Down the road

Maggie: I love you.

Antoine: …

Maggie: And down the road I’ve learned that there’s no way to love you more, to love you less. I love you as I have always loved you. From the first day when we met, to this day. I love you, Antoine. You always knew that, right?

 

A: I haven’t forgotten the night you visited me at the hospital… when I had that heart attack and my son called you because he thought I was about to die.

M: I would never forget that call. I felt my whole world collapse.

A: I heard him while he was calling you, I told him not to.

M: Why?

A: I’m not sure. I wasn’t sure that I was about to die so I thought there was no point on alarming you. But also, I considered dying, and I wasn’t sure I wanted you to watch me die anyway… I knew how it felt watching someone you love slowly go… and I didn’t wanted that for you.

 

M: So when your wife died…

A: So unfair.

M: True… Judy was amazing.

A: Honestly, she was indeed. Weren’t you jealous of her all this time?

M: Jealous? Not for a second, she had cancer, remember?

A: Don’t be mean, you know what kind of jealous I’m talking about. Not that you wanted her life but maybe…

M: Not. Maybe nothing, my love.

 

M: Remember when you had your first kid?

A: As if it were yesterday.

M: You were such a dork back in the days.

A: What you mean by “a dork”?

M: You know! Adorable but kind of dump haha

A: Kind of dump! What a thing to say!

M: Don’t sweat it, boy! All men are dorks when they are new parents.

A: I guess so… I must admit it’s one of the scariest yet most amusing parts of life.

M: Being a new parent… So many feelings, fears, dreams…

A: Now you are being a dork…

M: Ha! Is there any other way to be a parent?

 

M: Ugh, the divorce. Remember my divorce? I always wonder why I married him in the first place.

A: Because you had his kid.

M: Yes, right, that’s the logical answer but that wasn’t it. I had options. I could have chosen to be a single mother or abortion!

A: You couldn’t possibly, you were too proud of yourself to give anyone a chance to judge you.

M: Can’t deny it… I tried so hard to make it look like that was all I wanted: a family, a husband, a kid…

A: Though it wasn’t.

M: You were the only one who ever knew the truth.

A: That it was a mistake? That you, Maggie-the-perfect, messed up?

M: I didn’t even admit it to my mother. I regret that so much, you know?

A: Never ever told her?

M: Never-ever told anyone but you.

A: Woah… why? You know that humans do make mistakes, right Maggie?

M: Not me, you said it, Maggie-the-perfect… I couldn’t deal with it any other way. I couldn’t believe I had messed up my whole damn life in one night.

A: So you weren’t just lying to everyone… you were also lying to yourself.

M: Saying that it had been my intention to have that kid made me feel less stupid. I knew what everyone was thinking: poor stupid girl who felt in love with his professor and got pregnant. Such a cliché! Oh no, sir, I wasn’t going to be that stupid kiddo. No way. I had to do it. I had to affirm that I had everything under control, I was so decided to turn it all around… but how little I knew, ha… Anyway, even if I now regret it, I know it was the only thing that helped me go through it at that moment.

A: Lying?

M: Stop saying that I lied. I said that that was part of the plan to get me where I wanted and it actually did, by marrying Charles, a well known writer, a Chicago Tribune columnist, a professor of the Art Institute of Chicago, I got included in the top writing circles and God knows if without that green-card as a husband I would had made it to where I did.

A: You certainly would have, Maggie. Don’t fool yourself now, it’s been so long and there’s no wrong in admitting a past mistake.

 

M: And college; those million classes we had together… Ugh so painful.

A: Shut up, you still loved me then.

M: Of course I did, that’s why it was so painful

A: Well, I hated you, that’s why it was painful for me.

M: Why did you hate me?

A: You know well the answer. Or shall I say, the answer’s name…

 

A: Remember that Halloween we wore matching costumes and we strolled through the city the whole day long wearing them …

M: Don’t…

A: …Our trip to the cemetery, the “trick and treat” part, all the candy we stole from those kids and…

M: Don’t bring back that memory, Antoine, please!

A: …the party we crashed when the night came, what we did before it got us to jail for the first time! And I recall you were so afraid, and for the first time also I was the brave one, I stood up to the cop just as I did to your parents later that night.

M: …

A: Well, I guess you remember… Say something. You can’t deny it was so good.

M: Doesn’t it bother you to remember it was?

A: Bothers me? Why would it? Every time I think about it, I smile.

M: But it’s not a happiness smile, it’s a nostalgic smile, my dear.

A: What’s the difference? I smile because it was good.

M: Well, that’s why it bothers me so much. It was so good but so ephemeral. For so long it represented everything I would miss in the time to come… That was the day I felt alive for the first time, the day I knew what love was, what freedom felt like, while being behind that mask, not being me but a different self, I realized how it felt not to care about what others think, and what it meant having someone to trust, being sure that someone would have your back no matter what, not being afraid. I’ve never felt that way again, and that’s why I can’t bear to remember that day. It was one in a million; I’ve never had a day like that before, and I’ve never had a day like that after.

 

A: Have you realized that they day we broke up… was the day it all started?

M: …

A: When you called me at 3 am after that big, stupid fight… and you told me you loved me and that you just wanted to make it clear that it was because of all that love that you were choosing to let me go.

M: Wasn’t the Halloween adventure before our break up?

A: No. But you know that. I loved you more when we broke up.

M: You loved me more when you didn’t have me, what a shame, all men are the same.

A: Halloween was two months after our break up, we had started talking again a few weeks before…

M: I know… And I also remember I told you I wanted to do something for Halloween…

A: And I knew how much you loved Halloween

M: So instead of just suggesting a normal thing to do, scary-movies marathon, trick or treat night…

A: I planned the whole thing. Well, except for the cops part.

M: Oh! So you planned the party crashing and the pot and…

A: Before you accuse me of planning our first time too, I must assure you that was just a silver linning!

M: I don’t believe you.

A: I don’t need you to believe me, I’ve never had.

M: So back to the point, seems like I was right again.

A: What are you talking about?

M: About letting you go. You just said that was the day when it all started.

A: Oh no, if you hadn’t let me go everything would have happened anyway but more nicely.

M: You know it wouldn’t. We wouldn’t have passed from the high-school-sweethearts label.

A: So what you are saying is you were damn sure that by breaking my heart we could go past that label to what was about to unfold between us, a lifetime relationship.

M: Damn sure I was, you are right.

A: You’re wicked. And you are heartless… yet you called me that night saying you loved me.

M: I called you at 3 am that night because I knew you hated me at that moment but I wanted to make sure that you’ll love me down the road.

A: …

M: And now… that we’ve been down the road, darling… would you say you love me?

A: …

M: Do you, Antoine?

A: I hate… I hate to do this. But I guess I must admit you were right all this time… Yes, you were always right, Maggie. And I love you.

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MEDITATION | MEDITACIÓN

It’s important to know that there are different types of meditation that can be adapted to the person who practices. For me, every time I mentioned that I meditate everyone makes reference to mantras and immediately imagine me repeating “om” out aloud. It takes a while to explain them that my meditations are silent and only guided by someone else telling me how to control my breathing and my thoughts.
Much is said about the benefits of meditation and how difficult it can be, in my experience, after about two months of daily meditation these are some of the observations I have about it:

TIME – The shortest meditation I do is 5 minutes long and the longest is 20 minutes, anyway, 10 minutes meditations are the most practical for me because those 10 minutes are really energizing. Meditating for just five minutes will have you trying to quiet your mind for the first 3 minutes and by the time you succeed you will have very little time to enjoy that mental calm. On the other hand, if you meditate for 20 minutes, the calm and silence will be so much that will start to be confused with sleep (at least as a beginner I felt like it). It seems better to me to increase the time of meditation in parallel to the increase in your level of concentration, beginning at least with 10 minutes.

BEFORE AND AFTER – Along with the daily practices I recommend doing some pre-stretching to relax muscles and not be very tense as we sat still in the same position through our meditate. And after meditating, before ending the session, it seems important to me to give thanks to God or to the universe in general for allowing us to enjoy those moments of stillness, and take the opportunity to really connect with the planet potencializing our sense of gratitude. We can also give thanks for all we have: health, love, family, work, anything that we own, It’s a good reason for being positive and feeling full of blessings.

STOMACH – I read that it is recommended to meditate before eating and ultimately I agree because I noticed that you feel physically and mentally lighter not having a full stomach which also helps focus on your body and relax. Somehow it reduces the feeling of hunger that often makes us feel anxious or makes us eat too quickly, so after meditanting if you’re going to eat you will notice that you enjoy it more by eating slowly.

Those are some of my recommendations for beginners in meditation, about how long I recommend to meditate for starters, stretching before and giving thanks at the end of every practice, and meditating before eating. I hope you can experience the calm and energy that meditating produces. I recommend downloading the app “Calm” to try out a quiet guided meditation and if you do, please share your experience with me 🙂

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Es importante saber que existen diferentes tipos de meditación que se pueden adaptar a la persona que los practica. En mi caso, en cada ocasión que comenté que meditaba todos hicieron alusión a los mantras y me imaginaban de inmediato repitiendo en voz alta “om”. Tardaba un rato en explicar que mis meditaciones son en silencio y solo guiadas por alguien más diciéndome cómo manejar mis respiraciones y mis pensamientos.

Mucho se dice de los beneficios de la meditación o lo difícil que puede ser, en mi experiencia, después de aproximadamente dos meses de meditar a diario estas son algunas de las observaciones que tengo:

TIEMPO – La meditación más corta que hago es de 5 minutos y la más larga de 20 minutos, como sea, las meditaciones de 10 minutos son las que más practico porque considero que esos 10 minutos son suficientemente renovadores y energizantes. Al meditar por solo 5 minutos pasarás 3 de esos minutos tratando de acallar tu mente y cuando por fin lo logres te quedará muy poco tiempo para disfrutar de esa calma mental. Por otro lado, si meditas 20 minutos, la calma y el silencio serán tantos que se comenzará a confundir con sueño (al menos yo como principiante lo sentí así). Me parece más recomendable aumentar el tiempo de meditación en paralelo al aumento en tu nivel de concentración, iniciando como mínimo con 10 minutos.

ANTES Y DESPUÉS – Aunado a las prácticas diarias recomiendo hacer algunos estiramientos previos para relajar los músculos y no estar muy tensos mientras nos sentamos quietos, sin cambiar de posición al meditar. Y posterior a la meditación, antes de dar por terminada la sesión, me parece importante el dar gracias, a Dios o al universo, en general por habernos permitido disfrutar de esos minutos de quietud, y aprovechar para realmente conectarnos con el planeta potencializando nuestro sentido de gratitud. También podemos dar gracias por todo lo que tenemos: salud, amor, familia, trabajo, cualquier cosa que tengamos cuenta y es una buena razón para sentiros positivos y llenos de bendiciones.

ESTOMAGO – Leí que se recomienda meditar antes de comer y en definitiva concuerdo pues noté que te sientes más ligero en cuerpo y mente al no tener el estómago lleno, además concentrarte en tu cuerpo y relajarte, de alguna forma, reduce el sentimiento de hambre que muchas veces nos hace comer con desesperación o rapidez, así después de meditar si vas a comer notarás que lo haces con más calma y lo disfrutas más.

Esas son algunas de mis recomendaciones para principiantes en meditación, en cuanto al tiempo que recomiendo meditar, el estirar antes y dar gracias al terminar, y sobre comer o no antes de la práctica. Espero que puedan experimentar la calma y la energía que el meditar genera. Les recomiendo bajar la app “Calm” para probar una meditación guiada muy tranquila y si lo intentan, compartan su experiencia conmigo 🙂

GOALS | METAS

Lately I haven’t been able to avoid the urge to set me goals. Most of them are very ambitious since they require much time and dedication due to my main objective being to get high benefits. Among several of them I put the most common: to exercise, eat healthy and sleep earlier. However, I have complicated it by adding certain parameters, such as: exercise daily, eat vegetarian or at least reduce consuming animal products and sleep earlier to wake up early.

Also I have more diverse goals as: meditate, practice yoga, read more, or other specific and small like: not biting my nails, dressing up better, learning to cook, and some complex too as: studying foreign languages, saving money and starting a business.

Anyway, the biggest challenge of all these goals is to turn them into habits or perhaps I should correct the misapplication of the word “goal” since these changes don’t have a deadline because they are things that I must go adding to my routine everyday and the benefits that I hope to obtain will be reflected in my daily life hereafter as they continue to meet.

Regardless of the magnitude of the challenge, which actually made me questioned how convenient it is to set myself so many goals at the same time, I am convinced that if I put my mind to it, making small actions day by day will make the difference and perhaps in the process I will be able to add another goal until I meet to establish the several healthy habits I’m hoping to!

Últimamente no he podido evitar las ganas de plantearme metas. La mayoría de ellas muy ambiciosas puesto que requieren de tiempo, dedicación y mi objetivo es obtener altos beneficios.

Entre varias de ellas he puesto las más comunes: hacer ejercicio, comer saludable y dormirme temprano. Sin embargo, las he complicado añadiendo ciertos parámetros, como: hacer ejercicio diario, comer vegetariano reduciendo productos animales y dormirme temprano para despertarme más temprano.

Tengo metas más diversas como: meditar, practicar yoga, leer más, u otras específicas y pequeñas: no morderme las uñas, arreglarme mejor, aprender a cocinar, también algunas complejas como: estudiar idiomas, ahorrar e iniciar algún negocio.

El mayor reto de todas estas metas es que para cumplirlas las debo convertir en hábitos, o quizá sea una mala aplicación de la palabra “meta” puesto que estos cambios que me propongo hacer no tienen una fecha límite para cumplirlas sino que son cosas que debo ir añadiendo a mi rutina para que las continúe haciendo SIEMPRE y los beneficios que espero, se vean reflejados en mi vida diaria de aquí en adelante mientras las continúe cumpliendo.

Sin importar la magnitud del reto, lo que me cuestiono es qué tan conveniente es plantearme tantas metas al mismo tiempo pero estoy convencida que si me lo propongo de verdad, pequeñas acciones a diario irán marcando la diferencia, quizá en la marcha iré agregando una que otra meta ¡hasta que tenga varios hábitos saludables ya establecidos!

He #1

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That night I danced like crazy, shaking my arms and moving my head to the electronic rhythm with my eyes closed to avoid the bright lights coming out of the stage as he carried me on his shoulders… And when the show ended he invited me to a fire with his friends near their tents so I went and some of my girlfriends went too.
There they were all partying out loud, singing, drinking and dancing but we were the only ones sitting right beside each other near the fire. I could see the shadows in his face and his hand intertwined with mine. We were talking about our lives, the music and the hype.

Suddenly he asked me about a band he was saying he didn’t like and I told him I did buy their vibe. For the first time I didn’t feel like lying. I was losing all my fears by his side. And he was surprised. He looked me in the eyes and asked “seriously, why?” I told him that I thought they were “cute and old style”. And that I liked old style. He seemed to analyze it while staring straight into my eyes and then he said “it’s true they’re old style and may be I’m starting to like it too”. I half-smiled and reply “are you by any chance implying I’m old style?” and he barely laugh while answering “I’m saying you can be really cute too”.
We stood in silence like for two seconds, smiling at each other, getting blushed cheeks and sweaty hands. And I knew that he knew that it was “the moment”. The moment when you feel like falling in love. The moment when you express that you have fallen in love. So I told him in a kind of whisper “Go on and kiss me, you fool”. And so he did.

And it was the best kiss so far. He went all the way. He kissed me with passion but carefully. His lips were gentle but strong. He started slow and suddenly went faster. He would change intensity and add cadence in that kiss. And after a few minutes when we both felt about to explode our mouths break off but our bodies still touched. He never drawn aside his gaze from mine and holding my hand he came near to my ear and asked “would you mind if we go somewhere else? My tent is nearby”.

A shiver ran through my body from my spine into my brain. It was a rush of excitement with a bit of concern but anyway I said “yes, let’s go”.

We stood up slowly, still holding hands, he didn’t even looked around as if he didn’t care about anybody else there than me. I tried to search for my girlfriends may be to tell them that I was leaving with him but nobody was looking at us, no one was even paying attention to the show. So we moved on to a quieter space.
We arrived to his tent. It was silent in that place. We could listen to the band that was playing outside but as if it was too far away. The lights were faint and there were few people around the camping space. We entered to his place, some bags, blue sheets and two pillows at the end. He sat in front of me and with his hands on my cheeks he started getting closer to me. Always measuring, paying attention and being careful until his mouth was jointed with mine. And then there was no turning back.

It was wild, we were young and we felt free. Everything seemed a cliché because it felt like a teenage dream. His lips were pressing my lips and his hands were wandering on me. Then my arms were tangled around his neck and his arms were around my waist. He pulled me closer to him as I tried to take off his shirt. After his hand found its way to my bra down my blouse he frantically took off his pants while I kept crumpling his hair between my fingers. He kept kissing every part of me at every second. He went from my mouth down my neck to my chest and beyond. He wouldn’t stop saying “you’re beautiful” and “I think I’m in love”. His hand went down my skirt, he pressed my tights and calves. He opened his eyes just to stare straight into mine or to say “you’re a goddess” while he hold me close. At moments we perceived the music in the distance and the lights of different colors but it just made everything more surreal.

We were almost getting down to it. He was only wearing boxers by now and the last thing left to take off from me was my lingerie. And he was just about to do it when I broke off. I distanced myself abruptly from him and with frightened eyes I stood staring at him. Even with his messy hair and his red neck he still looked as sexy as the first time I saw him or even sexier now if possible.

Afterwards all thoughts rushed into my brain at once. “He’s going to hate me” “I’m going to lose him” “He won’t accept this”. But anyway I wasn’t going to change my mind. I just met him. Fine, we were young, we were free but were we in love? I didn’t want to make a mistake. At first I thought that with him I wouldn’t mind to but it turned out that I did mind. I couldn’t do it just then with a stranger even if that stranger was as irresistible as he was. “So what I do now?” I thought still looking scared I bet.

Suddenly he lay back fully relaxed almost amused. He stared at me and half-smiled. Awkwardly I didn’t feel the need to cover myself up even when I didn’t know what was he thinking and even thought I still was just wearing my bra and my panties and he was still in front of me wearing only boxers. I felt kind of comfortable it seemed to me as a safe area but still I couldn’t find the words to say. Because what to say?

“We can go slower if you want” he finally said. And I couldn’t believe that! I was expecting all kind of rejection phrases but this. He was agreeing with my thoughts! And not only he read my mind but also my heart because just then he leaned on me, slowly and carefully as only he knew.

All at once his face was so close to mine that we were breathing the same air, his eyes fixed on mine and his hands again on my waist. “I like you. I really do. More than music or alternative groups.” And of course I laughed at the comparison but kept staring into his eyes. A deep green color and they were shining even in the dark. He smiled. Full smile this time and he almost laughed too but in-between his laugh and his smile he kissed me one more time. Hard and overwhelming as if he was stealing my soul through that kiss.
And then he hugged me. My hair falling down his chest. His arms around mine. Our bodies half naked melting at once. He kissed my neck and slowly my back. I wasn’t scared or even preoccupied. Because he wasn’t planning to change my mind and I knew it by the way he acted. He was holding me close as if he never wanted to let go and all along we lie down together.

We lie down facing each other under the blue sheets to the head. His fingers brushed my hair and his gaze drilled my eyes. We got as closer to each other as we could. Until our noses touched and our bodies shared heat. He kissed me. Short kisses this time. Lips mainly. Long periods. He would also kissed my forehead and the corner of my mouth leaving me wanting more or just wanting him not to stop.
And while listening absentminded to indie rock music far-off, while being kissed by his lips and while feeling his breath on my skin I fell asleep…

Fer S.