Drop

The floor was slightly uneven. The dresser was an old, narrow piece. It fit perfectly next to the wall, hiding behind the door when it was open. The vase had been a wedding gift from an old spinster aunt. She had died long before.

Each time the door was slammed, the dresser trembled and the vase moved a little bit further to the edge. From time to time mum would push the vase back on the ledge. That was frustrating to watch every time. During weekends and holidays I used to sit in an armchair across from it, reading a book, or pretending to do so. Whenever someone passed by, I would raise my head and watch as it moved closer and closer to the edge, hoping that I would be there for it’s final moment.

Sometimes I would mark it’s spot with a coin or a pencil and come back in a few days to check it’s progress. Fights were the best. My parents used to move from one room to another as if trying to get away from each other so all the doors in the house were slammed again and again. That was the best time for reading or pretending to do so. When I was home alone, I would put on music and jump around the room, trying to make it move.

Mum would then notice it was closing in on it’s doom and pushed it back again. Sometimes she threatened with moving it to another place. That made my palms sweat and I would try really hard to distract her attention and annoy her as much as possible so she would forget about it. When I was away at my grandparent’s house or on a school trip, I was constantly nervous that the vase would fall and break without me there to watch it.

When the day came I was 11. I had been jumping around for half an hour before my parents came home fighting. Their usual trajectory slammed the downstairs door, the kitchen door, thumping up the stairs, slamming the door next to the vase dresser, then the bedroom door and back down. The second slam of the kitchen door did it. As I watched the vase drop to the floor and shatter into a hundred little pieces something in me clicked and settles into place. Finally, it had happened.

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Present as Future and Past

I don’t know about other places, but in Romania there is a tendency to look back at the past and say ‘It was so much better then’. ‘Then’ being before the revolution of 1989 when the communist party ruled Romania. I feel that this is a reaction that comes from the unhappiness with today’s situation combined with confusion and a constant sense of hopelessness. The way that our country is working today is far from perfect, but I still feel fortunate when I think of how my parents grew up. People are having a difficult time navigating the complexity of the social and economic landscape that developed along with capitalism after ’89. From here you get the urge to go back, fleeing from the unknown towards the familiar and unsurprising. The former is a greater evil that the latter simply because it is new.

I always feel a lot of anger when I see young people leaning towards this way of thinking. I can understand older generations being frustrated and unable to adapt to a changing society and economy, as they grew up preparing for a completely different future than what they got. Younger people should know better.

We don’t have the memories of growing up communist, though the older generations still reminisce about those times. I’ve heard so much about life back then that if we were to go back tomorrow, it would not be that much of a culture shock. It would still be a nightmare. The simplicity of life back then is alluring to some. Depending on where and to what parents you were born, you knew where your place was. A job was supposedly guaranteed for you along with food rations and a roof over your head. For all of this people relinquished their rights to opinions, choice and individuality. Going against social norms or having an original thought was a dangerous aberration.

Why do people forget this price so easily?

Right now there might be too many differing opinions going around. The media is’t helping. Most TV channels are owned by politicians or people affiliated with them. Outside of the obvious media manipulation that is not so obvious to those following more than one news outlet (I follow none because I tried and it makes me want to yell) we also have the global epidemic of western media-propelled ideals of what a happy and successful life should look like. Each instagram picture you see, each movie you watch, facebook posts, tags, makeup tutorials, volgs, celebrity interviews and such, are all designed to illustrate what your life should look like. As much as you try, life never seems to match that narrow sum of specific traits it should.

We’ve been told that we can do anything,  be anything, that our opinions matter and our feelings matter, but everything happening outside of our personal conviction that this is reality, doesn’t match that truth. This is how frustrations are born along with anger and the aforementioned hopelessness. The ones who have the strength push back in whatever way fits them better. Some care more only about being right and validating their own feelings, some are trying to have a discussion or do something and some are too confused to even try anything because everything seems either wrong or futile.

I am part of the last category. I know that going back is not the answer. This is all I’ve come up with. Helpful, right? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything you need to know to make an informed decision and there doesn’t seem to be a beginning to all of it. In school we learned history only up to a point- that is when the communist party fell, as if that is all we needed to know. There was no discussion in any of my classes about the political climate today. They left out the conclusion to what they were teaching. That and almost everything else that is relevant to  what a good education should entail, like civic education, emotional awareness, soft skills and hard skills. Fresh out of high-school I received a voter’s card that I was more fit to use in 1848 than today (provided that I was allowed to do so, which isn’t the case, but that’s beside my point).

Informed partially, insufficiency or wrongly, we make our choices while trying to raise our voices so someone can hear them. Even those spending countless nights in the streets seem to be shouting in a void. If it feels like America is divided in two camps, I can only say that seems to be a mirror for the rest of the world, or at least Europe. Division is what we’re engaging in, instead of actively building our own futures. We’re kept distracted with social media and online petitions while behind closed doors decisions are made that will impact us and generations to come.

Information available on the internet from various sources can be a force to be reckoned with. This coupled with Orwell’s idea that hope… lies in the proles, meaning the sheer number of dissatisfied people, might equal change if enough of the population is willing to make the effort. They say that each people has the leaders that it deserves, but change in society logically spreads from leadership and rarely towards it. Can we expect things to get better as long as the people making the choices are the same ones that brought us in this situation or have been molded by them in their own image?

Comfort and safety are at an all time high for humans right now. We’re enjoying a sweet ride, but what will be the consequences that future generations will have to pay for our indifference and submission?

Approach

There’s always going to be difficult moments to face in life. The way most of us react to those moments is the way of the animal. That is, we instinctively succumb to the path of least resistance and let our emotions flood our consciousness. In short, we flip out. The harder way is usually a lot more productive, but energy consuming. We have the option of meeting hardships gracefully and composed, aware of the feelings they arose but in control.

This is, of course, extremely difficult.

via Daily Prompt: Elegance

Alcohol

Perception is somethiing strange and disputable because each and every person has their own perception of things. Some of us try to explore different perspectives and point oif views. For me books have been a way of living multiple lives and learning about the ppount of view of others. For others, I believe, trying to change their brain chemistry with different substances is what helped them get a new perspective. I need to analise and understand and having strangers in my blood stream does not help me think and form a logical road from a to b. I mean logical in the sense that there’s always a reason wht people do things and even if that erason is stupid, it does not mean that it’s not logical for the person acting upon it.

It is monstly artists who use this alteration of chemistry to change their perspective and get creative. This might be because of the fact that as an artist you get bored of expressing the same ideas and a trip night be a good source of inspiration or just a release from the incessant, constant, unbearable knowledge that people don’t actually get what you are trying to day. Or maybe they get it, but they don’t care and they just keep on going, like what you just revealed to them as the source of their unhappiness is not relevant to their existance. That hurts. Like the bear who cried wolf over and over again and nobody listened to him, even tho he was right each time.

It might be that what I mean to say is that it is baffeling and dumbfounding or some other adjective, that no matter how much people are told and warned about their predicaments, they still won’t listen on do something because that is more comfortable. It is easy to keep on going with your life as you know it than make a change. We are all creatures of habbit and we all have our patters and comforts that we are not willing to give up unless something immediate demands it.

If it feels like these paragraphs have no sense even more than what I usually post, well thay is because I am just about to finish my second cup of wine. Yes, I know I am a lightweight and I don’t care. As usual, my perspective is not improved or changed. Everything just seems further away phiscally and rushed mentally. I have been laughing quite a lot though, as I usually do while consuming alcohol, but we’ll see what future me has to say about that tomorrow

Safe

Teddy had slipped away and fallen to the floor during the night as the little girl tossed and turned in her sleep. In the morning she reached for him from under the warm blanket and pulled him in a hug at her chest. Just a little bit more and mum would come for the second tine to wake her up. This one was for real.

She slowly opened her eyes to the familiar room littered with toys, crayons and her drawings. Most of the drawings were of Teddy having tea, picking flowers, riding a horse or a bike, going to work or the bank. He already knew how to do all those things so she knew that he’d teach her as well. They had breakfast together with the parents and she made sure he had a comfortable place on the couch before leaving for kindergarden.

In the afternoon, after she got home, it was play time. She told Teddy everything she had done that day with the other children, what they ate, who cried and who broke what toys. That was why Teddy didn’t go with her to kindergarden. Her first day there one of the bigger girls tried to take Teddy away from her and he almost got broken. Home was safe from other children. Teddy had his own schedule anyway, taking karate lessons, going to cooking class, learning how to knit and sow and finding out trade secrets of security experts because his job was to teach her these things and keep her safe. She just always felt sure that nothing bad could happen to her while Teddy was around.

The weekend came and dad took her to see grandma and grandpa. He dropped her off and went back to wait for the workers who had to fix some pipes in the bathroom. She had tea with grandma and Teddy and while he was taking a nap, grandpa showed her a few more notes on the piano. He had been a music teacher and they always practiced when she visited. All four of them had dinner and desert was Teddy’s favorite- cherry pie. Then it was time to go home.

They were only a few houses away when she noticed the red lights flickering outside of her house. There were people going in and out of the house and their neighbors were gathered around their freshly trampled lawn. Those weren’t plumbers that came. They used pipes alright, but made mum and dad’s blood drip from them, rather than water. The little girl clutched her toy to her chest as she felt something inside her wailing with pain, though her brain did not fully understand it. Turns out everything bad could happen at any time.

The One(s)

Perfect symmetry. Two hands reaching for one goal, working together in harmony. You feel blessed and secure in a perpetual haze of happiness. There’s no need to explain yourself and everything flows in a soft, unperturbed rhythm as you’ve proven the whole world that they are wrong because you have found the one. You never thought that life will bring you here. This is the highest peak of happiness you’ve ever encountered and no matter what, you are not going back into the ugly world of before.

Reality hits, though. You’re right back where you started and ready to go through it all again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. If everything in life is a cycle why not relationships as well? Why do your best to actually get to know someone to their core and appreciate them for what they are? You can oscillate between fully blown limerence and desperate loneliness grasping for something new until it’s too late. Until all the good ones have seemingly gotten away and whoever is next in the chain is suddenly the best through the simple fact of their presence. Not that you’d actually get to actually know them. The version in your head is more than enough.

Until it isn’t. But that’s not your fault, is it now?

Repeat

Looking around I’ve been noticing the striking rhythm of society that everybody is engaged in and complacent with. I never noticed that while I was in school because my daily schedule was changing every four months or so. Being part of the workforce has introduced me to this constant beat of the city I live in. This incessant drum-roll of our lives seems as inescapable as the death that it leads us towards.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Weekend fun and friends.

Weekend peace and quiet.

Repeat * n.

It has been drumming away on the edge of my psyche and it’s getting harder and harder to bear the realization that if left unchecked and undirected it has the power of rendering my life meaningless. The inertia it has gathered keeps the world hinged on the same track, going slowly towards nowhere. And we’re going the same way.

via Daily Prompt: Percussive

Sax Symbol

If you take the second street to the right on the main street coming down from the big theatre building in town and leave the traffic noise behind, you might just hear the labored notes of a saxophone emanating from the fifth door on the left. If that is the case, then it might mean that it’s Friday night. Or just another random night in the week when the small tavern had no entertainment and the performer had nothing better to do.

On this particular Friday or random evening the artiste and his usual wine-sipping cohort were not the only inhabitants of the small venue. The two of us were there too. Miss Poe has a background in music, I am a complete know-it-all and neither of us makes for a particularly forgiving audience. Our luck, or his, was that we were situated close to the exit and separated by a brick wall from the room where he was playing.

Going back to when he was warming up and preparing his instrument for the act, Miss Poe urged me to wait for the real performance before making a judgement. I had taken a look at our fleeting subject of conversation when he came in and while responding to the lingering look he addressed me with a raised eyebrow, I recognized in him that kind of fear that is usually masked with an unconvincing, crumbling layer of confidence.

The practiced kind, learned from youtube videos and click-bait articles: 13 ways of gaining self- confidence that everybody is keeping away from you (because you are so important that we’re all going around trying to get you down, you unbelievable force of nature). Looking at him I could tell that the simple mention of his receding hairline or scrawny legs would have made his now elongated forehead sweat and voice break.

Miss Poe sometimes has the habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt only so she could double down on them even harder afterwards. So we were waiting. Is there a word in English for when your expectations of being disappointed in something are not disappointed? He started with some syrupy cover of an 80’s romantic song that all participants to the menstrual cycle are supposed to instantly melt down at the sound of.

Due to the kidney filtration of the hot chocolate I’d been working on, the need arose of using the toilet right between the acts. When rushing out and heading for my place across Miss Poe, the focus of this text turned to me in the middle of his conversation. ‘The song is really accomplished and appreciated’ (turns) ‘because it really speaks to our souls about the true meaning of love.’ I stopped and looked at him with my left eye twitching.

He had this crooked smile on his face like he was so proud of what he had just said, as if he was the first person on earth to think of that, or the first person I had heard spew out a lie like that. ‘Unless there’s no soul to speak to’ I replied, ‘Mine, for example has been devoured by a trinity of druid priests in exchange for a management job in their M.L.M. Medical and dental included, plus I don’t work weekends and legal national holidays.’

Let him think I’m crazed

The surprise will be greater

When my imps take him.

Satellite 020c- V

She felt the slight change in pressure as the doors to the exit cabin opened. The transfer to the departure pods was always such an annoyance, but you could never find all the luxury brands on any of the secure satellite communities. This only added to her already sour mood. How difficult can it be to maintain an even temperature in one shopping complex? You could feel the 2°C difference between the food court and the jeweler’s, which was absolutely ridiculous, considering the kind of currency that flowed through this place on a daily basis.

‘Sanitized transfer suit ready. Please refer to the screen to your left for usage instructions. In case of need for further assistance, pressing the mauve button next to the screen will summon a transfer assistant.’

The message ended with a sonorous three note chime as a drawer on her right popped open with the sterile white transfer suit prepared. The most frustrating thing about this whole thing was that after a whole day of shopping for the best instant- tailored couture, luxury fragrances and hand- crafted jewelry, she had to wear that odiously fitting suit for the journey home.  You could barely tell  a woman from a man and the helmet made it impossible for any proper hairstyle to survive. This, even after so many complaints submitted to ISTI (Inter Satellite Travel Institution) from so many dissatisfied travelers and them still throwing safety regulations in their professionally exfoliated faces.

As usual she would be having trouble with her boots, as they needed to be fastened after the suit jumpsuit and decided, as most did, to call for help. Caught up in pulling the suit straps as tight as possible- you never know when you’re gonna run into someone important and even just showing a superb figure was worth the struggle- she pressed the green, ready for eject button on the screen. As the cabin doors stared to open, she froze in place. Mind blank. Muscles tensed. Time slowed as her brain denied what was about to happen.

ISTI had a 0% mortality rate for their transport between satellites. This was because of their tight security measures that encompassed machinery, suits, software and personnel. As soon as the green button was pressed, the door scanners checked for the suit completion sensors and passenger’s vitals. Without a positive response from those, the doors didn’t move.

As the senior attendant entered the cabin to check on their passenger, he came over the distressed young lady crouched in the fetal position beneath the control screen. Her forehead on her knees and arms wound tight around her legs exposed a brown stain spreading around her behind.