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

miércoles, 22 de febrero de 2017

Everything is nothing

   As the blood dripped down to the floor, getting the thick white carpet wet and stained, the man just looked through the window, contemplating the lights of the city that had been his home for so many years. He hadn’t been born there but he felt as if he had. He had always felt like someone from the city and not the son of a farmer. Either way, it had all lead him to that moment in his life and he realized by looking at the city that he was all alone, as he was on the farm all those years ago.

 His name was Alan and his blood was very dark. He barely felt it sliding down is hand, his fingers, falling almost silently to the floor. The dagger he had used, an old antique he had bought on a trip to Vietnam, laid in the sofa. It was clean because his blood had not rushed out from him but had rather been very slow to come out, as if his body was trying to hold on to life as long as it could. But he had decided his own faith and there was nothing that could save him from it. There was no turning back.

 His apartment was very large, with five bedrooms, each with a bathroom. The kitchen had a lot of space to do all kinds of recipes and the cabinets added an almost never-ending amount of storage space. The living room was the part of the apartment where he stood, barefoot, looking at the twinkling lights of the city below. He had other antiques all around the house, including on his dinner table and the small lobby where he had greeted so many of his so-called friends and family.

 There was no family anymore. Helen had left months ago. She argued it was because of him, because he failed to touch her as much as she wanted too and hadn’t really been a sweet and caring husband during their short marriage. He had a different point of view to the matter: Alan knew his wife had been sleeping with someone, almost from the first day they had been married. He had pictures and even a couple of witnesses. But he wasn’t the kind of man to play all his cards at once.

 By the way, what she had said was the truth: Alan had never really loved Helen. The real thing was that Alan had never cared for anyone in his life. He had been born into a poor family with two sisters and three brothers. That house did not have any love either, just responsibilities. He had learned from a young age that what mattered was to work like a horse every day of your life to make some money and to be someone. To make people tremble when they heard your name, if possible. And Alan had dedicated his life to achieve exactly that.

 His eyes were beginning to go foggy and he stumbled bit, almost banging his head against the window’s glass. But he didn’t fell down; he remained where he was, his blood dripping still. He felt thirsty but he didn’t even try to go to the kitchen for something to drink. He just stood there, remembering how Helen had thought she had the moral high ground when they argued for the last time. She was an overly dramatic woman and he asked himself often why he had chosen her and not another.

 Well, that had a rather simple answer: she had been there when she was necessary. Helen was the daughter of a wealthy man, very well known in the business circuit. As Alan was climbing levels, he realized he had to have someone by his side to be supported by others. For some reason, people still mistrust someone that has chosen not to have a family or even not getting married. And Alan was one of those but he had to fake he was just like them. So he met Helen and eventually married her.

 The relationship lasted for less than three years. During that time, she slept with another man at least three of the seven nights of the week. Other three nights she spent at her family home, where her father and mother would shield her against her “horrible husband”. Only one night a week she spend it in her actual home, where she bitched and moaned at everything because that was the way she was, always trying to end something she had agree on building too, whether she remembered or not.

 Alan was not the kind of man to fall in love or have lovers. He had never hired a prostitute or even visited a strip club. He didn’t feel any of those urges that are the norm among men. And no, he didn’t felt it either for men or other living creatures. He didn’t really have any perversions of the mind or of the soul, at least not related to his romantic interests. That was because he had none. Love was not one of his priorities in life. It had never been like that and it would never be.

 It was probably the reason why, after living his farm at a young age and thanks to his own efforts getting a scholarship, he just left his family and never saw them again. They tried to contact him several times and he even checked on them she had checked on his wife, but every time he got information on them he realized he wanted them far from everything he had. His family was greedy and could be summed up as a group of awful people, stepping on each other to climb little bit further. They were awful and Alan did not want to have anything to do with them,

 With no family and no need or urge to love or even to fuck someone, Alan had always been alone. Because, of course, friends hadn’t been a priority either. No friends had meant that he finished high school and college much faster than anyone else. It had meant for him that no money was thrown into useless things like alcohol or drugs, instead he did the best investments possible and got much more money than he had always needed. Friends would have only been a distraction.

 He had always been alone and he had always been fine with been alone. Those long and luxurious trips he had gone to in order to get half of the things he had on his house, had been done by himself. He had no guides and no nagging wife telling him anything. He had enjoyed the purity of those places and he had even felt he belonged to something greater than him, something he had never reflected on in his life. Knowing the world changed some of his preconceptions on people and the world.

 His family was not religious so he had never learned what it meant to have faith. His wife was supposedly catholic but he had never seen her got to mass or say something in that regard. When he traveled, he discovered that spiritual side that had never really been in him. He started having many ideas about it and would spend long nights trying to decipher his own sense of religion and faith. For Alan, it was something fascinating to discover but he never really became a fanatic. He knew when to stop.

 It was during that study of faith, when he realized the kind of life he had lived. In general, nothing too bad could be said about it. His business movements had always been clean, he had tried to provide for a wife who hated him and had attempted to save various artifacts that he thought could be lost if he didn’t buy them and put them on display in his apartment. In his mind, he had done many good things and nothing that could be classified as “bad”. But he was very wrong.

 He had lived a sad, pathetic life, alienating everyone from it. Religion showed him that living with others improved a person’s well being, it improved their lives in ways he had never even thought possible. His life had been lost to material things, to what does not remain.


 Realizing he had done nothing with his life, that he had decided not to give any of what he had to an heir, Alan decided fast and firmly, as he had always done. He grabbed his precious dagger and cut his wrists the best way he could. And then waited, because there was nothing left to do.

jueves, 30 de junio de 2016

Unavoidable

   First, they packed everything in the living room. The lamps, the vases, all the little objects around the house, even the chairs and the big furniture. All of that could be covered in plastic and then put in a truck in order to move. It was the biggest thing Joan had ever done and she felt very nervous about it. Packing all of her house, the things that she had gathered through the years, was not easy. Every time she decided to help with the small objects, she started telling a long story about it, recalling where she had bought it or found it or who had given it to her.

 It was all because of her husband, Martin, who had accepted a surprise job offer around the world. They have never really been that far, always enjoying their holidays pretty close to home. That’s how they had lived for the past ten years. But then, Martin had come to the house with that information, the fact that they could choose to go if they wanted to. Her husband was kind enough to consult her before accepting the job. The thing was, she had no idea what to say.

 Joan had never really wanted to travel the world or nothing like that. She had never been an adventurous person. Her personal life dreams had already come to happen: she was married, had a beautiful home and had two young kids. She knew may of her friends thought she wasn’t aiming high or that she was very unusual for a woman in this day an age, but that was all she wanted. She didn’t want to see Paris or London, Joan was happy with their summer holidays when they used the car to get where they wanted.

 However, Martin would receive a very generous raise and the truth was they really needed it. They had always thought of getting a bigger place, improving their life a little bit more. He had always wanted to own a new car, a brand new SVU or something like that. They weren’t big objectives or anything but it was their idea to make their children have a better quality of life.

 The kids were unaware of what was happening but they did notice something was different about their parents. They were always talking about something they didn’t really understand and then they seemed to be thinking of something else all day. They didn’t really seem happy or sad, more like confused and oblivious.

 For the sake of change, she supported Martin in accepting the job. Things changed then because they had to begun moving everything and it was costly. First they had to throw away whatever they didn’t want to keep or give away several things, mostly minor objects around the house. They also planned on selling some of the kitchen items but they would do that at the end of their remaining time at home.

  Some family members came by to help with some of the stud, choosing what they should keep or what they wanted for themselves. It took forever to do all of that, as everyone wanted something. They all wanted to take something or the kids would fight for a thing they had not seen in ages or they would reminisce for hours without really getting much done. So they decided to tell their family and friends it was best for them to be away while they organized everything.

 The day the moving people took away everything in the living room, Joan almost died. She felt very sad that her home seemed to have been robbed or as if anyone lived there. She was exaggerating of course, because all other rooms remained the same. But there was something about seeing nothing in that living room that really affected her. Somehow, change wasn’t something she welcomed with open arms or anything like that. She was afraid of it.

 Joan tried to talk about it to her family, her mother specifically, but she shut her down by saying it was normal to feel strange when moving but that Joan needed to understand that life is best when nothing stands still. She even told her that death was good precisely because of that, as well as children births or accidents or promotions. They changed the game in order to make you learn more and be creative and imaginative.

 But Joan didn’t care for all of that. She cried at night sometimes, after Martin had fallen asleep, as she was scared even more change would come her way. What if her husband changed too much in that other country? What if her children resented her for moving somewhere everything was so different. What if she was the one who changed, really transforming in to someone she had never wanted to be?

 The next room to be cleared was the studio. Lots of books in boxers, an old desktop computer that was sold for parts and some more little objects they had bought in their holidays and such. She couldn’t contain her tears when the truck came and took all those boxers away. She didn’t say a word to the men who came, who had been the same than before. Joan didn’t know what to say or what to ask. She felt they were taking everything from her.

 She was normally very active all around the house and outside of it. She would participate in various school activities or in the community center nearby, she would buy new thing for her house or change the decoration a bit, doing a lot of things by herself. But now, she couldn’t do any of that as it made no sense to keep doing them. No more baking, no more cute decoration in the kids rooms.

 Her children were actually the ones that noticed she had changed somehow. Her youngest, which was nine years old, approached one day in her room and asked if everything was ok. She was now suffering because her kids’ rooms were next. They were sleeping in the sleeping bags they used to go to camp. Their actual beds had been sold and new ones would be bought for their new homes. They had decided that themselves. Children were always looking forward to change, or so she thought.

 Plushies and toys and all other stuff had been selected by them: some were on boxes while others were in bags in order to be given away as donations to the community center.  They didn’t seem to mind. She thought they were going to be very upset once the asked them to do such a thing but there was no outburst or bad reaction. They just did what they had to do and seemed only mildly worried about sleeping in those sleeping bags. They had never really like those.

 The moving men came again and took everything away form those rooms. The following day they came for things of the master bedroom, which was the second to last to be scrapped of its objects. Joan asked Martin to take care of that, as it was a Saturday. He was very fast in deciding what he wanted to keep and what not and she let him handle it all except her clothes. She had to pack those herself, which was also a nightmare. Throwing the old and keeping what she liked in big traveling bags.

 Soon, they were also sleeping on the floor like their children. Two days after that, they were going to come for the remaining objects in the house, particularly some stuff in the kitchen, and that would be it. Their flight was on Tuesday so they had planned it all perfectly. Joan became more and more anxious, unable to stay inside the house for too long. She would often go to the backyard but it was difficult to be there too, as it brought too many memories to her mind.

 On Monday, she decided not to be there when the men came. Martin could handle it. She decided to go to a spa with a friend, to get a full treatment. She enjoyed herself a lot, almost forgetting why she had chosen to do that. Afterwards, they had lunch in their favorite restaurant and talked about the elephant in the room. Joan had no other choice than to tell her friend how she really felt about it all.

 Her friend told her she understood how she felt a lot, because she had lived all of her life travelling. But she assured Joan she didn’t have anything to fear as, maybe, she could discover many more things about herself in a different environment. She could try to get out of her comfort zone.


 That phrase made Joan think all the rest of the day and even the day after, when they were driving to the airport. Once they reached the security area, she realized it was all for real and that it was happening. The moment they sat down on the plane, Martin on one side and her children on the other, Joan realized she had nothing to fear. A few deep breaths and then she was ready to dive into her next big adventure.

jueves, 14 de enero de 2016

Awards

   He sipped a bit of the coffee and burned his tongue right away. It was too hot and he was in a hurry, so nothing different could have happened. He decided to put at least half the pot he had made in a thermos and just take that in the car. It was pitch black outside and the van would pick him up in any minute.

Of course he hadn’t had any sleep at all. He usually went to sleep very late and he had in the auditorium at five in the morning, with didn’t really gave him much time to do anything. He decided to not even try to sleep and shower and get ready at around two of the morning, se he could have breakfast before they came to pick him up at 3:30 AM.

 But as things that shouldn’t happen always find a way of becoming truth, he dozed off for a while and he lost the time to have a proper breakfast, which resulted in him burning his tongue and running around his house like an idiot. The van arrived only minutes afterwards so he just took his thermos with him and went as fast as he could, although the elevator apparently had a problem with that, as it felt it took double the time to get to the ground floor.

  There he finally met the man that drove the van, who he apologized to. The man didn’t even acknowledge that an explained him that he needed to check him for envelops, microphones, cameras and so on. The poor guy that hadn’t slept more than half an hour wasn’t sure he was getting what the driver of the van was telling him. The man attempted to touch him but he just pulled apart in fear.

       - “It’s for security, Mr. Thomas!”

 Somehow, that enunciation woke him up a bit and he decided to stay very still as the man checked his pockets (jacket and pants), felt everything he had to feel and even asked him to take off his shoes. He complied to everything as if he was in a boot camp which made them loose about fifteen minutes of their time, that he had thought to be precious. After checking the shoes and even the socks, the man finally told him to follow him to the van.

 Mr. Thomas sat down in the far back, not wanting to talk at all with that man during the ride. After all, it was a half-hour drive from his house to the headquarters of the services firm where they had to pick up a suitcase that had all the information they needed by five in the morning in the theatre. He knew he wasn’t the only idiot waking up at such time of the day and that made him feel a little better about himself. So when the van started moving towards the highway, he was a bit more awake than before.

 As they travelled through an unusual cold morning in Los Angeles, light still absent, he decided to finally have some coffee and just enjoy the ride. He decided to pay attention to the world and the world revealed itself to him in a way he had never seen. After all, it wasn’t everyday that he woke up at this time of day, when every single person that was up seemed to have a certain thing about them.

 The driver was the first in that list. He was a very tall guy, the kind that when they bend over it looks ridiculous. When he was checking Mr. Thomas’s shoes, his body contorted in the most funny shape ever and the owner of those shoes almost laughs, partially because of the time of day but also because tall people always looked funny in the simplest positions. Besides his height, he had this weird thing where the mustache was the same color of his hair, which was blonde, but the eyebrows were very black. Somehow it looked odd, as if he was a big Mr. Potato Head.

 The next person that drew his attention was a lady on the street. They stopped in a red light for a while and he saw this elderly woman, body curved as it was humanly possible, walking her Chihuahua in the middle of the night. What was curious about the woman was not at all the fact that she was walking her dog at that time, which he knew to be very common among dog owners, but that she was wearing the strangest combination of clothing. She had a large overcoat, the color of flamingos. Under that she had a flowery shirt that looked too big for her, kaki shorts and fluffy sleepers with a baseball cap crowning her head.

 She was a sight to behold and that was only for a couple of minutes, before they got in the highway and he only saw some cars and a couple of dead pigeons that had been killed by crazed drivers or just by people that had not realized that birds wee not the brightest creatures in the universe. When he saw those bodies, he couldn’t stop thinking about the poor man or woman that had to clean that up from the asphalt of the highway as his or her job. That thought made him realize he was a very lucky guy with a very good job and that he had no right to complain about something as silly as waking up early in the morning.

 It seemed that in no time they were in downtown Los Angeles, stopping in almost every stupid traffic light. He saw his watch nervously, telling himself that if he was a couple of minutes late it wouldn’t really be that big of problem as the show began a little later than five. But then he remembered he had to pass the information to the people than made a nice little presentation video for people at home to get what the presenters were saying. He worried again when he thought of this.

 It was right then when they finally got to the skyscraper where the services offices were located. He got out of the van and remembered what they had told him: he had to go the information desk and ask for Tamara Parks. Then, they would direct him to the top floor where Ms. Parks would give him the briefcase with all the information they needed in the theater.

 So he did just that. The man at the information desk was a security guard; obviously the person that tactually worked there had not yet arrived. The man gave him a badge and told him to take the middle elevator and press the button to the top floor. Said elevator took forever to arrive and also to get up there. It seemed to be going for ages. He checked his watch several times and repeated to himself that they were on time and that the theater was not that far away. He realized the elevator had a mirror so he decided to check his suit for stains or anything unusual, his teeth and his face. It was right then the elevator decided to stop and open.

 This startled him but no one was outside waiting. He had to walk to an office and wait there in a waiting room for the woman. But he didn’t have to wait at all. She was there and greeted him with a big smile that he would be unable to do at that time of day. She asked him to follow her to a conference room and there he found the briefcase but also two big guys, with black glasses and earpieces. Somehow, it was funny to see them there, as if they were thing to put in a room like plants or statues.

 Ms. Parks explained they were the security team assigned to join him to the theater to ensure all the information got there safely and that only the people that had to see it saw it and no one else. They checked everything in five minutes and then they were good to go. He left the smiling Parks in the top floor but was joined in the elevator by the two big guys who didn’t smile at all.

 He was a bit relieved when he got to the van and this time the driver decided to speed up as he realized time was running short. The theater was not far away and, with the presence of the two big guys, Mr. Thomas had no opportunity to see the outside world, mainly because he was trapped between those two mountains that were apparently people.

 Exactly at five in the morning, they pulled off outside the theater and there was already someone waiting, telling her they were a bit late which was a lie. Apparently people there were very stressed. The four of them walked, almost jogged, to the theater and there straight to the master room when a lonely woman was waiting for them behind a computer. It was Mr. Thomas job to only look at her work like crazy for the next twenty minutes, helped only by another man.


 When the presentation was done, Thomas’s work was done. The big men would guard the briefcase and   he could just sit in the back of the theater and hear the name of the nominees from there. At that point, he was finally awake and also very excited because he knew he was part of something that meant a lot to many people and that was, somehow, the pinnacle of their efforts and the most coveted prize in the cinema industry.

miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2015

Unexpected

   Adam had always been, to the eyes of others, perfect. He had always been taller than others, but not too tall. He was also smart, but not exceedingly intelligent. He was a very sporty guy but also found time to enjoy and participate in so many other activities such as theatre and dancing. Besides, everyone loved his physique, his smile and his nice and gentle way of being. He was perfect, as said before but the only thing people judged him for was the choice of his career. He had envisioned, at first, to become a professional footballer. Then, as he was stopped everywhere he went, he was asked to be a model several times and he enjoyed every experience he had doing that. He even acted on a couple of TV advertisements for products aimed at young people.

 So it was a surprise, to everyone, that he ended up being a porno star. Yes, Adam had found a way to earn his life honestly by taking his clothes of and having sex on camera. As a model, he knew he looked great on camera and as a sports player he knew his body was more than enough to be able to pose naked. The sex part was the most awkward for him but once he got to know the people, it was more comfortable. He had chosen this path, solely because his family was having money issues and he wanted to help them as much as he could so the best way to do it was with porn, as they paid fast and generously. Before he realized, he became one of the favorite actors and he was doing movies in other places, travelling for conventions and getting more and more in the industry.

 Different was the life of David, who was not a perfect guy, or at least he would never be named as such by anyone he knew. He was not good at sports and he didn’t really like any of them. And the concept of going to a gym, a “cage for monkeys” as he put it, was not even in consideration. He was smart but not intelligent and he had no special talents, at least not that he had found in himself. Physically, David was rather short and not fat but not skinny either. He didn’t really like to take his clothes off at the beach but didn’t mind doing it in his house. David and Adam were very different but, somehow, they ended up in the same place.

 But not in the same capacity. David had gone to college and studied to become a film director. He loved movies and wanted to make his own, mainly science fiction and maybe some action ones. He loved everything that had to do with creation and writing and he was ready, at some point, to take over the world with his ideas. But that didn’t happen. Finding a job, specially when you’re young and have no experience. So David sent his curriculum everywhere and only one company responded. He only found it was a porno production company once he went there for an appointment with the head producer. But he saw it was money and he needed experience so he took the job.

 The two guys didn’t meet immediately or anything. Adam was too busy getting famous in his medium and, eventually, he even told his family about what he really did for a living. They were shocked at first and even prone to convince him not to keep working on porn, but then they realized it was that money that had put them through rough times, so they couldn’t really say much. With time, they learned to respect Adam’s decision and they would simply not ask him anything about his job, except maybe when it was him that brought it up, normally something from a trip or a funny story he had lived. He understood those unspoken conditions and was fine with them, as he knew his family would eventually be ok with it.

 He would travel a lot, going from city to city, country to country, visiting all conventions aimed at adult entertainment. The funny thing the first couple of times was the amount of people that recognized him. Both men and women knew who he was from ads online or his movies and that, to him, felt very strange but very good too. He would pose with many fans for pictures and would sign various deals in those places, to put his face on several products sold to adults, toys and so on, but he also signed on for more and more movies, in other countries and with actors and actresses he had never worked with. He had good experiences and bad too but he was always “the perfect guy” and that was even the name of one if his movies.

 David, on the other hand, was working very hard for not so much money. At first the pay was good but then he was transferred to another production company, one that was smaller, and his workload became much larger and his paycheck much smaller. He endured for a bit as others praised him because of his technical ability, something he didn’t even know he had in himself. He did so for several months until he was transferred back to the place where he had a better workload and was surprised to know they wanted him to do the lighting for all the top movies they were releasing. That meant, that all the movies he would do would be the ones the production company was going to push harder on their clientele and that meant also that David’s work would be known.

 The young man was happy to see that people know respected him more, even if they didn’t always knew his name. He had control over a whole section of these movies and, even if they weren’t what he wanted his life to be about, it was a good beginning, as his technical expertise would suffice to make someone important look at him. But at the beginning it was all about porn and filming in these crazy locations such as lavish mansions and fantastic forests and even a rundown train station. It was funny to him how everything got into porn in such an easy way and no one even doubted it would work.

 After returning from a filming in Japan, Adam had several hours on the plane to think about his life. He was as perfect and gorgeous as he would ever be and he had the favor of many people that surrounded him but he had started to wonder if he didn’t need something more in life, maybe something to call his own. He had the idea of starting a pizza business but the idea remained there on his mind because of the amount of responsibilities he had and that he couldn’t ignore. People were also asking why he didn’t have a girlfriend or a boyfriend but he would never answer those questions and he didn’t really know the answer. Maybe it was because, in that line of work, it was best not to combine your personal life and your private one and adult movies are something not every couple would understand fully.

 Meanwhile, David had been contacted by an independent filmmaker, who had asked him to pitch him some ideas for a mystery movie. He had seen David’s work in the adult industry and had also read some of his stories that he published online and had been surprised by his ability to tell stories. So now David had a way to slip away from porn and reroute his life towards what he really wanted. But as he developed the mystery film, he didn’t stop working with the company that had paid him for so long. After all, he had commitments to them and he didn’t wanted to just drop everything and move on to something he didn’t even know if it would work or not. So he opted for patience.

 Eventually the mystery film went into production and David decided it was time to leave the adult film industry. He announced it to his boss and they scheduled together his last film that would star none other than The Perfect guy, in other words, Adam. Curiously, it was Adam’s last film too before he decided to move along and create his pizza business with his family. The filming was very relaxed, despite being quite ambitious for a porno film. They had amazing cameras and lights and costumes. It was a true film being made and it was, for many, the first time porno films were being done in such magnitude, with such grandeur and potential. It was supposed to be a game changer.

 The truth is, Adam and David only spoke once and it wasn’t even a conversation. It was David telling Adam to move a couple of steps backwards for the lights to hit him in the best way and Adam complying. That was it. Adam was of course no interested in David, as he didn’t even acknowledged him at all. David, on his side, did look at Adam extensively as it was stupid not to but he got bored after the first half hour. He was just too “up there” and he was just himself. So after they wrapped up, everyone went home and carried on with their lives.


 Adam’s business was a success, although only in his hometown were the pizzas sold nicely and people would often ask him if he was who they thought it was and also asked for a picture. David’s mystery film was well received in festivals and he went on to win a couple of awards for it. He moved on to be a prolific director, notably adding very intimate scenes in many of his movies, all of them beautifully lit.