The other

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Many people consider me a strange bug, a real freak, and probably they are right. Time ago I used to worry a lot about what people thought about me, but nowadays, older and more experienced, I don’t care at all. However, after a whole life hearing the same opinion from a wide range of people more or less close to me, I’ve assimilated the weirdness as the main characteristic of my own personality. But, you’ll wonder why. What makes me so weird for people? Probably, with no doubts, it’s my bipolarity. According to some people (because in fact, I can’t even manage to realize) I have double personality, in such a way that I behave in one or another way depending on my mood in a specific moment. It can be sound a bit strange, but it’s not that strange when you get used to it.

Most of the time, I’m a normal person with normal behaviour, outgoing and very easy to deal with. I’ve always thought that the human being is intrinsically good and, consequently, I enjoy interacting with people, no matter whether is a workmate, a friend or a member of my family. Being with people all around makes me feel comfortable and, therefore, I’m in a very good mood in those moments. And this happens most of the time.

However, sometimes, something in my brain goes wrong and I lose it: I become another person, the other, my own Mr. Hide. From that moment on, a mix of hate, anger and aversion towards everything and everybody around me burst out from me. Under these circumstances, the slightest thing can become an annoyance. In fact, there are lots of things that can get on my nerves: people pretending to work at the office when they aren’t, people talking about Formula One as is they were real experts, being told to be quiet by a stranger, squeaky shoes in a library, hipsters with long beards, people posting supposedly sexy but really pathetic photos on Facebook, political correctness, guys with white sunglasses, people waking up too early, people waking up too late, people smelling bad, whatsapp groups in which you only receive rubbish, company lunches or dinner for Christmas …

As you can see, there are too many things I can’t stand and, under this state, I have to admit that I’m not easy to treat, I’m unbearable. In fact, many people have admitted it to me: hardly do they see me in the street, they immediately try to avoid me by crossing the pavement. People close to me, good friends and members of my family, confess without any sort of remorse, that they can’t put up with the other. And every time I hear this, I really wonder myself with some regret: but actually, who’s me and who’s the other?

The other

The stranger and me

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I´ve been really excited lately due to the amazing research project I´m involved in: the development of a time machine. And what´s more, the fact that I´ve been selected to take part in an experiment: going back to a near past (30 years ago). Over the last months, I´ve been trained for these experiments. Among all the rules to comply with, there is one that mustn´t be broken: I can´t contact or interact with anyone, in order not to change the future. What would happen if I interacted with someone in the past? Would the future be changed somehow?

Reflecting on my imminent trip to the past, something strange took place: an old memory sprang in my mind. I remember playing in a park when I was a child, when a stranger approached me and was talking to me for several minutes. After that, before saying goodbye, he took a photograph of both of us and gave it to me, according to him, “as a souvenir of you.”  I never let my parents know about that weird incident.

With this memory, a mechanism started to work inside my mind, fitting together the pieces of a puzzle and giving meaning to the rare happening that occurred so long ago. But, it couldn´t be! It should be just a fruit of my imagination. I ran to my bedroom and jumped on a trunk where old objects from my childhood were kept, searching for that photograph. When I found it, my heart turned over. I had never been so surprised in all my life. Apparently, it seems I disregarded (or I will) the first rule.

The stranger and me

My old friend

20151204- My old friend

I´ve been with my old friend for ages. For so long that I can’t even remember a single moment in my life without its presence. That’s why my old bicycle is so important for me.

I remember as if it were yesterday when, with barely 12 years old, my father bought me that shiny new bicycle, which was for many years the envy of all my friends. Since then, I’ve never separated from it. Not only has it been my main mean of transportation wherever I’ve been, but we have also shared the experiences of a whole life together. In fact, I could tell my entire life by making reference to events or anecdotes that has to do with my bike. From the beginning, we were inseparable, I was always seen riding my bicycle proudly. Crossing my village from point to point, I used to cycle to school every morning, always in a hurry because my bad habit of getting up late.

Specially touching is to remember the early stages of my relationship with my wife (we were around sixteen) when, every day after having lunch, I used to ride from my village to hers, for more than one hour, to spend the rest of the afternoon with her strolling around the surrounding countryside.

Another unforgettable anecdote came to pass in the late sixties, when the Rolling Stones played in my country for first time. The concert took place in a city 120 Kilometres away from my village and, for economic reasons, I decided to get there cycling. After a four-hour ride, really exhausted and soaked in sweat, I eventually arrived in the city and enjoyed the best concert I’ve never been.

In the early seventies, after getting married with my wife, we decided to move to the big city and, of course, I brought my bicycle with me. There, it was always an inestimable help to move around in the city.

It’s necessary to point out that I haven’t been the only one enjoying my bicycle, since I always shared it with my family. When my sons were children, I used my bike to bring them to school every morning. Later, when they grew older, despite having their own bicycles, they preferred mine and, therefore, they were riding my bicycle all the time. In fact, I used to struggle to find the occasion to use my own bike in that period.

When I think about my bicycle, it comes to mind so many things that it’s difficult to explain. However, the following could give you an idea of the feelings that this pile of junk suggests to me. During all these years, it has been stolen four times and, each of them, I had to look for it all over the city and its surroundings (especially in the flea markets) and when I found it, pay for it. My wife used to remind me, half joking half complaining, that I had bought it five times: the first one it was my father, and the rest of the times, it was me. She used to ask me whether I loved her as much as my bicycle, and my answer was always the same: why do I have to choose, if I can enjoy both?

Finally, despite my optimistic point of view, it wasn’t me who chose but the destiny, leaving me without one of them. And now, since the death of my wife, I feel closer to my bicycle than ever.

My old friend