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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Little Sister Does London

I moved to Toronto. My little sister couldn’t join me but she decided that London is closer to Toronto than Craiova. I feel like she is breathing in my neck, especially that she lives twenty minutes away from Heathrow Airport. If she wants to come over one day, she can actually be here in six hours! So far and yet so close! But of course, having her over is always a pleasure.
She likes London but she has all kinds of health problems. Not that there is an issue about it. Nooo! The worst the health problem is, the better she feels. Her dream is to have a great disease, without cure so that she can give us a loud: I told you sooooo! Meanwhile, God, exhausted after all the real problems Earth is facing lately: earthquakes, floods, pollution, wars, recession etc, takes some breaks from time to time and makes fun of my sister. Now he gives her a huge pimple and she thinks it is skin cancer, now he makes her tonsils hurt and she thinks it is throat cancer, now he gives her a bad cough so she thinks her throat cancer got worse, now he gives her a backache and she doesn’t know what this is but she is sure it is really serious. Above all that, she lost a nail because she got a finger caught in the door of the car. You cannot imagine what a tragedy that was. She cried all over Skype, Yahoo Messenger and Facebook, I had to watch the finger in the webcam for a few hours and the family in Romania was alerted.
Now she has the chicken pox. What is surprising is that nobody has it at work or in the building she lives in. Well, not yet, at least. They will all get it soon. Thanks to my little sister. Chicken pox doesn’t really look nice on her but she is pretty anyway. Her boyfriend says so, not me. I find her extremely ugly. We all pray to God she won’t scratch too much and she won’t die, because it is ridiculous to have monthly check-ups for all types of cancer and in the end, to die because of chicken pox. A very severe and rare form of chicken pox but still...
 I hope chicken pox won't give her high fever either, because when she has high fever she doesn’t understand the surroundings anymore. One morning, she had to take the train to be somewhere, so she went to Victoria Station. She went up and down the street where the station used to be. No station, what so ever. My sister was very puzzled. She was checking the map, walking the street again…nothing. The station was gone. After about half an hour of looking she decided to ask somebody: “Hi! Can you please tell me where Victoria Station is?”. The guy looked at her for a few seconds and then replied, without judging: “It is right behind you, love!” Oh, shoot! She looked all over the street but she didn’t think of turning around! The fever really makes her lose her way around! It’s ok! All is well when ends well.
Probably the most interesting thing my sister is doing in London, is an Indian guy. Kind of handsome, exotic type, with Kama Sutra in his genes.  Can you ask for more? Of course, I don’t understand why on Earth they have their own tree to sit under? My sister says it is romantic but she is full of crap when it comes to romance. They have a very passionate relationship. They are seeing eachother for about two months, maybe. I am not sure, my math is really bad. During all this time, my sister thought he died only twice. But she had really strong, solid reasons to believe this. First time, he went to India and after both of them checked in on his Iphone at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, she made him promise he will check in at Mumbay Airport as well, so that she knows the plane didn’t crash. He didn’t check in, so she was absolutely sure the plane crashed. His phone was also out of order for like 12 hours. A phone can be out of order only if the plane crashed, according to my sister's beliefs on how the cell phones work. She couldn’t see another reason. After 12 hours of torture he called. Apparently, he forgot to activate his roaming and then he got home and fell asleep after the long flight. These reasons were so non-tragic and so normal that my sister needed some time to accept them. A boyfriend disappeared in a plane crash is way more romantic than a boyfriend that forgets to activate the roaming service and the first thing he does when landing after a long flight is to rest and not to call her.
Few days later they were talking on the phone. They talked for a few minutes, then silence. Of course, any normal person would have thought that maybe the line cut off or the guy fell asleep or something. Not my sister. She told me on Skype right away: “I think he is dead again. He was just telling me he has a terrible headache. So I am sure he had a stroke. He is dead. This time, he is really, really dead!” There was no way I could bring her back to reality, like maybe he fell asleep. Actually that got her mad: “He’d better had a stroke than falling asleep while talking to me! This is rude!” Right! While a stroke is very polite to have while talking to someone on the phone. Anyway, the mystery was cleared few hours later, when he woke up. When he woke up from a deep sleep not from death! Apparently, before calling my sister, he had a wild party with some friends. The party involved alcohol. Alcohol makes you fall asleep. Simple as that!
But now my little sister is fine. I mean, she has chicken pox, a very severe and rare form of chicken pox but I am pretty sure she will survive. I wonder what cruel disease she will get after this. Maybe indigestion? A very severe form of indigestion, of course. We are talking about my little sister here! Even the common diseases are not common when she has them! She only gets the unique, very dangerous forms of the common diseases.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Julie In The Dark



Julie enters her house and leaves the whole world behind the door. Now she can allow herself feel the pain until her soul starts hurting and she can cry until she loses her breath.  She loves her yellow walls, her best friends the past few days, the unique witnesses of her torment. Some people know what she is going through but nobody is aware of the real dimension of her drama.  She can’t develop the subject thoroughly with anybody. Not because she doesn’t want to. She would feel reliefed to put some of her sadness on other shoulders. But she can’t enunciate full sentences about it without starting crying. Some understand her and hold her without asking further questions, letting her deal with it her own way. They are offering her a warm hug, a kind look or few encouraging words and this means the world to Julie. Others rejected her. They needed full information in order to provide comfort. She couldn’t give it so she was sent away. This was a sad natural selection of true friends.  She tries to visualise it as a cleaning of her closet at the end of the season but it is not easy as she never looked at the people in her life as if they were disposable. The fact that she was disposable for some should make things easier. But it doesn’t.  When your motto in life is not “eye for an eye” but “forgive the bad and never forget the good”, broken friendships hurt like hell. She knows that who can’t handle her at her worst doesn’t deserve her at her best. But still….
How often do we think about dying? Almost never, although, in fact, it is the only certainty we have in life. We wake up every morning, we go to work, we get mad at small things like crazy traffic, slow internet, rainy day, bad hair day…We are not aware that we are actually, extremely lucky just because we have the chance to wake up, even on a rainy day, we are lucky to have a bad hair day, or to stay hours in crazy traffic, or to have a failed connection to Facebook. Life is such a wonderful gift and somehow, we are so spoiled that we take it for granted,  we never take a moment to think about it and to be grateful.
Human nature is amazing. We go through life and we lose ourselves in the smallest things as if we are immortals. Although it is enough just to watch TV or read a newspaper to learn about people that die every day. We don’t even blink at it, as if this is something that will never happen to us.
Julie has never seen the ugly face of death so close before. She knew it was out there, having its way both with good and bad people, young and old people, never having a logical criteria when choosing its victims. Cruel and unexpected, this is how she always thought death is. But now, Julie feels like for a few days, she and death are face to face, staring at each other, waiting for the next move.
Julie is fine. But he might die. No one can tell if he will wake up after the surgery. He is Julie’s age. And, just like Julie and all the other people in their 30’s, he never thought about death before. And now he is counting the days until the surgery and he realizes he doesn’t have time. He left things unsaid, things unfinished, things unbegun. He would like to do them all now, in a breath. But he doesn’t know what to begin with. His girlfriend left him. She couldn’t handle the pressure. He didn’t argue. He let her go. He turned to Julie. Julie always knew what to say when the times were hard. He needed her strength and her positive attitude. He is so scared. He can’t die now. He has just started figuring out life.
Julie is overwhelmed by his fear. She has never felt fear at such level in someone. For the first time, she can’t find the right words to bring a bit of optimism to his mind. She can’t tell him that everything is going to be fine because she is not sure it is not a lie. He is practically begging her to tell him that things will get better and he will live. She finds it hard to tell him that, even though she knows how much he needs it. His fear makes her lose her mind little by little. She can’t answer the phone anymore when she sees his number. She feels his terror in every word, in every sigh, in all the long pauses he makes between sentences. She can’t see him because she doesn’t have the power to look him in the eyes. She used to be able to see his entire soul in his eyes: his kindness, his love for her, his happiness, his content, his dreams, his naivety, his simple dreams, his disapproval for her great dreams. Now nothing. His eyes are empty. She knows his soul is also empty. Nothing but an ocean of fear. She is afraid to let her eyes swim in that ocean. She is afraid she will drown, she is affraid she will get lost in there. So she won’t see him. He sends her emails. Julie starts crying before opening them. Every letter is a cry for help. And she can’t help him. He put all his hopes in her and she can’t do anything. And this is killing her slowly on the inside.
Nothing is the same anymore.  From the moment she found out, her life is in slow motion. The bright colours she used to see the world in turned grey. Julie is not sure of anything she believed in the week before.  Everything lost its meaning.  She wakes up every morning, she has her coffee on the terrace, she puts on a nice outfit and nice make up, she flirts with her neighbour in the elevator, she goes to work. She does her job wonderfully, she smiles the entire day, she has lunch with her colleagues, she goes out with the girls after work, she goes to dates, she reads on the sofa in the evenings while drinking a glass of red wine, she watches her favourite sitcoms, she even makes plans for summer holiday. She does all that with a big smile on her face but she lacks her usual glow. The happiness that used to make her eyes glitter is gone. By pretending that life goes on, she hopes not to feel the pain that is tearing up her heart to pieces. The smile on her face prevents the million questions on her lips to come out in the shape of loud words. She doesn’t want to allow the world to see her puzzled, scared, insecure, with no control.
Once, he was her other half. Time has passed since then, lots of words were said, but time or angry words couldn’t kill the memory of a true love. Even if that love doesn’t exist anymore, trust and affection remained behind. Thinking that someone once so close to her heart might die, makes her think about her own death. When will her turn come? Is it near? Is it far? Is it going to hurt, like it hurts him? Who would she turn to, if something like this happened to her? Is she ready to go? Did she say everything? Did she say too much? Was she happy? Did she make enough people in her life happy? Did she forgive too much or too less? Did she try enough? Did she make the best of it?
This is what Julie thinks in the nights when she can’t sleep and she is counting the days to his surgery. She doesn’t have answers anymore. Just questions. Then the morning comes. And she gets out of bed, she has coffee on the terrace, she puts on a nice outfit and nice make up and she goes out the door to face the world with a smile on her face and a great pain in her heart. And she is determined to tell him that everything is going to be fine and that he will have all the time in the world to do everything he ever dreamed of. Because he deserves it, because he has just started figuring out life.  And she goes out there to face the world with a smile on her face and  to make the best of her life today. Because she might not get tomorrow.



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Defeated

The walls are white and so is the ceiling. I can guess the sunshine and the blue sky through the grey shades. I can guess a glorious summer day outside, even if the curtains are drawn  and my eyes are closed and full of tears.
I am trying hard to send my mind to happy places and not to listen to him. He is yelling. He is hurt. I am hurt. We are both hurt. I hurt him with one word. He hurt me with many of his actions in time. He tried to compensate every now and then. Everytime I was about to forgive him, he would strike again.
Now he is good and then he is bad and later on he is good again. I am more and more confused because I realise that with every day that is going by, I know him less and less. He doesn’t let me enter his mind so I keep mine locked too. The distance between us is increasing while we are actually getting closer.
His words are reaching my ears. I try not to let them reach my mind. He wants to put me down and he wants to put all the guilt on my shoulders. I am willing to do anything: to declare myself defeated, or guilty, even to ask for forgiveness if that would make him let me go. Because he doesn’t want to let me go. He wants me to bring arguments for the word I threw to his face. He won’t take it, otherwise. I don’t want to bring arguments. I just want him to accept that like he can do whatever he wants to me, without explaining me why he is doing it, I can say whatever I feel under the same conditions. Apparently that is not the way it works.
So now I am laying on my back on his bed. The ceiling is spinning. The white walls are suffocating me. The summer day seems to be in another dimension, so far away from this room full of our anger. I don’t dare to look at him and I try hard not to listen to what he is telling me: “You think you know it all, but you know nothing. You think you have it all and that you are above everybody. When you talk, people think you are invincible. This is not what I see when I look at you right now.”
I don’t respond back. Because I don’t know what to say, because I am not above anyone, because I am not invincible. Why would I respond to that? Why does he think I would try to prove him wrong? How come he thinks I consider myself a super woman when I struggle with life every single day and I lose most of the battles? Because I do this quietly and I don’t surrender? Because I don’t complain? Because I don’t ask for help? Because I don’t involve all the people I know in this great personal  war I have with life? He doesn’t even know about my war. He never tried to look beyond the smile on my face or beyond the jokes coming out from my mouth. But he dares to judge me. He dares to tell me what I am and what I am not. He dares to keep me prisoner in this room so that I would listen. And maybe feel hurt. Again. Well…I am deeply hurt. And I am defeated. For real. I am defeated by the hate I feel in his voice. By his lack of understanding. By his failing in trying to sense with me. By his constant need to hurt my feelings. By his great attempts to try to make it up to me so that he would hurt me even more after.
I am defeated. You win. I am weak. You are strong. I am whatever you want. You are great. Let me fight my battles in silence. Let me deal with my hardtimes my own way. You can call me whatever you want. I will not argue. I will not try to prove you wrong. Because you might be right. Or not. But I don't know. Because there are so many things I don't know. Because I am not invincible. I am just defeated. I don't want to be right. I don't want to have the last word. You can have all that. Just let me go.