Delightful moments

20151126- Delightful moments

Undoubtedly, the best moments in a week for me are those few hours I spend with my little nephew. I really enjoy going for a walk with him, his little hand in mine, talking about the widest range of subjects, all of them really interesting, such as the small incident a classmate of him had with their teacher in relation with some incontinence problems, or the latest animation film he feels like watching at the cinema, to which I immediately offer to bring him.

And, in these gratifying conversations, I value, among other things, the vision of the world that, through his eyes, I manage to achieve. Seeing the world from the point of view of a child, so different to ours, is amazing and clarifying. The lack of a long-term routine makes them experience any small event in their lives as something completely new and fascinating, in such a way that they seem to be always excited about the surrounding world. A very good and loved friend of mine used to remember their grandchildren fascinated by the pass of a cat along the street in front of his house, event that used to happen from time to time, always with the astonishment of the children.

In this respect, something that I admire is the huge capability of children to question everything that happens around them, not taking anything for granted, ability that we adults should learn to use. When I pick my nephew up from his house to bring him to the park, to the library (he loves books) or simply to go for a walk, I’m always waiting with expectation for his questions, fruit of an unlimited and voracious curiosity. Despite his naivety, all his questions are full of common sense, as it can be appreciate as follows. One rainy and stormy morning we came across with a friend of mine in the street, with which we had a short chat under the rain. After saying goodbye, I noticed that my nephew was very serious and thoughtful (unambiguous signs that precede each of his questions), and after a while, he asked me earnestly: “Little uncle, why has that sir told us good morning, if it’s raining?” According to him, with considerable coherence, the morning wasn’t as good as my optimistic friend had announced.

Finally, I’d like to share with you another nice anecdote that took place several years ago, when he was only three years old. It was a spring morning and we were strolling around the countryside, when we stumbled on a field of orange trees, all of them with the lower side of its trunks typically painted in white (the usual solution to prevent the ants of climbing the tree). He suddenly kept quiet and stared at the trees, and after a while he asked me with his little voice: “Little uncle, why are those trees wearing white socks?”

 

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Delightful moments

Weird and delicate

20151112- Weird and delicate

 

She is beautiful, intelligent, caring and, about all, really funny.  When looking back, I have to admit that I’ve had a great time since I met her and, what’s more important, she has always been an essential support for me in bad times. But, who is she? Not easy is answering this question without provoking any surprise on you, since ours is not a conventional relationship. She is not a person, and neither an animal, of course. She is something different, unusual, strange … for people, not for me.

She is a shadow, and more precisely, the shadow of my last girlfriend. It turns out that, after the break of the relationship, for some reason that I don’t fully understand, she (the shadow) decided to stay with me rather than let me alone (It’s weird, I know). Ever since, we’ve been living together and sharing almost everything in our lives. Even though, in the beginning, I had real troubles at understanding what was happening and trying to rationalize it, I finally ended up getting used to such a strange situation. One day, I just decided to go ahead and not to think too much about it, since if I had tried to find the meaning of the matter I would have become crazy, for sure.

Thus, after some weeks of getting used to it, I finally found myself involved in a strange but not less delightful relationship. This relationship has, as you can imagine, some drawbacks which made me think a lot in the beginning. For example, she is only present during the day, under the sun light. Hardly does the sun set, she disappears. However, paradoxically, these moments before her vanishing, are magic: the sun still over the horizon irradiating its last rays over the Earth, projecting her obliquely on the ground, and lengthening her legs delightfully. This is her way of saying goodbye, see you tomorrow. Even though you can find it a bit sad, I’ve got used to it, and I know that I’ll only have to wait until next morning to the sunrise, when she´ll reappear again in my bedroom. Particularly sad, however, are those cloudy days in which she barely materializes and, if she does, it’s so weakly that you can hardly see her. That gets me down.

Another additional handicap in our relationship is the impossibility of any physical contact between us, which in some moments can be really frustrating. In this respect, the closest thing to a real contact that we’ve achieved is when I lie down on the floor and then, she projects herself over me. It’s under these conditions when we feel really close to each other. It can sound ridiculous, I admit it, but it’s just the only thing we have, and it’s enough for us.

And what about the communication, you’ll wonder. This was very hard to deal with, since, with her not being capable of speaking a word, I spent half my time trying to guess what she was meaning, and the other half complaining about not having a normal flesh and blood partner. According to my friends, I was a lucky man for having a girlfriend who cannot speak, as there is no way to have an argument with her. But this is not true at all. When she gets angry for any reason, she has her own ways to let me know: as a sort of punishment, she can easily remain missed for several days, until her anger has vanished.

Despite all the drawbacks that have come up during our relationship, we’ve overcome all of them, and now we are both enjoying our daily routine together, with a full and quiet happiness, as any other couple. I’ve ended up finding the love in a non-conventional way, but I don’t care: she’s been able to make me happy again. And she, in her complexity, is unique: I love the way she contorts herself over the steps of a stair, or when she suddenly acquires texture as she’s projected over an old wall, or when her body fluctuates over the water of the river. She’s so weird and delicate …

 

Weird and delicate

Distortion

Distortion2

The story I´m going to relate has to do with my recent life, and more precisely, with some events that have drastically changed my way of living. The origin of the matter took place two years ago, when I started being medicated, under the supervision of my doctor, to treat a minor psychological problem. According to the doctor, the medication was expected to be effective and with no side effects.

Indeed, after one month of treatment I begun to feel much better, thanks to those marvellous pills. However, together with that improvement, some unexpected side effects came up. In the beginning, I didn’t realize what was happening and I put it down to my awful memory (I´ve always been very forgetful). Nonetheless, it started to worry me when an unusual succession of oblivion occurred: the car keys, a notebook, my wallet …, everything seemed to disappear and, after some days, I found those very objects in the same place where I last saw them, that obviously I had checked before. Those were the first strange events, the missed objects, which I didn’t give too much importance. In fact, I didn’t even mention it to my doctor.

Later, the voices. One afternoon, I remember it perfectly, I overheard a conversation between two of my colleagues that caught my attention. I was sitting in front of the computer and when I turned my head toward the conversation, I only saw one people talking in the middle of the corridor, but I could hear clearly two voices. It was as if that person was having a chat with an invisible man. After several weeks suffering this kind of hallucination (I could hear people talking without seeing them), I let my doctor know. Those hallucinations should be fruit of the medication, I told him. However, he wasn’t aware of such an strong side effect in any patient with my medication.

And finally, the last straw that broke the camel’s back: the verification of something wrong in my mind. One morning, I went out of my house and came across with my neighbour, that was walking his dog, but at the end of the tight dog leash, there wasn’t any dog!! Since then, the strangest situation took place around me, everywhere: a man riding a motorbike without front wheel, a young girl running along the street without feet, even huge trees in the park with no trunk to support their weight. I was confused and felt tempted to share my problem with my doctor or my family, but after considering it carefully, I decided not to let anyone know about my strange situation, as I could be thought to be an insane person.

I finally found out that what was happening to me was just a kind of trick of my mind: somehow, my brain was processing the information from my senses, and showing me a distorted reality, letting me see only part of the real word.  Little by little, I was getting used to my new situation, trying to complete the missing parts of the reality in front of me, by the use of my imagination. I can only admit that I had real troubles in the beginning, in the most surrealistic situations you can ever imagine. For example, when I was talking to my mother, trying to look at her imaginary eyes in a non-existing head, or making an effort to shake hands with a colleague without hands. However, despite the initial confusion, not only have I managed to get used to the situation but I also find it really funny and, what’s more, I think that I would even miss my distorted word if it disappeared someday.

Distortion

The jazz player

The jazz player

I remember it was in the winter of 2012, I was strolling around the historic centre of that city I had always wanted to visit. I wasn’t there, however, on holiday, but for working reasons: an international symposium on my researching field took place in that old European city. Thus, taking advantage of the situation, I eventually was there enjoying the charm of that marvellous town, reminiscent of old times when it was the core of the European culture.

While walking around, distracted by the lively streets, I came across a very nice jazz club, through whose huge window you could see all the people inside, drinking and chatting, while listening to the jazz group that was playing at that moment. From outside, you could hear the insidious solo of the saxophone over the murmur of people chatting. Even though I struggled a little in the beginning, I finally recognized the saxophone player: a bit older than in my mind and with some greying hair appearing on his head, there he was, the same saxo player that used to play in the streets of my town.

Suddenly, lots of images came into my mind: I and she crossing the big square, back to home, and stopping in the corner where the street musician was usually playing his saxo, long improvised phrases that seemed to never end, and we, holding hands, enjoying those moments, which ended up becoming an habitual stop in our way home.  Day after day listening to him playing in the same place, that saxo player entered little by little in our lives: we three used to chat for a while after each song. Even though those were vacuous and short chats in the beginning, the daily routine ended up getting us together and, from time to time, we even used to go for a beer after he finished playing, late in the night. In those relaxed meetings, we found out about his exciting life, his upbringing in South America and, at the age of nineteen, his arrival to Europe to earn his living playing his saxo. He had being playing in the streets of dozens of cities all along Europe, always in the street because of, according to him, the feeling of freedom and the close contact with people passing in front of him. However, all that took place so many years ago that I had almost completely forgotten it. That was in the years when we were still living together in our small apartment in the city centre, before we made a mess of our relationship, the painful breaking, and she run away and left the city, disappearing from my life forever.

And now, after so many years, there he was, our friend the street musician, playing in that jazz club, crowded of people, in that small city, thousands of kilometres away from the square where we used to meet. The unexpected even, the image of him playing his saxo through the window, the lean sound of the music that managed to escape from inside the club, put me in a enrapture state, without realizing what was happening around me. The contact of a hand in my shoulder and the murmur of people coming closer behind me made me awake from my self-absorption, and I finally realized that I was standing in front of the entrance door of the club, preventing people from entering. Flushed and embarrassed, I stepped aside to let people come in, and then I felt a sudden leap of my heart when I turned my head and saw her eyes.

The jazz player