What does one do, when on a Sunday night, the past 24 hours have been utter shit and they want to vent it somehow? My bad moods are commonly known and trust me, they go deep. No one wants to put up with that and besides, it’s past midnight and any friend I’d be calling would already be in bed because they all work or attend school. Okay- so do I, but apparently I don’t take my sleep cycle as seriously as most do. To me, it is more of a… suggestion.
I don’t own a punching bag. I don’t have a pet to be mean at. There’s no one around willing to be scolded. What do you do, then? I suppose I have little other options than to simply sit it out.
Laundry day in itself is guaranteed to fuck up my mood, but that’s only where it begins. I walked about 6 kilometers today, most of it in a hurry, for fuck-all. First, while my laundry was in, I had to go back to the Vieze Gasten to get my cellphone, who were fucking closed. They’re conveniently located on the other side of fucking town.
Go back, get my 4 tons of laundry, dump it at home, and sprint to the Kinky Star club (at yet another end of the city) to do the sound for a band who brought their own god damn sound tech. An arrogant piece of shit who stands there masturbating over his high-end microphones but has to ask me what the buttons on the mixing desk do. The most fruitful thing I did all day was fetch the assclown a beer.
Several friends were supposed to come, but all cancelled because they had better shit to do- like not coming.
So my day was shit, thanks for asking. Furthermore, I woke up early in the afternoon so it looks like it will be continuing for a little while longer, since I won’t be able to sleep.
Bet your fucking ass I’ll recover my phone and find messages like “Hey we’re two bars away from your place, care to join?” Or better yet, none at fucking all.
I don’t really care about disappearing languages. I am convinced that eventually, we will all be speaking English (because the Chinese are learning English but not vice versa) and frankly, and I’m sorry about this but it’s the truth, I don’t give a shit. Indian, Inuit, Masai, whatever languages that are spoken by less than a dozen people are bound to disappear forever, very soon. While I feel sad about the culture tied to it, I fail to care about the language itself. And I think, if everybody should ask himself this without bullshitting anyone, I am not alone.
So then, it’s very ironic that when my internship mentor, whom after two days I’ve begun to see as the father I never had (Ohhh burn), asked me where I was from, it stung a little.
You see, I am perhaps the only Belgian proud of his heritage without disrespecting others’. We, the Flemish, the Flandrians, have shown ourselves a strong race of bastards and rebels, and I am proud of that. And of all cities on this blotch of historical warzone, I love Gent the most. Asking me if I’m really from around here, is about the same as calling me French.
“It’s funny,” I replied, “When I studied in Aalst, they would tell me, ‘Speak in that Gent-ish accent of yours again’.”
My mentor laughed and asked, “So what did you do, then?”
Fucking, ouch, man.
You see, back in the eighties-nineties, there was this trend to raise your child in what was at the time called, “ABN” which stood for “Common Civilized Dutch”. They later changed it to “AN” for obvious reasons, but what happened was that parents would speak “decent” Dutch to us, their children, and then suddenly wielded a thick dialect when talking to their spouse. Alienating, to say the least. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I for one remember being punished for speaking in dialect- not shitting you.
So in school, you would have an entire generation of kids huddled together, all speaking in “Cilvilized Dutch”, as if we were adults already. Curiously, the only ones who retained any accent were the Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, effecting everyone else.
So now we, the children grown adults, all speak this hideous language; Technically Dutch, but with a dialect tied to marginality and bastardization. Including me. I couldn’t speak old-school “Plat Gents” to save my life.
My mentor of course, nearing his 50s along with most people there, grown up when Gent still had dirt roads, speaks it to perfection. They know the vocabulary, correctly wrongly pronounced vowels, the whole nine yards. It really comes as no surprise that he couldn’t tell where I was from, considering that the whole province now speaks the same language, and it sure as fuck isn’t “Civilized Dutch”.
I really think, and I’m dead serious here, I’m going work on my accent a little while I’m there. If I’m going to be contributing to the local underground culture, I might as well start by speaking the language.
Handful of candy, 20 euros and a new alarm clock: Maarten visited his grandmother again.
I haven’t seen her in months. You know how it goes: I’d really love to but you know, things to see, people to do… Always, always busy, and forgetful when I’m not.
It’s kind of a shame, because she might be the best grandmother in the world. The first memory that I have of her was when she would come visit us now and then, and bring candy, up to the point where my sister and I went “Did you bring any candy??” weeks before we even bothered to say hello –Much to my mother’s dismay. She would also make that funny voice when we visited her every Wednesday and peeked through the mailbox after ringing the front door, basically brightening our day just by doing so.
We always swore that we would continue to visit her when we didn’t have to. But, then I went to boarding school and things changed. I could make up a million excuses but truth is, I rather sit by myself than bridge the generation gap between us. It takes a day like today, when my sister (who does visit her) calls me asking to fix the bathroom light, before I go out of my way to hop on a bus.
She is the only grandparent that I know. On my father’s side, his father died when he was young and his mother when I was just old enough to remember him crying at the funeral. On the other, cut off by the passing of my own mother, there is a man I have never met and who doesn’t seem to care, and my grandmother. Through the years it seems like she was set in stone; always there with candy. She grew older as we did (she’ll be 80 this year) but I never really noticed.
Never, until today. She still looked her chipper self and showed herself witty as ever, but as I sat down at the table and poured me a drink, she asked if I wanted a coke. I looked up, expecting her to realize.
For those who don’t know me: I don’t drink coke. I don’t drink anything carbonated, because it hurts my throat. It has been like this for as long as I can remember, and I never ever drink anything with gas in it.
She didn’t react as I stared. “Um, I don’t drink coke?” I started carefully. No response. “It hurts my throat.”
– “Ah well,” she said, “To each his own. It’s coke light, though.”
I don’t think she could have said anything that would kill my mood more effectively. Not because she had to ask- fuck knows how often I’ve had to explain, but because she couldn’t remember. That and her struggling to get out of her tiny car, are the only signs I have ever seen that she’s steadily growing older, and won’t live forever.
Imagine the sight: A grandmother with arthrosis and a grandson with a mohawk in a kitchen. He eating her stew and terribly sour berry concoction, while she’s picking out the seeds from her bread, for her fragile teeth. Under buzzing tube light, talking about everything and nothing. Still, I feel a connection with her that I couldn’t quite place before, but I think I now realize. I think she just loves me. How weird is that? Unconditional love. At certain times I don’t think I could have been further away from a decent grandson, but it’s as if that never happened.
She wasn’t telling me about her day as she talked; she was talking about how those of our family members went. I knew then, that she lives vicariously through them, and lives for them. For her children, and if possible even more so, for her grandchildren. And thus, for me.
I couldn’t imagine before how odd it would be, to come to realize that someone lives to see you happy. It comes both with a warm sense of blessing, and a painful guilt. Because I don’t live to see her happy, and because at times, I failed to be.
Our disappointingly short journey at school is drawing to an end. Had I ever known it would be this interesting, I would have joined when I was 18. I’d be rich and famous by now. And regret getting AIDS from a Thai hooker.
We’re moving on to light techniques of different kinds, and random stuff like special effects. I found myself repeatedly thinking I could actually use all this stuff, and couldn’t wait to try some things out, in sharp contrast to having to learn where the fuck the Grote Nete is located when I was a kid.
I think I’m more of a light type of guy than future sound tech. Not only is the industry much more interesting with smoke effects, lasers and whatnot, but it’s also evolving much faster. It allows for creativity and experimentation a hell of a lot more, and this is why:
SIGNAL FLOW (SOUND)
This is how sound signals go around, from the artist to the speakers. As you can see, the signals are first collected, then mixed with effects, then amplified, and then blasted into your ear canals. The sound tech is about halfway in between and serves no other purpose than to interpret the sound correctly and make adjustments before the audience kills him. Every single individual present has some opinion or other on how shit could be better and 99% of them are wrong, often including the sound tech, himself.
Let’s compare this with lights:
SIGNAL FLOW (LIGHT)
Voila. There’s you, and there’s your fucking lights, without any sort of artist or dickmonkey from the audience informing you of some or other unwelcome opinion. When you hit a switch, the whole concert changes dramatically and if you do your job right, not even the biggest fans can tell the difference. When you fuck up, you can fix things subtly without glares in your direction, and basically you’re in fucking charge of fucking everything. Sounds too good to be true, almost.
Playing with light allows for a creativity no sound tech will ever experience- the only ones to come close are recording studio technicians. Enormous effects are at the tip of your finger; your controller commands hundreds of servos, the arc lightning inside each little bulb, and lo and behold, the fricken’ laser.
Don’t get me wrong- I love doing sound, too, but in the end you do sort of literally feel like a tool, a cog in the machine. That doesn’t mean a robot could do your job, but still, the only thing you do all day is making it sound “right”. To try and match the creativity of the artist; and every flaw brings back the quality of the intended effect.
Fuck that, I want to make my own effect. Build something from scratch and unleash it upon the masses as something untouched by poor music taste, ear drum-piercing feedback and bad equalizing. God never said, “Let there be sound,” did he.
That’s funny because God is a mental projection of a father figure as a result of our moral laziness and he couldn’t possibly say “Let there be sound” because he doesn’t physically exist. Also, he can’t say “Let there be sound” if there is no sound. I am funny in so many ways.
If I finally get around to making it to their office with my papers to sign, I will officially be an intern with the Vieze Gasten, aka The Dirty Guys. Now pause a moment and then answer me truthfully:
Could I have picked any more suitable spot?
I didn’t think so.
20 years ago, some guy nicknamed “Filthy Mong” (I am not making this up) united a group of anarchists and agents of chaos, to see if they could start a cultural riot by introducing some old fashioned attitude to it. This day and age, they have grown to a cultural center with their own theater hall and passive office building (check that out, it’s interesting).
For April and May, I will be working there as part of their team, mostly doing lights. It may not be the most versatile of jobs but it will at least be interesting, and fucking fun. Remember that, you office whore, when work was fun?
The last two interns they had fucked up so much that they left a very bad aftertaste, so I’ll have to prove myself more than usual doing things I never have, before. But that’s okay- I like a challenge and the few hours we’ve worked together went like a baby in a blender: Smooth.
I can’t tell for sure but I’ve spoken to a few people who have done their internship there the past few years, and they claim you are pretty much promoted to head technician from day one. Seeing as how they have a few major productions coming up on location, that might be a tad more stress than I bargained for. I am inclined to believe it too, as I just spoke to the “real” crew chief (named “Dirty Mark” in my address book) today and he asked if I could control the lights next Saturday, when their house fanfare (The Clean Fanfare of the Dirty Guys, not shitting you) is performing. Last time I saw them perform was at a protest last summer and if you have a quick peek at the photos I shot that day, you might understand why I find them one of the most beautiful things on earth. Doing lights for them would be more than a pleasure for me, it would be an honor.
I am so fucking nervous.
If I could maybe land a job there when my education ends, I will have accomplished exactly what I hoped for when first subscribing to classes. It doesn’t even need to be a full time job- just a foothold to explore my options further would do. The Vieze Gasten represent local culture in its most self-aware and humorous form. No matter the challenges that await, I know I am going to love working there.
Alright, you made it this far, bear with me a minute longer:
On April first we, assistant stage technicians in training at Pianofabriek, will present our final project in the form of a festival. Yes, a fucking festival, that the remaining lot of us have organized ourselves in an exceptionally amateur manner, with marginal funding and ditto equipment.
And the whole world is invited.
A reason, if not the reason, I picked up photography again, was to use it as a valid excuse to come places I am not expected or welcome. Backstage, on rooftops, breaking into deserted buildings: If you’re a photographer, at least you’re obviously not a thief or vandal. “Because I can” just doesn’t cut it as a credible reason. Go figure.
So it was only before a matter of time before the ghost town of Doel was paid a visit. I’ve been playing with this idea for years and the suggestion came up among a couple friends to go shoot together. I saw the perfect opportunity and that same week, the four of us sat crammed together in a Mitsubishi like these in an A cup on our way to the border. Because where else would you find abominations like Doel, but in the furthest corners of this tiny place?
– Doel in the past
Trivia: Doel used to be your everyday little hick town, with only two things special about it. A nuclear power plant was built in its backyard in the seventies, and together with that plant, it is cut off from the world by the Schelde on one side, and Antwerp’s industrial zone on the other. Long before its residents even thought of moving out, this place was forgotten by God and left to go mad.
When you see Doel today, it is hard not to imagine that at some point, everyone did indeed go mad. It’s strange because they wouldn’t have any particular reason (beyond the obvious): In the early sixties, the first plans arose to wipe Doel from the maps and use the space for industrial growth. They were quickly trashed again, but resurfaced in 1995. A series of protests, juridical screw-ups and poor communication lead to uncertainty around the fate of the village. Its residents were divided between those who wanted Doel to stay, and those who wanted a clear policy on how the village was to be abandoned.
The government eventually found loopholes to continue the build of the new container dock, and started a program in 1999 to buy the entire town, and put it up for rent so the locals (or outsiders) could stay and maintain a worthwhile living standard, while it became possible for the contracts to be ended and the town left empty.
Things didn’t go so well, in reality. The atmosphere had soured and those who took the money, were labeled traitors. Squatters took the place of those who left and the town turned lawless until in 2006, a zero tolerance was enforced. The squatters too, were driven out and left the empty husk of a short, but turbulent past behind.
So this is what remains: From the first moment of turning into this desolate place, it becomes apparent that there are three major chapters that formed it. The long process that turned it into a village, the few years it took for it all to go to hell, and the ongoing period where the only souls there are photographers and graffiti artists. The protests that escalated into hatred and the promises never kept, leave their echo as though an apocalypse took place.
My first worry was that there would be nothing left but ruins. Especially the area around the church was pecked dry. Windows smashed, furniture in pieces. But if you took the risk of going upstairs, you would sometimes find things left behind by the original residents. Amazing, if you think about it, that after all these years, evidence of a peaceful town can still be found.
At times, it was truly heartbreaking. Old books, children’s toys, letters, bank account logs. Things that, in normal circumstances, wouldn’t have been left behind. I can understand if you’re angry, but leaving your bedroom behind untouched? Some things were too strange to fit into the big picture.
And then there was the power plant, completing the picture of something along the lines of a nuclear holocaust. One might wonder if he shouldn’t be wearing a gas mask, with all the warning signs, both official and artistic. There was always this atmosphere of invisible danger, that made me walk very carefully where ever I went.
Not that I needed actual danger to do so- I could never shake the feeling that I was still breaking into someone’s home. That these broken valuables still belong to someone who might come back any moment to find his former life utterly destroyed.
I’m being dramatic, I know. It’s the effect this town has on people. And here’s what I couldn’t believe- People still live there. Original residents that stuck, through it all. There’s a hardware store and a bar still open, and the church bell rings every half hour. Looking around, it’s just inconceivable how people can survive there, in that godforsaken hellhole in the midst of Belgium’s worst landscape. The nearest shop seems two days away and there’s just nothing left to live for. And, in all honesty, it was a shitty place to begin with.
The four of us all carried identical camera bodies (Canon 500D, although mine is labeled ‘Rebel T1i’) so if we one day manage to put our pictures together, it will be easier to compare shooting styles and lens characteristics. Personally, I must say I seriously took the effort to make my shorts technically sound, using a few new methods:
-Av mode, which controls the aperture.
-Exposure compensation for shadows or highlights, so that I could recover their detail in post-processing.
-Using the camera’s histogram to review my shots, so I could determine if no details were lost outside the camera’s dynamic range.
-Adjusting the tonecurve to bring contrast in the areas that needed it the most.
If this is all incomprehensible to you, don’t fret: Up until recently it was for me, too. These are advanced techniques and I’m still not anywhere near mastering them. I am still too concentrated on my subject rather than my camera, forgetting to adjust ISO values or using entirely the wrong aperture. Regardless, I took the few tips of my friend’s photography teacher to heart and it seems that, even in that single evening, I learned heaps. Using the histogram in particular helped me solve problems I had been struggling with from the start.
It seems I needed this to restore my self confidence as a photographer. Lately I’ve been occupied with other things and if I made any progress at all the last few months, it didn’t show. The respect for photography itself rather than using it as a means to accomplish a good picture, was something I needed to be told. It put me in my place and I think it helped me open up to new techniques. All this from 30 minutes with a photography teacher.
It was safe to say we weren’t the only ones there. In the afternoon, the crowd that showed up reminded me of my festival jobs last summer. Cameras far more expensive than ours, tripods,… the works. Usually my response is to climb or trespass where others won’t go, but that wasn’t really an option this time around. I’m happy that instead, I would later be able to show my pictures and explain why I used the settings that I did. I may have been far from the best photographer there, but at least I can pass for one.
Have you ever stopped and stared at something, sensing something there, some… meaning, some explanation, that you can’t see? Because of your inexperience, or ignorance.
If you haven’t, then you haven’t lived.
I was walking down the alley by my home the other day and had one of those moments: Someone had put up posters; yellowed, A4-sized pieces of paper with nothing but a matrix barcode on them, similar to the one to the left here. There were several spread out along the wall, with no bother to explain or develop the concept further.
I couldn’t imagine someone doing this without proper motivation, but still it seemed utterly pointless to put up an indecipherable code, and leave it at that. I eventually moved on, still not getting the point.
I saw a similar image stapled to a park bench, with the following text below:
To know what’s possible on this bench, scan this code with your smartphone or surf fuckifIcanremember.org!
It seems so obvious now, but although I already knew certain phones can read barcodes, I never realized they can do matrix types, as well. While I don’t really give a shit what’s possible on that park bench propagated, I now want to know what the hell that person had to say, who found my alley in the dark of the night (that came out wrong) and hastily put up a few of his posters there, hoping anyone would bother to listen to what he had to say.
I’m going to snap a picture next time and see if I can get some website to read it for me, if only for the genius who combined so many media to get his message spread through street art.
On the same note:
Augmented Reality is the thing our future is made of. Mark my words.
I am soundly convinced, and no, nobody had to tell me this, that in 10 years from now, you will be able to look at, say, a building and be able to tell what it is, where, when it was built, etc. Perhaps not every building in the street, but it will be possible, with the slightest bit of effort.
Watch this thing. Go on, watch it.
Can you imagine the possibilities? I don’t think you can- they are virtually endless. With projector, computing and recorder technology shooting forward as it is now, this will soon be implemented in computers you won’t even need to take out of your back pocket, and hardwired straight into your senses or brain.
If this scares you, I’m afraid you’ll be losing out because I for one, will be implanting that shit “plug-and-play” style straight into my eyeball. Translation of menus, street signs or manuals is just the tip of the iceberg. Nowadays there are applications and programs that recognize prints on simple sheets of paper, and add the craziest animated shit in real time before feeding the picture back to you on screen. If it were possible to do this seamlessly, without noticeable camera and screen, a whole new world opens. A world bigger than our own.
There is so much information beyond the readily visible that we are missing! Messages like the aforementioned posters, measurements, warnings, timetables, co-ordinates, contact information, planning, origins, recipes, all information held by the objects in question, but at the moment,
The process is dead simple: See – recognize – trace – blend – display. If you could look at the statue of liberty and at will, could summon a whole list of facts floating right fucking next to it. For someone with a hunger for knowledge like me, this is about the best fun you can have with your pants on- or pants off, because you won’t need the pockets to store that Neanderthal iPod of yours.
As a matter of fact; Eyes, ears, arms, legs: I’ll take any bodily augmentations you can give me. As long as I can preserve my conscious thought as it is now (although something to lower the libido might do me good, lately), I don’t see why we shouldn’t upgrade ourselves to new capabilities.
It’s already underway. Today’s medical devices are beginning to outdo our biological ones. Did you know there’s a man with no fucking legs, who can run faster than any able-bodied human? His secret? Bendy boards under his… stumps.
Many people seem to think this is morally wrong, that for some reason humans aren’t supposed to go beyond “normal” capabilities. I agree that there are limits, but I don’t see why we shouldn’t. I think it’s an ego thing- every one of us has to live with ourselves and our limitations, and we might feel like those limitations only get bigger as others grow stronger. It would result in a race to become strongest, fittest,…
And it’s true, these are issues we’ll have to consider. They are already happening on military level and with plastic surgery, and yes, they’ve gone haywire. This will widen the gap between the rich and the poor immensely, as the rich will become physically more capable than us “mere humans”.
But… Well, to put it nicely, I don’t really give a shit about your sinking morals. With just about every bit of scientific progress there were shitscoops on the sidelines screaming bloody murder and “It’s not right!” I suppose I’ll have to keep hearing augmentation for last then, or at least after I can run faster than you. –Or get the Fist-a-tron™ to punch you in the eye so hard your neck explodes, while fingering your mom.
It is commonly known among amateur photographers that the average learning curve is drastically different from the perceived one. Long before you make any significant progress, you deem yourself a pro. And even while I was fully aware of this, I fell for it like any other idiot, possibly even more than the next guy.
The realization came when my friend’s photography teacher took a quick look over my work and, in just a few words, explained perfectly how worthless he thought it was. It was a painful blow and while I won’t let it stop me, did put my feet back on the ground.
Of course I wasn’t the only one there asking feedback, and while my presence was tolerated, paid close attention to the tips given. Their shots were pulled up on a screen the size of a door, criticized, and improved. One thing I noticed about all of them is that they were taken in situations I wouldn’t even have considered taking out my camera because everyone with or without talent, already would have. When creating something, I insist on originality and go out of my way to find angles no one else will.
The photographs I saw fall under a category I call “Facebook Photography”. You know the kind: where some indie chick with an iPhone and Polaroid app takes a picture of a park bench, and puts it up on Facebook where all her friends find it “oh so artsy”. Basically, photography for photography’s sake. Taking pictures of nothing, just to take pictures.
It’s a style I personally don’t like, but I now learned that this makes the difference between a pro and an amateur. It’s like an athlete doesn’t just run to get from point A to point B, he runs just to run. Learning photography, in the same way, is about finding any mundane subject and getting it framed right, using the histogram to get the exposure perfect, and knowing your aperture effects. What I’ve been doing is spend too much time on my subject and my self, putting technique on second place. Once I make that switch and learn to get the details right, I will not only learn the rules before I break them, but also get them right when the crucial moment happens.
The quality of a photo is very subjective, but there is much less discussion about technical rules and guidelines. And I don’t know them well enough, shame on me. I might find my photos the greatest thing since flushing toilets, but that doesn’t make them good. Subject and technique are two sides of the same coin, and a good photographer has a firm grasp on both.
Light stenciling. With my fascination for both stencil art and street photography, one would wonder why on earth I haven’t thought of it before. It was a colleague who pointed me to a tutorial of someone who has done it long before me, but while the examples were fascinating, they perpetually remained inside the artist’s bedroom.
To make a long story short: Basically you make a black box with a stencil cut out on one side, and let a flash go off inside. The only thing that gets printed on the picture you take, is the stencil, brought out by the light behind it. The rest of the box keeps the flash from lighting up the surroundings.
Do this with a long exposure, with which you can walk in and out of the frame without making a noticeable difference on the shot, and you’ve got your stencil, in light, hanging in mid-air. It’s a surprisingly easy process and when you get it right, you can make amazing pictures in mere seconds.
Now let’s try and think further on this: This technique makes it possible to make any shape or figure, and put it anywhere in the world, with the only condition that you can get there to make the flash go off, and that the surroundings are dark enough.
Anything, anywhere. The artist’s wet dream. Text, inside jokes, labels, anything. As soon as the sun goes under, the world is your canvas.
So far I’ve been experimenting with small stencils and reflections, and the results are promising. It’s funny though, how hard it is to think outside the metaphorical box when there is none. With the endless possibilities, it’s getting hard to come up with actual implementations. You can imagine these little experiments are only the tip of the iceberg- I haven’t even begun using color filters, yet.
Casual conversation among friends:
“So whatever do you do with all these potentially willing chicks in the house?”
– “Don’t get any ideas. I have a very professional attitude when it comes to anyone staying over. Last thing I want is for them to feel threatened.”
-“Well you got that down. The last thing I’ll feel around you is threatened, you never did so much as show interest.”
Now, what I said was, “I know. It’s a handicap.”
But what I meant was, “Jesus fucking Christ thank you, finally some damn feedback this decade. Who do I have to kill to get some genuine response to my behavior?”
With people wanting to be friendly and polite all day, it is extremely difficult to see really heartfelt reactions to the things you do, never mind verbal hints. For someone who over-analyzes as much as I do, oneself is a very difficult subject to pick apart, because it isn’t possible to achieve an objective view. The reason that sucks balls (how do you mean, random vocabulary?) is because that means you have to rely on others to form a more or less accurate image of yourself, and for some reason those others seem out to boycott you in every way.
To know oneself is to grow as a person, I really do believe it’s of enormous value. Yet still, this timid fucking society seems to consider any form of criticism a reason to jump a bridge. Well I don’t.
I realize I show the same behavior, though. So lately I’ve been trying to be a tad more honest when people ask me about something they did or are. Actually, you’d be surprised how often people do this, and how easily we come up with outright lies to avoid the question. Not that I’ll immediately provide them the truth (WHICH THEY CAN’T HANDLE), but at least think twice about what they mean by that.
It makes my response just a tad more slow and unspontaneous, which isn’t exactly what I need, but at least aims for the kind of conversation where you can both learn a tiny bit more about yourself, and thus your reflection on the world. Try it, you’d be surprised how thankful people will be. I for one, will fuck your leg if you do it twice.
Well, I think I better roll over and get used to it: I am never going to get over my first ex. Ever.
It’s not particularly pleasant seeing any of the others show off their boyfriend to me, but there’s only one that I vowed to kill and that’s the mouthbreather she cheated on me with, and is now happily living under one roof with.
I thought I saw him in town the other day, at a gig I was doing (I “do gigs” now, haven’t you heard?). At first I ignored him, but by the end of the night his presence had annoyed me so thoroughly, that I went to look for him to deliver the broken spine I owed him. It turned out to be someone else.
She and I went to spend a weekend on the other side of Belgium, with a bunch of friends who enjoy this kind of thing. Not that I don’t, but a great deal of the fun goes straight out the window if they think it convenient to put me in the same room as her. Nothing like changing for bed and have your ex walk in on you. If you think you know what awkward is, come live with me for a day or two.
She joined in later than the rest and left early, leaving me with the conclusion that it will never stop hurting to see her go. For the time that she’s there it is obvious to everyone that what we had is now destroyed to the point of no return, but somehow it still aches not to see her disagree.
So I’ve grown into this state of passive aggression, in all senses of the word, where I wish “best regards to everyone at home” when she leaves and bluntly ask her why I would be angry with her if she even makes the slightest hint towards it- because she knows I still am.
What it is not, and get this right, is that I am incapable of having a normal relationship (I think). I’m as available as they come and no past relationship will change that in the slightest. In fact, if I remember correctly, it’s a hell of a lot easier not to give a damn when knowing I’ve got something better than regrets, sitting at home.
So what to do in the mean time? Suck it up I guess, and let her have her little life, with her little house and little boyfriend. I hope he goes insane every time she comes near me, knowing all too well she hasn’t had a single boyfriend so far she hasn’t cheated on. But eh, I’m not that much of a masochist that I’d dive into bed with her again- knock on wood.