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

viernes, 20 de abril de 2018

Lessons in the ice


   I would always spend my winters in my friend Robert’s cabin, in the woods just north of the Northern Lake. His family never used it on such windy and cold months but I needed that time to be alone and be able to think for once, about my life, decisions and so on. My family lived far away and I didn’t have any money to go and visit them, so I would pack my laptop and portable Wi-Fi and just cold them from the cabin on Christmas day to wish them all a happy day and talk to them for a while.

 The reason I liked the cabin, or at least the main one, was that the lake was just a few minutes away by walking. Part of it would freeze but the other half would stay liquid because of a strong current coming from a river that traverse the body of water. The part of the lake nearest to the cabin was the one that was always frozen, and I would practice my jumps and twists right there. I would do it for hours, never fearing that the ice would break beneath my feet or that I could be attacked by a feral animal.

 I had grown to know the lake deeply, so I knew very well that the ice was at its thickest when I visited, almost a meter thick at times. That was more than enough for me to spend hours and hours practicing. My skating was getting sloppy and I couldn’t do the things that I was famous for several years before, when I first entered the ice skating circuit. I had been labeled a “star” and “the next best thing to come out of ice skating”. There were gifts and praise and flowers and all kinds of beautiful moments.

 But that had happened then and this was now. Me gliding on the ice, jumping and trying to make a good figure, just to be stopped in the middle of the air by my weight or my stupid feet. I seemed to have lost my form in a matter of a few years and coming back now was going to be the most difficult thing ever. I had made the decision to try my best to make a comeback, a last attempt at glory before I entered well into my thirties. That’s the magical number that you cannot go over, not in this world.

 I had checked out every single competitor I was going to have and they were all much younger than me. The prodigy of the group was a kid that was more than ten years younger, with a small stature and slender body, he was sure to make a big impression in any contest. I needed to work a lot to get to that level, to even get near what the others were doing. No one cared that I had won so many awards years ago. They didn’t care if they had been gold, silver or bronze. I wasn’t in their landscape at all. I was just a memory of a past that wasn’t that old.

 I worked out every single day in the cabin, just after having a small breakfast. I would jog around the woods and do sit-ups and pull-ups and every single kind of exercise to make my body what it had used to be. It hurt a lot and it there were many moments in which I wanted to drop it all and just go back to what I had been doing for the past year and a half. Working at the supermarket and as a cashier in the local skating rink was not bad at all. It helped pay the bills at least. But I needed more.

 Telling anyone about my plans was out of the question. Even after sending my papers to inscribe my name for the upcoming events, no one had notice that I was there, trying to make a comeback. They would only notice me once I stepped in the ice once again to reclaim my throne or at least make a decent attempt at it. I hadn’t told my family or anyone else. No one needed to know about what I wanted to do with the next few years of my life. They wouldn’t understand why I just need to do it.

 Maybe if I had a friend, I would tell them what was going on in my head the moment I decided to go back to such a difficult sports life. But I don’t have any because everyone left me after I stopped being famous and a success. And those who didn’t leave me were alienated by the person I became after I hung up my skates to pursue a more “normal” life. They were disappointed in me and got fed up of my negative attitude towards life. I have always said that I would never hold that against them.

 Sometimes, at night, I wonder about what those people think now that I’m planning to come back to the competitions. Are they going to be still mad at me for leaving everything in the first place or are they going to silently cheer me on? Well, I’m never going to know that but it’s not important. I need to do this whatever the results may be and no matter how difficult it can get. And it’s already pretty hard so I guess things are going to be pretty messy. But that’s the challenge I accepted.

 When winter is over, I will go back to the city and start practicing on a proper ice rink and then the trials and competitions will begin. Everyone will know I’m trying to get back to the top and then everything will become even harder. But I trust I can push through and just get to a point were I get to enjoy skating again. I want to feel what I felt all those years ago, because it was the best feeling ever. It was like walking on clouds and being able to fly over everyone else, doing something most people would only dream about. It felt so special and magical, a one of a kind sensation.

 But before that, I need to get back in shape, I need to be able to be that person I once was or at least someone very similar. I have to learn from the mistakes I made back then and also make new ones, because no one is perfect and there’s no way I’m going to step on those competitions thinking I’m better than others just because I have been there before. No, I need to know that I’m starting over, from the bottom. I need to make the trip to the top with all the dangers and difficulties, because that’s the only way I can do this right.

 Sometimes, I can already feel the rush through my body, going up from the skates to my hair, rushing with my blood which is warmed by the simple power that you feel when you’re doing something that makes you feel unique and present in this world. That one of a kind feeling.

 But then I fell, flat on my ass, hitting myself once and again and again, against the hard and cold ice. I see my body covered in cuts and bruises and I realize I’m just beginning. There’s still a long way to go for me but I do not mind at all. I want to get to the finish line. I need to get there.

miércoles, 28 de marzo de 2018

Life is strange


   His body felt warm and I liked that. I hugged him, tightening the grip with my arms, because I was actually afraid he might leave at any moment. But, for some reason I never asked, he stayed that night with me. We made love again and he told me he loved me as he kissed my neck and I caressed his thigh. It was so much, maybe too much, for just one night. But I decided not to ask anything, not to think about it all too much. I didn’t want to ruin the moment with a question that could be answered another time.

 Nowadays, our relationship has evolved greatly. That was three years ago. We are now married and his son lives with us. He had him with a woman he thought he loved, right out of high school but it wasn’t what he thought it was. However, from that weak union came a strong bond in the form of Nicholas, a bright kid that has made me rethink my role as a man. I’m not his father, not biologically and I haven’t adopted him yet, but he calls me Dad anyway, without thinking about it too much.

 We live in a house we were able to buy with both our salaries. The cost was high but we knew exactly what we wanted. It has a large main bedroom and two spar bedrooms for visitors. Thomas, my husband, decorated Nicholas’ room personally, putting on the walls every single thing the kid liked and making it removable in order to be adjusted as the years go by. He dedicated long hours to that project and refused my help, as he wanted to do something special for his kid after years of a difficult relationship.

 Thomas and the kid’s mother had been fighting for their rights for a long time until it was agreed she would have the kid for one month and then Thomas would get the kid for the following month and so on. I thought it was cruel to use a kid like that, as a thing to put on or off the counter. But I never said a word because that’s something for Thomas to fix and tend to. We even fought several times because he seemed too focused on his kid and his former girlfriend than in our life together.

 I have to confess I got to be a lot meaner than I ever was. For starters, I never liked the kid before he came in to live with us. I resented him in a way, seeing how Thomas loved to spend every waking moment with him and I just got some weekends and not even that. Our relationship had passed from one with a lot of romance and sex, to one where there was only a random kiss a week and some conversation that never went anywhere. Even after we got married, I felt he wasn’t mine yet and maybe he would never be. I neglected to see he was a father first, my husband later.

 The kid would come in some weekends, from time to time, but it would often be a very tense time for Thomas and for me as well. Not only because he would spend every single second with the kid but because he would spend the rest of his time talking about his former girlfriend and how he thought she should run his life. I heard so much about her for so long. The few chances I got to meet her; I avoided the opportunity at every turn. I didn’t want to feel even more threatened and unsure of myself.

 I even decided to attend a shrink once a week. I’ve never believed in those people but I thought it would be much better than just staying at home on the edge of screaming at Thomas or, God forbid, striking the kid. So I excused myself telling them I was going to meet my parents but I really spent an hour with Dr. Mendelsohn, who was as useless as I had thought before attending our appointments. The only good thing was that I wasn’t at home anymore. As I’m not made of money, I stopped going after one month.

 After that, I decided to really spend my days with my parents. After I had moved out of the house, I didn’t really got to speak with them that much, only over the cellphone or something. So I began cooking with my mom again and talking politics with dad. It was like back when I was younger and I found myself yearning for those years. It was hard because I was depressed often but at least I had them back then. They were always there for me to talk or at least just be there, to be present.

 Eventually, Thomas confronted me about going to my parents practically every single weekend. I confronted him too, telling him I had no interest in meddling into his affairs, into his life before I entered into it. He said he wanted me to be in his present fully, involving myself with his child and even with the woman that had brought him to life. But I told him the truth: I couldn’t make myself want something I didn’t. I had never wanted children or the past to come knocking on my door. I just wanted him.

 That was the moment our relationship took a deep dive. We didn’t yell or anything like that after that argument. We just fell silent and suddenly I knew exactly what I had to do. I grabbed a suitcase and started putting some of my clothes there. I told him it was temporary, because it was clear we needed space to think about what was happening. I reminded him he was my husband right before heading out. He grabbed me by the wrist and told me I was his husband too. I won’t lie: fear ran through my spine right then and there. I have no idea why but that’s what happened.

 I moved in with my parents and I asked them not to say a word about the whole thing. I would just continue to go to work and fulfill my responsibilities without any delay or doubt. I would just go on with my life because stop it altogether would be fatal. Of course, I cried every night thinking about him and how the man I used to know was no longer there. I trusted him to think about it all and come back to me with a proper response. He never did, at least not in the way I had always thought.

 He came to my place almost a year later. I had decided to rent a small apartment downtown, as I realized my parents already had a life between the two and me being there was not the life they had envisioned in their golden years. So I decided to move on, never minding anything else in my life. I even got a promotion, which was celebrated with a big party where I almost kissed another man but didn’t. I felt like shit after that but at least I stopped myself, despite the large amounts of alcohol in my blood.

 The day Thomas came, I was cleaning my place up. I stopped everything and we sat down in the living room, which consisted on a sofa against he wall, facing a flat screen TV. There was a moment of silence and then I told him I hated when silence feel between us. It seemed unnatural. He finally spoke, saying he had come to me to tell me the years of litigation were done and that he had finally gained a good amount of time with his son. I was happy for him, because he was finally ecstatic with the news.

 I thought that was it. He didn’t seem to have anything else to say, so I stood up and told him I needed to finish cleaning soon, as I had to leave later. It was a lie; I just wanted him out of my sight. But then he came close to me and hugged me as I had hugged me so many years ago. He told me he loved me and that he missed me every single day. He even kneeled and asked me to marry him, which was nice because I had been to one to do that the first time. I said yes, because I do love him.

 We then had the best sex I have ever had. It’s strange how you take some things for granted, like how much better it is when your partner is someone that knows your body thoroughly and has a very good idea about what you like, what it is that makes you feel in heaven.

 I have no idea how, but he transferred that knowledge to the other parts of our lives. That’s how I got to understand him better and to love his son, maybe as much as he did. Now I found myself packing lunches and preparing camping weekends. Life is so strange… But it’s life.

viernes, 9 de marzo de 2018

Julia in the desert


   The stars seemed to be very close. Somehow, the sky in such a remote area of the world was different than what you would see in other parts. Julia was lying down on a think towel she had purchased before the trip and she started counting the stars but she got lost and tired quickly. She hadn’t even removed her boots before lying down and now she was falling asleep, in the middle of the desert. She hadn’t prepared her tent or any food. She was much too tired after her first day.

 Early next morning, she was woken up by a tickling on her stomach. Julia didn’t really open her eyes immediately. But as the tickling persisted, she decided to sit down and properly wake up. She stood up in fear once she realized the tickling came from the tough little legs of a scorpion that was parading itself all along her body. She checked herself for any stings but there was nothing. It was clear that, if the creature had stung her, she would be in severe pain.

 Julia decided to spend her second day looking for a better camping spot. She walked half that day all along the desert and the small patches of life she could find, until she found a small group of thin trees. They gave some shadow from the sun, which was perfect because it had started coming out behind big clouds and it was insufferable to walk like that. She was able to put up her tent in a few minutes and get inside before the full power of the sun was displayed. Thankfully, she had bought the right tent.

 She smiled at the thought of her looking around several stores until she found the right one. It was clear that many of the employees at all the stores didn’t really believe her when she stated she was going camping in the middle of the desert. She even explained to them she was studying biology and that was the perfect way to get more comfortable with future trips she might have to endure. But apparently she looked too “girly” and too “nice” to be the type of woman that goes camping.

 Julia even imagined that they pictured her doing her nails inside of her tent or maybe bringing a man with her in order to repel bugs and others animals. But she couldn’t care about all of that, about what she thought they were thinking or about what they were actually thinking. She could only care about her priorities and her first one was to become the best biologist ever. She really loved the profession but had always had a certain fear and disgust towards going camping or working in the middle of a jungle or any wild place. So Julia forced herself to camp and live through it alone.

 She sat down on the tent and removed her boots after almost a day of use. Of course, her feet smelled awful but it was the price to pay for such an adventure. Besides, she was certain that a source of water would be around and she would take advantage of that the moment she found it. Meanwhile, she had to conform with removing her boots and socks and giving her aching feet some air to relax. She opened her backpack, grabbed a couple of power bars and ate them in a few minutes.

 Food was one of the big problems she had to face doing what she was doing. It  wasn’t like she was prepared from day one to hunt and eat anything she found. Besides, she was in a desert and the amount of animals there was severely reduced. It wasn’t as if she was in the middle of a beautiful European forest where she could hunt down boars and roast them slowly over a nice fire. She couldn’t do that, so she had prepared herself with lots of cereal bars and small foods that she could move around easily.

 It wasn’t the best meal ever, but at least she had fresh water, which was enough to make her feel alive once again. She lay down for a bit and realized she hadn’t really done much related to biology. The closes thing had been her encounter with the scorpion and she had run so fast after that, that she was ashamed to call herself a scientist. So after relaxing for a bit, she put on her socks and boots again and a baseball cap her dad had given her before departure.

Then, she went outside to check for animal life outside the tent. Julia found some interesting bugs near the thin trees and was able to take pictures with her cellphone. She had a better camera inside her backpack but she really didn’t want to be fixing its configuration when trying to take the picture of a small creature. She promised herself to check the camera features before going to bed. She saw some more scorpions, as well as tiny spiders that seemed to like underneath the hot desert sand.

 When going back inside her tent, a powerful noise attracted her attention upwards and she realized a very rare visitor was flying over her. Before leaving her house, Julia had checked all the information she could about that part of the country, so she was well aware of the existence of such a majestic creature. It had a very large wingspan but its body was rather small. Its feathers were light yellow, in order to reflect the sun light and being able to blind its prey with them. It was such a beautiful design nature had achieved, so of course Julia took lots of pictures.

 Later that day, and after eating a whole tuna can with beans, Julia uploaded the cellphone pictures onto her laptop. She had brought several spare batteries for it, but even so she decided to limit her computer time to only an hour a day. She erased the pictures that she didn’t like and was about to turn off the computer when she decided to look at some of the other pictures she had on her laptop. Family pictures, others with friends and some at college too. She was smiling in most, not in all of them.

 She even laughed out loud when she realized she had a couple of pictures of her old boyfriends. She hadn’t seen any of them in a long time, as they had been only high school crushes and nothing more. Yeah, she had gone with one of them to prom and with the other one on a long summer vacation. But that was it, they were both now in the past and she had to move on. Actually, it had been partly because of them she had decided to follow her dream of becoming a biologist. They didn’t think it was a realistic dream.

 After turning off the computer and putting it away, she decided to grab the camera to fix the settings before using it the next day. She had bought that second hand camera online and had never touched more than a couple of times to know it could be turned on and off. That was it. Now she had to put everything in the right setting in order to capture the perfect pictures in the scorching desert. But as she wasn’t very good with things like that, Julia soon fell asleep with the camera on her chest.

 The next day, she woke up to see the camera had rolled to the side. She grabbed it to put away but then the bird with yellow feathers screamed loudly. Because this time, it did seem like a scream and not like the beautiful chant of a majestic bird. Julia stepped outside barefoot, only to see the sky was very dark and that the bird was on top of the nearby thin trees. The bird let out another “scream” and suddenly flew over Julia and away from the tree area. It seemed to be escaping something.

 Only moments afterwards, the ground began shaking violently. Julia fell to her knees and saw how her tent moved around as if tossed by some invisible force. She tried t o crawl her way back inside the tent but the earthquake stopped right before she was able to get it.

 Inside, all of her stuff had spilled out of the backpack. Food, the camera, phone and laptop, everything was upside down. The bird had warned her right in time. She was thankful and realized she had made the right choice by spending two weeks in that desert. She was going to make the best of it.

lunes, 5 de marzo de 2018

Where's the passion?


The day was as clear as it could be. From the terrace of the tenth floor of the Equity Tower, one could see for miles and miles. Evan was standing there, in front of the glass, just millimeters away from a one hundred meter drop. But he wasn’t looking downward. He was looking across the park in front of the building and a little bit upwards. There was some sort of bird flying around, possibly after having spotted a delicious rat or something down between the trees. It was a majestic site.

 Evan didn’t move a muscle, as he looked on, mystified by the gracious movements of the bird. It was so agile and beautiful, only an event that could’ve been created by nature itself. Evan didn’t want to miss the moment for one second, as he knew it could end soon. And so it did: the bird suddenly dropped from the sky, flying downwards at top speed. It disappeared between the trees. Evan waited for several minutes, but the bird didn’t resurfaced. Maybe it had been successful. He wanted to believe that.

 Evan moved away from the glass and walked slowly towards his kitchen. Mind you, Evan had no clothes on: no socks, no underwear or shirt. Not even a towel or a baseball cap. He was naked as he always was at that time of day, which was past midday. The man was one of those people with so much money that they didn’t need to care about schedules or time in general. Besides, he loved to do his work and other commitments at night, when he felt most comfortable. During the day, he would rather sleep and eat.

 In the kitchen, Evan fixed himself a bowl of his favorite cereal. He poured some almond milk on it and then started eating it right there, just by the coffee machine. His empty cup was in the sink, as well as plates and other stuff from past days. Evan wasn’t a good cleaner and he preferred when he came back from work and everything had been cleaned and organized for him. But the lady that did that was sick and he did not want a stranger to come into his house just like that. He’d rather do it all himself.

 So after finishing his bowl of cereal, Evan did something he hadn’t done in a long while: he did the dishes and then checked his refrigerator for rotten vegetables or fruits or products past their expiration date. Nothing was out of order and he was able to get it all done in a matter of minutes. He wasn’t one for doing those sorts of things but the truth was that his work had begun to feel repetitive and boring to him. A change of pace would suit him right, as well as doing things he wasn’t used to do. The moment made him have several ideas, right on the spot.

 One might think he could’ve wanted to put on some clothes on before going ahead, but he didn’t. He decided to check every single drawer and closet in his two-story apartment and get everything he didn’t want to keep out of the house. He looked for some big garbage bags in the kitchen and then started on the living room. There wasn’t much there besides his bar, fully stocked at all times with the most expensive wines and spirits from around the world. However, he did find some underwear that wasn’t his. He just smiled and moved on.

 There were lots of drawers in his studio. He threw away a bunch of office papers that he wasn’t going to use anymore and several other notes and small objects he just hated. There were things inherited from his grandparents and parents and he really despised some of them. There was this bowl of marble balls that was supposed to be an ornament but it had always made him crazy because it reminded him of how strict his father was. When he wanted to use the marbles to play, his father would practically yell at him.

 There was never real violence on his house. After all, he didn’t really have a relationship that strong with his parents, he didn’t even see them enough during a whole year. It was rather sad but he always smiled telling the story of how he learned his parents birthday dates when he was about to enter college. The funny part, according to him, was the fact the he learned those facts by accident and not because they wanted him to know. It was like learning the birthday date of a beloved movie star. A far away star.

 He filled a whole garbage bag in the studio before moving on to his downstairs bathroom. There was not a lot there, only some old flu medicine and ointments he used sometimes when he was sick. It was funny that he had all of that there, as he would never use any of that. His parents only intervened in his life when health was an issue, probably because they knew that if he died, there would be no heir of blood running the company. As if it mattered, but it seemed important enough to them.

 After so many years, he still did things to keep them happy. He would do parties in his apartment with various friends of his family and the company, even if most of those people barely knew his name. He treated old friends of his parents and grandparents as if they were elders of great wisdom, but deep inside he knew there was no way he could really trust any of them. They were all around because of the money. Same happened with his so-called friends, vultures flying around him waiting for something to fall on their lap, a job or some money or compensation.

 In his bedroom, he threw away various pieces of clothing. Being naked, he smiled and thought of the whole situation as ridiculous. But then, he realized it wasn’t an accident that he liked being naked around his home so much. Back when he was young, Evan had been thought that the human body was practically something to be ashamed of. It was only during his years in college when he learned that shouldn’t be the case, when he started to explore his body and those of others.

 He remembered wearing ties every single day, not only to school but also in the house and to all formal events to which his parents were invited to, and there were a lot of those. His former house was one of the gigantic mansions where you might imagine a caped crusader living in. But nothing of the sort happened there. He did imagined to be an orphan many times in his life, but he was reminded many times that he did have parents and that it was important that he was their son.

 Evan’s future had always been in the company. He had no control of his work life and, to be honest, he didn’t want control over that. In college, he soon discovered he wasn’t really interested in something in particular. He liked numbers and sometimes watching movies and also music. But would have never thought of been an accountant, becoming a filmmaker or learn to play any kind of instrument. He had no passion for any of that. The only thing that ignited passion in his heart was his private life.

 He lived to invite random people to his house. He met them at galas or bars or even cellphone apps. Sometimes he would say how much money he had and other times he would create some sort of story, like the one where he was a caretaker for some rich people and how they paid him the bare minimum to take care of their houses as they sailed through the Caribbean. And people bought all those lies because they wanted and also because Evan was a very good liar.

 He got four garbage bags filled to the top. He took them all himself to the deposit downstairs, wearing a hoodie and some gym pants. As he put on the bags on a large container, he saw a picture escape one of the bags and fall softly, like a leaf, on the floor.

 Evan picked it up and saw his own face looking at him. It was a very old picture, from his early youth. He was maybe five or seven years old. And he was smiling. He seemed so happy and eager, so full of life. Evan wondered what had happened to that little boy, to his spark.