February is the shortest month. How come it has four full Mondays? It´s outrageous!!
This was magical, like being in a different world !!
My brother used to travel light (maybe it runs in the family). He would say “I´ll be back in two weeks”, grab his small backpack and then return two months later. I remember my parents complaining about it, getting madder and madder as days went by and they didn´t hear from him. I remember them saying “this is the last time we´ll allow this behaviour”. I remember them saying “we´ll cut his allowance”. I remember my brother phoning, saying he had no money to come back, my parents telling him off and finally agreeing on sending him money.
He then would come back as if nothing had happened, wide smile on his face, full of anecdotes and pictures and presents. My parents would lecture him for a while and he would promise not to do it again. Till the next trip of course. Then the story would start all over again.
One of the things he always mentioned was that when he didn´t know where to sleep because night found him in the middle of nowhere, he went to the local cemetery. That it was the safest and quietest place in every town. It sounds creepy but it makes sense. The dead won´t harm you and nobody visits a cemetery at night. Well, nobody except my brother.
He also said that it was very sad for him to see those abandoned tombstones that nobody had visited for years. That he couldn´t help thinking that those that were under had been forgotten by their beloveds. He said he didn´t want to be forgotten.
Somehow, his words were stored in my brain and every time I see an abandoned tombstone they come back to me as if they were being said at that moment. And I start making up stories about the person that lies underground. But for some reason they don´t cause me sadness, just curiosity as regards who that person was. Maybe it´s because I do believe that you don´t need any material object to remember those you love.
From time to time I visit the cemetery and I come back with my mind full of stories. I cannot help it, I´m a story teller at heart.
I like to think that by making up stories, even if they are far from the truth, it´s a way to remember those who were forgotten, to bring them back to life. Besides, I really don´t believe that they were forgotten, maybe there are no relatives left, maybe they are too far away. Life is full of mysteries. And dead too.
Walking has a soothing effect on me, clears my mind so when I feel anxious about something, I go for a walk. I chose quiet streets but it´s a large city so I inevitably end up in some noisy ones. And sometimes, the noise is too much for me and look for quieter places to hide. And sometimes I get lucky and find hidden treasures.
This is a University. I have walked past it several times and admired the architecture but never occurred to me that I could take a look inside.
But I saw an open door and decided to take a peek.
I had this strange feeling of having crossed a time line. It was like going back in time and entering an unknown dimension.
I spent some time with the lady, in silence. Then I got a phone call from 2011 and had to answer. I had to go back home.
I had to run some errands, in fact, I didn´t have to. I offered. I didn´t want to be at the office, it was one of those days you feel like a lion in a cage?
It was rainy but I did not care. I had my newly acquired translucent umbrella, my camera inside a ziplock bag and flip-flops. What else did I need to survive the dangers of the wet streets?
Off I went, like a brave and courageous woman. No rain would stop me, no words of discouragement would sink in, no possible danger would undermine my decision. I was determined to be out of the cage. Even if I had to battle against pirates.
Errands done, no more rain, I didn´t slide or fall or whatever. I didn´t have to fight against any pirate. And I laughed at the thought. Pirates in BA? That would be something !
Now I had some free time ahead and decided to treat myself with a nice cup of coffee. It´s very easy to find a coffee shop in that area but I was looking for some place new or original. Special in some way.
All of the sudden, I saw it. And I knew it was just perfect. It just cracked me up.
And instead of fighting against the pirates, I just shared with them a pint of beer!!
Once I was browsing through a women´s magazine and I found an article about types of personality. It was one of those shallows articles with a very silly test where you have to punctuate answers and then see the result in the next page to find out you are the loving kind, the low self esteem kind or some of the kind.
One of the questions was “how would your friends describe you?” and I thought it odd since that´s the type of question you have to ask my friends, not me. How would I know?
How would I know? the question remained.
Later that day I met some friends and I mentioned this article and the question and we played this silly game of trying to describe ourselves in a few words. Silly or not, it turned into something more serious as the descriptions started to flow.
Some of them were surprised at the adjectives they got, some of them nodded in agreement when heard the descriptions, we discussed aspects of our personalities and ended up talking about some important matters.
When it was my turn (to be described) there was a moment of silence. Either I was indescribable or they were afraid to tell me something that might hurt my feelings. It was a long moment for me.
Pause. The first friend talked and used adjectives such as unconventional, rebel, somebody ventured quirky but I sensed they were trying to find a word and they couldn´t for some reason.
Finally, one of them said very seriously “you are a question mark” and we all looked at each other. Another moment of silence and then we burst with laughter, we almost choked! Thing is that they all agreed it was the best description ever.
I was never really sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing but from that moment on, every time somebody asks me to describe myself in a few words I say “I´m a question mark” and the answer always leads to a different aspect of that mark.