Tag Archives: people

Stories

The story of how one t-shirt makes me feel

All I have left of you is one t-shirt.
I deleted all your texts and erased you from social media. I even threw away an odd sock I found of yours, black with an orange toe and heel.

This one t-shirt that I can barely bring myself to look at, let alone wear, crops up in my washing every now and again. It is so foreign to me, so infinitesimally you that I cannot wear it and feel at home. I do not recognize it. Maybe that is because I never felt at home with you. Never felt comfortable in my own skin. Always brittle, on edge, ready to snap and break in your presence. To shut down and shut you out.

This one t-shirt is all I have left to remind me of you. When I close my eyes and try to conjure your image up I cannot. I can only see small details. Your red curls, your ice blue eyes, the freckle on the pinkie of your left hand – the one I only noticed the day we walked away from each other. I remember the gap in your teeth, that funny tight smile and the way you used to say my name, hold my hand, stroke my face. But you as a whole/the person I thought I knew? That I cannot see.

This t-shirt is all I have left to remind me of the darkest five months of my life. The hardest, most painful, jagged and scarring thing I have ever endured. Five months of stretching and snapping. Five months of seeing how happy we could have been and five months of being miserable. Five months of wanting to let go and love and not being able to. Five months of pushing you away and wanting to hold you close. This t-shirt is a memento of my failure. Of my loss. Of you.

When I wear this t-shirt and people comment on it – they say ‘that suits you’ or ‘i haven’t seen you in that before’ or why don’t you wear it more often?’ And the words to tell them why I do not wear it catch it my throat. I say – it is not mine.

I can never bring myself to say that it is yours.

― Alice Nicolov

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Six Degrees Of Separation

If I were to kill myself tonight I would do it to get into hell
And from that eternal consuming state
I’d wander 3,000 feet below your toes 
And that, to me
Is the apotheosis of everything I couldn’t say
Because you weren’t ready to hear it
Or maybe because I fear rejection
And showing nothing means feeling nothing
I wish I could mutter the words
To bring you back
To have you crawling from under my bed
And finally, realize you were the monster in my head
The idyll in my dreams
The reason I’ve turned into an insomniac sleepwalker
A wrecked lifeless being
Who later took this nothingness and despair
And transformed it into poetry
With which I hoped I could make you mine
And force you to remain in our realm
Built on demons and sleepless nights
And inner peace
To get by.

Six degrees of separationby Vlada Bunescu

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Pairs

Things of importance,
Are always in twos I presume.

Sadness, joy
And then
Sadness resumes.

Moments shared with you
Are always lived twice.

Once what angered me
I laugh at it and rejoice

And then I remember
The rainy December
We’d laughed till we got
All tired

Now I looked back at that time and cried.
I live my every moment with you
In two alternating shades

Once with you
And then again
As your presence fades.

— “Pairs” by Iqra Aslam 

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Today’s Thoughts

Maybe it doesn’t need to be anxiety. Or paranoia. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a result of a difficult childhood or bullied adolescence. Perhaps, it isn’t necessary to meet up with the requirements listed in a fancy Wikipedia article about heavy mental disorders for it to hurt. Each seemingly vague collision with this world’s cruelty can leave you gasping for air, clinging at the stitches. Each lover that abandoned us, each friend who turned their back in a crucial moment … it piles up. Waiting for the timer to count down the seconds. And when it hits, the bones in your body will be screaming to surface, burning in an infinite parallel universe. Immeasurable will be the crushing weight of the piling thoughts, echoing in that sad head of yours. But do not ever, under any condition, permit somebody to restrain your right to feel pain, only because they have suffered far more severe injury. Do not let anybody count your scars and tell you to “get over it”, after comparing their number to yours. It is not a contest. It is not a race on who can get fucked up beyond repair first. Respect others’ misfortunes and approach them in a kind manner. But expect the same in return and do not settle for any less.
If it is human to ache, it should be human to sympathize. Why have we let the course of our civilization reach this point? Why did we permit such constant comparisons? Not only do we now compete for having the best body or hottest outfit, but for who exhausted their hearts first, who gave up the fastest and who can romanticize depression to the fullest. We crossed the boundaries long ago and eloped in a twisted, sick environment. In a place, where scorning is ranked higher than lending a helping hand. Where sorrow is excessively inflicted. So forget them. Turn your back to each hurled remark. Never give a care about how they criticize the way you choose to cope. It depends on you and you alone. Be that hero you dreamed about last night or that inspiring person you overheard in the subway. That’s all it really is, life, I mean – learning how to cope and move on.

#ReaderSubmission by Kiki

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Laughter It’s Not

You think you miss someone. But it isn’t like that. You miss the moments you shared together. You miss the things they made you feel. You miss the persona you concocted in your head to fit the missing pieces you were too blind to discover for yourself. Until little by little, that persona faded away. You started to uncover the real missing pieces of their complex and erratic personality. Sometimes you’d become amazed at the qualities you hadn’t seen. You’d started appreciating them more and more, growing even more fond of them. Then the days had come when you’d scratched the surface deep enough to see their more obscure vices, and you started to question some things. Regardless of their importance, you pushed these away thinking that you could work through them, or you just ignored them altogether. Until the false image you’d created erodes completely and reveals a stranger. And only when this bubble burst is when you realize that you’d made a grave mistake to have given so much of yourself to them.

~ Berlin ArtParasites

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If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

I disagree.

At least not always and depends on the situation and the manner of showing your assets. It’s okay to be confident, it’s okay to be proud of what you have but it’s not okay to be vulgar, not in my dictionary.  

Flaunt means to show something that you are proud of to other people, in order to impress them and in my book, anything you do to impress people ( unless you are soliciting for a job or aiming for something similar) is the same as caressing your own ego, to seek validation, confirmation. And if you need others to verify and affirm your own self-worth, what you are then? It’s the same as only insecure people have an urge to belittle others to feel good about themselves. Only those who have serious self-esteem issues feel the need to stand on someone else’s back to look tall. 

I’m all for self-expression and keeping your own personality and originality but do it because it’s you and nothing else. Don’t be different for the sake of being different. Don’t be out there to be noticed, to stand out and feel special, to attract attention and be admired. Don’t flaunt you think what you’ve got for all the wrong reasons. If you’re authentic, sooner or/than later people will notice believe me. It’s hard to hide one’s own true nature. Like the truth, it will come out eventually.

Just be yourself and if it means being a rainbow amidst all the greys then so be it.

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Observe

That’s what I do (automatically) observe people and surroundings. I can assess situations in mere seconds and draw my conclusion from what’s before me. I see the big picture in one glance and miss nothing. Being an Empath I see more and feel more, therefore, learn more. Words mean nothing to me. It’s the body language and tone of voice I focus on to determine with whom I am dealing with. That and my instinct which up to now never fails me yet.

Even in a relaxed environment and situation I never stop observing and absorbing scenes. People fascinate me in a lot of ways, their relationships with others and their surroundings, and the manners they choose to express their personal tastes and preferences revealing their true characters and what’s going on under the surface. But most of all I admire their beauties from an artist’s point of view. The tilt of the chin, the way the eyes look in certain lights, the cheekbones, and the facial expressions, the colors of the hair when the sun rays hit the strands, freckles over the nose bridge, things like that. What beautiful for me may not be so for the others since beauty is subjective. Let’s put it this way: If a subject caught my attention, that says enough. If it keeps me interested for more than five minutes that’s already a record, but if I want to capture their image through photography or on canvas, that means I’m impressed.

I can’t say this enough: I am not particularly fond of people on a more personal basis but they are my never-ending source of inspiration for my crafts. Them and life itself. 

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What A Pleasant Surprise!

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.

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For Love

Van Gogh gave his severed ear to a
prostitute, and decades later a woman
married the Berlin Wall because she
got too tired of leaving men. A couple
somewhere got surgery to look identical,
and in Florida, a man dug out his dead lover’s
body from the grave. But the prostitute flung
the ear in disgust, and the wall crumbled.
The surgery reminded her too much of his flaws,
and the corpse stank while it lay on the bed.
When I first met you, we talked about
how Sylvia Plath placed her head in the oven.
You laughed and said people do terrible
things when they think it’s for love.
And it reminds me of every time
I scraped wounds because it felt like intimacy.
How I squeezed tears out of those big, pale
eyes and called it vulnerability. When Antony died,
Cleopatra kept a snake on her chest and waited
for its bite. Maybe that’s how it ends: the venom
passing through the veins with slow movements,
dissolving everything with pleasure. Maybe that’s
how it should be: I wonder if the prostitute ever
realized that Van Gogh loved her.
 

~honest musing via Facebook

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Tardy

I’m always on time, contrary to what the world says about our sense of punctuality. We are so famous for our habit of tardiness (along with equally famous mañana habit also known as the love of procrastinating) that we’ve been given a term for it — Filipino Time. Americans coined the phrase in the 1900’s because they were annoyed by our lack of respect when it comes to honoring appointments by coming on time. Tardiness is widely practiced in our country in all walks of life and generally accepted as part of our culture. I, myself don’t understand it and cannot tolerate it from others but what is my wish compared to those of the majority.

Besides, I can’t say that patience is really one of my virtues. I even have trouble waiting for the bathtub to be filled with hot water I rather take a shower.

When it comes to appointments or even a simple family visit (their places or mine) I will have a difficulty sleeping the night before, thinking all sorts of scenarios, all about what could go wrong. Meetings stress me out to the max sometimes I really believe it would cause me a heart attack. Funny thing is, you can’t detect any of those inner turmoils the moment itself. I’m cool as a cucumber (and I’m not pretending) being an extroverted introvert – I know how confusing it is for people so to give you some idea what I’m talking about allow me to directly quote an article I’ve read on the net:  Everyone expects an introvert to be shy and reclusive. And we can be, but extroverted introverts also like to get out there and mix ‘n mingle. When we’re “on”, we are sociable and friendly. When we’re “off”, we hurry home to recharge in solitude. Even though we spend way more time introverting than following the crowd, people only see our outgoing side. They don’t realize that our social batteries are drained very quickly and so forth and so on – I manage social gatherings pretty well and can enjoy them up to a certain degree. Beyond that, lights off for me.

But like I said, detest it or not, I’m always on time. And if something happened in between that hinders me to be punctual, I see to it that I let those who are involved know that I will be late or will not show up at all plenty of time beforehand.

What about you? What are your views about punctuality?

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Daily Prompt:Tardy 

Brilliant

In my country of birth, we have a folklore that goes like this:

One day God was feeling lonely he decided to create something in his own likeness so he set up a fire and started fashioning humans from clay. Satisfied with what he had made he proceeded to bake them in the fire. While cooking, some urgent matter called his attention back to heaven and he forgot all about them. When he finally remembered it was too late, his first batch of images was burned. He decided to keep them anyway and that’s how the black people were born.

Not giving up easily, God decided to try again. This time out of fear he removed his group of new sculptures from the fire a lot earlier than he supposed to do so he ended up with underdone figures that were barely colored. Again like the first group he keeps them. And that’s how Caucasian people came into being. 

A firm believer of the saying third time’s the charm, God decided to try once more. This time he stayed close to the fire eyeing his creations like a hawk, turning them around ever so often so it baked evenly on all sides. When he was satisfied with his work and thought he could not do more or better, he took them off from the fire. And there it was, a batch of perfectly baked golden brown likeness of him. And that’s how we, Asians came to exist. 

What do you think folks? Isn’t it a brilliant story? Take it with a grain (a bucketful if necessary) of salt. It’s only a folklore. I bet each country has their own version of it. 

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Forlorn

…that’s how people look like here, sad, detached, hurried and morose. Big cars and even bigger houses, stable jobs, families and so many chances and choices gleaming future and opportunities, and yet all failed to put smiles on their faces. I am not looking at it from the outside, I live here long enough (even longer than where I came from) to know that whatever they don’t have is nothing compared to what most of the world population has to suffer and make do. And what is it that lacking in their lives? Predominantly warmth and affections, motivations and inspirations, gratitude and contentment, (all the things money cannot buy) and the incapabilities to carpe diem and enjoy little things or merely enjoy. Unless intoxicated. They need so much to laugh and be merry. Lots of alcohol, lots of food, lots of people, clothes, accessories, gadgets trips, anything excess. They do it or pretend to be doing it only occasionally. For the rest of the time, they walk like forlorn figures around they will put those in poor disaster areas in shame. Sometimes I would like to walk to them hold them by the shoulders and shake them hard until their teeth rattled shouting at their faces “Wake up! Don’t you know how lucky you are?” 

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