016

Helena's wake

   Roger and Helena had never been best friends or anything of the sorts. They had been the type of people that are kind to each other in high school and just say “Hello” and “Thank you” when it was needed. However, Helena had done something else that made her kind of special to Roger: she had been the only one to know he’s secret and had kept it for herself through the last four years of school. She had realized he was gay because Roger had been careless once speaking on his cell phone just after school and she had been the only one to hear him. They never spoke, they never agreed on anything but she never said a word and he was thankful for it.

 Now, many years later, Helena was dead. Roger had known of her tragic fate also by mistake, by chance, when reading the newspaper online one morning. The world is so plague with bad things that happen like terrorism and wars and so on, that sometimes road accidents pass unnoticed. The news of her accident was just a very small article, a few lines, but her name was there clear as day and he remembered it. At first, he thought it had been some other woman called Helena too but it the evening news they put on her picture and he confirmed that it was her. Roger wasn’t devastated when he realized it but he felt very sorry for her family and friends. It was a very tragic way to go and he then recalled the fact she had been a good person where most people wouldn’t have been.

 So, the following day, he decided to attend the wake as well as her funeral. Through the paper too he learned when the wake was going to take place and it was just after work hours in small mortuary not very far from his home. He tried to dress up as sober as he could, trying not to put on some colourful shoes or socks, which he loved, and stepped in the mortuary feeling very strange.

 The reason for this was because he felt he had stepped in high school again. Many people from back then had come to pay their respects and many were reunited in small groups talking about her but also talking about what they have been doing in the last few years. Many of them were still friends, at least on Facebook, so they knew exactly what the others were up to even if they pretended they didn’t know. But Roger was the only one that had not kept any contact.

 He had never had any real friends in school. His best friends had always been kids from his neighbourhood and friends he had made along the years. People at school were for him stupid and full of themselves, always trying to fake who they were and trying to know things that didn’t concern them. They were arrogant and very cynical and he just hated all of that so he never really tried to be friends with any of them. Not that they would have let him be a friend of theirs.

 He crossed that hall when they were all chatting as if they were in a school reunion and entered the room were the body and the family probably were. The ambiance there was very different. The family was crying and very close to the casket, which was closed. Roger instantly remembered what he had read about the accident and understood exactly why the casket was closed. He felt a bit dizzy but then someone came and held his arm. He was about to scream but the didn’t do it because he saw Helena’s mother broke into tears and also because he realized the person who had done that was someone he remembered from back then. It was a girl called Linda and she had always had a crush of him.

 Roger greeted her and she looked at him with those big annoying eyes of hers and talked in a sweetened voice that was just sickening. It was as if she was still trying to get him after all these years and it was just annoying. So, in a moment of genius, he told her he wanted to give his condolences to the family, which was effective: Linda let him go and he was able to walk towards the mother, who was still crying.

 Approaching someone that is such a state is always the worst but he had no choice as Linda was looking at him from the other side of the room. He followed an older woman who also came to pay her respects and the mother broke into tears and held her, even when they didn’t really seem to know each other that well. Apparently the poor woman was so socked by her daughter’s death that any person was a good person to cry with or on. Roger helped she didn’t do that to him, because he really didn’t liked to be touched by strangers but when she did he didn’t really mind. After all, she was a mother who had lost a child. And that’s something we can all agree is heartbreaking.

 He shook the father’s hand too and greeted Helena’s brothers, two big guys who he remembered from the rugby team back in high school. He instantly blushed when looking at the older one, whose name was Finn. Roger had had a big crush on Finn when he was about sixteen years old and he remembered going to rugby games only to watch him play and, more importantly, look at his butt. So it was really strange when, after shaking hands, Finn winked at him. For a moment, he thought that hadn’t happened. But it had.

 The former classmate stood there, by the casket, for several minutes. He wasn’t a religious person but he wanted Helena to know he was thankful for her being the person she was, for not telling anyone about his secret as he wouldn’t have been ready at that moment to face people about his sexuality. These days, however, he didn’t really mind.

 When he saw Linda coming to him, he decided to be honest so he asked her if they could go to the hall. She grabbed by he arm, again, and went along with what he said. Roger forced a conversation about life and what they had been up to. He wasn’t interested at all in Linda’s life but just wanted to be clear and get rid of her arm that felt more like a very annoying claw hanging off him. She talked about some boring job in engineering and he just nodded and when they were in the middle of the people outside he asked her about his relationships. Silly as she was, she giggled and said she had had some boyfriends but that she was available at the moment. And then she giggled again and put her hand on his shoulder.

 His moment had come and he was so happy to do this. It was like going back to high school, back then, and then just flip them off, as he would have liked to do. So he smiled and said the truth, which was the best way to discourage anyone, he said that it was a funny story because Helena had been the only one in high school to know he was a gay man. And that now, as a married man, he looked back at school as something so far away in his memory that he just smiled when he seldom thought about it.

 Linda was obviously shocked as she removed her hand and looked as if some horrible news had been announced via speaker. It was really like being back in high school and he enjoyed it thoroughly. What he had not realized was that people were not talking as loud as he did so every single person had heard what he had said. That was why the room had gone silent and then he looked at all the stupid faces around him and just smiled and couldn’t help laughing. When he did, no one laughed along but the sound miraculously returned to the hall.

 He kissed Linda on the cheek and told her he hoped she had a nice life. Then he marched out and he felt, very accurately, that many eyes were fixated on him. But he didn’t care at all. He decided to keep walking until he was outside and there he went to the nearest store and bought a pack of cigarettes. The storeowner lit up the first one for him and he went out to smoke in peace, happy about he had done, amused by the whole sad event.

 Then someone greeted him and he saw the large figure of Finn coming closer. They shook hands again and Finn said he had no idea he smoked and Roger said he didn’t but he had felt like it a few minutes ago. Finn laughed and then asked if it was true that he was gay and was married. Now it was Roger who smiled and nodded. Finn told him he had always known and not because of Helena but because he had noticed Roger looking at him often around school. And he said it was funny because he had always liked him too.


 It was an awkward moment but Finn proceeded to tell Roger he was about to get married to and he just wanted to invite him, that’s why he had come after him. Roger smiled again and promised to go with Jake, his husband. Then they started chatting about life, likes and so on. And when the conversation finished and he went home to Jake, Roger realized he had made a new friend, which was a very odd thing to get on a wake. He wondered if something weirder would happen at the funeral.

sábado, 12 de diciembre de 2015

Soon

   His body entered the water slowly and was soon covered in foam that smelled of vanilla. He sat down on the edge of the enormous Jacuzzi and just closed his eyes and pulled his head back. Adam was trying to relax after the party he had thrown, a luncheon in honor of all the donors that had decided to give money to the hospital his foundation ran. They were all nice people, always smiling and nodding and shaking hands with one another. Adam knew most of them really well, from other events and from social encounters, and he knew most of them wee awful people.

 He took advantage of their guilt to fuel his philanthropic endeavors with all the money they had to give which was a lot. They were owners of huge companies and brands and taking a thousand dollars out of their bank account was almost unnoticeable. Their guilt came from the fact that most of them were always doing something behind close doors, whether it was having an affair, or having links with organized crime or having some sort of sickness or condition that they didn’t want anyone to find out about, among other reasons.

 It’s not like they knew Adam knew but rather than they used any social service available to atone for their sins and guilt. For Adam, who was a young businessman and also the owner of several companies, that had to be taken advantage of, instead of potentially loosing that money to other “causes” like prostitutes or alcohol. He didn’t have to threaten or to convince anyone, they just did what he expected them to do and that had always been the case even when his father was alive.

 It had been five years ago that his father had died and had left him in charge of every single one of the companies he owned and also in possession of most of his estates. Of course, his siblings had attempted to fight this will but he soon clarified no one would be kicked out of nowhere and there would be no fighting among family members. He distributed the estate and was sure everyone was represented in the various businesses they had. That way he earned his family’s trust and also the respect of their community of wealth.

 In time, with his keen eye for business, he managed to win the respect of every single company owner in the country and was able to prove to them that his young age was not a downside of who he was but rather and interesting and potentially key characteristic. After all, his father had died when he was just twenty-seven years old and many in the companies and among his family thought he wasn’t mature enough. He had an older sister and his dad had partners who were more experienced. But the will of his father was respected and he ended up being what they all needed in order not to let everything be lost.

 However, he wasn’t perfect himself. It was not that Adam had any obvious flaw but rather that he had too much interest in his rivals and friends. He had many of them watched by private investigators, forming kind of a team that revealed to him every little dirty secret they all had behind close doors. This gave him the advantage in every business negotiation because, although he would never blackmail anyone, he knew how to use those secrets in his own advantage. He was truly obsessed with getting to know everything about a person and wouldn’t let his investigators rest if they hadn’t found anything meaty.

 In that luxurious bathtub, he would often have a bath, as he would check all the files on his investigations. He was very adamant that if there wasn’t any interesting discovery in the first month, he normally left the person alone unless it was a current rival of sorts. He didn’t want to be using all of that to be a rat. Business was business and that’s what it was all about but personal things, very personal ones were just out of bounds. He had discovered, for example, how some people he investigated were HIV positive or had cancer. This for example was never used against them and the files he had were destroyed because that was personal.

 What he liked to find was something like a love affair, like some weird transaction with the mob or something like that. Both those things made people feel very guilty and guilty people are not good for business. It was very easy beating them in that arena where he had learned to excel from a young age, thanks to the tutoring of his father. He used those really silly secrets to make them tremble in their pants and from there his victory was already settled.

 The fun thing about it all was that Adam tried to be the contrary of all those rivals. First of all, he wasn’t stupid enough to do something crooked. He had all kinds of advisors and people working for him that would tell him if he was making a mistake or how to achieve something without the need of dirty money or cheating. If he didn’t saw an honest way to do something, he simply didn’t do it. He was rich enough so it wasn’t that bad not to win more money. He wasn’t driven by money because he had learned to control his thirst for power.

 Besides, he was very open about his life, both personal and in business and was always very clear that he didn’t answer to any one in his personal decisions and that only his family mattered in his business ones. That was it so he wasn’t the best media character, even if some news outlets loved to show some pictures of him hugging beautiful models, kissing men and women or having luxurious holidays in some faraway hotspot.

 Adam was not about settling, that was true. He wouldn’t marry any women because he thought that kids would come soon and he didn’t wanted children not to have a father. Because he was always away for business, was always focused on that and had only a few very well defined moments during the week when he could just relax. He didn’t think a wife and kids deserved that, even if it came with all the money and privilege he had to offer. His mother insisted that he got married to continue the line and have someone inherit all of it when he died. And she was right but he had no idea how to accomplish that.

 He had also thought of the option of marrying a man but that had the same problems, minus the conceiving part that would be replaced by the whole process of adoption or by them using a surrogate mother, which was his favorite option of the two. Any way, he wouldn’t have time for them and he wanted to be able to share everything.

 The bottom thing was that he needed to love someone and that didn’t happen. He had sex often enough and went into dates and was charming as a man could be, but no one had really made him think about them as a potential wife or husband. He was very nice and a complete gentleman with them but he needed someone that gave him something he didn’t have, that made him feel unbalanced but, at the same time, that made him feel like everyone with that person was worth it.

 Adam was not very big on the concept of love. He thought it more like an alliance of sorts were two people realize they have to be together because they work much better as a team. He knew many people like that, friends and family, and he had the image of his parents, who had always loved each other just like that, helping each other and being the best partners one could ever see.

 With the soothing sound of water around him, Adam realized that some day he would want children, that one day he would want to wake up and find someone he loved to smell next to him. He was only thirty two years old and thought that maybe it could happen the next day or in a couple of years but he was sure it would happen because, sometimes, he felt that need but it wasn’t as strong as it could be. He knew it wasn’t strong enough yet.


 He then stood up and walked naked towards a wall, where some wind blowers dried him up. He had to stand there like the Vitruvius man, feeling the soft caress of all that wind. Then, his mouth began to feel dry and the world around him started to get distorted. He felt dizzy and tried to hold on to the well but he just fell to the ground, a marvelous granite floor.

martes, 8 de diciembre de 2015

Today I'm sick

   Today I am sick. Today I feel awful and my environment is not helping at all. The guys I live with only know how to be gross and loud and that has always annoyed me. I mean, what has always annoyed me has been the fact that people are so oblivious of what they do and not do. People are sometimes disgusting but they don’t even realize it and me, as a person who claims to be clean and neat in general, I really don’t like it.

 Every single day those conversations in Arabic. Every fucking day. I don’t care where people are from; I couldn’t care less to be honest. But destiny had to put a person that talks in one of the most aggressive languages in the world just a window away from me. And, apparently, he speaks to every member of his family every single day of the year. That’s nice but couldn’t he do it in a lower volume and just type once in a while?

 Of course, people don’t have to live by what I feel or think but sometimes I know I’m right and I don’t need to test my theories because I simply know how to be a decent person. Other people are used to screaming, yelling whatever it is they want to communicate. I don’t. The only time I yell is when I’m desperate and I always do it with people I feel I know, not with a bunch of people I don’t really know nothing about.

 The same thing happens when I have to hear that same guy masturbate or do I don’t really know what. He’s apparently oblivious to the fact that he is really loud and that he has his window open every fucking day at every hour. The climate now is colder than some months ago. What is he thinking?

 I am sick but as in ill. My head hurts a lot, as if my brain had detached from the cranium and now it just moves around in there. My jaw also seems to pulsate with pain, my cheekbones and my throat. Passing saliva hurts a lot and I just want this to go away.

 I know this is my fault, I made it happen. I was silly enough to sleep one night with no socks or a t-shirt and that is suicide when temperatures can get very low at night. I assume all responsibility for getting this virus but I want to get rid of it too, I want to make it go away and feel good again. I hate to be sick and feel defenseless and confused.

 It hurts even more because I’m alone. There’s no one here to help, there’s no one who can even care about how I feel. I don’t have the things I need close to me because I am always distracted and never focused on what I should be focused. I miss them now, as I miss them very single day of my life. I miss my bed.

Damn it… My belly hurts now and I don’t even remember what I ate yesterday. Nothing “dangerous”, that I now off. But it hurts a lot and also does my back and my chest and, again, my throat. I think I just want to lay here in my bed for the rest of the day but I have a problem with that and it is the fact that I need to get out and by some medicine so this can go away quicker.

 Sadly, I don’t live in a normal place when pharmacies have delivery to your home or even online service. No, apparently the XXIst century hasn’t reached this so-called “first world country”. Which, in many aspects, it’s a shame.

Again, loud noises. Again, doors are being slammed and steps been walked with those shoes that looked donated from a war. Yes, I am the kind of person that just people for how they look in general. Call me an awful human being then and move along.

 It hurts too much and I have no idea why I decided to write something today. Maybe it’s guilt that I didn’t write last Sunday or maybe it’s because I feel I need to prove myself to people I don’t even know every single day of the year. But not today, not anymore.


 I don’t feel good so let’s leave it here, half the normal size. We will see each other tomorrow, I hope.