Femininity- An endless chapter

I realised that femininity is vulnerability, often hidden by men in order to avoid the lack of masculinity. It’s the choice of using everything that applies to beauty from your perspective. I now choose what makes me feel feminine. It can be a red dress or black overalls with a bandana around my natural hair and small hoops that peak through my waves. It is being naked when I am alone and naked with him. It is having the choice to avoid shaving and the choice to crave a silk-like surface on my legs. It is making mistakes and smiling at those who see it and crying as if shame had never been invented. It is sitting on a balcony and feeling like life won’t stop for you, and you wouldn’t choose for it to stop.

After years of doubting where happiness could originate from; I found it. It’s where I am and what I turn the place into. On a sunny day, you will find me in my balcony, or any balcony for that matter. I will be wearing a yellow jumpsuit, a red tied-on top with white polka dots or my very well-utilised red bathing suit top. On a good day, joined by good company, you will find me topless. I will have a cup of espresso with no sugar and no milk, accompanied by long overdue coffee cups that I should put in the sink, and a cigarette in between my two right fingers. I’ll be wearing my hoop earrings that decorate my naked face and I will sit on the floor so that the neighbour’s gardener doesn’t see me. I will be writing. About anything. And everything about that. I will be deep in thought about the things time does not stop for. I will look happy; even if I am not smiling. And I think that the feeling of happiness exudes femininity. It exudes it in a way that a smile will never be able to.

 

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Alone, But Please Not Lonely- A Very Personal Podcast

Charles Bukowski- Sleep for 3 days

 

I have periods where, you know, when I feel a little weak or depressed. Fuck it! The Wheaties aren’t going down right. I just go to bed for three days and four nights, pull down all the shades and just go to bed. Get up. Shit. Piss. Drink a beer down and go back to bed. I come out of that completely re-enlightened for 2 or 3 months. I get power from that.

I think someday…they’ll say this psychotic guy knew something that…you know in days ahead and medicine, and how they figure these things out. Everybody should go to bed now and then, when they’re down low and give it up for three or four days. Then they’ll come back good for a while.

But we’re so obsessed with, we have to get up and do it and go back to sleep. In fact there’s a woman I’m living with now, get’s around 12:30, 1pm, I say: “I’m sleepy. I want to go to sleep.” She says: “What? You want to go to sleep, it’s only 1pm!” We’re not even drinking, you know. Hell, there’s nothing else to do but sleep.

People are nailed to the processes. Up. Down. Do something. Get up, do something, go to sleep. Get up. They can’t get out of that circle. You’ll see, someday they’ll say: “Bukowski knew.” Lay down for 3 or 4 days till you get your juices back, then get up, look around and do it. But who the hell can do it cause you need a dollar. That’s all. That’s a long speech, isn’t it? But it means something.

Things I’ve learned about myself when living alone

  1. I love doing laundry. I sit in front of the washing machine every time I load it and watch for 30 minutes. It’s odd, but it’s the most interesting thing I’ve sat to watch thus far. I am currently writing this while sitting against my wall, facing the washing machine.
  2. I love adding a red sock with white clothes in the washing machine. There’s something about purposefully fucking up that makes me undeniably happy. I no longer have white underwear. It’s all light pink.
  3. I am never home. I love being out and often will go out of my way of avoiding coming back just to have the feeling of longing for the space I’ve made my own. I now leave my apartment at 6 or 7 am and get home at 4 am. I have never slept better.
  4. There is nothing better than putting away the groceries I could barely afford. I now only have 20 euros and no credit card because I messed up and everyone I know has been inviting me to free events with free food. I am getting by and I’m happy while doing so.
  5. My roommate is lovely. When I first moved in I feared we wouldn’t talk at all due to our clash in schedules yet she often has friends over and I get invited to join. Last week she made pancakes and I now go to my university’s coffee shop every morning, where one of her friends works. I have learned to give things time.
  6. I no longer worry about the decisions I make. A few days ago I got the nose ring I always wanted and I forgot what it was like to do things for myself, without planning a speech before getting home.
  7. I miss people more than they seem to miss me. I haven’t just learnt that; but I accept it now. I am not a victim for being in that position, just lucky.
  8. Having people over is oddly the most independent act you can encounter. You choosing to share your space, cooking for them and showing them around is a beautiful experience.
  9. I love waking up early and taking 10 minutes to get ready. I now hate wasting time more than I ever have. I no longer have to wait for plans to happen or people to decide on where to go. I’ll be out of my flat before the plans happen and it’s a constant chaos that I can’t get enough of.
  10. My local coffee shop finally feels like home. After going 5 times a day for the past 2 weeks, the waiter has pointed out my daily visits and every time I see him in the metro or the mini market near my street, we talk. Again, things take time.
  11. I love being responsible and enjoy being a mess. I have never had both cases happen at once. I will stay out after my 9 pm lecture and get home late, yet wake up at 6 am and show up on time to my morning lecture. It’s a blissful mix that makes me acknowledge the fact that I am living life my way.
  12. I never really had friends until now. I had Laura, and Luca and a few other people I loved, but I didn’t have a group. Or singular people who where constantly there. Two weeks in, the friends I made and I have already experienced more than I experienced with past friendships. From breakups, to tattoos, to losses, to laughter in our usual 24-hour restaurant these people made me feel like the most lovable person they have met.
  13. I want to keep creating. After signing up for photography and meeting someone willing to take pictures around the city before out exhibition, I crave it so much more. Nik wants me to keep writing. Mikey wants me to buy a camera. Mary wants me to keep creating. Sarah wants me to keep making podcasts. Rebecca wants me to keep posting here. Shane wants me to joing the universty’s radio station. Stefan wants me to keep dancing and everyone wants me to keep reading. I have learnt that friendship isn’t that without their interests in your passions. What a stupid thing to forget.

l o n e l i n e s s

Do you remember when I wrote about loneliness? I didn’t know what it was then. I thought that loneliness was a feeling you chose to label when you could not feel fulfilled by people. Now I know that it is an unavoidable cause of death. And that if I remained in this empty city, with the roommates that do not leave their room and within these empty walls, I could quite possibly die within them. Loneliness is the root of different cries for help. Loneliness is silence. Silence within crowds and silence within your mind- when it reaches your soul, the one you never knew existed until it ached, you are inevitably trapped. I am trapped. I always believed in understanding your emotions and thriving through their acknowledgement. Now I only want to avoid them. And how exhausting it is to want time to pass, days to pass, life to pass. I want calls. Visits. Love. It feels like you’re getting higher and higher on a branch that you want to get down from. And the lonelier you feel, the higher up you go. The higher up you are, the longer the ladder needs to be. So you begin to expect bigger gestures from people. You begin to need a bigger ladder. I am a child in desperate need of a hug- asking for affection through words. I am begging for friendship. For love. For a touch. I am longing for a conversation. For laughter. And it is so so silent. And when you feel this lonely, you are so fucking terrified that it wont end. Because if it doesn’t- it is possible that the person you have spent years building could.

My Mother

 

Before I begin, I need to explain who my mother is as a person. I need to write about Her. I use ‘Her’ with a capital ‘H’ because if God should be written with a capital letter, my mother deserves Her name to be spelt ‘ESTHER’. The concept of having it written with a capital ‘G’ is meant to symbolise respect and admiration. And no one has earned that more than my mother has. My mother and Frida Kahlo are the two women who embody life and act as the epitome of womanhood.

Esther is an individual before any other title; even if She prioritises the role of a mother above all else. She is the purest form of kindness. You see, when most children state their mother’s favourite flowers, they state names such as; roses, tulips or daises. I stay silent when this conversation sparks as my mother is the entire garden that holds their mother’s favourite flowers. Esther is the outskirts of Amsterdam and the landmark tourists and locals find too beautiful to argue over. I simply could not narrow her down further. So I don’t even try. I was young when I began to admire Her for who She was rather than what She was to me.

Esther likes humble environments and is the only person who could turn Fashion Week in Milan a charity event. She can walk around in a Louis Vuitton handbag and you will know, from the way she smiles at everyone around Her, that She deserves it.

She doesn’t like the feel of makeup, which is great for a five-year-old who can’t stop kissing her cheek. She does, however, love wearing red lipstick. When She wears mascara, it smudges on Her lid because She can’t keep her eyes closed or still for too long- She can’t stay still in general for too long. She knows that She’s needed 24 hours on the clock. She holds your hand and it feels like a life jacket being tied around your body in the shallowest pool. And it sometimes hurts because of the simple rings that decorate Her fingers. Her hands are always cold. And She will apologise when you react to them as She reaches to get the thermometer away from your underarm. But I guarantee, you will not care about any of that while She holds yours. That is why I cannot get a blood test or tolerate a plane take-off if I am not holding Her hand.

She is simple. She loves simple things. But when She wears them, they are no longer that: simple. She regrets not having studied. But I don’t think She realises that university is for those who need a direction within their intelligence. And Esther already has it. If my mother would have studied, She probably would have cured cancer. Instead, She cured my loneliness and my homesickness every single day. It might not be as grand as curing cancer. But it cured me. Which probably gave Her enough hope to keep being as nurturing as She has always been. How do I know this? Just hug Her. Whoever invented the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ didn’t know my mother. It would take my mother to raise a village.

I feel guilty that only a sum of people has met Her. Sometimes I want to make a post about Her go viral, or have someone discover Her and name Her Mother Theresa the second. It simply isn’t fair that I have Her as my mother.

Esther is strong. So fucking strong. For reasons no one in her circle understands. I live to understand how the most nurturing person in the world could lose a child. It’s a question I hope has been answered for Her. My mother is lonely. Not out of choice, of course. She is the liveliest bird forced to be kept in a cage, being told every year that She should appreciate what the cage is filled with. My mother has left Her country and everything within it and it hasn’t paid off yet. Eleven years later- it hasn’t paid off. My mother needs more. My mother deserves more. My mother deserves a plaque in her town and the carnicero to wait for Her every Tuesday morning. She deserves to feel pretty before going to Mercadona due to the numerous smiles she will encounter. Esther needs to talk to strangers. I inherited that the moment I could speak. Esther needs to feel surrounded by kindness.

My mother is the epitome of a Spanish woman. She wears red, floral patterns and loves to dance. She dances like she is translating ‘viva la vida!’ to the deaf. And you will smile back, holding back your response: ’viva!’

She is a friend. And how unfair that people don’t know how to be Her friend. That has to be the greatest tragedy this goddamn world has ever witnessed. And I hope that with every coffee, I can be 5 percent of the friend She deserves. She listens. And acknowledges that I do not. I try to. But I always have so much to say to Her. Being around Her feels like the last five minutes of the hardest exam; I try to cram everything in. She assures me that She is not going anywhere. But my biggest fear is the time that is running out with Her. My mother used to apologise more than She does now. And I like that She doesn’t as much as She did.

My mother learned three languages for Her family. She learned the language She needed to get by in our new home. She learned the language that made Her happy when not being allowed to use Spanish outside of our four walls, and She is learning English for the endless school meetings She always attends to for Her children. On a plain day, you will find Her on Duolingo or speaking with Her English friend in our school coffee shop, practicing Her English. Esther thinks that She isn’t great at it yet, but She has the power to communicate in languages humans haven’t invented yet. Just with Her cheerful greetings and hand gestures, you could keep talking to Her for hours. I hope, I truly hope, that one day I will translate my writing for Her. But this time, to keep Spanish within us. Not out of need. I hope that one day She can read the work I’ve produced. Because She doesn’t know it, but I write so that She can read it.

Esther is the woman anyone that has met Her wants to become. She is the influence behind Her children, behind Her family, and behind the strangers She has talked to. She is what mothers should aspire to be, what teenagers look up to, and what children want to cling onto. My mother is what I hope God was.

Hypocrite

I say that I love writing.

But I rarely ever do. I say that I love reading, and running, and dancing. But I rarely do. So if I forget to prioritize the things I love, I don’t wonder why I lose so many people. Today, however, I got myself back. Now, this isn’t a Russian-writer sort of avoided loss. I didn’t lose myself. I just found that which I had to reach for: the spark. That’s my favourite aim. It’s the immense blend of accumulated fire that works beyond emotion. It is a body of light that you transform into. It’s a costume that we don’t fit into until the perfect conversation begins with a double espresso in one hand and a hand that won’t stop moving on the other, due to the hesitation in your heart. It will appear while walking home and your chest feels light or when you feel productive by the action you voluntarily initiated. And I found it again.

I say I love newspapers.

But I forget to buy them when I step foot in a country whose tongue I can respond to. I say I love those whose next goodbye has been an aim I have been scoring for years. I do love these things. Wholeheartedly. I suppose I stayed within friendships and relationships for far too long. Long enough for nothing to be left worth reminiscing about. Long enough for it to be exhausted. Long enough for it to be dull. Long enough for it to be a pattern of wasted time.

I suppose I was afraid of the day that the things I loved would become something I would be accustomed to.  I suppose I was scared that I would get bored of them. And I suppose that is why I left before the love I felt became as plain as the words a writer re-writes at the desk  he has been thinking of organising for years.