Category Archives: Stories from the crypt of life

Florence, a city like no other..., Stories from the crypt of life

Why do I write?

Sometimes I feel dead inside. A feeling of nothingness lurks me from around the corner, grabs my senses and throws me into a void. I write the feeling away. The keyboard becomes my best friend and every word pulls me back into this crowded world.

Many people ask me when do I write? Why do I write? Do I have a schedule? Do I have a plan?

I never know how to answer that question. I sometimes believe that I can write myself away; divide myself into little pieces and place them neatly on a page for others to discover. Writing has always been a part of me; you cannot schedule a piece of yourself, just like you cannot schedule your feelings towards something, someone. I write to unleash my darkness, to fill that void, to feel alive. I write when nothing else makes sense except my fingers racing on the keyboard. I write because I need to.

Everything we do is a choice. Every frown, smile, touch, gesture is a choice. Every word we speak out loud is a choice. Most of the times we hate those choices and most of the times we try to take the easy way out. There is no easy way out. That’s just a beautiful mirage created by our twisted selves.

So, why do I write? I need words to fill my life; because stories make us who we are; because shelves would feel lost and sad; because this is who I am and what I chose to be.

Why do you do what you do?

365 days of my life, Stories from the crypt of life

Day 237 – Dead silence

Shhh… all the noise from the outside world disappeared today. I am alone… at last. I tried to fight it at first, went to the window, opened it and focused: nothing. Nothing can bring back the noise for a while. Maybe all that is left is silence, a dead, cold silence.

I hear anything that’s dead must be cold; there’s no other option. I think death is warm. I think she comes like a soft blanket that wraps around you when you are petrified by life’s cold. She must be a relief and a curse, she was built that way. I missed being cold and whenever silence comes, cold is the annoying friend that tags along uninvited. It creates little icicles in my memories and thoughts and forces me to create something new. I can never create if I am warm and comfortable. Nothing amazing can come out of a cozy situation.

It’s so quiet. The house is sleeping, the cat is yawning on the armchair and although I can’t hear it I can imagine the noise made by little feet that play with the blanket over them in a final effort to fight sleep. I can’t even hear my keyboard and my fingers are hitting it as hard as they can. Maybe a ghostly knock on the door, some loud memories, a coffee mug that breaks in the middle of the kitchen, or maybe an image that can explode transforming into different noises can shatter this quietness.

No, this new dead silence has to stay. It’s here, it’s mine, it’s cold. Shhh…

365 days of my life, Stories from the crypt of life

Day 165 – Searching for…

Did I tell you that sometimes I feel like crawling into a hole and not come out of there for a long time? Did I tell you that when I feel like doing that, writing these daily thoughts are the hardest thing I have to do?

I am so tired! I am tired of feeling needy, tired of asking and not receiving, tired of feeling like I don’t belong or that I am not doing enough. Sometimes, I think that maybe in a year from now I will look back at this project and start reading the titles, the words, my life nicely packed in a daily blog diary and I will thank myself for doing this. How much optimism must one have until every little crumble of hope will crash or just pack up and leave? How much waiting, crawling, fighting, wanting does it take to convince yourself you are on the right path and you shouldn’t give up? How many more metaphorical knifes do you have to be stabbed with, for you to turn around and give it all up? Do we ever stop fighting? Do we ever stop wanting?

These are not my questions anymore, I already took yet another turn, one that will hide me from any answers for a while and will put a wall between me and the questions above. But, sometimes, when you take a turn, you can easily get lost and end up on the same street and in the same place you were a minute ago, feeling unsafe and needy again. Ambiguous enough for you? Well, ambiguity is usually the only way to spit up the truth and speak up your mind. Until tomorrow, let’s all breathe a little change and catch the shadow of a smile by the end of the day.

365 days of my life, Stories from the crypt of life

Day 157 – Something different

When I was a teenager, I used to write little stories on my secret notebooks just to try and unleash some of the evil hormones tormenting me. Sometimes, they were very short stories, other times ransom thoughts, or small poems (indeed I used to write what I now hate the most haha), but no matter what I wrote, it always came back to the same feeling, unleashing myself and setting me free. I never planned to become a writer, it wasn’t even on my list, my only interest was literature and finding a job where I can be payed to read a lot of books. (Never found it, moving on.)

When I understood that writing is part of my life, I wondered if I could write more than just short stories and over the years I have started at least five different novels, all of them dear to my soul, some almost finished, some with the length of only three pages; but none of them seemed to fit my standards of becoming my first novel. When my first book got published I wasn’t proud, I wasn’t happy, I only felt exposed and at the mercy of the readers – such a crazy, disturbing feeling, which I absolutely had to relive again. Anyway, that first novel was suppose to have the perfect first page, the perfect beginning and the perfect amount of everything so that it could attract the eyes of hungry readers as myself. I’ve always said that when my brain conceives that first page, I will not delay it for a second, and I will keep on writing until the final dot is placed on the page.

That first perfect page came to me a couple of days ago and when I realized that that was to be the one, I remembered my promise and got immediately to work, fearing that if I will stop, it will move on to the next writer who searched for his first perfect page for years. So, I guess my days look kind of weird and crazy from the outside, teaching classes almost everyday, playing and staying with Ephia as much as possible, pretending to be a good wife (haha), sending out emails, writing articles, working on journalistic projects and then when the lights turn off all over Florence, writing my first novel. I think I asked this before in another entry, but I will try again: Does anyone know any black market where they sell a little extra time? If you do hear anything about it, let me know, I will join you.

365 days of my life, Stories from the crypt of life

Day 79 – Soap opera news, prisoners who have priority and the funeral of my computer

My phone is buzzing on the table. I look at the screen and I pick it up with enthusiasm. “Hi dad! What’s up? Haven’t heard from you in a while.”  I hear an almost imperceptible sigh on the other end and then: “Umm, I’m fine. I had some horrible couple of months and news flash…ummm…you know…I have to tell you something…” What came next was harvest from soap operas and thrown into my ears. I need it him to shut up and I began cursing my enthusiasm of answering the phone, but I had to continue listening. “Please, don’t be mad, I don’t want you to be mad. It just seemed to me that you had no interest to know about this ever. Are you still there? Are you still mad?” I look at Ephia who is enjoying her grown-up fork and shoves it in some pasta, then with a precise move, into her mouth. “No dad, I am not mad. I just need some time to digest this. It’s okay, don’t worry. We’ll talk soon, give me some time.” I hear the same sigh as before and he gives up cheering me up and says goodbye. As I hang up, I feel like my world is crushing into my skull and I desperately need fresh air. I think about soap operas. I have never liked that kind of shit. Oh I get it, if you don’t like it you have to live it; fair enough. I then remember some of my close friends who used to tell me I should write my story and prepare to be famous.

No time to be lame, we had important things to do. I get dressed and go to the computer. I turn it on. A message pops up on the screen: “Error; hard disk not found. To restart your computer press…” I do what the message advises me; once, twice, three times, four times… I stop and call our computer wiz – D. I don’t even panic this time like I did no more then two weeks ago. I have only one thing on that computer that I need – the upcoming interview, which I already redid three times now. I stare at the grey screen and already picture myself transcribing it again. It’s fine, breathe. We need to leave the house and Ephia jumps into my arms knowing what comes next. Two buses and one tram ride away, we arrive at the hospital for me to do a normal post surgery check-up. I was next in line and I don’t know why, but I felt relaxed. 2 pm – a nurse comes out and she is preparing to call out my name when seven policeman come to the door, carefully escorting a girl inside the room. She had bruises everywhere and her look was that of a psychopath in pain. Out of instinct I grab Ephia’s hand and pull her closer to me. I understand quickly that she was a prisoner and she needed a check-up too. I don’t get why she has to go in before us, but I accept it. If you think about it, she has all the time in the world to wait, we, the other people standing in line, having appointments, don’t. Anyway, at 3 pm, I, like the other ones start to get impatient. Normally I don’t really care about these things, but when you have a toddler with you and she starts getting nervous, you start getting nervous too. I begin to pace the hallway, trying to trick my daughter that we are taking a walk. Well, toddlers may be a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them. I try to cancel the appointment but there is a huge line to do that, so I give up and hold Ephia’s hand, asking her for a little more patience (it worked hahaha).  After an hour and a half, the psycho-eyes woman comes out of the room and they call out my name. It’s already extremely late and we are both really nervous, but we go in, smile and accept the apologies the doctor is addressing us. Seconds later, my daughter turns and twists on the chair, falls down and bumps her head. Needless to say that the nightmare began; not because she was hurt, but because that was the last straw she could take after all the waiting, so she exploded. We have tried everything, but this little human is not easy to handle if she doesn’t want too. They have offered her biscuits, balloons made out of gloves, water, kisses, but they only made her cry even harder. So, I have placed her on the chair and asked them politely to leave her alone and to go on and do the check-up, otherwise we will be there the whole day. I gave her a balloon and she took it while sobbing, but not crying anymore. A piece of advice, if your child is screaming, try to avoid having too many people around him/her, they only get more nervous. When we got home, after another two buses and a tram ride, we were both exhausted.

Later in the evening, D told me that my computer is dead and he can’t do anything about it. I didn’t panic, nor felt the claw that usually menaces my throat when something bad happens; I just stood there, smiling like an idiot, thinking that August will soon arrive and all this bullshit of July will be over. So, this was my amazing day. Today is the 29th; two more days to go and maybe all this bad karma, voodoo magic or whatever the hell it is, will be over. If not… well, people can live with worse, I think I’ll do just fine.

365 days of my life, Stories from the crypt of life

Day 77 – After marriage comes divorce… or was it happiness?

Today I had a conversation with a good friend about all the people that get divorced and naturally the topic developed to couples who argue and fight. I already spoke my thoughts about relationships here, but marriage is a whole different topic. I am the kind of person who doesn’t believe in marriage (I know, I am married) and I think marriage is a mistake created by society that should not be allowed to everyone; also it’s only a very good tool for controlling the population. It sounds harsh and I can almost hear the whispers in my ear, telling me I am weird just to say that out loud, but I am so used to that, that I really don’t care (hahaha). I will push it even harder by saying that people shouldn’t be allowed to have children, without some serious psychological testing first.

Why am I different? Maybe I’m not, but the thing is that if marriage would be forbidden, I wouldn’t care, I would still be with my man, regarding of any piece of paper or social status. To get back to divorces, I honestly don’t get why nowadays divorce is so common. I believe in true love and I also believe that love is not enough; you need friendship, communication and self-esteem. Imagine if I would want to be a surfer and he would want to be an alpinist; that would lead to some serious issues and also to a lot of compromises. And that’s another thing: I don’t believe in compromises. Nothing and no one should make you feel like you are supposed to compromise yourself and I certainly am not talking about deciding what to eat for dinner. Basically I hate and reject anything that would make me feel uncomfortable and would try to change my beliefs and my true self for that matter. And yes, there is that saying that if you compromise for the happiness of another it means you truly love them; honestly I think that’s bullshit. No one should want you to compromise yourself only for their well-being, but I do think that true love can sometimes help you to create an ocean up in the mountains so that you can both have your way.

Anyway, when I hear of people getting divorced, I try not to judge. There are tons of situations that can happen and one can’t control; but when they have children I feel a thorn crushing my throat. It makes sense to part ways when you just can’t co-exist anymore and I totally agree that it’s best to separate then allowing your children to live in a problematic environment, but… This topic can take so many turns. Why have children in the first place? Because your biological clock started to disapprove with your life style? Because you thought she or he was the true one for you? Because it made sense? Because you had no idea anything bad can happen? I know it sounds awful and that one can’t possibly imagine and think about everything before anything, but I come from a separated family and I actually know what that does to a kid. For the kid it’s always the parents fault, but that doesn’t happen right away, that usually happens after years of blaming himself. I actually never had that problem and was really happy to have my parents living under separate roofs, but I had many other problems which still get me sometimes and can reflect on my actions or opinions in this case. So, when you get married and you really are convinced you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, just have yourself imagine what can go wrong, before it does. Of course that the things you are picturing may never happen or the thing that will happen is the exact thing that never crossed your mind, but at least you gave it a try and you can train your brain on how to react. And also, when you feel like you passed that test, do another one and picture a beautiful, innocent little baby who looks into your eyes when you hold him and submit that baby to the horror of separation to see how it makes you feel. I will assure you, the thought will crush your heart into pieces. I am definitely not suggesting that anyone should stay in an unfortunate situation for any kind of reason, but I am suggesting building a family after considering everyone else’s happiness, including the happiness of those you want to create.

365 days of my life, Florence, a city like no other..., Stories from the crypt of life

Day 75 – Another trip to the emergency room

I got to see some of the friends I made three weeks ago, today (if I can call them friends).  When I got to the emergency room, I noticed that everything looks very different when you are not in pain and you just have to sit there and wait quietly for your turn. You get to see the faces clearly, the place is much scarier and the cases that come in and out… well, they are not so pleasant to the eye.

The first nurse passes by; she looks at me, smiles, says hi and I can see from her face that she is wondering where does she know me from. The second nurse comes in and gives me a look, while saluting and starts running to her new case. I begin to feel like a movie star in the emergency room (hahaha) and I also got the feeling that the other patients, who are waiting as well, hate me a little, thinking that I have friends here. No, no friends, it’s just plain luck that tonight it’s the exact same shift as three weeks ago. I see the “morphine” nurse. She passes by quickly, then turns back and grabs my hand: “Are you ok?” I nod and explain the situation and she starts laughing: “Well in that case, no more morphine for you girl!”  I begin to look at the people around me: a five months pregnant woman who has a terrified look on her face and keeps rubbing her belly; she holds a lot of paperwork in her hands. They come and grab her quickly inside a room. An old lady with her whole face wrapped in bandages, who keeps crying, although as I understood she was not supposed to, while her son is holding her hand tight, trying to calm her down. A young boy with an open knee wound that keeps smiling at his visibly scared dad, telling him he’s fine. A lady who is nervous and tries to cover her anxiety reading some papers, while taping her feet to the ground in a constant move. I try to look away; they are making me nervous and sending me their emotions and I don’t want to feel anything, I refuse too.

If you remember character B from the funny story here, she and I keep in touch sometimes. She came to see me in the waiting room today and I was amazed to see her with a bag filled with the hospital’s morning biscuits. They are the best biscuits in the world (I am not kidding, they really are) and she remembered I liked them, so she brought me the stash of that whole week. I smiled and while I opened a pack and took my first bite, I heard her telling me that they’ve discovered she has cancer. I forgot to swallow or to chew the biscuit in my mouth and I didn’t know what to do. When I could move, a couple of seconds later, I grabbed her hand and didn’t say a word. She laughed and said: “Don’t worry honey; they’ll just give me something that we’ll make my hair fall out.” I nodded. I had no words as I usually don’t when someone is suffering. I just react in the way I would love for someone to react for me, and that means not talking for a while. They called my name and I remembered about the biscuit in my mouth, so I swallowed quickly and waved her goodbye. I glanced after her for a split second, watching her moving the wheelchair slowly towards the elevator; I think I heard a “Why?” in my head, but it disappeared as fast as it came when my eyes met the surgeon’s. I realized she made me feel something, although I kept refusing to.

On my way home, I was amazed by my new, almost morbid desire. Everyone who stepped into that waiting room had a story, a problem that needed to be fixed. Even the nurses had stories of their own, that had to be left at the door, outside to be able to take care of everybody else’s problem. So, the reporter in me tickled my senses and wanted nothing more than sit in that waiting room, being invisible if possible, and guess their stories, write them, pass them on and make people feel something, anything; because in these times, in this world we don’t allow ourselves to feel very much and we deny it more often they we should.

365 days of my life, Stories from the crypt of life

Day 34 – Adolescence as a disease

My building has at least two adolescent girls on each floor. Seriously, it’s like someone dropped a bomb here and only girls came out of it; boys would feel very uncomfortable in this building. Anyway, there is this particular girl downstairs that makes me shiver when I see her and the gang she is hanging out with. She is extremely pretty and of course, as any beautiful teenage girl at seventeen, very full of herself.

Tonight, after seeing her, with her usual crowd, at the corner of the street (ten weird looking guys and four even weirder looking girls), she made me think about my own teen years and oh my God how I don’t miss them. For some years now, ever since the calm of matureness hit me, I have condemned teenagers as being diseased by the most horrible and uncontrollable disease of them all. I began looking around at the drama and struggle the “ill” are suffering from and their barbaric way of trying to proclaim their freedom, ignoring ours. I used to think, horrified, that I was one of them once and that, maybe, my ways were as outrageous and useless as theirs. Sometimes, I used to believe I could understand them and consoled myself with the idea that the cure for their illness is time and a lot of patience.

But there is a trick to this disease that never comes back to us; it is the most beautiful and horrible thing your body and mind experiences in the same time. Ignoring its existence when we are cured, leads to hypocrisy and denying its involvement on the later on mature adult. Adolescence brings your first crazy love chills; “she” reddens your cheeks when you hold hands for the first time, “she” gives you a taste of pain in the most brutal way possible and “she” is the one who gives you unimaginable powers to fight for what you need or want. The side effects, useless and violent sometimes, are everything that we condemn and hate later on, most likely to forget about ourselves and our long forgotten dreams.

The adolescent hidden inside us, chained and forgotten, screams and writhes of pain every time we burry ourselves in the ordinary. Let’s give him a little bit of freedom and let him fight for us and our “useless” dramas.

Stories from the crypt of life

Society is the devil itself

You are born pure, untouched by humanity’s deceits. You have almost a day of freedom when you enter the world and after that, society takes over. They start to shove paperwork into your parents’ face who get distracted and sign you off into a pitiful existence. And then the hell begins; vaccines of who knows what, against who knows which virus invented by the mankind, trauma of any sort, friendships that often dissolve you and rebirth you into this magnificent interior wall builder, love that swallows you and then spits you out, leaving deep scars that will later become prizes of your new gained knowledge.

Society is the devil; or maybe the system is. But who created this shaky yet solid as a mountain system? Though one isn’t it? Society robs you of everything: your soul, your power, your brain, your feelings, your desire to go on and give something back and so on. To give back to whom and why? You’re just a number, a demographic lie among other lies.

I used to think that if you get up in the morning and just live that day as the last day of your pathetic existence, you could be happy; you could be happy and not worry about what would come next. I did that for a long time and I have to say I was pretty good at it. Ignoring the debts I have to pay to society, ignoring its calls for my body and mind to work for it just so I could be granted a paycheck, which obviously would go straight back into to its massive and endless, let’s call it stomach; ignoring the trauma around me and just handling my own, ignoring the poverty, the shame, the animal extinction, the loss of land, space, mind. So what? This disguised devil just caught up to me. It stood there all this time, waiting for me to make a mistake, lurking year, after year, day after day. We live in a seaside of humans and they form this meaningless word: society. You are one of them, I am one of them and of course we are great, interesting, well intended individuals, but when we gather together and make waves for the seaside to function the devil is born.

And finally I did it. I paid my tribute and give birth to this beautiful, pure, untouched by evil, human being. I enjoyed her freedom for five entire hours, and then the nicely dressed lady shoved some paperwork into my face and I had to sign her off.

But society is good. Rules are good and nothing, absolutely nothing can touch you if you are a reasonable and generous person. You would think…

Stories from the crypt of life

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you do what you do? That is the question. Why do you have the urge to get up and do the thing that you are best at or at least try to be? Is there a person, who knows a generally applied answer, for this particular question?

These last passing months I met a lot of new people, each of them with a beautiful and inspiring story because of their uniqueness. I asked all of them this particular question and the answer although sometimes vague, or sometimes slightly prefabricated, existed without a doubt in their mind and on their lips. I envy all of them. I have no clue why I am doing what I am doing. I can’t find an honest and good enough reason, so that I can say it out loud.

Sometimes, people tell me I am good at what I do, others call me a genius, some are just amazed by the style I use; there are people who just don’t get it and people who say I need improvement, people who help me evolve and people who just hate my work. I love all of them. They are my audience. My audience for what and why?

I was always a good student. I think I  learned to do, almost perfectly, at least ten different jobs in different areas, just because I couldn’t find a place that I would fit in just perfectly. I loved all of my jobs. I had to be trained. No one ever taught me to do what I am doing now and I am doing it for the last quarter of a century. I just get up and smile at my keyboard, thinking that we will have the perfect date that afternoon or evening and whenever I bail on it I just use my pen and notebook, to grab that annoying thought, that won’t leave me alone if I don’t write something that day. And before there was a keyboard involved, there were a lot of papers, crowded together like ants in a swarm, in a big colored backpack I used to carry everywhere. Many pens have lost their lives in order to give me their most perfect trace on the white paper and many papers took my hand in the bliss of my solitude.

Still, why? And who has the need for it? Why do I have the need for it? And what are they saying to me, to you? As I write down all these cliche questions, the answer just forms itself in a distant corner of my brain. Should I ignore it?