It was a kind reminder of a Saint’s day
moved too soon in the life after life
where flowers never wither, and rivers are always fresh,
and the human heart is forever coherent.
John has not killed any dreadful dragons
still, in a humble sacrifice
he has blessed others and has made possible the glory
of the true Life.
I have found these faint memories
in the depths of an imaginary drawer
with fields of gold tenderly waving in the wind
like the breath of my father on his birthday.
Dedicated to my father, John, born on St. John’s day, June 24th.
90 words, Adela Galasiu, 2016
In a far away land there is a city with hundreds of wise houses. Each house has a roof, a soul and an attic with two windows. Eyes scrutinize the birds that get back to their nests late at night, the grannies that bake homemade bread, the blatant children playing outside, the flowers raising their heads in the sun, the cats that purr in hidden corners, the dogs hiding their precious bones, the women that dream of the return of their husbands and the husbands dreaming of other women.
Every day opens a new color, a new hope, ends a life and begins others. Every evening sends to sleep all the rippled memories of the day, all the children and cats and birds and wives and husbands. Some of the grannies will sleep longer, other babies will get born out of the dreams of past nights. Some of the flowers will grow seeds, others will bloom, the stars will seem to rotate on the sky awaiting the rays of the same sun that has opened the eyes of all the children and women and cats and husbands and grannies and birds.
When morning comes the smell of coffee invades the streets. It fills up the sky and the staircases of all houses. As eyes open life vibrates, noises clash in the air, birds sing again, cats lick meticulously their paws and wash their furs with slow movements on the edge of wide open windows, dogs inspect every corner of their territory, children moan instead of waking up, wives pack lunch for their husbands, husbands go to work hoping that the day will be better that the other days. And even though life seems the same, it is always different.
In the city where houses have eyes life can still flow in unexpected patterns. Houses have eyes in Sibiu, Romania.
Intr-o tara indepartata exista un oras cu sute de case intelepte. Fiecare casa are un acoperis, un suflet si un pod cu doua ferestre. Ochi privesc cu mare atentie pasarile care se intorc la cuiburile lor noaptea, bunicile care coc paine de casa, copiii galagiosi care se joaca pe afara, florile care isi ridica frumosul cap in soare, pisicile care torc in colturi ascunse, cainii care isi ascund mult iubitele oase, femeile care viseaza cu ochii deschisi la intoarcerea barbatilor lor si barbatii care viseaza la cu totul alte femei.
Fiecare zi deschide o noua culoare, o noua speranta, sfarseste o noua viata si incepe altele. Fiecare seara trimite la culcare toate amintirile ondulate ale zilei, toti copiii si toate pisicile si toate pasarile si toate nevestele si toti barbatii. Unele bunici vor dormi mai mult, alti copii se vor naste din visele noptilor care au trecut. Unele flori vor face seminte, altele vor inflori, stelele vor parea ca se rotesc pe cer asteptand razele aceluiasi soare care a deschis ochii tuturor copiiilor si femeilor si pisicilor si barbatilor si bunicilor si pasarilor.
Cand vine dimineata aroma de cafea napadeste toate strazile. Umple cerul si casele scarilor. In timp ce ochii se deschid, viata vibreaza, zgomote se ciocnesc in aer, pasari canta din nou, pisici isi ling meticulos labele si isi spala blana cu miscari foarte tacticoase pe marginea ferestrelor larg deschise, caini inspecteaza fiecare colt al teritoriului lor, copii gem in loc sa se trezeasca, neveste impacheteaza pranzul pentru barbatii lor, barbati merg la lucru sperand ca ziua va fi mai buna decat alte zile. Si desi viata pare la fel, este mai totdeauna diferita.
In orasul in care casele au ochi viata poate inca sa se scurga in tipare cu totul neasteptate.
Casele au ochi in Sibiu, Romania.
300 words / 300 de cuvinte,
Story and Translation / Poveste si Traducere : memyselfandela / Adela Galasiu October 2013 / July 2015
He was sitting on by the water in Mexico when it hit him how much he hated himself. Which kind of sucked. Because he should have been happy. He should have been ecstatic. After years of struggle and poverty and horrible physical pain (getting almost killed by a semi truck sucks too…) he finally had it. He finally had everything he ever thought he wanted. He was 30 years old, in good shape, good friends, professional success, fun toys, plenty of free time . . . Even better he was one of only three guys on a yoga retreat and was spending his days stretching and snorkeling and chugging margaritas with a bevy of beautiful, intelligent, passionate (and flexible) women.
He should have been happy. He should have been doing a victory lap around the mess that was his twenties and screaming to the moon about how he finally made it past childhood trauma and adulthood disappointment to become a “success.”
But he just couldn’t do it.
Nope. Instead of being happy, he was damn miserable. Angry. Emotionally nauseous and, worse yet, viciously angry at himself for not waking up to how good he had it.
One night he found himself sitting on the shore alone watching the waves come in. Everyone else had gone on to a bar to order large amounts of drinks in broken Spanish, but the bile in his throat and the voice in the back of his head wanted him to be alone. Alone and vulnerable.
It was pitch black but for the shine of the moon off the water and all he could feel was the pathetic bottle in his hand, the drink in his gut and the tension in his jaw threatening to break his teeth.
He wasn’t man enough to admit it, but he had tears in his eyes.
“Why?” he thought to himself in a silent whisper. “What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I just enjoy this?”
It was a rhetorical question, so he was pretty shocked when he got an answer. It came in a voice as dark as tar and as toxic as venom.
“Because you don’t deserve it,” the voice in the back of his head grumbled. “Because you’re evil and dangerous and anyone foolish enough to love you deserves to be harmed.”
He closed his eyes and could finally see it: what he really thought of himself. Not a man or even a boy, but a creature with claws and teeth and a cruel, cruel grin. A creature who’s only glee came from clawing at his heart and pulling him down and reminding him to never, ever feel even one moment of happiness.
He flew home a few days later feeling like he’d gotten into a duel with Godzilla and damn it, bloody Godzilla won. The entire time on the plane home his brain stormed and he counted down the hours until he could go see his therapist.
“How are you?,” she asked as he walked in, her eyes half squinting as she searched his face.
For an hour he let the words flow out like a dying breathe, rambling at Speedy-Gonzalez-pace, desperate to get every hatred and criticism and imagined crime out of his heart and into the world. Finally, after minutes that felt like days he looked his therapist in the eyes and said:
“I’m so sick and tired of hating myself , beating myself up , punishing everyone around me … I’m wondering what would happen if I just decided to stop and actually LIKE myself for a little while instead.”
The therapist looked at him with kind eyes and a half smile and said “Well, that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?”
And so he did.
Right then and there he decided to try liking himself – maybe even loving himself – for a while.
And at first the creature in his head and his heart raged like a angry lion and dragged its claws against the inside of his skull.
But instead of arguing he did something kind of weird.
He pointed and laughed. He dressed it up in silly shoes and ugly makeup and mocked it . And suddenly a weird thing happened: he felt this glowing freedom rising in his chest and this crazy, irrational smile pulling hard at the corners of his mouth.
Suddenly he felt . . . happy. Ecstatic.
For the next two weeks he walked around on a love-high. His friends asked him what the heck had happened. His enemies got confused when he was actually nice to them. And that beast in the back of his brain shrunk and shriveled and cried.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly as easy as that, for every time he would fail or feel ashamed about something or feel like some woman was getting close he would feel that creature rise up. He would feel that bile on his tongue.
But now . . . years later . . . here he is with nothing to hide.
And years and years of anger and pain turned into . . . something simpler. Nicer. More wonderful. He’s not into the “woo woo” stuff a lot of his friends are, but he is into this one simple fact:
“Happiness is a choice. Liking yourself / loving yourself is something YOU choose to do, no one can make you miserable or happy but YOU.”
900 words, memyselfandela, November 2013
Any apple used to remind
Of the original sin,
Of her mythical alluring death perfumed beauty.
Wisdom blinded men used to see
The creeps of destruction
In the eyes of any innocent woman
Carnations. Red bloody curly petals all over the cold hard floor. Pain filling up her aching soul, an acute sense of bloody uselessness, her life breaking to hopeless pieces, dead flowers covering the ground, remembering her of a love that used to mean everything but that has become nothing. She felt no longer his presence, no longer his loving words, no longer his loving touch, she felt abandoned like a piece of unwanted trash, rejected like a broken mechanism that could no longer tick with sounds of life once known. All left was only the disfigured shadow of the man she loves.
Pain. A way out she prayed to see again. No idea how tomorrow would look like. Not the vaguest strength to carry on with this tragedy. Him, laying sleeping drunk on the floor, holding still in his fists the rest of the carnations brought to tell her what he didn’t know how to verbalize anymore, him all surrounded by the rest of the bleeding shreds scattered allover by her in an attack of passionate rage ignited by seeing him coming again in a state that never stopped to humiliate her in front of family, neighbors, strangers.
She, in a corner, crying, endlessly cursing her own life and wishing she would have never been born or no longer been alive. He, in another corner, sleeping, seeing in his dream her beautiful face, radiant with the love she used to give him, as he caressed gently her cheek, feeling so bloody guilty but so in love with her while kissing her forehead, this awesome woman that could no longer see how much he bloody loves her, how much he is depressed because of not knowing how to turn back the time and start it all over again. With her. From scratch.
Childhood. Life seemed to be the easiest thing,with endless possibilities like the countless shades of color trapped in his iris that curiously expanded at the sight of all the marvels around him. Time had millions of tunes, millions of facets, millions of open doors for the brave heart of a young boy seeking for answers and treasures that he suspected all kept intentionally away from him. Roaming through the immensity surrounding him the days were unveiling more and more mysteries created just to fill up his thirsty mind. Life was his, life was beautiful and full of hope and wonder.
Maturity. Many of his old childish questions have been answered, yet this did not manage to satisfy his mind and soul. He was convinced that life is more and that asking the right question might bring him the answer that owned the whole universe. In the middle of his existence time meant more, as he realized that he had already wasted too much of it. Life was carved according to his own choices and hesitations and remained a force he was still fighting with while holding on to the few impossible crazy dreams he never gave up on his way.
Old age. As it conquered his being he felt how he had lost most of the battles. He felt alone and misunderstood for years till one morning when, while sipping his coffee, he had the epiphany of his own fleeting existence. With wide open eyes and with life still flowing through his veins he understood that he meant nothing on his own but an instant, a little wheel in a huge mechanism, a second in which the whole universe was glimpsing at his own image trying to photograph the experience lived in a form of life not yet tried before.
300 words, memyselfandela, September 2013
Shades… A million shades… The afternoon was made out of so many shades between the black and the white.
The sky was not perfectly blue, the heart was not perfectly light, the hope was not really a hope.
If it would have been love or no love at all, all would have been so simple, but the heart was flooded by all those shades of colors and feelings and electricity boldly lingering in their touch. It was a delirium of things and images passing before her eyes while she was processing the remains of the previous days.
“Why is life not simple like in those romantic movies where all is fine?” was the thought lingering in her mind while watching him stop in front of another little shop, with the amazement of a child that has just seen something he was hoping to discover for a lifetime.
Entering the shop she realized that it would make a beautiful present to compensate his birthday. She missed it, it’s true, but not because she didn’t care, but because she didn’t know him yet back then. But still, she would have loved to have been there with him that day, and in her heart she was.
He loved them all. It’s true, they were all beautiful ties, hand made, real, just like he loved to feel authentic and sharp and real…
With a smile in the corner of her soul she sent him to have a look in the back of the store while she took the tie he had admired in the very first moment. 69 pounds, that was the price. It was perfect. The colors were perfect, shades of color, shades of life. The price spoke volumes. To him it would have probably meant an erotic thing, but to her it was a tangible translation of the moon dust trapped inside their bones, of their breath as they were kissing and talking about the muses watching over their love, of the raise and fall of their entwined souls, or the incarnation of all the things that were present in that very second when she wished him happy birthday, now, better later than never.
In the back of her mind there was only a song lingering talking about the raise and fall of the same moon dust that was still shining in his eyes just like that night when they have met the first time, not even knowing if tomorrow will ever come or if there will be a chance for another minute together.
The day was fading, in the corridors of the city, in the tunnels covered in graffiti, as the two lovers were getting back from a city adventure that meant all and nothing, while lights were shining on the side of the road, like fireflies dancing songs known only to themselves.
And the light was dying in millions of shades of obscurity, while the moon, all alone, saw the loneliness crawling back in the souls of the eternal loners.
500 words, memyselfandela, September 2013