Gent

I don’t recognize myself anymore.

The Gentse Feesten, a local, city-wide festival, has come to an end. For most, it was a 10 day feast of music, street culture and alcohol consumption. For me, it was a revelation.
It was exactly one year ago when I walked out of my own house, knowing that she’d be gone by the time I got back. For good. For the rest of the summer, I would fail to notice the sun. But I knew what I had to do if I wanted to live though what was to come, and today…. I am alive.

Ironically, the longest constant that I am now going with is my work, which couldn’t possibly be seen as one to begin with. I lost everything that I valued since I was hired, and simply moved on to value other things. And now, while history repeats itself as people want it to, I can finally afford to take a break and look down at myself.

365 days –it seems so short- I’ve been facing forward in a strict stare, obsessed with change. In my environment, but mostly myself. It may sound stupid, but the metaphor of the wheel of time appears very fitting here. It seems to me that the seasons have physically described a full circle, and are now doubling over themselves. I have only to look past my shoulder to see how things were last time around, and the change with today is outright shocking.

Back then, I knew what I had to do, and did it to the best of my abilities. After the many situations I’ve found myself in throughout my life, I’ve become very skilled at adapting to them. The past year was a true test of those, and at this point, I dare say that I’ve passed. There is still much work to be done (as always) but I can take it easy from this point.

Work has come to a brisk standstill and my “usual” taxibike job has become impossible to manage (long story), so I’ve had the chance to fully enjoy 10 days of music, street culture and alcohol consumption (I tasted a friend’s cocktail). I spent a fortune on calls and text messages, letting friends know where to be and that they’re more than welcome to join the growing group. More than once, nearly a dozen people had gathered simply to enjoy each other’s company in some park or other- that I was part of.

Dead normal for most of us, but most of us haven’t spent most of their lives minding their own business, needing a valid excuse to go out. I would wait for calls rather than pick up my phone (new year’s resolution) while putting my energy in my computer. 8 years of this, and I have nothing to show for it. But do we ever?

My house had become the refuge of wanderers, couch surfers to be exact. No less than 6 individuals (not counting locals or myself) slept here, and hopefully had a good time. I got to hang out with my closest friends on a regular basis, and was reunited with a few from past lives. I never knew how much I had missed any of this.

And then, with a meaningless touch to the arm, it all froze and shattered in my hands.

My girlfriend, who I had gotten so attached to in so little time, got tired of the shit I gave her. In a few moments, it all derailed and came to a bitter end. The details are there and I have my opinion about them, but I’ll keep it to myself. I was an asshole and she repressed how she thought about that.

The festival is finished now, and instantly all has become eerily quiet. The masses bow they grey faces once again and return to work, leaving me standing with a fading grin. Alone, and left to pick up the pieces of a broken relationship.

In several ways, nothing has changed. The opportunity to meet is still there, and the city hasn’t gone anywhere. But without someone to hold…? It all suddenly seems very pointless.

Where we go from here, time will tell. I am bankrupt so running is not an option, this time. It hurts, but I was told last night that that is the purpose of it. Whatever “it” may be. It’s all pretty damn vague right now.

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