Archive for July, 2008

Run run run run run

It’s just fucking amazing how much it hurts. My house is full of freshly washed clothes, dry for days now but I can’t bring myself to folding them because she helped me spread them out. It just… hurts. Remarkable how you actually feel it in your chest, too. There’s something there that you can feel shrink the very second you allow the right thoughts in your mind. It’s a constant battle, day and night. It doesn’t give you any rest and it’s so terribly exhausting. Nothing you can dump this weight on, no one that can hold it for you, if only for a day. Only she can make it stop, which is exactly why I can’t see her. It’s a nescessary process. But God, it’s so hard. I’m tired of fighting.

Is it a shame that someone else’s song
Was totally and completely depended on
Who’s gonna save my soul now
Who’s gonna save my soul now
I wonder if I’ll live grow old now

Already I’m thinking of leaving the country again. Fill my head with impressions, change the scenery so I can digest this in peace. She’s with her loverboy now, and I hope she’s happy. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. I don’t want to hope that she misses me, that she’s sorry for all this even more than I am. Because it’s a slippery slope- to admit this, is to admit that really, I want her to end it. That she comes back to me, crying, screaming, able to make it undone and live happily ever after. But she can’t, so… in my face. Sucker. Weakling. I need to get a grip, a well-placed uppercut to make me face forward. Face forward. I need winkers, like a horse has. Black steel might help, life always did seem much more simple 20 meters up, if I can keep myself from tearing up that close to the sky. I think I’ll secure myself with both lines next time.

I look behind me and I see her on my couch, still crying. Her tears mixing with my own, at least I hope so- I don’t want mine to be the only ones. It’s fucking 5.30am again and I’m afraid to go to bed, I’m hoping to pass out soon. I’ve trained my biorhythm way too much for this kind of situation, any decent guy would be dead by now. I want to leave and run off, but I’ll be hungry and cold by the time I’m out of town. Maybe to Germany, because German doesn’t remind me of anything other than my job. And the war gives me a reason to hate as much as I want.

Take me away. Place my head in your lap and hum me to sleep. I’m sorry you can’t stroke me through the hair, I shaved it off. Maybe later. Much later. I had to start anew, I had to kill it and walk away. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, about her. About you. So… amazingly… sorry. I’m sorry I can’t find a better way to express it, how far into regret does that make me?

Come back. Don’t come back. Live. Die. Love. Hate. Hate might save, after all it was your fault. You let yourself be bored with me. You didn’t ask for more stories, I would have made them up for you. I would have lied with a straight face, something you never could. I was going to clean this place up for you. Tomorrow, but I was. I would have made it resemble a castle, was I too slow? Do castles look different? I don’t know, I’m no royalty, I’m scum. I thought that was enough for you, you said that it was.

Say hello to your prince. Tell him to get cancer and treat you right. I hope he’s lousy in bed, perhaps that is the only thing I am absolutely certain right now. I hope his cock is smaller than mine, so that no matter how "nice" he is, no matter how much whiter his smile is, he will never be me. You will be happier than you’ve ever been with me, but always, always you’ll have some gnawing little reason to miss me. Something physical, that can’t fade or be betrayed by poor memory. Miss me. Run away, do look back, never stop looking back. You’ll be the last thought in my mind when I finally die, crying like a child because I’ll never know if I was yours.

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Yellow scabs.

I thought going uphill with my bike was tiring.
I thought I knew Gent like the palm of my hand.
I thought I had pretty strong legs.

I was wrong.

For 10 days, Gent is swept up and down into a spiral of booze, music and booze. The "Gentse Feesten" are at full speed and roughly in the middle are about 10 people, on yellow four-wheel bikes, bringing pregnant ladies to the alcohol and drunks away from it. 200 kilo’s and more on a single bike, and two legs to drag that shit over the bridge.

I took 10 days off from work to join in on the fun, tipped by a friend. It feels very strange: 8 hours of work per day without the need of climbing gear, scaff hammer, or even my leatherman. Some change and a pen, and you’re off.
Nevertheless, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever had it this difficult to keep up. My upper legs aren’t even remotely as trained as the "regulars", leading to often quite embarrassing situations. When the day is over, I am fucking knackered. My ass is sore all the time, and I’m spending fortunes on food. I tend to eat like a horse whenever I’m gaining muscle somewhere. My ass is no exception.

Still, it’s a wonderful job, and a nice change from hammering steel all summer. I get to keep 60% of wages, plus tips. We’re 5 days in and I have €210 in cash lying around to be deposited or stolen, though some of that could have been mine to begin with. Hell, this "voluntary" job makes more than my real one on some days- a lot more.

As always, I quickly grew a small-time obsession with those "tricks of the trade", trying to figure them out asap and then cursing others for not having done so yet. Get shorter trips, mention that you’re a "volunteer", use tram rails to avoid bumps unless they’re wet.
I’m glad it’s over now, because some things did grow old very fast. On a neat little list, in ascending order of importance, here’s the do’s and don’t’s of the bystander/passenger and the driver!

Passenger/Bystander
Do’s
– Be nice. Please. 8 hours of pulling up to 200 kilo’s and more is hard. We don’t need your shit on top of it. Know that we have the right to make you get out, and the techniques to get you out should that prove a problem.
– Tip! We’re volunteers! Yes we get a percentage, but it sure as hell isn’t paying the bills, tips are! Whether it is "keep the change" or "here’s an extra five", it shows appreciation and makes us forever grateful and most happy to pick you up next time around.
Don’t’s
– Move. Please sit still, you’re busting our knees every time you shift your weight.
– Pity us. Don’t make us stop 200 metres short of your home because you feel sorry for us, or keep repeating that we are mad to do this for this kind of money. We do this because we enjoy it. We are proud to take you home, much more than some street corner where you don’t even need to be.
– Pull us over just to start stammering drunkenly to us. Just because we drive a yellow bike doesn’t make us interested.
– Okay, Jokes: No we don’t go to Antwerp. No there’s no crop back there. No we won’t let you drive. Thank you sir, but no I don’t think I’ll join the Tour de France.
– DO NOT. Shout "TAXI" for no reason other than your personal amusement. You have No Clue how terribly annoying that is, and it causes us to ignore customers who do mean it. Personally I am sorry for the blunt reactions this has provoked, but please. It’s fucking, horribly frustrating.

Driver
Do’s
– Be nice. Customers aren’t paying for your arrogance or bad mood. They’re having a good time and just want to go someplace. Explain things kindly. Talk. There’s a tip in it!
– "Must you hit all the bumps?" Avoid them. The easiest are tram rails, your wheels fit on them and are broad enough not to sink in. Slow down when you hit a curb.
– Avoid cobblestones. Gent is bleeding full of them and they’ll drive you mad. Not the cobblestones themselves, but the poor quality of the road that’s been there since the middle fucking ages.
Don’t’s
– Drive recklessly. Taxi bikes are made to be light and they do break. In half, on one occasion. With customers in the back, be extra careful, they don’t see your maneuvers coming. Wouldn’t be the first time if someone would "exit the vehicle". There’s children back there. Families. Think.
– OMG the festival zone. KNOW where it is. The Gentse Feesten are se full of cops, you would swear you’re in prison. It’s a gathering of the most incompetent, arrogant and frustrated bunch of policemen you have ever seen. They will fine you. They will pull you over for driving where you’re allowed to. They will pull you over to tell you you’re allowed to drive there. We’ve seen it all.

There’s plenty more of this, but a lot of it I simply don’t agree with. Everyone has limits to where they will go, I don’t- not really, anyway. Some don’t write down certain trips so they can cash in, I don’t. Some drive slowly because we charge by the minute, I don’t. I am convinced that all these "principles" are for selfish reasons only. This allows me to go home with a good feeling (about myself, but I’ve been told we do everything for selfish reasons), and in some cases rather proud of myself. This is a non-profit organization plagued by its own participants, and I want no hand in that.

We all have limits, but in some cases I will gladly cross them. I won’t take two men outside of Gent because I’ll come back broken, but I did take an old lady who had missed her last bus, home, two towns away. I charge like everyone else but when two girls came running after me asking me to take them home because they had to cross an un-illuminated parking lot and "there were scary people there", I didn’t accept a penny. I can’t risk that they will refrain from doing so next time because of the money. I risk a fat fine when going into the festival zone but when a girl nearby cut her foot open on a shard of glass, I took her to first-aid. Fuck those cops anyway.
Mind you, this was all in one day. Yes, I did go home feeling rather great about myself. But I do every day, simply because I brought dozens of people home safely again. I think I’m going to miss this job.


Pushit

We had it coming, it already lasted longer than the gods intended with us. No more ‘us’, it’s just me and her now. I don’t know what state she’s in and although I am very worried about her, that’s a good thing. It would only make me more miserable, which in turn makes it harder for her and there you have your vicious circle.

I bet she doesn’t even understand why I broke up. We were always kind of disconnected on the reasoning behind emotions. It’s not because some other guy came along, I know all too well that can happen. Not even because she lied to me about it, because that was what I asked of her.
She dragged me through the mud for a month. Four weeks of distance, wondering, fear and goddamn sexual frustration. I wanted to call her up every single night but I was afraid of who might answer. She hadn’t even told me at that point, I just had… a feeling, that turned out to be right. And still she said nothing, when I asked what was wrong. I could sense she was troubled, I even offered her to live in with me, going against principles I’ve held for most of my life. Instead, she ran into someone else’s arms.

I had to drag it out of her, telling her I wasn’t blind. I had to hear that she had intended to keep it secret until after VKSJ camp, where we would both be cooks. It’s a 10 day camp. 10 continuous days of this fucking agony so that she wouldn’t be short one cook. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
She told me in the morning. No, I told her, and she just nodded. The last thing she said before I slammed the door was "So I have feelings for two people. Is that so wrong?"
At this point she seemed to assume that she was the only one who ever gets in that situation. The opposite is true, the only unique feature that she showed, was that she had given in. Every time I get jealous of some guy she tells me, "He’s not my type" and I always wondered if that was all it took. To be her type. It now seems I was right.

If she thinks she’s the only one with dilemma’s regarding her relationship, she’s fucking wrong. If she thinks the girl two nights before didn’t tempt me, that it wasn’t confusing when she leaned over me, dumping her god damned scent over me, she is sorely mistaken. Still I chose for my broken relationship, my girlfriend, distant and frigid. It’s painful to see that I was the only one in the couple with this attitude.

She was going to confess. Tell me all about it honestly. That night she would come over to explain, "because she has a right to." As far as I know, it doesn’t quite work that way. The only "right" involved here is mine, the right to an explanation that I didn’t even want to fucking hear. And yet, before that night came, it came out that she was only planning to feed me more lies and half-truths. Apparently she thought that she could use my computer to fucking flirt with that bastard without me noticing, or that she could tell her friend that she intended to keep more secrets from me that very night she would put it all on the table. This woman can’t even shut down a computer properly without putting it on stand-by, making it all too obvious that she had been on it. A day later I found both logs in the trash bin. I was impressed with her locating them, for a little moment before I put them back where they belong. Truth can’t be denied, the past can’t be undone.

That night I told her we were over. It took her until next morning to take my words seriously. What happened next wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did. I’m only human, and she hadn’t touched me in over a month. What to me was a bittersweet goodbye, was make-up sex to her. It was only when I told her afterwards not to come back, that she finally realized.

I can’t trust her, anymore. This little reggae-loving cock sucker works with her. Am I supposed to go mad every time she goes to work? What am I supposed to think when she tells me that she loves me, which was her standard answer every excruciating time I asked her what was wrong? But as I stood there, coughing up those words with a strength I never thought I had, it were her tears that really broke my heart.

Almost a week later now, and I feel… small. Crusted. There is a little core in me that is still moving forward, pulling my miserable flesh with it. One foot after the next, stumbling along. I want to go back to bed, shut the blinds and sleep forever, but there is still that something inside me that makes me nod my head when I am offered an excuse to leave the house. No, of course I don’t want to, you fuck. But yes, I’ll be there.

My girl. We grew up together, shaped each other. We would grow old together. And I scared her off, she let herself be scared off. But whatever she says,

What she did to me, I would have never done to her.

Goodbye, soul mate. He better treat you right.


To Be Continued…

And I’ll dance with you in Vienna
I’ll be wearing a river’s disguise
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder,
My mouth on the dew of your thighs
And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
With the photographs there, and the moss
And I’ll yield to the flood of your beauty
My cheap violin and my cross
And you’ll carry me down on your dancing
To the pools that you lift on your wrist
Oh my love, Oh my love
Take this waltz, take this waltz
It’s yours now. It’s all that there is

I’m going out of my mind with frustration, and my colleagues knew it the last couple days. Just today I had several arguments up to the point of shouting, from some dumb shit too thick to realize you shouldn’t drop steel pipes where people are standing, to a StageCo guy who wouldn’t get off my back claiming I wasn’t working hard enough- a rather sensitive point of mine.

What they don’t know however, is that I’m sorry. I would have gotten just as mad on any other day but I probably wouldn’t have yelled at them, and dropped it when my colleagues politely asked me to.

The reason?
My relationship is about to fall apart and I don’t know what to do. Only she can dig this hole for me, where I laugh with something and then wonder why.
We’ve come at a point where we have to take a good look at our future. She has graduated now and she wants to live together, eventually have children. I on the other hand, living day to day, was perfectly happy with how things were. Granted, we didn’t have a very deep relationship, but that kind of came and went, depending on the moment and bluntly, whether she had exams or not.

It’s true though, we only see each other at one home or the other. We don’t have any common hobbies, and whatever we fill our days with is vastly different. The only places that are left, are our beds.
Not that we didn’t try. I keep nagging for her to join me in capoeira class, and she tried to pull me to her folk dance thing (shudder).

Yes, a relationship bleeding to death. But fuck me, do I love her. If there was anyone on this godforsaken planet I want to spend my life with, it’s her. If there was anyone I’d marry, live with, have children with… Which is exactly why I don’t. I honestly, truly believe that us living together wouldn’t work out. Before you feel obliged to share your unasked opinion, No. It’s not some issue, fear of bonding, any of that shit. I just gave it a Lot of thought, and I can say in dead honesty that I don’t believe we are compatible enough. Oh I would want it to be, I would give so much for it to be just that easy. I try to imagine what it would be like, just us, our family. But I keep hitting one wall, and that’s this hard no regarding our emotional compatibility. In a sense, our relationship kept itself alive with its shallowness.

 

She was supposed to call me, but instead a friend of ours did. She "didn’t have the time". In the nearly 20 years that I know her, that’s the first time that I hear this. It’s night now and I want to call her, but I’m afraid to. Scared to death that she won’t pick up, and get my mind running. Or that she will sound confused, distracted… By something else. God help me, my skull is about to split.

I want to be there for her. I want to give her what she wants, offer a man that can carry her core with one hand while caressing her face with the other. Her rock. Her support. Love.
I want to pick up the phone, tell her that I love her, that I’m sorry and I’ll fix it. I usually can, it would only be a matter of keeping your teeth together for any given time. But this, I can’t do. I’m trapped, caged. I’ve reached a line that I told myself never to cross, at the risk of something far greater. And yes, I questioned myself time and time again, I swear she is the only one in this fucking hole that can make me do that, it’s what got us back together in the first place. But I reach the same conclusion every single time, see the same scenario unfold, where we learn to hate each other. She would be a whine, and I would be a senseless fuck.

 

So this is where it ends, where I end. It’s unbelievable: Despite my promises, the best I can offer her is some guy around the block. She would have to live alone, which she doesn’t want to, or with someone else again. That’s just… all that I am. Just that. I have never felt like such a failure. Like a fraud.

All I can do is want, and beg for it. We can find a common interest and built a little on that, I can get off my ass and do some work around the house to make it a little more welcoming for her. But that won’t solve the problems speeding into my face like a passenger train. So in silence, and now in writing, I hope and I pray that this will work out. …Somehow. Anyhow. Please. I don’t want to lose her again.


A great world within a small mind

I was a careless child. An arrogant little fuck that spent his days yelling and kicking. That all changed when I was 12, and I was brought head first back to earth. Of all places.

Living under the roof of a man who was (is) a great man but worth nothing as a father, I had to start over and re-write myself, not from the top, but close. 4 psychologists, 2 boarding schools, 3 mind-numbing jobs and 2 years in a uniform later, here I am. I have (okay rent) my own house, I have a job that feels more like a hobby and probably is, and few but dear friends. I’m fit and healthy, and few can tell me shit over the table that I don’t know already. Days in between climbing scaffolding, watching shows and the occasional hike to a far-away country are spent resting and lying in wait for the next opportunity to drift within reach.

However, I’ve been told that I’m seeing it wrong. This "resting and waiting" is actually nothing more than passive couch-hanging, indoors and away from those so-called friends. This house I am so happy with is disorganized and messy, and people don’t like coming here.
I may think a lot of myself because I’ve watched it grow, but with all the effort and life years put into it, this little mind hasn’t even come close to the standard of those around me, who shake their heads every time they see me fret with something, pointless as usual. Friends, in-laws and even my girlfriend wonder what the hell I think I’m doing, and find all this arrogance plainly annoying. After all those years they haven’t come to like me, they -and I quote- "have come to accept me". To tolerate me.
My girlfriend wonders if she doesn’t deserve any better. Sure, she loves me, probably out of habit. But what the fuck I was thinking telling her friends that I don’t see us living together, is beyond her. Now they went and asked her questions that made her feel bad. Apparently, she rather kept the nature of our relationship a secret to them.

I would let all this wash over me, shrug it off as mainstream ideas that lead to pointless judgements. I could have, if it wasn’t my girlfriend telling me all this. I can’t blame her either, actually. Now that she has two degrees under her arm and is ready to go and do so much more than I ever could, she now has to pauze and wonder what to do with me. This character, actually happy with the morsels he surrounds himself with, who doesn’t want to live together, and hates doing the dishes. What is left, is -quote- "a shallow relationship" which doesn’t get her anywhere. She just doesn’t see us sharing a future together.

Four orgasms later a thunderstorm had started, and we went downstairs to watch. Sitting there in the dark, I couldn’t shake the eerie memory of the first time we broke up, when we sat in my parents’ garden for most of the night. It was to be our last night together.

She tried to break it gently. "Maybe you should find someone who suits your ways better." "I’m the only one you ever slept with, perhaps you should go fuck around some." Absurd, yes, but then so are all "it’s not you, it’s me" excuses. In between explanations why certain individuals have started to hate me (dishes were mentioned) they were all the more meaningless.

At this moment, I just don’t know what to think, anymore. Yes, we are still together, but I never thought our problems were this big. Of course we never fit together, never have and never will. Why that has to be a problem…

Two years and counting, 6 in total. Ready to be flushed down the drain. Changes are due, or one of us will have to have the strength to end it.
Thing is though, when she says she can get better, I know she’s right. Maybe I should be the one. Maybe loving her today, means ending it before tomorrow.


No Rest For the Wicked

Sir,

I just received a letter in which, neatly marked in blue, it says that I am obligated to follow an "orientation course" for 5 half days. I have to inform you that I can not attend this course, for the following reasons:

-I have to work. I have been working for the past 3 years with day-to-day contracts, legally and correctly, and more importantly, registered.
-I have already followed this course. I remember the conclusion being, that I would be most suited to work as a "verger". Soon after, I joined the army.
-I do not receive replacement income, so obligations such as this, are pretty much inappropriate. Take on top of that, the hours that I work in a day, at a minimum wage, through weekends, holidays and nights without a cent extra, and you can surely imagine that situations like these come over as harassing.

I know that you can do very little about this, and this certainly is not intended as a personal attack. I simply hope that the office responsible can be informed and we can maybe reach a compromise.

With friendly greets,
Maarten De Pue

This email was a (translated) response I sent after receiving yet another letter from the unemployment office. They tend to assume that, being registered as unemployed, I get replacement income and they can fuck me around all they want. Tough cookies, dickweed.
You might notice I was exceptionally formal and friendly here. That is because I am very aware that they really don’t need my shit. They get mouthed off by the marginal half of Belgium all the time, and I don’t think anyone realizes that they didn’t spontaneously decided to bug you, let alone with this crap. They probably hate it just as much as you do, and  don’t appeaciate their position as piss pole.

Nevertheless, I wanted to have my opinion known. I’m fucking sick and goddamn tired of this "obligatory" bullshit they want to throw in my face.
There. That feels good.

(4 days later I got an email back saying that I won’t be contacted for things like this, anymore. Could this be the time to start asking for money again?)

 

Few things in life are as horrible as waking up. I don’t like going to sleep either, possibly for this reason alone. When my alarm goes off, I instantly turn emo.
"It’s raining balls, I want to die."
"It’s so damn cold, I’m going to turn around and sleep forever."
The only exception to this is when I got to sleep out. However, ironically, I still don’t want to go to bed the night before.

Anyway. As holy as sleep might be experienced as, in my line of work you often run short of it, for sometimes weeks in a row. If you can sleep out, you sleep until the afternoon so you won’t be able to go to bed in time to be sufficiently rested for the next day of work. And no, setting an alarm won’t work. If I have no immediate reason to get up, you won’t ever get me out of bed.

So now and then, you have to resort to more desperate measures. If you thought sleeping on the job is for workaholic businessmen compensating for their bursting marriage using their secretary, think again. This week I’ve been camping at Graspop Metal Meeting, during the building of the main stage. I get one day off, which is today, and then I’m off again to work as followspotter for Judas Priest and KISS, collecting sleep like kindling to stay somewhat focused.

I don’t mind, though. The girlfriend is off to Greece with her friends, and I have nothing else to do. If not entertaining, the experience is interesting at least. I have great colleagues I can hang out with, so in a sense it’s vacation as well as work. I love it like this: No problems on your mind, knowing that you’re making money without spending any, leaving your daily worries at home. I’m good at what I do, and so they like having me there. Where better could you be?