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

jueves, 4 de agosto de 2016

Condoms

   When Jake entered the pharmacy, he went to grab every single item he had forgotten to get in the supermarket. Of course, everyone at home was mad at him because he hadn’t gotten every single thing they had been waiting for. Granted, he had been in charge of groceries and so on that week but he was too busy with the presentation of his next book coming so fast. The only thing on his mind was how not to feel overwhelmed again when telling people to buy their book.

 As he walked through the dental aisle, he remembered how he had started as a writer. The truth was that he had never really considerer writing as an option to win a living. After school, he had fallen in love with the idea of becoming a news presenter in television. For some strange reason, he had always thought those men and women were always the peak of the journalism profession as the used their faces and knowledge to make people learn about daily events.

 So he went to college and outdid himself in order to become a proper journalist. From the first moment, he knew he wanted to do an internship at the end of his career, one in a television channel in order to start climbing steps right there. He would become a sensation and people would discover him there and everything would be perfect for him. Each semester, he convinced himself his path to success had absolutely no floss and that he was in it to win it.

 Unfortunately, life is not about what we want but about what we get and do with it. The only internship available when he had to get one was in a editorial company involving books by the most boring authors he had ever heard. They published a lot of self-help books and guides to do things like learning yoga or how to make your dog a nice little cape. It was the only thing he could get and was obliged to stay there for a whole year.

 Suffice to say, the experience was a nightmare. Not only did his boss take her job a bit too seriously, the people he worked with were too sensitive about everything. Apparently one of the conditions to properly work there was to believe in all the crap they sold and he certainly did not buy any of that. However, he got his first writing gig there when his boss asked him to write something about anything, as long as they could fill their obligations of that period.

 Jake was annoyed by this obligation at first but then he realized he could use it to make something good. He had wanted to make something very focused on journalism but rather ended up writing the story of a disgruntled man who failed once and again when trying to become a real journalist. The small short story was a huge hit.

 As they really didn’t publish literature there, his boss was king enough to send his work to other places and he got a call from a company called Walrus Publishing when he was asked to come on board as an editor. Mind you, this was only months after graduating from college. The rest of his classmates had barely had a couple of job interviews. He was very lucky.

 He already had a large amount stuff in his basket at the pharmacy when he entered another aisle and laughed so hard some people turned around and looked at him as if he was mad. He had laughed because he had seen all the condoms on display and every time he saw those small packages, he remembered his first book.

 Work on it had started about two years after he had started working as an editor on Walrus. People were much nicer there than in his previous job and he really enjoyed everything that he did. However, he realized he wanted to keep writing so he did it on his spare time and planned to show his boss once he finished the whole story.

 It was going to be a science fiction dystopian novel about an invasion. He pictured everything in a serious note and had planned every single aspect of it. So much so that he had even made drawings about the protagonist and of the planets he talked about in the story.

 However, when time came to show his boss, he really hated it. He thought the story thought too much of itself, it aimed at being too serious and it really wasn’t that much of a deal. Of course, Jake was very upset by this and had a long period of time when he realized he wasn’t really a creative person but rather that guy that gets it right once and that’s it. He then decided not to try again and just deliver himself to everything in life that may help him be less sad.

 In other words, he started to drink more, to smoke and to have sec with almost complete strangers. It wasn’t like him to do that but, now that he lived by himself and was so depressed about his talent, it really felt like the moment to lose himself to all of that. So he attended a lot of parties, where he would always be smoking and he would disappear in weird moments at the same time that someone else.

 It was in such a state when he got a very awful virus that made him say in bed for two straight weeks. He had a sore throat, his eyes were always bloody and his whole body hurt. He never went to the doctor but this time he was scared the flu wouldn’t leave him. The doctor told him, very alarmingly, that he should get and HIV test, just in case.

 If he was pale already, Jake turned into a piece of paper when the doctor said those words. He drank the medication he gave him and he postponed several times going to get the test. But realizing his former crazy life could not go on just like that with that on his mind, he decided to go on a Saturday, as they had consultations every single day.

 In the small waiting room there were few people other than him: a young boy and girl couple, a pregnant woman and a guy about his age that couldn’t keep moving his leg. He seemed very agitated and looked at the ground as if he was attempting to make a whole in it with his sight. Jake tried to ignore the people around him to be lees worried but actually the opposite worked better: when the guy stood up, he stepped on himself and almost hit the counter where the nurse that called him waited.

 People got up, as to help him, but he stood up fast but instead of grabbing the counter to straighten himself up, he grabbed a big fish bowl full of condoms which made him fall into the ground, showered by a rainbow of colors corresponding to many small packages of condoms that had rained on his head.  The worst thing was there were also small packs of lube in the bowl, so when he tried to stand up fast, he just went back down as he had stepped on some of those and the jelly like substance had made him fall over again.

During all of this, Jake tried not to laugh but it had been impossible by the end. As everyone helped the guy, he just laughed. The nurse asked him to walk to his test and he was so relaxed he didn’t even think too much about it. Not until he met the guy again when coming out of his consultation. He was outside, on the phone and hung up at the same time Jake came outside. He seemed very bummed out, about to cry.

 Something on his face, his body language, attracted Jake to talk to him and ask what was wrong. The guy, instead of telling him, started crying. And as he cried, Jake could see the guy had a condom pack right on his shoe. He grabbed it, laughed again and that’s how they decided nothing was that bad. They went out for a coffee and got to know each other better.


 As Jake went back home after buying everything he had missed in the supermarket, he entered home and found Greg, the condom guy, with little Grace and Mark sleeping on his lap as they watched TV. He kissed him softly on the mouth and, out of nowhere, threw him a pack of condoms. Greg laughed so hard he woke up his son and daughter and the two of them had to carry the kids to bed, as they remembered that one time when a condom had made such a difference, again.

miércoles, 20 de abril de 2016

Sweet life

   Peter had in front of him a huge selection of pastry. As the correspondent of the most important magazine in the business, he had the advantage of being able to go to any bakery in the city and being treated like royalty there. The owners would normally go out of their way in order to please him, showing him their latest innovations.

 They often tried too hard, combining too many flavors in one single piece of confectionery or trying to make a fantastic setting for the dessert when the flavor was not really the best part of it. And Peter always had the last word. He had eaten it all, everywhere, and his palate was respected by every single person except, of course, the people who he had damaged with his articles.

 He had being the cause of closure of more than one bakery, cupcake store and tearoom. With his writing, he really crushed the lives and aspirations of many people, all of whom only had the simple dream of baking the best desserts possible. It seemed like a simple dream, an easy one if you will, but it wasn’t because the competition was tough and everything had already being done. Nothing was good enough and every single idea had to be checked thoroughly in order to know if it was really original or just another copy.

 However, Peter was just another man. He only had this kind of power in a small community, where they all knew who he was. For many of his friends and people that knew him, Peter was just a big guy obsessed with desserts and he had been that guy since high school. However, people respected him because he had turned his love of sweets into a career and that wasn’t something just anyone could do.

 So you would think he should have been a happy person, doing what he had always wanted which was eating and writing about it. Well, Peter certainly wasn’t what you could call “happy”. The first reason was that he was overweight. He had always been and had been mocked tirelessly by his fellow classmates back in school. He had been called all kinds of names and had asked his parents to educate him at home because he couldn’t really take it anymore. He felt trapped.

 That was when he started learning more about what he ate and his interest in food grew and in turned into a career. He wasn’t just a fat guy who ate desserts for a living. He was also a man that knew every single nuance of every ingredient that had ever been using in the making of any sweet good. He could tell the ingredients of any dessert after just one bite and that made him a huge star in the small world he had entered in. But he was still mocked.

 Of course, it was always the people that he had attacked with his articles. They felt the best way to attack him was to create rumors or to write pieces about him online. With the Internet, he often saw videos appearing all over the places with pictures of him doing pig sounds and things like that. People were never really creative when it came to insulting. They always attacked the same spot and, to Peter’s chagrin, it always worked. Because he was fat and he didn’t want to be.

 But his job depended on him eating. He couldn’t just stop eating and then go on with life as normal. That wasn’t an option. Besides, he loved eating and the flavors and everything that had to do with confectionery and sweets. He had never properly learned to do it himself because he thought it would be counterproductive. In other words, baking himself would not help his problem and would only fuel the hate that people felt towards him

 So one day, in secret, he decided to try several ways to lose weight. The first attempts were somewhat light, relying on a diverse set of pills and massages and kind of “magical” techniques to become skinny. Of course, those didn’t work at all. He was hoping they did but none of those products ever worked, except on the ad were the fat guy or lady always becomes this weightlifter or something like that. So after one month, he moved on to dieting.

 That wasn’t as hard as he thought. He just reduced his meals drastically, trying to eat healthier and less without really pulling the plug on the desserts. He just couldn’t do that because most of them he had to eat because it was his job. That sounds like an excuse but it certainly wasn’t. His boss was very pleased with his work. After all, it was the best food magazine in the country, so any absence or refusal to work would be just devastating.

 The diet thing kind of worked but it took time and, like anyone in his position, Peter wanted to have instant results. He wanted to be leaner and more beautiful in the blink of an eye but that wasn’t possible. So he decided to go to a doctor and try to learn more about his body in order to know how to solve the problem.

 It was really confusing to have to go and eat at least four different desserts in the morning and then having an appointment with his doctor in the afternoon and complain about his weight. It was crazy but he had no other way of doing things. The doctor told him that he was fat because of the food. It wasn’t a hormonal thing. So he could lose the weight easily. He gave him advice on dieting and sent him on his way.

 Four months after that, people started noting Peter had changed his posture and walked a bit differently. His waist seemed less prominent, as well as his behind. Everyone looked at him; especially in the bakery shops where they noticed his face had changed too. He had a bit more color in his skin and seemed to be happier. Of course, his enemies took the time to attack him for this changes too, saying that a person that wasn’t proud of who they were, was always a danger for the rest because you could never really trust them.

 Those were real haters, never really setting on one thing, always having an excuse to attack someone. But, strangely, Peter lost any interest in them. His relationship with many friends had improved, mainly because they noticed he really cared for his health and that he had qualities they had never realized like a great sense of humor and a way of giving very good advice. They had never realized that because they judged too soon and Peter had paid for that.

 But things were changing. Even his boss noticed the small changes and decided to have a talk with Peter. He asked him if he wanted to have some time for himself or if he needed someone to talk to. The boss thought his weight loss was due to something bad but then Peter explained and he understood. Incredibly, his boss cried and explained he had a son who was having kind if the same problems, being bullied at school and all. Peter promised to talk to him.

 He realized soon that it wasn’t about being skinny. That’s not why people pay attention to other people. It’s when they notice you have the will to care about yourself that they make contact with you. If you are a decent human being you don’t really care about someone’s weight or their physical appearance or anything like that. But it certainly makes you interested if someone is making the impossible to improve themselves, in any way possible.

 Peter did it with his body but many people try to learn new things or create new stuff for others. He realized that’s what people really were interested in and soon, although he didn’t loose all the weight he had envisioned, he became happier with his own self. He would always be more willing to help the bakers that were starting and just ate less because he had more to do.

 A couple of years after his decision to make something different, he met a baker named Anna and they married and had two girls who became the love of their father. And Anna was always there for him, supporting Peter in new adventures like writing books about his passions, whether they were sweets or fighting yourself.


 Of course, haters were still around. But Peter just lost his ability to care about them.

jueves, 25 de septiembre de 2014

You've gained 5 kilograms

And that was all the stupid machine could say: "You've gained five kilograms". Brian knew that, boy did he knew that.

Exercising in winter wasn't as easy as doing it in the summer. Besides, he had too many good, big meals and he didn't wanted to be that stupid person that says "I'll pass", as if food was something not much more different than a poison.

He got down the scale and, for a moment, thought it might be broken. But that was impossible: it had been bought only a few months ago and worked digitally. No, the stupid scale said the truth.

He went to the bath room and got naked as he had to take a shower. He turner the hot water faucet and then, he glanced at the mirror: he looked back at himself, a little sad, a bit disappointed. He looked down and saw his body was far from those in ads and movies. He wasn't obese or anything but felt bad for not being that perfect model society wanted all of us to be.

In the shower, as he did in bed as he slept, Brian imagined meeting someone who would love him for who he was and for discovering things about him that not even Brian knew.

But when the water stopped falling, he knew that wouldn't be the case. Again, this wasn't a TV series or a movie, there wasn't a someone for everyone and people didn't love you more for being different, just the opposite.

He put on his clothes, grabbed his keys and walked to the nearest bus stop, to wait. Being there, he remembered trying for a whole month to exercise and he did good but no results were evident so he stopped. He wasn't a patient person, so doing exercise for days and days wasn't fun, or interesting or anything. It was just painful and empty. So he just quitted.

He got in the bus and traveled through town for around half an hour until he got down near a mall. He had to go inside and pay some bills his parents had left for him to pay, with their money of course, as he had none to spare.

Standing in line in the bank, he saw a good looking guy also waiting to be served. He was just perfect: blonde, skinny, skin the color of milk and nice behind. He was even well dressed.

To be honest, Brian hated that. People that went through life just being perfect, being the ideal every other normal guy wanted to be. He must even be good in bed and well endowed. That's what Brian thought, checking him out one last time before running his errands.

He had just the time to get to a nearby café and meet Anita. She was had been his best friend for a number of years and he had told every single part of his life to him. Even that time he tried to take his life.

The two hugged, kissed, asked for cappuccinos and started talking about college memories, people they had met and new developments on their lives. Brian talked a lot, mainly because he didn't get to do it as often at home. It was to tell your parents "I hate my life" without a lecture on how easy the solution was.

Anita said the same, though. And Brian got it, he wasn't stupid, but things were hard to do. He didn't have that drive to try new things. A major impediment was the money factor. He felt bad asking and asking and trying and trying, like an idiot.

He parted with Anita, who encouraged him for the last time but he just answered: "I only do one thing right and people don't wanna pay me for it. I'm fucked". And he didn't even feel passion for writing. He just did it.

Back home, he enjoyed silence for a bit and then watched a movie. But in all honesty, he was still thinking on how much he hated his belly, his penis, his face. He hated to be the one that has to try and try and not get anything. Not all people fight for what they have and still they have money, a job, love and much more.

Trying to dissipate those thoughts, he repeated to himself that he at least had a loving family. Although one day he had to leave that house or he would really feel awful.

At night, he published the first chapter of his only novel. That was the boldest thing he could do. The subject was hard to swallow and his writing skills could sure use improvement. But he did it anyway as that was the only thing he could do now, to ease the pain a bit.

The next day, he went to buy some cinnamon rolls for the night and something uncomfortable happened: a guy stared at him, as if he was checking him out. He just blushed, bought what he came for rapidly and ran out of the place like a lunatic.

It was still unbearable when people did that. So cruel even. He tried to forget about it for the rest of the day but couldn't. He decide to log on to his blog to check out if someone had written and comment but nothing. "Self centered bastards".

But the night was even stranger than the day. An old school friend called him to his cellphone. He said he had read his first chapter and told him he really liked. Brian was a bit embarrassed. The guy then said: "We should really meet some time". He was red as a tomato. His only answer was "Ok".

And then life went on with Brian. What happened with the caller or with his ambitions as a writer, I just can't tell you. Why? Because those things haven't happened yet, so we might have to wait for some time to pass until we know what kind of life Brian had.

domingo, 14 de septiembre de 2014

Afterwards

Helena got of bed carefully, not wanting to awake Dave. Last night had been fun but she saw no need of staying around, least of all in his bed.

She pulled the covers as slow as she could, thanked God for Dave being on a fetal position on the opposite side and tiptoed all the way the the bedroom's door. She opened it fast and closed it softly.

- Fuck!

She realized her clothes were in the room. She was only wearing her panties.

The young women, rather short and with a beautiful average body, entered the room again and stayed on the doorframe trying to locate her belongings: her stockings were just beneath the bed, her shoes just by them, her dress near the door and her purse under his briefs.

It was funny, but she had always being judgmental about men wearing briefs. She saw it as a childish thing to wear them but all indications lead to her not minding about that the night before.

As she took her clothes, Helena felt some nausea, feeling her head hurt as she bend over to grab her things.

She went out the room, again, and walked to the living room. She had to be honest, the view from there was just amazing: from there you could see all of downtown and even more. As she noticed the apartment was on a high floor, she decided to dress by the window, checking everything out.

The girl could see people walking on a park below, some cars passing by, a rather peaceful day. She recalled it was sunday but had no idea of the time. She grabbed her purse and pulled out her cellphone: almost dead. Any way, it was 1 PM.

She got scared as maybe her parents had called home or something, but she was soon put at ease when the cellphone begin ringing. As the volume was on full mode, she almost dropped it, scared Dave would wake up.

She went into a bathroom by the living room and closed the door. Now she could answer.

- Hi mom.
- Hey sweetie. Where are you?
- I'm buying bread.

She just said the first thing that came to mind.

- Oh, sleeping late?
- Yeah. Had Monica's birthday yesterday.
- Right... How was that?
- Good. Had... fun. Mom could I call you back when i get back home?
- Sure sweetie. I'll wait.
- Ok mom. Bye.
- Bye.

She hung up on the middle of her mother's "bye". It wasn't a good idea to keep talking in a place where there was a man she didn't wanted to confront.

Helena got out of the bathroom, put on her shoes and took a last look on a mirror Dave had as decoration. She was a little pale and her makeup was a mess. She decided to clean up her face so she entered the bathroom and rinsed her face with water. When she was ready to dried it up, she let out a scream as she saw the man on the bathroom mirror.

To be honest, she didn't screamed because she saw him awake. As she walked out the bathroom she confirmed what she saw: Dave was stretching, still half asleep, naked in front of her.

- Hey... - he said.

She didn't answer. Her face was soaking wet and it seemed as she had forgotten how to talk or move.

- You should dry yourself up. I don't like wet floors.

She reacted then and took a towel. As she did this, Dave entered the kitchen, only separated by the living room by a black marble counter. He turned on the coffee machine and took out a mug from a shelf.

No, Helena didn't even faked it: she saw his body as she hadn't seen it the night before. He was really not a model or the example of perfection but there was something really attractive. She couldn't really point out what it was.

- You want coffee?
- Sure.

No doubt. She needed coffee. She came out of the bathroom again and walked to the counter. He poured some coffee on two mugs and had a big sip before speaking again.

- Have to go?
- Yeah, kinda.
- Oh, ok... Last night was great.
- Guess so...

He smiled.

- What?
- You were drunk, I knew it.
- I wasn't!
- Yes, you were. Do you even remember it all?

It was not her style to lie. She didn't saw the utility of it.

- No.
- It's cool. Just a crazy night then.

He winked at her and drank some more coffee. She only sipped some, not really in the mood to stay longer.

- Look, I have to go.
- Sure, ok.

Helena walked to the door, grabbed the doorknob and turned to Dave.

- I remember you're great in bed and I hadn't had so much fun having sex or talking to sometime in quite some time. Thanks.

He smiled and raised his mug, as if toasting. She smiled too and went out the door.

Dave finished his coffee, scratched his belly and passed one hand over his hair. After thinking of her one last time, he took out some bread from the pantry and put them on the toaster.

He went to the living room to turn on the TV and entered the bathroom to pee. As he did so, he noticed something by the sink: Helena's cellphone.

Sure enough, just after Dave had put on his briefs, he heard the doorbell. Second chance was ringing.

viernes, 12 de septiembre de 2014

Lies

We love to believe them. They are comfortable an easy to accept and to live by. We don't really assume them as the truth but they are easy to come by and, let's face it, the truth is sometimes too much for many.

Let's say love. Many people still think they can change others or that love is eternal and forever. But we know what's real: no one changes for real, they only evolve in their ways of being. And love dies, and is reborn once and again. As we are beings of mutation and evolution, love is not bound to us and sometimes breaks during those transformations. It's unavoidable, unless the two people involved have worked for it.

Now, we have to state something else: the obsession of the human race for working and effort. Our humanity tells us that in order to be accepted and even admired, we have to work our bodies off to get somewhere and then, we will have recognition.
But is that really the way things should be? Some people say they work hard all their lives to have a better life but they realize that they never enjoy the life they have worked for. Is that really the life we should have? Or the one we want to have?

What about a life of going after what you want? About discovering your needs and passions? Many think they only can do that when they're young, in school. That's way many young people do drugs, have sex, crazy parties and trips. They think they have to gather memories for the future as their adult lives may not enable them to enjoy the things they like in the future.

That's no way of living, although is a respectable one. Many people worry about money and, unfortunately, they have to. They have no chance of avoiding the responsibility of work, unless they have no real goals.

And that's another problem nowadays: people who have no passions or goals are ostracized, as if working hard made them better than others. The world today has created levels and ranks, making certain people admirable and others, not. Those who work and show their work, are admired, even if their real effort was to look for the right people and doing something slightly better than the rest.

No goals means no ambition and this world runs on ambition. We are made to think we need more and, no surprise, most people work hard to get things that they already have or that they really don't need. In many countries it's more important to buy a TV or a car, rather than assuring a good education or healthcare.

More listings have being created even to classify us, to separate us in groups, in order to divide us even by the way we look: ugly, good looking, fat, skinny,... Or by our perceived behavior: rebellious, slut, intelligent, dumb, empty, sportive,...

And what about creativity? In our world, creativity is only appreciated if it server the general need for more of the same. The most award "creators" are the ones working for advertising companies. It has being proven that most campaigns in that world are rip offs one of the other and of the other. Less than 10% are actually original and even when they are, they serve only the great capital and no the people.

So, when our capacity to create is put aside, scientific thought is also put aside. Many countries prefer to invest their earnings in weaponry and other defense related items. Science is not really appreciated, even in "first world" countries. If the United States invested less in war and more in science, many needed discoveries would have already taken place.

We have been obliged to comply with physical models, for men and women, that are impossible or unlikely. Companies want people to think that they will be much more desirable if they are seen in the gym or doing some kind of exercise. The fact that exercising is good for your health, is almost not important. Looking good is what's important.

Our world is one of lies that we decide to live by. But what if we just said "Fuck it" and started living by our standards? Not everyone has to go at the same pace to get somewhere. If your friend is a successful actress, good for her. But do not try to be like her, try to discover who you are, good and bad, and go from there.

We are told to be fast and not stop because time is money. But time is also life and life, if science is correct, is not done twice by the same entity so we have to live as we want to and not as we are told to.

Let's always remember no to divide ourselves in tiny groups and ranks. That creates discrimination and discrimination leads to hate and hate is no way to live life. Just go as you want and see how much more fun life is if you just do your thing.

miércoles, 10 de septiembre de 2014

To Heal and Live

 * This piece of writing is dedicated to all young men and women that have died because of the narrow and hateful minds of others. Love and peace.

  We were never the kind to dwell on anything. It was simple really: we were officially not wanted anywhere in the world. It wasn't surprising or confusing, just a bit painful.

People in general didn't care. That had enough with the war ravaging life here and there. Human rights were not really on the top of the list of things people cared any more. They just wanted to live in peace, like before. We did too and that's how we decided to leave.

Eric had learned that Iceland was a safe haven for many people and was being overlooked. This wasn't World War II, planes didn't need to stop in the middle of the ocean as they could easily do the trip.
Besides, Iceland had signed a pact with the Confederation: they wouldn't mess with them as long as they didn't mess with Iceland. Fair enough. The Confederation wasn't really interested in them, at least not yet, as they had bigger fish to capture.

The day Eric got with the news of our future journey on the Aurora, a freight boat bound for Canada, it didn't came up as a surprise when we the news broadcasted live the invasion of West Africa by the Confederation. Horrible images of gruesome deaths and bombing were broadcasted daily and, as the country had surrendered to the confederation, they had to show it all, no editing.

We gathered the few possessions we still had, put them on one big suitcase and hugged goodbye our families. It was clear that it might be the last time we saw them, so we were sure to say it loud one last time, in case they died or we died. That was the reality of things.

For one whole day we hitchhiked to the coast. Many men and women were heading there: they thought that there was still a chance to head out of the country as the Confederation hadn't invaded yet. The government, strangely, didn't care or was sure no one would be successful. No one really knew.

I said goodbye to my city too. Bombings and rioting had left the mountains hollow at some points. It had always being a rather grayish city but now that gloomy ambiance was permanent and real.

The rest of the journey was easy: several days on the Aurora, helping the sailors and becoming sailors ourselves. We worked hard, helping with everything but we knew nothing of the sea. We didn't feel relieved when we got to Saint John: we had learned to loved the sea in just those few days and we felt the ocean might be the perfect getaway from the crumbling world around us.

But we had to go on. We were careful as the Confederation had been in control of the territory for quite some time but they still permitted life to go on as normal as it could. For three days, we avoided contact with anyone, hiding in almost destroyed buildings or in the surrounding wilderness. Finally, one night, we entered an oil tanker bound for Reykjavik and prayed for the boat to sail soon.

And it did. They discovered us but we begged for them to let us go as soon as we got to the mainland. Of course, we had to make an agreement: we were slaved for the duration of the journey. Everything from kitchen duties, to moping floors and cleaning bathrooms. I cried every night, wishing all would end. Eric couldn't infuse me with positivism as he felt exactly the same.

We we got to Iceland, we realized the journey wasn't over. The capital was filled with confederates and we needed to avoid them at all costs.

The truth is that we were part of the resistance, the one that existence for just a few weeks before the invasion of our country and the signature of the annexation treaty. A puppet president, a former president to be exact, was established and we became something less than a colony. Eric and I met for the first time after I had put a bomb on an official's car. He saved me from being arrested and I thank him for that up to this day.

We offered our work as fishermen and soon we had steady jobs, fishing herring of the coast. Our boss was a fat oppressive man, but he was fair nevertheless. He never missed a payment and even let us live on one of the boats.

Two months after arriving in Iceland, we were sent to Akureyri, a small port in the north coast. We sailed alone, the two of us in our boss's boat. I think that was when I really fell in love with Eric. The beautiful scenery, the relative calm and the fact that we could finally be open without anyone looking, pointing or eavesdropping, were all ingredients for it.

But life was a bitch with us, with all the letters. In Akureyri we met with the boss's son, who wanted us to fish in some dangerous places. We were obliged to do it as we had no papers and, officially, immigrants were banned. So we did it, we had to use explosives for fishing and I almost blew a hand off when using one.

It all ended one night, after we had arrived from our fishing trip. We were exhausted and in need of food. We didn't had much money so we shared a plate of herring and a beer. And then, again, the looks came back. It was like being in our country all over again. We finished fast and left the place.
A group of men followed us, surrounded us and beat the crap out of us, with a metal pipe and their arms and legs.

We thought that they were going to leave us there, in a dim lit street, but they decided to put us on one of their cars and rode for more than an our. I was on the edge of fainting but couldn't. Eric did faint but he was woken up when they got us out the car, by the road and the started again. They spitted us at the end and one of them peed on our heads. They laughed and threatened us and then they left. I finally fainted, wishing I was dead once again. I thought that if needed, I would kill myself if I woke up.

Sure enough, we didn't died. I woke up to a sniffing and licking dog. He was a shepherd dog. I recognized it as my grandfather had one when I was little. I could only open my eyes a bit but not talk or stand. I couldn't see Eric and I thought of his death. And I cried, with horrible pain all over.

So it happens, the dog's name was Odin, as the norse god. And his owners were farmers. They owned sheep in a small farm near Lake Logurinn. I have no idea how these two elderly people could do it but hey put both of us on the back of their car, alongside bags of manure and dog food. I fainted and had a an awful dream, of the beating and Eric dying. It seemed to go on forever until I woke up.

It was a beautiful little house, made of wood, as if it had been taken out of a fairytale. The room was small, only big enough for a double size bed and a furnishing with some drawers. After I had overcome the pain of my injuries, I noticed Eric sleeping besides me. He wasn't dead. I hugged him, hard, not caring for our physical pain. Him being there was everything.

We recovered slowly but steadily. Antonia and Carl told us we reminded them of their two sons that had left the country to fight the Confederation in Canada, some years ago. They decided to pick us up and help us as they thought of our parents.
We told them our story, nothing edited out of it and they offered us their home and kindness. They lived on the cotton they could sell and asked us for help so we learned the craft and in a few months we became farmers.

It was painful but, in order to fit in completely, I had to change my name. I became Johannes. Eric's name was just perfect, as he was after all that happened. Often alone on the hills and fields, we could really fall in love with each other. sharing every single part of our lives. And we were fine with it. Only taking his hand made me feel safe, even if this place seemed to have been forgotten by the world. The Confederation never came here, we were told by our friends, they only cared for resources and the vicinity was deprived of minerals or anything they would care to steal.

A year after our arrival in the country we were able to build a small house near our friends home. We did it ourselves with stones and wood. I think that helped us regain some trust in ourselves and makes us heal psychologically.

And that was our life. For five years, before the Big Battle, we were happy and everything was perfect. It wouldn't last forever but that wasn't important: we were given time with each other and to heal and I have always being grateful for that.

sábado, 6 de septiembre de 2014

New Freedom

Official Transcript # 485

Interrogation officer: Please, state your name.
Inmate 3063: My name is Jordan Skye.
I.O: Louder, please.
J.S: I'M JORDAN SKYE!
I.O: Occupation?
J.S: Special agent of the UN special forces unit.
I.O: Can you prove that?

Silence. Jordan sighs.

J.S: Not at the moment.
I.O: Why?
J.S: No papers, man.
I.O: Please sum up the events occurred on September 6th.
J.S: That was the day after the invasion.
I.O: Proceed.
J.S: I was part of a small group that came in with the rebels, on their ships. As they took the city, we had a special priority.
I.O: Which was?
J.S: Capture Minister Sumter.
I.O: What were your orders regarding him?
J.S: Capture and bring him to justice.
I.O: Which justice?

Again, Jordan sighs, tensioned.

J.S: Had to take him to Geneva.
I.O: What happened September 6th?

Jordan fists close, as if imagining the man's neck.

J.S: The rebels were winning. You were winning.
I.O: We know.
J.S: I fucking bet that.
I.O: Keep going.
J.S: My team was composed of seven men and women. Three of them had to secure Sumter. My partner and I were the ones that had to going in his office and take him.
I.O: Partner?
J.S: My husband.
I.O: The new government overruled those rights. Are you aware of it?
J.S: I don't give a shit.

The interrogation officer moves on his chair but doesn't say a word.

I.O: You failed. Why?
J.S: Supporters of Sumter overran me and my team. They started to chase us. I lured them to me in order for my team to be extracted by fellow rebels.
I.O: No report of that on our data.
J.S: Secret operation, genius.
I.O: You were captured by those men, correct?
J.S: That's right.
I.O: Then, you were rescued by the new government on September 10th, correct?
J.S: Rescued is a strong word.

The room feels too cold. Jordan wraps his arms around himself trying to the cold not to diminish his spirit.

I.O: What happened between your capture by those men and your extraction?
J.S: You know what happened. You did the tests.
I.O: Please, sum up for record.

Jordan tries to talk but his mouth feels dry. There's a glass of water on the table but he doesn't take it. He wets his lips with his tongue and talks.

J.S: I was held prisoner in some old barracks or a hangar. I don't really know.
I.O. Hangar A-03, Sumter Military Base.
J.S: Ok... I was tortured by the group of men that captured me.
I.O: Were you visited by Sumter during that time?
J.S: Never.
I.O: What kind of torture were you submitted to?

The man looks at the officer and smiles.

J.S: This is fucked up.
I.O: Please state the nature of...
J.S: They raped me, ok?! They fucked me with a stick or something and tortured me with water and punched and hit me, for hours.
I.O: Were you given food or water?
J.S: What a fucking stupid question.
I.O: What happened on September 10th?
J.S: You people showed up and apparently took me here.
I.O: What happened before that?

Jordan stands up, annoyed.

J.S: None of your business.
I.O: This is a report for the republic. We need...
J.S: You don't need shit!
I.O: Our team extracted a body along with yours. Whose body was it?

Shadows do not allow Jordan to see his interrogator well but he tries to glare at him, hurt.

J.S: You have his body?
I.O: Yes. Who is he?
J.S: You have my husband.
I.O: Those rights were...
J.S: Fuck you! That man got in that airbase and attempted to save me. He did something as you stood there, forgetting what we did to let guys like you keep on living.
I.O: He was unsuccessful.
J.S: They caught him. He was framed. They beat him up in front of me. They made me watch...

Jordan has started crying, in silence.

J.S: Then, they told him because of his bold act he had to see me go. Turns out, right in the moment they were going to kill me, the gang's leader changed his mind and shot him in front of me. I fainted after screaming my lungs out. I woke up here. In this prison.

The interrogation officer stands up and exists the room. Jordan walks to the door but they shut it. He then hears a voice on the speakers.

I.O: Thank you, Jordan Skye. You may go to your cell now.

Another door, on the opposite wall, opens. But Jordan does not walk towards it.

J.S: I told you everything. Let me go now.
I.O: You will be released in due time. Have a good sleep.

Two men enter the room. Jordan tries to fight but they have a needle, the needle he has learned to fear. He slowly falls asleep, letting go, again.

viernes, 5 de septiembre de 2014

En el tren

La estación estaba repleta, como siempre en la hora pico de la noche. Casi no se podía circular por los andenes y muchas personas cargaban paquetes y maletas grandes. Estaba claro que no solo operaban a esa hora trenes de cercanías sino también a ciudades más lejanas.

Martha se abrió paso con dificultad, con el billete del tren en una mano y halando una pequeña maleta con la otra. En una de las pantallas veía el nombre del destino y suspiró al sentir el calor generado por la gran cantidad de personas.

No pasaron ni cinco minutos cuando un tren blanco, haciendo bastante ruido, entró a la estación. Muchas de las personas en el andén se alistaron y pocos minutos después abordaron el tren.

Martha se sentó en el último coche, lejos del ruido de la parte frontal. Puso su pequeña maleta en la estructura metálica sobre los asientos y se sentó justo debajo, junto a la ventana.

El tren rápidamente tomó velocidad y una pequeña pantalla empezó a listar las próximas paradas: la de Martha era la última, lo que hacía que el viaje durara unas 2 horas. Había 3 paradas antes, la próxima a unos 45 minutos.

Un par de asientos fueron ocupados pero no se podía decir que el tren estuviera relleno ni mucho menos. De hecho, en el grupo de cuatro sillas donde estaba Martha, no había nadie más.

De un bolso que tenía en el hombro, la mujer de 30 años sacó una tableta electrónica y empezó a leer un libro. Lo había dejado en la mitad, oportunamente cuando la joven heroína se disponía a viajar en el Orient Express.

Cuando llegaron a la siguiente parada, Martha se había aburrido de leer y había empezado a jugar un juego de colores y esferas y demás. No era una opción ver por la ventana ya que todo estaba sumido en la oscuridad, así ahora las luces de la estación iluminaran un poco el panorama.

Fue en esa estación que un hombre, tal vez cinco años mayor que ella, se sentó en el asiento de enfrente. Ella apenas lo miró por encima de la pantalla de su aparato cuando el hombre guardaba su maleta y se sentaba, él sí mirando por la ventana, hacia la oscuridad.

Martha se aburrió rápido de su juego y, por primera vez, miró a la cara de su compañero de viaje, que miraba las luces lejanas de alguna ciudad.

 - Guille?

El hombre se incorporó, como si acabara de despertarse de una siesta. Miró a Martha fijamente, entrecerrando los ojos y finalmente su cara formó una sonrisa.

 - Tata?
 - Sí, soy yo.
 - No te reconocí cuando subí.
 - Nadie pone mucha atención en los trenes - dijo ella, riendo tontamente.

Esto último no sabía porque lo hacía. De pronto se acordara de aquella época, en el colegio, en la que había coqueteado con Guille en su último año y se habían dado un beso el último día de clases, sin verse uno al otro nunca más.

 - Que has estado haciendo? No nos vemos hace mucho.

Él también recordaba el beso. Siempre le había gustado Martha pero nunca tuvo el coraje de decírselo en el colegio.

 - Pues trabajo como corredor de bolsa.
 - En serio? Debes ganar mucho dinero.
 - No me puedo quejar.

Guille se había divorciado hacía unos pocos meses e iba de camino a ver a sus hijos, que ahora vivían con la madre.

 - Y tu?
 - Voy de camino a ver unos inmuebles. Trabajo en una inmobiliaria.
 - Divertido, no?
 - A veces. Se conoce mucha clase de gente.

Ese mismo día, más temprano, Martha había entregado las llaves de una casa a una pareja bastante extraña: habían hecho preguntas del tipo "estas paredes son gruesas de verdad o se oye a través" o "el piso es fácil de limpiar".

De pronto había aparecido un hombre de la empresa ferroviaria, revisando los boletos. Martha y Guillermo le habían dado sus billetes y el hombre los había recibido alegremente, con una sonrisa e incluso una broma.

  - También te bajas en la última parada? - preguntó Guille a Martha cuando el revisor había dejado el coche.
 - Tu igual?
 - Sí. Que raro no?

Ambos estaban felices por esta coincidencia. Sentían que había algo que no se había terminado de cerrar cuando habían estado en el colegio y cada uno por su lado sabía que no había mucho que se los impidiera.

 - No estás casada...
 - Disculpa?
 - Lo siento, noté que no tienes argolla.
 - Tranquilo. Sí, no estoy casada. Nunca me casé de hecho. Tu?
 - Divorciado

Y esa pregunta desencadenó una larga conversación sobre las relaciones humanas y lo difícil que era ajustarse a otro ser humano, a veces tan diferente y otras veces tan parecido.

Martha recordó pero no habló de su más grande amor, un joven en la universidad que la cambió por una chica más bonita, de un día para otro. Guille recordó a su ex esposa y sus constantes discusiones.

La charla se alargó tanto que siguieron hablando de ello cuando el tren por fin se detenía en la última estación. Cuando salieron del vagón, caminaron juntos a la salida de la estación y rieron recordando anécdotas colegiales mientras esperaban el autobús respectivo.

La verdad era que Martha usaba otra línea de autobús, diferente a la de Guille, pero él había propuesto ir a comer algo y la vida de la mujer ya era muy monótona y negarse a una invitación como esta hubiera sido una tontería.

Mientras comían una hamburguesa, ambos pensaban en las posibilidades que la vida les ofrecía. Después de todo, coincidir en un tren parecía sacado de una romántica película del pasado.