You escorted me to the bus station. It seemed nearly impossible to catch the bus, but I did.
‘Go, buy a ticket, I’ll be right there in a moment to say goodbye to you’, you said and I ran towards the terminal. You often take a few mindful breaths. You slow down to experience some clarity of mind before you say something to me, especially when you think it is something important.
The bus was waiting there with its engine running. I bought the ticket and then you approached me, the bus and the bus driver who was standing nearby smoking, enjoying his short break. I looked at the time. We still got enough time to have a proper goodbye.
‘Do you know that you did it again, you made the time stand still?’, I said.
You smiled and kissed me tenderly on the forehead.
‘Go, save the world, my dearest!’, you answered. ‘And when you need some time away, I’ll be right here, waiting for you.’
I stepped into the bus, you waved at me, the bus turned around and you disappeared from my sight. The time started galloping for it was standing still for too long. I had a few phone calls to make on the way home, I had a meeting to attend after I arrived and once I had enough time for myself to reflect it was late in the evening and I was lying exhausted in my bed.
For months I had this very strict schedule, I had this exact plan to follow. I had promised myself to be careful after a very painful breakup. I didn’t want to get involved with someone emotionally. I wanted to become reasonable and consistent in my actions – to have self-restraint and self-control. May be I did it for much too long and it went to the other extreme – I became cold and lifeless. It was when some Higher Power sent you to me – to remind me something, to make me feel again.
While reflecting, it seemed to me like you have always been around since we’ve met for the first time eleven years ago.
It was at a friend’s birthday in the end of April. My sister and I have been at another party the previous night and we were exhausted. The morning after the current party I was supposed to leave early for a trip – hitchhiking throughout the whole country – and I could hardly keep my eyes open, neither did my sister. The birthday girl (we were friends since we were babies) suggested my sister and I have a nap in her parents’ bedroom. In the moment I was almost asleep you entered and you were shocked to find two girls snuggling in the same bed. You didn’t know we were sisters, so your mind made up a dirty association. ‘@#$% ^&’,you cursed loudly and left the room. The birthday girl explained to you later that we were sisters. It all made sense to you, but you reaction didn’t remain unnoticed – we started referring to you as ‘@#$% ^&’.
In the morning, I left for my trip after the birthday party and… an amazing stage in my life began. Almost every week I hit the road to a beautiful place. Eleven years ago I spent a couple of months in a way I had never done before. I didn’t care much where I was supposed to spend the night. I traveled around (mostly hitchhiking), slept in a tent, or in a sleeping bag, or in neither of both under a sky heavy of stars. I got addicted to travelling and to the nature. At that time I have just graduated from high school and took the months after the graduation to recollect myself. I just wanted to meditate in motion while traveling. Finding the purpose without actively seeking for it, to let my way find me, to feel the sun, the morning breeze, the sea salt on my skin.
There was a very memorable time when I experienced the nature in a very special way. We were at the seaside for a July morning celebration – people gathering to greet the first sunrise of July.
I was really surprised when I found out that this holiday is something very specific for our country. Indeed, there are not many places in the world where you can see the Sun rising from the sea or diving into with the dusk overwhelming the sky.
Last year I saw a sunset on the other end of Europe – in Arrifana, Portugal. I know it for sure – I much rather prefer sunrises to sunsets. The sunrise is a celebration of life, after the sunset the world is sadly wrapped in darkness.
Although I love the July morning celebration, I have experienced it at the Bulgarian seaside only twice in my life. This year and eleven years ago.
Eleven years ago, my friends and I decided to stay at the seaside one more day after the celebration. And that’s when the storm came. Fortunately (for my worldview), nobody was seriously injured, but the currents that originated from the rain were so strong that they pushed cars and vans into the water. People tried to take them out but without success. This story is hard to believe. At that time we did not have digital cameras and smartphones. Only the stories that remained.
Recently I have told you this story. You listened to me attentively, as usual, without interrupting me. You’ve always said that you loved my stories. When I finished, I said: ‘I know it sounds unbelievable’.
‘Yeah, but I’ve seen it. I’ve been there.’, you responded. ‘Actually it was when I got my dreadlocks.’
I was stunned that I remember so many details from that weekend but I couldn’t remember you. Perhaps that was not the second time we met. Maybe it was the twenty-second… I don’t know. I have no evidence whatsoever of being in the same place at the same time.
The first evidence I have of meeting you are some photos from a friends’ birthday two and a half month after July morning. Recently, I have remembered having this one picture with you and another girl. You are standing right behind me holding a bottle with beer in your hand. The other girls was, you told me once, the love of your life. She is wearing the sweater of my first long-term relationship. He was one year older than me, +1. She was your second long-relationship, so M. The first one was S. The third one was L.
When I showed the picture to you, your reaction was:
‘Sweet !!@$/^& Jesus, where did you get this from? How could you have gathered together?! – you continued – the three loves of my life: you, her and the beer!’
You told me your heartbreaking story with her. You have been together two times, the first time for a week, the second time for two years. The second time you even got her pregnant. You told me both of you wanted the baby but she lost it because it was an ectopic pregnancy. She had this very painful experience at the hospital. Then you grew apart and eventually split. Somehow I can imagine what it was for her and why is she blaming you for the loss. May be that was the moment she realized she can’t lean on you. You were not there to protect her from the pain, she was all alone in it. Don’t get me wrong, I know it is not your fault she lost the baby, but seeing the situation through her eyes I can imagine she expected you to be next to her in the hospital, to protect her rights, to argue with anyone who was not treating her right. To fight this battle together. And for some reason you were not there.
You told me she is now happy in her life. She earns a lot of money, gained weight and looks really proper. She has found someone with whom she has been long enough to say she has found the love of her life.
Shortly after the picture of three of us was taken I left to study abroad. In December I returned and that winter I started my first long-distance relationship. It was with someone three years younger than me. -3 No.1.
Yeah, I know, I am a pervert, a pedophile, I like young blood and flesh. Blame me for that!
That relationship ended a year later. I was again home for Christmas. There were many friends there and… also a concert of a local rock band band. We happened to be again in the same place at the same time and realized it 10 years later because you showed to me a video shot there. On the curtains behind the stage there was some ridiculous holiday decoration. I think it was supposed to be a giant snowflake but it looks more like a cranky octopus.
One of the songs the band is singing is about M. She was a much of a character…
‘My drama is huge, my drama is huge. I am coding, I am coding.’
I love it.
Two years after the picture of three of us was taken, you and I happened to be again in the same place at the same time. There was a festival in the mountains. It was just after your breakup with M. I didn’t recognize you for you have gained some weight and have cut your dreadlocks. You looked very cultivated. You reminded me who you were: ‘Don’t you remember me? I am @#$% ^&’ We greeted each other briefly and I moved on.
I didn’t know how to start a conversation with you, so I just passed by. At that festival I hooked up with another guy. That summer I wanted to live my life without giving it too much thought. Rock’n’roll – is what you might have said. Couple of months prior to the festival my long-term relationship with -3 No.1 ended. I was about to turn 21 and I thought that I bother so much for my age. I was supposed to have more fun. Although it was a nice summer, I didn’t really involve with anyone romantically. The guy I hooked up with at the festival… well, it was supposed to be a one-night stand… it continued two weeks and nothing happened. On the one hand, it was such a disappointment, because I wanted for once to be easy-breezy, on the other hand, something was protecting me. Perhaps the same Higher Power that has sent you to me 9 years later.
At the end of that summer I met you once again. You have just started you studies. Two other friends (one of them a future ex-to-be, -3 No. 2… I told you I was a pedophile) and I came to visit you in the city where you studied. You lived in the old town in a beautifully colored flat. It was like from a fairy tale. There, you told me much later, you lived with M. and she hated it. I would have loved it.
Throughout the next years I’ve heard of you a few times but never met you. -3 No. 2 told me you’ve met. My sister saw you after I broke up with -3 No. 2. That guy started behaving in a really strange way. He shifted from a very rebellious behavior to a very conservative one. You took different roads and I know you missed each other. Or according to -3 No. 2, you were not on the road of the righteous. When he told me about you, he was really concerned. At that moment I wished I could have done anything for you. I know the only way was to meet you in person and have a conversation.
I saw you the moment I saw you
That didn’t happen till last August. I have just came back home after the university graduation. For an year I have lived with someone four years my junior (-4) who didn’t really want me in his life, at least not to the extent I was present. It was a toxic relationship to its finest in which completely lost my self-respect and self-esteem. At the end I did something that I felt so ashamed of and it became one of the moments we’ve realized we cannot be together on the long run. We were supposed to live together in the Capital but… it was a promise I broke. One of the many promises I broke.
I fled to my favorite place in the world – my home city. At first I’ve searched for solace only temporarily but after a while I found no reason of returning to him. And that’s when you and I met. The Artist, a mutual friend, had arranged a meeting. I told you and the Artist the story of my moral failure. Both of you listened to me and said afterwards: ‘Girl, you are completely insane!’.
It was funny to me because most of the people knew you as somewhat insane. And you pronounced me insane. I might have felt honored. And relieved. I guess the whole city is haunted by this insanity. The latter is a well-known fact.
That night I felt at home for I felt accepted. I was having a really nice conversation and it was the first time since an year or so when I communicated with people who were able to keep up with my conversation topics.
That night we were looking at the sky and the Artist said:
‘Look at it, look at it, it is like a van Gogh’s painting!’
It was exactly like van Gogh’s ‘Starry Nights’. Mentioning van Gogh was like mentioning an old friend of us.
Later you walked me home for the first time.
When we started talking, it was so natural to talk with each other, like it has always been this way. It was like we’ve seen each other for the last time a week ago or a month ago the most. And we had the same state of mind… we were heartbroken for living much too long with the wrong person, for being in a toxic relationship.
You recognized me almost immediately and fall for me just instantly. You just let it be, I didn’t. For you your current relationship was over although you were still confused. I still had some kind of hope for mine but I felt uneasy with the other person. He never let himself fall for me as much as I did for him. Mostly he was afraid of me and my ‘insanity’. My insanity was what made you like me right away. Or it was an empathy trap… I can’t tell for sure.
May be a week or so after that night, I went on a trip with, Juda, a friend of mine. I was crying all the time because I couldn’t get along with -4. We were sitting in a cafe with Juda and I was texting him while crying. Then all of a sudden you texted me to tell me that you are in our home city. I was in the city of Chillaxing – your favorite city- where you moved to shortly after our first conversation. I texted you back to tell you that I am taking the train in the evening. You replied ‘Be careful. Last time I took that train, I fell asleep and woke up at the seaside’
I imagined you waking up at the last station, lost and confused. Then I imagined you going to the beach, taking a dip into the cold water, shrugging your shoulders and taking the train back home.
For a moment I have stopped crying and smiled over the vision of you in my head. Juda saw me and asked me who I was texting with.
‘With a friend’, I said.
‘He makes you smile. You should be with somebody like him, not with that moron you are crying for’, she replied.
A couple of hours later I arrived in our home city. You suggested to pick me up from the railway station.
‘I live nearby.’, you said after we met. Then you walked me home. I told you about my trip and continued sharing a lot of personal stuff with you. I felt great mostly because I felt understood and cherished. You never judged me. What is more, you had a real appreciation of my stories, of my, at that moment, confused inner world.
Besides, I was also not used to be picked up from somewhere and walked home. When I told you that I usually nobody does that for me, you were surprised. Much later, when we started seeing each other more regularly, you also always laughed when you stretched your hand to me to help me stand up and I never took it as a help. Normally I got up all by myself and then took it.
‘You forgot again how to woman!’, you said every time this happened and smiled.
Actually, I never knew. Nobody wanted to walk me home because I have always lived so far away, nobody helped me stand up when I’m seated, nobody gave me their blazer when I was cold. Except you…
So, I guess we started to get to know each other that September. Little by little, we started talking … We lived in a distance apart… in two different cities. The one was the city we both grew up, the other one became the city where we eventually fall in love – the city of Chillaxing.
There was a festival in the city of Chillaxing. I went there with a guy whom I met three days prior to that week – The Geek. Officially I was still with – 4 but I was sure we’ve hit a dead end. There were so many irreconcilable differences and did find a point of making anything work. However, I was very cautious of not cheating on him.
That weekend -4 went hiking to Mount Olympus. I wanted to send him something less dramatic than usual. I was giving my best of keeping a cool head and tried to act aloof. I wanted to be witty. I sent him ‘Greet the gods from me!’… because, you know Mount Olympus is where the gods reside. Also I think it is a damn good title of a poetry book. I have it on my bookshelf at home and it actually belongs to you although you never gave it to me. -3 No. 2 gave it to me saying you gave it to him and I was supposed to give it to someone else after I have read it. I love that book. After I read it, it made me feel full of energy and lust for creating.
The festival in the city of Chillaxing. It was 2 in the morning when we hit the road home with the Geek. I was drunk and I fell asleep in the car. He was not that drunk but I think that we almost had an accident while driving home. I was stuttering something about the text I’ve sent to -4 and expressed my concern about that this text might have provoked something bad happening to him. I remembered the subtitle of that book “Published post mortem”. It sounded so creepy in my head.
Around 3 in the morning, we arrived safely and decided to see the sunrise. At that time I had an insomnia, may be because I was thinking so much about -4 and my guilt. Actually I asked the Geek to take me somewhere but not home. It was October and it was cold outside, so we decided to go to his place and intoxicate our brains a bit more. We started chatting and suddenly I fell asleep on the coach in the living room… may be in the middle of a sentence. When I woke up a couple of hours later I felt great. For the first time in a while I got a really good sleep.
Although I kept everything really decent, somehow I felt uneasy. I needed to talk to someone about it. The relationship with my ex-to-be was already very shaky. I wrote to you and noticed that you have changed the font color of the chat to my favorite color. I also wrote to -4 but he didn’t seem to care much about the events I wanted to tell him about. You seemed to care and you even helped me shush my bad consciousness.
‘Sometimes alcohol helps you to learn new stuff about yourself’.’, you said to me.
I remembered you words a couple of month later. After another drunk night I wrote to you saying that I got you idea of alcohol being an aid about getting to know yourself better.
‘Do you want to tell me what happened to you?’, you asked.
‘I think I’ve hit the bottom.’
When I told about what I thought was a moral derogation, you smiled:
‘That’s what some people call a regular Friday evening. I would love to see you drunk some time. I kind of always miss it’.
Another memory of that colorful autumn was when you told me about a hiking trip you went on with your parents, to some Thracian holy place in the Middle Forrest. I saw some photos and decided to go there. I drove there with my mother but we couldn’t find it. There were no signs how to get there. I tried to call you, but you didn’t pick it up. Then later you texted to me: ‘Did you get lost?’.
Yeah well, at that time I felt mostly lost… May be it was a good thing. You have to get really lost before you manage to find yourself.
Come wander with me
After a month or so you said you were in town. It was a beautiful autumn and we met in the Park. We spent the whole afternoon together. I showed to you my hiding places. I told you the secrets of our home city.
You asked me if you can send me some music every now and then. I agreed.
When you sent Come wander with me to me, I felt uneasy I still got feeling to -4. I wished he had sent it to me. Silly me. He doesn’t even know that the song exists. His degenerate music taste was one of the irreconcilable differences I would have never lived with.
Then the winter came. It was cold and snowy and beautiful. In the winter we met a couple of times. I was feeling very comfortable in our home city. I met some old friends, I was rarely bored. You came every now and then and texted to me. Every time I proposed to join me and my friends for a drink. You usually accepted without hesitation.
Once again you suggested to meet and we did. We went to the cinema. That evening I had a couple of other invitations but somehow yours was the most appealing. I have decided to do the ‘Grain regime’. You wanted to take me out for a dinner but I refused eating and drinking anything but tea. However, you had understanding. In comparison to some other guys the previous days. When I mentioned to them what I was doing they laughed at me. Again you didn’t judge me. Instead, you told me about one of your flatmates who has also done it once. I told you I love such fasting periods because they help me gain control over my never-ending appetite.
‘I almost never have appetite!’, you said. ‘And I am really happy to see people who do’
Later I realized that it was the act of eating that disgusts you.
That night I told you about my network theory. You told me about the clubs in the Capital. Actually we two are very prominent examples of the network theory.
I was almost completely sure that you are not the person I want to spend my life with. Even though I couldn’t imagine having you out of my life. I felt the need to talk to you, first, every now and then, then more and then more and more often. When I had an issue with myself, it seems like the right solution to talk to you about it.
Enjoy, relax, have fun… lessons learnt
After a month or so I felt really low. I didn’t know what was going on with me.
I felt betrayed. I remembered a line from a movie. ‘Only the good friend can become a quality traitor!’ and I remembered my supposedly best friends. I have never had a real female best friend. I think that I generally I don’t trust women.
I remembered some of my female friends and how much I shared with them but I didn’t get to know them very well in return. They had also this inferiority complex. Why am I so lonely? Why nobody loves me?
Because you do not love yourself at first place, that’s why! It is really annoying. And I felt that they were sucking up my energy. At that time I was so miserable and lonely and Juda was complaining again how lonely she is and doesn’t have a boyfriend. Actually these girls asked me only how -4 was doing. I think they were more interested in him than in me. I had these feeling that they have probably told him a lot about me. Also, -4 and I were the ultimate gossip material at that time. We lived in a district where everyone knew everyone. Some hated others because they were in some aspect well off. That is how gossips are born. People are envious over the more fortunate, because they think they can not be the masters of their own fate.
So, I terminated every contact with that community. I deleted them from my friends’ list on Facebook. I didn’t want them to know what is going on with me, I didn’t want their schadenfreude over my breakup with -4. It was painful enough so far.
I told you about this and a couple of days later I came to the city of Chillaxing, where you lived.
While I was traveling I had this very persistent thought. That I am going to meet someone very special.
I had some administrative work to do. I was supposed to stay at your place. I was busy the whole day, went to have some lunch with one of my future colleagues and had two glasses of wine.
When I called you on the phone, I told you that I’m drunk. You were amazed and kind of happy to see me drunk. That was your dream. When we met, I was almost completely sober and you were amused:
‘ Is that that you call drunk? You are not drunk… may be a little tipsy… but not drunk’.
Then we headed to your place. One of your friends was supposed to come over and we wanted to get even more intoxicated.
I became hyper social and started telling stories. I started a dramatic reading session from ‘Greet the goods from me’. Because I didn’t really figure out who would be happy to have the book, I gave it back to you. Then you friend left, you fell asleep and I felt that I was suffocating in that flat. I grabbed your keys and went out for a walk. The air was hot and sticky. It was hard to breathe. Suddenly, I missed the freshness of our home city. I went to the railway station. It was close to the flat. I wanted to check the trains back home. The whole neighborhood reminded me a lot of the area where I’ve lived during my studies. Even so, I did’t feel comfortable there.
I was a bit disoriented on my way back to your place. All the houses in the street where you lived were just the same and I didn’t noticed which number was yours. There were a couple of over-night street workers. You called them the Violets after one of them who was insisting on providing you with her services. One of them politely asked me if I was looking for something because I was trying the keys at every entrance door.
‘I am looking for a friends’ place’, I answered.
‘May be you can call your friend’, she suggested.
‘He is asleep. He is not picking his phone.’
‘Oh, he will pick it!’
‘May be you are right…’, I said and remember to use an another approach to find your place. I asked her if she remember which direction I came from.
‘You came that way’, she replied and pointed towards the next house.
‘You are welcome!’
I found your place. You were still sleeping. I collected my stuff and decided to pack ‘Greet the gods from me’. I felt that the book would be safer with me. And if you would ask later, I might say I took it by mistake because I was in a hurry. Of course later you knew I took it on purpose.
I left at 11 pm and took the train home. I remembered my newly refurbished room and I felt the urgent need to spent the night there. I left you a note on some cardboard pieces: ‘The lime trees have summoned me. I had to go.’
But it wasn’t longer when I came again. This time I haven’t told you that I am staying over. I just spontaneously called you. I finished my work and then we hanged out the rest of the day. I met your friends. You had told them about me. We went to one of the hills, watched the sunset, then we went to an exhibition, drank wine, danced. I was cold and you gave me one of your sweaters.
We came home late and fell asleep. On the next morning we talked about so many things. It was a perfect day. You said that your sweater suits me so well and for you it was so small… so I better keep it. And I did… it is now one of my favorite pieces of clothing. It keeps me really warm. I have this feeling of freezing when I am stressed or sad. Then I put it on and feel so well defensed and embraced. So cozy.
Because I didn’t intend to stay over, I didn’t have anything with me. It didn’t bother me at all to ask you for a deodorant for example. I even joked that now I am a real man: wearing men’s clothes and smell like a men.
‘If you want to smell like a real men, you need to use no deodorant at all.’
And from this joke on our Swap Day began. I was playing the male, you – the female. That day I was supposed to do all that male stuff I never had the courage.
First, I had a proper meal. You were sitting opposite of me drinking beer and smoking cigarettes…
“Like some chick.”, you said.
We talked about everything… without further hesitations . Then we went for a walk. I was trying to figure out what would it be to be a man. Eleven years earlier a friend asked me the same question. I couldn’t come up with a good answer.
‘I don’t know… may be hitchhiking alone’
For a girl it was considered really dangerous, guys did it all the time. Later during my studies I hitchhiked alone many times. I was trying to come up with another idea. What do men do… they work out shirtless. That’s what they do. Double standard.:) I would love to go shirtless around but it is not considered very proper behavior for a girl.
We went for a walk and found an outside fitness in a park. Then we climbed the surrounding rocks and laid on the top of one of them. We sat in the sun. It was the beginning of April, a warm, carefree day. There were no people around, it was in the middle of the day. I didn’t work out shirtless but I was sunbathing that way. I hate it when I have differences in the sun tan.
Exit music… for a film
Then we wandered around It was like a scene from Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight – two people sharing with each other and letting the streets lead them around in the city space, passing by sightseeing spots, remembering. We have spoken about the energies we possess. I didn’t know how to woman, as you said to me many times. Maybe the reason we met was that I had to learn it from somebody. Again it is so ironic that I learn how to woman from a man. We both were rebellious… why such norms have to matter, why do we define ourselves so much in terms of gender roles. Why can’t we be just the people we are?
In the evening I had to go back home. I left you a picture I drew. I was surprised to be able to finish something so fast, It took me only a day. And I was famous for not being capable of finishing my projects. I guess you presence helped me a lot.
Later I made you some other presents. May be I used you to dedicate my work to someone. Or I wanted to apologize in advance because I knew I was about to hurt you. I surrendered to a passion I had and it was not very clever. I believe that the real love is passionless – without suffering. It is going to be approved by everyone. There will be no doubt what is right or wrong. I had so many doubts. I said to myself many times: ‘This is not right, it’s just not right’. I felt that you are not that interested. You are so withdrawn, so accepting. I initiated so much. Can’t I be the more assertive one in the relationship and you are just my shelter, my counselor? When I continued pondering on that gender matter, I realized that there are certain tasks which we could not swap. If we were to have children, there would have been the need for you to provide and I didn’t know of you were able to. You told me about you and L. How you were providing for both of you, you never showed this side of you to me. May be this is why I am so jealous when you mention her.
I remember another film. Lesson. A teacher in a small town in Bulgaria decided to rob a bank because her family is in a huge debt, mainly due to her husband’s incompetence. I watched it at a film festival in Germany. I went there with a friend and after the screening we commented: ‘ Yeah it was stupid that she made so bad life decisions, for example why did she get that man’. Will I be like her?
Or Weeds. I watched this series a long time ago. One of the characters, Andy, had to join the army but he didn’t want to. He was a Jew and found out that if he become a rabbi, he can skip the military service. So he tried to get accepted in a rabbinical school. Some very attractive woman, Yael, was the Dean of Admissions. At first, she didn’t want to listen to him, but later she really liked him despite her hesitations and after a party she revealed to him:
‘You know, I really like you, but you are like none of my male lovers. You have soft skin and sad eyes… You are more like my female lovers’
‘I don’t care’, he replied
They headed to her place, where she started looking for something under her bed…
And your description covers so much with that Yael gave to Andy. Would I ever like to use the same toys she had?
Once I told you how our story reminds me a lot about House of cards with me being Claire and you, the New York artist, whom she fled when her husband made her angry about something. He was her hiding place from all the responsibilities, just like you were mine. I was not sure I wanted that. I want to be content with my life and do not have the need to flee… I want it to be as perfect as it can be.
We became lovers . This made me losing self-respect. It was a fasting period again. The Great Lent. Almost two months on a vegan diet. If it is done properly, it is a liberating experience but in the recent years I’ve cheated with so many things. It is actually the time when I do things that I usually don’t do, drinking, smoking, sensual pleasures of the body. Sin after sin. Raging hippie, vegan, catholic am I.
After that I got even more confused. I started freaking out immensely. You tried to soothe me and gave a small ball… like in Eastern plays.
‘It’s a ball… for rolling’, you said just as the character in Eastern plays.
You are so much like him… You often miss salt… and pepper. And you can find a resemblance between and the Turkish girl… I guess…
Was the ball a goodbye present?
I thought so.
Then you left to the city of Chillaxing.
I thought it was over but I had to go there workwise. I stayed at your place. You liked so much my high-waist jeans. You said that I am like a heroine from The Breakfast Club. (Much later I watched for the first time and was a kind of disappointed to find out that all of the female characters were wearing skirts.:))
That night we watched Bitter Moon and fell asleep. We usually have difficulties watching a movie to the end. Either I have fallen asleep or you got distracted by something more intriguing.
You escorted me to the bus station. It seemed nearly impossible to catch the bus, but I did.‘Go, buy a ticket, I’ll be right there in a moment to say goodbye to you’. you said and I ran towards the terminal.The bus was waiting there with its engine running. I bought the ticket and then you approached me, the bus and the bus driver who was standing there smoking. I looked at the time. We still got enough time to have a proper goodbye.‘Do you know that you did it again, you made the time stand still?’, I said….LOOP
Then… you followed me to our Home city.
Once I told you that I was hungry.
‘What do you want to eat?’
‘I don’t know. Some bread, tomatoes and olives will do.’
The next time I visited you a tray full of me bread, olives and tomatoes was awaiting me. Bread, olives, tomatoes… and some strawberries.
Then… I saw my favorite book on your bedside table. Couple of month later one of your friends referred to us as The Master and Margarita. That was the title of the book. We read together the first two chapters. I know them almost by heart. I have read them so many times, but only once I managed to read the whole book. So many details made sense for me when I first read it in high school… they still make sense to me so many years later.
In between, I have been to so many places, read so many books, watched so many movies. All of them shaped my understanding of the world. And I find out that for some reason The Master and Margarita still intrigues me.
Then… we watched the puppet carousel from the Puppet theater which appear at every sharp hour through a little window. It reminds me of my childhood.
Then… I found out that you are addicted to the music. Eleven years ago I also had a period in which I used to listen to a lot of music. You are addicted to so many things and food is none of them. You don’t like to eat but like to play with the food.
You are both a bait and a predator.
‘What is your insanity?’, I asked you once.
‘If you want us to keep peace, do not ever touch my pants when they are off me. I have a system of keeping my stuff into a certain order. That’s why I have certain way of positioning the trousers in the room when I take them off.
‘Talks work out better with pants off’, we joked many times.
After carefully doing this, you loved to strip me down to the bones. You just loved to play with me, just like a predator is playing with is bait before it eats it. Waiting for he saliva to full up its mouth. However, you played with me much too long, leaving my expectation for something spectacular to eventually bore me. You put so much effort in he preparation only to finish the eating in one bite. All this remained only a preparation. You can do more when you use your head. You never told me a finished bedtime story.
I assume you enjoyed the touch of the lace on your most sensitive skin, the play with the pierced muscle, you sucked up all my liquids. You are always so thirsty. May be because of the smoke you swallow on daily basis. You like to drink, you like the moisture. You are dry, I am juicy, luscious, fruity.
This year I saw my reflection in the car mirror while I was hitchhiking for supposedly last time before I turn 30. Or for the first time this year. For my friend next to me at the back seat (that birthday girl eleven years ago) was a first time experience. Years ago hitchhiking was my drug – the best way to think things over, to start anew every week. To restart my mind. A decade ago I imagined myself unable to hitchhike in the age of thirty and it turned out I was never right.
While it makes me a little bit sad that I have not fulfilled my vision of what I was supposed to be, I am not completely unhappy. At least I have learnt that you can never completely escape yourself. Or that when you do something long enough, it becomes part of you. The more you do it, the better you get, the more you enjoy it, the more you do it. So, be really careful what you choose to do with your life. You may end up doing things you really hate before you realise what makes you happy.
In a sense I feel almost the same way I did eleven years ago. I have just graduated from university and I am trying to recollect myself after so many things I did because I had to. I wanted to be serious. And failed.
I came back from the seaside. There I was so chilled out. I decided that I need to be meeker and more gentle with you. I sent you pictures. It was at the seaside when I started writing this. I wanted to write something really clever, so I started:
Time is not an answer. It is not even a question. Time is just a way to measure our conscious selves, to weigh our memories. It is just a tool for drawing on our minds and bodies. However, it can destroy you if you let it. It can be your scariest nightmare. So, better make friends with it and enjoy it before you make it angry.
One month later I was at the same beach where I began writing the article. However on its other end. Like I have walked along the beach all this time. When I returned I waited to ask me out. You only wanted me to spend the nights with you, we never had plans for the days.
You broke one of my present, something I have done with so much love and care. You are alive when you care for the world, you care for something. You wanted to hurt me even more.
I think that it is bad enough that you destroy your own work, but also destroyed mine. I know for sure that you do not cherish the labor at all. You do not respect the effort someone puts in something. In my worldview this is bad, this is really bad. This means I can’t trust you with my stuff. I can’t trust you with myself as well. Eventually, you will want to hurt me again.
Because you are hurt, you want the others to suffer as well. Instead of minimizing the pain in the world you want to multiply it. What for? Everyone has his own baggage and has to carry it no matter what. But you want to quit. You want to depart from this world and let your baggage to the others. They have to handle it.
You disappeared leaving so many people to worried about you.
‘When he wanted some time alone, he should have just said so, not disappearing like a ghost. That’s so cruel!’, you mother told me.
Somehow I couldn’t blame you. I knew the feeling. I hope you are thinking things over, looking for the best solution. Like a real man. I have so much faith in people.
I cut you off every now and then. You are asking me why. Probably it is not that obvious to you, but doing so is a protection for me. I know that if we keep in touch, I will call you or text you whenever I am upset, just like L. does. We will have these very thorough conversations and long moments of silence. I will wonder… And when you do it will be too late for me anyway. You will ask me something stupid like ‘What is your favorite number?’.
The truth is… I don’t want to see you happily married to someone else. This will emphasize on the fact I was wrong again. That my estimation was not sober enough.
The unostentatious player
I have always tried so hard to fit in. You never did. On the contrary – you felt so comfortable to be outside, didn’t you? Or weren’t we such great pretenders. You said you hate humans and preferred much rather the company of animals. You are like a cat yourself.
But I have this gift… or curse… I am not completely sure what is it exactly: to make the most awkward people feel comfortable around me. I am just amazed by the bizarre people. You said I was touched.
I am interested in how people think, what makes them tick. However, I have never felt understood by anyone. It is the irony of ironies, if you can do something for someone, they can never do the same for you. This means you possess a certain ability that they do not possess. You can be their source for charging with power, but they cannot be yours.
I have always examined the world outside me, you examined the inner world. For me the inner world is so scary. Once you led me through it. It was amazing, again so liberating.
Тhis whole year, the thirtieth in my life was somehow dedicated to you. It started with you and your compassionate look. At the end… I celebrated my birthday with you. You were my closest person during this year. You helped me so much to survive it. You were my fellow time traveler. You were there for me. You helped me grow and flourish. Thank to you I managed to overcome my fears. I helped me to work the out. Now I am capable of keeping them in check and it is so liberating. Last night I had a dream: I was climbing up. I had this dream since I was very little. Every time I fall and every time I wake up the moment before. For thirty years I was afraid of heights and last night for the first time I didn’t fall. I was able to control myself and not panic.
We both changed and we both needed each other. When I look at you now, you also look so much stronger than a year before.
The previous year started and ended with -4. This year started and ended with you. May be you two are the loves of my life. I allowed myself the most closeness with you two.
‘Follow the river, It will know.’, you once told me.
On my birthday we followed it literally upstream to a beautiful waterfall. The water in the river was humming and that was the day I could have finally hear my real thoughts. The sound from the currents muted your soothing voice and I was able to hear my inner voice loud and clear. I was able to feel us and I was sort of disappointed to find out that we do not share a real connection.
We have always hid from the curious looks. Somewhere deep in the forest was when we both belong as a couple, but it’s the real world where we will never do.
When I was writing this, I went upstream for us, figuratively. I was browsing through our text history, from the very beginning. You sent me so many songs and never had a system of saving them for later. May be mostly because you sent them to me when I was upset and they were your way of telling me:
‘C’mon, relax now, chill out, bro!”
Now I collected them in a playlist and have them all neatly ordered. I developed a system, just like with you and your trousers.
In the process, I realised something else. All my memories were somehow distorted. You were rarely actively seeking for me, I was the one who needed you. I am the one who remembers so much, I was the one infatuated… by your soft voice, your nice manners, your beautiful face. I have mistaken them for a special interest. However, I have never really cared about your inner world, mostly I was appalled by the stories of your past. There were not only S, M and L… there were many others and you not being able to reject them. And it is unsatisfying to be one of the many.
You often try to hide your thoughts (your mindful breaths) from me knowing they will upset me. Anyhow I know they are there. It doesn’t hurt less if you hide them.
You are the unostentatious player… You just sit in a dark corner and wait for girls to come to you. Now I leave you them… Those who will come and drag you out… or will stay in with you in the darkness and be complete with you.
But for me it is too tight there. I can’t stay, I have to go. It’s all or nothing. Now or never. No time away, it is running late. This time there is no bus waiting. I have to walk a road unknown. I have to make friends with my own insanity, to leave he bizarre to themselves, to see what makes me tick. I need the daylight so badly.
For my birthday you gave me a book and a picture you painted by yourself. I started reading the book and I was amazed to find out hat it had the same effect on me as Greet the gods from me – it made me want to create again. As for the picture, I told you that I want something personal made by you and I am glad you didn’t destroy it before I saw it.
‘I wanted to paint something which is eternal and something ephemeral.’, you revealed to me. There are two birds watching the sunset and it gives a mindfuck feeling to decide what is the eternal element and what is the ephemeral one. The moon is not eternal, neither are the birds, but sharing a moment of contemplation with someone can be. I know that I tend to overanalyse, to look for some meaning even when nobody intended to have it in their work. However, I know is there. The quality art cannot survive without it. Art does not exist for the sake of it, it is there to reveal what is within us.
I know you are very critical towards your work. I think that we are alike in his aspect. I know that painting is what you do best although you would never admit it. The same is with me and my writing…
So, I guess this is my birthday present for you, just as you gave me something hand-made, I wrote you this piece and can congratulate myself with another finished project.
As for now… see you there… in the purple dreams, in some other trip around the Sun.