… people who don’t dream, who don’t have any kind of imaginative life, they must… they must go nuts. I can’t imagine that…
“Just that dwelling and planning is bullshit, you dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Spend too much time planning for the future and you just push yourself backward, or you stay stagnant in the same place all your life. Live in the moment, where everything is just right, take your time and limit your bad memories and you’ll get wherever it is you’re going a lot faster and with fewer bumps in the road along the way.”
I’m on atop of the world looking… 🙂
During one of my adventurous walks I came across this dilapidated shack at the edge of the forest in the middle of a swamp far from any sign of life. It stood a little bit crooked and had broken windows. I always have been attracted to these kind of places. I know it might sound strange but I feel they breathe life, they house untold stories and keep secrets waiting to be discovered… Their pull is so strong it is impossible to ignore so I went in.
Inside I saw sign of occupation. There was some old furniture. A broken table, an old gutted sofa and a chair with a missing leg stood in the middle of the room. I found couple of blankets on the floor, dirty but usable. A pile of garbage stood in one corner, mostly food containers, wrappers, empty bottles of water and some broken glasses. There was a plastic bag full of folded papers tied up together. To me, they looked like letters. I was right away intrigued.
If I have more time I will stay a bit longer and scrutinize the contents of the bag, probably read the letters. But as it was, I was running late (like always) and I wanted to reach my car before the sun go down on me. So, against my will I moved on. But I promised to myself I’ll be back when the weather is more cooperative, probably in the spring…
“Ah, life’s little surprises! They can make any day unforgettable… or make it your last.” ~ T.A. Barron
After 13 years of marriage, lots of coincidences and a jumble of confusing often horrifying circumstances; I woke up one day a changed woman.
The waking up happened on my 30th birthday, around 1:00 in the morning in a club I went with my so called friends to celebrate another year added to my life. On paper I was old enough but in reality I looked barely eighteen. Photographs can testify to that claim because they seldom lie, unless of course one edited them. When I’ve met D. He thought I was 24. In fact I was 37 years old. Imagine that. I remember being banned from a disco when I was twenty five because the guard thought my identity card was falsified. Story of my life.
I was bending forward, head between my knees shaking my hair loose to add volume to the sweaty strands that were beginning to fasten themselves on the back of my LBD; and when I looked up, he was there staring at me.
Tall, blond, blue eyes and clearly younger than me; but I bet he didn’t know it. He sent his companion to extend an invitation for me and my friends to sit at their table, I declined. My friends wanted to throttle me for that. Spoil sport was added to the list of adjectives they loved to call me behind my back, I didn’t care. I still don’t. I talk to strangers but I don’t go as far as drinking alcohol with them, not even if they’re paying.
A bottle of champagne in an ice bucket appeared on our table shortly after that, with a note asking if he and his friends could join us instead. Well, I could hardly waive them off again without ruining the night of my birthday so, I said yes.
He was 27 years old. A Porsche driving only son of one of the biggest factory owners in the country; I was right away suspicious.
And that was the very reason why aside from a couple of dinner, a drive in his red status symbol car, lots of telephone calls and turned down invitations to private sauna and a night in his flat; nothing happened between us. I was not only wide awake, I was sober too.
I will not believe for one moment that he meant it serious with me.
Maybe serious enough to spend serious money on me in exchange for few occasional serious tumble in the hay, but serious enough to marry me, I don’t think so.
So I let him go.
But he had given me a gift I will cherish for the rest of my life: a consciousness, awareness that there is more to life than what I was having with my thoroughly abusive lying cheating drunkard of a husband. He made me realize that I was still desirable, still in the market, still worth chasing for. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
But it doesn’t mean he cured my inferiority complex which originated from my childhood and honed to perfection by my philandering ex. It cost me (maybe) a bright future with a UN ambassador who kudos for him did all the necessary hard work of digging, scratching and dusting so he could get to my core just to be turned down at the last minute because I didn’t believe I was good enough to be his lifetime companion.
The only move I made that I regret so far.
But it did make me brave enough to go out there and sample all the goodies that I was allowed to eat without the unnecessary and unwanted complications.
Yes I had my share of affairs. Not all of them platonic, that much I could admit. The bits and pieces of the stories, I sometimes share with you, but always the edited version. The incriminating details cleverly omitted not only for my own sake but for the readers and my children as well.
I know people could read between the lines, sometimes too much; but as long as it is not coming from my own mouth, that will remain, suspicions, accusations, and whatever one wants to call it. For the meantime, I will continue to write bits and pieces from my memories and will share them with you whenever I feel courageous enough to let some of the skeletons out the closet and let them dance naked…
At exactly 3:00 o’clock in the morning tomorrow (it means no sleeping tonight) I will be leaving for my annual holiday and will be gone for three weeks. There is a lot of things to take care of before I can make my departure to avoid nasty surprises while I’m gone and when I come back. The water and gas have to be turned off, garbage to disposed, house plants to water (I always upended a big bottle of water with a little hole drilled on top in each pot to ensure they will have something to drink when they’re thirsty) clothes to wash and iron (which makes me think of the amount of dirty clothes I’ll bring back from the trip and yes I don’t use laundry service in hotels) Tidy what have to be tidied in the garden (some plants cannot wait for three weeks for treatment like early flowering shrubs and trees that have to be pruned right after flowering. Keep my hostas and tinder leafy plants away from slugs and snails which seem to be multiplying by the thousands overnight especially now that we are having bad weather. Rain pours like waterfalls from heaven and flooding our garden in seconds (you saw the news) Some plants have to be tied and supported. You know the drill.
I cannot post articles during that time because I vowed a long time ago never to use internet on holidays but I lined up and scheduled some interesting reads for my followers. Okay, I’m all pack ready to go. Money… ticket… passport… And oh, my medicine… have to hide valuables before closing the door. The alarm, the car, all the windows and doors locked. The police have been notified of my absence… Curtains closed, lights out… Did I forget something?
See you in three weeks and keep writing…
When it rains it gives me the feeling of wanting to climb up the roof and make love on the corrugated roof plates.
Seriously, I adore rain; and tend to take a long walk when it’s pouring cats and dogs. I love the feeling of water caressing my face. (They say that it is also a natural moisturizer) and the way the drops look on the foliage is simply amazing! There is some magical something about it. Did you ever notice how the plants look like just after the rain? They seem happy and vibrant and refreshed. Much like us, I guess after we took a shower, or a bath, or a swim. Or something else… I call it being watered.
The colours are more vivid too! As if everything comes suddenly alive! One can almost hear them singing! And the smell! I’m dying to find a perfume that can come close to that intoxicating fragrance of positive energy, hope, and happiness! I am still searching…
Aside from the rain, I adore stormy weather. Now… that is a totally different thing.
Stormy weather is pure excitement! The air is laden, breathing…. Pregnant with anticipation and electrical currents! Charged with heavy, strong emotion that has to come out! You feel that there is something extraordinary coming! I compare it with that crucial, special yet selfish moment before orgasm… you have to chase the feeling, capture it, isolate and…Release!
That moment is yours and yours alone! For that split second, you’re oblivious of your surroundings; you don’t care about anyone or anything. That is your moment, and you got to have it no matter what.
That is the same with rain and stormy weather. (Forces of nature in general) One can hope and pray, but they will have their say. When their moments arrive, they will seize it no matter what. And that is what I call freedom.
Walking in the rain and chasing stormy weather is being part of that feeling of abandonment. It may not be totally mine, but to share their eternal glory is for me good enough…
Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…
I was driving on the highway feeling a little bit better than yesterday when about three kilometers from my supposed destination I decided to pull off at the side of the road next to a gas station.
The reason for this was in my peripheral vision I saw a glimpse of a brasserie/restaurant, and from my position behind the wheel the place looks quite inviting; their terrace in particular, which is overlooking the road and seems full of happy people. I pulled off because I was hungry. Aside from the bowl of cereal I have eaten earlier, I consumed nothing yet. I woke up at 14:00 o’clock and it took me more than 3 hours to clean myself up and get dressed. These past few weeks, it’s taking longer and longer for me to do life’s daily routine. The answer as to why I am struggling with movements these days is at this moment I am not ready to disclose yet. Maybe later if I’m feeling courageous.
I knew I was not dressed up to dine (I’m about to take my daily walk, remember?) but I thought, brasserie/middle of the week/side of the road, how off-key could I be?
The nearer I came to the place the more I realized how wrong I was! For reasons known only to them, I found myself amidst Louboutins, branded clothes and signature/statement bags and blings.
I am not the kind of person who right away gets intimidated by these sort of things but clad in a loose-fitting printed everyday dress, flip-flops, and jeans jacket, I never felt so out of tune than that precise moment. Though I wanted to run away as fast as I could my pride has gotten hold of me. So, I shook my hair, stood tall and walked erect all the way inside.
I emerged into a posh dining area where almost all the tables were reserved for the evening. Maneuvering between them, I looked for a place away from the main view. There was a table for two at the back of the room which was still available. I was about to sit when a charming all smiling waitress asked me if I rather sit somewhere more comfortable instead of hiding myself at the back near to the loo.She didn’t really say it that way but something to that effect.
I was surprised! I didn’t even notice the door leading to the toilet. Could it be also that the entrance to the little room does not look like the typical door one might expect to find when looking for a restroom? It is made of opaque/smoked glass with some image itched on the surface next to an identical door that says: smoking room. Both have no door knobs/handle. Hygienic I thought.
I looked at the charming girl and she smiled in a professional courteous manner. Not a smirk, but a real genuine smile without underlying meaning to it. I was perplexed. She then guided me to a table in the middle left of the room near to a window overlooking pastoral scenery and an outside lounge area with black and white bean bags and coffee tables that look like overblown mercury droplets.
With that simple ordinary gesture, I was intimidated in the way no Louboutins and signature items could do. There are lots of reasons for it. Allow me to cite a couple of them if I may.
First: Nice, polite people are scarce nowadays. It doesn’t matter which step of the ladder and walk of life they are from, friendliness is a dying gesture. People are become so cramp in their style that smiling hurts their faces muscles they often look constipated. Big houses and even bigger car, high profile high paying jobs and prominent status in the community and they don’t find a reason to smile; why is that? The strange thing is: ready smile (and happy people) you can find in most places where people don’t have a lot of reason to smile about (and be happy) but still can produce a genuine example without difficulty while in the middle of a typhoon or submerged in flood water trying to rescue their meager belongings.
Friendliness with matching smile doesn’t hurt anyone when on the whole your bread and butter required you to do just so. And I am talking from experience here dealing with people in day to day basis.
Scanning the menu is not a good idea when one has not yet collected oneself from a strong jolt of an unexpected event. So, out of confusion, I ordered just bread with something, a cup of coffee and some sparkling water.
When my food came I almost passed out. The coffee which I expected to be just a coffee came with a small glass of fresh whipped cream with a cigar biscuit dipped in some delicious yellowish liquid, and a piece of chocolate so divine it was made of dreams accompanied by a clear unidentified liquor which I gulped in an instance. And the sparkling water! It looked like an over-priced cocktail in some fancy nightclub complete with a wedge of melon hanging on the side of the glass and there were long pieces of lemon and orange zest floating in there! Right away I panicked! I grabbed the menu to check in what price category these sumptuous delights belong to. I almost lost it when I saw that all of what they serve including the ones I have are priced 2-3 euros less than most restaurants I know fancy or not.
The fairy tale continued down to the bread that was brought to my table (the best-looking bread I’ve ever seen so far) the small salad accompanying it was wrapped in a cone-shaped banana leaf, there were pieces of fruit on the side, some resting on scribble of balsamic cream, one physalis was speared and put on top of the bread looks like an airborne fairy. In short, my plate was more resemble a painting on a plate than just A bread. I have a glutton and lactose intolerance but I attacked most of what they served with gusto. I will worry about consequences later.
Why I was surprised getting the quality of food and service they offered in that one particular restaurant? Because like smiles, quality is so hard to come by these days you have to look so hard and pay a lot in order to obtain it if you’re lucky. We become a world where the demand has to be higher than produce they messed up with the quality in order to maintain that balance. Durability is a thing of the past and like I mentioned somewhere in my previous post semper fi it does not only apply to products alone but relationships as well. Someone from the medical field told me that it’s the same story with medicines out there. The main purpose of them these days is not to cure but to make people dependent on them to assure a continuing productivity of the business. But we will not explore that alley, would we? Too complex and too shifty ground to stand on.
I could yada-yada-ya a lot more about various things that question my sanity and understanding as well as whether these things are an insult not only to my intelligence but to fellow humans and consumers as well. But I have a long walk to make and the sun is sinking too fast on the horizon and I’m afraid it will be one of those follow the yellow brick road sorts of walks again. But yeah, in this life, we can never have everything we want, can we?
The only regret I have about the whole visit is not being able to take pictures of the food. But my camera was in the car and I don’t use a cell phone to take photos. Besides, mine is a Jurassic piece I doubt if it can produce decent images. And I am not sure if I want to be caught photographing my food by those shiny happy fashionable people.
It seems to me the fence separating us from who we are and who we can be is not a straight line, not erect, but something wavering and distant, a reflection of who we are and what we fear.
We were born to be free, to expand our horizons by going where we have never gone before, and not to hang out in the relative comfort and safety of the nest, the known. There is a place within us that is courageous beyond our human understanding; it yearns to explore beyond the boundaries of our daily life…
Quotes: Chloe Thurlow & Dennis Merritt Jones
A thought-provoking prompt – Write about the one X that got away — a person, an experience, a place you wanted to visit. How much would you change about your life to have it within reach again?
Thought provoking indeed.
But for some reason I cannot think of anything or anyone that got away. Except for this but I don’t know if I can count it as such. Places… Hmmm… there is no place I will change my life for in order to be there but there are quite few that can change my life if I managed to move there because the climate is highly beneficial to my condition like for example Spain, Portugal, New Zealand – my dream destination by the way- or my birth country Philippines. But for the moment retiring is out of the question, in other word_ out of reach.
How about experience…
Well, there used to be that bungee jumping was on the top of my bucket list but I didn’t get around to realizing that wish and now I’m afraid it is another thing that is out of the question because of my RA and cervical hernia. I still dreaming about doing it though but I know that the chance of it happening lies in Utopia/Avalon/Shangri-La. No harm in dreaming though…
At 18:15 that particular day I stepped out of the car and went inside. The weed was nowhere to be seen (so far so good) normally whenever I arrived home I will find her sitting at the foot of the stairs in the hallway, waiting. Okay, I could understand that she was lonely (so did I) that she was alone when I was working, that we lived a practically isolated life, but that’s me and she knew it. I thrive in solitude (she was very sociable and always looking for contact; in the supermarket, in the sauna, in the street, everywhere!) For god’s sake, I want to be on my own after a day’s work; to unwind, to rest, to think, to be myself. If I find her there waiting for me, I feel guilty. I feel responsible. I feel trapped!
I went directly upstairs and that was a mistake. I saw my computer and before I knew it I was answering comments on my blog. When I looked up… it was 20:00! And I was planning to take a long walk! What now?
After weighing, deliberating and looking at the position of the sun from my bedroom window I decided to give it a shot anyway. I said to myself while studying the map:
“Well… it’s eleven kilometres to where I have to start, I can be there in… fifteen minutes? And if it’s really starting to get dark, I can cut the walk along the river by about two miles; that will give me another ten-twenty minutes allowance, and if I have to, I can always follow the highway for the remaining stretch of the walk.”
I grabbed my rucksack stuffed the pancakes leftover from this morning in, added a small bottle of water and off I went.
Some people listen to music while walking/jogging, I don’t. I need all my senses especially if I’m alone. I have to be alert. I don’t need any distraction. Instead, I kept an eye on the sun. I saw it was sinking very rapidly on the horizon. I know that the weather around late August-early September is treacherous. One time the sun is high in the sky but before you know it, it’s gone. Goes dark faster as well almost in a blink of an eye.
I looked at the map and realized that most of the paths I had to tread had no lights, no houses nearby and woods either on one or on both sides. Fuck! I did it again! How many times I promised myself never to hike in the night. But every time I made it home in one piece, I know I will do it again. Too exhilarating, too exciting, and too tempting just to let it go. I know someday I will pay for my recklessness. As for now… making it home (alive) is my main and only concern.
It went so fast! From seeing one hundred meters before me to I could not even make out my shoelaces! Damn it! Couldn’t use my flashlight even if I wanted to, afraid I might attract attention to myself so, I used my cell phone to illuminate the sign I was following instead. A quick glance at my watch told me that it was 22:15. I was really pushing my luck here. Time to hurry. If only it wasn’t so dark!
The moon was no help either. So pale, so egg-shaped, and so shy hiding behind nimbus clouds. I kept telling myself: as long as it’s not going to rain… I will be more or less okay.
I saw (with so much effort) on the map that I had to pass a castle if at least I’m going in the right direction. But where is the castle in all this darkness?
Scrutinizing the landscape, I can barely make out a silhouette of a turret somewhere. Okay, walk in that direction.
After a time I found myself on a very small muddy path between a river (to my right) and a wasteland? (maybe it only looked that way because of the dark) there was some kind of fencing on the left which I was afraid to touch (for guidance) thinking it was loaded with electric current. Suddenly there was a movement not far away! Very heavy! Very fast! I draw my diving knife from its sheath and waited. Nothing! I walked backwards facing the direction of the sound, relying on my reflex and instinct. Still nothing. I saw that the castle was very near if I could make a dash for it… then what? I did anyway.
Approaching the castle via an avenue of giant corns, I saw that there were lights scattered here and there around the perimeter of the area; for the rest__ darkness. I was reminded of Disneyland. A spooky Disneyland. All of a sudden I became aware of the fact that I was walking straight to the gate of the castle. My mind said: What if that gate suddenly opens up the moment you’re there? What about children of the corn? Remember that? I told my brain to shut up. The place was magnificent even in the darkness. And the more you walk the winding path, the more it came to focus. I walked slowly backwards. As if in slow motion, the castle unfolded its magnificent beauty; tall, dark, and solitaire, waiting for passersby to discover its secrets, beckoning me to come in.
I noticed that there were no trees or plants near the building, nothing to obscure the view, just the fortress itself sitting on an island of soft rolling baby hills covered in green luscious grasses. Amazingly breathtaking. Simply magical.
After the castle, I was plunged into total darkness once more. From a very far distance, I could make out the lighted tower of the church where I had parked my car. Okay, but how to get there? There was not a single path in sight leading to that direction? Then, I realized I had to go through the woods first, then I will probably emerge in the village where the church was. Probably…
I said to myself: “Okay, how about cutting through this surrounding wasteland to reach the big road. Good idea. But the highway is dangerous. There are people there with cars. One could drag your petite old beauty into the vehicle and the rest it’s up to you to imagine. Besides, how could you know that the big road will lead to the church where your safety is? Okay, the woods it is.”
Walking alone in the dark with your knife drawn, scared that someone maybe is there waiting for you ( how could he knows you would pass by at that precise moment?) and in the back of your twisted mind wishing, hoping that it will be true, so you can practice what you learn, wanting to know how it is to have the taste of your first killing if necessary, how it feels to sink the sharp blade into the flesh wounding intently… the feeling is almost orgasmic.
At 23: 47 hours I reached my car without any accident. Pity! Driving home, I was thinking; in all that I experienced a moment ago, still, I could not resist taking pictures of the moon. Now let’s wait and see if it works because my flash was broken.
My own castle here I come!