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

jueves, 2 de junio de 2016

Self-made woman

   Sam had always being a very confident person. She wasn’t he most beautiful girl in the world or the most athletic or anything like that. She was just an average girl that never really had a problem with her own body. When she was at school, she saw many people being bullied because of how they looked or how they dressed or things like that. But the bullies never got to her because she simply did not believe anything they said. Maybe it was the way she was raised or maybe she had been born with a very thick skin. The point was no one could take her down.

 As she got older, she decided to try a little bit of everything. She did theatre and always went to a summer camp not far from home. She would also love to help recycle and clean the parks of her city. She earned some money by walking her neighbors’ dogs and she had at least five pen pals from all over the world. Sam lived to be active and to feel she was doing something. She even approached the kids at school that were bullied and tried to help them by giving them more things to do. Sometimes, she succeeded.

 After graduating high school, she entered a proper acting academy where she was always one of the most advanced students in the class. She got the directions of the teacher very fast and knew how to connect with a character in a matter of minutes. She became that person fro a while. It was amazing to see her as all those characters, no matter if they were men or women, young or old or foreigner. She always knew exactly how to do it.

 The school lasted for years year and by the third year her parents announced to her that they had financial problems and that they wouldn’t be able to give her money for transportation and food for her third year and that they had no money for her fourth and last year in the academy. For a moment, she was very worried. It was the first time in her life that Sam didn’t really know what to do right away. She spent a whole night without sleep thinking of solutions.

 However, the solution came to her the next day. Her acting school was part of a larger university, so when she went to class she always walked by a big board where people would pin down what they were looking for. She checked the board to see if there were any jobs she could take part time in order to help her parents pay for her stuff or pay it herself in any case. She read many little papers looking for something good and a blue one got her attention.

 Sam had never cared about what people said about her. She had never really had second thoughts about what she wore; how her body was build or the things she had to do to get somewhere. She was a fighter and very hands on kind of a person. So after class, she went straight to the classroom written in the blue paper. They were looking for men and women that would pose for the art students.

 It was in an area of the university she rarely went to. Outside, there were about three people waiting. When the door opened, a woman asked her name and physical data. She wrote those down in a sheet of paper on a clipboard and then closed the door after one of the people that had been waiting had entered the room. Sam could only see one other person inside with the woman: a middle-aged bald man who probably was the teacher for that class.

 She waited for an hour until the other two people had passed. Apparently the “audition”, or whatever it was, could be very exhaustive. When they finally let her in, they immediately asked for her to remove all clothes and to step up in a square that was about thirty centimeters tall. She did exactly that, feeling a little scared at first. The woman, who was probably an assistant, was doing some kind of sketch on her clipboard. The man just turned around Sam, looking at every single inch of her body.

 Suddenly, he asked Sam to pose in three different ways. He showed her three different paintings and she had to imitate the positions of the models in them. Sam wasn’t very into painting as such but she knew those pictures were rather classical. So she immediately knew there not going to do anything very modern in that class or at least not from the first day.

 After the first ten minutes, she was very comfortable posing as a goddess shooting an arrow at a centaur and then being seductive, half covering herself with a very silky and transparent tissue the teacher provided for her. They were there for more than an hour until the assistant told her she could grab her clothes and dress. They told her they would call her in order to know if she had gotten the job. She asked if she could know how much they paid and the mentioned the number. It was a very good one.

 She got the job and worked there for her whole third year. She had to arrive to some early classes, which was awful because of the cold, but the teacher was always kind enough to bring a portable heater for her not to freeze. Then she would go to her classes and sometimes she would come back late in order to pose for the advanced students.

 Sam didn’t really tell many people about her job. She certainly didn’t tell his parents. They were happy enough seeing their daughter knew how to move around in the world. And only a couple of friends knew. They even went once and told her how odd it was that no one really saw her but instead saw her body as if it was some other person. It was very strange.

 That year, se won a lot of money. With that and a job she got the following summer, she was able to pay her last year of acting school. She kept modeling during that year but she didn’t do as many hours because the audition part of her life had begun and she really had to be looking for all the parts possible. Once she graduated, she began to do so more actively, landing roles in plays and even movies.

 Her breakout role was the one of the heroine of a post-apocalyptic story involving zombies. She signed on for one movie but two more were made. After that, she did more elaborate stuff like a costume drama that happened in Africa and another where she was a woman that had a very awful disease that was deemed incurable for many years. For that one she received the most praise and Sam was even considered for many awards. It was the best time of her life because she got to travel a lot.

 When she turned 28, she got the role of a woman trying to save millions from genocide in a war that people didn’t even talked about. Sam researched the role and actively pursued it for many months until they chose her over many better-known actresses. She was careful about every aspect of the role and was able to do her best performance ever. That year was a whirlwind for her as everyone praised her work and called her a “revelation” and things of the sort.

 She began being nominated for many awards. Every time it happened she would call the director of the film, a woman called Flora, and they would chat for hours about it. However, something happened that would sour their happiness for a while. Someone had gone through Sam’s past and had found the portraits she had posed for and some pictures too, as she modeled for the photography students too. The tabloids had a field day and everyone else started to talk solely about that and not the movie.

 Sam apologized to Flora but the woman told her never to do that. She hadn’t done anything wrong and it was nothing that would affect her forever. She encouraged Sam to be herself and confront the issue as herself and as no one else. And so she did. She released a statement and even made a video that went viral, when she explained how she had always trusted herself and wanted everyone to feel the same way.

 She showed everyone that she was not ashamed but rather proud of being a woman that did not have to hide or feel bad because others wanted her to feel like that. She had made a life by her own hand and she was also proud of that. In her video, she invited every woman to be comfortable in their skin, take nudes pictures or just looking themselves at the mirror and accepting who they were because everyone is one of a kind.

 Many attacked for the way she saw the world, mostly men. But she had decided she would never care about what destructive people thought. She knew most people were not like that, she knew they would all see what she meant, where she was coming from.


 Her chances of having a great career were never harmed after that. She eventually won an Academy Award and went on to pose for magazines naked, in order to prove that they couldn’t take her down or shame her. Sam was there to stay.

jueves, 31 de marzo de 2016

True image

  Julie’s walk was very confident and full of energy. Every step she took towards the pool area in the cruise, made her noticeable to every single person on the boat. She was wearing a blue bikini with a large hat and sandals with quite a heel and she was pulling it off in the best way possible. All men had their eyes on her and all women wanted to be as confident as she was.

 Following Julie, however, was her brother Kevin. It was an absolute contrast because Kevin wasn’t dressed at all for a swimming pool; he just looked like one of those people that go to awesome place but don’t do that much. Well, that precisely was Kevin because he didn’t even wanted to come at first but he had being pressured by his parents to accompany his sister. The trip was her gift for finishing high school with great marks and she had been joined by some friends in the cruise. So the suffering was double for Kevin.

 Which was silly because he was older than him. He should have gotten over the whole high school thing but he actually hadn’t.. His experiences there had been so traumatic that he didn’t even liked to be around Julia when her friends were with her. He quietly went away, most likely to his room or he just wandered around the ship, which was large enough.

 For the swimming pool, he was wearing these big, long, baggy trunks that looked two sizes larger than him, not flip flops but actual shoes and big white t-shirt. Besides, his face was covered in white, like a ghost. When they got to some free chairs by the pool, Julia removed her sunglasses and look at her brother, a bit disappointed. He was covering himself with his towel and looking at everyone a bit scared.

 She told him to come near and helped him with the mask of sunscreen he had put on his face,. She made him look a little bit more normal. Julia told him she should enjoy the pool and the sun for once and that nothing was never as bad as he imagined it. “Everything is in your head”, she often told him.

 Kevin always ignored that phrase because he thought it was a very silly thing to say. His fears, for him, were extremely real and they weren’t only in his head. He could hear and see people mocking him all around, always, and he wasn’t as strong as Julia to take it all and just don’t mind or to be able to fight it back. Kevin had always been very shy and had even been bullied in school, so it was normal that even as an adult he was still afraid. But the thing was he had never attempted to defeat his demons and that’s what worried Julia.

 She took a last look at him and then removed sandals, glasses and a nice watch a friend had given her as a present for her most recent birthday. Then she walked to the other side of the pool, were several people her age greeted her. There were boys and girls and Kevin could recognize most of them from the first two days of the cruise. She had gone out almost every night to the disco they had there and he had been falling asleep really early as there were no TV sets in any of the rooms, for some reason.

 Maybe the people that had built the cruise ship thought that it was enough to put all these fun things to do for people to be happy and not need a TV but Kevin certainly disagreed with that. He really felt miserable and wished the week was over faster.

 Some girl passed in front of him and looked at him for a second. Her look was the one of someone who sees something gross by the road or something like that. Very affected by it, he decided to stand up, check for the room keys in his pocket and go back there. Julia wouldn’t mind and he certainly didn’t want to stay there. So he just left.

 When he arrived in his room, he was sweating heavily because of the clothes he was wearing and decided to shower in order to refresh a bit. He left the clothes all over the floor and just entered the bathroom and tried not to think about anything as he felt the cold water running over his body. He didn’t use soap or anything like that, he just enjoyed the cool shower that seemed like sitting on the rain. It was one of the few things he liked about the cruise.

 When he got closed the water, he remembered he had left the towel on the bed and the cleaning lady hadn’t come in yet. So he shook off some of the water and stepped out naked. For a moment, he didn’t realize it but he was looking at his own body naked. Then he remembered the bathroom door had a full body mirror behind it and he was surprised by it.

 Kevin had always hated mirrors. He had never liked mirrors because they made him look at him and he had passed years trying not to do that. He had been called so many names because of his ears, his body, the way he was smarter than other in school… And besides all of that, he had always thought he was fat and ugly and just didn’t wanted to be made to look at himself.

 But when he stepped out of the shower, he just froze there and saw his own body, after a long time.  Somehow, it was different that he remembered it. He got nearer and, unconsciously, started examining his skin, his face, his chest, his arms, his penis, his legs and feet. Everything.

 He took a long time watching his own body and he was fascinated because he realized he had never done that. Then, feeling like awakening from a strange dream, he opened the door and grabbed the trunks he had been wearing. He put them over his body in front of the mirror and realized how ridiculous it was to wear something so big on him. He was skinny but he certainly wasn’t an XL man.

 Kevin dropped the trunks on the ground and just kept looking at himself. He finally shed a single tear and said, in very hushed voice, “If only someone…” But didn’t finish the phrase because he had no idea how to finish it. He thought about how he wanted to be like his sister, who was strong and didn’t care what people said about her. She was strong and he felt so weak. But he also realized he wanted to do something about it. The mirror had helped him see that.

 So he grabbed some of the money his parents had given him, got dressed with the clothes he had before and went to one of the many stores on board. He didn’t like to try on clothes or to be around people that loved fashion but it was necessary for him to do it. So he approached a saleswoman and asked where he could find some trunks. She directed her to the right spot and even joined him. He was embarrassed to have her next to him but just took a deep breath and pretended she wasn’t there. He looked for a color he liked and then a size he thought would work and just bought it, without trying it on.

 He went back to his room almost running, got naked in the bathroom and put on the new trunks. The difference was huge. On the mirror, he could even see his butt and a pair of legs that weren’t so bad. He just needed a bit more sun because he looked pale and sick. But the trunks worked great and he smiled at his own image when he saw himself on the mirror.

 Some minutes later, he was sweating heavily again. But it wasn’t because of the sun but because of how nervous he was. He had decided to get out of his room in only his flip-flops and his new trunks. He had his towel on one hand and the room keys in the other and nothing else. He was shaking a bit but kept walking looking at his feet or very high in front of him. He did so slowly not to stumble against anyone.

 He found an empty deck chair not so close to the poll and decided to sit there. He had put on some sunscreen before leaving the room so he just laid there, a bit nervous and tensioned but certain that would help. He fell asleep for a while until his sister came and woke him up. She was angry at him because he had left her things unattended but a friend had noticed so nothing had happened. She asked his brother what was he doing.


 ¿What does it look like?

 And she just smiled. She kissed him on the cheek and told him to be careful with the sun. She was going to leave for the games area but she would look for him later. He told her he needed to get more tanned, so he would be there for a while. Amused, she left with her friends.


 Kevin saw her walk away and realized he had taken a huge step out of his shell. Right then though, he saw two guys with ridiculously chiseled bodies but instead of feeling less, he laughed. And he just closed his eyes again and turn around, to do the back.

domingo, 6 de marzo de 2016

Ballad of the dead

   A couple of crows flew by, landing next to a large mausoleum, belonging to a general who had died long ago, in a battle no one remembered, in a country no one cared about anymore. The crows turned around on their dark feet and gazed at what appeared to be a shadow slowly walking up the hill. But the shadows was not such, she was a beautiful woman all dressed in black, walking slowly, trying not to make a strong effort climbing the hill that served as a cemetery in this region. The place was beautiful but grim and grey because of the many storm clouds travelling through the sky. Rain had already fallen and it would possibly fall again soon.

 The woman passed the general’s mausoleum and also a small patch of grass where several small crosses indicated the presence of bones belonging to several unidentified soldiers. But they were not marked as “unknown”, they were just marked with white crosses and some dead flowers. She only glanced at them, putting then her hands inside her pockets. A gust of wind had swept through the hill and she had received it full on her face. She was trembling and apparently had the urge to go back, because she stopped and turned around and looked at the town, which could be seen perfectly from there. She had been born in that place long ago and had left soon after. She didn’t know the place like her father and her grandfather before him. She was just there to see them.

 Finally, she took a left on a row of tombstones and knelt at the end of that path, were flowers and grass grew large and beautiful because of the soil that was so rich in nutrients. She caressed the tombstone, cleaned it with her hands covered in gloves and read the name of her father, slowly, as if she had no idea who he was. Almost instantly, a big lonely tear ran down one of her cheeks. And then, another one. Finally, she really cried, she allowed herself to do what she hadn’t done in all these years. She cried because she hadn’t been there when he had died and she cried because she had left home so young and had put them all at bay, fearing they might convince her to make the same mistakes they did.

 She wasn’t scared when a voice, a very cold and raspy voice, asked her not to cry anymore. She said, out loud, that she couldn’t bring herself to stop, because she felt guilty and needed to get it all out of her system.

   - So it’s all about you?

 The voice was right. She was crying just to cry, just to make herself feel better and free of any guilt from having been responsible for her father’s death. She knew she hadn’t been there, that she had been missed and they had asked her to return so many times. But, to her, that town was death itself and tried not to go back for many years.
 The woman had finally decided to do it, to confront her life and just do what she had to do.  But apparently it hadn’t been enough. Because now she saw him, her dad, standing in front of her, judging her choices and thoughts and actions. He was silent and wouldn’t say a single word about anything. He had always been like that, even when she was a kid, he would just look at her and she could know what he thought of her just by paying attention at his expressions.

 It was his fault too and that had to be proof. He had always been so far, so private and cold. How could have he asked for more from her when she never saw anything more at home. Her mother was not much different. She would always get busy doing something, just in order not to be depressed. She had some sever episodes when she couldn’t even see other people but she couldn’t be alone either. Besides, she suffered from migraines, so things where always charged with a level of tension no kid should ever have to bear.

 So the daughter stood up and followed the image of her father, that had stopped looking at her and was now just walking through the graves as if he had know the place like the palm of his hand. They didn’t have to walk much to find the grave of the mother, where the woman pour some more tear and realized how unfair she had been with all of them. She sat down on the damp grass and just touched the stone, the letters of her mother’s name and asked her why she had been so distant, why they had been so judgmental when they had raised her to be exactly who she had grown up to be.

 The woman had a nice boyfriend, a good job and a home, where she was happy most of the time. She had come to this town to be miserable, as miserable as she had ever been in all her life away from them. And now they looked at her as if she was the one who had been wrong, as if she had been the one that had caused the rupture between all of them, causing her to flee that life that was unbearable to any living person.

And then she remembered little Roby. His death had occurred six months after she had left to the city. Of course, she heard they had blame it all on her. They said he had been heartbroken that she had left because he had lost his big sister but that was just another lie, another attempt to make her feel worthless. The kid was too young to even notice he had a sister. And he had been born with so many problems. She cried for him to but they were tears of anger that she shed all over the graves of small boys and girls that had died long ago, Roby among them. She dedicated all those tears to damn, as they needed to know how wrong their parents were.

 Her parents, on the other hands, started talking and talking, and she was not interested in hearing anything they had to say. She stood up and ran up the hill, as fast as she could until she fell to the ground, having stepped on a large rock covered in moss. The fall had hurt but not as much as it hurt to hear them accusing her for so many things that she hadn’t even been there for and for other things that she didn’t even remembered. Her mother’s voice was especially annoying, very loud sometimes, the voice of someone who doesn’t speak too much.

 The woman slowly stood up and cursed her parents, told them to burn in hell or in heaven or wherever their real souls were. She yelled at them, saying that she was tired of having to carry the weight of a family that had been crumbling own for so long. Her father was a worthless maggot and her mother a crazy bitch.

    - There you have it! Now leave me alone!

 They did stop talking but they didn’t leave, their images still standing by, waiting for her to say something more. And she did. She told them it had been their fault that Roby died and it also had been their fault hat he existed, that he lived for such a short period of time suffering every single day. It was because of their sick minds and bodies that he had been born with so many problems and it was that that killed him, not her or anyone else for that matter.

 She walked the remainder of the hill and when she was at the top. She noticed the son was filtering through the clouds of rain. She felt its rays touching her skin, making her feel like she had finally done what she had to do, what she hadn’t been able to do when they were all alive. But then, they reappeared and several other figures like them. Their faces accused them of being of the same family, generations and generations of unstable people that had been raising awful families for children to turn into maniacs themselves. She had seen the light beforehand and she had been so grateful for it.

 They grew closer and closer and she just felt her body give in, kneeling there, being caressed by the cold wind of a region filled with people that were more dead than alive. She raised her hands to the sun and begged for peace and calm in her life. All the images of relatives looked at her and only one came closer and touched her head softly. She looked at the ghost and realized it was her grandmother, the only one that she had talked to during her exile in the city. She understood why she had fled and she didn’t judge. And now, even dead, she was on her side.


 That same night, the woman drove back to the city and she never heard or saw anyone again. Her prayers had been answered and she would never have to be a victim of her family anymore.