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Archive for the month “August, 2014”

WWWBT 13 or Blue butterflies at CF!

I am drinking my morning coffee in a nice, porcelain mug I paid 17 pounds for at Harrods. It’s full of cows. The mug. Bred cows – Jersey and Beltet Galloway are on the inside, and I have another 6 other breeds on the outside. Together with some flowers, a cream skimmer, a three legged stool, a milk pail, and a milk churn. Quite a mug I have here. Someone who is into cows and dairy stuff might think.
Oh, and I’m smoking again. Well…. Does puffing a cherry small cigar once in a while count as smoking? Probably yes, and I don’t want to live in denial anymore. So, here it is, I’m smoking again, I’ve restarted my trainings with Circuit Factory and we agreed, Darren and I, not to mention the Camus night ever again. Because, apparently, nothing happened. We just had some nice dinner, he fixed my router password, I drove him crazy reading him Camus in French, and that was it!
We’re going to the beach tomorrow, like good, old friends who are sharing everything, except for a bed. And after beach, Circuit Factory. It’s going to be a very inspirational start of a weekend!

I get in Springs at 9:30; I know around 10 there will be no more parking places. I spend a few minutes in the car, listening to some music, twitter-ing, and intentionally not thinking of the next hour. And I’m so concentrated on the screen of my iPhone I literally jump in my seat when someone taps on the window of my Jeep. I turn my head to the left and I swear, the time freezes. It’s like in those effects on TV, when everything and everyone remains stuck in their position, either in the air, or with their hands raised up, or with a frozen tear on their cheek…. It’s only me, the viewer, the one able to move, to touch, to smell, to pretend is breathing. The CF guy stays in front of the passenger seat door, with a tired smile on his face. I open the door, get down and simply hug him. It’s a friendly hug, an expert in hugging would say. Nothing concupiscent, nothing to betray my elevated heart rate and an abnormal desire to lift his shirt and… No, it was only a friendly hug, we catch up, I haven’t seen in more than ten months, how’ve you been, nice tan, oh, you put on some weight, *uck off, no, I keep this to myself, I’m a lady, and swearing in public in Dubai can be quite tricky.
We work together in the same station, it’s good to feel him on my left. Tina, one of the trainers, I bet she had a bad night and decided to kill us today. I don’t stop, though, it’s good to train with him again, here comes another burbee, and another, blow that damn whistle, woman!!!!
After the final whistle, I collapse on a black mat, trying to catch my breath, my neurons, my words… He’s talking to me…
‘What are you doing tonight?’
Well, I’m thinking, tonight I will undress you, count all your moles, divide the skin on your back into independent territories, with no capitals, no kings and no constitutions, free of any possible oppression, where only blue butterflies are entitled to have an opinion.
‘Su is having a party. Come, it’s gonna be fun!’
I don’t do parties, I want to tell him. I am the queen of solitude, controversial music and liquors with no points of view whatsoever.
‘Sure, I’ll be there!’

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50 GREAT SHORT STORIES

Or climbing the Everest of reading

You like reading, right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. So, we’ve established that! And, during your amazing journeys as readers, you have come across all kinds of books. The ones you can’t just put down. All Murakami novels for me. I’m a little bit masochistic, I have to admit, I ordered my copy of COLOURLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI AND HIS YEARS OF PILGREMAGE via Amazon, and I will receive it sometime in September. While Kinokuniya is filled with hundreds of copies. That I touched, and soothed with the top of my fingers, oh, guilty pleasures… But I’ll wait for my copy, like waiting for a much missed lover, making the final encounter even more exciting and… I bet some of you know what I’m talking about.

Then there are the books you have to read. Sometimes, in one’s lifetime. Like Joyce’s ULYSSES for me. Which I think I started at least four or five times. But I promise you, I’m going to read it! Sometimes. In this lifetime.

Then there are those books that, no matter what, you simply have to part from after only a few pages. You have to. You know you can use the time you would have wasted with them on other books. Like on one of those you can’t simply put down.

And then there are books like this 50 GREAT SHORT STORIES. On which I wrote, when I bought it, ‘still entertaining the idea of a short story collection of my own’. I like to write on books. When I bought them, where I bought them, what I’m expecting from them. This one I got from a book shop in the Frankfurt airport, on the 5th of July, 2013. I can’t remember, though, what I was doing there. But that’s fine, because this aspect is totally irrelevant to my story.

It’s a big book, almost 600 pages. I’m not such a big fan of big books. Reading them, trying to finish them, I mean, sometimes feels like a long run. Or climbing the Everest. To the base camp. It’s on my bucket list. Like ULYSSES. Shall I detail more? I love it, and I’ll finish it, but it’s tiresome. Somehow.

It’s a beautiful collection! Maupassant, Huxley, Joyce, Hemingway… Huxley’s GIOCONDA SMILE was like a truffle. Do you like truffles? I love them! The story goes smoothly, like a walk in a warm, summer rain. Delicious, never-ending pleasure, undecided skies. Is it how the reading feels, or how I feel Mr. Hutton? Huxley is a master in just dropping a hint of colour, and still managing a perfect profile for his characters, it’s like he’s not the painter, still you can see the portrait in front of your eyes, with every little annoying, still perfect and unforgettable detail… He’s the perfect lover, the sophisticated flirter, the bored husband – personally, I never understood why he married Doris, but, alas, why questioning Huxley? I remember I loved POINT COUNTER POINT so much!

I found another analogy! I love analogies, in case you haven’t concluded it yourselves. And it’s not another analogy, is the first one I thought of while reading the collection. A long corridor. With a lot of doors, both on the right, and on the left. Those of you who saw ROSE RED can picture it better. I’m walking this corridor I cannot see the end of, and this is a little bit scary, so you can maybe understand better my discomfort while reading this book, and I open the door on the right. It’s THE GARDEN PARTY (http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/GardPart.shtml). So beautiful, I stay there, with the door ajar, and I can smell the flowers, and the cookies, and it’s a nice feeling. Except for the death of the poor young man, whose eyes were blind under the closed eyelids.

The next door on the left leads me to Pushkin’s Russia. His short story THE SHOT (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXNlxmA6P5o) is so colourful, it reminds me of a nice book that delighted my childhood, written by another Russian, not as famous as Pushkin, Pyotr Yershov. The volume with THE LITTLE HUMPBACKED HORSE (http://lib.ru/LITRA/ERSHOW/horse.txt_with-big-pictures.html) was full of wonderful drawings, and here I am, digressing… Have you ever imagined, while reading a book, or a short story of a famous writer, have you pictured him at his desk, writing those adventures, bringing those characters to life? Have you? Can you picture Pushkin at his desk, painting those Slavic letters, almost alive under the flickering of the candle light? There’s a blizzard outside, lot of snow and… (this might be the result of too much sun in the Desert…)

I still have 24 stories to read. And I have to admit I opened doors and I closed them shortly after. Maybe I didn’t like the smell, or the light (meaning there were too many words, a weird order, a sensible arrangement of the phrase that I didn’t enjoy. I cannot say for sure.) I preferred to close the door, and opened another one. So, I can’t say for sure that I’ll enjoy all the 24 ones that I still have to open.

Still. The short stories in this volume are real works of art. They are so vivid, and so wonderful, and so full of spectacular adventures that you would really don’t want them to end. So, maybe that endless corridor is not scary and worrying after all. It is more like Forest Gump’s box of chocolate. You will never know what you’re going to get.

 

WWWBT 12 Camus, Mozart and Popcorn

Cyclothymia – mood disorder characterized by alternating episodes of depression and elation in a form less severe than that of bipolar disorder.(Merriam-Webster)

 

Who eats popcorn at the opera? Really now! It’s Mozart, for crying out loud! But you know me, I’m that dog that barks but doesn’t bite, I didn’t say anything. And, luckily for my poor nerves, whoever was so unbelievably ignorant to crunch popcorn during COSI FAN TUTTE, stopped pretty soon after the show had started. No, it wasn’t my power of concentration, as I kidded myself for a second, I’m far from this performance, still cannot believe I had sex with Darren on Friday evening. And, obviously, I can’t stop thinking about it! Not to mention that all started so innocently!

Thursday was an awful day in the office. Long and boring conference calls, the perspective of the weekend just around the corner… Not easy, trust me!

His call was unexpected and welcome, I hadn’t seen him in a long time. He knew Luca was gone, still he had never come to see how I was. Generally speaking. He suggested breakfast the next morning, at Paul’s. He offered to come and pick me up. I said yes.

I wasn’t necessarily elated, but for sure I wasn’t depressed anymore. Or, at least, I managed to smile and have a peaceful conversation about job, cars, world cup, more work – Darren likes to talk about work, and I like to listen to him talking about work.

He looks a little tired, and it’s not that I’ve almost forgotten how the wrinkle on the corner of his left eye looked like. It’s still there, still the same length. Have I missed him? Where is this coming from?

We part after a few hours. He drops me home, I touch his hand resting on the gear stick, in the car, nothing unusual, I had done it before, it’s just a thing I do with him sometimes, touching him, nothing concupiscent.

‘Oh, you know, I need to change the password to my router.’

‘Oh, no, not again!’

‘Please, please, please…’

He agrees to pass by in the evening.

And, if I remember correctly, last time I was so anxious, excited and nervous was in the second grade, when I was in love with Luke Skywalker and I was getting ready to go and see EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

 

(…)

 

‘Listen to this!’

We sit on the high chairs, to the bar in the kitchen, drinking some wine and talking about Camus. There was a passage I wanted to read to him from LA CHUTE.

Le véritable amour est exceptionnel, deux ou trois fois par siècle à peu près. Le reste du temps, il y a la vanité ou l’ennui.’

He keeps sipping his wine and I’m trying to catch his eyes. No response. He didn’t get it, as simple as that. And it makes a lot of sense. If he had spoken to me in Japanese, which would be a familiar language for him, though I know it isn’t, but me and Japanese language these days, you know, we have something, so, if he had, he probably wouldn’t care too much if I got it or not. For him, Japanese would be a cognoscible and familiar language, and for me not. So I would have continued to sip my wine and have a blank look on my face. Like when you’re trying to think of nothing. Some says it’s a bless. Thinking of nothing. Others… Oh, let me translate him Camus’s idea on love.

‘Vanity? Boredom? Two or three times per century? I don’t know.’

For sure it’s hard to believe. Was I in love with Luca? Or the CF guy? Right, I wonder how the CF guy is! I haven’t heard anything about him in a long time.
I don’t get to say anything anymore, Darren is in front of me, puts his hands on my face and kisses me. Out of the blue. It must be boredom!

The next day, long time after he’s gone, my hands still smell of him. I bury my face in my hands and I inhale his smell until I feel it reaches my stomach. No wing flickering. What happened to my butterflies? Depression must have killed them. Is there a way to resuscitate them? Some CPR for the butterflies in the stomach? Anyone? No? Hm…

Did we really? Darren and I? Really? And his chest is pressing mine and he breathes quickly and he smells of Boss Night. My hands smell of Boss Night.

The phone rings. It’s Lara. She wants to go out for a beer. Sure. I need to get rid of the smell of Boss Night from my hands. Replace it with butter popcorn smell maybe. I chuckle and go for a shower. Best decision today!

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