Wednesday, December 29, 2010
A is a 17 year old students that came from Romania a few years ago. Her Spanish is perfect and she actually helps her mum with paperwork and finding work as a cleaner in different places. She has this disease the name of which I ignore and which makes her body a hip of lifeless twisted bones and muscles. She can only move her head. She writes with her mouth and the teacher has to pass the pages of her books. She is intelligent and has no psychological disability whatsoever. I looked at her and said
-Good morning A. How are you?
-Fine- sh answered happily
-I see they have not come to get you.What class have you got now?
-Would you like to stay or would you like us to take you there?
-I'd rather be taken there- she said smiling
-Ok...so..could somebody please help A. to get to her class.
And so this boy got up, put her things in her bag and took her to her classroom.
My school is especially adapted for physically disabled children. We also have some mentally disabled ones, and sometimes a combination.
There is L, who is 13, and it is like if he was 6. He gets a computer to write, because he can hardly do it, and he usually throws it onto the floor, just to have a laugh. When you ask him, he tells you this with a naughty silly childish laugh.
And there are these two girls with a corset, and this boy who did not have any problems until he went for a very simple surgery, and woke up being unable to talk, or walk or eat. And now he is learning to do all those things, but he can remember he was not like that before.
And every morning A and everybody else are there, smiling back at you when you say good morning. And everytime I walk by them, I remember how lucky I was my broken vertebrae did no affect my spine.
December 28th was the 10th anniversary of my first two broken vertebrae. The day I decided to romantically go down a slope with a silly sleigh. I remember the moment I fell, the darkenss, the coldness of the snow, the fear when the doctor said to me “ You have broken your vertebrae”, and the tense question I could hardly articulate “What does that mean?”... but I can't remember the pain.I just remember my scream filling the air while I knelt on the snow. Humans tend to forget the pain.
So this year, I celebrated the 10th anniversary of me being born again, of me being so lucky to be able to walk, and dance.
And everyday, when I go to school and stand in front of any of these kids who fight so hard, who lead such difficult lives without even thinking about it, for whom everything is three times as hard...everyday I stand there and I know I have nothing to teach them .There is nothing in the world I could ever teach them. I can only learn from them. They are the lesson to be learnt..
Friday, November 26, 2010
Today the IT guy taught the English department how to use the language computer room, within the frame of using ICT in our classes.
He started saying “ If you want to put a new program you need a password, so you need to tell me”. So I put my hand up and said “ the audacity “ : Then he says in a stern way “ And why did you not tell me before?” and my principal, who was there, goes “ What do you want the audacity for”
Talk about being open minded to include ICT in class. This is the first technique of computer people, trying to persuade you you do not really need whatever it is you wanted help with. The second one is installing another program that does exactly the same but it is much better than the one you had.
Then I asked him how the students could get to a file in the teacher's computer, and he said it was really difficult because you have to create a shared folder. Then I said “ So you just have to create a folder in the network” But he could not make it work, so eventually he said to me “ I would tell you that winx does not work well in closed environments, but you won't have a clue of what that is “, and I said “ Well, winx does not work well either in open or in close environments because windows does never work”.
Really, I wanted to say, “well, I don't know much about computers, but I know language, and I know what closed is, what environment is and, by the way, it would be winxP, and you pronounce it like win ex pi, because winx is a bunch of cartoon fairies”.
I hate sexist patronising IT people. Had I been a man, he would not have said this. He just thought I did not have a clue about computers just because I was a woman. I could have fucking smacked him on the back of his head.
But he did not know two things: first I am a woman, but independent and without a boyfriend, which means I have to fix my own computer. I have had a couple of IT person lovers, but they have never touched my computer. Well, I lie. One of them once fixed my roommate´s, and even looked at my PC problems another time. I guess I do not tend to ask things from my lovers. IT friends have helped me more often. But some lovers do not want to be friends, no matter how much you try, and I do not like asking for favours to not friendly people. Second, my internet never works, no matter where I go, which country I am in, what connection I use...my internet always has to be fixed and refixed and re checked before it starts working.
So there, that's why I know a bit about computers, even when I did not really need it to understand such an easy thing.
But I have something very clear, in the same way Odin created some trials for the man that would marry the walkiria Brunilda, like going through fire and being a good fighter, next IT person I meet is going to have to fucking reinstall my operative system before we even start to know each other. You see, last IT person decided that he had to take apart my desk computer to fix it, and, of course, never put it back together.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
One week ago I went to a school trip to El Escorial with my students, who are generally well behaved.
However, they are teenagers. And such as they are, they decided to insult each other..how did they do it so we did not realise? Via bluetooth. Bt they did not connect to each other and then do it, no. They wrote offensive comment for the other as their names for the bluetooth system, which made it quite difficult to find out who was to blame.
One o them called “ big tits” to a girl, who had already being said to “ eat dicks”. So I banned electronic devices and gave a speech about it in class. Anyway, I decided to tell the dean so he put some pressure on not using cell phones, and I talked about it to a couple of coworkers, all of them great professionals.
The dean said that it was better to make an intervention from the advisory class, and then asked “ iff she was really one”. And my female coworkers said that “ deep down she likes it “ and, “ she kind of brings it upon herself?And the dean?”
And wrath gets over me. How is it possible? Two WOMEN?! What do you mean she brings it up
The student can be whatever she wants to be and whatever she wants to do, she might like to be the centre of attention, but that does not mean that anybody has the right to talk about her or comment on her or her actions. Besides, she is just a regular teenager
Sexism is so down rooted that it flows out as soon as you look into human relationships
And no, I am not a crazy radical feminist that sees things where they are not and who is obsessed. It happens that very often, there is an appearance of justice and equality that does not correspond to reality. There are people that this it is enough to say we are the same and do some political correct thing. But there is so much more to be done. We need to change the way we are treated and we treat each other.We need to get rid of this kind of language and erase this ideas from our subconscious, and to confront this kind of comments.
Sometimes, I look at the world, and I just want to sit down and cry.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
So there I go. I meet this nice guy at a bar, and we get on well, and he talks to me. And then, we move to another bar and he says " Let me carry your bag". The big bag full of things I carry around all day, with the dancing clothes, the little computer, a book, a notebook, etc.
His words get to my brain, and it takes like a second to actually process them " Let me carry your bag", they echo. And a respond quickly pops up in my mind " My bag? You wanna carry my bag? Why?" But before I can say those words, another voice answers, and they kind of start talking to each other.
-What do you mean why? -says voice 2
-Yes, why would he want to carry my big huge heavy bag-answers voice one
-Oh, come on, he is just being nice, give him the bag
-But what is the point? It is my bag, I am responsible for it, you can't just be going around giving your responsibilities to people
-Oh come on, just give him the fucking bag. It is just the way it is done. you have been carrying it around all day, and you are fucked. GIVE HIM THE BAG!!
-No, don't do it. Why would you do that.It's so.....
Then I shout ( in my head, but I Shout) "ENOUGH!"
I breath deeply and look at this nice guy who has been kind of confusedly staring at me for the few extra seconds this has been going on within my head. I breath, smile, blush slightly and say in a sweet voice while smiling " Oh!, Ok. Thank you". And hand the bag over.
And it is just such a relief to get some help to carry the bag for once. It is so nice to feel you can rest for a second and you don't have to be taking care of everything all the time.It is so nice to be able to relax for a bit, that you realize the voices in your head are all bullshit.They talk from sheer fear.The fear of knowing that being helped is so nice that, when you get it back to carry it on your own again,is going to be twice as hard.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I get up early to take a shower before the guys working in the kitchen of my friend´s apartment arrive. They are very nice, and I have nothing against them, but having a shower while you hear two guys you do not know talking next door, one of whom has already told you how “well equipped” you are...it's a bit weird.
So I leave early, and take the N to go To 42nd. But the train goes very slowly, and stops. A weak female voice coming from some speakers I can't locate explains something I can not quite understand. Five years of English philology, 20 postgraduate credits in English Linguistics and Literature, a masters degree in course by an American university, years living in English speaking countries, and still can not understand those vital things to survive, like the fucking voice coming from the speakers at train stations. I swallow my high school nerd pride, and ask an American looking guy what the lady said. Not a clue he says..such a relief for my self esteem, although still don't know what happens.
After some long minutes, I go out and find the real lady...the lady behind the speakers in the middle of the train. Until then, I thought she was just an entelechy, a legend. But she is a real person in the middle of the train. She explains something about trains, and tracks and stations..she might as well have carried on talking through the speakers. And then somebody says something I finally understand “ Uff...it means at least a couple of hours until the service works” Finally, some proper English.
I ran downstairs shouting, “ anybody wants to share a cab to somewhere?” And this really kind guy who is with two other woman that come at that point and join us, tells me he is going somewhere where I can take a train, and I say yes, without having even figured out where. I get in the taxi with these three people who seem to be coworkers, stressing about the time, and the train and the place to go and suddenly I pay attention to the ladies talking next to me...” I have never seen more than 2 butterflies together”, “Oh yeah..they only live for a day” Then I decide to go back to my world of being late and stress, expecting to see a butterfly flying across the cab at anytime.
I finally make it to the class, one of those long ones. When I finish I go here and there, I get a ticket for a fringe festival show, I go to the fat cat club to listen to music and write and end up in an eletronic music party that somebody I met in the street told me about, but I can´t find him. Instead a meet this nice guy and we talk and have a good time, and it gets so late I end up not going back to my apartment that night, to go back to class the following day.
Amazing people working in wonderful class. I love acting. And lots of memories of things that happened before...The topic of today: humilliation and love....I am fucking sorted...You all know my greatest hits list. No please, no...don't go through it again. I am going to quote my brother here:a list made up by the kind of things done by “ a pathetic Woody Allen character, but a boring one” Well, I disagree now, I get the fun of it.
And in the warming up, all the clothes flying while we dance. These young beautiful thin girls dancing around int heir sexy underwear. I knew I should have got some sexy underwear from woman's Secret. But...would it have been useful? I mean...you know...my tits...they have this rare tendency to escape all the time, even when I am just slightly running to catch a bus in the street.
And then, the wisdom of your mother suddenly strikes you like a flash of lightening in a dark night. All these years thinking your mum was crazy and laughing at her idea, when she used to say to you “Don't wear holy knickers, in case something happens to you and you end up at hospital”All this years you answering “ As if I am going to care about holy pants if I end up at hospital, mother”
And then, the moment where this dancing girl takes her pants off and strips down to her underwar. Your moment to decide, shall I go with her on this? Shall I take my pants off?And then, the lighting in your brain and your mum's voice echoing..hooooly kniiiickers...and for a second you freeze, because e you know you were down to your last pair of pants before doing the laundry and try to remember...did I put on the holy knickers that have been waiting at the bottom of the drawer to be sawn for the last 2 years? And you could swear the blue pants were not the one with the whole in them...but....can you be sure about it?
So you take the safe side. And dance away in you not holy leggings and your short skirt. Nudity in a tehatre class...maybe...Holy pants...never. Let's leave the humiliation for love,
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I forgot what happens to the NYC subway system during the weekend which, combined with my ability to always be late, made me even later.
So I get there, interrupt the class when I think there is a break, which is no break and join just at the moment where they were starting the strip-tease part of the lesson. And there do I sit in a circle,wondering what part of my outfit could I take off in a sensual arousing way. Although I could not avoid worrying about my non-matching underwear, as people were getting naked one by one, showing their sexy lace pants and bras. Then, my turn came, and the teacher decided for me to take my glasses off in a sexy way, which was very complicated because, as I can't see shit without my glasses, I could not really look at her and imitate her sexy movements. I would have much rather taken any other part of my outfit off, with or without sexy pants.
Then I joined the fringe festival volunteers, to be able to get help with the organization and get free tickets. Which sounds cool, And I got really happy.
Then I went to an old theater school, and I found out that the nice lady who was usually helping and enrolling people, died last December. She was not that old, and she was so nice and helpful, and a lot of other good things. And I got just puzzled.
Then I went to my theater class and saw my favorite teacher there, which made me smile inside ( what a bad sign), but my monologue was not the best. But hey...if singing the way I sing I managed to become a music teacher, I can become any kind of actress I want to be, even a good one
So,this is New York City, a bunch of weird things put together good and bad. A crazy roller coaster that takes you up and down, and keeps constantly showing you the darkness and the light. A place where you can find a glimpse of your dreams at the more unexpected corner, where you can catch the glare of your target star all around without being really able to nail where the light comes from, to loose the sight of it completely in a second. A place where you walk in the streets expecting, more than hoping for, that wonderful coincidence that is going to change your life, while you avoid rats and bedbugs, and open sewage holes spitting smoke at you.
That's what New York does: it raises the hope of your expectations to the highest degree to spit the reality at you in the shape of that slimy hot smog that comes out of the underground, which does not smell neither well nor bad and the origin of which everybody ignores. But I know where it emanates from. It comes from the dreams of the New Yorkers going down the drain: all those forgotten, lost or broken dreams entangled together with the tears of the disappointed ripped souls that go down the sewage system to the underground. Then, the tears evaporate into the air, and so do all those dreams.
And this is why the sewage smoke never stops in Winter or in Summer, in Autumn or Spring, because despite the defeats and the lost battles, New Yorkers keep coming up with new dreams to fill the city with that amazing glare that makes this city the most shining one in the world when watched from space. Because that glare does not come from Time Square lights, nor from malls, or houses or cars. It comes from the elusive dreams of the New Yorkers, while leaving a trail behind in order to be followed.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I have not even landed and it's already hurting that I am going to have to leave. I am happy to see you again, I´m happy to be wrapped in your arms again, to bathe in your polluted breath full of promising whispering and unfulfilled dreams
I am excited an nervous, and also scared. What is it going to be like to meet you again after such a long time? How are we going to feel? How are you going to treat me? The situation is different now. I don't really belong here, I've just become a passing by stranger for you. And yet, I still have this strange feeling of coming home to you.
Time has slipped away through the holes in my soul in every week, in every day...And all I keep doing now is trying to hold it, so it retains this moment , trying to understand.
Madrid is OK. I needed to be back there to heal, to find certain things. And everything comes together to close old doors and open new paths. And I walk them in joy, glancing at you from time to time,only to close my eyes and look away before your absence pierces my heart.
But now I am back, for a month, and I am just going to every second of the time with you. And after one more year, I'll come back again to see you.
In the end, we just depend on Fortune and the turning of her wheel. Fortune moves her wheel around in strange ways. IT pushes it and it moves around and then she stops it. Probably not even herself knows when or why. Because, who could have ever told me that I was going to want you so desperately?
Nowhere. Middle of July. A trip to a strange place outside everyday life.
Getting there is strange. This kind of events are linked in my mind to New York and the time I was there. Getting through the depths of Spanish villages, seeing those familiar small village houses and people seems strange. Like a strange don Quixote, living a different reality full of imagination, created by the need to be somebody else. A pathetic attempt of rejecting a self deeply embedded in the hidden caves of unconscioussness.
R comes with me. It is nice knowing that another knight gallops next to you through the arid summer lands of central Spain.. It soothes this feeling of weirdness that usually tints the trips I do to this kind of places.
As usual, we are nor sure we are going to make it until we make it. It is not very clear if the guy with a taxi who promised to take us is actually going to make it or not. In the end he comes in an old 4x$4 he borrowed from a friend. And we get to the place in the middle of the Monegros desert, full of fine sticky sand.
The first night in our camp, walking around, and dancing here and there. And setting the tent up...hey we are better at this than we thought.
All this people around, wallking in different outfits, or with no outfits, no judgement. Nobody cares. Do whatever you want. Amazing feeling of freedom. Walking here and there. Dancing here and there.
I get to sleep at some point at night, get up to see the sun rise, before it gets so hot you can only lie down under the tent or the middle of nowhere.
Another day, another night. People, things happening, places, heat, warm water to calm the thirst, art, creation, and more freedom.
An Sunday comes. So short. Life made it impossible to come sooner, like I wanted. Only this small slice of a different place. Probably all of us together are as big as a small burningman camp. Nevertheless, it still has it charm..
And one of this years, I'll come to burningman. It is just a matter of time. Wait and see!!!!....
I get in the taxi, with other people, and when I am about to get on the train, I realise...I FORGOT MY BAG!!! the important things bag: the passport, the cellphone, the money, the cards....everything. I probably did not want to come back to normal life. So I get there with the other people, covered in dust. R buys me the ticket home. And I keep trying to reach the people back in the land of Nowhere.
And finally, after a few days, two Canadians in the way back from Zaragoza to Germany stop at Barcelona to send my bag to Madrid.
I had doubts about my playa name. Any playa name need a story behind. I got one now. So..Chaos it is going to be. Definitely.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I listen to the water
on nights I drink away
and the sadness becomes so great
I hear it in my clock
it becomes knobs upon my dresser
it becomes paper on the floor
it becomes a shoehorn
a laundry ticket
climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .
it matters little
very little love is not so bad
or very little life
is waiting on walls
I was born for this
I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I went to visit him. Every time I promise myself it will be the last, but I can’t help coming back, looking for him. He usually makes me wait a bit before coming to greet me, but this time it was special: I had been so nervous about this visit, regretting it on every step I gave. It was like if he knew it. He smiled at me and said with a soft voice
“ So finally, you came. Are you ready?”
He pulled the chair so I could sit down, and made sure I felt comfortable in the dim light, while a kind of soft music played in the background He knew that, even when you wouldn’t tell at the beginning, I am shy, so he was gentle and polite.
He held my head and made my body lay down while he smiled at me. Very carefully, he took my glasses off and put them in a safe place, so I would not worry about them.
I felt the warmth coming from his body next to mine, the familiar smell of his parfume, once again, the shape and color of his eyes so close to mine, avoiding staring at me.
As he leaned over me, I slightly opened my mouth trembling inside, knowing what was coming next.
-Don´t worry, this is going to hurt a little bit, but it is the worst part. Everything will be fine after it.
I nodded in an obedient way, opened my mouth widely and closed my eyes. He then took out a huge syringe with an even bigger needle and stabbed my cheek inside, and my gums. The bitter taste of the liquid inside invaded my mouth. The acute pain stopped, then he took the needle and stabbed another part of my gum. Little by little, part of my mouth, and even my nose went numb.
Then he started using drills and other strange tools in my mouth, for a long time. He dug, and pulled, and pushed with his whole body. And finally, he got a needle and a thread, and saw the hole he had opened back together. It did not hurt, but I could feel the needle going through my gums, and the thread pulling them together. He tied a couple of little knots, sat up, looked at me and smiled.
“That’s it: It was not that bad, was it”
I looked at him, feeling sweaty and tired, tasting the smell of his hands in mouth, with a strange feeling of pain and unwanted exposure.
With a kind of strange embarrassment and feeling of loss I stood up. Fixed my skirt, my shirt…my hair…He gave me my glasses back. Slowly I put them back. Looking at the floor, I picked my things up, said thank you and rushed out of the room.