We live in a society that always wants to be flawless. A society that can never be fully satisfied. We always want to improve ourselves, do more self-optimization, become sportier, happier and more fulfilled. It goes always higher, further, faster. Better. As soon as we reach our goal, it goes straight on. Never enough. More success, more money, more happiness.
She says, “I still have to think about him a lot.” And smiles. We meet on a park bench, she with her newspaper, me with my coffee. Actually, it should only be a short walk on a Sunday morning. Instead I met this older woman. Quite by chance. An encounter that I won’t forget so soon. She looks at the empty playground. “I often come here. Actually every morning. Then she puts her newspaper aside. Her fingers are tender despite the many wrinkles, her eyes shine as she begins to speak. Despite her age, she has not lost her zest for life.
I am sure I have a sane mind. Why? For the amount of anxiety that on it lies. What better proof of consciousness than to feel trapped in a vertigo state commuting around the city? Watching all those beings on the train, trying forcibly to ignore each other, having dreams of wealth and health, just for them, never to anyone else. A new wave of narcissism swept our society like a tsunami that no one saw coming.
She can’t breathe. Trying to gasp for air. A rope is tied around her throat. She tries to free herself. With every breath she feels the narrowness. The pulse stops when he touches her. Millions of insects crawl, crawl and spread over her body. When he slowly strokes her shoulder, each of her limbs shrugs.
You said you wanted to spend so many more summers with me. You wanted to see so much more. “The world, in all its width.” You said. With me. You wanted to taste the salty taste of the ocean, bathe in the sea of emotions. You wanted to flee reality, to be everywhere, but not with yourself. “So let’s go, now!” You wrote. You have always been a fascination for me. Fascinatingly beautiful and dangerous.
“I’ve been here 10 years.”
He says as he takes a sip on his beer. “How come?” I ask smiling.
“I don’t know. I was travelling and somehow got stuck here. And now 10 years have passed.” He laughs as he looks away embarrased. You could see the toll of those 10 years by looking at him. He had aged but also remained young. His skin grew a somber tone and is now full of visible scars. Each scar has its own story. Every story with its unhealed wounds. He wanted to look younger than he was. Stronger than he ever would be. We remain silent for a moment.
My gaze also wanders across the beach. I lost myself in the depths.
The something I remember the most is the sun. It is most beautiful when we see his light through the reflections on the white marble walls, bouncing back and forth between them, a dance of light and life, and an ode to the dead who first saw how beautiful they could be. The thousands of sparrows and starlings pierced the diamond light, ignoring us simple creatures standing on the streets. What could we know? We couldn’t even feel the air rushing throw our feathers, the sun pointing us the direction on the next corner. We are mere stone statues for this enlightened beings. They know their way through life. We instead, battle with the little time we have to enjoy it, always finding excuses to be miserable. Happiness is a future thing. Always.
Far away from worries, everyday life I said goodbye to Berlin. Not to run away, but I needed a time-out. When the plane took off, it was as if the world was taking a deep breath and standing still for a moment. Up there where the city is just a miniature of itself I thought: the perfect place, the moment to write my book. I would sit at the terraces just like I did before, flooded with ideas and inspiration, writing chapter after chapter. I would proudly hold my finished book in my hands and take the flight home. But that wasn’t the case. One day after I arrived my laptop gave up and left me. Without a single explanation. I begged him to stay but he went on strike. Without ifs and buts. That was it with us. After 2 so intimate years. And now? If this situation had happened to me 3 years ago I would probably have panicked. My vacation? Definitely ruined. I sat down and thought. Calmly. My loud voices in the background, I didn’t listened to them. I won’t let myself roll over emotions. In Hanoi I said goodbye to my laptop.
Funny how naive we were. We had dreams, goals, plans. We were so convinced of it. Do a trip around the world with the old VW bus. Only with a tent and a backpack. To be independent, to live freedom – for the day. To hitchhike when money is tight, set up a tent somewhere in nowhere. Both of us for eternity. So sure.
How many of my thoughts are just spilled wine? Promises of a future that became stains. They will always be there for me to remember who I was and the life I aspired. They come from a time where I used to think how much I had already accomplished. My young mind was impossible to break down, happiness was always present due to the promise of time. I looked to days to come like constellations high above in the night sky. What is there to find out? How long would it take me to get there? How small was I compared to them, how big can I grow? Continue reading “Thoughts: Spilled wine”→