Seeing Ghosts

Fair Warning: not my best post ever.

When I was a kid, I woke up one night with a start. It wasn’t too long after my mother had passed, and there was someone new in the house. But that didn’t concern me at the moment- My eyes flew open and what I saw, was the most beautiful thing I had ever witnessed, and ever would.

Not that there was anything new: The wooden structure of the platform above my bed. The difference was that I saw it in a different light. The whole world, for that matter. All of a sudden, I could grasp it all, hold it all inside my head. It was the size of two hands balled together, vaguely purple, and impossibly beautiful.

The alarm clock told me it was 4am, no time at all to wake up, let alone get out of bed. And yet I did. It felt as if I floated down the stairs, like I was Buddha himself, how I felt at peace with everything. I had enough in me to love everything at once. I couldn’t shake the image of Robin Williams smiling before my eyes, and felt thankful to him as though his movies had taught me the ultimate wisdom in life: How to love.

I could see everything perfectly, and I remember what I did- I was not sleeping. I went down, and started making the breakfast table simply because I felt like doing something nice and couldn’t think of anything else. I couldn’t cook (surprise) so that was out of the question, but the care I put in setting everything ready, was meticulous.

I then went and sat down in the veranda… and watched the sun rise. I don’t know how long I sat there, but I was shaking from the cold when I heard my parents –my father and my stepmother- wake up. As usual, my father came down first, looking like he always did: Bathrobe, out-of-bed hair and eyes like he was squinting into the sun. I could hear him as he entered the living room and saw the table without uttering a word. He shuffled further and came into the veranda.

“Maarten?”

-“Yes?”

-“Up already?”

-“Yup.”

“Did you make the table?”

-“I did.”

-“Why…?”

-“I… I don’t really know.”

I suppose he must have forgotten about the event by now. I tried to explain but couldn’t, and so many unusual things happened in that period that it faded to the background. The feeling too faded, so gradually that I can’t remember when I lost it. But it was the same day.

Once in a while I think back on that morning, and ask myself what came over me. And wonder if I’ll ever experience it again.


“I met Amy while stocking up before "They" arrived. She can lift more than most construction workers so she came in very handy as we barricaded the door and awaited the night. I must say, I do like a chick who can handle a shotgun and simultaneously deliver a good oneliner. She outmatched my already impressive kill count easily, too.

Now that They have gone and nobody but us seems to remember, she left my fridge well stocked and the dishes done. A dream of a couchsurfer!”

I’ve been subscribed to CouchSurfing since January 2008, when it was still only a whisper among socialists. A friend of mine directed me towards a “cool project going on” and I filled in a profile right away. I expected it to go to hell within a couple months, but has turned out to be an important and very constructive part of my life.

It didn’t really pick up until exactly a year later, when I started travelling for two months. I raked in some positive feedback and because of that, was pushed up higher on the host list. Before I knew it, I was part of the community.

When I travel, I always try to avoid hosts with too many references. Anything more than 25 will make them stuck up and some pretty much treat you like a number. I like me a host who’s still naïve and idealistic like myself, who actually seems glad to have you around. Back when I first started travelling though, there weren’t many who surpassed 40-50 references of any kind.

The irony is that now, I’m at 47 references (all positive) and counting. I’ve been hosting ever since I got back and I’ve reached the point where I don’t remember them all, anymore. I think I did well enough but when people stay for a single night and leave early in the morning… I’m sorry, but you’re not that big an influence in my life, then.
I try to include my surfers in everything I do. Even when I go to work, I ask if they have a working permit and are interested to work as a roadie for a day, or try to get them in at the show. My friends and family must be smiling to themselves when they see me come to some party with yet another German or Australian. But I know travelling, especially by yourself, can be quite lonely and a good host makes all the difference. And if they don’t feel like socializing, they don’t. Ta daa.

CS is a very active community and the city ambassador regularly holds parties, meetings and whatnot. After attending one of those, I promised myself never to do that again. Basically, it’s my social nightmare. Everyone there is all handsome and great, patting themselves on the back going “aren’t we awesome” and talking to random strangers and don’t kid yourself, they only want to get laid as much as the next dimwit chatting you up.
The music’s loud, the conversations are awkward, and the invitations begin with Barbie Girl lyrics. Fuck That. I am proud to be part of the CS spirit but anyone who dares putting Aqua songs into my head (Burn it with fire!) shouldn’t be expecting me on their barbecue (see the connection?).

I have a red carpet hung up on the wall for my guests to sign. Every single one has their name on it except for two Singapore chicks who forgot.

I forgot where this is leading but I’m going to post it anyway.


 

Lovelife

 

Spring is here! And don’t we all know it. Jesus God Damn Christ I swear to Maynard, every summer they seem to devise some way to make life difficult for me, and this year it’s short skirts and ankle-high boots. Because apparently chicks like their calves warmer than their cooch.

Fucking hell, man. On top of that, I seem to have done my internship at the junction of culture and tits and the types I’ve been spotting lately seem to know exactly what the hell they’re doing. I’ve been flirting hard enough to arouse a tree- In my own special way of course, which is more like, (my friend was carrying a Polaroid)

Gurl
Close enough, right? Right.

I’m –of course- ever the gentlemen, to the point where I come over as fucking frigid, but lately when my friends or colleagues open their yap about women the way they tend to, I blurt out things I never imagined myself saying. I managed to scare myself once or twice.

Perhaps it’s best for me to go cool down, and where better than the north pole, right? At least I’ll get a break from all this distraction and spend some quality time with five guys in a freezing tent. Then again, this is Sweden we’re talking about.

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