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

lunes, 10 de julio de 2017

Inside the storm

   The weather outside the terminal was terrible. The storm had been brewing for quite a while and it had finally unleashed itself unto the city in the ground. It had been going on for about three hours and, according to experts, rain could continue to fall for a very long time. It was not possible to know how many hours or even days that would be as the system had become the storm of nightmares and something like that was not going to go away in a couple of seconds.

 The airport had been packed earlier but, as night came, people were sent back to their homes or hotels, in the hope they could resume their journey the following day. That was not going to be possible but the hope for something better is always present in most people. They do incredible things because of that hope and that means they can be capable of some beautiful things but also of horrendous acts. It’s just the way humanity works and it will keep working like that forever.

 A perfect example of that would be Patricia King. She found herself in the bathroom the moment her airline announced, via speakers, that all their flights had been grounded and cancelled as the storm was impossible to get through. You probably don’t know this, but Mrs. King was a very determined individual. Not only she had become the top executive in her law firm in record time, she was well known among her colleagues for nailing every single case that landed in her office.

 Patricia King was hated and loved and both feelings were felt especially strong inside of the law firm she worked so hard in. She was applauded when applause was required but that did not mean everyone liked her, least of all Robert Frost. Frost had been her nemesis from the first moment she had entered the office tower in downtown where the firm was located. He had been the star of that place for many years, had built the image of the firm himself and saw King as a threat to everything he had done for himself and others.

 This was fast overheard by the woman, as she had learned from a young age to be alert for any kind of dissidence in the group she was in. She had been like that in college and in high school. Her classmates respected her but always knew when and what to talk about when she was around. That explained why, despite being so well regarded, she didn’t really have any friends. She lived alone and had never been in a romantic relationship with any man or woman. She wasn’t interested in “wasting her time”, as she had once phrased it to her own mother.

 However, Mrs. King cannot and should not be portrayed as a monster, a “power hungry bitch”, if you will. As a woman working in a man’s world, Patricia knew that she had to work twice as hard to get somewhere in life. And that’s exactly what she did: she started working at a very young age, earning money and saving it for the future. Her parents were very surprised when, at the age of sixteen, she was able to pay for her own new car, not requiring their help for any of it.

 She paid her way through college exactly the same way, grabbing most of the money saved from many summer jobs in her youth in order to get herself the best private education money could buy. As she was so focused on her goals, she achieved them all very easily; at least that’s what it seemed from an observer’s point of view. After all, Patricia always had a winning smile on her face and there was never a moment when she didn’t seem to know her next move.

 However, this was all a deception. She was a human being, flawed and imperfect. She had not been born special in any way and had to build herself to be who she wanted to become in the future. That’s why, realizing this in her early years of adolescence, she decided to stay focused and never drive off the road she had perfectly designed for her life. She knew she wanted to be well known but for helping people and being a lawyer was the perfect way to do so. She was decided.

 As she washed her face in the airport bathroom, after hearing the announcement of the cancellation of the flights, Patricia realized that, for the first time ever, she had no idea what to do next. Her plan had been to get back to her city, where she would give two lecture in different locations on the same day and then, she would sign the papers to buy herself a brand new office, finally a real space only to herself where she could give life to her very own law firm.

 She had been thinking about it for a very long time and finally the moment was perfect: she was beloved by the people that needed to love her and there were the exact amount of favors owed to her that she needed to make her dreams come true, at least the most urgent dreams. It was all-perfect but for every single thing to work, she needed to be in the city the next day. The storm had formed out of nowhere because she was always checking weather conditions and many other factors that may cause disruptions in her business. She planned it all.

 But, as life goes, not everything can be predicted. The world is ever changing, always throwing curve balls at existence, to see if something would change, from time to time. Patricia went back to the check-in counters and complained but the staff was leaving because the airport had been closed. Every single flight had been grounded. In a second, she realized she could pay for a private pilot to take her to the required destination. So, in the middle of the storm and with her only small suitcase, she left the terminal.

 Luckily, the last shuttle bus was right where it should be and it took her in only five minutes to the general aviation terminal. She was hoping to fin everything operating as normal but, of course, the terminal there was closed too. Drenched, she walked around, trying to think of something. Patricia then spotted a security guard and tried to bribe him in order for him to let her walk into the tarmac, where she would hopefully find an available pilot. But the man had no use for money. Big mistake.

 This is where everything went bad. Or maybe it should be said that it went worse, because this was not the first time Patricia had done something like that. As said before, people do bad and good things depending on the moment and Mrs. King was the type of person that was always two plays into the game. She had bribed before, she had used her looks to get evidence for cases and had even had sexual relations with men and women in order to get what she wanted, whatever it was.

 Patricia King was not the jewel everyone thought she was. There was something, however, that people could feel when they were around her. And it was that rotten piece of her soul, corrupted by greed, that made everyone think twice about being a little bit too close to her. Instinct had made great things for her but it had also being something very good for the people around her, as it warned them that Patricia was to be respected because of the danger she represented to herself and others.

 So she grabbed the guard’s gun and shot him, point blank. Her hands were covered in water and so was the gun. The thunders covered the noise. She managed to get to the tarmac and, what do you know, there was a pilot available, originally waiting for a wealthy client.


 One hour later, Patricia landed in her city. She was a bit dizzy and nauseated but ready for the big day that was awaiting her. This may serve as a remainder that we are all capable of horrible things. The thing is, we do not all cave to our deepest, darkest passions.

sábado, 25 de junio de 2016

Orange

   The soap was provided to us at the entrance of the showers. No one could keep their soap bar in case they wanted to put something inside like a razor blade or something of the sort. There had been too many murders inside the prison and the administration had decided to make crime a thing of the past for the inmates. Yet, there were still all kings of drugs going around. They were used as money or money was used to pay for them. Anyhow, everything was about drugs, it was the only way most men had to live through their sentences.

 It was a minimum-security prison. No fancy cells or big electric doors that opened and closed behind and in front of you. That was too fancy for that place. It was a big prison but the kind where you can go out and enjoy the sun if you feel to, you can exercise in the yard under the watching eye of several guards or even take care of a garden the crazy ones almost owned. Everything was organized, in a way.

 Me? I had been there for a couple of months. My sentence was five years long, no parole. I could maybe scrap a year of the sentence if I decided to be a good boy but it was very hard to be one inside that place. Even a minimum-security prison can be hell and I never dared to think how much worse other similar places could be, with tighter security. I just focused on my life and things I had to do to stay alive and well. The rest was a thing of the outside, where I wasn’t.

 Shower time was always at the same time. One of the oldest inmates had told me that, years ago, guys were able to come and please from the bathrooms as they pleased. But so many got stabbed or raped there, the administration decided they would force everyone to be clean and ready by 8 o’clock. A general alarm was heard every day at that time in order to wake us up. Then, each dormitory would form a single line and all lines would go to the showers.

 The room was huge. On my first day, one of the other guys joked about it being like the place where Nazis had killed Jews in the World War II. I thought the joke was in very poor taste but I rapidly noticed he had many tattoos and most of them had something to do with Nazi symbolism. I had seen it before in History class. So I knew I had to stay away from those guys, being a foreigner and all.

 There were at least sixty showers. One group would go first and then another. Each group only had about five minutes to wash everything properly with the small soap bars we were handed at the entrance. When we were done, we had to leave the bars on the floor for the next group. If there was no next group, the same thing. A waste, I always thought.

 Of course, everyone in the showers was naked. They would make us remove our clothes in a room just before the showers one. Each guy would put his things in a small squared locker. On the way out, we just had to find our number and get dressed fast in order for the second group to go in, if we weren’t in the second group ourselves. It was the routine and, I have to confess, I got used to it fast. In there, you get used to everything. Life is not really yours anymore so you just do what you have to do.

 I’m always asked if it was a problem to be gay inside a prison. And yes, it was. Once someone shouted it in the mess all, many guys looked at me instantly. Who I was wasn’t really a secret or what I had done. Not that I was famous before that or anything but lets say I made myself famous because of all the shit I did. I couldn’t go to my bunk without at least four guys looking at me in a not too flattering way.

 Which way was the best one to avoid all of their attention? I have no idea. Because I didn’t really repel all of them, I couldn’t. I’m a small guy, not very strong. I had to do thing to survive and I am proud of it. Some people are ashamed of their actions in jail but not me. I’m proud to have gotten out of there alive and well and I think that’s a huge accomplishment. So yeah, I let some of them, the powerful ones, have their way with me. It was the only way the others could leave me alone. The idea was to be seen as someone else’s property.

 Besides that, I did something even bolder, which gained me the respect of most of the men inside the prison. Maybe I wasn’t strong or big but I’ve always had a good brain and I knew I had to use it in order to make things easier for me there. In the first few months, I heard horrible rumors about some guy in the Nazi group that wanted to rape me somewhere no one could hear me scream. I heard it so many times I decided to go big and do my move first.

 His name was Duncan. He was a very tall guy and the few guys I hung out with told me he was a rather new guard. Apparently, he had been a soldier; veteran of all the recent fucked up wars that their country had started. So with only that in my hand, I decided to talk to him a little bit every single day. I heard him when he had something funny to say and he was kind to me, letting me in always first in the mess hall line and the shower line.

 Just some time after that, I was already letting him fuck me in broom closet no one really frequented as I was the one in charge of cleaning the floors in that area. It may see like a crazy thing I did and it was but it saved my life. He did that and I’m forever thankful.

 Being a guard, people knew they didn’t want to mess with him. So, by definition, they kept their hands away from me. I was protected and I really enjoyed it. It was then when I really made some friends in jail and started exercising more and, as crazy as it sounds, I was having a great time. I even slept nicely at night, with all the snoring and the body odors around me. I didn’t care anymore because I knew I was protected by someone everyone feared and it felt great. Sadly, it didn’t last very long as Duncan had decided he was a good person and he didn’t wanted prison to turn him bad.

 Somehow, I was broken hearted. Not only because I was afraid for my safety, but also because I was beginning to care for him. We didn’t just had sex, we also talked and had these small moments together I really appreciated because they… he made me fell like I was worth something in a place where you’re supposed to be repenting and feeling like a piece of garbage.

 The day he left, I cried while mopping the floors. On our last session together he didn’t say a word and neither did I. There wasn’t something I could say that would magically make things great between us, or that would change what was happening. We had to move on and we had to do it fast because we weren’t able to do anything about it. So he left, I cried for a while and that was the end of it.

 However, I forgot my Nazi problem. They knew very well Duncan had left and every single one of them decided to threaten me everyday. They wanted me scared out of my mind until the day their boss, the one with the tattoos, would order them to drag me somewhere dark and probably fuck me with something awful. I thought of it a hundred times and it did make me shiver and had no idea what to do.

 The truth is I had forgotten to know myself. They day one of them came to me, I fought. I broke his nose and crushed his foot. Another one threatened me with a razor he had gotten in and I was able to disarm him and tell a guard he had a forbidden item. He was send to solitary in a second. I had learned how to defend myself. So it was me who went to the tattoo guy and told him to go fuck himself.

 That action made me even more respected among some of the other inmates. The minorities if you will. I didn’t really identify with them but they soon became my friends and, some of them, my lovers. Even condoms can be found in a prison, if that’s what you want and I did. The following years were very hard on me but I got stronger and smarter and much more intelligent, being able to fool everyone, even me.


 The day I stepped out of prison, I realized the real world had moved along without me and it scared me. But only for that day. Because the following morning, I used what I had learned and got myself a job in no time. I have a life now, a real one. And, strangely enough, I have to thank prison and its population for that.

lunes, 18 de abril de 2016

You and all of us

   Who are you? Or rather, who do you think you are?

 You have been going around your life thinking what the purpose of everything is and you discover that purpose is not something that exists out of the blue; it is something you have to create and make yours. But you my friend, you are someone else. Possibly, you’re very far. Maybe you speak a very different language and have radically different traditions. Or is it the opposite? Are you so close it’s ridiculous life hasn’t made the connection yet?

 You’re probably sleeping now and it’s easy to picture you: your soft skin and beautiful legs lying on a bed. Your body has pushed away all covers and blankets because in the cold you will warm and when it’s really hot you dare to say it’s cool. Physically you have been so different so many times but the reality is you’re probably unique and absolutely different to what has been imagined now and before.

 Hopefully, you have a job and you like it. Or is that the problem? Is that why you haven’t arrived yet? Have you been delayed because you prefer to solve your more important problems first, rather than looking for love or whatever it is this could turn into? You probably have a nice head on those shoulders and have your priorities in order. Yet, it is possible you are a bigger mess than what happens here. That could be good… Or very bad.

 It’s very confusing and unnerving because you are the one. That’s it, really. You are the one that’s going to change someone else’s life and it’s hard to see how you’re supposed to be doing that. After all, you’re a human, you’re no superhero or god, and you cannot make extraordinary things happen. Or at least not the kind that shifts life from one side to the other, from up to down, from left to right. But you possibly know how to make changes.

 Yes. If you are the one you probably know how your make your voice be heard and make changes in your life that are permanent and powerful. This is clear because that’s the kind of person “the one” needs to be. Someone with a certain drive, a certain push in life that matches someone else’s drive and thrust. Because it’s not about one leading the other but about two people going hand by hand.

 It’s scary, but all of it could maybe not be love at all or at least not the kind of love one would expect. It would be hard if you were just a friend or maybe even less than that but if you are the one, then that probably doesn’t really matter. What matters is the change that you can bring, the energy you can balance with someone else. Romantic love is, after all, an illusion in most cases and, always, a distraction.

But then, what if you are that prince in a shining armor? It is so much fun to picture you, especially because you could be anyone. Maybe you are that guy in the supermarket that always stares for hours at all the cereal boxes. Or maybe you are the kind of man that loves car and football matches whenever they take place. Or you could even be from a different world, a different level in the social sphere. It could happen.

 But, do you know what you definitely are? Well, a possibility. Everyone is a possibility because we could all be that person that changes the life of one of the others in the world. It’s kind of a lottery when you know you’ve won but not how much and the prize can take its time to reach you. You could even lose in that lottery but that would be kind of impossible… Wouldn’t it be? Losing at life sounds to hard and harsh and just unfair. No, you win every time but in different ways, that’s one happens.

 Are you awake now? Are your eyes looking at a teacher in class, trying to follow what he’s talking about and you're not interested? Or are you alone, in a place very far from any other people? Maybe you like sports and you have your mind and body up to that task. Hopefully, you are a person that likes order and having everything neat and well put. If you’re not, it could prove difficult to be around you.

 But, it is important to know what kind of person you are, which thing you like doing and what makes you whole. Because even if you are the one, you are only complete when you are a whole other person. The kind of people that make a couple work as only one person, that’s not good because it doesn’t really make any sense. A couple is supposed to be about two, about differences and even about fights and disagreements, because the world is not perfect and that’s beautiful.

 So, what are your flaws? What do you think about yourself? Do you like your body or is there something that makes you look away from the mirror? All of that also makes you unique, one of a kind. It would be nice to tell you that you are perfect every single day, that that little thing you don’t like doesn’t matter at all because the larger picture is just the best there is. That would be the best.

 Imagining your skin is probably the most difficult thing. It’s probably soft and has a nice smell but when you haven’t touched or done something, it’s very hard to picture with accuracy. Like when you dream: most times you can only do there what you have actually done in real life. Except maybe flying, which is a mix of falling and just being in bed.

 It’s a little embarrassing but it’s probable you have done it too: picture the moment when you and your one meet and you two can finally be together. You can touch his naked body and he can touch yours and you can kiss and have sex like you have never had it before. Because that’s the expectation, don’t you agree? The idea is that that person makes the difference between having sex and making love. Hopefully you get to feel what that’s like and cherish it for the time you have it.

 That’s another thing. As humans we have an expiration date, which we don’t even know. So we cannot be around forever looking for that other person, we’re here for a while and then we just leave. So we really have to take advantage of everything we can do and just do it, unless it harms someone else. But if you really want to do something that makes you happy, just do it. Whoever turns out to be your companion, will love you being happy of course.

 Maybe you’re now on a beach, feeling the sand between your toes. Maybe your skin is darker or maybe lighter. Maybe your eyes are the color of hazelnuts or maybe the color of water or the color of grass. You are probably very “average”, whatever that is. But all of that doesn’t matter because it’s just the surface. Your are that but there’s so much more underneath, like a human iceberg if you will.

 The one could come in any shape or form and you probably enjoy him or her anyway. Because you won’t even have to think about it that much. The idea is that it just happens, in time and eventually. Maybe not magically and suddenly like in movies but it certainly builds up to something strong and stable but you won’t be able to see it until it is there, until it’s a reality and you notice it happened.

 That sounds a bit scary but it shouldn’t really be. That’s how life works in any case and it has been like that for many thousands of years and will keep the same way for other thousands. We just have to accept that special feeling, that kind of magic that happens in the moment. But mostly, we have to have patience and realize that life has ways to do things and that not everything works for everyone. Efforts to achieve a goal always have different results for different people.


 In any case, you’re there. You’re all there. And you will meet one day because that’s the most probable outcome. And you will get used to one another and when you realize, you will have what you always wanted. You will have picked up the last piece of the whole puzzle that is you. But that piece needs all the other pieces, or most of them, to work correctly. Never forget that.

domingo, 21 de junio de 2015

The cauldron

   Terrified with what he had seen in the cauldron, the knight ran down the stairs of the tower. He was running so fast he missed a step and his heavy armor made him fall hard on to the ground. He broke his neck and there ended the legend of the brave knight from the valley. What just happened was exactly the same thing he had seen in the thick and ever bubbling water of the cauldron, which only needed fire in order to reveal its secrets to the person in front of it. However, as the knight had realized, the cauldron did not receive orders or commands of any type so he showed whatever he wanted from the life of the person peeking in his waters, and as an element of black magic, the cauldron often showed people their deaths, which often happened before they could leave the tower.

 There was no castle to speak off. The dark witch who had created the cauldron had left it in that tower because there a person would have to go through several trials in order to finally get to the cauldron. There was a wasteland with living dead underneath it, a sea of quicksand, hungry wolves, rivers of fire and many other horrible creatures in the dark. It was no place for anyone who just wanted to take a look. The people that went there had decided, consciously, to ask the cauldron for its wisdom. They still believed the object was magical and good because the legend said so and no one had ever returned fro musing it. So many valiant folk went and died, their bodies adding up to the army of the dead of the wasteland or dying in some other horrible way.

 One day, a woman appeared in the far side of the wasteland. She was very beautiful and was completely alone. What was very strange was the fact that none of the creatures tried to eat her or even growl at her. Every single one of them kept a distance and she just walked slowly over the ashes, the crushed bones and the skulls of so many men and women who had come this far just to die and never had their questions answered. She got to the tower and, patiently, she walked up, looking through the small windows on the side of the tower. There was no one. She finally got to the cauldron and there she transformed into a very old lady, with a very mean face.

 It was the witch, the one that had created the cauldron. After many years of exile, she had decided to come here and wait. Out of nowhere, she materialized a kitchen, a bed and a loom. The room was also expanded in the inside but had been an imperceptible change from the outside. The old woman boiled up some water and made herself some tea and as she did, she just gazed at the cauldron. She couldn’t change it anymore, she couldn’t do anything for the souls that had been taken by it but she could offer the next man or woman the chance of seeing something more that his or her death. She wanted the cauldron, for the first time, to be able to grant wishes. She would do it only once and that’s would be it.

 The truth is she waited for several years, maybe even hundreds of years. As a witch, time didn’t affect her in the same way that it affected every other living thing. She would just cook and drink tea and work on beautiful pieces she made with her loom. That was until she felt someone entering the wasteland and she decided to take a look from the window. Using her magic, she was able to see it was a woman, a noble woman to be exact. Somehow, she had decided to cross the obstacle wearing a gown, with her heels on her hands. Her hair and makeup were all run down and her expression was desperate. It was clear she wanted something out of the cauldron and that she would be an interesting choice for the wish.

 She was almost caught by the dead, but she just took off her dress and threw her shows into a river of fire to be able to pass. She was very skilled as she kicked every creature in the right place, and jumped when she needed to. The witch thought that maybe that woman was too skilled, too bright to be here asking a cauldron for advice or a wish. Besides, the noble people did believe in fairy tales but would rarely go out to the world and try to see if their beliefs were actually truth. So the witch decided to wait and not to intervene in the good luck the woman was having crossing the obstacles. She would be with her in no time and it was important that she realized what kind of person the witch was. So she made everything disappear except the cauldron that was impervious to magic and just stood in the middle of the room, waiting.

 When the woman finally arrived, she fell to the floor tired, and did not even glanced at the witch. It seemed like hours passed with them just like that. The witch wanted to say something but the woman seemed to ignore her presence or at least not even care about her. It was when the noble woman stood up and walked to the cauldron, that the old woman stopped her with her cane and asked her what was she looking in this place. The woman finally looked at her and the witch screamed. That woman was no ordinary human, she was another witch, one much more powerful and twisted than she was.

 The noble witch announced herself to be Morgana, the eternal sorceress that had heard of the cauldron and had decided to destroy it. The older witch asked her why would she do that. She explained that the cauldron caused death, despair , fear and false hope, so why not let it be there to teach a lesson to all the humans that had always hurt the witches and their brothers and sisters. Morgana stood still not saying a word. She had, however, transformed from the almost noble woman to a beautiful tall woman with purple eyes and hairs as black as the night. She thought about what the older woman said and finally, she just smiled.

 With one word, one in an ancient language that no one ever spoke anymore, Morgana engulfed the old woman in deep red fire, burning her to death like many men had done to other witched before. But when she ended the fire, the witch was unharmed physically but mentally broken. She lay on the ground sobbing, not saying a single word. That was Morgana’s way of punishing a witch for letting her feeling rule over her. Even though as her words had been very convincing, her heart told the red fire the truth and that’s why she would never again be the same with or even woman that she had been before. She was now powerless and useless and would die soon but from natural causes. That was the price to pay.

 Morgana then peered into the cauldron and look at its surface for a long time. Nothing was revealed, the blackish water did not reveal any images or made any special sounds. It was as if the cauldron didn’t work on her but she knew better than that. It was because her magic protected her from the spell that had been put into it. So she tried to think of another way to use the cauldron to her advantage. Maybe in battle? Or put it in a less safe place? All those traps and trials on the way to the tower were really useless. If the point of the cauldron was to cause harm and even kill, why not put it in an open space and just let humans die for their stupidity? Maybe that was it… Morgana decided to take the cauldron back with her but then she realized something she had not expected: the cauldron wouldn’t move.

 She tried doing it in many ways, with her arms, her magic and her mind but nothing worked. The cauldron seemed to be glued to the ground somehow and just wouldn’t move. The old woman, still lying on the ground, started laughing like crazy. Morgana lifted her with magic and demanded she told her what to do to move the cauldron or she would kill her, this time for real. The witch looked at Morgana in the eyes and just spit at her. This enraged the legendary sorceress, who threw the witch against the hard stone wall and tried again to move the cauldron. She grabbed by the sides and pulled but she would only see the black waters inside and nothing else.

 Then, Morgana’s mouth began to dry and her eyesight suddenly disappeared. She screamed and fell to the ground, begin for the witch to do something to help her. The witch slowly stood up and transformed into the beautiful woman that had arrived before. She told Morgana that her magic was far darker and ancient that hers and that she should never underestimate the power of someone who has not only caused suffering but who has also felt it her skin, flesh and bones. Morgana found her feet and begged the witch for forgiveness and asked her to be her apprentice. She said they could be unstoppable if they united their powers, something the older witch was momentarily interested by.


 But with one stroke of her cane, she made Morgana’s body break into a million pieces that fell in the ground before being absorbed by the cauldron. The witch then disappeared and left the cauldron alone once again. But now, if anyone gets close enough, Morgana’s screams can still be heard, deep in the black waters of the mysterious cauldron.