Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Inn, or a short story I wrote in my mobile while traveling by bus..

I just randomly checked into a hotel.

"Is that all you have with you?", the desk clerk said tiredly, while he violently jabbed a pencil into the electric pencil sharpener, filling the empty lobby with a violent whizzing sound.
"Yes, yes it is."

I wanted to be anonymous.
In an anonymous room.

The idea had occurred to me at the busstop. When I saw a young man's confusion at the unusual detour our bus was making. It shaked him up.
"I need to make a detour." I thought.
And when I looked up: there it was.

The hotel.

With darkened windows.

Only one room was lit.
It called me.

I knew I wasn't going home.

The room was perfect, as far as random rooms go.
Perfectly, anonymously, bland.

The bed, situated in the middle of the space, had crisp white sheets and a navy blue blanket.
Above it; a generic painting of a vase with flowers.
The kind of painting you can buy in bulk at a furniture shop.
Two little pink lamps stood on two wooden nightstands on either side of the bed.
A chair between the navy curtains that framed the window.

A view of the busstop and the station.

I looked at the spot where I had stood minutes before.
There was my heatsignal on the pavement.
It was getting on the bus that would take me home.
Followed the confused young man into certainty.
It looked up to me as it got in.
Begging me to reconsider.

I watched it go.

The room would give me the headspace I needed and nobody would be able to find me here.
Not even my heatsignal.

I looked at myself in the reflection on the window.

My hoodie was askew.

Slowly I stretched out my hand, caressed my reflection face and adjusted my hoodie.
Our hands touched.

We looked at each other and smiled.

For a brief moment I was free....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Inner-city living

Disco Ghost likes to entertain guests at 2 am.
Disco Ghost has one CD, which he plays loudly over and over and over, to burn his inner-ears.
Disco Ghost likes the feeling he gets in his underbelly when he plays the CD with the bass all cranked up, it's tickly.
Disco Ghost has a black cat, which he lets out onto the communal staircase to spy on the neighbors.
Disco Ghost wears the same scruffy wifebeater tee 24/7 or goes barechested.
Disco Ghost plays violent video games with somebody that's not physically next to him, so he puts the game and his opponent on surround sound, so he feels like he isn't alone when he plays.
Disco Ghost smokes like a chimney; his house is constantly covered in tobacco-mist, which seeps through the cracks of his floor in curly smoky twirls.
Disco Ghost put a box of gelatin balls in the hallway, they smell of strawberries, he tries do disguise the tobacco that way, but it doesn't work.
Disco Ghost doesn't sleep, he thinks sleeping is bad for his complexion.
Disco Ghost rarely goes out; the street is too bright and dynamic, so he prefers to order in.
Disco Ghost's cat meows the info it's gathered on the neighbors, it needs to keep its master informed.
Disco Ghost is competitive: whenever somebody plays loud music in the street or in a passing car: he has to match it, opening the windows widely so everybody can hear who the master of mayhem is.
Disco Ghost watches porn, but doesn't know what to do with it, it just feels funny, like a good bassline.
Disco Ghost's biggest wish is to own an invisibility cloak and a ginormous living room on a high tower overlooking the city: so nobody has to see him and he can rule the masses.
Disco Ghost pretends to give a fuck about his downstairs neighbor's request to turn down the noise, but has since instructed his cat to gather extra info on them, looking for a juicy scoop.
Disco Ghost never talks to Zombie Lady, he's too freaked out by her, and doesn't want her to know what he does in his domain.
Zombie Lady never sees daylight: it hurts her eyes.
Zombie Lady finds her way inside through trails of incence: she has a different smell in every room of her house. It's her sonar.
Zombie Lady loves to cook anything that has a strong smell: she likes how it overpowers the incense in a tingly way.
Zombie Lady never steps outside, but she always has visitors with whom she likes to fight into the small hours of the night.
Zombie Lady has 24 locks on her door, which she keeps locked, just in case Disco Ghost's cat comes a calling.
Zombie Lady only wears the dirty rags she wore the day she was zombified, they vaguely remind her of a time when she was young, colorful, and used to tease the boys.
Zombie Lady has dozens of cups superglued strategically to the ceiling: she likes to listen in on whatever happens above, it's her entertainment-system.
Zombie Lady has huge plants covering her windows, they make the darkness look jungle-like.
Zombie Lady knows there's a little old lady living downstairs: she's freaked-out by that fact as little old ladies are known Zombie slayers.
Zombie Lady has 12 budgies, they make chirpy chirps which adds extra shades to her grey existence. She only feeds them at night tho. They live on her balcony.
Zombie Lady wishes she lived in a tiny cabin in the dark woods, where she can fight and scream and have millions of budgies flying around her. Nobody will smell her incense there.

Aren't neighbors grand?

Friday, August 17, 2012


Stephen Fry - All about I (What I wish I knew when I was 18)

Close encounters of the leeky kind

I'm wearing a skirt.
Walk down the street with a freshly purchased leek loosely held in my hand.
I pass a group of men, hanging out on a street corner.
They cheer, jeer and whistle approvingly in regards to my leek-handling qualities.

Guess it's *that* time of year again....


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Glory on April 2nd

On the morning of April 2nd, Greg woke up with a massive hangover.
He had no memory of what he had done the night before, although intermixed with his morning-after-nausea were little snippets, images.
Images of him dancing on top of a table, squishing a cat, and sticking Lego's up his nose.
With his eyes barely open that last image made a particular impact on him.
Were there Lego's up his nose?
Was that why he was feeling so groggy?
Without moving the rest of his body, he slowly lifted his right hand and touched his nose with utmost care.
No hard little bits there.
Bloody hell...
He uttered a sigh of relief.
"That's the last time, you tosser", he muttered under his breath while he sat up slowly, the world spinning before him.
Then he realized what day it was.
He jumped up, and almost instantly dropped back down again.
Landing on the bed with a muffled thud.
"Too quick...toooo....quick..."
His legs were made of jelly and his head clearly had other plans.
But he had to get out.

He rolled himself towards the edge of the bed, lowered his limp body off the side onto the floor, dragging part of his stained duvet with him.
Life was moving in slow-motion.
He then proceeded to roll his body towards the door across a floor strewn with dirty socks, sneakers, an empty soda can, a half eaten kebab sandwich and three cigarettes in a plastic cup.
By the time he reached the door he looked even groggier than when he just woke.
Dragging his body across the threshold like a man who just reached an oasis after a week without water in the scorching desert, he made it to the other side.
"Yeah" he muttered, nauseous and breathless, before opening the door to the bathroom and dragging himself into the shower.
His head now pounding ferociously.

The icy water of the shower made his body twitch.
After sitting in the shower for a few minutes, he turned the tap off and proceeded to peel off his now soaked clothes.
There was no time to waste.
He got to his feet and swaggered his naked body towards the hall closet.
It had to be done.

Scratching his bare bottom and letting out a wail of inner pain he opened the closet door.
A beam of light streamed out, as it illuminated what hung inside:

A glorious pair of rocketship undies.

He slipped the underwear on.
They fit him like a glove.
It felt good.

He was ready.
Touching his rocketship-undie covered ass, he immediately noticed the power that emanated from them.
His demeanor had changed.
Gone was the nausea.
Gone were the images of squished cats and Lego nosebleeds.
Gone were his jelly legs.

It was April 2nd.
He was Rocketship Underwear Man.
He needed to fulfill his mission of climbing onto the rooftop and stare meaningfully into the far distance.
Hair flopping in the wind, sun fiddling with his bare chest, one leg bent, eyes fixed.
It was written.
His destiny.
So he did.

(for the fans of Rocketship Underwear Snippet Man, *wink!*)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

In May I wrote a blog about my wonderful grandfather's struggle with Parkinson's decease.
He has since passed.
A month to the day after I wrote that blog post.

To say it was intense would be an understatement.
We sat by his bed for a week, seeing his diminishing body fight against the inevitable.
Whenever nobody was around I would talk to him, update him on my plans for the future, on what was going on around him, and reminisce about precious moments we shared, and stories he told me.
He lay there, still, sleeping, fighting with his every breath.
It was a week of goodbyes.

He had one instance of clarity a few days before he passed away; on an instance when my aunt told him again that I had come to visit, he suddenly opened his eyes, smiled and  reached out for me. I cuddled him, gave him a kiss and immediately called the rest of the family. We then had a very special few minutes together, where everybody talked to him in turns to let him know they were there. It was beautiful, excruciating and very emotional, but we all fought against the tears because we wanted it to be a happy moment for him. After that he slipped into a coma, that got deeper and deeper as the days progressed.

Then....his breathing stopped.

He was gone

I've always thought he was an amazing person, not just because he was my grandfather, but because he had a way of touching people's hearts.
Everybody loved him.
It was never more apparent than at his funeral, where people he had known years before came to pay their respects, alongside family and friends. The stories they told were as beautiful as he had been.
As he still is.

If he knew I've devoted several posts to him he'd chuckle, wave it away and say "Ah, but why would you want to do that? Nobody wants to know about me, I just did what I felt was right."
Yes, you did, abuelo.
And for that, I will be eternally grateful.
I might share some of his stories with you sometime, they are truly remarkable, but for now I just want to say:

Much love, for ever and ever and ever.....

(took this picture the day of his funeral)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

...but it ain't nothin' without a woman or girl

I've never spectacularly landed a probe on Mars that looks like Wall-e, but I do know this....

There's women and then there's girls.
Some girls are women from the moment they look down and see there's two pea-sized bumps under their Powerpuff Girls shirt. And some girls stay girls, even if they're 95 years old, have 36 grandchildren, one on the way, 12 great grandchildren, two dogs and a canary.

Mia Farrow, she's a girl.
Brooke Shields, she's a woman.
Natalie Portman is a girl, altho she has a dash of woman, but the girl is dominant so: girl.
Marilyn Monroe, was a woman.

It's a strange phenomenon that's very hard to pinpoint, because what is it exactly that makes a girl a girl and a woman a woman.
In the olden days people used to say "ah, if you give birth, then you're a woman".
But are you?
Are you really?

In my opinion being a woman or a girl doesn't have anything to do with giving birth, nor with crows-feet, nor with grey hair, menopause, how fat or skinny you are, if you're wearing heels or not,  or whether you're trotting behind a zimmerframe.
It's, I dunno...a vibe, a certain je ne sais quoi.

I'm definitely a girl.
Not because I'm immature or stupid (well, ok, sometimes, but then; who isn't?! Live a little!).
It's because when I get up in the morning my hair doesn't look like it's been delicately windswept by a storybook sea-breeze into a nonchalant yet charming coiffure. Because even if I put on a super glamorous dress and Jimmy Choos I look a little goofy. Because I'm the kind of girl who sits at a bus stop and all the old people snuggle up against me and tell me about their poodles and their collection crocheted finger caps. Because even when I'm 95 I'll still be watching Batman movies and wearing sneakers (altho I could do that if I was a woman too...but...putting it out there anyways)
It suits me, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, next time you're on a bus, staring at the passengers eye the people of the female persuasion and try to figure out: "Is that lady with the brand new cat litter box, a women, or a girl?"
And if you are one: what would you consider yourself to be? (^_-)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Life has a tendency to rumble.
And although sometimes the rumble can be just the little nudge you needed or a soft buzz in the background. Other times things happen that impact, well...everything.

I've written a blog before about my grandfather, and about his battle with Parkinson.
Reading it now makes me realize even more how things have changed since then, even though at the time it seemed bad already. Since then he's had several strokes, and in the past month or so he's been in and out of hospital at least once a week.

In fact, it got so bad two weeks ago, that they thought he was dying: he suddenly stopped breathing and was unresponsive. And literally had to be slapped back to life by the ambulance personnel.
I jumped on the first possible plane I could get on.

Seeing him this time was the most painful experience in my life, yet it was also excruciatingly beautiful.

If last time I saw him (on new year's) he was a shadow of who he used to be, he's now a soft breeze.

Always a strong man, who worked with his hands all his life, he was very fragile and delicate.
He lay in bed, or sat on a chair next to it, as he couldn't walk. And there had to be someone with him at all time. Verbal as he's always been, he's lost the capacity to speak over the past few months. Having only small moments when he manages to get a word out between unintelligible mumbles. And even mumbling is a heck of a lot of work for him.

But there I sat.
On the bed, next to the chair, where he sat shaking with Parkinson.
I talked to him.
I told him of my plans for the future, things I haven't shared with anybody else.
I told him of memories I had of us, from when I was a kid, but also more recent memories.
I told him of everything that was going on in my life at that moment.
And he grabbed my hand with both his trembling hands and squeezed it so tight that it felt like he was putting all of his strength into it.
He mumbled and smiled broadly.
He told me he was happy.
Painful as they are, and much as I've been crying every day since I left, trying to process everything;
the few little moments I had there sitting on the edge of his bed, next to his chair, are some of the most precious and special moments in my entire life. They are treasures worth more than any riches in the world could ever be worth.
I may not have much, but I have that.

I took that picture just before I had to leave to the airport.
As he squeezed my hand when I told him I had to go.
Gave him the biggest hug I could muster and whispered in his ear:
"See you later, grandpa.", I said.

I don't believe in goodbyes.

The doctors can't predict how long he will be around, and if things will get worse soon, or if he'll get some of his strength back. So I just call him every single day, and tell him what I've been upto.
Try my best to make him smile.
It's his 84th birthday in two weeks...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And on a lighter note....


L' Amour Digitale

Love in the 21st century...

I just spent another 20 minutes helping a friend to try figure out what a text message meant that a guy she likes sent to her. That's 20 minutes for this particular text of many.
Which made me wonder: isn't the texting thing more of a problem than a communication tool when it comes to love?
I mean, texts can mean different things depending on the person who reads or writes them.
If you're in a grumpy mood an exclamation mark can feel too forceful, while if you're in a happy mood an exclamation mark can mean utter joy.
Love is complicated as it is, but I just get the distinct feeling that some of the digital stuff isn't making it any easier.

I guess I kinda miss the days when you called a boy, only to hang up, when he picked up the phone and said "Yes?".
No redial options, no numbers in screens...just that...
The tension and excitement when it happened to be him on the other side, and you finally picked up the courage to say: "Hey, it's me...I don't know if you remember me, but..."

These days you have it all: each other's email, mobile, Twitter, Facebook, Wordfeud, IM and Skype accounts. Where do you start?
And: sometimes somebody can write awesome emails, but then you meet them...and...well....

Another friend of mine spent two weeks chatting with a guy she met through a dating website.
He was friggin' awesome! He was in a band she likes, cute, funny, had similar likes and interests...they texted and chatted to 4 am every day, those two weeks.
Until she felt it was time for a face-to-face chat.
So she playfully suggested to meet.
He started backing off.
Suddenly becoming awkward and weird, and less and less communicative.
Until she got so fed up with it, she sent him a long email basically saying: "DUDE WHAT THE FUCK?!?!"
Then....after a few days...he answered.
Turns out: he was a she, and she had pretended to be this person all along.
She claimed it was research for a book...
Yeah, right.
Needless to say, my friend contacted the real guy's management AND the people of the dating site and let them know what this person was doing.

I dunno...
Call me old fashioned...but after a couple of disastrous internet romances, and to and froh texting, and analyzing...I think I'm more of a "Hey, it's me...I don't know if you remember me, but..." kinda gal.
I'd rather bump into someone in a museum queue in the rain...