My girl

I don’t get people who don’t get the homeless, the alcoholics or anyone that society treats as trash. I don’t know how they give them cold stares, put spikes on benches to make finding a place to sleep even harder, mobilize law officers to chase them and the worst of all, I don’t get how most people just don’t seem to see them, they walk past them as if they were part of the old stone walls of the city center. The first person with whom I shared a drink in France was a homeless man named Geoffrey, he had a majestic black dog as a companion, he poured half of his beer into my empty glass and he started talking to me. He was, of course, drunk, shirtless with an unzipped coat on, his beard wasn’t shaved and his eyes had shrunken inside his orbits.

I didn’t understand everything he told me that night. My ears weren’t tuned to hearing french and honestly I don’t think the alcohol his body was full of,helped him enunciate. But, I understood some of what he said. His name was Geoffrey “come si j’offrais un cadeau”, he kept repeating. He talked a lot about respect. Life was all about respect and he seemed to think this virtue has fled our hearts. He punctuated every statement by putting his hand forward waiting for a fist bump or by holding his glass in the air all that while staring deeply into your eyes. I saw him once a month after that, I would cross him in the street, usually with the other unfortunates of this city. I would offer him a cigarette and a smile. I knew he remembered me.

 

I was outside a bar one night, smoking with a friend when I saw a drunk man in the middle of the street. He was another homeless man, my friend gives him a cigarette to get him to stay on the sidewalk and we start talking, I asked him how was Geoffrey, he told me he was doing time behind bars. I don’t know if that man deserves to be in jail or not, I don’t even know what he had done. All I know he was kind with me once, I know he felt alone in this world and he was glad to have someone notice him that night, he was just glad someone listened to him instead of ignoring him and I know he was all about respect. You’ve earned my respect that night buddy, I’ll remember you.

 

I remember this man because I understood him. I understand people who can’t stand the world so they drown themselves in alcohol, shoot drugs and abandon the stiff codes of conduct. I understand their misery, I share their pain, I share their hatred for society, a society that should’ve been their community instead chased them like sewer rats, abandoned them when they needed support the most and made them scapegoats responsible for every evil in the world.

 

My girl would understand though. She will know that these people once had their lives together but something happened that shattered their spirits. These people once had dreams and hopes, now all they care about is getting your change to buy the next can of beer, the next ounce of whatever drug they’re using. She would know better than to just walk away from them as if they were lepers, she would know that listening to them with a genuine smile makes their eyes water up with gratitude. I am looking for a girl with a compassionate heart, a girl who would give up her seat for a poor old man or to a little child, a girl that has endured a few traumas, spent some time in hell, stayed up countless nights looking at the stars, wandered if it’s worth it a few times, drank a few glasses too many because she could still feel the pain, was at the brisk of giving up a few times but came back. She is an eternal optimist like me.

She would understand my thoughts with a stare and I would understand hers. She is the one I will always trust and I would be the one she trusts. We would both know that noting matters, that we’re on borrowed time. Love is but a fable. One day, our pain will drive us apart. But, I promise I’ll be with you every time you feel down, every time your sadness is too much for you to bear alone, every time you break down in tears because this world hurt you. I promise to do what I can to make the few years we might share wonderful until the day where us together starts to bring us pain as well.

 

Till then, I’m here, waiting for you, looking for you.

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Ten minutes from now, there’s a bus. That bus goes by a bridge.. That bridge scared me the first time I saw it, it was so high you could see the whole city. I guess it scared me because I knew it could end there. The fall would be fatal. If not, the stream of cars below would do the job.

I just want to get out of my brain. I am so tired I want it to end. I am so tired of my life, of thinking about. I just don’t want to think anymore. I can’t go on like this forever. It has to stop at some point. I can’t go on any longer. Please let there be something on the other side, something good, anything, I can’t believe this all there is to life. So disappointing, bad, so senseless, so brutal, so lonely. Why is it that at a time like this, I feel like there’s no one I would call? What did I do wrong? I hate that I’m thinking, I hate my thoughts, they all lead me to the same place, I have no reason to be here.

 

I left

To my country, I left and discovered that I am still miserable away from you. I adit that I did try to escape, a fresh new start, new language, new culture, new personality. I decided that,like everything else that disappoints me, I would erase you, forget all about you. I ended up hating you, after so many years of rooting for you, hating your language, your manners, your thoughts, your faces, I wanted out. It was toxic, I couldn’t breathe your air anymore, it hurt like hell because I wouldn’t accept it. I loved you once, believed in you, wanted you but you kept on disappointing me, kept breaking my hopes until the single thought of staying on your soil itched me towards the thought of taking that knife that laid on my desk and planting it in my heart. I think when you hate someone or something, you hate the whole of them. You hate every idea they believe in, every thought that comes out of them. And no matter whether you were right or wrong, I disagreed. Your laws dictated that freedom isn’t to be respected, I craved a place where it is sacred. Your laws looked down of every expression of art or love, I longed for a place filled with it. And, I made it, I have never been freer than I am now, I lose my way every day coming back drunk to my home at the brisk of dawn having expressed my love to everyone I met and spend every second I’m not drinking rolling blunts. I’m still miserable even though I have no reason to be. I left, I abandoned you why is your misery still haunting me. And why do I miss you? I’ll admit starting over is hard, the mere fact that you do not speak the language innately, that you’re not programmed to think in that language, eliminates you from most conversations, you might understand but you can’t find the appropriate response, it isolates you, and isolation is my worst enemy. It’s hard to form close relationships or even friendships when you don’t have the same manners and habits, you kind of don’t fit. And, you realize that you can’t fit here. You lost a life when you moved out, you lost the sights of houses and streets you knew by heart, you lost the smells and tastes you’d recognize blind-folded, you lost your spontaneity in conversations, you lost everything here. That’s why I miss you, it was easy and no matter how much I felt I was out of place, I knew there was and will always be a place for me there. I fit there, because everybody hates themselves and everyone else there and want to get out. I feel like my people are the most depressed, pessimistic and self-loathing people on earth but they’re brilliant. I feel that they have more energy in them nourished by the oh so many conflicts within, they’re far more brutally honest, so desperate they open up to everyone that would hear them in case they knew what’s wrong with them and how to fix it. These moments of honesty came rarely nonetheless, usually after a long conversation under the stars or in the middle of your tenth beer that you confess your most inner thoughts. I miss them as much as I hate them. The idea of coming back scares me, I knew the inability to breathe would come back and I dread that. I realized that I can’t fit anywhere, not with those I grew up with and know like the back of my hands and not with those that no matter how well you speak their language or copy their manners, there will always be a little distance, a little coldness that reminds you you don’t fit here either.

Disappointment

I was a bright kid, years ago. I used to think I was special, that I was going to mark my place in the world. I was going to become this respected, well known, successful person. I was going to become this talented doctor who found the cure to cancer, or this crazy scientist who solved the world’s greatest equations, or a leader who finally reconciled the world’s greatest powers and instated world peace. I had big dreams for a ten year old, and I was working hard to make the future look as bright as possible.

I read books that were way beyond my years, I watched the news avidly, I lead a mini strike in school, standing on top of the stairs, facing a crowd of 50 kids, who repeated every word I said, I wrote short stories and plays, I fantasized about the great scientists of our world, dreaming up crazy inventions and ideas. I was an interesting little kid, arrogant, pretentious to say the least, but a kid who faced the world bravely, stood tall and vowed to someday conquer it.

I think I crushed that little kid’s hopes, torched all of his dreams and plans and destroyed the foundations he had laid for a great promising future. Well, I’ve managed to drag that boy through hell, put him through years of unending emotional torture, intoxicate him with all the cynicism this world had to offer and I managed to break that boy’s will, blew it to pieces, stomped his face so many times in the dirt, that he finally stopped looking up, and learned to be contempt, contempt with a worthless, uneventful, pathetic life.

I do a little bit of stalking now and then, to see how the people, I’ve known when I was at that age, are fairing. How do their lives compare? Are they happy? Are they in a good place? What sort of life are they leading? This only serves one purpose: satisfy my sadistic desire to see that little kid sink his head in shame. As all of my fellow classmates lead interesting lives, scattered in different countries, and one feat I’ve never accomplished is get out of the country, doing what they love, what I knew, back then, was their lives’ calling.

I smile when I remember that they all looked up to me, I still have the notes they wrote me on the last day of school, each predicting his own version of what my bright future is going to look like. I hope they never remember me, or try to look me up. The conversation would go along the lines of: “Hi man, how’s life treating you?”. “It’s been great, I managed to find the perfect dead end , one that fits the sad pathetic life I deserve”.”God, what happened to you?”.

To which, I shall answer: “Well, that’s what I’ve been asking myself for a long time now. I found some great excuses. I tried to blame it on a girl I met eight years ago. I tried to blame it all on young love: met a girl, fallen madly in love with her, was her rebound between two serious relationships, and hanged on to the memory of our two months being actually “together” for the remaining seven years. Then, I learned a bit about psychology, and thus tried to blame it all on my parents, who never let me be a kid, never bought me video games, let me play with the neighborhood kids, left me alone most of the time, demanded hard work and weren’t easily pleased.”

“But, the person that truly and beyond any doubt, who truly fucked me up and double crossed me a million times, was me. I am behind my own destruction. I am the criminal here, your honor. It was me, don’t act surprised, I led myself down this road of self destruction. I sabotaged myself. Why? I was scared that I was going to be that quirky kid who never really fit in anywhere. So, I started hiding away my ‘special thing’ (my dreams, my hopes, my talents), I wanted to be a normal cool kid, while others worked bravely on their special thing, made themselves better and built an identity for themselves, that’s how they didn’t lose their way. I dismantled my identity bit by bit, until there was but a void, and what do you expect from a man with no identity?”

The last night of a psycho (1)

A bottle of cheap wine, a pack of cigarettes, a lighter and a gun that’s what he cared to bring. He stood against a tree in the dark, waiting for his prey. Tonight should be his last night on earth, two lives were going to end before sunrise . He didn’t care about the laws he was about to break. They can come after him in hell. And, so he waited.

Around the fourth cigarette, he heard footsteps. He grabbed the gun without a second thought and came out of the bushes. She was strolling along the side walk. She was listening to some music, her earphones plugged in. She didn’t hear him coming; she didn’t know what was about to hit her, she didn’t know she was going to die that night.

He put the gun to her temple and pressed his hand against her mouth. No hesitation, no fear, precise cold and calculated. She didn’t scream, didn’t make a move. She closed her eyes and waited. He whispered in her ear, to walk to the bushes and she did. He made her sit on a log and sat in front of her with the gun pointing straight at her heart.

“The only way you’re getting out of this alive is if you convince me that you matter, that this universe has some form of order, that you exist to serve a higher purpose, else you and I won’t last to see the dawn.” He took a swig of wine, then handed her the bottle: “Trust me you’re going to need it” and lit yet another cigarette.

She looked young, bright, hopeful with all the patience and courage to face everything life threw at her. She was everything he had been. He saw his past in her. They were the same age. But, they couldn’t be any different, he already looked dead, a rotting soul in a rotting body but she was flaming with energy, pulsating with life.

The night was still young…

 

 

Salvation

He was walking along the side walk, when she caught his eye. Her hazel eyes shone brighter than the sunlight. He saw his salvation in her eyes. He saw what could be, another life, a hope. He came a thousand times to this same place, because he still believed in the power of the picturesque places, the peace they brought to his thoughts. But, the place seemed to have lost its magic, a long time ago.

He was a romantic guy, and despite all the deceptions, he had given up on everything except for love. It was the only power he believed in, the only sensation that defied the cold logic that reigned upon his mind. The logic that brought down his faith, his habits, his beliefs… crumbled in front of love: a chemical reaction that carried the most powerful of sensations. And, her eyes were full of love.

 

 

How and If

How can you live knowing it all stands for nothing, knowing that purpose is just an illusion? How can you love? How can can you stand meaningless? How do you not take away your own life? I find this meaninglessness, my meaninglessness, unbearable. I gave up believing in a god, when he failed to answer all my prayers, when I realised that nothing had changed all those years, that I was living in a loop of eternal suffering and I was the one that put myself there. It was this first deception that ended my belief in an all merciful higher power, once and for all.

Even when my grand mother passed away, and I wasn’t there with her in her last weeks, I refused all kinds of religious consolation, I tried for a few moments to unify my thoughts with all those people standing next to me and praying for her salvation. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about the last time I saw her, lying unconscious in a hospital bed, she never woke up after that day. She was just lying there, looking peaceful like she always did, but she was already gone, because the doctors pulled the plugs a few days later and she was gone.

I felt no soul leaving her body, there was nothing surreal about her death. She just died, just like the hundreds of people that died that day all over the world. There was nothing special about death. There is nothing special about death, so why would there be anything special about life? I never prayed for her, I just go by her grave whenever I get the chance and I just stand there, repeating the few senseless words I was taught to say, but with no inherent belief in their magic.

If there is a god, then he isn’t the one so humanly portrayed in religion. He knows no joy or anger, he doesn’t feel the suffering of all the people of his creation, he doesn’t need anyone to believe in him. If there ever was a sensitive god  then he should’ve ended his own existence millions of years ago, because I doubt his existence is any less unbearable than ours. But I doubt our god is anything more than just the forces that set the wheel of life in motion. It doesn’t matter because I gave up on god, whatever form he takes a long time ago.