Jul 14, 2019

The painter

"You're so strange,
I'm glad you didn’t change."

In the corner of the room, a homunculus with multicolored teeth smiled at the sky beyond the ceiling. The homunculus gazed through the ceiling like a window, his gaze passing through 10 floors full of people. He saw through dusty carpets, through tall cabinets and long beds, through the surface cleanliness and the hidden messiness. He stared straight through the apartment building like it was an aquarium, watching the hidden souls in their skulls, glancing from one floor to another.
The people on the first floor were lame and mono-colored, on the next floor the people were like children and did not understand the world. One floor above that, stray dogs were remembering the good times. And so it went all the way to the roof, where, after passing a bald head tanning its self, the homunculus finally saw the sky.

"What's that on your mouth?" a feminine voice addressed the heap of unsorted fabrics and uncombed tissues from the corner of the room.
The feminine presence had appeared quite unexpectedly from the door. The creature trembled at the sound of her voice, withdrawing his gaze from the walls, he turned back into a half-man to answer.
"It's blue," he answered with an unexercised voice. He felt the need to clear his throat, but he abstained, too many sounds would have given him away.
"Blue, from what?" asked suspiciously the woman that the homunculus recognized as his better half. She looked at him as if she deserved some answers.
"From currants and blueberries, from cornflowers, from sadness ... from these oil paints" he finally admitted when there was only one thing left to say.
The creature had grown fingers and pointed to a corner filled with strangled colors. The woman could not tell if there were more empty paint tubes than usual, his room was always messy.
"What did you do?" she asked with a hint of panic in her voice.
The homunculus looked at her slightly bemused, he could see little creatures gathering on her forehead, working to make an expression of worry. All their work pulsating under her thin skin. The wrinkles gathered at the edge of her eyes like a storm. The homunculus reformed to humanity, returning to the constitution of "the painter". She was pulling him back from the lunacy and wildness.
The painter remembered how much he liked to see her angry. She looked better angry rather than happy, her face caught a vigor and suppleness that he enjoyed. When she smiled all her lines would brake and nothing flowed anymore, her cheeks would lose their shape, her face would widen, and her eyes would squeeze in. The painter disliked all these things, and with this aesthetic sense he felt selfish. He liked to see her upset, and even angry. She looked sharp and cutting when furious, with a pulsating rhythm what wouldn’t let her stand still, a fiery beauty. But now her face only showed worry, her expression drew confused feelings in him. What did she want? Was he not clear?
"I ate some colors," the painter continued, with a smile that disclosed his colorful teeth.
"Are you crazy, come on, are you serious? You have to vomit! I'm gonna take you to the hospital."
"No, please, let me die," the painter replied melodramatically.
She pulled him up by the armpits and pushed him to the bathroom. The painter dropped without resisting. It was amusing to be dragged around, and if he had opposed the game, it would have ceased.
"Let me be, I want to be colored on the inside," he tried to explain.
"God knows what's in these paints, you have to puke them out, do you hear me?"
She put his head down in front of the toilet bowl, pushing him towards the water.
"Put your hand down your throat, you have to vomit, do it or I’ll do it for you."
The painter finally understood she didn’t have any appreciation for his gesture.
"Leave me alone."
"You idiot, do you want to die?"
The girl shoved two fingers down his throat, irrespective of his opposition. For a moment the painter contemplated whether to bite her. The thought of such enormity shamed him. A deep sense of guilt pressed his chest and he spewed his guts in the form of an apology.
He regurgitated a multicolored rainbow of sick. Red, yellow, blue, green and purple splashed the toilet bowl again and again, each pulse bringing up a new composition. Now the painter wanted to vomit, he wanted to produce more, more and more. Feeling it end, he pressed his stomach to squeeze out the last drops.
They both fell exhausted near the bath's porcelain fixtures, she at the foot of the sink, and him with his forehead glued to the cold toilet.
"You are like a flower ... so pleasantly dour," whispered the painter.
"You want to be a poet now? Why do I keep fooling myself. You’re driving me crazy? I'm gonna blow my brains out."
"If you want to do it, do it, but look for a white wall, and leave a note with the name of your opera. Now that's an idea, to literally paint your brains away.
"As you can see, the artist's brains have oozed in the most extraordinary way. This testamentary work can not be assigned a value", she sighed. "Didn't you say that all critics are idiots. Why am I playing your game?"
"You're attracted to tragedy."
"Like fly's to shit, but what's so tragic about you?"
The painter looked in the toilet bowl and then turned to her.
"As you can see, all my potential is going down the drain."
"And what did you want me to do, let you die?"
"Yes," he replied with a sob. "Then my work would have achieved its end."
"Shouldn’t you actually make something, so you are remembered after you die?"
"It's all about the audience. The man who will do my autopsy will be marked for life, he will live with my work in his head, "the painter with the colored insides", he will think of me at night. I will pop in his thoughts when he least expects it."
"Dreams of colored guts ... idiot," she said pushing him with her foot.
"Did I miss something?"
"Did you forget about me. I love you, doesn't that matter to you at all? Did you ever think of me?"
"This isn't about you, I was thinking artistically, if I manage to get in someone's head even with a single work, then I can really say I'm an artist, it doesn’t matter if I die."
"One coroner will see you at the morgue, once, after you die, is that your audience?"
"You're right, okay, it's over. I was trying to put some excitement back into the idea, but I can’t, bugs are crawling all over it. Are you happy now?"
"Why exactly the colors?"
"I wanted to feel something. I wanted to be depressed, to feel melancholy, I wanted something to long for ... so I ate the blue." 
"You're crazy, that’s insane. I can’t even talk to you anymore."
"I would have died happily painting my insides, but no, you couldn't have that. Don’t flush it, look how beautiful it is."
Paint splashes were mixing between them. The painter was lost in the color of the toilet bowl, smiling absurdly at his moving work.
"I'll be right back, don’t do anything stupid." The painter’s better half returned with a bottle of mineral water.
"You'll drink it and puke the rest of the paint out."
"You want to drain me. Have you no pity?"
"You either drink it or I'll take you to the hospital and there they’ll scrub it out of your insides."
"Can’t you see this is my first original work. This is all that matters."
"Let's get some air."
The two half-joined into a two-headed old man. The old man crawled up to the balcony where he sat down on the floor. With one of his mouths sucking on the water bottle.
"Why do you make me do all these things, do you want to hate me?" her mouth asked.
Crooked with shivers the painter received a clean sheet over his shoulders.
"Do you think I like this life?" she continued. "Do you think I'm happy? I love you, but you have to help me out. Go on, drink all your water."
The painter spooned in the last of the water.
"And now?" he asked, rising from below, wearing his sheet like a cloak.
"Now you have to vomit … again."

In the bathroom, a dazzling geyser of different colors came out from his nose and mouth.
"Sea water," he said, "from which comes Aphrodite in all the paintings."
After a moment of silence she asked gently.
"What do they taste like?"
"Extraordinary, they taste great, except somewhat unexpected. The blue looked cold and melancholic but it tasted like autumn ice cream, while white tasted like toothpaste..."
His consort raised a pinched tube from the tiles.
"This one was the toothpaste," she said playfully.
"They all look the same", the painter excused himself.
"I hope you didn’t eat my hand cream."
"Coconut...", the painter said after a moment of thought. 
"I'll buy another one. Are you better now?"
The painter examined his hands, they looked almost human.
"Yes, I think so," he replied.

Versiunea în română: Pictorul
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Nov 19, 2018

The snowman

The cold wind stopped and let the first snow of the year settle on the ground. This first snowfall was thin and shallow, snow that would melt in your hand before you could make a snowball, but it was the first one so we have to count it.
The evening came and a second downfall doubled the first. The children began to gather it up from atop the cold cars, concrete fences and sidewalks. This was now enough to make the first snowballs of that winter. As usual the noisy kids threw the snowballs at the quiet kids and soon enough a merry good time contaminated all the youngsters in the neighborhood.
Later, after the last parents arrived home, a dutiful girl named Bianca dressed her self up in a red jacket and went outside to play. Most of the children were going back inside this late in the evening, but she didn't care, enough snow had fallen for what she really wanted ... a snowman.
Bianca had chosen the place carefully, a garden between two apartment buildings that stood back-to-back. A knee-high fence and a rust-welded gate separated the garden from the rest of the world. This place received the barest of lights from a tired sodium lamp post in the corner of the street. The place was secluded from prying eyes on the ground, but occasionally curious eyes still flowed down from the two tenements.
Bianca inspected the ground. There was plenty of space and lots of room for self-expression. Protected from the sun and the wind, the snowman would have a good life here. The girl carefully gathered the first snowball trying to make it perfectly round. From this snowball a small globe was born and then a sphere of snow that moved around and gathered up mass like a magnet.
Sticky flakes were still falling from the sky when Bianca sat down wearily next to the half-finished snowman and spoke:
"If it's going to keep snowing, tomorrow I'll get your head done. After that you'll need your eyes, your arms and a heart."

The next day, Bianca once again walked out quite late and quickly jumped the fence into the garden to complete the snowman. She stood in the shimmering glow of the street lamp shaping the snow.
She finished the snowman and almost flew back home, where she sneaked in like a mouse, making sure her parents didn't hear her. She pulled out two dried up walnut branches from behind the coat-rack in the entrance hallway, then took two shiny black stones from a pair-less shoe thrown in the back of the shoe cupboard. She put her hand on the knob of the kitchen door and gently opened it making sure it didn't do its usual crick. She entered searching for the last piece of the snowman.
With her hands full of gifts she returned to the snowman. She placed his walnut hands, fixed his eyes and with her frozen hands, caressed what looked like blue glass. Bianca opened the snowman's chest and transplanted the icy heart inside. She pressed the snow back in his chest and whispered.
"You're alive now."

On the third day coming from school, the girl glanced between the tenements. The snowman stood with a hand raised to heaven as if saying "hey". Bianca smiled, and continued running home, where she eagerly waited for her parents to come home. Once they got home Bianca headed back out to her secret garden, where the snowman greeted her once again with a trembling hand in the wind.
"How are you, I've missed you so much," said the girl, hugging him.
The snowman didn't answer.
"Why aren't you talking to me? don't be angry ... I brought you back as soon as I could, and just look at this place, the wind and the sun will never hit you".
The snowman did not look very impressed.
"Should I tell you what's been happening since we've last seen each other? I came 2nd in my class, that was last summer, then I left with mom and dad to the sea side. I made sand castles there. It's beautiful there, waves of green water, seagulls and boats float everywhere on the sea.
A faint wind carried a few words to the girl's ears.
"Well ... you did promise me some sand."
"You came back, I knew you would." Bianca hugged him, and the snowman, in turn, hugged the girl squeezing her red jacket. 
"Where have you been?"
"I was taking a nap. You've grown so big," he said.
"See this is the jacket from last year, it barely fits anymore."
"Where are the others, I haven't seen any kids here."
"I didn't make you at the playground, the kids are mean there."
"What do you mean?" the snowman asked surprised.
"They have snowball fights."
"Well, what's wrong with that?"
"They pinned me down and rubbed snow on my face, I don't want to play with them anymore."
"Bianca you shouldn't hide from your friends."
"They're not my friends anymore, I'll stay here with you and we'll play together."
"I liked it when other kids were around with their snowmen. Do you remember d'Artagnan? he had that sword carved from a fir tree and we used to fight every night."
"I don't want to play with them."
"Come on Bianca it's just snow," he tried to improve her mood, then took a handful of snow and poured it on his head.
"It's not the same, you wouldn't have liked it either."
The snowman drew a circle in the snow.
"When you were little, Bianca, you could play for hours in a circle as big as this, but now you've grown up, you shouldn't just sit around here when you can go and play all over."
Bianca began to add petals to the circle turning it into a big flower.
"You should try to get along with them," tested the snowman again.
"Boys are stupid. I'm not playing with them anymore."
"What about the girls?"
"They moved... just Anna is left and she can't come out this late."
The snowman looked around and took a piece of tinsel hanging from a tree in the garden.
"Bianca you need to make new friends, you can't just sit around and talk to a snowman until you're an old lady. You have to promise this is the last time you bring me back."
"What do you mean, you don't want to come back anymore?
"Bianca, big girls don't play with snowmen. I don't want to see you hiding from other kids.
"But I like it this way."
"No Bianca, promise me this is the last time. When spring comes you'll take the heart and you'll bury it."
"Why?" asked the girl indignant.
"You have to make real friends."
The snowman took the tinsel and placed it over her head.
"That look's good on you, if only d'Artagnan could see you now he would laugh and laugh."
Bianca took the tinsel pouting, she put it on the snowman.
"Well, ok, I promise," she said.
The snowman hugged her again.
"Now let's see what you've learned at school since I last saw you. Tell me, quickly, three cold capitals."
"Ottawa, Moscow and Helsinki. Now you tell me three small seas," she countered.
"The Black Sea, the Dead Sea and the Marmara Sea, you have three seconds to tell me three active volcanoes," continued the snowman.
"Etna, Vesuvius and ... pass. Three colors starting with the letter - r ?"
"Red, rose and rainbow. I can't believe you haven't learned three volcanoes. Tell me three high mountains."
"The Himalayas, Kilimanjaro and the Pyrenees, but rainbow isn't a color. Three precious stones?"
"Diamond, ruby and ... you know it's getting late, you better run back home."
"You don't know?" giggled the girl.
"I'll let you know tomorrow," mustered the snowman.
"Okay, but I warn you, I'll ask again." 
And with that Bianca said goodbye to the snowman and went back home, tired but happy.

The next day Bianca came back holding something behind her back.
"I have a surprise for you," she said.
"What do you have there?"
"Close your eyes."
"I can't close them, I don't have any eyelids, how about I put my hands over my eyes."
"All right, but don't cheat."
"Ok ok no cheating."
The snowman heard something being poured beside him, and Bianca let him look. The snowman saw a bucket of sand overturned in the middle of the alley.
"Sand from the beach?" he asked.
"Yeah, go ahead."
"Didn't you tell me it was hot as lava, and it would melt me if I rolled over it?"
"That's in the summer, but it's winter now ... Go on!"
And the snowman jumped on the sand.
"Oh, look at that, it's sticky," he said excitedly.
"Mom always make's me wash it off."
The snowman began to make a small sand castle.
"Let's make some towers,"  said the snowman.
"You do it, I'll look for twigs for a gate," she said.
"Let's have a dry leaf at the entrance, we're going to raise it so strangers can't come in."
"Dig a trench while I'm looking for all that," she said.
Bianca and the snowman continued to play, adorning the sand castle, and at the end the snowman drew a few animals beside so it stood defended from bad children.
Some old timers living in the tenements with windows towards the inner courtyard sometimes watched Bianca play in the snow. They never noticed the snowman, the snowman didn't seem all that interesting so they paid no attention to him.

Days and weeks passed and after storms, Bianca came and dug out the snow man and the sand castle. For Christmas Bianca brought the snowman a plastic beard and for the New Year's Eve, the highest point of the sand castle, received a single sparkler.

The girl was laying on her back making snow angels when she saw the particularly black and clear sky dotted with lots of bright pearls. Some smaller, some bigger they all seemed to be making a necklace in the sky.
"See how the stars came out tonight?", asked the girl.
"Yes," said the snowman, "the lady of the sky is wearing them tonight."
"You think somebody's up there?"
"Yeah, she's taking care of everything up there, she wears her stars on serene nights, and spins around showing them off."
"How do you know that?"
"Well, she's been there since the earth began to have winters, and I think she is gonna be there long after we're all gone. I don't really get to see her so festively dressed, she is usually wearing thick clouds in the winter but now I see she dropped them behind and went out for a dance. Spring might be coming."
"That's not good, it's going to get warm," replied the girl worriedly.
"She's just tired of the cold and the snow. How long could you stay dressed up all in white? not to mention we have to think of the others, the trees and the bears are all sleeping, they have to wake up too.

The snowman was surrounded by snowdrops, and shortly thereafter the last snowfall of the winter fell. As the spring came, the snowman got dirty, and grass began to grow in the courtyard of the castle.
One day the snowman felt the end coming and decided to say goodbye to the little girl. He took one of the buttons on his chest and placed it in her hands.
"My time has come Bianca."
"No, you can't leave, I won't let you. I'll put your heart in the freezer and we'll see each other next year."
"Bianca, you promised me, you're a big girl now, you can't take care of me anymore, you have to grow up."
"I don't want to, why should I grow up?"
"Bianca I want you to listen, it'll be fine, you'll see, you'll grow up, you'll make friends and forget me..."
"How can I forget you, I don't want to."
"It's all right Bianca, that's how it has to be. It's gonna be fine, you'll see.
The snowman smiled warmly, and the girl burst into tears and fled home. The snowman cried out after her:
"Bye and be happy ... Bianca, if it's not too hot I'll see you again tomorrow." said the snowman considering the weather. 
The next day, Bianca found the snowman with a fallen eye and a missing hand.
"Where's your hand, who took it? Please talk to me, I'm sorry I left yesterday."
Bianca put the eye back, but the snowman was too far gone to respond. Bianca opened the soft snow around his heart. The blue diamond that had given life to the snowman was transparent in the daylight. 
She pulled it out, wiped it clean, and watched it for a long time, letting it melt in her hands. She held it until the feeling in her fingers started to fade.
"I don't want to leave you," she whispered.
Then she dug a hole in the middle of the sand castle with her numb fingers and buried the last shard of the snowman's heart.
"I'll play with you again, you'll see, I'll make snowmen with other kids, and we'll play together." 

Versiunea în română: Omul de zăpadă

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Jul 27, 2018

Guru - The titans

Shh ... can you feel your left eye weeping? it stings, doesn't it? I have to ask you to open it wider, help me out a little, that's it, a little more and I can take this light out of your eyes, you know what they say “light bestows the fruits of knowledge”. Tell me, do you believe in your god? 
Open up and the pain will pass, I promise. I know it stings and tomorrow it'll be swollen and red, but you're with me now, and we're gonna get over this together. It'll be fine, you'll see.
Stop fussing, I have a new rule for you, it's like a relaxation exercise. Are you ready? ... stop breathing. You should be able to refrain for at least a minute ... I take it you were unprepared. Shall we try again? So a new rule, you can only breve when I allow it. Now breve out all the air in your lungs, and we'll wait for a minute without breathing in, OK?
No matter how much you've exhaled, there's still some air left in your lungs, and it's not your fault, it's not like you disobeyed me, it's just the nature of your lungs. If I asked you to jump 6 feet in the air, could you do it? Probably not, and that's the nature of your legs, but you see, no one's stopping you from training. Ironically, in the opposite direction you'll get 6 feet under before you know it. You have to see your limits to overcome them, play hopscotch and then jump right out.
Are you grinding your teeth? Let me see. Smile, go on smile it's fine, I know you won't cheat, show me all your teeth. Do you know you have a cracked incisor? let me have a look at it. Don't breve in, that's right, just smile. You have to see a dentist, you must grind your teeth constantly. Why? worries and frustration? what does the universe want from its last talking mollusk. You're a ruminating cow, a broken windmill, if you keep going all you'll have in your mouth is chalk.
I'll give you a slap, are you ready? That's the rule, you can breathe in after I give you a smack on the mouth. It hasn't been a minute, we have to wait a little longer, you don't deserve it yet. You can inhale if you don't want to wait. I'm not here to smack you around, I will abstain. See this is an exercise for the both of us. If you give up that's your business, I'm not going to bother with you. I am not the one who can open up your chakras or that inner eye, only you can do that. You can be like a roly-poly toy and bounce back from all of this to enjoy your release.
Your teeth look really bad. It wouldn't be a problem if you had that mania where people chew on electrical cables, alas you suffer from something worst: fear and the yellow things hidden behind walls. These grind at you unseen. I want your sickness on the outside, honest, easy to understand and pleasant to explain.
How's the eye? I'll bring you a mirror, it's sort of funny to see someone crying with just one eye, you know the old saying: the rich widow cries with an eye and laughs with the other. Is it easier now? your tears washed most of the soap out. You know I was thinking, what's better regular soap or dish-washing soap? 
Heed my warning, the treatment hurts, but it's nothing compared to the alternative. Let me put some more. Salvation always comes from within, from the resources no one can take from you, from the air you can not exhale, from your tears and sweat, the lubricants of life. You have everything at your fingertips, all you have to do is stick your hand down your chest and take it. You have a full store at your disposal: first aisle adrenaline and lactic acids; second aisle gastric juices and gall blather stones; melanin and gray cells in the electrical aisle. You're young, the store is full, a nice cashier even lets you leave without paying.
Stop struggling, you won't understand anything if I have to tie you up to the chair. Stop touching your face. Who do you think you are, trying to take away the pain with your hands, it's useless. We've managed to pass that lousy minute, but you don't deserve the slap. Why do you want to scratch you're self so much? you would scratch until your skin would get red and you would scratch until you drew blood and scratch even more after that. Where will you end up if you bleed for such trivial things? What I'm offering you is much better.
It may itch, but that leads to meditation, the more you stay still, the more coagulated, you'll feel all kinds of itching, under your tits, beside your nose, somewhere on the top of your head. That itch is the sinner's gift, it tells you that you're on the right path. It will eventually go away, just like everything else in this world. Your forehead may itch, but I want to get rid of the itching on your brain.
A few words from a wise man? “Ignore the eye and it will ignore you“. Here's a little lemon flavored detergent, it will help you understand. You should pour it in yourself ... I can wait, there's no hurry.
We should really break off that tooth, regrettably I don't think you could handle it. The pain would take you out of the transformation. Some people told me they couldn't even hear me over the pain, it's a bit much for your first time. Do you want to try it, should I bring the pliers?
Yeah ... I forgot you can't talk, no air. It's okay we're doing these little steps together, you and I. You have to be patient with me too. If you don't give up on your self I promise I will get you out of here child of Iapetus.
Hold your breath, smile, open the eye, I know you want to open it as wide as possible, but more than the pain itself, the fear of pain is stopping you. Please for your sake, do it. 
You want that slap, are you ready? ... breathe. Why are you sneering? Does it hurt? you're going to get used to it, anyway, it' can't possibly hurt yet ... breathe. Your face is getting a bit red, but we have to relearn how to breathe. Can you imagine the person that expects every breath to be accompanied by pain, do you realize what you're becoming?
Inhale, hold it in, smile ... we wait and ... inhale. You tried to duck away, what was that? There's no way it can hurt you, I'm just putting on some makeup, lipstick on your cheeks and tyrian purple on your eyes. Smile ... inhale, I work my self to the bone and you still don't understand. Your god only exists in pain and suffering. That's the only time people look towards him, it's only natural that he would hate you.
Do you see his perversion? He made you weak so you would ask for help, he made you imperfect in his image, migraines in his image, organ failure in his image, death in his image, flesh on the stick in his image, brain dipped in batter in his image, your righteous soul in his image.
I'm almost envious, you can barely see, but I think your gaze has cleared up. I'm gonna bring the pliers, and because you flinched I won't help you anymore, you'll have to do it on your own. Don't breathe, I'll be right back.

Versiunea în română: Guru - Titanii

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Oct 31, 2017

Soap

A patch on his hand, that's how it started. A patch that grew steadily and was well adorned with small white purulent beads. These white globules appeared on the top of red mounds of meat erupting like biological mini-volcanoes. The situation could no longer be hidden by long sleeves, and far worst, the small hills of living flesh began to hurt. Only then in the 12th hour Holt decided to go see a doctor.

The dermatologist stood behind a tall metal door painted with flaky white enamel, and in the corner of the reception lobby a mold stain blossomed in the shape of a human head.
He got inside, and the first thing the doctor did was scratch his elbow. Holt looked at this as a bad sign and took a step back trying the door behind, but the knob was stuck. The doctor motioned him to approach.
-- How can I help you?
-- I have an itch on my hands, he lifted his palms up, showing the two red spots oozing down to his elbows.
-- The annoying part is they hurt.
Scratching his beard, the dermatologist lunged beneath the table and pulled out a couple of small-sized condoms that he rolled on his fingers.
-- Let's have a look.
The doctor approached and tested Holt's skin.
-- That's enough, said the doctor.
Then he smiled, lifted one eyebrow, scratched his armpits, and dropped the condoms into the trash.
-- You have a tadpole on your hands, that's how you got in trouble. You put your hand on the frog every day, you have to stop doing that sir.
-- On a frog?
-- Yes sir, on something infected. Go clean your house, take your day step by step and find the frog. It will pass, but you have to stop reinfecting yourself.

Holt picked up his clothes, his shirts, each and every sock and undershirt and washed them all at 90 ºC. He put on a pair of fresh gloves and began scrubbing the bathroom. "I reinfect myself every day", thought Holt, "every day". He looked at his toothbrush, he broke it in half and flushed it down the toilet. Slightly more calm he went to the kitchen, but he still couldn't escape the words "every day". He picked up his coffee cup and threw it against the wall, "This way no one is gonna take it from the trash".
He started recapping his day in a clean kitchen corner, thinking how he would break all his pens at work, how he would change his keyboard, how the mouse would make a jump out the window. Then, in a moment of divine enlightenment, he remembered: every day he went to the bathroom at work, day in day out he would wash his hands with the company soap, the one with the company logo. Every day, even several times a day, he put his hands on the frog in communion with the noxious people at work.
But if the soap was the cause then he couldn't be the only one, there had to be others, others who suffered. Holt decided to investigate. He would have to walk into the bathroom without touching the soap or the sink, he would open the door with his feet, and avoid door handles like all hell.
"But why am I the only one with a tadpole growing on me?" Holt thought, "Where are the other carriers, why doesn't anyone else open their little mouths?"

Holt got his post in the unisex bathroom, taking care not to exclude anyone. He decided to sit and smell all his colleagues farts, just so he could reach a satisfactory conclusion.
  "That fat bitch, she must be it, she would fuck anyone for a handful of fries", thought Holt. But Eillen took out a white cream soap from a rubber wallet, washed her hands and went out. Holt smiled politely while he was pretending to wash his hands for the tenth time. After the woman stepped out Holt pulled out his pruned fingers from beneath the jet of water and waited for the next dubious individual to make an appearance.
"Has to be this four eyes, this bloody bastard from IT, rubbing it in his pants in the server room, coming to wash it off on this soap", Holt thought almost shouting. He was planning to give Colby a bath in the toilet bowl. Colby pulled out a plastic sea shell from where he fished out a sliver of soap. He washed his hands, and left without saying anything. He closed the door with his foot and did all these without raising his gaze from the ground. "What a thing", Holt thought, "I could have sworn he ..."
The next one was Holt's boss. Alister left the stall and smiling at Holt zipped up his fly. "Is he the piece of shit I've been looking for? I may have to sign my resignation with a shovel on his face", contemplated Holt. Alister stopped in front of the mirror, pulled out an antibacterial spray and amply sprayed his hands, filling the toilet with the smell of sweet alcohol. With one foot out, Alister congratulated Holt for the good job he was doing and disappeared before Holt could answer.
Bursting into the bathroom entered his friend, nasty Olaf.
-- Hey buddy, oh man I had some chick this weekend, she almost broke me.
"Could it be him? Of course, I saw him blowing his nose in his hands just the other day", thought Holt.
-- She had about 40 pounds on me... well not 40 but at least 20, and lustful beyond belief.
Olaf boasted from within the stall, while a continuous jet of urine was sloshing the water in the toilet. He stepped out of the stall, passing indifferently by the sink and throwing a final:
-- That's life ...
"Ha ha, he didn't even look at the sink, who's left?" Not a single person had used the froggy soap since he was waiting.
An electric buzz began to massage Holt's leg. The janitor came in with a broom in his hand. He sunk his hands in the water and started sudsing his hands up to his elbows. He took a little water in the crook of his hands and poured it on his forehead and again at the back of his neck. Streams of sweat flowed down the man's clothes. Seeing the wretchedness flowing down from this man, Holt started steaming.
Undoubtedly he was the one, he had to be the pestilence, a man with too many layers of filth to feel a few tadpoles. Holt sneaked behind the old man taking his broom, and swung with all his strength for the janitor's head. He felt the bluntness of the wood failing in his hands, so he swung one more time with the satisfaction of braking the wood in half. The old man, now with a bloody face, threw himself toward Holt, but he stopped him with the rest of the broom. The old man grabbed it, and Holt turned him to the window where both of them were almost thrown out. Holt hit the old man behind his left foot, grabbed him by that leg, and lifted him up balancing him on the edge of the window. He launched a victorious howl and then threw him out. The old man, too immobile to catch on to anything, fell with a splat on the edge of the pavement.

Holt's phone continued to ring. He took a breath and put it to his ear.
-- Greetings, I'm calling you from the dermatology office, there's no infection sir. The lab results came back, it has to be an allergic reaction to something. Have you been fondling a cat, or maybe got a new shirt? I once had a patient covered head to toe in blisters from an allergic reaction to a bracelet. I was telling him "it's from the braided nonsense on your hand" but he kept saying no and no...

Versiunea în română: Săpun
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Sep 16, 2017

Wake up

My hands have long fingernails, too long for a man, too long for me. Clean and white I feel them wanting to grow. I see them growing, there's something weird about them.
I'm in a dream and can't get out. There's a girl on my couch, she sees me looking at her a little too carefully and asks me while raising one of her thin eyebrows, "What?". She's not real, she can't be real because I don't know her, only pieces of her seem familiar. A Frankenstein's beautiful monster I can not escape. She kisses me and now she looks at me with green eyes. I recognize them, they are the eyes of a girl that my former roommate when crazy over. Her lips taste of sour cherry's, that's from a girl I used to kiss in a cemetery when I was a kid.
-- You're not real, leave me alone.
She looks angry at me and gives me a slap.
I wake up.

I lay my hand on the place where my imagination gave me a slap, my face feels warm and stingy. What the hell, did I slap myself?
Next to me, a beautiful girl with dimples in her cheeks is giggling.
-- I can't believe you fell asleep on this music.
Wait this girl ... oh no it's fine I know her, I know her. I remember now, I'm at a wedding. My head is pulsing in the rhythm of the samba, my brain is sloshing around from left to right like a cup of water.
--I'm going to dance, she continued.
Opposite me, my brother's wife gives me a sign to go after the girl. I get up and go out, I need some air.
-- If you're sick you should go home.
My brother came after me.
-- Was it like this when you got married?
-- I'm not married.
I wake up.

Ohh God, if only this headache was only in my dreams. You drank last night and now you have to suffer idiot, suffer.
The digital clock next to the TV is broken I have to rely on the old dial clock in the kitchen. A couple of minutes past 7, I get dressed and start for work. I just walk out into the hallway and a neighbor sees me. I say "Morning", she just shakes her head. What? It's too late to go to work? this crazy old hag, damn her.
At the tram stop, a taxi driver waves me off so he can park his car in front of the tram. What's with all these madmen pushing me aside? I feel one of my fingers coming out of my shoe. 
I get to work and my boss puts yesterdays papers on my desk. "That's wrong," she says, tapping her finger here and there on the sheet in front of me. Ehh this old hen, doesn't she realize I didn't get much sleep last night, if she keeps going like this ... I have to. And then I see my nails, marine blue with waves drawn on them.
-- Hello, what are you doing? Day-dreaming?
-- My kitchen clock doesn't have batteries.
-- What?
-- It stopped working 2 years ago.
I wake up.

Oh brother, this is exactly what I hate about my dreams, how in the hell do you dream you go to work only to wake up and actually go to work. Next to me, my girlfriend has a sheet over her head, but her back is naked.
-- Get back to sleep, for once in your life sleep in on Sunday, she mumbles to me.
That's right, it's Sunday. I stretch back down on the bed. But I can't sleep anymore, I smack her ass and she jumps up like she got electrocuted.
--Let's do something, I say.
She drops the sheet down, kisses me lightly.
-- Okay, but first wash your teeth.
We come out on the balcony, my love lights up a cigarette, I also look for a pack. She shakes her head, she knows I don't have any cigarettes, I never do, she stretches out one of hers. I take in the first puff of smoke, is there anything smoother then that first morning smoke? A strange sense of shame embraces me, something is wrong. I look at her.
-- Didn't I quit smoking?
I wake up.

This time alone, of course alone, stupid ... ohh man, how dense can you be? Not to realize you are dreaming when you don't even have a girlfriend and there she was with her booty up in the air. And yet that cigarette woke me up, what a load of crap. 
Wet clothes are lying in the middle of the house, this infected air is giving me these dreams. I go to the bathroom and try to fill my hands with water, only the water flows through my fingers. I look at the mirror and the reflection in front of me gently shakes its head in disagreement.

Versiunea în română: Scoală

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Aug 19, 2017

Chubby - part II - Infernum

The car went down Union Square tunnel, and all of a sudden turned left, to find a paved road. The car shook terribly and the driver smiled at the chubby kid.
-- The road to hell is paved with good intentions, that's why we need great suspensions. The glass above the oil indicator went flying into the driver's lap. Let's take the scenic route, this road is shaking my teeth lose.
-- Do you hate me?
-- Do I hate you? No, I don't hate you.
-- Then why didn't you let the little girl touch me and bring me back to life.
-- Hey, you had every reason to try it, and it was my duty to stop you. I did my job, but I don't hate you, I kinda like you, and saying that he grabbed the boy's cheek.
-- Could you not do that?
-- HA, you'd better get used to it kid, the inferno is going to be a lot tougher than that, a real hell for you.
-- Seriously, that's a flat joke even for you.
-- And it's gonna be the last good joke you'll hear for eternity.
-- Do you really want me to go to hell?
-- Yeah, look there's the Lake of Tears, all the tears from hell go there, without it this place would be very dry, but as you can see we keep relatively fresh. And there's Suicide Crest, were troubled souls try to end their existence by throwing themselves into the river of fire. They're suicidal folk like you, and want to escape eternal life.
-- And they die?
The driver gave him a smack over the head.
-- How can they die, they're already dead, they suffer and continue to exist. Ehh you don't have to despair, not everybody here has it that bad. You'll have a much harder eternity if you suffer the official punishment and you punish yourself besides that.
The car slowly rolled in front of a wharf and parked on a barge.
The ferryman asked:
-- And something for me?
The driver shrugged.
-- You happened to have a silver coin on you kid?
-- I don't think so.
-- Apologies old man, the new generation doesn't know the tradition.
-- I should leave you on the other side ... I should. If I were to respect tradition there would be more dead people on the wrong side of hell. No one ever thinks of me, look at this ocean of blood, it grows every day, every day the journey takes longer.
-- Don't pay any attention to him, the job has gotten worse with the bridge competing against him, the driver disclosed to the boy.
-- There's a bridge over this turbid water and you took me by boat?
-- Tradition young man. I don't like the highway to hell, it's like a conveyor belt, the process loses its mystery.

The driver put his hand in the reddish coagulated ooze around the brig. The coagulation liquefied in front of the vessel facilitating the advance.
-- Thank you boss.
The driver smiled knowingly at the boy.
-- Fresh blood demands revenge, in time it will get black and cloudy just like the rest.
As they arrived at the destination, the ferryman mumbled something and started back.
-- Get back in the car, I'm not taking you to the main gate, there's too much traffic there, I know a place where we'll get in easier.
Alongside of a fence, a wobbly gate was guarded by a dwarf. The chubby kid read the sign above it "Supply Gate".
-- Hey I have a little one here, can we get in this way?
The dwarf greeted him with a series of cheerful grunts. The dwarf spoke a long-dead language, but by his mood the boy understood that he would let him in.
As Death pulled him towards the gate a lightning from the muddy sky hit the metal hinges melting it. The dwarf cursed the sky with a few screeches and surveyed the boy more closely. He grasped the boy's nose and turned it once to the left and twice to the right, then shook his head and sang a limerick to the driver.
-- It looks like the GPS wasn't the problem.
-- Then what is the problem?
-- Hell does not want to welcome you.
-- Excuse me?
-- Yeah, don't be so surprised, it happens. Why do you think there is a big traffic jam at the main entrance. Management is still struggling to make room for everyone. The condemned don't dig fast enough so the administration is lagging behind. You can't come in all willy-nilly around here, you need to have your own place ... maybe in the seventh circle along with your suicidal friends, or maybe in the second circle.
-- Why? Who's in the second?
-- Those who sin out of love.
-- Stop it, I didn't die because of her.
-- You know if you push a man to suicide, you also end up in hell, so there's a chance you'll see her again.
-- Really, when?
-- In 62 years ... on average.
-- You don't know when she'll die?
-- Of course I know. But I will know then, not now. I never said I was omniscient, just omnipresent. It's not my place to know these things. Let's find a motel for you.

The road paved with good intentions looked much better at the entrance of hell, and on the outskirts lay the Lost Baggage Motel. The driver entered and went to the reception, elbowing men and women that had stacked their luggage in the entrance hall.
-- Excuse me, I want a room for the kid.
The receptionist replied without raising his eyes.
-- I apologize, we no longer have free rooms, a cult came quite unexpectedly and we are all full now.
-- Hey we came here first, a teenage couple snapped at the driver. You'll wait after us.
The driver turned towards the young couple.
-- You were in such a hurry to get here that you came without me. It wasn't even your time... but whatever.
The driver raised his eyebrow at the receptionist, and he began to type furiously on the ancient computer as it was spreading a greenish glow on his face.
-- Can I put him in a room with someone else, maybe with one of the cult families?
-- Very well, I'll leave you here.
-- But wait I don't...
-- I'll pick you up later, I need to figure something out... something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

As he walked into the motel room, the boy almost bumped noses with a very blond and very pale girl.
-- Who are you? she asked.
-- Oh ... Eric, they put me in this room until they find an opening.
- I'm Camy, you can stay here as long as you like.
The girl's father opposed the boy.
-- No, that can't be, this is our room, it's absurd, and picked up the phone to call the receptionist only to have blood splatter down his ears until he was able to set the receiver back down.
-- What is it dear? asked the girl's mother.
-- Shut up, the boy has to stay.
-- Maybe you should talk to our leader.
-- Our dear leader led us to hell, you know, in hell.
-- Yes, but he's still our leader, maybe...
-- I won't listen to him anymore, not in hell. You can believe his craziness but I can not.

-- How did you end up here? the chubby boy asked the girl.
-- We've all taken a pill.
-- And you got here because they gave you a pill? he asked incredulously.
-- Yeah, they asked me if I wanted to come with them. How about you?
-- I sat down on a road and a car ran over me.
-- And your parents?
-- They're up there somewhere.
-- In heaven?
-- No, on Earth, they haven't died yet.
-- Ohh I'm sorry, at least I'm with my parents, and the little girl smiled gloomily at the boy.
The chubby kid looked at her parents, who were still arguing. The girl was sitting in the corner looking at her dolls.
-- How long have they been like this?
-- It's not their fault, we've been waiting for a long time, they're just tired, we'll go in soon and it'll be okay.
-- Listen, would you like to come with me? I'm gonna go talk to whoever runs this whole thing. You don't deserve to be here, nor do I.
The two of them started walking towards the Supply Gate, the chubby kid holding the girl's hand. Arriving at the lightning welded gate, a man with dirty blonde hair was staring at the gate from the other side, from inside hell. The chubby kid inquired:
-- Can we get in?
-- Only if you want to jump it, answered the man and continued busying over the fence.
-- Excuse me, can we do that? the boy asked, surprised at the possibility.
-- Yes, why not? But I don't see why anybody would like to jump into hell.
-- Who are you? asked the girl timidly.
-- Me? The man raised his head slightly irritated and continued to the children. I am the caretaker, if a pipe brakes, if there's a power outage, or if lightning comes from the sky and hits the supply gate, I have to deal with it. Then he began mumbling to himself: "I have to find an acetylene welder, wait ... is the fence magnesium, should I do an argon weld ...".
The chubby kid grabbed the holes of the fence and climbed it stumbling. The pale girl stood down, mistrustful.
-- Eric, are you sure this is okay?
-- Come on, Camy, grab my hand, he smiled at the girl. We'll get in and we'll be done.
The administrator continued his discussion about the welding needed to repair the gate with the dwarf in his native tongue.
-- Okay we are in, now what? demanded the pale girl. 
The caretaker glanced at the two.
-- Do you know where you want to go?
-- Not really, shrugged the boy.
-- Okay, wait a few seconds, I'll solve the gate thing and I'll take you to the Central Registry, they'll sort you out.

The three climbed into a truck that was missing a wheel. Occasionally the truck would scrape the road only to miraculously return to a balanced position. On the way, the caretaker spoke to them.
-- What brings you around here? What did you do to deserve damnation?
-- I don't think we deserve to be here. I was just stretching out on a road and a car ran over me, and her parents gave her some pills.
-- Ahh two suicides or maybe a suicide and a lovesick mistake.
-- Why the damn does everybody say this? I did not kill myself for love, I did not kill myself at all, it was an accident.
-- I was right? I can guess sometimes. It's in the eyes kid, unrequited love is like a bare electric cable, that rattles around flicking sparks, at least that's what an electrician once told me. Well, here you are, I understand, many of us don't deserve to be here, starting with me. But hell is a welcoming place for all, they'll find something for you too.
The pale girl looked at the boy closely, and joined in.
-- I think he has "sad puppy" eyes.
-- Really you too? the chubby kid shook his head.
-- That's right, but my electrician said it in a more poetic manner, replied the caretaker.
The chubby kid tried to steer the conversation in another direction.
-- Man, you don't understand, we don't belong here, so we are going to that Center thing and getting a ticket to somewhere else.
-- Heaven? You want to go to heaven? the caretaker was surprised.
-- No, I don't know, just not here.
The caretaker sneered a little.
-- I don't think you can ... but that is your business.

At the registration office, the caretaker greeted the gatekeeper and presented the children.
-- There's been a misunderstanding with the two of them. They don't deserve to be in hell.
The gatekeeper bursted out laughing and a flame escaped one of his nostrils making him slap his face with a reflex.
-- The queue to get in here begins beyond the gates of hell, advised the gatekeeper.
The administrator smiled.
-- He's kidding, you need to take a number.
And by saying this, the administrator pulled out a ticket with the number 8 written on it, and continued.
-- I had an appointment with them earlier, but you can go in my place.
The gatekeeper looked at the note and escorted them inside.
-- You're lucky, people wait for an appointment here for decades.

The children entered the dilapidated building with doors that could hardly open, and were welcomed in the office of a completely red man trying to repair a typewriter.
-- Whatever your problem, it would be best if you would not require the letters "n" and "y".
-- There's been a misunderstanding ...
-- Your ticket number please ... eight. And he began writing on the typewriter e-i-g-h-t.
-- We don't deserve to be here, and we want to leave, the boy tried again.
-- Nobody ever came out of hell. Well with some legendary exceptions, but all of those were well before the current administration.
-- Listen, we didn't do anything wrong, we don't belong here.
-- No one ... or maybe you know how to play the lyre ... no, no, no one. All I can do for the newcomers is a "r-e-p-a-r-t-i-t-i-o- " damn that word has a "n". I'm sorry, I can't help you, please reschedule at a later date.
The red man stuck the ticket into a nail and the children were sucked out of the building.

In front of the registry office, the caretaker sat chatting with the gatekeeper.
-- So? he asked the children.
-- He kicked us out, the boy answered angrily.
-- I tried to tell you, there's no way to escape. No one ever gets out. Well there is a way ... we could just rush the gates, there are many of us on this side.
-- Won't anybody stop us?
-- The cherubim, the seraphim, and an archangel, or two.
-- Would we stand a chance?
-- It was foretold it would happen, the caretaker gave a waggish smile and continued, plus you brought something that could help us out.

Arriving at the gates of hell, the caretaker spoke to the boy.
-- Give me the Pin of Making, I'm going to tap it on the gate with Hephaestus' hammer and it's gonna open ... more or less.
The boy searched his pockets and took out the bead that fell down when Life and Death touched.
The pale girl pulled on the chubby kid's hand.
-- Eric, do you think you should be helping him?
-- It's not fair, Camy, we don't deserve to be here.
The caretaker slammed the bead to the gate and once it cracked, it pulled the hammer out of his hand and with an unimaginable vacuum disintegrated it. The destruction of the bead resulted in a small black hole that dislodged the gate from it's footing.
In the next moment Death appeared beside the jelly belly.
-- Really kid, you're the Antichrist? You?
The boy stared at the driver.
-- I don't think we deserve to be here. Not me, and definitely not her.
-- No, she doesn't deserve it.
-- So why did you bring her to hell?
-- She wasn't in hell, she was at the entrance, there is a difference.
-- And why was she there?
-- She was supposed to let go of her parents, you know, to be cast into eternity.
The driver kneeled in front of the pale girl, caressing her.
-- How are you doing honey, are you all right?
-- Yes thank you, mister Death sir, I think we are in a bit of trouble.
-- I know, but it's going to be fine.
Death rose and pointing to the destruction of the gates spoke to the boy.
-- You think this won't have consequences? It will have consequences of biblical magnitude, I might even say apocalyptic.
-- You don't look very disappointed, replied the chubby kid.
-- Truth is, it was supposed to come earlier. It was rumored back in the 1300s, plague, sickness, I was working three shifts, I'd have preferred it to end then.

Comets of blue flame traversed the cavernous sky in the direction of the gate. Behind the caretaker, rows of curious demons and dead people were gathering anxiously.
From the flames of the comets men came dressed in rusty armor floating above the earth with the help of their six wings of blue fire. Their leader came up front and spoke clearly to the caretaker.
-- You've decided, you got tired of this miserable existence and dared the revolt, you have decided the end of all ends.
The caretaker signaled the surrounding damned to sit quietly. He took down his work gown and approached the floating angel.
The boy grasped the driver.
-- So is he the devil? muttered the boy.
-- Yeah ... didn't I say you might meet him?
The angel took out a sword of light ready to thrust the caretaker.
-- I'm sick and tired of this place and not just for myself but for them too. Either let me go or exterminate me forever. I know what comes next, and I will not fight you.
The angel stabbed the caretaker in the chest.
-- Now what? the boy asked as he began freezing in place.
-- I don't know, there is no hell without the devil, contemplated Death.
Looking around, he noticed that all the angels and demons had frozen in place, as if stuck to the air they were in.
-- Without hell, life remains an equation that can't be solved, the purpose of the universe lies in balance, and time no longer has to flow.
Watching the boy frozen in time, Death continued rhetorically.
-- Perhaps this is when Death must also die.
At that moment, the jovial little girl that was Life poked him in the ribs, making him squeal.
-- Don't take your self too seriously, okay? the purple eyed girl mocked Death.
-- What the hell? he exclaimed.
-- Ha ha, I told you it wasn't a good idea to bring the kid to hell.
-- What are you doing here?
-- I came to revive him, pointing to the caretaker pierced by the sword of light.
Life got close to the caretaker and closing her eyes she approached his nose with her finger.
-- Wait, wait ... are you sure you want to do this? insisted Death.
-- It's okay, the lady boss wants to make some changes.
And touching the caretaker's nose he returned to life, and then a thousand crystalline feminine voices were heard in hell: My will be done.

The chubby kid woke up with his nose fully frozen and glued to the asphalt. The driver helped him get up from the ground, and then they lay their buts on the sidewalk.
-- What happened? asked the boy.
-- What happened... the universe almost ended, God made some changes: members of the suicide club no longer go "automatically" to hell, the devil is free to walk the earth, stuff like that.
-- What about me?
-- You'll live for another 60 years ... on average. Take care now, I don't want to see you too soon.
-- And Camy?
-- The little one? She resumed her life about 10 years ago. Here, she gave me this number, I'm sure she's waiting for a phone call.
The driver jumped into the car and went on his way in the tune of gypsy music.

Maybe you didn't read: Chubby - part I - Purgatorium
Versiunea în română: Grăsuțul - partea II - Infernum
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Jul 20, 2017

Chubby - part I - Purgatorium

A chubby kid in a black jacket sat calmly on the edge of a thin road on the quiet edge of the city.
The road connected the metropolitan stem to the little branches of the neighborhood with curves strangled by apartment buildings. And at this time, at 5 o'clock in the morning there was no one on the road, not even a bird in the sky showed its beak, but that was not necessarily because of the time but because of the day. The New Year had passed 4 hours and 39 minutes ago, and frightened birds hid in nests thinking of foreign lands. 
The chubby kid took his hat off, letting his hair breathe the cold winter air. He inspected himself top to bottom, he was dressed head-to-toe in black, and decided to lie down on the road. "It's inevitable, a car has to go by", he thought. The twilight of the morning combined with the yellowish fluorescence of the smog above the city. This tiring light splashed the street wiping its outlines, melting the plump boy into the asphalt. 
The jelly-belly was gazing at the sky when a thought crossed his mind, his face could give him away, so he turned his eyes to the ground and pressed his nose to the cold bitumen. "I wonder if hell is a cold or a hot place," he contemplated. 

The chubby kid heard a noisy car approaching, he closed his eyes, clenching his teeth in anticipation of the blow. After a sudden brake and a few curse words, the car continued its journey furiously. Behind her, a black limousine approached quietly and parked beside the boy. A man dressed in a cheap polyester suit jovially came out and hunched his back towards the boy.
- Can you get up? asked the driver.
The boy embarrassed by the ludicrous situation broke loose from the sticky asphalt melting below him.
- What were you doing there? continued the driver.
- Nothing, snorted the boy.
- Were you trying to kill yourself? Why? Let me guess, at your age ... a girl?

The boy ignored his questions and entered the apartment building facing the road, his original destination, his home. He called the elevator, but it did not want to come, so the chubby kid took the stairs. Reaching the front of his home he pressed the door handle, but the door seemed glued shut by the cold. He sat his butt down on the lobby heater considering whether or not to ring the door bell 10-20 times so his parents would wake up and let him in. Looking through the glass in the hallway, he saw the limousine driver playing on his phone. With his eyes still on the phone, the driver gave him a wave. The chubby kid went back down. 

- What are you doing here? lamented the boy.
- I'm waiting for a client. Do you have WiFi here, can you give me the password?
The boy shrugged.
- I don't know it by heart.
- That's too bad, I'm sitting here bored to death, literally counting the cracks in the pavement. Look at that shadow over there, where do you think it comes from?
- Is it a game? I don't know ... from a tree?
- No seriously, really look at it, insisted the driver.
The boy looked at it for several seconds, and the closer he looked the more the shadow began gaining volume.
- That's my jacket, exhaled the boy.
- Yes? And if you look closely?
- Somebody's wearing it ... what the devil?
- No, no not the devil, Death, smiled the driver. Though given that you committed suicide, it's likely you'll see him soon enough. The car didn't miss you kid, it went over your head like a ripe eggplant.
The driver leaned toward the boy and he ran away.
- Do you really want me to leave you here? the driver wailed after him.
The boy escaped into a small neighborhood park, guarded by apartment buildings on all sides. He sat on a scuffed bench. Suddenly he felt very tired as if he had been hit by the past night's sleeplessness. The surrounding buildings seemed to bend toward him. The sun lit up the sky and the plump boy stretched his head on the bench. The trees were real, the bench was real and there was nothing to fear. Clogged noises were coming from the distance, but everything was very peaceful here. "It can't be", he thought, closing his eyes, fatigue making him fall asleep on the bench.
He woke up when the sun had reached noon, the city was still empty, but on the asphalt black spots were moving around. One of these shadows approached the chubby kid and oozed it's way on his bench. "It must be a dream", he thought.

The chubby kid went looking for a man of flesh and blood. He found him in front of a neighborhood cinema. He was an old man, and the boy followed him in the cinema.
- Excuse me, interjected the boy.
The old man raised one eyebrow, stared at him for a long time, then put a finger to his mouth and whispered to the boy.
- Keep it down the movie is about to start, what's the trouble?
- I thought I was going crazy, I haven't seen a person all day long.
- Well it's after the New Year's maybe they are sleeping, the old man smiled, and returned to the film.
The boy tried to understand the movie, but the sound came to them like an echo from another room.
- Why is the sound so bad?
- It's a foreign movie, read the subtitles, you'll get used to it after a while. 

The boy looked around and listened to the echoes of the film and among them were the comments of an absent audience. Looking at the old man, the boy finally accepted, he and the old man were dead.
- I think ... you're the first dead man I've ever seen.
- Aaa ... you're a warm corpse? no worries you'll get the gist of it.
- Why aren't there more of us?
The old man waved his hands.
- Some go away, others are taken, Don't bother your head about it.
- Do people who commit suicide go to hell? the boy asked seriously all of a suden.
- Did you kill yourself kid? Yes, that's one of the rules.
- So I have to go to hell.
- Have to? I didn't say that, is just a senseless rule.
Then, leaning back, he continued towards the chubby kid.
- It's like this movie, were you paying attention? It's about a father who persuades his children that cats are ferocious killers and the airplanes in the sky are just wooden toys.
- And they don't realize he's fooling them?
- No, because they trusted their father and they were too scared of cats to leave the house, the old man explained.
The boy glanced at the screen where one of the children was shooting his sling at an airplane in the sky.
- A driver came after me, the boy continued.
- Who? Death? Death used to be a lot nicer but nowadays he's too busy looking around for free internet. Let me tell you something, the old man approached the boy, there is a heaven but Death can not get you there, only Life can get you there.
- Life? It's a little late for that, I am a shiskebab on the side of the road.
- Not life, but Life, emphasized the old man, she's a little girl who walks around between the shadows, she's out there somewhere in the streets, she can help you. 

The boy left the old man in the cinema and returned home. Posted in front of the apartment building was last night's driver.
- Did you go see her?
- Who?
- Your love, because of whom ... you know ... splat.
- There's no one like that.
- Why would you lie to me? the driver raised an eyebrow.
- And who might you be, exactly?
- Me? The interstitial lubricant of the universe, Death at your disposal ... ahem ... listen to me you have to see her, that is the only way you'll know if you can get out of here and get where you need to go.
- In hell you mean, because I committed suicide, I should go to hell.
- Yes in hell but it's not what you think, everyone goes to "hell". Basically, there is no heaven or too little of it, as you see the work vehicle is not a helicopter.
- And wouldn't I be better off staying here and watching movies for eternity?
- Do you think the dead wandering the earth are doing well? Those who remain will never escape the consequences of their lives. Their debts will never be paid, their tragedies will never be forgotten, their love will never be fulfilled. This place is not for the dead. The old man haunting the cinema didn't stand a chance.
The boy began to press his fingertips in the building's metal door trying to see if it resisted under pressure, if he could get through objects, nothing.
- You have to see her, that's the only way you will know if you'll stay or not, sighed the driver. 
The chubby kid sneaked into the girl's house, but came to a closed door and could not enter. He closed his eyes and started pushing with all his force into the wooden door that separated him from her. The door stopped him, but he began sliding to the door's edge and before he knew it he was squeezing like a water balloon between the door's hinges, in her bedroom. A shadow was stretched out on the bed, and the boy focused on seeing her better. Looking for the source of the shadow, he could see her as a colorful fog.
- I love you, or rather I loved you, mulled over the boy for a few moments. Now that I'm dead, I guess it does not matter, maybe it never mattered.
The outline of the girl grew stronger and her airy substance coagulated in front of the boy.
- What did you say? she turned to him.
The surprised boy replied stunned.
- I love you and I'm dead.
- I don't think that can kill you, she said somewhat amused.
- You would be surprised, replied the boy, still surprised he was able to speak to her.
- You should really put something on ... you're so transparent I can see your ribs. Are you really dead?
- I think so.
- And why did you come here?
- Death thinks I committed suicide because of you. It's waiting to see if I'll become a poltergeist eternally terrorizing the living world, or if It can lead me quietly to hell.
- Well, if you killed yourself because of me then maybe you should haunt me.
- I do not know, I don't think so. I was just fooling around and a car drove over me. I don't think I died because of you.
- Oh, I was thinking you might want to stay with me instead of going to hell, but do whatever you want ... So what's it like being dead?
- What can I say, you can't go through doors like they do in cartoons, but you can sneak in cinemas, other than that it seems a bit boring.
The girl approached him.
- Have you ever had a dream were you knew you were dreaming? And saying that, the girl crossed her fingertips through him.
- Come on, don't be lame you don't see me putting my fingers through you.
- Sorry. Don't be so sad I'm sure there are many interesting people in hell: Caesar, Jeanne d'Arc ... Gandhi.
- And quite a lot more, if Death didn't lie to me.
- What?
- Nothing ... look I think it would be better if I left.
- Noo, please wait, you have to tell me how's Death, is she hot?
- Maybe next time, and turning his back she turned into smoke. 
The chubby kid started searching for Life on the streets at intersections cluttered with shadows and then in empty places, in alleyways and dark passages, in the basements of buildings and in the sewers, but saw nothing. Life was nowhere to be seen. Then he came back to the park, and sat on the bench were he had first napped as a ghost. Above, he heard the cry of a baby gray owl from a nest. He glanced over and saw the baby bird weeping. Amazingly on a branch trying to reach the bird was a little girl climbing towards her. She touched the chick and it suddenly vanished. 

The chubby kid waived, and the little girl came down. The boy noticed her big curious eyes, especially for their purple color. The little girl sat next to him on the bench, fresh blades of grass emerging behind her footsteps.
- I think I was looking for you, remarked the boy.
- Me? The girl asked, straightening her dress.
- Yeah, I think you can help me. Take me to heaven or at least help me not go to hell.
- Why hell? What happened?
- I died, a car ran over me as I was standing in the middle of the street ...
The little girl pouted.
- So what were you looking for in the middle of the road?
The boy took a breath and tried to explain.
- I loved a girl and she didn't love me, that's about it. I sat in the middle of the road because I didn't want to long for her anymore. To stop thinking about her before I go to sleep at night, and to stop thinking about her when I wake up in the morning. I don't know, I wanted to let go.
- Well ... did you talk to her?
- Yeah, but a little late, I was already dead. She didn't really take me seriously, I think she was dreaming.
The little girl looked at the boy sadly.
- I don't think I can take you to heaven ... but you don't deserve to go to hell either.
And saying that, she stretched a finger towards the boy's nose, just to hit the driver's palm, that suddenly appeared between them. An explosion of multicolored sparks resulted from their touching and a bead fell down boiling in the winter soil.
- Oh no, he's mine, said Death watching the purple-eyed girl.
Life gave the man wearing the black polyester suit a mischievous smile.
- Hello, how are you, still taking people to hell?
- Where they belong little girl.
While Death and Life were quarreling over his soul, the chubby kid picked up the bead that was trembling with ancestral energy.
- I think he deserves a second chance, continued Life.
- Why, because love killed him? snapped Death.
- No ... because he didn't do anything. You can't just throw a inocent child in hell.
- Well watch me.
- Okay, do what you want, but I still think you're wrong.
- So kid what do you say, are you ready? Death turned his attention to the boy.
- I think so, we can go, the boy replied defeated.

And with that, the chubby kid climbed into the black limousine with the driver going in after him slamming the car door.
- By the way, you were asking yourself earlier, it's hot, it's really quite hot in hell. Let's see, I came on Union street, I should do a left and we'll get there in no time.
He flicked the GPS twice and it still didn't show the way. 
Continued in... Chubby - part II - Infernum
Versiunea în română: Grăsuțul - partea I - Purgatorium

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