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

martes, 12 de julio de 2016

The tribe

   Once outside the darkness of he cave, the two men collapsed to the ground, exhausted. They had been lost for day, wondering in the dark, putting their hands on the foulest places. They had to be intelligent with their very small rations and their use of light. They had to flashlights that work on kinetic energy and one more that ran on normal batteries. That last one had depleted its energy in a single day. The others two had been of great help, even if the two men were not really strong at the moment.

 A couple of days latter, they woke up in a hut. They felt a strong smell near their noses and realized it was and indigenous woman, much older that they were, putting a bowl with some green paste inside beneath their nose. They didn’t want to be rude, but their reaction was to throw the bowl to the wall and crawl to the wall. It was then when they realized they had various cuts on the skin, plus many other bruises.

 Of course, they didn’t understand what she said but, somehow, she did seem to understand what they said. Maybe it was some kind of magic or maybe it was just an impression but in the following days, the two men regained their health and felt even better than before. They spent their days doing nothing until a man and a woman, also native to the jungle, came for them. Apparently, from what they could make of it, their nurse thought it was time for them to leave her and go back to civilization.

 The process was not immediate. They stayed with the tribe of the man and the woman for what seemed like a month. They didn’t speak their language wither, but that wasn’t necessary. Hands and body language was enough to communicate the most basic ideas so, in a matter of days, they were able to understand one another.

 Richard, who was the oldest of the two lost men, began to be interested in the ways of the jungle people, believing it to be very interesting how they use scorpion and spider venom to dip their arrows in and then hunt all of their meals. Apparently, the venom could be washed away from the flesh of the fallen animals and it wouldn’t affect one bite of a meal. He was very impressed by their agility and cunning too, as they seem no to be scared, in any moment.

 Lucas, the young one of the couple of rescued men, was not as interested in the hunting techniques as he was interested in the woman that had came for them to the old woman’s house. He had no idea of what her name was but he knew he loved her curves, her bright black hair, her big brown eyes and her full lips the color of strawberries. He couldn’t stop watching her everyday, even when she was doing her other chores such as cooking or helping the children of the tribe.

 Richard learned fast about their ways of hunting and in no time he was doing it himself, being able to bring a full-grown wild boar for dinner. Apparently, such a kill was a very uncommon occurrence as they tribe decided to hold a feast in their honor for their bravery and exemplary behavior. The natives had never seen foreign men before but they rather thought that Richard and Lucas had been sent by their gods to help them in times of need. That boar was not special. What was special was the fact that they hadn’t had anything decent to eat for a while.

 Every woman, man and child thanked the two of them and they rapidly learn some words that night, after they had heard them being repeated once and again and again. The celebration was topped off by the taking of a very powerful alcoholic beverage made from a mx of fruits the indigenous people picked up from all over the jungle. Richard was unsure about drinking it but Lucas did it in order to impress the woman he liked. It worked, as she thought he was brave for doing it.

 They both paid their bravery with three full days of chronic diarrhea and hallucinations. Richard had taken less than Lucas, but he too started seeing things once he got away of the village in order not to bother the others with his awful state. He would see his wife, his son and his parents. He had forgotten about them and maybe they had forgotten about him too. There, kneeling on the ground, he saw the image of his wife hugging and making love to another man. He also saw his little boy all grown up, turned into a man that was the opposite of what he had been. And his parents, dead for a long time.

 Lucas had it worse. He vomited and soiled himself several times. The woman he loved attended to him as his nurse and she feared the worst because he had really taken a lot of the beverage and she believed the messengers of the gods probably weren’t as tough in the stomach as the natives were. She did her best to keep him with them, helping him with cold water and prayer.

 He saw his family too. He didn’t have a wife and children but he did have friends, all of whom were giving him their back. He saw them saying how horrible of a person eh was and how disappointed they were of him. They also said that they had always thought he was a fake, always pretending to be something he wasn’t, always trying to be one step ahead of everyone to seem cool or whatever but he wasn’t. He heard the laughter louder and louder and he wanted to scream and pull off his skin to stop feeling the pain all over his body.

 After a while, their condition disappeared. The day Richard woke up from his visions, he was taken to a nearby river with freezing water. The shaman of the tribe made him swim in that water and when he was out, everyone cheered. Apparently, he had achieved another level in his status among them and he was proud of himself. However, he now had his family on his mind, calling for him from a distance. They were probably thinking he had died by now but he needed them to know he was a changed man, man that could make their family so much better now.

 He waited until Lucas came out of his sickness. He helped him out of the cold water in the river and then spoke to him alone, in a hut they had built only for them. It was the first time in a while that they were alone and that they spoke their language. Richard wanted Lucas to know he appreciated having a companion through this ordeal but that he had realized, thanks to the beverage, that he had responsibilities and that he had to fulfill them.

 Even being younger, Lucas understood what Richard was telling him but he also announced something: thanks to the visions, he had realized he needed to stay there with the tribe. He had seen his present and his past but also a glimpse of the future and he knew that the only real happiness that he could take away in this world was there, with the natives in the jungle. Even more, he had already decided to ask for the hand of his nurse in marriage, as he loved her deeply.

 The next day, Richard wanted to announce his intentions to the tribe but here was no need. They all knew what he was going to do and they had prepared a feast for him, to send him on his way. There was no psychotropic beverage this time, rather plenty of meat and some provisions he could take for his long way home. On a leaf, the shaman explained to him how to get to the nearest town from where he could possibly reach civilization.

 He thanked all of them and bid farewell to all of them, both in his language and in theirs. They were moved by this kindness and by the fact he hugged Lucas as a son, even if he wasn’t. He was thankful for his help and his support in the most difficult times, both in the jungle and in the cave. There were things that were a secret between them and Richard knew he could trust Lucas with all those revealed secrets.

 As he went away, the native nurse came to Lucas and said a few words by his ear. Somehow, he understood. That same night, they got married in the most beautiful ceremony the tribe had seen in a while. Everyone was happy, well-fed and very good health. The gods had really sent them. But for Lucas it was them, the tribe, that were the real saviors, making him realize what his life was and how to make it into something better, for him and the world.

sábado, 12 de diciembre de 2015


   His body entered the water slowly and was soon covered in foam that smelled of vanilla. He sat down on the edge of the enormous Jacuzzi and just closed his eyes and pulled his head back. Adam was trying to relax after the party he had thrown, a luncheon in honor of all the donors that had decided to give money to the hospital his foundation ran. They were all nice people, always smiling and nodding and shaking hands with one another. Adam knew most of them really well, from other events and from social encounters, and he knew most of them wee awful people.

 He took advantage of their guilt to fuel his philanthropic endeavors with all the money they had to give which was a lot. They were owners of huge companies and brands and taking a thousand dollars out of their bank account was almost unnoticeable. Their guilt came from the fact that most of them were always doing something behind close doors, whether it was having an affair, or having links with organized crime or having some sort of sickness or condition that they didn’t want anyone to find out about, among other reasons.

 It’s not like they knew Adam knew but rather than they used any social service available to atone for their sins and guilt. For Adam, who was a young businessman and also the owner of several companies, that had to be taken advantage of, instead of potentially loosing that money to other “causes” like prostitutes or alcohol. He didn’t have to threaten or to convince anyone, they just did what he expected them to do and that had always been the case even when his father was alive.

 It had been five years ago that his father had died and had left him in charge of every single one of the companies he owned and also in possession of most of his estates. Of course, his siblings had attempted to fight this will but he soon clarified no one would be kicked out of nowhere and there would be no fighting among family members. He distributed the estate and was sure everyone was represented in the various businesses they had. That way he earned his family’s trust and also the respect of their community of wealth.

 In time, with his keen eye for business, he managed to win the respect of every single company owner in the country and was able to prove to them that his young age was not a downside of who he was but rather and interesting and potentially key characteristic. After all, his father had died when he was just twenty-seven years old and many in the companies and among his family thought he wasn’t mature enough. He had an older sister and his dad had partners who were more experienced. But the will of his father was respected and he ended up being what they all needed in order not to let everything be lost.

 However, he wasn’t perfect himself. It was not that Adam had any obvious flaw but rather that he had too much interest in his rivals and friends. He had many of them watched by private investigators, forming kind of a team that revealed to him every little dirty secret they all had behind close doors. This gave him the advantage in every business negotiation because, although he would never blackmail anyone, he knew how to use those secrets in his own advantage. He was truly obsessed with getting to know everything about a person and wouldn’t let his investigators rest if they hadn’t found anything meaty.

 In that luxurious bathtub, he would often have a bath, as he would check all the files on his investigations. He was very adamant that if there wasn’t any interesting discovery in the first month, he normally left the person alone unless it was a current rival of sorts. He didn’t want to be using all of that to be a rat. Business was business and that’s what it was all about but personal things, very personal ones were just out of bounds. He had discovered, for example, how some people he investigated were HIV positive or had cancer. This for example was never used against them and the files he had were destroyed because that was personal.

 What he liked to find was something like a love affair, like some weird transaction with the mob or something like that. Both those things made people feel very guilty and guilty people are not good for business. It was very easy beating them in that arena where he had learned to excel from a young age, thanks to the tutoring of his father. He used those really silly secrets to make them tremble in their pants and from there his victory was already settled.

 The fun thing about it all was that Adam tried to be the contrary of all those rivals. First of all, he wasn’t stupid enough to do something crooked. He had all kinds of advisors and people working for him that would tell him if he was making a mistake or how to achieve something without the need of dirty money or cheating. If he didn’t saw an honest way to do something, he simply didn’t do it. He was rich enough so it wasn’t that bad not to win more money. He wasn’t driven by money because he had learned to control his thirst for power.

 Besides, he was very open about his life, both personal and in business and was always very clear that he didn’t answer to any one in his personal decisions and that only his family mattered in his business ones. That was it so he wasn’t the best media character, even if some news outlets loved to show some pictures of him hugging beautiful models, kissing men and women or having luxurious holidays in some faraway hotspot.

 Adam was not about settling, that was true. He wouldn’t marry any women because he thought that kids would come soon and he didn’t wanted children not to have a father. Because he was always away for business, was always focused on that and had only a few very well defined moments during the week when he could just relax. He didn’t think a wife and kids deserved that, even if it came with all the money and privilege he had to offer. His mother insisted that he got married to continue the line and have someone inherit all of it when he died. And she was right but he had no idea how to accomplish that.

 He had also thought of the option of marrying a man but that had the same problems, minus the conceiving part that would be replaced by the whole process of adoption or by them using a surrogate mother, which was his favorite option of the two. Any way, he wouldn’t have time for them and he wanted to be able to share everything.

 The bottom thing was that he needed to love someone and that didn’t happen. He had sex often enough and went into dates and was charming as a man could be, but no one had really made him think about them as a potential wife or husband. He was very nice and a complete gentleman with them but he needed someone that gave him something he didn’t have, that made him feel unbalanced but, at the same time, that made him feel like everyone with that person was worth it.

 Adam was not very big on the concept of love. He thought it more like an alliance of sorts were two people realize they have to be together because they work much better as a team. He knew many people like that, friends and family, and he had the image of his parents, who had always loved each other just like that, helping each other and being the best partners one could ever see.

 With the soothing sound of water around him, Adam realized that some day he would want children, that one day he would want to wake up and find someone he loved to smell next to him. He was only thirty two years old and thought that maybe it could happen the next day or in a couple of years but he was sure it would happen because, sometimes, he felt that need but it wasn’t as strong as it could be. He knew it wasn’t strong enough yet.

 He then stood up and walked naked towards a wall, where some wind blowers dried him up. He had to stand there like the Vitruvius man, feeling the soft caress of all that wind. Then, his mouth began to feel dry and the world around him started to get distorted. He felt dizzy and tried to hold on to the well but he just fell to the ground, a marvelous granite floor.

jueves, 6 de agosto de 2015

Pomp and Circumstances

   Every single member of the staff was very nervous. It was well known by them that when the McAllen family decided to visit, it was a trying moment for the hotel and everyone in it. But the McAllen’s were very rich and they knew they could use that kind of clients. Rich people were not coming to the hotel anymore, or maybe to the region… Anyway, not many wealthy heirs and heiresses wanted to visit Lake Flora in the summer. Other vacation spots had become more popular and the lake had lost some of its former splendor. But the McAllen’s were a family of traditions and they had come to the lake every year for sixty years, so they weren’t going to break that custom.

 The day they arrived, every single staff member had to stop whatever it was they were doing and just run to the main hall and line up on either side of the red carpet they had installed exclusively for the event. The other guests, which were not many, had been barred from the main hall and had to use the service elevator in order to get to the their rooms or from there to anywhere else in the hotel. Some of them complained but as none of them were as rich and famous as the McAllen’s, their opinion was not very important. That sounds awful, especially when the hotel always cared about every single guest with care. But this time it was different because the McAllen’s were the difference between a definitive closure of the hotel or their permanence in the business.

 When they arrived, everyone was as still as a statue but that didn’t mean that people weren’t excited or curious. After all, it had been a year since they had been there for their last visit and many staff members had entered the hotel after that so they were really excited about meeting people that were practically royalty. If nobility existed in any way in this country, the McAllen’s would surely be a very important and powerful family, maybe even more that they already were. Arthur McAllen, the main figure, had made his family richer by buying several mines around the world as well as having an almost complete monopoly on several markets such as bananas, sugar and tea.

 He was the first one to come in and every single staff member had to bow as he passed. Mister McAllen seemed overjoyed and the first thing he said to the hotel manager was that the place was as beautiful as he had always remembered. He congratulated everyone and moved on to the main counter. After him, came Lady McAllen. She was a true noblewoman, daughter of a duke from England. Her father owned several newspapers. She walked among the people, greeting some of them. And then came the children. The girl was already a women, very beautiful but visibly very annoyed by the whole concept of spending her holiday in the lake. She rushed over the red carpet and joined her parents fast.

 The young boy that followed him was ecstatic. He looked at everything, greeted some of the staff and asked a kitchen maid if she knew if there were monsters in the lake. She laughed at the comment but the hotel manager gave her a look of disapproval, which stopped her laughter. The last person to come in through the door was the mother of Arthur McAllen. Everyone in the region and the country knew Callista McAllen very well. She had been the wife of a governor that years later became prime minister. And he had been a particularly bad prime minister. Many people said he had died of an illness related to madness but no one was really sure. The truth was every staff member looked at her, interested by her story.

 The older woman crossed the red carpet, oblivious to the preparations for their arrival, getting to her son and demanding him for a bed in order to rest her feet. A waiter gave each one of them lemonade, made with fruit grown in the hotel surroundings, and then several younger bell boys rushed outside and started taking the luggage to the presidential suite. They all signed the guest book and then the manager asked Arthur McAllen if he would like to pose for picture. It was kind of a tradition of the hotel, so the family complied although only the men were happy to do it. The women looked annoyed and tired. So the photographer, who happened to be the groundskeeper, had to do it fast.

 Moments later, everyone was in the presidential suite, their empty luggage in a big closet and all their clothes and belonging in drawers and closets all over the room. The place was very overwhelming, if one wasn’t very used to the golden glow of its walls and the overpowering smell of the perfume used when the maids cleaned up the bedroom and bathroom. It was just too much for every one except for such a wealthy family as the McAllen’s. The women decided to rest and retired to their rooms. The men changed clothes and decided to take a walk. When they arrived to the hall, the red carpet was no longer there or staff members. Everything was back to normal. But they didn’t really pay attention. They just crossed the main doors and went outside.

 Arthur and his son walked towards the lake and there, the father would tell his son several stories about the monster that many had claimed lived beyond the surface of the lake. Some said it had wings, some others said it was like fish but huge in size. Father and son threw stones at the water as they shared stories about the mythical beast. They also explored the woods around the hotel and discovered the place were the lemon trees grew high and mighty. For Arthur, this place brought the best memories from his childhood and he wanted to past that on to his son.

 But his wife and daughter weren’t as happy to be there. The next day, her wife refused to have breakfast in their private dining room, and preferred to eat alone in their bedroom. The daughter wasn’t a much easier person to handle, especially because she did come out of her bedroom. In just a few hours, the staff had come to hate her even more than any other guest in their time there. She was bossy and very rude for such a rich family. She would tell them how to do their chores, even as she had never moved a finger in her life to do anything. And she tired everyone by always saying that her future husband was a commander in the army and he would have the power to improve this lost region and make it productive, instead of just a place for old people to catch some sun.

 But the elderly person in her group would not have agreed. The oldest McAllen was maybe the nastiest and that was because she insisted, every morning in sitting in the main table of the dining hall down in the ground floor. She wanted to seat where her dead husband also sat when he was governor and prime minister. The thing was Callista McAllen had lost it several years ago. Her son was too kind and didn’t want to realize it but she was losing her mind by the minute and she was becoming more and more demanding and rude because of it. She even attempted to hit a waiter on the second day because he had delivered her tea colder than she liked it.

 And the McAllen’s never apologized. The waiter had to leave for the kitchens immediately and he was relocated to another part of the hotel, were he would not be affected by Callista’s insanity. Besides minor incidents like that, everything was going very well with the McAllen’s summer stay. The manager love to do the counts of how much money he would win by the end of the season. He was relieved more than happy because it was not mystery that the hotel was going under: there was not that much money to pay every single person that worked there and attendance had been so low that year that they had even though of closing for some time. That’s why the McAllen’s had to be treated like royals.

 But then one night news from the capital came in and everyone was awoken by the man carrying the letters, because it wasn’t just one but many. He demanded to see Arthur McAllen, who had to be woken up and rushed into the ground floor. There, the man gave him all the letters. And every single one of them told exactly the same story: their neighboring country had attacked a border post and then a whole border town. It was war and the government had demanded for the wealthy to help them in this hour of need. McAllen asked for a pen and paper to write his response, that he was going to give all the money he could to the cause. But the man that had brought the letters stopped him and told him that not only they required his money, but his presence to in the battlefield.

 Everyone in the hall became mute. And it was the first of many silences they would hear for the following years. The war grew larger and more and more lethal. Arthur McAllen would die months later, as well as the commander who was going to marry his daughter. The hotel closed indefinitely the following winter and no one would ever hear about Lake Flore until after the war, when it would become synonym of madness, as the hotel was bought by the ministry of wealth fare and then transformed to an asylum. The McAllen tradition and dynasty died in the war, as the women died of sorrow and the men of war.

martes, 3 de marzo de 2015

We made the monster

   So do this: stand in front of the mirror, stark naked, and just stare. What is your reaction? What thought are gliding through your brain right now? Are you really looking or not? Well, this is a simple test to check you are a person of the twentieth or twenty-first century. If you are, you will instantly find something that you don’t like, something that feels “off” somehow. Is it your waist, your ass or your genitalia? Is it your chest, your face even? Not really important.

 If you can’t find something to change, if you just love everything you see, sir or lady, you are lying. Or worse, you are lying to yourself so hard you don’t even recognize truth anymore. And why do I say this? Because we all know this world we live in today has made us hate each other and has crossed the border to make us hate ourselves.

 But what is the point of that you say? Well, easy. If we hate how we look, we will spend thousands of dollars trying to look different, to be desirable. And society is kind enough to tell us what to do in each case: maybe the gym, maybe a full makeover, buying new clothes and maybe even change ourselves physically with the help of a doctor or some other “expert”. All those things will help us but, once we achieve what we were looking for, we will realize this new state of being is not good enough.

 Why? Because we can always be taller, skinnier, bigger, softer… Better, in the eyes of the almighty society that is nothing more than a bunch of people that want our money and our minds. Once we concede, once we say, “Yes” at least one time, we have already lost. We lose our ability to see what’s good or bad, what’s true and what’s false. We just don’t even care anymore because we have entered the social convention known, as the “community” where everyone HAS to want the same thing and everyone has to get it exactly the same way.

 Imagination is slowly dying, more and more, each day more and more pale and pathetic. Because we don’t need her anymore. We have decided that copies are better than an original; we have decided that one good way is better than many great ways. Today, being different is only taken into account when it happens to be a fashion statement, a way of saying you’re “crazy” or “unique”, when truly you’re just the simplest one of the whole bunch.

 Real creative people live like rats, hiding in the dark, trying to live by. They just can’t stand the world and sometimes leave it but others decide to stay on as a challenge to everything that exists. They make their own rules and they are left alone, because no one will really hear or see them. They don’t matter anymore and they use that to their advantage. When no one looks at you, you are suddenly free to experiment more and more, even if that new acquired knowledge is only going to be shared with a handful of other “freaks”.

 Still, the world is ruled by those who think that they are making a difference but, deep down, they know their actions are not important enough to matter in the grand scheme of things. Not that they are bad or evil. No, they are just ignorant and many of them are ignorant very willingly. They prefer this life because the less they know; the more comfortable they are with others. Who cares about the grandiosity of the universe when your boyfriend has a big dick or your girlfriend is a submissive person?

 And that’s the truth. That’s what we all think about because, at the end of the day, even the ones that still use their imagination are contaminated with the filth of a world that hates us for who we are but that need us to keep moving, to keep gaining wealth and power. How many times an artist has succumbed to the stronger will of money? It’s a very popular saying: “artists have to eat too”. And it’s true.

 It’s of the monkey act on the streets: you have to dance and clap and act like an idiot to be noticed, to be seen by the world and to be recognized, with money or food. If it was a world made by intellect, that wouldn’t be a problem at all because everyone would share and no one would starve. But we do not live in such a world. We live in one were there has to be someone on top and someone underneath him. Someone powerful and someone powerless. If that balance fails, they know things will go to chaos because we are simply not smart.

 Beauty is not a personal concept anymore and anyone that thinks that is gravely mislead. No, beauty has been modeled by society for a long time and what each individual thinks of it is highly unimportant. If beauty standards say fat is ugly, it will not matter how many fat actresses or fat models parade around the world. The concept of beauty will not change and fat girls will still feel awful looking at the mirror and living as who they are.

 Even if we know that the chubby guy in the bus is kind of cute, that doesn’t change anything. He’s still ugly to the eyes of society, meaning that we can be accepting but only if we decide doing that will be to our advantage. Or way do you think some societies have begun to embrace homosexual people? It’s not because they have realized they are also humans, but because they can be used as a fashion accessory. That was the way the gay man made it into open society: by being a mascot.

 Offensive, you think? Untrue? Just take a look. On every single society the example of a gay man is the man in the salon doing hair. What’s he like? He’s delicate, very effeminate, girly in every aspect and often skinny. That was the first gay man that got into society and, as it performed a role in it, it was welcomed but not with open arms but with hostility. Eventually he became a pet for the women that wanted to be beautiful, so they became tools to achieve what society wanted. They had a use, they could be used.

 And that’s is the truth behind the so-called acceptance of minorities. It’s not acceptance but tolerance, they let us be there with them, but they always point out how different we truly are. That’s society. Not a beautiful place where everyone is equal and we all hold hands singing. Society is just a place, a gathering of people that have roles to perform. It’s not about freedom or rights; it’s about how useful we can be to those that are powerful.

 Of course, that cannot be used to promote anarchy. Why? Because anarchy is the rule of the people and people are ignorant and stupid. If people, “real people” ruled, the world would be in an even worse state. Who rule us are rats, that’s true. But they are people who wait, whose power has taught them to be patient, to play the game slowly and to put everything on its place. In other words, we kind of need the powerful ones, because that power has taught them how to handle things.

 Power for all? Impossible. Give power to someone that has never had it and see what happens: chaos and even less freedom and truth. People cannot be trusted. And when I say that, I mean every single person in the world. Good or bad, that doesn’t exists. People are just that. They are capable of anything and nothing, at the same time and that’s why, when they are being oppressed, their own “communities” fail to act. They just parade around, faking an interest that disappears into the oblivion shortly afterwards.

 And still, when we take off our clothes, we still look exactly the same in front of the mirror. Even with all those minor biological differences, we are all the same. Even the most powerful is as likely to die as the weakest of the human beings. Even the richest woman can still be capable of carrying a child and even the weakest man can still infuse life into the world.

 Yes, we are equal but only in nature. There, we are all truly a group, a family. But we are not nature anymore, except for our birth and our death. Everything between those two moments has been created by the society, which is sadly made of people like us that have had a glimpse of power and that have decided that that fat woman is ugly, that guy with a small penis is worthless and that child that has dark skin will be a danger just because.

 We have created the monster that haunts us every day and now we are incapable to handle it. And that is, partly, because we don’t really want to handle it, we don’t want it to calm down or to be more forgiving. We want him to be what we are afraid to be openly: brutal and utterly human.