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

miércoles, 9 de mayo de 2018

The morning after


   The moment I opened my eyes, I had to closet them shut again. The ray of light falling on the bed ignited an instant headache. Besides, the amount of alcohol I had consumed the night before was piercing through my brain. Both pains made me stay there for a while, until I realized I was not at home. It was strange to notice it by just smelling the covers in the bed, but that was the thing that really made me wake up. I was completely naked on that large bed, in a very beautiful room that seemed particularly spacious.

 I got out of bed and walked towards the window. I was in an apartment building, probably in the seventh floor or so. I could see a park right in front of me: some people were walking the dog and others their babies. The sun was up there, in the sky, shining brightly with only a few clouds covering its warmth. It was probably around midday. Then, I realized I hadn’t gotten home. Walter, my cat, would be begging for food. I had completely forgotten about him the night before, because of the alcohol.

 I turned around and looked for my things: I found my cellphone on the floor, near the bed. But I couldn’t really see my clothes. I entered the bathroom and it was very big, the size of my room in my apartment. My clothes were nicely folded on the counter, just besides the sink. I took that as a sign to wash my face. Cold water felt amazing on my skin, it really help woke me up for good. I realized I had some breakouts on my face, no idea how the hell I had gotten someone to take me to their place looking like that.

 Then I realized, rather slowly, than someone had actually been there with me. I checked the garbage bin in the bathroom and, sure enough, there were two condom wrappers. I felt kind of bad in that moment but also good because even in that state I had been careful enough to protect myself. That was something. Now, I had to put on my clothes and walk the famed walk of shame towards my home. I really wanted the man I had been with to be out at that moment, I had no intention of talking to him.

 As I put on my underwear and my socks, I tried to remember what I had done the night before. I had met a friend in a restaurant and from there we had gone to a party filled with people. So many people, that I had felt I needed some booze in order to properly socialize. I have never been the kind to be great at communicating, so I know I had drunk some vodka or something. The party must’ve worked like a charm for me because I had woken up in a very nice place the next morning. I had no idea what I had done after I started drinking. No idea at all, which wasn’t a good thing.

 When I was fully dressed, I checked my jacket to see if my wallet and my keys were there. And they were. I also found some mints, which I must’ve grabbed from the restaurant. I didn’t really want to get out of that room, but it was necessary in order to get home. I had to find the main entrance fast and just run out of there, whatever happened. Walking towards the bedroom door, I heard something that paralyzed right there on the spot: someone was whistling very nearby, probably in the same apartment.

 I doubted for a moment but then I just opened the door and walked fast, looking around me: there was a small corridor with paintings all around and then the living room. There was no one there and the entrance was probably very near. I was looking for a door as I passed the dining room but then I realized there wasn’t a main door but an elevator. I pressed the button, all the while thinking that the rent for such a place was probably something I would never be able to pay in this life or the next.

 Then, another noise: the elevator rang a bell as it arrived. Just when the doors opened, a man appeared from the other side of the dining room. His hair was all over the place and he was wearing an apron with cartoons drawn on it. I noticed right away that he wasn’t wearing any else beneath the apron. The elevator doors closed again, as I hadn’t gotten inside. I was paralyzed looking at him, as he walked closer and asked me if I was already leaving. I felt, once again, like a complete piece of shit. I wanted to sink on the ground.

 I have to say that he was a very nice looking guy. He wasn’t a top model or anything but his body looked pretty decent behind that silly apron, and his hair was very cute as it was. What got me, almost surprised me, were his eyes. He had beautiful honey colored eyes. They seemed like the kind that change colors depending on how the person feels. For a moment, I forgot at what he had told me because of those beautiful eyes. How could I not remember them from the night before? How could that even happen?

He smiled and asked again. I told him I had to leave because my cat was probably hungry and I really needed to get to him. He smiled again and asked me to have something to eat before I left. At first, I told him I couldn’t but he insisted and I just couldn’t say no to those beautiful eyes. So I followed him to the kitchen, were he told me he understood my hurry. He whistled again, but in a different way, and out of nowhere a cat, white as snow, jump out and started doing turns around his legs. The animal looked at me with a certain curiosity, but didn’t get near me immediately.

The guy asked me to sit down on a high stool on the bar the kitchen had. I did, trying to conceal the fact that I had no idea who he was, his name, profession or, really, anything about him. Remembering was not really something I could do and even if I tried, my headache would grow in size. He then put a glass of tomato juice in front of me, saying it was very good for hangovers. I smiled at him and drank some. I had been a little bit too innocent thinking he had no idea I was severely drunk the night before.

 The juice was delicious and then he served pancakes with lots of syrup and strawberries. I hadn’t eaten pancakes in a long time, as I never really had time in the morning to do such a simple thing. And the days I did have the time, I would just spent that time sleeping, trying to feel rested. As I ate, he spoke about cooking and I just stared, ate and nodded. I couldn’t really do anything else because I still had no idea who he was, what kind of person he was and what kind of person he thought I was.

 Had I been a very honest drunkard, telling him every single thing there was to know about me? Or had I been the type of drunken idiot that comes up with an alternate lifestyle out of nowhere in order to seem more interesting? He had stopped talking and apparently I was doing some funny face because he smiled again and told me it was a shame that I probably didn’t remember him. Right then, I laughed loudly. I just couldn’t help but feel relieved and the way to let it all out was laughing like a crazy person.

 I confessed I had no recollection of the night before and that I felt really bad about it. I was about to say a bunch of meaningless things, in order to make him feel a little better, but he interrupted me and said that he was very happy to have met me anyway, as he hadn’t met anyone so good looking and great in bed as me in a long time. I laughed loudly again, but he just looked at me, no smile or anything in his face. He had meant every word. I stopped and blushed like a high school girl. I felt so stupid.

 I finished my pancakes and told him I really had to leave. He asked if he could take me home but I decided against it because I needed to buy some things before getting home. After all, I had run out of cat food and I had just realized that. He smiled and asked if he could hug me goodbye. I said yes.

 You know what’s weird? I felt that hug in my soul. It made me warmer. I felt better after it and realized he was a really nice person. I pressed the elevator button again. I got in and right before the doors closed, I asked him his name. He smiled and winked at me, waving his phone at me. Right then, I got a message on my phone and the doors closed.

miércoles, 22 de noviembre de 2017

Thanksgiving

   She gave herself one last look in the mirror before grabbing her purse and her jacket. Jackie caressed her cat Milo before heading out into the night, where she would have to get into a cab and then wait inside before arriving and the Thanksgiving dinner she had been invited to only some days earlier. Paul had been kind enough to invite her and she knew they didn’t knew each other that well yet, so his gesture was all the more difficult to understand but welcomed. After all, she was very far from her own family.

Jackie’s new job as an assistant editor had forced her to move out of her small city to a bigger one, where she would have many more opportunities to grow. At first, she had been very reluctant to leave her home but it was her own parents that almost forced her to take that big new step in her life. They had never had the opportunity to do something like that and they wanted her to have everything they hadn’t been able to have in their respective youths. They were going to miss her deeply but it was necessary for her to leave.

 Starting somewhere else she had never being to was difficult the first few months but the amount of work had numbed her response to anything happening around her. Thanksgiving was the first time she was leaving her small rented apartment in order to actually have fun. She would leave everyday really early for work and then head back at night to sleep there. She would cook something as soon as she arrived and pack it for the next day. That was her routine and she was grateful for it because it didn’t require thinking.

 That party, however, did require a lot of it. She had to buy a proper dress, something she didn’t have in her wardrobe, and accessorize it with nice things and, of course, a great hairdo. She bought some fashion magazines to give her a good idea of what girls from the city liked to wear but she felt none of those styles actually fitted her. She was more the kind of staying at home and enjoy a new TV show, rather than going out to a club dancing or something like that. She had to go to several stores before finding a dress she liked.

 The woman that helped her was the one who advised her on which earrings and shoes she should wear with it. Thankfully, some of her own stuff was perfect for it, saving her a big amount of money she wouldn’t have being able to spend, unless she went in debt or something and that was something her parents had warned her against. She also borrowed a neighbor’s jacket, a girl named Olivia who had become her best friend in the city. That was something to say because they didn’t really know each other that well but Olivia had seen Jackie with her dress bag and sad expression and just knew she needed help.

 When she arrived at the venue, a very impressive restaurant on the twentieth floor of a very old and majestic building, Jackie felt she was entering some sort of book. The people tending to the guests were dressed like those butlers that you see on period dramas or something like that. She even smiled when one of them offered her a glass of champagne, which she accepted trying to fit in. She suddenly felt a little bit out of her element and tried to look for her friend all around. But the place was fairly big.

 The venue was like a palace inserted into a building. There were long and luxurious stairs that separated two floors, both of which had different rooms were people could stand up or sit down, have a drink or dance around if they wanted. No loud music thought. There was a live band playing some modern songs but in such a way it seemed the whole place had been transported magically back to the 1950’s. It was a very nice atmosphere but also a bit uncomfortable for Jackie, who wasn’t used to something like that.

 Her friend Leslie appeared from behind. He was a tall, very white and lanky man, who worked in the technical area of the magazine. He was the one who made it possible for the editor to make a digital edition to be on display for all of those women, and some men, who paid for the magazine online. He was one of the first people that invited Jackie to have lunch with him when she arrived, stating that he had always been the lonely kid in school and would have never wanted to have someone feel like that if he could do something about it.

 They laughed for a while before talking about the food and drinks and how fantastic the place was. Leslie explained that the place was owned by a very old club, which had been created by his grandmother many years ago. He didn’t say a word, but it was obvious his family was very wealthy. He tried to make it all seem like if it was something everyone could experience but Jackie soon realized that wasn’t the case at all. Elitist was maybe a very strong word but it would be appropriate for the situation.

 Leslie took her by the arm and carried hair up the stairs, to a room all decorated in gold and some red elements. There, she was presented to his family. Leslie’s mother Corinne was a very nice lady that was obviously not used to such luxury either. The young woman soon deduced it was her husband who had been born into wealth and not her. It was not only the way she spoke and moved but also the things that she didn’t do. Jackie liked her from the first moment and so did Corinne, who had never really liked any of her son’s friends because of their way of behaving in public.

 Helen, Leslie’s grandmother, was someone very different. She sat on a big chair and didn’t move too much. It wasn’t like she couldn’t walk or something like that. It was obvious that she wanted everyone to be around her and to be, to an extent, the center of everyone’s attention during her time in the event, which was actually short for being such a matriarch. The moment dinner was served in a very large table, she disappeared. Jackie asked about her whereabouts but no one answered. It was her thing.

 It wasn’t until much later in the evening when Jackie met Leslie’s father. He had just arrived from a very long flight, claiming he had taken a limousine straight from the airport to be able to share some time with his family. His wife was happy to see him but Leslie had a very different response. Jackie could tell he just stopped himself from joking around as he usually did and he became this stiff man that couldn’t almost speak a word. It was a very unsettling thing to see.

 And George, his father, was not at all an intimidating man. He was actually very charming; enchanting everyone present with some stories about his trip to Asia and the people he met there. He also told some jokes but many of them did not find an audience with Jackie. Maybe she was too oblivious or the content just went over her head. But the most likely reason was she was trying to make Leslie speak, with little to no success. He really seemed to have become a human icicle.

 Then, out of nowhere, a member of the staff came in rushing into the dining room, straight for Leslie’s father. He spoke in a very low register and fast enough no one could really understand what he was saying, not even Jackie who was fairly close. Whatever he was talking about, it was very serious because George’s expression went from utter joy to a very grim expression that drained all color from his face. The staff member left and George’s father stood up, trying to make people calm down.

 He announced, in a very deep voice, that his mother had just passed away in her apartment “upstairs”. He apologized for ending the evening, but the circumstances were very unique. Everyone stood up and headed to the lobby, to pick up their belongings.


 Leslie was still like a stone but he seemed to move his eyes, which was an improvement. Jackie wanted to stay with him but Corrine personally put Jackie’s neighbor’s jacket on her back and joined her outside where a cab was already waiting. She didn’t even have a moment to talk or think.

lunes, 30 de enero de 2017

Early hours

   For some reason, he wasn’t able to sleep properly, as he would have wanted. Ever since he could remember, his eyes opened automatically very early, always around seven o’clock in the morning. Every single time he tried to keep sleeping, staying in bed and covering himself up with his bed sheets, he failed miserably as his eyes wouldn’t close for anything, no matter how much and how long he tried. When he had something to do late some day, he just woke up that early and then waited.

 If he ever had to wake up earlier than that, then there was no problem. It was over sleeping that was the problem and not the other way around. Certainly, it was a very uncommon thing, but very real nevertheless. Craig, that was his name, had become an expert in handling all those hours that he normally had to spare on days he didn’t have to work or on weekends. He tried to use them for exercising or doing some of the things he never got to do when he was busy like his taxes and stuff like that.

 It was this early, once he went cycling around his neighbourhood, when he met someone that had a problem with his bike. His name was Rick and he his bicycle on the lawn of a park, trying to figure out what was wrong with it. As Craig had gathered a considerable amount of expertise related to cycling, he decided to stop and help the guy, carrying the bike to a near gas station where they could check the tires for any problems. Indeed, the issue was that something had cut through one of them.

 Rick felt really silly and blamed his accident to the fact that he hadn’t been sleeping much. That small phrase caught Craig’s attention, who rapidly responded by smiling and confessing he rarely slept too much, instead doing things like cycling to spend the time. Rick was very intrigued by that, so he asked Craig if he would like to join him for some lemonade while walking towards his house. There was a place nearby that made an excellent, sweet, lemonade.

 They each bought one and talked about everything as they sipped lemonade and walked with their bicycles on the side. Craig realized, once he got home, that he had practically neglected to actually exercise that day. But he didn’t mind because of two reasons. The first was because he didn’t cycle to exercise as such but to get distracted and spend time he didn’t want to waste. And the other reason was because he had enjoyed Rick’s company too much and would have wanted to spend even more time with him. It had been a nice thing to ask for his phone number.

 He had to wait a week, until next Saturday, to receive a text message on his phone. Rick wanted to know if he was going to go out on his bicycle again, as he had already fixed his bike’s tires and he was looking forward doing it correctly this time. Craig wrote him that he was indeed coming out with his bicycle and that he would love to meet to exercise together. Sure enough, Rick was on the front door of Craig’s building very early on Sunday, yawning a lot but with a smile.

 That day, they both really exercised a lot. They went very far, some ten kilometres away. There they looked for some place to have something to drink and then they came back to Craig’s apartment. As the only thing to drink they had found was a store they had bought some water bags from, Craig decided to invite Rick to his apartment, for a proper breakfast. Rick refused at first, saying he still had to go to his house, but as Craig knew it wasn’t very far, he accepted the invitation.

 The bikes stayed on the basement, behind Craig’s car. On the elevator going up to the apartment, the two men realized they didn’t know what to talk about. They were tired but at the same time they both felt it was necessary to speak, as they were going to spend some more time together that day. But not a word was said in the elevator. On the fifth floor, Craig grabbed his keys from his pocket opened the door. Rick was visibly uncomfortable, as Craig walked stretching his arms into the air.

 They both entered the kitchen and then decided to make omelettes for breakfast. Realizing how tense Rick appeared to be, Craig decided to make the moment very interactive: he would ask the other guy fro every single ingredient for breakfast and Rick would have to look around for it. Surprisingly enough, he was very fast with everything, finding all necessary items in just a few seconds. The game was a very smart way to break the ice and initiate a proper conversation.

 As the eggs cooked, Craig explained Rick everything about his rare condition, where he couldn’t sleep past seven o’clock, how he blamed his childhood for it and some funny things that had happened as the years had gone by, during those early hours. Then, it was Rick’s time to talk about himself. He chose to acknowledge the fact that he was very shy but that he was always trying to push himself forward, in order to meet new people. He confessed that was the first time his experiments had actually been successful. Craig proposed a toast with orange juice.

 They spend the morning eating and talking, until they realized the moment was becoming very awkward again. Thankfully, Rick’s phone rang and broke an uncomfortable silence that had settled in. They didn’t write or called each other during the week. But, at least Craig, certainly thought about Rick when his mind wasn’t busy doing something else. He realized he felt something but he didn’t know what it was and it bothered him. So he tried not to think about it too much.

 The next weekend, nothing. Rick didn’t call or sent a text. Nothing at all. That was the first Sunday in a long time that Craig spent in his bed. He decided he was tired of exercising and instead chose to watch an animated movie he had never paid attention to. He surprised himself by doing that, as he wasn’t the type of guy to watch cartoons but he thoroughly enjoyed his morning, complete with a big bowl of cereal and sliced bananas. He felt like a younger self again, for some time.

 That afternoon he decided to go to the supermarket, as his refrigerator was becoming more and more empty. He normally didn’t worry too much about it, as he normally ate outside of the house, but an urge to eat better thing took over him, so Craig decided he wanted to start cooking more. He was on the pasta aisle when he heard a familiar voice. At first, he thought he was imagining it and got very embarrassed with himself because of that, but then he realized it was really happening.

 Slowly, he moved his shopping cart around the corner into the next aisle. There he was: Rick was talking to a small girl. Apparently she was deciding which cereal she was going to buy. The decision was down to a pink box with princess related stuff painted on it, or a red box with a big panda on the front, eating something that looked like tiny chocolate cylinders. The girl grabbed the pink box and hugged it. Rick smiled and then his eyes moved up, to see Craig standing there like a lamp.


 There was no way of pretending he hadn’t been looking so he only waved and smiled. He didn’t come closer; somehow his legs wouldn’t move his body forward. There was a tense moment, in which the only noise was the girl trying to make Rick move from his spot. They didn’t say anything. Craig was the one who moved first, turning around, almost sprinting to the nearest paying point. Once he was at home, he decided that his early hours would never be used to do any exercise again, or at least not one that involved meeting strangers, as if that had anything to do with his embarrassment at the moment.

sábado, 5 de noviembre de 2016

Active dreaming

   When I realized, I was at the beach. But it wasn’t like all other times. This time I was the only person there. My bare feet sunk into the sand as the ocean brought water and foam to the shore. The rhythm of the water was pretty soothing and I couldn’t help but notice the most particular colors in the horizon. The sun was going down and it was a show that deserved to be seen. I felt as if I was the only person allowed to see the beauty of the world and I was thrilled to have been chosen. I sat down on the sand and watched the lights.

 It was beautiful. So much more than anything that I would have seen in other circumstances. I liked to feel the sand on my legs and feet, on my hands as I watched an iridescence in the horizon. It was just like a rainbow forming but not in the sky but there, far in the horizon, over the ocean. It was so weird to be able to see it and to be there in my yellow trunks, the ones I loved to wear every time I actually went to the beach. They were my favorite and, of course, I was wearing them as I saw the most spectacular natural show.

 I knew nothing that I saw was actually real. Not the beautiful colors and tones, not the sand in my hands or even my yellow trunks. My brain had made copies of many experiences and was using them as I slept, replicating memories with some amazing twists. I didn’t mind to be in such a wonderful dream, I wanted to stay there more in order to be able to enjoy once more everything that I had loved before and even actually enjoy it this time. It often happens in real life that you don’t notice the world because of stupid little things.

 That dream was bases on one of the many times I had been to the beach but it also used one memory that I almost never remembered, which was walking by the shore during the winter. It was the only time I saw the beach empty so I guess my brain combined a little bit of each experience to create what I was watching. The show in the horizon, which ended soon enough, was something out of my head. I have no idea how it created all of that beauty but I was glad to have seen it and to have been able to enjoy such a beautiful spectacle.

 I stood up and walked a little bit. The sand was nicer than normal. I realized that my memory of the actual sand of that beach had not been used to create that space. Some memory of another beach had been used for the sand, as it was not as rough or coarse as the actual one that I had felt all over my body when I had visited that urban beach. The sand on which I was walking on came from a memory of some volcanic beach that I had visited many years ago with some friends and with… With someone else I had completely forgotten about until then.

 Of course, he was suddenly there. His face was partly in shadows, as I sadly didn’t remember what he looked like. I did recall he was tall and rather skinny. He wore those exact trunks to the beach, those blue ones that seemed to be too large for him. I remember he was drunk most of the time we were there. I guess that’s why nothing happened: after I rejected him because he was been too annoying, I saw him sneaking into a bedroom with a girl we had met earlier on the beach. That didn’t hurt me but it made me feel I was right about him all along.

 He disappeared from the beach and I decided to keep walking. As I did, building and trees began to appear on the side, just crossing a road. Again, that mix of things was the results of many memories trying to create something I didn’t quite remember. One of the buildings was the one I stayed in during a trip to Barcelona and the other was my hotel in Rio and the park was the one I played in my childhood. Seeing all that together gave me a slight headache so I decided to keep walking, closing my eyes for a short time.

 When I opened them, I was somewhere else. I was still barefoot and actually completely naked. No yellow trunks or any other piece of clothing. And it was happening in the worst place possible: it was my high school’s theater. I ran to the side, behind the curtain, and apparently no one saw me. I looked into the crowd and didn’t recognize anyone. Then again, none of their faces were actually clear and perfect. They were all in shadows. It was obvious that memory was kind of repressed or I just didn’t remember any of them at all.

 Suddenly, a bunch of people appeared on stage and they started doing a dance. Then it clicked: I was in my senior year performance for my physical education class. As I was a really lazy person for sports, and also sucked at them hard, I had entered the girl group where they danced and did rather easy things. It was a very sexist thing to have but I was obviously not against it. It gave me a way to escape the sports and the laughter of all the other guys in high school. So I didn’t mind I had to dance to any type of music.

 Then, we all appeared on the beach and I saw myself perform there, on the sand by the ocean. It was beautiful and it really improved the actual memory, which I never really recalled because I never thought about high school. It had been such a trying moment for me that I just attempted to erase every single memory that had to do anything with that time. Of course, the brain never forgets every single thing and that dance routines, as bad as it was, was one of the memories preserved.

 When the act was finished, they all disappeared and I stayed in the beach alone, walking as the wind moved my hair. I was aware that it was only me who controlled everything that was happening in the dream. I was the one deciding to go to my high school or to stay at the beach or to mix up both things to improve one of the memories. I could have woken up a long time ago but I wasn’t doing that and I had no idea why. What was it? What was I doing there that seemed so important? The past didn’t have any clues or magic for me.

 I decided to go for a swim and ran to the water. I jumped into it and water splashed all over the place. I moved my arms fast, trying to propel myself further into the ocean, farther from the beach than in any other time. I knew I couldn’t get hurt so I forced my body and my mind. When I emerged from the water, I didn’t saw the beach anymore. Instead, I was in a swimming pool I had when I was little. I had fallen into it once, fully clothed but that was not the memory I was in there for. Actually, I didn’t even know if it was a memory.

 No one else beside me was there. I climbed the stairs out of the water and then walked towards the door and opened it. Yes, I entered the house through the kitchen and then the living room. It was amazing that I could remember everything about that house. I loved the bedrooms there and also the small room upstairs as it was just like the secret hideout I had always wanted to have. I was again in my yellow trunk but no water was dripping from them and I was glad that was the case because that place was too precious to mess it up.

 I decided to exit through the front door. On the other side, there was only darkness. I couldn’t see or hear anything but after a while, I did feel something. It was someone else there, with me. We hugged and gently touched each other’s bodies. We then kissed very softly and then more and more until we lay on the invisible ground and made love right there. Everything felt so real; I could almost smell his skin and feel his breathing on my neck. It was perfect but it ended soon enough. A very dim light went on and I could just see a glimpse of his back.


 It was cruel from me to do that to myself. But maybe it had not been me in control all the time. Who knows, maybe something else gets into our dreams with us and plays around with our thoughts and memories. Or maybe it was me and I was just attempting to make a point. Anyway, when I woke up I was really warm and had to drink two glasses of orange juice to compensate for all that walking. And as I did that, I realized I remembered every single thing about the dream. That made me smile.