And last, but not least,…

In your imaginary award acceptance speech (yes, we know you have one) who’s the very last – and most important -person you thank?

And last, but not least, I would like to thank my evil dwarf hamster Napoleon. You have listened to countless speeches practised before you, you have run over countless drafts (and peed on some), and you taught me that if one meets an obstacle one just has to keep gnawing all the way through.

Thank you for always pretending to consider the offers I practised in front of you and not biting me all that often.

This award is dedicated to you and your tiny little hamster feet. May you rest in peace!

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May 12: Three people walk into a bar…

…I am one of them. I decide to hide out at a corner table, swallowed by the shadows around me. The other two grab the table next to the door, chatting, smiling. I order a whisky. Like liquid amber, it sits in my glass, waiting for me. For the tingling sensation, the smokey aftertaste and that burning sensation in my stomach. The other two strangers are talking. He seems uncomfortable. She doesn’t seem to notice.

Her facial expression drops. Her eyes are turning watery. He is apologizing furiously.

While I watch her misery unfold, I remember your words. I let them flow through me, through every vein, every artery, crawling under every squarecentimeter of skin. Every nerve, every cell is in alert mode. Your words are rushing by; my inner workings try hard to hold onto every piece of substance. Your words are bashing in walls: hearts, lungs, stomachs. Everything hurts.

She gets up, screaming. His face is blank. She storms out the door.

The amber is rushing down my throat. It feels nothing like relief. Your words seem to break down my body. Slowly, but steady, having been trying for years. The way you looked at me, full of pity and self-righteousness. More amber. More amber. My thoughts get blurry, like headlights in time exposure. Your words flow over my eyes, holy scriptures in a language I wouldn’t understand.

He gets up, pays, sighs and walks out into the night.

I wrap myself up in my coat. I suppose everybody needs to defend themselves somehow. I trace the wet tracks the amber has left on my table. Your words have become silent. Satisfied, I get up. I pay the bill for a short night’s peace, I turn up the collar of my coat, brace myself for the cold, harsh air outside, give the good old table by the door a tap, and leave.

For the third time this year I’m vowing to never walk into this bar again.

I remember, I remember, don’t worry

Lately I discovered the awesome “25 Days of Songs” challenge . I’m a bit late to the party, sorry, but I’ll just start my day one here and now.

 

01 – A song from your childhood

Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight

My childhood was more than heavily influenced by my father. Nowadays, I am forever grateful that Dad showed me different depths of music from decades I overslept. When I was a child I travelled a lot with my parents, mostly to Scandinavia, but also to the south. When I was 6, we were in Italy. My birthday gifts were a wild mix out of Barbie, Legos, everything pink and sparkly, and Phil Collin’s Face Value. I loved every single track and listened to it over and over again until I knew every word by heart (mind you, I was six. I did not know English, so the words that mini me understood amuse me to the day). “In the Air Tonight” was the opening track of that album and, oh boy, I abused the repeat button so hard.

A few years later (two, I believe) we travelled to Norway. I am not sure if it was my birthday back then (I only remember it was my dad’s birthday, mom gave him an inkjet printer and he was happy like a Wiener Schnitzel), but Dad gave me a copy of “No Jackets Required”. Do you have any idea how hard it is to pronounce that album title when you don’t speak English? “Don’t Lose My Number” became a close runner-up to “In the Air Tonight”.

 

To the day, whenever my dad and I go places, we listen to the old stuff. Our shared favorite record is “Seconds Out” by Genesis. Very much to my mum’s dismay, she despises it, mostly because neither Dad nor I are capable of hitting the high notes of “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”. Sorry, mum!

– C

The Kindness of Strangers

I constantly and always have to remind myself to be less hostile towards strangers.

angels-in-disguise

Whenever I meet people I start hoping for the best but am expecting the worst. So today’s daily prompt gives me the chance to remind myself that strangers do not always become friends, but aren’t always scary either.

When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous or selfless for you?

The day I met Susan had been, quite frankly, horrible. In the middle of August of 2008, I was fifteen or so back then, I started my high school exchange semester in the US. I mind you, I was mid-puberty, dearly in love with another exchange student (whom I wound up dating for a few years after that, fun fact), about 8000 miles away from everyone I knew and stranded at the New York/ Newark airport. All flights had been cancelled due to a huge storm, my host family was waiting for me somewhere in Knoxville and I was all alone, bawling my eyes out because not even the Taco Bell guy understood my English (neither was I understanding him, for that matter). Being stranded for fourteen hours at a huge airport on a different continent where you are not even capable of buying a damn taco puts some perspective on things, I suppose. After having failed with Taco Bell but being starving due to 24 hours of traveling I scrambled up what was left of my dignity and tried to buy some sweets out of a press shop. Susan was in line behind me. When it was my turn she just mumbled “I got this.” and payed the very unfriendly clerk (Oh, New York). We started talking (alas, she started talking and I sobbed along), she and her family turned out to be the only other passengers on my connection flight. She distracted me, borrowed me her phone (because European phones have a tendency not to work in the US; why did no one warn me?) and called my host family for me. When we finally arrived in Knoxville, she made sure I found the people I needed to find, went and grabbed my suitcase and wished me good luck.

Susan wrote me a few e-mails after that, but we never particularly kept in touch. Just a few months ago I let her know how much this still means to me. No heroic deeds, nothing, but her distraction and affection was the only thing I ever needed in that moment.

By now, English feels like my native tongue. But for the love of god, I still can’t understand New York people. No tacos for me.

– C

May 11: I want to know what love is.

We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal, or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”? 

 

When I read this question I immediately and ultimately started to regret the decision of blogging. Bull’s eye, baby! Love and I, we don’t get along too well. Without drawing any parallels to my current situation; love never wanted me, I never wanted love. I have always been a wanderer and wunderkind, I focus on everything but social interactions. Quite frankly, I have always sucked at literally every sort of inter-human relationship. “Why are you never calling?” goes hand in hand with “You just don’t care about me.”. Bingo! I don’t care about 99% of the world, so I guess statistically, that’d be a hit. For those I actually do care about, I care deeply, I just suck at it. For some reason, over the past few years this little core of hardcore friends has evolved who put up with me – cheers to you guys. That doesn’t mean I’ll ever remember to call.

Which essentially brings me to the answer of today’s question. Love is trust. Trusting in the fact that I will still get in the car so you can cry over your break up even though we haven’t spoken for three months. Trusting in the fact that whatever you are holding in your arms does not suddenly submerge its teeth beneath your skin until the blood flows (which is completely unrelated to my friends and rather the animals [and possibly children]) mentioned in the question above, I promise). Trusting someone with your emotions, making yourself vulnerable and hoping to god you trusted the right person. Trusting in a place to be your shelter, your heart, your home; the minute the door falls shut and you are safe; the door that opens and makes you feel invincible. The feeling of driving through the night with your windows down and the (much too cold) wind in your face, arm out the window, M83 in your ear. “This city is my church“. Trust is the smile on your face when you remember drunken mistakes and mishaps, the secrets that are safe and the silent consent between to people to never, ever stop trusting each other. You can’t love without trusting. And I firmly believe you can’t trust without loving, one way or another. One can love in a million different ways, but can only trust in one.

Stage direction: Less Drama, C!

Alright, alright. All in all, I can say about myself that I have always loved the right people, things & places. I may have loved too little, but therefore I was always safe & sound. I do have many regrets (because that no regrets thing is bullshit) and I would definitely change the way I interacted with certain individuals compared to what I did back then. No matter how much I may regret, it is an elementary part of what I am today; however, that does not mean I can’t wish to turn back time.

I hate to admit that this is deadly relevant.

“Cause I hope
We will never have to take back
What we said in the night
I hope that I will always have
All eyes on you”

– C

Two thirds of fuel oil, a third of gasoline

My dear friend B. from “Why Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk?” made me aware of the wonderful 365 day writing challenge, which can be found here. Therefore, what you will find here will mostly be abstracts related to any of the day topics, maybe other writing challenges, et cetera. By chance, I might also post personal stuff, but I’ll have to see about that (as I was typing this sentence the sudden urge arose to start the next paragraph with personal matter. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a very consequent person).

– C