The carousel

20160125- The carousel

 

It happens that sometimes there are things that bring back very old memories from your childhood, taking you back further in time. And this was what took place last week when I was strolling around my neighbourhood and I suddenly came across this carousel. The sight of this carousel made a strong impression on me, as it was quite different to the old memories I had of this kind of attractions.

I remember quite well when my parents used to bring me to the funfair and how I used to enjoy those few hours in that marvellous word, so bright and shiny, with all those colourful and thunderous attractions. However, when I saw that decrepit and decadent carousel something inside me just extinguished. That single sight was a sudden collision with reality. So depressing it was that I wouldn’t have been surprised if an old clown had shown up in the middle of the square, drunk and staggered, with a whiskey bottle in his hand. However, despite that depressing and decrepit appearance, that carousel had an intrinsic and particular charm itself that made you feel weirdly comfortable.

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The carousel

My little colourful flying pony

20160104- My little colourful flying pony

 

– If I were in a desert island, I would bring with me tons of food, thus I would be able to survive for a long time – claimed he firmly – And you Penny, what would you bring to a desert island?

– Me? Hummm… I would bring my little princess Emma doll with me, in such a way I were never alone – answered she.

– Poor little girl!! – said he, chuckling to himself – And what about the food? What would you eat when you are hungry?

– I’d phone telepizza – replied she with determination.

– Phone telepizza? But, how are you supposed to phone to telepizza if you don’t have any mobile phone in the desert island? – asked he angrily.

– Ohh – mumbled she, glancing down.

– And assuming you have your mobile phone with you – continued he – how would you manage to recharge the battery of your mobile phone? Because the batteries don’t last forever.

– Well… – she looked him thoughtfully, and after a while she claimed – I would recharge the battery in Mr. Wilson’ s shop, who is a good friend of mine and is bound to let me do it.

– Ha, ha! – he laughed out load – And how in the hell could you get from this faraway desert island to Mr. Wilson’s shop?

– Hummm… – she seemed to go blank, but after a while she replied happily: – Well, I guess I’d get there with my little colourful flying pony.

 

My little colourful flying pony

The other

20151218-The other.jpg

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

20151211- The stranger and me

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

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?”

 

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