Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta chaos. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta chaos. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 11 de agosto de 2017

Too late

   Rain would fall for hours and hours. It seemed it would never end. The storm had been lashing out against the land for many days now and only from time to time it would feel like it stopped being so harsh. But then it seemed to restart again, twice as strong, relentless against anything living in the land. Even the oceans and lakes were in turmoil. Everything was upside down and people had begun to suffer serious shortages and problems, mostly related to food and general supplies.

 What families did was to ration food and try to consume as little as they could. They hardest hit groups were the ones where grandparents and small children shared a household. No one had the capacity to feed such a large amount of people and it wasn’t unheard of that so many people lived under one roof in that region. After all, it was very far away any big cities and that was the way people had lived for generations. Rain had never changed that before and this storm was no exception.

 So they had to make what they could with what they had, which wasn’t a lot but they made it last as long as they could. Fish, chicken and beef were kept like treasures and mostly vegetables were eaten because people could still try to recover some of those from beneath the mud. Some were pretty resistant like celery or carrots. So they consumed that first with maybe a little piece of actual animal fat every day. Pieces were slightly larger for children but that was not enough.

 Many children lived in those mountains and they were seriously affected by the rain. The poor quality of water to make their food and the amount of nutrients from what their parents could give them was simply not enough for them to be correctly nourished. After the first week, many children started feeling bad and many parents did the trip beneath the rain towards the small town nearby, where the only doctor in the region lived. He always had bad news for the concerned parents.

 They had malnourishing problems, very serious cases of infections and lack of proper hygiene because of the water being contaminated by damages to water pipes and so on. Many children died instantly, the others filled the few rooms the doctor had available on his small practice. He asked for help from other parts of the country but the roads were under water or severely damaged and no trains or planes could reach the remote location. They had been driven out of the world by the storm and had been let to die or starve for who know how long.

 When the elders started feeling as bad or worse than the young, people were in a general state of panic. It didn’t felt real that it was happening all at once. Some thought of the storm as a punishment from the Gods but others thought it was simply the chaotic weather changes happening all over the world. They might have not been the most well connected people in the world but many had television sets and they knew very well about climate change and what it had done in other parts of the world.

 After three weeks, an emergency team was able to reach them through the forest and then taking a very long path that made them penetrate a nature preserve. It was the only way to reach the small town and that was only because they studied several maps of the region in order to find that hidden way in. When they reached the only settlement in the mountains, they were able to tell people that a couple of helicopters had been sent before they left for their mission, but they had never called back.

 People were only shocked to hear this but only for a few minutes, because their families were suffering and it was too much to start caring for others at the moment. They needed the help the group brought them and that was the only way they could think of to change the state of things. So the volunteers, a group of fifteen men and women, got installed at the doctor’s house and started helping with vaccines and other treatments they had brought on big crates that had been carried by mules and themselves.

 Sadly, all they did was not enough to really ensure that everything was going to be fine. The rain wouldn’t stop and sick people from the most remote areas of the mountain range would come in at all time, very wet and sicker than they had left. It was a really sad thing to see for the volunteers and it was difficult for them not to be sick as well just by looking at all the despair and the human condition that was in display on that small community. It was hard and a test to their abilities.

 After a couple of days, it was decided that most of the group would go back to civilization. Only five people would remain with the doctor, in order to help with all the patients arriving and leaving every day. Besides, the townspeople needed hands to bury the people that had died and they also needed appropriate bags to do that because contamination of the water had to be avoided at all costs. The group also had to bring more people and medicines, a whole lot more than before. They left early one morning and expect to reach their destination in two days.

 And they did. However, they also encountered the crash site of one of the helicopters. The scene was gruesome and some of the helpers had to vomit right besides the wreckage because of the stench and the sight of things. They had to mark the place on a map, on their electronic devices, in order to go back there in future in order to collect the corpses and any valuables that could shed a light on the cause of the accident. But thunders above them reminded the group that the storm was the culprit, no matter the details.

 Meanwhile, in town, another tragedy happened at night and there had been no way to escape it: the mountain itself collapsed and carried several homes from almost the summit to the foot of the hill were the most densely populated part of the region was located. So bad it was, that the patients at the doctor’s house felt the rumble in the middle of the night and they alerted others in order to evacuate. But that didn’t happen because there was no other place to go besides there.

 The volunteers that had been left there had the very difficult task to find survivors. However, they soon realized that was not going to happen. They started finding bodies, after some of the mud and dirt had been washed away by the rain. It was gruesome to see their faces covered in brown or grey and their expressions of fear forever imprinted on their faces. That had been their last thing to do and it looked horrible. The volunteers, however, did what they had to do.

 People from town helped with blankets and also tablecloths and the dead were covered with those and then lined up in front of the doctor’s office. Then, one body at a time, they were carried to a clearing in the woods where the ground was firm. They had to spend several hours digging for a hole, but they did so anyways, in order to provide a dignified place to rest for the many people that had died at night, never expect nature would turn against them after so many years living there.

 It took one more week for more help to arrive. The condition of the trail they had used had decreased and the amount of things they brought was not easy to transport. Besides, many people on the outside world wanted to help, to do something for those poor souls.

 The storm ended two weeks after than, suddenly one afternoon. Clouds slowly floated away and the sun came back. But the lives of that community had changed forever. Death had covered them with its veil and now they couldn’t see a proper future in what had been their home for such a long time.

jueves, 15 de octubre de 2015


   As she walked, careful always to land on one of the many steps set for the tourists not to fall into the floodwater, she thought of the whole thing as very funny. Well, it wasn’t really funny if you thought about it, but there was some humor in seeing a bunch of people that looked like tourists (flip flops, maps, binoculars and big backpacks included), crossing a large square at five in the morning, all in their version of a pajama. To the native, the people from Venice, Jean knew all of he situation looked funny as hell. I mean, they had been staying in a hotel that wasn’t very good and now the hotel was slowly decaying into the lagoon. That was the part that wasn’t so funny and maybe the one that worried the neighbors and the people in general more.

 Jean tried to stop smiling like a fool and asked her brother Peter to take her hand, as they finally reached the other end of the square and waited behind a long line of people to continue their journey through Venice. It was a late tour of a city that Jean hadn’t particularly loved. She had noticed how many lovers and people who adored romance could see all the beauty of the place but she had founded boring after only two days. And she had to stay there with her brother for a week until their parents arrived to Europe. They would meet them somewhere and share a city, most likely Paris, and then go back home. Jean at least thought the midnight tour to the replacement hotel was the best thing that had happened in a while.

 Her brother wasn’t of the same mind. He was very worried about people that were older that them and had to be at the end of the line, being helped by the people from the hotel. He was one of those people that care about everyone but himself, which is always seen as a very good thing but his sister thought it was his worst trait. He cared about others so much he wasn’t able to see when his own family or even himself was on trouble. For a time, he had been in a very difficult financial situation but he had failed to address it as he was using the few bucks he made to help a poor family. His family had to intervene because he was about to lose it all because of his kindhearted nature.

 When most people had finally crossed the square, the people from the hotel indicated with lights the way they should follow to get to the replacement hotel. Apparently, according to a map Jean had, the place was crossing the side of Venice they were on. So they started walking and thought it wouldn’t be long until they had a bed to sleep in, as the city wasn’t so big. They thought, initially, that the city would be asleep and quiet as the roamed around, but the truth was just the opposite. They could her people talking in Italian very fast, some people going around the streets and disappearing with ease. Something was wrong, they could all feet it. Maybe the news about their hotel had spread.

 But it wasn’t about their hotel. At one turn, they heard a woman screaming at the top of their lungs from a building. Peter, savior to all, was about to run and save her but she was just an older woman being dramatic. Her building was fine and if she could scream like that there was nothing really bad going on. The explanation to her screaming came in the form of a gossip, which came from the back, where an older man had been hearing the radio since he had gotten out of the hotel. He wasn’t very good at Italian but he could easily understand from what he was hearing that other buildings in the city had started to sink like their hotel. When the news reached the front, people just stopped and some even fell to the floor, causing a small chaos when people got pushed and stepped on.

 But the people from the hotel ignored the news and just asked people to keep on walking. Eventually, they reached Campo de la Maddalena, a very small open space were they could feel a little less trapped and were people were able to just sit down on the floor and have something to drink and eat. The hotel people still weren’t talking about the news but they were talking amongst themselves and they looked very worried. Their hand gestures were enough to confirm the news. Then, screaming some more news, the older man told the crowd that tram and train service had been cut off and that the bridge to the mainland was only open to buses getting people out of the islands.

Some people checked their maps with haste and realized that the train station wasn’t that far away, and as the road ran alongside of the tracks, maybe they could be able to walk to the mainland or at least reach on of those buses. They formed a little committee and send a person to talk, which happened to be Peter as he was deeply concerned for everyone around him. He talked to the people from the hotel and tried to convince them to go to the train station or the bus station instead of the other hotel. They heard what he had to say but then explained they couldn’t do anything that wasn’t approved by the company. So they had to ask first.

 One of the staff, a very young man, called on his cellphone and started speaking a very fast Italian, trying to get as far from people as he could. Everyone could see him gesturing and trying to convey every thought in what he had to say but then he turned to everyone. He was one of those very pale people but now he seemed to look even paler. He hung up, walked towards the crowd and demanded their attention. He had received orders to get them to the replacement hotel as some areas of the city were beginning to flood, namely the train and bus stations. He had also received news that their hotel had fully collapsed into the water, as it was located just at the Grand Canal.

 People stood up to keep on walking but others thought it wasn’t a very good idea to stay. Their best chance, they said, was to get to the mainland by anyways possible. But it has to be explained that those who said that were young tourists, people that could walk and run if they needed to. Most of the people that wanted to do as the hotel said were older and they couldn’t afford to go hopping around without a real plan or a real way of doing nothing. Peter intervened, saying the most important thing for everyone was to be safe and that the elderly were first. Then a battle of voices ensued and Jean was bothered now by the fact her brother always needed to be a hero instead of trying to worry for his own.

 She was decided to leave that place. As people argued, she took a look at her map and realized it was all very near: the bus station was probably only fifteen minutes away, less if they made good time. So she decided that she would walk and try to get into one of the buses. Then, a very loud sound interrupted the voices and the thoughts. Something was doing a very haunting noise, like of something about to snap. Some people even felt the environment move a little, like shaking beneath their feet. Then, they knew something bad had happened because the sound was awful and it seemed like a thousand people screamed at the same time. Some people fled, others couldn’t. Jean grabbed Peter and ran.

 He fought her initially but then stopped opposing her and just looked over his shoulder from time to time. Some others were running, and then walking with them. They crossed a canal and noticed there were many bricks and pieces of walls and roofs floating on it. They reached the train station and were amazed to see it partially collapsed. That may have been the reason why the closed it, and not for just safety. They crossed the square in front of it, crossed another bridge and then reached the bus station. The place was full of people and they were all complaining. Apparently, there were no buses there to get to the mainland. Some policemen could be seen on the rooftop of a building, possible trying to control what couldn’t be controlled.

 For Jean, the response was simple and it got simpler when people started screaming because they started to fill the puddles of water grow larger beneath their feet.  Again, Jean grabbed her brother and pulled him through the crowd following the road. People were so scared they were barely moving, others had taken the route Jean had thought to be the only way out: just follow the road to the mainland. They started walking, being joined by many people, but they didn’t get too far as another one of those horrible sounds broke the chaos of the march towards the mainland. The sound, however, was much stronger now. People felt it inside, in their hearts and all other organs.

 Then, the ground just started to collapse and people just ran like crazy. Many died there, been trampled by other people that were as scared as them. Jean took Peter’s hand hard and they ran too, trying no to lose each other in the process. The sad thing was that the police had failed to tell people the bridge had collapsed in its middle part. So running was of no use. They had to find another way to live.

sábado, 3 de octubre de 2015

Your so-called "freedom"

   I don’t get it. I simply don’t get why people transform into humans with traces of swine characteristics once they move out of their homes, far away from the eyes and supervision of their family. It’s beyond me why people, many times, simply choose not to learn anything and decide to do things as they please, as if that had ever worked. Maybe I am obsessed with order and with everything being spotless and clean but I’d rather be obsessed that way than not caring about anything, not even your own hygiene. If these people don’t even know how to clean their own room, how are they taking care of their own bodies every day, if they are that is? It disgusts me a bit to even think about it because to me being clean is not a trace of character but a basic human instinct that you should know to survive.

 Apparently, it is not as I thought. I have lived with my parents for a long time and that has formed a certain image in my head of how people usually live. I have gone to other houses, of course, but always of people I’m related to or friends who also live with their parents, so it’s not really a clear picture. I have even dated people that live alone but I have to be honest and say I never pay attention to details in those moments so, maybe they were clean and maybe they were not. That certainly something to think about because if I decided to date someone permanently, I would certainly decide such a thing based on the amount of order and cleanliness he has with himself and everything he owns.

Is that an exaggeration? I don’t think so. I mean, it’s not the worst thing to prefer dating someone that is clean and knows how to behave like a human being. I have to confess I hate people that eat and live all their plates in the sink. And they pile up and the smell keeps getting worse and its like they’re waiting for someone else do clean them for them and it’s simply pathetic. I just don’t like that because I think it shows what kind of person you are and that’s certainly not the kind of person I would like to be involved with. Is it insane that I’m the opposite kind of person? The kind of person that cleans his mess just seconds after creating it and the kind of person that gets sick if they happen to find lots of hairs from strangers when cleaning the floors? Is that so bad?

 I don’t think so, of course, but people will always exist that happen to love living in a certain degree of anarchy because it makes them feels free. I have no idea why freedom is always related to a mess, to chaos, because freedom is not chaos but respect. Or that’s what I think. When you are free, you can do what you want, that’s true. But the only way to properly use freedom is if you combine it with respect and use it wisely instead of taking advantage of it as if you were a child, as if everything that has the capacity to worry you doesn’t exist any more. Freedom is not dirt. I refuse to even think about it like that.

 However, people still think that living alone, the “big liberation”, is al about doing whatever you want to do without any excuses. So waking up late, showering becomes optional, eating whatever you want whenever you want it, having no responsibilities or respect for anything beyond your own body and not even thinking about any consequence because that is just not cool. All of that is implanted in our minds when education at home has been all but good or even remotely decent. People whose parents have explained things to them have a tendency to be better socially simply because they know why doing certain things is socially unacceptable or should simply be avoided.

 But let’s say all of that is ok, all of that is perfect if you leave by yourself. You can be a pig if you want, when you leave alone. But the truth is that when most people leave their homes, they leave it to live with others. No one has the money to live really alone until they have a proper job and so on. And seeing many students depend on their parents to live away from home, the obvious answer is to live with roommates. And that’s when everything we have been talking about comes back and acquires importance. Because when you share a space with others, it’s not all about you. You share a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and maybe other common areas. True, your room is your own but that’s it.

 So most people have filthy rooms and live like pigs when being students but they try to behave like decent human beings outside of it. Right? Well, wrong. Because many people, all of those we have been talking about, they simply think that the world and the people in it that are their same age are just as filthy as them. So the plates and pans start to pile up, and so does the laundry and everything begins to become as filthy as if they were living alone. Why? Because freedom means chaos for them and not respect. They have no respect for themselves or for others, so they do thinks as they think everyone in their situation does.

 Of course, in order to have a nice life living with roommates, people simply do not say a word. Maybe they like living like that or maybe they simply do not want to quarrel with anyone about anything. I personally do not know which one of those solutions is the worst. Not saying anything and submitting yourself to the lives of others is beyond me, it’s something I simply cannot understand. Especially when you have a stake your own health because, at the end of the day, that’s what we are talking about. It’s about our life and having a nice space to share with other people and not simply about living and going forward like a mule. If we do that, we might reach a point when there are no more roads to keep walking on.

 All of this, some might think, is an exaggeration. And maybe it is, maybe we won’t die if we clean our bodies in a filthy shower or if we use the greasy pans that who knows how many others have used in the past. Maybe those are not lethal things and we can survive a small mess. But what that would entail would be a world where everything is a mess because people have stopped caring about the fact that we always live in community, we rarely live truly alone and there is no correct way to ignore that. What if bus drivers stopped doing their routes as they are supposed to? Would that be tolerable? What if airlines only had flights whenever they wanted or felt like it? I bet many people wouldn’t be exactly happy about it or the world would be a lazy ball of filthy and disgusting people.

 To my knowledge, we haven’t reached that stage and I personally hope we never do. Because this world is ours, for every single one of us and we cannot live thinking it’s all about us because it isn’t. Each person in this world is not important and that a truth we are never told or reminded enough. Each one of us, in our own, is simply not important enough. But as a group, as communities and as a species, we are important because of the simplicity of numbers and the importance those numbers have when affecting other numbers like the amount of trees, of drinkable water, of animals in the world and so on. When we live together, we share and respect others as we consider them equals; we gain more than we lose. And that’s the best for our growth as human beings.

 It is because we learn that by helping others we are actually helping ourselves. Those dishes that are left in the kitchen for hours or days, if we clean them just after we’re finished, we are letting someone else use them and that person would likely do the same so at dinner there will be clean plates to eat properly. If you clean the bathroom after you use it, people will eventually notice and, no matter if it is because of guilt or because they have learned, they will begin to clean everything too and the chances to have an infection or something nasty get into you will be as low as they can be. Of course, that’s the optimal way of living.

 So why not living like we care about others and ourselves? Why not living alone as if we were still living with our families? The world doesn’t just get different because our personal situation changes. The world does not care about a single organism but about the group, the communities. So let’s live, let’s enjoy ourselves and let’s do that by respecting others and letting them know how much we care about them and about the world as such. You will forgive my rant, my incessant way of pushing these truths down everyone’s throat but I do believe in the importance of respect, because it brings and order to our lives than lives for far longer that any of us would ever live. Because respect is freedom.

sábado, 11 de julio de 2015

Fire & Chaos

   That day, Marina had to stay all night as a party was going to take place in the upstairs room, were normally all the clients would go to see their moves. The space could easily be converted into a large room for parties and so on and that day it happened to be the launching party of a new sex toy. You see, Marina worked in a sex shop but not just any sex shop. It was the biggest in the city and simply the most complete one in the world. It was a very large store filled with toys, movies, costumes and many other things people could use to pleasure themselves or others. Marina had applied for the job only a few months ago but she had settled in nicely as she didn’t make the clients uncomfortable, which was the most important thing for the job.

 The store was deserted but, as the party took place, it remained opened for any person that wanted to check in late at night, looking for some fun. She knew that the party may move there because they had warned her to dress sexy and she had with a plunging cleavage but she felt very silly wearing such a thing because she was a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. Wearing that red blouse and mini skirt felt like putting on a costume for a party, which she technically did. Marina had gotten there at 8PM and by 10 PM she was already bored out of her mind. No one, from the party or otherwise, had come into the store and dressed like that she felt defenseless if anyone came in. It just wasn’t her.

 Finally, the party people came down and her boss told her to give them a tour, as he talked with the head of the sex toy company who could give them a great deal for his next toy line. She did as he said and tried to put on her best smile in order to parade the people all around the store. She showed them every aisle of the movie section and the various toys they had, some even imported from Asia were they had many other sex toys that weren’t available in the country and several other areas. She was actually relieved she had to do that because at least it kept her awake. The people of the group weren’t really listening, choosing instead to make out with others or drink their glasses of wine or cocktails.

 Then, a resounding sound was hears and the glasses of the store broke into pieces. Everyone got to the ground and the screaming and running begun. M Marina, however, stayed down covering her head, her hands trembling. She wasn’t crying but she felt close to do that. The sound of the explosion had caused her ears to hurt very badly and she had hurt a knee when stumbling down to the floor. When she finally looked around, most of the people had run out of the store and were standing outside, looking at something. She was somewhat weak, and scared, but got to walk to were the glass stood. She crossed the one carefully not to cut her feet and walked towards the crowd. Many others had joined them then and then she let out a scream.

Marina realized what they were looking at. Half a building, maybe two blocks from there down the street, had been blown up to pieces. Walking towards it, she could easily see how half of it still stood there but the rest was on the street or had destroyed parts of nearby buildings. Then, she heard the screams of people asking for help. She ran towards the building and saw that there were bodies on the ground and people were still up there, unable to come down. She just couldn’t believe everything that was happening and then she started feeling a bit tipsy because of all the smoke and noise. She sat down on the sidewalk, people running by her and then she felt even dizzier. Eventually, she just passed out.

 When she woke up, she realized she was home, in her small apartment. But she had no recollection of walking there or of someone helping her getting there. She had been lying on her sofa in the dark and she felt scared. Was it all a dream? A nightmare? But it couldn’t be. She was wearing her skimpy outfit and her knee was still sore. She stood up and decided to go to her room. There she undressed and changed into something more comfortable, something she could fall asleep with, which she didn’t think she could do soon. She was still shaken from the visions of dead corpses and people screaming. Marina thought it was best to just turn on the TV and follow the news.

 But when she got to the living room she realized she wasn’t alone. Another woman was there, in the dark. She hadn’t seen here there before. Marina looked for something to grab and hit the other woman but she couldn’t find anything. The woman smiled and only said “No need”. Marina asked her what did she want and the woman told her she was just visiting after a long time. She explained to Marina how this apartment had been hers and how she had felt the urge to come in and just see it once again before she left. She seemed adamant to say she was leaving, because she said again, telling Marina that she shouldn’t feel threatened or afraid. The woman slowly stood up and showed her she didn’t have any weapons on her.

 The young woman walked towards the woman and asker to live and the woman said that she would do so in a few minutes. As she drew closer to the woman, Marina realized one of her legs was bleeding from a big cut she had. It seemed as if a glass or something had cut her deep. But she didn’t offer any help. She just stared at the blood and then the woman asked for a glass of water. Marina complied, preferring to make time go faster instead of just standing there. As she poured water into a glass, the woman told her a strange phrase that resonated in Marina’s head: “When you have nothing else to burn, you have to put yourself on fire”. She handed the glass to the woman who was very calm. She had a sip of water and then, the glass broke.

 Marina checked on her and the woman was dead. She wasn’t breathing, through mouth or nose, and she couldn’t hear her heartbeat.  After such a crazy night, a woman had just died in her living room, just there, in front of her and there was nothing she could do to prevent it. Marina was scared and looked around, as if the solution was about to appear out of thin air. But, of course, no solution showed up. So she decided to check for the corridor outside of her apartment and after seeing no one was out, she pulled the woman and dragged her outside. It was difficult as dead bodies, she had heard, were heavier than living ones. But somehow, after some time, Marina managed to dragged the body to the elevator and then drop her next to the dumpster that was in front of the building.

 She just left the body and ran up to her home, where she felt safe. She locked the door and suddenly Marina felt guilty after putting some woman’s corpse in the cold night, as if was nothing. She turned on the TV and tried to take her mind away of what had just happened but it just got worse. They were showing images of the explosion and footage of firemen trying to put down several fires caused by the explosion. For a moment, she was able to see her boss and some other people being pushed away from the area. Apparently, they had reasons to believe that it wasn’t a terrorist attack but an unfortunate accident.

 Marina tried to lie down but she couldn’t. She had experienced so much and lived many lives in one night and she just couldn’t bare it all. But she couldn’t fall asleep either because all the memories rushed to her brain. All the corpses, the screams and the feeling of falling into a deep, fuzzy slumber. The she opened her arms and realized she had finally fallen asleep without even realizing it. It was early and she decided to open every window and try to make I feel normal but the day wasn’t helping as it was raining. She realized the TV had been on all night so she decided to turn it off but she refrained from doing so when she saw her face in the screen. They were looking for her. Or that’s what she thought at first.

 They then showed footage of a store across the building that had exploded. It showed the glasses shatter and the chaos but then it showed her walking towards the building. Then, she was visibly dizzy and had sat down in the sidewalk before collapsing. The commentator said they suspected gas had made Marina faint but then they showed a dark figure making Marina stand up and walk with her off camera. They didn’t think she was missing, they just thought she had been saved because the building exploded again some minutes afterward. The camera’s footage was interrupted then. So the woman had saved her from death and she had just walked with her, dizzy and confused.

 Marina decided to make herself a cup of coffee, then shower and after that she would call the police and tell them what had happened and why she had put the body by the dumpster. But there was no need. Because the body was not there anymore. Someone had taken it and was about to burn it. Because that’s what the woman had asked her friend just when she had decided to kill her husband and his lover with a gas explosion. As she had said: if you have nothing else to burn…