Time machine (first part)

I dearly recall that time you took photos of me in my room. I was a clumsy and nasty red headed girl, I was wearing a black headband on my forehead that matched with my childish smile. It was that honest smile I was wearing while I was standing around you.

Maybe you would have thought that I trashed all of our memories. Many of them I tossed under the walls we both raised between us, hiding joys that we both felt one for another, untill the paths of our lives were ultimately separated. But this one I have kept because it flawlessly illustrates who I was then, and everything I was, I was defining through you. You were my cloudless sky.

That evening Brandon was waiting for us in front of my block of flats. I heard a lot from others about how the universe felt like when they were teens of 16, when you had the courage to assume a bigger freedom, life was easier and the future was about to be born. Then, it was about to begin just another type of evening I would spend at that age. To drink and smoke while listening to loud music. By car we wouldn’t go but only to do a speedy roundabout through two or three streets, Brandon didn’t have a license, but he liked to prove he knew how to drive. We were children, bored of this smothering little town.

I was the most naive one. I was trying to return from a madness in which I had fallen for some whole years. Years in which I had run from the world believing that what the ones around me are not enough for me, and I was dreaming of something more, but inexplicable. All that I discovered in silence was how my bounds with the present broke, and voices in my head were screaming driven mad by obsessive ideas that I couldn’t share. When I reached that point in which I couldn’t have rezisted to isolate much longer, I made place for me to start living again. It was a gesture of unmeasurable nerve, since I was thinking I could never be accepted again through the living, „normal” and happy ones. But i also knew I didn’t have any other choice this far. That all this episode was only a break untill I regain my strength to be powerful again.

Nicole was also trying to be something. I had the ocassion to notice her years and years in a row, but I barely looked at her. I was too tangled in my problems to worry about her. I didn’t even know that time how many questions I would have to ask her later, becoming a burden in my fate, or in my thoughts.

I had lost my awareness of how things work in the world long ago, and, unfortunately, it never caught my interest to blend in with all the others. It didn’t occure to me how judged I would be for my true stories of a lunatic girl that was hospitalized in a mental hospital. And, most of all, I didn’t understand that everyone has their skeletons deep hidden in the closet, and the fact that I was begging for attention for mines wasn’t making me special.

Nicole liked herself only if others liked her. I befriended her and I loved her without undertanding her, and she showed me for the first time how much dirt can be gathered between two people.

One night I went to hang out with her and you were there with Brandon. You and Nicole were togheter back then. You told me you liked my boots, my jacket and how my hair was dyed. I took the compliments , but I knew that Nicole told you about me and you were making fun of what you’ve heard about me. Downtown we were to meet some orher friends of mine, between whom was Laura, a girl you used to be togheter with some time ago and you still wanted her a lot, driven by the story she had left unfinished. It was the beginning of that summer when I saw a lot of rose salesmen. They were entering each bar of the town and they were stopping in front of tables trying loudly to convince us to buy flowers from them. You bought Laura’s one and Nicole left speechless.

That same night, you came after me in the bathroom of the local, to speak to me without being seen by the others. You told me:

– I get you, you know. Don’t ever think I judged you, saying ditto to Nicole. She was bearing you a spite and we were listening to her trash, but I see now you are an ok girl, and I know what you’ve been through. I was hospitalizaed for depression, too. I think you suffered a lot. You don’t deserve to be hatred for it.

I used to be, and, honestly, I still am, to fragile and too consumed by this story not to cry, and you hugged me. Five minutes of solidarity before getting back to our table, me being lost, like usually, in my thoughts, with too much common sense implanted in my mind to analyze what wires the ones around me braid.

Next week you got back togheter with Laura and you even accomplished to lose her again, when, pushed on by drunkness, you kissed Mary, and the next day you were losing your mind praying for her not to find out. She did, she called me first thing in the morning and, being my friend, I couldn’t do anything else but tell her the truth about what she already knew, no matter how much I would’ve liked not to be involved in the problem. You got in touch with me obsessively asking for me to cross your path with hers again, but she remained cold, convinced that you didn’t deserve a place next to her anymore.

We came to the point where we filled our empty days spending a lot of time togheter. I was seeing you through my innocence like that friend I always needed. And I was praying for our bound not to fade away, to remain like in those first days forever. I named you, full of hope, eternity, not being aware then of how life cuts and separates everything, and what you are now you won’t be tomorrow. I would’ve asked you to explain me all of this, but not even you would’ve had how to know it, because you woudn’t have had where to truly understand me from when I didn’t even know myself completely. Usually us, people, tend to surprise ourselves.

And after it followed that evening in Brandon’s car. My mother, o woman deep wrinkled by the the happenings of fate, was often fighting me trying to stop me to be strenghtened by this big world. She still doesn’t accept that it’s natural for me choose my own way, even though I try to make her undersand it’s inevitable. That time she didn’t want to let me get out with you two,she knew Brandon, who was living across the street, and she didn’t like that I was hanging out with him. I was awfully stressed out by the free will she refused to let me have, and you climbed with me upstairs, you kindly spoke to her instead of my screaming full of reproaches and sweares. You managed to calm down my mom for me, and she grew keen on you so deeply from then on, that she only let me anywhere if you spoke to her. You entered in my room to wait for me to charge my phone, I put my headband of black lace on my long, red hair, with orange headlights. I was proud of that colour, it was trendy, well done and qweer. You took photos of me, laughing happy. I used to love a lot those pictures. We had since that day a lot of photos togheter, I didn’t post them anywhere and I ended up deleting them. It’s a pity that, even if I regret a lot of things, time doesn’t stop running, it hits me with people, things and facts, doesn’t matter if I am ready or I am frozen in all those things that could’ve been but, not knowing how to play the game, I succeeded to throw them away.

-I still don’t understand why Nicole did this to me, I told you.

-What reason do you still have to concern about it? The past is past, you have other friens now.

-Yes, but she was my best friend, and I loved her a lot, and I woudn’t ever have spoken bad things about her. It isn’t fair! Why did she do this to me?

-Do you really want to know why she treated you like that? you asked me, ceasing to walk around the room and sitting on the bed, next to me.

-Yes, of course I do…what do you know? Did I do something to upset her?

-No, Angela, he said, looking at me kindly. This isn’t about you. This is about the ones that surround her. Nicole surrounds herself with many people and she lets others decide for her, because she doesn’t trust herself.

You were trying then to tell me that others pushed her to gossip about me, but in that moment I only understood that she wants to look lile someone she isn’t in reality, and I was wondering if I wasn’t like that too, because of the fact that I was coming to you for advice, afraid that I can’t trust my own reasoning. I believed she was damned by demons pretty much alike with mines, just that I was thinking I am the one who will defeat them, because I chose to keep the integrity of my personality, no matter what.

I stood silent, lost in this kind of thoughts, and you, concerned that I dive in black clouds, showed me the game.

-Wait a minute, you said to me, while reaping off the desk a pen and a piece of paper. Close your eyes to think for a few minutes at three words and three numbers. Write them on paper in the order they appeared in your mind.

I did it, too trustful in you, with an open heart. The numbers I can’t recall, but the words chosen were blue, butterflies and poppies.

After that, he told me:

-Now look for all these things in the room.

My bedroom was blue, full of butterfly stickers, and a vase with plastic poppies layed with some flower pots near the balcony. The numbers, two of them I found written in the thermos of the central heating, and to discover the last one from nowhere I found a middle way- I had a large library full of books, the books have pages and the pages are numbered. It was impossible not to be those digits through them.

-Fine, now you understand?

-To understand… what? I looked at him perplexed.

-To understand that what is in your mind is also outside it. That your external life you create through what you are inside.

I reacted with amazeness at the game through which you wanted to demonstrate this universal law on which is bases all the world of nowadays. I would’ve said that i knew, but I only knew theoretically, I wouldn’t remember its meaning moment by moment.

We went down to the car of Brandon, I sat next to him, in front, while you were laying on the backseats, we had bear, Brandon was turning the radio louder on trap and dubstep music, I was letting myself to be drown in emotions, watching down the window. I was contemplating the past that left me with wounds still open, in my head I was very upset that life teached me that is not enough to be kind with the world for the world to be kind with you. And it was a disappointment with a sweet’n’sour taste, so I bursted into slow crying, unimpeded by you and what you would have thought, embraseed by my outburst. You hugged my shoulders from behind and whispered:

-Shush, Angela, I am your best friend now.

You charmed me with that line and, without realizing it, that evening I fell in love with you.

Imi amintesc cu drag de pozele pe care mi le-ai facut in camera mea. Eram roscata, zurlie si aeriana, purtam o bentita pe frunte care se asorta cu zambetul meu copilaros.

Era zambetul sincer pe care il purtam cand stateam in preajma ta. Poate nu te-ai fi gandit ca n-am aruncat toate amintirile la gunoi. Pe multe le-am indesat sub zidurile pe care amandoi le-am ridicat intre noi, ascunzand bucurii pe care le simteam unul pentru altul, pana ce cararile vietii ni s-au despartit definitiv. Dar pe asta am pastrat-o pentru ca ilustreaza perfect cine eram atunci, si tot ce eram atunci defineam prin tine. Tu erai cerul meu fara nori.

In seara aceea Bogdan ne astepta in masina in fata blocului. Am auzit pe multi vorbind despre cum se simtea universul lor de adolsecenti de 16 ani, cand aveai curajul sa iti asumi o libertate mai mare, viata era mai simpla si viitorul pe cale sa se nasca. Atunci urma doar inca un tip de seara pe care o petreceam la varsta aia. Sa bem si sa fumam cu muzica la maxim. Cu masina nu plecam decat sa dam ocol in viteza la vreo doua trei strazi, Bogdan nu avea permis, dar ii placea sa demonstreze ca stie sa conduca. Eram copii plictisiti de orasul sufocant de mic.

Eu eram cea mai naiva. Incercam sa imi revin dintr-o nebunie in care cazusem de cativa ani. Cativa ani in care fugisem de lume crezand ca ce sunt cei din jurul meu nu e de ajuns pentru mine, si visam la ceva mai mult, dar inexplicabil. Tot ce am descoperit in tacere a fost cum legaturile mele cu prezentul s-au rupt, si voci in capul meu tipau inebunite de idei obsedante pe care nu le puteam impartasi. Cand am ajuns la punctul de a nu mai rezista sa ma izolez, mi-am facut loc sa incep sa traiesc din nou. A fost un gest de tupeu nemasurat, cand credeam ca nu pot sa fiu acceptata inapoi printre cei vii, „normali” si fericiti. Dar stiam ca nici nu mai aveam de ales de acum incolo. Ca tot episodul a fost doar o pauza pana-mi recapat fortele sa fiu din nou puternica.

Si Nico incerca sa fie ceva. Am avut prilejul sa o observ ani de zile, dar abia in treacat am privit-o. Eram prea imbarligata in ale mele ca sa mai am si grija ei. Pe atunci nici nu stiam cate intrebari as avea sa-i pun dupa, devenindu-mi laitmotiv in destin sau ganduri.

Nu mai stiam de mult cum merg treburile cu lumea, si nu ma interesase, din pacate, niciodata, sa fiu in rand cu ceilalti. Nu ma gandeam cat o sa fiu de judecata pentru povestile mele reale de fata lunatica care fusese internata la 9. Si cel mai mult nu intelegeam ca de fapt toata lumea are schelete adanc ascunse in dulap, iar faptul ca eu cerseam atentie pentru ale mele nu ma facea speciala.

Nico se accepta pe sine doar daca altii o acceptau. Ma imprietenisem cu ea si o iubeam fara sa o inteleg, iar ea mi-a aratat prima data cat jeg se poate strange intre doi oameni. Mi-a impartasit razand povestile prin care eu ma descarcasem de durere.

Intr-o seara am iesit cu ea si erai si tu cu Bogdan. Tu si Nico erati impreuna atunci. Mi-ai zis ca iti plac cizmele mele, geaca si cum aveam vopsit parul. Am acceptat complimentele, dar stiam ca Nico va povestise despre mine si voi faceati misto de ce ati auzit. In centru urma sa ne mai vedem cu niste prieteni de-ai mei, printre care si Laura, cu care tu fusesei acum ceva timp si inca o voiai mult, ambitionat de povestea pe care ea o lasase neterminata. Era inceputul acelei veri in care am vazut o multime de vanzatori ambulanti de trandafiri. Intrau prin fiecare bar din oras si se opreau la mese incercand sa ne convinga in gura mare sa cumparam flori de la ei. Tu i-ai luat unul Laurei si Nico a plecat fara prea multe cuvinte.

In aceeasi seara, ai venit dupa mine in baia localului, sa imi vorbesti fara sa ne vada ceilalti. Mi-ai zis:

-Te inteleg, sa stii. Nu te gandi ca te-am judecat, tinandu-i isonul Nicoletei. Ea iti purta raca si noi ii ascultam mizeriile, dar vad acum ca esti o fata ok si stiu prin ce ai trecut tu. Si eu am fost internat din depresie. Cred ca ai suferit mult. Nu meriti sa fii urata pentru asta.

Eram, cum inca sunt, prea fragila si prea consumata de aceasta poveste ca sa nu plang, iar tu m-ai imbratisat. Cinci minute de solidaritate inainte sa ne intoarcem la masa, eu pierduta, ca de obicei, in gandurile mele, cu prea mult bun simt implantat in mintea mea ca sa stau sa analizez ce ite impletesc ceilalti in jurul meu.

In urmatoarea saptamana tu te-ai impacat cu Laura si ai reusit sa o si pierzi, cand, impins de betie, te-ai sarutat cu Maria, si a doua zi iti faceai ganduri negre rugandu-te sa nu afle. A aflat, m-a sunat pe mine prima a doua zi si, fiind prietena mea, nu puteam sa nu-i recunosc ce stia deja, oricat de mult mi-ar fi placut sa nu ma bag in treaba asta. M-ai cautat rugandu-ma obsesiv sa va intersectez drumurile iar, dar ea ramanea de fiecare data rece, convinsa ca nu mai ai ce cauta langa ea.

Ajunsesem sa ne umplem zilele goale petrecand mult timp impreuna. Eu te vedeam in inocenta mea ca prietenul acela de care avusesem mereu nevoie. Si ma rugam sa se pastreze legatura noastra, ca in primele zile, mereu. Te numisem, plina de speranta, eternitate, nefiind constienta pe atunci de cum viata taie si separa tot, iar ceea ce esti acum nu va mai fi la fel maine. Te-as fi rugat pe tine sa imi explici toate astea, dar nici tu n-ai fi avut de unde sa stii, ca n-ai fi avut de unde sa ma intelegi complet pe mine, cand nici eu nu ma recunosteam intru totul. De obicei noi, oamenii, ne surprindem pe noi insine.

Si apoi a fost acea seara in masina la Bogdan. Mama, o femeie brazdata adanc de intamplarile destinului, se lupta des cu mine incercand sa ma opreasca sa fiu calita in lumea asta mare. Nici azi nu accepta ca e firesc sa imi aleg prin fortele proprii calea, chiar daca incerc sa o fac sa vada ca e inevitabil. Atunci nu voia sa ma lase sa ies cu voi, il stia pe Bogi, care statea peste drum, si nu ii placea sa ma anturez cu el. Eu eram ingrozitor de stresata de liberul arbitru pe care mi-l refuza, iar tu ai urcat cu mine sus, i-ai vorbit frumos in locul tipetelor mele pline de reprosuri si injurii. Ai reusit sa o calmezi pe mama pentru mine, si ea te-a adorat atat de mult de atunci incolo, ca ma lasa pe undeva doar daca vorbeai tu cu ea. Ai intrat in camera mea ca sa ma astepti sa imi incarc telefonul, mi-am pus bentita din dantela neagra peste parul lung si rosu, cu varfuri portocalii. Eram mandra de culoare, era in trend, bine aranjata si fistichie. Mi-ai facut pozele, razand fericita. Am iubit mult pozele alea. Am avut din ziua aia multe poze impreuna, nu le-am postat nicaieri si in cele din urma le-am sters. Pacat ca, chiar si daca regret multe, timpul nu se opreste din mers, ma loveste cu oameni, lucruri si fapte, fie ca sunt pregatita, fie ca sunt inghetata in toate lucrurile care ar fi putut fi, dar, nestiind sa joc jocul, am reusit sa le dau cu piciorul.

-Tot nu inteleg de ce mi-a facut Nico asta, ti-am zis.

-Ce motiv mai ai sa iti bati capul? A trecut, ai alti prieteni acum.

-Da, dar ea mi-a fost cea mai buna prietena, si am iubit-o enorm, si niciodata nu as fi vorbit-o de rau. Nu e corect! De ce mi-a facut asta?

-Chiar vrei sa stii de ce ti-a facut asta? m-ai intrebat, incetand sa te plimbi prin camera si asezandu-te pe pat, langa mine.

-Da, normal ca da… ce stii? I-am facut ceva ce nu i-a convenit?

-Nu, Angi, spuse el, privindu-ma bland. Nu e vorba de tine aici. E vorba de ceilalti ce o inconjoara. Nicoleta se inconjoara de foarte multi oameni si ii lasa pe altii sa decida in locul ei, pentru ca n-are incredere in sine insasi.

Tu atunci incercai sa-mi spui ca ceilalti au influentat-o sa ma barfeasca, dar pe loc n-am inteles decat ca ea vrea sa para cine nu este, si ma intrebam daca nu eram si eu asa, prin simplul fapt ca ascultam sfaturile tale, tematoare ca nu pot sa ma incred in propriile rationamente. O credeam zbatandu-se condamnata de demoni destul de asemanatori cu ai mei, doar ca ma gandeam ca eu sunt cea care va razbi, fiindca eu alesesem sa imi pastrez integritatea personalitatii, orice ar fi.

Am ramas muta, pierduta in astfel de ganduri , si tu, ingrijorat ca ma afund in nori negri, mi-ai aratat jocul.

-Stai un pic, mi-ai zis, si ai cules de pe birou un pix si o foaie. Inchide ochii si gandeste-te pentru cateva minute la trei cuvinte si trei numere. Scrie-le pe foaie in ordinea in care ti-au venit in minte.

Am facut acest lucru, prea increzatoare in tine, cu inima deschisa. Numerele nu mi le mai amintesc, dar cuvintele alese au fost albastru, fluturi si maci.

Mi-ai zis apoi:

-Cauta toata aceste lucruri in camera.

Camera era albastra, umpluta cu stickere-fluturi, si o vaza cu maci de plastic era asezata langa cateva ghivece de plante langa balcon. Numerele, doua le-am gasit pe termosul centralei, si ca sa il descopar si pe ultimul din nicaieri am gasit o cale de mijloc- aveam o biblioteca mare intesata de carti, cartile au pagini iar paginile sunt numerotate. Era imposibil sa nu se afle si cifrele acelea printre ele.

-Bun, acum intelegi?

-Sa inteleg…ce? il priveam perplexa.

– Sa intelegi ca ce este in mintea ta este si in afara ei. Ca viata ta exterioara o creezi prin ceea ce esti in interior.

Am reactionat cu uimire la joculetul prin care tu imi demonstrai aceasta lege universala pe care se bazeaza lumea zilelor noastre. As fi zis ca stiam, dar stiam in teorie, nu imi aminteam de intelesul ei clipa de clipa.

Am coborat la masina lui Bogdan, eu m-am asezat langa el ,in fata, in timp ce tu te intindeai pe bacheta din spate, aveam bere, Bogdan dadea radioul la maxim pe muzica trap, eu m-am lasat cufundata in emotii, privind pe geam. Imi contemplam trecutul ce ma lasase cu rani inca deschise, in mintea mea de copil eram foarte suparata ca viata imi demonstrase ca nu este de ajuns sa fii bun cu lumea ca lumea sa fie buna cu tine. Si era o deziluzie cu gust dulce-amarui, asa ca am izbucnit intr-un plans molcom, nestingherita de voi si de ce ati fi crezut, jenati de izbucnirea mea. Tu mi-ai imbratisat umerii pe la spate si mi-ai soptit:

-Nu mai plange, Angi, acum eu sunt cel mai bun prieten al tau.

Am ramas fermecata ca ai zis asta si , fara sa realizez, in ziua aia m-am indragostit de tine.

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