I did the light for a theater production today: “De Revue” by the Vieze Gasten themselves. Afterwards, my mentor, two actors and myself sat around a table, with the dull booming of the afterparty beneath our feet, to discuss some serious issues. Like politics.
While there was some drinking involved which clearly loosened some tongues, no one was really drunk and for once, I can really say I got some valuable input regarding my many theories, and some insight in those of the others. All of the men present were double my age or older and had some rich stories of the “old days” to tell, and have a better view on how things changed since. But while it was all very interesting, it were the last 30 minutes that really stretched my mind.
Let’s go back 16 years first, to sketch some background.
My mother died when I was 10 years old. Something popped inside her brain and just like that, she disappeared from my life. It happened so fast that I didn’t even have time to say goodbye: One morning she was there, by the evening she was in the hospital. 2 days later, she passed away before I could go there to see her.
My father was quick to start a new relationship, and a couple more. Naturally, my sister and I loathed any woman who came into our house. Accepting them felt like betrayal to the love for our mother, and this lead to some very bad things said and done.
Yesterday, as it turned out, no less than 2 people were in the exact same situation, but from another point of view: They ended up in a relationship with a woman whose children refused to accept them, for similar reasons as mine. I listened as they spilled their thoughts and feelings, which were of course quite difficult for them to deal with. The woman couldn’t just go and make a choice between them and their own children, and the end result is a situation in which no one is happy.
I told them my situation, as it was as I grew up. I told them how the aggression towards the newcomer was a way to deal with the pain, and should get better over time as they come to terms with their loss. It’s not personal- It’s their presence that is the problem, not their personality.
Two weeks ago I worked for a production, a final project of a music student to prove his worth. He had collected a number of musicians around him to bring a successful mix of reggae and blues. It was all great and awesome, until I recognized the lead singer:
My ex’ boyfriend. The one I had sworn to kill, was standing onstage singing in a girly voice, presenting himself as “rastafari” with imitated Jamaican accent and skin color.
Knowing full well that he was in increasing danger the closer he came, he kept his distance and didn’t speak a single word to me the whole evening- In fact, I didn’t even see his face except when he was onstage. Lucky for him, I did the lights that night or he’d be deaf right now.
Seeing him again damn near destroyed me the next two days. I didn’t even know it was possible for someone’s mere presence to fuck me up that much, for that long. In the end, I didn’t kill him but spent too much time wondering if I should.
Why is this relevant?
As I was sitting there, talking to these men, telling me it was alright and they would be forgiven, I felt like I was saying something I should have said years ago, to different people. It felt as if I could find some kind of closure by explaining to them, that it was the pain from the loss that made good kids do bad things.
I explained that I understood what they were going through, and perhaps more importantly, how their girlfriends (is it still considered a “girlfriend” at their age?) felt. This “understanding” bit is extremely important because when I was 10, I didn’t. I didn’t get why my father needed someone if he had his children to take care of. I didn’t see my father as anything else than a father, and heavily blamed him for his shortcomings as such. I never once considered that he might be sorry, and needed someone to hold on to, lest he would collapse under the pressure of raising his children on his own. I didn’t know why he stayed so passive while his children fought his new wife, hoping it would work out alright without him having to choose between his blood and sanity.
It felt now as though I had the power, the ability to forgive. To understand their pain, because I had seen it myself from other angles. These are things I never got to tell my own father, despite the many things left unresolved. That he is forgiven for his flaws as a father, his human need to be loved. That many things my sister and I said weren’t personal, but out of sheer pain from the loss he too had suffered.
My talk tonight made me realize (and this is where the ex’ boyfriend part comes in) that a loss can be handled in different ways. The pain can be calmly processed, or aggressively directed towards others. The latter is most definitely easier and gives you a feeling of dignity- After all, this way your pain cannot be ignored by others and they will better watch the fuck out what they do. But it will never give you the kind of peace you need, in the end. It’s exhausting, and like these children who find another man instead of their father, I too will have to come to terms with the fact that another cocksucker shares the bed with my ex. My ex, my ex-girlfriend. My mother. They won’t come back, and all the hate in the world won’t change that fact. And I can know, I’ve been carrying a damn big chunk of it.
The past 2 weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. I was going to write about it but decided not to, in order to get over it as quickly as possible (there’s a lot of events that I never write about because of this). Tonight brought this… mess up on the table, and brought a real, old-fashioned climax to deal with it.
After leaving work I met up with some friends, and one girl present, remarkably observant (not to mention cute) suddenly said, “You seem very pensive tonight.” And all this, All of this here, came pouring out before I could stop myself. I apologized briefly halfway and simply continued until I was finished, and noticed her just kind of staring quietly, poor thing. Little did she know, I had just come to my conclusion and felt like a weight had fallen off my shoulders.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Maarten has decided not to hate out of personal regret anymore. Clearly my empty promises to break that asshole’s neck aren’t doing me any favors and while a peace treaty of sorts may seem like a hell of a lot less manly thing to do, at least it won’t leave me in a mess for two days in a row next time I see his faggot face.
It’s not something I’ll be able to do overnight (obviously) but I suppose I’ll get there eventually. The decision in itself feels like literal enlightenment so I think dead simple forgiveness, of that boyfriend and my father, his wife and my mother, might just help me forward a lot more than I expected…
Just writing about it hurts like a bitch, as I expected it would. But it’s a brand new flavor, some kind that feels a lot less worrying than what I’ve had to swim though the past couple years.
Hmm I got caught again. On a tower crane this time, and again I was not alone. I’ve taken someone up three times and two of those, we got caught. Luckily there were hot chicks involved every time so our trespassing, break-in and ignoring of safety regulations went unpunished even though the worst they could do is imprisonment.
It seems that two people have a much higher profile than two times one, when it comes to climbing unseen. Makes sense though: the movement and mass is a lot bigger and the possibility that someone just needs to check the machinery becomes less plausible. So by the time we got down, there was an army of cops waiting patiently- I’m talking 10 of them, as if we were planning to multiply and start a riot up there. I must say, their authoritarian display did have an impressive effect as they became bigger and bigger while we climbed closer to them.
They checked our names and let us go, and we promised we would do everything within our power not to get caught again. That’s not the exact wording they used, but it sure was what I meant. As for handling them (we handle cops you know, not the other way around), I think we did pretty well. Yes Sir, No Sir, I understand Sir. Sorry for the inconvenience. Suck up, take the abuse like a bitch, and they’ll co-operate. Luckily Gent’s cops have the consistency of whipped cream and they’ll melt on the spot when they see my companion’s doe eyes, which I conveniently hid behind.
What the real problem was (besides the people on the nearby terrace who ratted us out) was that they were worried we would jump. Not shitting you: They gathered a dozen of themselves to watch us plunge to our deaths. What were they going to do, catch us? That one fat guy might have done the trick by himself. But as it turned out, we weren’t a suicidal couple (which strikes me as morbidly romantic though) and no one got hurt, fined or raped in jail (ditto).
It seems I got a little overconfident. In itself no more than a lesson learned if it weren’t for the fact that I was having someone with me, who didn’t ask for the trouble they got into. We went up in daylight, smack in the center of town where people could watch us bypass the fences (Leatherman will get you anywhere) and start our climb- a critical moment. It was a calculated risk, but a great one.
The idea was to watch the sunset and see the city lights go on, a strong impression I’ve been wanting to share. Her reaction kind of went like “Ohhhh my god I feel like the kind of the w- Hey, is that policeman pointing at us?” That’s how long we spent up there. But let me tell you, the view was worth every fucking second.
Regardless: How will we avoid being spotted, next time? I seem to be pushing the limits of what physically possible without being caught. I’m trying to find that little tweak, that small hack that would allow us to do these things yet still remain unnoticed. If people will sit and die in a burning theater because of their passive nature (actually happened), surely there must be a trick to make them all watch something fucking else than the two little delinquents climbing up the scaffolding.
More research must be done, so I guess I’ve got no other choice than to do it again. But alone this time, like I’m used to. It’s a feeling that’s great to share, but simply too risky. Another lesson learned. I’ll get my Gargoyle people, yet.