We said goodbye to you yesterday. In the most heart-wrenching, wholesome way, we built you the feast that you deserved. Not dozens, but hundreds gathered together to mourn your loss and celebrate your presence. My friend, you should have seen it. You would be proud of us.
The love, Marc. I had never seen anything like it. People hugging in groups of threes and fours. Or separately, almost secretly, one person and another. I have never seen so many people locked in embrace, and I’ve been to Burning Man.
And the sadness. So incredibly much. I pray that you felt as loved as you proved to be this day. Not one of the many present was unmoved by your passing, least of all me. I haven’t cried this much in twenty years. Every time the understanding of your passing sank a little deeper, hearts broke all over again. How we will miss you. How you will be missed.
“I’m thinking of working part-time here, and focus more on photography.”
I grinned. “You should, photography is awesome. In fact, you should go do photography full-time. And let me know when you do, so I can come and take your job.”
-“Looking for a full-time job, then?”
-“Hell, no.” We stood on the balcony, overlooking the festivities. Another job well done, and another job laying in wait when the day would end. It hadn’t struck me until that very moment.
“But if I did, I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else more than here.”
From that day, I have been lurking passively, keeping an eye on the public forums for the odd chance that a job would become available, at De Vieze Gasten or some similar organization.
Life turned out differently, however, predictable in its unpredictability. I ended up working for the state, in a city that isn’t my own. And it’s a great job, don’t get me wrong, for many reasons. But it’s no life among the dirty. Still passively, I was always keeping an eye on my friend, so I could take a discreet step forward if he ever decided to step back.
He wasn’t supposed to fucking die on me, though.
But he did.
I never thought it was much of a routine until I fell out of it. Work in the summer, travel in the winter. Unless some friend or other is headed out and asks me if I want to join. Or I take off by myself. Like I said: Not much of a routine.
But it did end, for the longest time. The last time I had gone abroad for anything other than work or visiting my son, was my journey through the United States that started with the unforgettable Burning Man. Luckily, it turned out to be the life changing event that I was hoping it to be, because I knew all too well that it would have to last me a while. I knew I was going to be a father.
It’s 2:30 am and I am having a bad night. A short one, I admit- If it isn’t a working week, a productive sleep schedule is the first thing out the window. Good riddance.
But it’s been a while since those age old demons came to sit by me. I’m sure you know them by name: Those moments you regret, that like to haunt you when you let your guard down. They might be an awkward thing you said, an embarrassing thing you did, anything without much meaning but enough emotional backlash to stick by you until your death bed.
Considering the size of the gaps that grew between our family as it evolved, it’s a small miracle we all get along these days, let alone invite each other for barbecues and spend long, cozy evenings together in the tiny spot of Southern France that my father built in his back yard. It is during those evenings especially that sometimes, we reminisce about the times past and once in a while, a truth bomb gets dropped that puts our common history in a different light.
Little Krystof was there with us that evening, having the time of his short life with a little swimming pool and a hose that wasn’t even on. We were discussing the similarities and differences between our experiences as a parent.
There are many mistakes that my father made when I was young, that I vowed not to repeat. But other aspects, like his driving style or his seemingly effortless acceptance of my decisions as I grew up, I have taken to heart and strongly hope that I can uphold them as an ideal to live by.
My grandmother is in the hospital and I heard in the worst possible way: Over my friend’s phone speaker. I literally overheard that my mother’s mother, who hadn’t answered the phone the last few days, was taken in. The details were hazy and unfortunately, left much to the imagination.
I am a big fan of the mantra ‘expect the best, prepare for the worst’. It’s a great way to tackle any kind of challenge, so I thought it a good idea to stand there and picture the worst that could happen and how I could practically and mentally prepare for it. I fell apart where I stood.
She’s fine, thanks for asking. A cold that wouldn’t pass, meds didn’t seem to work so the doctor found it prudent to have her monitored. The hospital she’s in is brand new and they take care of her well, there.
Everyone has their addictions. While this is actually not true, it’s close enough for people to accept it as a valid way of telling them to mind their own fucking business when they bring up yours. We rarely have a valid excuse so any line of false reasoning that will help render the argument pointless, is welcomed warmly.
Me, I am addicted to the internet. Heavily. And music, but nobody but the worst of people complain much about that. No, its my time in front of a computer screen that is often up for debate.
And while I don’t have a smartphone that I whip out every few minutes, I suppose it’s true: I spend most of my waking hours either doing a specific job, or on the net. There is no time where I have nothing at all to do, that I don’t invest in my addiction. It’s bad.
And it used to be much much worse. (more…)
(Zero spoilers below)
I knew nothing of anime before I saw the original Ghost in the Shell, directed by Mamoru Oshii. The only exposure I had had was Dragon Ball Z right after school, on the huge flickering TV we had at boarding school. It was something we both ridiculed and loved, as with many things at that age.
I thought I’d be watching a movie, but what happened was, I got exposed to a wide landscape of novelty. On the subject of what an animated movie can be, but also what can happen if said movie has a philosophical underpinning on the scale of Ghost in the Shell. (more…)
I am in Czech Republic at this very moment (blame all the grammatical, clerical and moral mistakes on this qwertý keyboard) while my son is deeply asleep and his mother out to water the neighbor’s plants. I have permission to use her laptop because I already did the cleaning and the dishes. She knows me too well. At least I can shower afterwards, lest I drip on her keyboard.
This is the first time that I drove here with the new car, going 135kmph flat on the German highways, overtaken by Audis going 200+. I don’t know what madman came up with this idea of trashing any speed limits on the German highways or what kind of government supported the notion, but with today’s increasing traffic, this whole country is turning into a diesel-ridden powder keg.
And there was Light. And God saw the Light. And it was Fucking Rad.
I signed my contract yesterday. After 2 separate temporary contracts they officially hired me and though nothing changed outside the drawer of some worker at the HR section, it felt like a really big deal. On my way to the city hall, I remember thinking, “Last chance to back out, now. The choice is made right here.”
But really, there was no honest choice involved. This is the way things will go, the continuation of the events that I set in motion when I decided that I would be there for my son, and that have only picked up in speed as I set my shoulders behind them. Today, I can beat my chest and say that I am almost there- almost to the point where I can face myself and say without shame,
I am a father. I am a stage technician. I have done the things necessary to lay the foundation for the life that follows; my own and that of my son. What happens next, nobody knows, but I can face it with my head held high.