Most days I’m confused and hysterical I can even hear my brain screaming inside my head though I try my best not to show it. People at work and in the streets probably think I’m a perfect picture of balance, peace, happiness and serenity while the truth is: in my current (self-appointed) alienated position I feel I’m becoming more alien than alienation itself…
Yesterday, during one of my daily walks; this energetic little dog followed me for kilometers and kilometers through fields woods and even crossing highways.
I met this puppy when I passed by a group of houses after having been through dozens of neighbouring orchards. This cutey enthusiastically emerged from an open gate together with bunch of other dogs, all of different breeds. The puppy itself I thought is a Jack Russell or Boston Terrier or a cross-breed of both (if that one existed) I’m just guessing. I don’t know much about dogs.
I thought the puppy was just being friendly and only going to hang out with me till it satisfies its curiosity. I reckoned he (yes, I decided it was a he) will lost interest soon and will head back where he came from. But when he continued following me after a kilometer or so I begun to have my doubts.
I told him several times to go home but he ignored me and acted as if I am his owner; always walking side by side with me, bestowing me side glances once in a while as if thinking: What you mean you don’t know me… We’re friends. we’re buddies… Don’t you remember?
I lost him when I decided not to follow the sign for that specific walk because it was getting dark and I decided to take a short cut.
The little dog tried to change my mind though by first running ahead of me then stopping, waiting if I would follow. In any other circumstances I will go with him, but the path he wanted us to traverse leads to a dark woods and how much that I love anything dark, sometimes you have to choose safety first. what I did was pretend I didn’t see what he was trying to do and crossed the big road instead. It will bring me to the churchyard where my car was parked.
When I looked back, I saw the puppy running so fast after me, then stopped at full force just few steps from the highway. We eyed each other across the road. Then he turned around and ran, back to the path leading to the woods, he sat there waiting for me. It was my turn to walk away…
I saw him poking his head from behind the hedges few times before disappearing into the woods again. I took one last look and moved on… Goodbye puppy.
I learned one thing though by this experience. All my life I was terrified of dogs and quite hate them. But this little one stole my heart and I have trouble forgetting him. He radiates so much sweetness and love. I hope he found his way home safely…
Now that I’m staring at mortality straight in the eyes, now that I am beginning to realize I will not be here forever and my expiration date comes sooner than I have expected, I remember you. I remember the time you saved me from drowning. Twice. The first time was when my so-called cousin Rosana (which I never knew existed and have met for the first time) tried to drown me because of the ring you gave me. Remember the ring? The one you fashioned from copper especially for me? The same ring you have thrown away in the sea for safekeeping and promised the waves will deliver it back right at my feet when the time comes. Unknowingly, that must be the reason why I spent so much time on the breakwater when I was growing up, just staring at the sea. But you lied. The ring is still out there lost.
The second time you saved my life was a major, major case. I almost died. I didn’t know anymore why I decided to follow my eldest sister out in the sea that day. I saw her having a good time with a fella and they seemed to be walking in the water. I thought the water was not deep. I forget they could swim and I cannot. And before I know what was happening, I found myself sinking. I had no idea that drowning feels like that. As if you’re spiraling endlessly down a very dark abyss. I remember calling my father, then nothing.
The next thing I knew I was laying on the sand and you gently slapping my face telling me to wake up, as if drowning was a funny joke. But that’s you. Everything is a joke to you. Maybe it’s your way of coping with the circumstances that we were in. I will not go into detail with that. There are certain things that better left buried and forgotten. I’m sure you understand what I mean.
You said you saw me disappeared from the surface and grabbed a big zinc basin which is normally meant for transporting fish and rowed as fast as you could where you saw me vanished. You had to search for me down there for seemed like ages you said before finding me at the bottom unconscious. For a moment there you were scared, you told me. I don’t believe it. You scared, a seasoned Huckleberry Finn… no way! You even teased me about it afterwards, saying you’re my first kiss. In my book it doesn’t count.
Anyway, I never properly thank you for saving my life twice. In fact, I never talk about it. Not even to you my best friend. Perhaps I was too young to understand it all. I was barely eight years old. You were twelve.
I don’t know where you are now. Fate separated us oceans and continents apart. I wonder what happened to you and what you become. The last time I saw you I was aboard a moving bus. My family decided to move again. You were running alongside the vehicle calling my name. You handed me something through the window before you let go. It was another of your creation. A copper pin name. My name. I lost it in the bus. I must have fallen sleep. Sorry about that.
Once again, wherever you are thank you. If you didn’t save me, I would not have this rich and multi-coloured existence. I hope we see each other again so I can say this to you face to face. M. you’re one of the few people I didn’t regret I’ve met.
Why there are days that nothing seems to connect? That you feel like being trapped between two walls and they are slowly closing in and breathing is too painful? That no matter what you do, reality is very far, far away and you float hovering above going nowhere seeing everything gray from morning till evening and your head is like an over stretched balloon with a few bricks inside about to burst at any moment with or without provocation then suddenly you will find yourself plummeting under water and you realized you cannot swim which is good because it’s nice to stay there at the bottom where no one could find you and you don’t have to do something you don’t want to do or talk to people and say things you don’t mean but keep saying anyway because that’s what they expect from you?
I can picture a cartoonify version of myself going from frame to frame, a dark cloud following me hanging above my head and once in a while it releases some water and I just sit there with a gloomy face letting the persistent cloud rain on me feeling indifferent being oblivious of the world around because I lost my groove and I cannot find it back and all I can do is walk and walk and walk…
Been tipsy last night. One glass of champagne and I was up there flying! I have to learn to handle my drink. Alcohol and I are not the best of friends. We’re not good together. I tend to be a bit loose when I had few glasses. So loose I can take a shower fully dressed and sleep wearing the same wet outfit. Or forget a whole chapter altogether. On(c)e (upon a) time, someone asked me the morning after where his clothes might be and if I happened to know where they are can he have it back please! I cannot even remember who the person was! (For the record: he didn’t sleep with me. Seemed I scared him away) Yesterday, before I knew; I was blurting out all my insecurities to somebody whom in normal circumstances is the last person I would confide anything let alone my deepest secrets. I’m not suited for drinking. Or I have to drink more often to get used to it…
Stephen King is my favourite writer, but Edgar Allan Poe is my hero. I don’t think they need any form of introduction. Even if one lives in Hades, one must have heard of them. That’s how good they are.
Though I am a fan, I never watch films version of SK books except Stand by Me. But then again I never read the book. Why? Because I saw the film first. Never read a book after you have seen the movie version of it. It will distort your perspective of the latter because no matter what they say, a book is always better than the film. Except in J.R.R. Tolkien’s case.
Ironically, three of my most cherished books are not written by these two writers. The reason for this is great they might be, their works don’t resonate with my inner self. They don’t speak of real lives and real feelings and I’m all for real.
If there is a fire, these are the books that I would grab first and carry outside to safety.
- Summer of ’42 by Herman Raucher
- Please Love Me by Keith Miller
- The Woman Destroyed by Simone De Beauvoir
Need I say more?
Reply To Daily Prompt: Spinning Yarn
Hitting rock bottom
I don’t know anymore what to do. I prayed, sought guidance, begged forgiveness, asked for help, nothing. I face walls at every turn, box in. If it continues to be like this, I will soon lose my mind. Grand plan? Mysterious ways? I don’t understand. Things happen for a reason? Sometimes bad things happen to good people? How about justice? In this society where falsehood and hypocrisy are highly rewarded, people get punished for being honest? So unfair!
At this moment, I could very well understand what Michael Douglas’ character must have felt in the movie Falling Down. I could see myself doing it one of these days. Nobody cares about quality anymore. Or authenticity. Good taste is equally if not rarer than friendly citizen and in danger of becoming extinct together with the truth. Media are full of seemingly caring individuals preaching about equality, diversity respect and tolerance but where are those in real life?
Where is care? If one is full of bullshit but can sell it like hotcakes then the person is considered to be successful. Be sociable. Pretend interest, concern, cares whatever; who cares about heartfelt, genuine, real… who cares about the contents… all of those don’t matter these days. Pretension is the key word. And if one can do it like one really means it, then s/he could be popular, sought after, look up to and copied.
There is where it goes wrong. Copying can lead to a society where everyone is a clone of each other. Where is originality? Where is diversity? Where is individuality? Where is patience? Everything has to be quick, fast, and instantaneous. Everyone is in a hurry going in circles. All that matters have to be cramped in one short vacation or during weekends if ever. Or it could wait when we are all in pension…
Patience is when you badly needed something and you are forced to wait because you live in a society where the powers that be know very well your duties but not your rights. Where it is very much okay to hold you from obtaining what are legally yours but it’s not okay to withhold them what they think is legally theirs. You can be in serious troubles doing that. Could cost you a lot too. Where is freaking justice in that?
Fate has a nasty habit of kicking you square in the butt when you’re down. It is not for nothing there is a saying that goes: when it rain it pours. And it is pouring buckets in my corner lately. I am soaking wet and it is not raining men alleluia. It is cold, hard merciless rain; the sort that can give you chronic bronchitis and pneumonia if I don’t have it already. Could be the case because confusion is one of its symptoms. Maybe I’m rattling because I’m confused.
Anyway, whatever condition I’m in, I hope I will not be tempted to challenge the 6th commandment one of these days…
After renovating extensively spending every waking hour and every available cash to modify beautify and glorify, we are now selling our six bedrooms two bathrooms 3 reception rooms Edwardian dwelling. A house we thought would be our home and will be spending the rest of our days puttering in the garden.
Now that the trees are finally settling down after I uprooted them from their natural forest habitat and transferred them cruelly in my plot to create a woodland garden, now that the plants I spent thousands of dollars for (okay, some of them I have stolen from public parks, but only cuttings never the whole plant) are starting to established and flourish after moving them around quite a lot to have the desired effect and proper location according to the movements of the sun and their needs of it, I am selling the place.
Only last year we built an state-of-the-art gazebo bigger than most average suburban homes designed as a house complete with rooms one mostly finds in a normal abode except the bathroom and enjoyed so many summer months lazing under it thinking we were in the south of France (which is the general feeling the place gives us) listening to the songs of insects mingling with that of birds surrounded with thousands of species of flowering plants and tall grasses we thought life indeed is grand. And now I am selling all of that.
Why one might ask? The answer is I don’t know. Probably because it’s too big for only two people, perhaps because the last winter had been quite hard and took longer than normal and this kind of house one cannot heat properly even with the central heating at full force with the help of couple of log burners and for rheumatoid arthritic like myself it is really suffering unless one wants to burn every dollar one owns and some more (God knows I’ve done that for 5 years in a row) and ended up in welfare losing the house in the process.
Maybe it’s the beautiful garden itself. Everyone who knows a bit about gardening would realize how difficult and time-consuming it is to tend and maintain a cottage garden (plus-plus) and in my recent and fast declining situation/condition, the future isn’t so bright. So, selling is the only option, how sad is that?
The new house.
I call it downgrading, but my reason –to- live -in -Belgium strongly argues and disagrees. He said it’s just another type of house but not necessarily inferior in comparison. They call it a villa, I call it a bungalow. But in reality, it is a cottage; a modern sleek cottage that somehow retains its cottage-y ness despite being modern. Well, at least it is detached, has a driveway and landscaped garden surrounding the property. The plot is approximately same size as our last but because the house itself sits in the middle, it looks smaller. So much so that I can see the end of the garden just by looking out the window (which is not the case in my current abode) I always want a garden where you can create rooms and explore while others tend to gravitate towards football fields and expanse of lawns. Sorry, but one can hardly call a square of green grass a garden. There is a huge difference.
Why on earth we bought it? Well, the answer is I don’t know. I always said that I will never buy a house next to a busy road (it is) and I will never consider purchasing a property in the middle of nowhere, meaning very far from amenities like bakery, shops, butchers etc. (it is) and I am always reluctant to look at smaller places where I cannot bring and fit my furniture in (now we’re selling those too) but the moment I enter the threshold of this villa/bungalow/cottage, I was sold. I already wanted to sign on the dotted line without even seeing the rest.
Why? Maybe because it’s new and no one lives there yet, perhaps it’s the interior decoration done in earthy colours which I love the most and everything in its proper place, no mess no cluttered. Probably the sleek modern contemporary design of the place coupled with a subtle hint of character that done me in, I don’t know.
You see, even though the house is almost 16 years old, it always had been a model home. Meaning the company who build these type of houses used this property as a showpiece, as a direct result the house is done in a highest possible quality and maintained throughout the years (they even changed the entire roof two years ago) it is much like buying a showroom stock car, you got a lot of extras which normally not included unless you pay for it.
Like I said before, the garden is landscaped complete with fancy spots and mood lighting; the terraces are already there and immaculately done, there is burglar alarm and so forth and so on…
For the first time ever, I don’t have to renovate. Not even as much as holding a paintbrush (which I have difficulties lately), it’s like eating out in a restaurant; you get to eat super food without the hassle of cooking and washing up afterwards. Okay, you pay a premium for the privilege but aren’t we at some point willing to part with some extra cash if we know it is worth the hassle?
I don’t know what life would bring in this new place. I have no idea if we could love it as much as we love our current home (which is not much I guess if we’re willing to sell. Think of it like marriage. One will not divorce one spouse simply because s/he gotten old or ill like having rheumatoid arthritis) I have no idea how long we would stay in this place (I hope forever because we bought the property with an eye for later development like: this one is accessible in all sides with wheelchair and needed not much of maintenance inside or outside plus the EPC is low which you normally get in those modern eco-friendly houses) one thing is for sure, I would bring as many plants as I could from my former dwelling for two reasons. One is I can’t live without a cottage garden and abundance of flowers and buzzing of insects and songs of birds around me. Another is for sure whoever will be the new owner of my Edwardian gem would transform the garden into a football field and I will never forgive myself if those plants I lovingly tended for years would die and perish simply because some people cannot appreciate beauty in nature…
To be continued…
What a perfect day looks like…
If someone asks me that question when I was young(er) my answer would be different. I would say a day full of adventures like a roller coaster ride is my idea of fun. Gallivanting in every sense of the word will be the appropriate description of what I had in mind, including playing around amorously. But that was a thing of the past now. Those silly adventures were replaced by real and quieter endeavors. Gradually, the quietness turned to solitude to full isolation, currently how I am living.
I am an introvert. Difficult to believe if you see me in real life and even more difficult to understand when people read that I coupled introversion with gallivanting in the same breath. But you see, having fun doesn’t mean you let people in your personal life or allow them to be part of it. You can always choose when, where, how things are going to happen; all on your own terms. And you can always go home alone. No string attached. Take what you need and disregard the rest; don’t wear out your welcome, never let familiarity creeps in. Avoid complication at all times. In short: intimacy without intricacy.
But there is a vast difference between self-imposed isolation and forced isolation. And that’s what bothering me lately. I will not elaborate in that out of respect for some people. They can hurt me but I don’t want to return the favour. I never was vindictive. Let’s just say that my ideal, perfect day looks a lot different now than before. Simpler too.
A day without pain would be great. That is all what I am hoping/wishing for lately.
Reply To Daily Prompt: Sparkling or Still
I just finished reading a book by P.S. about some random divorced woman named F.
Normally, it wasn’t my usual cup of tea; it belongs to a bunch I recently picked up from a charity shop originally meant for reading pleasure of the weed who will devour anything she can get her hands on without understanding the contents. Ask her about the story right after she put down the book and she will not be able to tell you anything.
Anyway, I must admit I didn’t bother to flip through the pages or read even the back cover. It’s thick, it’s colourful, it will suit the purpose I thought.
About a week ago, I was looking for some reading materials to pass the time in the loo (I tend to sit longer there than anywhere because of my IBS) aside from the usual supply of spiritual glossy magazines I get in a regular basis from the mother of you-know-who and why not nick one of the weed’s I thought.
Surprisingly, the book is nicely written and there are some recognizable situations here and there; so, I kept it next to the toilet seat in the master/en suite bathroom.
Though it was a good read, the story is more like a fairy tale to me. Why? C’mon, how many timid, doormat stay-home for 20 years mom with no academic background and no working experience or whatsoever, scorned, crushed and abandoned for much younger woman who will find herself a partner of some big PR firm, bought a new house which btw designed and decorated by some famous architect within a year after the hubby left her? And to top it all, she lost her pasty complexion shed the too many excess pounds become more beautiful than ever and been wooed by a gorgeous journalist within a month after the separation. Okay, the guy is maybe a drunkard but he’s dishy and successful nonetheless.
I can believe that there are some women out there (once they have read the book) who imagine that being cheated and dumped by their husbands is the best thing that could ever happened to them and the road to divorce is paved with gold and full of exciting adventures. Some probably would think: if it could happen to F. it could happen to me.
But like most fairy tale stories, it gives nothing but the illusion of false hopes. Come to think of it, as all fairy princesses, F. is also armed with the most important commodity a woman could have (except her p***y) looks! (surprise, surprise) and guts of steel as a bonus which she never demonstrated during her 20 odd years of marriage. I said to myself: what about girls who look like… me?
But I don’t want to get carried away towards that particular direction so, I’m going to stop right here which reminds me of something someone asked somewhere the other day… “Which is worse, death (of a partner) or divorce?” and I’m not talking monetary aspects here because if I am then the answer is ready made.
Me, myself I admit a get a notion or two after reading the book; but although some days I am ready to go or locked someone out (which I effectively did last Sunday but un/fortunately my son made a surprise visit so I had to open the door or otherwise…) and complain once in a while, life isn’t that bad; especially if you compare it with others.
Who doesn’t have bad moments every now and then? All things considered, for the meantime; I’m not going anywhere.