May 20, 2020

The friendship train

"You would think life could be better but you would be wrong"

I'm standing on the train taking me home. Don't get me wrong, I have a seat, I have a ticket with an assigned seat and so I could take a seat on the train taking me home. But it's a shitty seat, it's full of shit. I mean to say, there's a lot of shit on my seat, spreading on the backrest. It looks like goose droppings, or bird droppings anyway, I should taste it to figure it out. Not that I eat shit with such regularity that I would guess it’s origin from the first tasting, but instinctively something tells me it would give itself away. You know how you can tell by taste if an egg is from a a goose or a hen, well so it must be with this shit. It's white, with some greenish yellow. I'll remember this shit for some time to come. Maybe I could trick my chairmate into eating it, he has the face of a man who has eaten a lot of shit in his life, what’s another tasting from the back of my chair. Ehh, I'm losing my temper, no matter what creature shat on my chair, this will keep me up standing all the way to Buzau. So I sit in the hallway next to the rows of chairs and push my back against the window. I can hardly let all these chubby ladies get by me. The corridor is tight, too tight not to rub your ass or tits on me, it’s a real friendly train.
I am in Bucharest-Chisinau proclaimed “The Friendship Train" by the voice of the North Station. It's a long train made up of dark green wagons with white stripes and completed at the end by a few burgundy carriages. The green ones are Moldavian but look Russian by their letters, and the burgundy ones are Romanian by their rust. They are ugly fat conductors from both countries in the corridors, haunting like ghosts in search of tickets and bribes. I like them, they look like the kind of people who would steal your wallet and have a beer with your cash at the next station. That's why I like them, I like that they would drink, I like that they would steal your money for such a simple pleasure, so honest. It must be wonderful to have a job on the move, to be a professional passenger, without responsibilities, to go from car to car as in a ship at sea.
The train is intangible as long as it moves, the snow, the people, the animals, the motorcars, they are all pulverized if they don’t get out of the way. Come to think of it, the engineer doesn't have any responsibilities either, if he sees you on the rails, it's already too late to matter. What an adrenaline rush, smashing cars on the railway. Shitty salary, of course, but those days when you slap a minibus around must be worth it. I can see him opening his little window and swearing at the people jumping left and right in little pieces: "Damn commuters, next time take the train". Where else do you get the opportunity to literally smash your competition. Cheers of joy and approval coming from behind “Yes sir, they deserved it, why where they on the railway in the first place”.
The train goes slowly towards our Moldavian brothers or our Moldavian cousins or our Moldavian racketeering uncles. I have nothing against our neighbors, the Moldavian drunks, and the Moldavian ladies aren’t bad either. So towards them, towards our Moldavians. And these Moldavian chicks look at my seat with longing, it’s the only empty seat in this whole stinking train. These red-haired girls decide that it's not so bad to sit with shit at their backs and they convince themselves, that they will not lean backwards, that they will sit firmly on their buttocks for several hundred kilometers paying attention to an exercise in posture. One of them comes to me and asks me shyly, pressed, confidentially, so that none of the others can hear, if the seat is free. I smile, nod my head up and down, and answer "no". I can’t remember where I heard Russians nod like this when saying “no”, but I was wrong because this confused girl sat on my chair anyway and assumed the stiff back position. I wanted to tell her that the seat was indeed taken, but that would mean I'm somewhat of an ass-hat, and no one wants to admit that to himself.
Reconciled with the lost seat I start having a better look at those seated next to me. Tough hands sit on the chairs next to me, worked hands, sunburned, muscles gained through work sit next to me. Veins from sun-baked hands sit next to me.
An old man is huddled together with two others, three of them on two seats. He sits with his cap on one side, you'd say he's a sailor if we weren't so far from the sea. The old man is slender and looks tougher than the young moujiks next to him. They’re construction workers, they insulate communist apartment buildings during the week and return home on weekends. The capital demands heavy hands for good money and these men break their backs on scaffolding for it.
The old man has faded blue eyes and a sort of finality in him. It seems to me that his back held him up right just enough to get himself seated, that once seated he got stuck in the soft fake skin of the chair. A chair presumably without goose shit on it. That's just a guess, because I didn't get to see their chairs, they were all seated when I showed up. I think someone put a goose over the chairs on the luggage rack and from there “bombs away” on my backrest. But that happened on another trip, because now there's no trace of a goose. More than likely a  goose, but I'm not getting into that again.
A thread of light penetrates through the curtains and falls on the eyes of the young worker next to the window. Gramps takes off his cap, revealing a thick bald spot, and puts it over the lad nailed by the light beam.
“Is that better?”, he asked.
“Thanks pops”.
The old man dries up a one-liter bottle of beer and tosses it in a saddlebag between his legs like a well-done thing. Then, still with his hand in the saddlebag, he secretly takes out a bottle of colored spirits, washing his mouth with it he then passes it along to the fellow next to him. A boy with ripped knee jeans takes a mouthful and a glaze moves over his eyes. He rubs his face and smiles at the old man. The old man winks at him and nods to pass it along. To their right by the window in a half-open hoodie with no T-shirt on is the lad who was trying to take a catnap. The unshaven man takes a eager mouthful and wakes up immediately jumping on his feet.
The liquor tickles their tongues and makes them talk.
In front of them, next to the chair that would have been mine, is the fourth scaffolder, he is sweating with his hair glued to his forehead. I've never seen a man with so many muscles have a more embarrassed look on his face. More robust than the others, he had broad shoulders and his nose was broken to the right. His nose made him ugly and gave him a hissing breath. He licked his upper lip when he spoke, but preferred to be silent. The old man did not hand him the talkative liquor, he took another swill and put it half empty back in the bag.
It was obvious the old man had been handsome in his youth, but from his stories this hadn’t helped him at all. He had taken up a beautiful wife who pretended to work when he was home but was the village whore for the rest of the time. The young men were grinning from ear to ear as the old man flourished his life stories so they would learn from his mistakes and avoid beautiful women.

This filthy train is full to the brim with people, but these scaffolders are next to me and I like to listen to them. Of course, there are also Merlin Monroe hotties with windy hair and sunglasses. Not to mention brunettes half-melted in their chairs, who remember from time to time not to sit bow-legged on a train crowded with construction workers. There are guys with earrings in their ears and a dubious looking dude with an nail in his eyebrow.
A lass with sunglasses takes a long look at me, I must have admired her too intensely or maybe she wants to scold me for rubbing against all these women fluttering around back and forth on the train. She takes off her glasses and looks at me, she has deep dark circles around her eyes. I whisper to her like a prayer, “Don't love, put the glasses back on, you look much cooler with them on”.
I can't believe it ... she listened to me ... Or maybe she read my lips who knows. Now she’s bored playing with her feet under the chair. I should go over there and figure her out ... I should... 
Oh my God, this hellion in front of me... she’s the mother of all chatterboxes, I can't have a strait thought in my head for all the noise she’s making. She is standing in front of me turning some poor bastard’s head into mush. I can only see this poor man’s head nodding. She has a book in her hand, but in an hour and a half she hasn’t put it to her eyes once. She hasn’t stop talking all this time. I can't think anymore, damn it.
I take refuge between the wagons for a bit of peace, here the rails break beneath my feet but at least I can’t hear that woman's voice. I sit in that place between the wagons, with two metal plates sandwiched between me and the angry ground below. Between the bellows and the metal plates I can see a torrent of earth, gravel and railway sleepers flowing under me. I get dizzy, I try not to look. It's an adventure up here between the wagons, death is close and the cigarettes taste better. This is the last place where you can smoke on the train, the last quiet place, until they’re modernized into airtight passages. Fuck them with their modernization… Fuck innovation. Fuck it.

Photo by Paul @causeimluap
Versiunea în română: Trenul prieteniei
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Jan 15, 2020

Guru - The Magnificent

In love since the world began ... and thus I am what I am...

Suddenly there was light, and it burned the perfect. The old world burned hot and nobody and nothing could hide. The last detritus of darkness that remained gathered up and made the earth, the last peaceful place. And there in the last refuge of the old world came to rest the last of the pure.
The Magnificent came bitten by light and burned by the heat, his body covered with welts and disease. Angry with the light the Magnificent could not hide from it in any way, he saw it with his eyes closed. His skin itched even when he took it off.
Tired, the Magnificent found his rest on earth. The skin of the giant, reddish and afflicted, was soothed by the cool air of darkness. The living pus born under his skin erupted with despair in the absence of light. With the disease spilled, the Magnificent’s itch disappeared, the plague had died in the darkness and he could finally sleep. The first life had been born and was extinguished in the new world.
The Magnificent arranged his over one hundred arms and laid down on the clean ground. But before He sat He sneezed and grass sprouted around Him. The Magnificent's eye closed and He fell asleep.
Unable to bear the light, the black earth began to heat up and boil, and the boiled earth moved back behind the cold one and thus carried the Magnificent over the horizon. The Magnificent saw the first morning of the new world. Dew appeared on the blades of grass beside Him. Underneath His breath pebbles of water sprouted wings and took to the air.
With the coming of light the grass began to hold the Magnificent closer. The Magnificent tried to get up, but thick vines grabbed Him by the arms and stapled Him to the ground. The Magnificent struggled and found there was only one way to escape: He ripped Himself from the trap, leaving his arms behind. Only two remained from over a hundred. The giant was now flying over the earth in fear, as His blood came to life. Terrible forms, vermin of all kinds began to worm in the ground. And all these beasts were stretching up to the Magnificent trying to catch Him. He rose higher and higher, as He kept away from them. Once left alone, the unclean, devoid of His presence, began to spread around the earth.
The magnificent descended upon the earth somewhere far in the mountains surrounded by skies, followed only by the golden dragonflies born in the dew of the morning. At first, He liked their company, but they were imperfect and they fed on Him, constantly buzzing. The Magnificent smacked them terribly, spreading them all over the earth. Some of them lost their wings, and came on the ground making countless nations of beetles and bugs, others still fly to this day, searching for Him.
*
The Magnificent started building the black wall. A wall that separates the light from the dark, a wall that left room for the clean and the unclean. A wall that would keep the light with its corruption away from Him. The wall was of black marble, clean as the abyss and bound perfectly, brick by brick, as if in one solid piece that neither hand nor eye could tell if it was one part or many. The Magnificent found his peace and slept again for the second time, this time behind the black marble wall.
But His sleep could not last forever, for there in the darkness began the crisp sound of scraping, something was eating away at the black wall. Something with teeth attacked the darkness, it was no longer the light itself but its creatures. At first the giant tried to ignore them, to give them peace, he pulled his hair to one side, opened his skull, and scratched inside himself where he heard the noise, and let it pass. But the creatures insisted and the Magnificent could feel the black wall suffering from the rodents. The Magnificent, in his sleep, made a fist out of his seven fingers and struck the wall with force, breaking the teeth of the little creatures.
It didn't take long and new beings began to dig after the Magnificent, this time the children of rats had teeth made of steel and unwavering will. Unbroken by fear or fatigue these where powerful creatures of the sun. It didn't take long for such a creature of flesh and bone to crack the black wall and find the Magnificent.
“We're the same,” the rat-men said. “We have a mouth, You have a mouth, we have two hands, You have two hands, we have needs and You have needs. You are our father and we have been looking for you.”
The Magnificent saw the creatures and recoiled. His blood, polluted by light, had given birth to sick creatures without understanding and little life.
“You were never of my will. Many are your wants and great is your iniquity. You of feeble mind, you did not understand the wall was laid here for the peace of the world. You have awakened the “cleanses” that only wanted silence and darkness. You will suffer for your upheaval.”
“If the wall could not hold you then let my words hold you: If I awake for a third time, on this earth, it will be your end. I will end all creatures, from the lichen sitting on the cold dark stone to the sunflower stretched towards the light, from the worms hidden in dampness to the lizards unfolding in the sun. All will perish on the day I wake up for the third time from my rest.”
“We truly were witless in looking for you. We've opened the gates of hell in our foolishness,” the rat-men, with feeble minds, bemoaned.
And the Magnificent took pity on them, because their blood was His blood, and He made them a promise of absolution.
“The time will come when the light will pass and the new world will become old. You will not catch this day, nor will your children, but in the time to come the line of your descent will see the last day of the sun. If by then you will brake from the light I will accept you by My side.” 
And they were pleading before the Magnificent asking for wisdom so they may not be foolish again. And the Magnificent took their steel teeth and weakened their backs until they were crooked, making them helpless in the body so they may learn to think more. He sent them back in the light with care and wisdom, teaching them to read and write, so that their weak minds would not forget the covenant. And so the two worlds had peace.
*
Because the rat-men were in the presence of the Father, they lived long lives and taught everyone to stay away from the black wall. During their time, the men whispered in the ears of all animals “the burden”, to keep them safe. And those who did not listen or did not want to listen where enslaved, and were put in the yoke. So they may not err willingly or unwillingly, because transgression nonetheless has the same punishment from the Magnificent.
They also taught people that diseases hail from the “cleanses” of the earth, which come after us when they are disturbed. They come to restrain us from the much heavier fate we are destined to have if we ever rouse the Magnificent from his rest. They taught us it is better to stay few and far between because the orgy of life calls the “cleanses”. Playing foolish, loud music and dancing calls the “cleanses”. But also the suffering and torment calls them, and the rat-men have written down that is better to stop the suffering and pain wherever it is found, for crying calls the “cleanses”.
From the teachings of the Magnificent let us draw good thoughts. With the coming of the evening, we bring in our hearts once again the night's devotion:

I see the light is gone and I confidently open my window to darkness.
I know the sun will die and with it the defilement will pass.
With sure hands, I open the window to darkness and wait for the last day to come.
Through my children I swear and believe in the first day that will be without light.


Versiunea în română: Guru - Magnificul

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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 breathe when I allow it. Now breathe 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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