Procrastinare

Ah, mai sunt doar două săptămâni și încep și eu școala. Vedeți voi, ăștia care încă mergeți la liceu/școală, eu obișnuiesc să îmi bat joc de liceeni pe stradă pentru că încă sunt în vacanță. Îmi place să le văd fețele, cum se smiorcăie în sinele lor și cum se schimbă radical când aud că ei sunt torturați, dar cineva care arată de parcă ar aparține școlii generale e încă în vacanță. Bine, poate nu chiar „vacanță”, fiindcă mai am și eu lucruri de făcut.

Cum ar fi să mă pregătesc pentru examenul de admitere la masterat. No biggie, doar că trebuie să țin o prezentare de 10 minute pe o temă aleasă, tematică oferită de acum o lună, dar pe care eu am început să o fac abia în seara asta. Mai am două zile și trebuie să termin un eseu de cel puțin 7 pagini, din care să îmi scot ideei pe care să le dezvolt într-o discuție monologată de 10 minute. Yep, I am screwed.

Și ghiciți ce fac eu în loc să scriu. Da, așa e, mă uit la seriale. După un chinuitor efort intelectual, în urma căruia am reușit să scriu 153 de cuvinte, am decis că ce am scris până acum e o porcărie indubitabilă care ar trebui arsă, împreună cu creierul meu, și că mi-ar fi mai bine dacă m-aș uita la Preacher. E un serial amuzant. Asta e problema mea, las lucrurile pe ultima sută de metri. Nu contează că sunt teme pentru facultate (sau învățat, sau prezentări de pregătit, sau scrierea licenței/eseului pentru admitere), sau lucruri de făcut prin casă, sau drumuri pe la birourile oficialităților, eu nu pot fi deranjată decât în ultimul moment. Probabil dacă aș mai avea o lună de trăit și ar trebui să îmi iau rămas bun de la fiecare persoană la care țin, aș face-o cu o oră înainte de deadline. Știți voi, să nu trebuiască să vorbesc prea mult.

Și nu e doar o problemă cu plictisul, cu spleen-ul, ci e doar indiferență. Mulți îmi spun că lucrez mai bine sub stres. Eu spun că nu mă interesează ce se întâmplă, dacă la final eu ies întreagă. Și am ieșit, de cele mai multe ori. Adică, am obținut rezultate mai bune când nu mă chinuiam să fac ceva, când doar, vorba englezului, I was winging it.

Cred că ăsta e noul meu motto. Și, bineînțeles, Fake it till you make it.

În caz că nu știați că sunt (și) nihilistă.

Anunțuri

Cine mai are nevoie de eroi?

Eroul meu. Sau, pur și simplu, un erou. Cineva care îmi face viața mai frumoasă, cu care mă identific, către care mă uit plină de empatie și dragoste necondiționată și îmi spun: „Da, vreau să ajung și eu așa!”

Acum câteva luni am predat o lecție de diringenție unor copii de clasa a V-a. Titlul lecției chiar ăsta era, „Eroul meu”, iar răspunsurile lor au fost dintre cele mai variate. Harry Potter, tipa din The Misterious Ladybug, mama, câțiva fotbaliști a căror nume nu le știu. Iar motivele erau, din nou, când foarte comice, când extrem de emoționante. Spre exemplu, cineva era fermecată de o fantasmă legată de ea și Harry Potter și de cum va arăta stând la mâna lui, în calitate de soție. Cum spuneam, foarte amuzante.

Inevitabil, a venit și întrebarea – pe care eu încercam să o evit, de altfel – cine e eroul meu? Am ales un răspuns la întâmplare. Bine, nu la foarte mare întâmplare. Am ales-o pe profesoara McGonagall. De ce? Pentru că e dintr-o carte pe care toți (sau aproape toți) o cunosc, e un personaj matur, stern, care impune respect și ascultare. E modelul de profesor spre care toți tindem să fim.

Noi mințim ca să ieșim din situații inconfortabile, nu? Pentru că ne e frică să fim judecați, pentru că nu vrem ca ceilalți să ne eticheteze drept ciudați, să nu afle cele mai adânci secrete, temeri și dureri, pe care să le folosească împotriva noastră. În ultimul timp am lăsat cam multe din personalitatea mea „fantastică” să iasă la suprafață, așa că îmi pare rău dacă, pentru un moment, am vrut să fiu văzută nu ca „ciudata” sau „Satana”, sau „aroganta aia”, ci ca „doamna profesoară”, un adult funcțional, dar care mai are încă de învățat. Da, i-am mințit pe elevi pentru că nu puteam să le spun cine e eroul meu adevărat. Cum aș fi putut?

Eroul meu, deși mă doare să o spun, nu e mama mea. E o persoană pe care o respect și pe care o iubesc și pentru care aș face orice. Dacă stau și mă gândesc, nimeni din familia mea nu e „eroul” meu. Sunt mult prea disfuncționali pentru a fi considerați așa. Eroul meu nu e nici Harry Potter, sau Katniss Everdeen, sau Percy Jackson, sau Captain America. Nu e nici măcar Batman. Ei sunt mult prea perfecți pentru a-mi reflecta propria imagine.

Vedeți voi, eu am o imagine extrem de distorsionată despre ceea ce înseamnă lumea în care trăiesc. Nu e foarte optimistă, dar nici pesimistă. E realistă, dar cu ceva în plus. E Naturalistă. Eu nu văd nici ce e bun în oameni, nici ce e rău, ci o proiecție exagerată a lor, de care îmi e frică. Paranoia și anxietatea nu ajută. Nici faptul că de când eram mică am început să urăsc ceea ce reprezintă unii oameni, ideile pe care le promovează și modul lor de a gândi. Unii oameni chiar îmi dau dureri de cap. Așa că nu mai suport mulțimile de oameni, locurile aglomerate și gălăgioase, nici să fiu în centrul atenției, să mi se pună întrebări de către străini, să port discuții nesemnificative cu ei. Dacă îmi arată poze cu nepoții lor nu pot să mă bucur pentru ei, pentru că pur și simplu nu îmi pasă.

Stai stai stai! STAI!! Ce legătură are toată tirada asta de cuvinte cu eroul tău? Veți vedea. Răbdare.

În liceu, profa de română mi-a zis că mi-am construit un zid care mă separă de restul. A avut dreptate, dar doar pe jumătate. Eu nu mi-am construit un zid, mi-am făcut un igloo, o fortăreață din pietre masive, pe care doar apa le poate eroda, dar până o va face eu voi fi moartă, iar fortăreața mea va fi în paragină. Da, ce pot să spun, nici măcar un geam nu e deschis ca să lase oamenii să intre, doar o mică gaură care face legătura cu un șemineu și pe care te poți strecura doar dacă ești Moș Crăciun. Recunosc, sunt cățiva care mă înțeleg și care au câte un bilet de intrare, dar cam atât. Sunt izolată, mai pe scurt, doar eu și amintirile mele, gândurile haotice care îmi trec prin cap de dimineață și până seara.

Dacă ați înțeles ceva până acum, e bine, pentru că urmează să dau indicii despre eroul meu. După cum spuneam, le-am zis elevilor de clasa a V-a că eroul, sau eroina mea, e Minerva McGonagall, doar pentru că e mai ușor de înțeles pentru ei. Cum aș fi putut să le explic că, de fapt, eroul meu e alcoolic, ascultă rock și face sex fără să se gândească la consecințe? Că e loial și curajos, dar în același timp cea mai frântă ființă din lume? Că își urăște familia, dar o și iubește, că ar face totul pentru cei pe care îi iubește, dar poate omorî fără să se gândească de două ori? Nu, eroul meu nu e perfecta profesoară McGonagall, pentru că nici eu nu sunt perfecta „doamnă profesoară” și nici nu voi fi. Eu sunt atrasă de toate personajele problematice, care nu își găsesc locul, care nu pot face un lucru bun oricât de mult s-ar strădui. Poate nu sunt alcoolică, și nici nu fac sex, dar lumea mea e la fel de răsturnată și dureroasă și singuratică, oricât de mult aș sta înconjurată de oameni.

Înainte să întrebați, sau să cereți un nume, să știți că nu îl voi da. Eroul meu poate fi M., poate fi Plesneală, poate fi Dean Winchester, ba chiar Elliot Alderson. În același timp poate fi personajul la care vă gândiți voi, poate pe care îl admirați, sau care chiar există și care vă distruge viața încetul cu încetul. Gândiți-vă că suntem conectați tocmai prin acest lucru, prin dragostea necondițională pentru acel om care ne face viața un calvar, dar care, incontestabil, va deveni punctul nostru de reper pentru când „creștem mari”.

Și până atunci, ascultați Led Zeppelin – White Summer, pentru vara care tocmai s-a dus.

Travelling 2.0.

The compartment’s door closed, and with it all noises were left outside. Slowly, everything around me toned down, and only the rusty wheels kept ringing in the night, carrying us to our destination. The night was still, despite the wheezing sound of the train and the gentle snores of the passengers.

I could never sleep while travelling. I get too excited, but a feeling like something bad is going to happen creeps out on me. I mostly day-dream: of losing my bags, of forgetting something behind, of getting off at the wrong station. So I sit in silence and wait, analysing my fellow mates in their sleep. I become a guardian.

The only problem is my mind. Lack of sleep attacks it and it starts producing weird images about those around me. Right now, the tall guy in front of me has something crawling under his shirt. A bulging shape, like a snowball, moves restlessly on his chest, sometimes jumping, sometimes just vibrating stronger and stronger until it comes to a sudden stop. Then it resumes its movement. Of course, he does not feel anything. And I cannot wake him up and tell him that his shirt has gone haywire, he would think me insane.

The rest of the group sleeps. I hum silently, keeping the nightmares at bay. From the corridor, a bit of light comes in the compartment, and the window becomes a mirror. I see my ghostly face, blank eyes looking behind. I can see limbs and clothes scattered on the benches. There are six of us here, in this cramped room. Five teenagers and an adult. The teenagers were drunk. The adult was being responsible. We were all singing old songs, songs that we learned from our grandparents, songs that now are mostly unknown. And we drank.

The girl’s hair has turned into golden daggers. They float around her head, hissing like snakes, turning into a dangerous halo. One of them touches the girl’s forehead and blood starts spilling. Not much, it just gets into her eyelashes, and on her cheek, and then it drips onto her blouse. Magnificent. It has such a lovely colour. The daggers stop for a second, watching the blood flowing down and then, with a hiss, they attack the girl’s face. Now there’s blood everywhere.

I remember having a conversation with the adult. There was not much talking, more body language and I thought he must be a lovely person. He seemed caring, charming, grownup. Something I was not. He took care of us, explaining how the world of trains was going, how to remember when we have to get off the train and things like that. He was civilized and mannered, looking as if he lived in a book all of his life. I guess he lived surrounded by them, seeing as he had several books in his bag and he talked about them with such fondness that it was almost scary.

A spider touched my shoulder, telling me to pay attention. I looked in the mirror and there it was, legs all over the place and eyes that were spinning fast in his head. He sheds more hair than my three cats put together. Is it normal for a spider to shed hair? Is this something I will see only once, just because I am on this train? He taps my shoulder again, urging me to face him. So I turn around and stare and he stops moving, just breaths in and out. All of his eyes are closed, but a dim light comes from underneath them, and it is warm and peaceful and it makes me want to reach out and touch it. I want to live inside that light.

I have always suffered from insomnia. Nights are just not made to sleep. I am not made to sleep, when all of these great things happen at night. Most of the time I am walking around aimlessly, surrounded by darkness. Sometimes there is the moonlight, showing the trail I have to follow. I rely on hearing and smelling, my other senses are paralyzed. The only thing I can do is walk and I know I have reached my destination when there is this warm feeling growing in my chest and all my senses come to life. I do not reach home, but whatever makes me feel safe now and then.

The adult in front of me has his eyes wide open. There are no pupils, just a milky white substance. He sits crossed-armed in his chair, his face paler than the moon. He talks to me, or towards me, but no sound comes out. His purple mouth is blurred and unfocused, but it moves quickly. The strong smell of earth surrounds him and everything starts smelling the same. It feels like we are travelling in a wooden box beneath the ground. Yes, my friends… a coffin indeed. The only sound I can hear now is the buzzing from his whole being, vibrating within the walls of the compartment. The screech of the wheels cannot be heard anymore, limiting my perception of the road to the adult in front of me. In a moment, the others are gone, only the adult and I sit face to face in a cramped compartment, white eyes starring into brown ones.

A rattling sound comes from outside the door. The coach attendant passes by, rushing towards the end of the coach, aiding one of the passengers. Something weird is happening, since at this time at night we should all be sleeping. Then again, as I boarded the train, a young couple with a baby took their places several compartments to my left, so I do not think it is curious that they had a problem. Babies cannot restrain themselves, so they become restless and loud if certain arrangements are not done before.

A soft weeping sound can be heard as I doze off, facing the windows once again. It is soothing, but alarming at the same time. Behind me, my fellow travellers sit still, not one of them moving. They are enveloped in a heavy mist, looking almost dead, as they accept their slumber with utmost precision. The weeping grows louder and louder, finally becoming the cry of an unknown bird. I think it is a bird, although it could be a wale or a cat for all it matters. The darkness does not let me see clearly. I can sense one of the boys moving in his sleep. His hand rests on his stomach, a fist tightly wrapped around the blouse. The compartment suddenly reeks of iron and salt. I do not know from where. As I watch him closely, he turns his head towards me. His hand reaches out for my face but stops mere inches away. Sharp claws gingerly touch my cheeks, leaving trails of blood under my eyes. The weeping cry never stops.

            A bottle of whiskey falls down with a clank. We all jump, but they do not wake up. I remember drinking from that bottle, thinking that it is the only thing I can do while I am away from my parents, from the stupid rules they impose just so they can control my life. The bitter taste still lingers on my lips and a headache announces its visit. I try to forget about them, turning to my old friend, the window. The rising sun lights up the way, warming up my face and controlling the shadows that were my companions all throughout the night. Now, I can finally relax. In a few hours, I shall reach my destination, leaving the nightmares behind. I fall asleep for a few moments, thinking about the fresh air I will inhale once I leave this train.

The coach attendant wakes me up. I have less than five minutes to gather my luggage and make my way to the door. I thank him and look around to my companions. They are still asleep, ghostly smiles perched upon their lips. I leave them alone, knowing that they will protect those who choose to travel by train the next summer. As I make my way through the train station, five empty pairs of eye sockets stare down at me through the dusty window.

Wasted

Looking from the distance, one could say that the sun was the only thing keeping the town alive. From a large distance, the idyllic town shone and glimmered and reflected the sunrays from thousands and thousands of hot rooftops. A slight hum could be heard, from the distance, making one think “oh, it’s alive.”

However, once one came closer to the town gates, one could see that the bright sun that governs over all mankind, did nothing good for this particular town, for it lay its unforgivable rays upon its ground, turning everything to dust. The yellow dust was patched, here and there, with darker spots, like grass had been burnt, or like blood has been splattered everywhere. The almost shiny rooftops had holes in them, and bore the dangers and the horrors of events that have long ago happened, and now it looked like the sunrays were a burden they had to carry until the end of time. Everything was rotted, the wood, the concrete, the asphalt, the steel, fruits and vegetables and people too. Upon it, like a sentence given by the old Gods, a dusty memory hung around, screaming “decay” at everyone who dared step closer to the gates, or had the misfortune of crossing them. The old railway screeched and puffed as ghost of past trains carried through time the same old, same old whisper: run…run…run…

Looking from the distance, one could always say that it was a punishment those people had to pay for what they did. Up close, the ghostly people knew that what had happened to them was no punishment. They looked through dirty, smashed windows, hidden behind torn drapes, at the street below them, where the same thing happened over and over again, like it was put on repeat, or like a record that was scratched by listening to it constantly. They were in a time loop, or so they thought, but they never knew why. They understood their so-called punishment, but why did it had to be this? Surely some other form of “punishment” could’ve been given to them, and not this barbaric display of the past, right? I mean, what is the point of moving forward, if you have to relive your worse memories with the precise of a clock?

Hope was all forgotten. Redemption was a taboo no one even wanted to think about.

So why was it that when he came, everything started to fall back together? He was nothing but a mortal, so why was he so special? The ghosts could not tell.

And neither could I, for that matter.

Everyone saw him walking on the street, far away from the gates, almost reaching the Town Square. He took every step with precise consideration, almost philosophizing whether he should make that step, or go back. From where he stood, he almost looked like one of those ghosts: no hope of redemption ahead of him, and no place where he could safely return to if he decided to turn around. I guess, the only motivation keeping him moving was the water. The sweet, cold, energizing thought of finding water, of washing his face, of calming this wretched thirst that was still laughing at him, although he desperately tried to ignore it. If the human body is made out of 70% water, then his supply was steadily and undoubtedly going down. One could say it was his destiny, to run out of water in the middle of this desert and find this old, forgotten town.

He could see only water. It rose out of the ground, in 15 meter geysers, or swirled on the ground, fumbling over dusty, almost non-existent stones, or, at some point a few steps before, dancing around him, splashing his face, as water demon fairies drove him mad. Oh, how he longed for that water.

Slowly but steadily, he walked and walked and walked until he reached the Town Square. It was just like any other Town Square, with empty food stands, and stands where trinkets were sold, and carpets and animal stands, a paved, broad, stony street with multiple arteries going up and down the city, following the lines of the houses, like a big flower that let its petals run amok in the wilderness that was the town. In the middle of this old, forgotten piazza, an old, forgotten well stood tall. Well, not that tall, after all it was just a well, but it was big nonetheless. And it looked just like any other ordinary well. Only, there was a problem with it. It held no water.

The man should have expected that. He hurried towards it, anticipating the moment the water would touch his lips, the sweet taste of fresh, cold water travelling down his throat, rejuvenating his powers after the long hours wasted in the desert. He leaned on the well, wanting to take a good look at its contents before the bucket started its descend. He mechanically threw it in the well and waited for a splash that would not come. He swung the rope up and down, to the left and to the right and after a while, he brought the bucket back. Inside, only sand covered its bottom. Old yellow sand that held no memory of humidity, of water, or even of animal body liquids. He could not drink sand.

The man sat down and took his head in his hands. He wanted so desperately to cry, but he was afraid the tears would dehydrate him even more. So he sobbed, he used his voice to give life to those tears that wouldn’t come out. Pathetic.

A brown hand reached for him and lightly touched his shoulder. It shook him until he looked up. A mane of curly, short, brown hair, with a halo made out of light gazed upon him. He could see a child, a girlish child, sitting in front of him, the brown mane and the brown hand and the light halo being the only things that he could clearly see. If he thought about it more, maybe it was a boy next to him. Or a middle-aged man, a sort of midget like he once saw in one of his grandma’s picture books about Lords that hunt the barbaric uncivilized men at the end of the world. The silhouette could have been the water demon that taunted him not so long before.

A staccato voice filled the air around them. He realized the man-child before him spoke, but he could not see his lips moving. Is this some kind of sorcery, he wondered. He realized he was being asked a question. The annoying voice repeated … what are you doing here … again and again until he had to answer … water … but the man-child only looked at him with feigned politeness … there is none … until he looked away. The light was just too much for his dry eyes.

… look around you and you will see … The man-child clearly wanted something from him, but he was just a passer-by, he had nothing, hold nothing, his mind was blanc and so was his soul … see what, there is nothing here … because for too many years he wandered the planet in search of that which was lost with his childhood … just look, and you will see … and now this damned desert with its lack of water turned the imagined oasis into a nightmare … fine … he’ll do anything if it’ll make the man-child turn away and leave him be.

His eyelids were growing heavier and heavier by the minute. He laid his head on the pavement just as the sun changed its colours. The bright, sterile cerulean sky morphing into softer shades of pink, orange, and purple one would most likely see on the walls of a nursery. And look, bunnies and bears started dancing in the sky as well. A brighter shade of red invaded his vision. Dust rose from the ground. Sounds could be heard everywhere near him.

The man opened his eyes, and found himself in the middle of a party. A traditional dance took place a few meter in front of him, multiple couples circling the Town Square and himself at the same time. Flowers fell from the sky and perfume scents enveloped every human around him. They all looked clean and fresh and perfect, with perfect smiles plastered on their face, with broken laughter coming out of them. It was like he was trapped inside a rusty music box. The particular sound of water splashing the ground caught his attention and he looked to his right. Fifteen meters geysers erupted from time to time here and there. Under one of these geysers, the man-child stood and looked smiling and him.

The man started laughing. He laughed and laughed until his stomach hurt and he bent from the middle. Tears started rolling down his face and he covered his middle with his hands, fearing he would soon break half. He kneeled on the yellow pavement laughing and laughing and laughing and ignoring the sudden coldness of the water that showered him for two minutes straight.

If one would look at the city from afar, one would see the sun shining brightly on the freshly cleaned rooftops, the dusted pavement welcoming travellers to spend the night in.

Once the town gates came closer and closer, one could see a ghost of a town, filled with dust and memories. White-backed vultures circled the town for their next meal. At the centre of the town, where the old Town Square used to be, a white circle, resembling a light halo, can be seen near an old, dust well.

And everywhere, from the town’s gates to the lower city, the wind laughs and laughs and laughs.