You’ll meet a tall, dark stranger

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He was a fine young man, who was given a pretentious first name. He could have used his middle name, I suppose, but that would have been just too ridiculous. He’d have sounded just like an old fellow. Now that I am thinking of it though, I come to understand that’d have been bizarrely appropriate. He had this sober and calm aura, even when we discussed the spunkiest, silliest things. Talking to him in these instances always made me feel like I was chatting with a charming boy who was speaking in a perfectly obsolete Yorkshire English and was wearing his grand-grandfather’s clothes. The monocle, the top hat, the stiff brown jacket, even his smoking pipe. Everything. And they all seemed outrageously over-sized in contrast with his tiny self. And with a deadly serious voice, and uninterruptedly puffing on heavy-smelling tobacco, he’d share all kinds of stories about dragons, tin toys, cotton candy, or puddle loving puppies.

His looks were very neat and his gestures elegant, but nothing about him pointed to stiffness, in spite the above mentioned gravity. He seemed somehow aloof, or at least slightly lost in a place that was hidden from the rest. We talked for a couple of good hours, or better said, I did most of the talking and he impressed me with his listening abilities. Seen from the outside, the scene might have looked hilarious, as I am not very chatty myself either, but somehow our silences met on a common territory where they made perfect sense and we effortlessly understood exactly what the other meant. Of course, the mesmerizing eye contact helped a lot; it was like we’re both too shy to actually touch each other, but our retinas shamelessly soaked the other in, and we were both happily giving in to this visual smothering. He was lanky and seemed very fragile, yet he was very masculine at the same time. That kind of timeless masculinity that is, ironically, rather outdated these days, in the sense that he had a way of being a man that was very salient in today’s context of blurred gender roles and frighten boys who always seem to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions and, more strikingly, for their desires. I even noticed him because he was wearing a pair of classic indigo jeans that were standing out in an ocean of thin, spider-like man legs, squeezed in the tightest pants. The funny thing is that his legs were probably the skinniest in the room, but then again his steps were more confident than anyone else’s there.

I was very comfortable around him and I felt safe, but I had also been drinking that night one too many vodka tonics and this allowed me to open up more easily. Not that I wouldn’t have freely talked to him had my alcohol intake been less significant, but on that particular night I was a world apart from the present moment and this world I was actually in seemed to be holding still from where I stood. It’s not that it had frozen, it was more that I moved too much, too fast, wanting too many things, all at a time. However, by the second drink I was already able to shift the focus from the torment inside of me to this unexpected encounter and to notice that there was a cord in me that he stroke in a such a soothing way, and the beauty of it all rested in that there was nothing done intentionally: we were merely two strangers who auspiciously happened upon each other in a mutual space where I, for one, felt less estranged.

We do start out as strangers all of us, don’t we?

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Lung failure

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I don’t understand the concept of heartbreak. What I mean is not that I’ve never experienced the excruciating pain you have to deal with when you’re left alone on shifting ground, unable to process reality anymore because all your assessment criteria were torn apart and you’re completely lost. I know that feeling way too well. But I don’t really get why we’re talking about hearts in this story. Of course, it would be too dry and somehow psychopathic to depict the matter in terms of neurotransmitters and chemical or structural changes your brain undergoes while understanding and integrating the loss (although I have to admit that as an aspiring neuroscientist this would sound like poetry to my ears). Are we talking about heartbreaks because of that immensely heavy burden that takes over our thoraxes and presses against our chests? Even so, I would never see it as a heartache. I’d rather speak of collapsing lungs. That is the only explanation I could reasonably find as to why I stopped being able to breathe properly when you left. When you walked out that door my lungs failed and I was choking.

You left well before you were actually gone, and I pretended I did not notice it. Today I realize you were never there to begin with, but I don’t feel lost nor angry at you anymore. I understood that not only you really loved me, but you loved me with the intensity that only a person suffering from bipolar disorder can feel. I know everything was true now, as that was the reality you were fully living in. I am not furious for all the times you hurt me either, as now I know that you were sick. It doesn’t alleviate the pain I felt and it doesn’t make the scars you left me with look any prettier, but it does wipe away the shame they triggered. I am not even shocked it took me so many years to understand your situation even though I am an university trained psychologist. I am rather grateful for this actually, as it is an excellent reminder that I can separate my life from my work and, most importantly, that I madly loved you. What an ironic choice of words!

When I finally managed to leave behind the story we shared and to rediscover myself independently from you, everything felt like scratching an itch. Do you know that sensation of relief you get just as you finish scratching yourself? Before the itch you don’t feel anything in particular, but after soothing it you feel somehow happy in a weird way.

You taught me many things I’ll carry around all the time from now on.

Remember how you used to tell me, day in and day out, how beautiful I was and I never believed you? In the end you managed to make me feel like the queen of the freaking universe. I took up running to deal with all those negative emotions I experienced after we broke up for good and ever since my body image (hmmm, my whole life actually) completely changed. I am sorry I didn’t trust you on this. It just came to my mind that moment when you found me all wrapped up in the bed cover, like a cocoon, fallen on the floor (you know, then when I was too lazy to make the bed like a normal person and I decided to make it while still lying on it and I eventually fell down and bumped my head) and you jokingly told me ‘what would you even do with brains when you’re so ethereally pretty?’. I’ll never forget the glow in your eyes that night, especially because it lasted for a couple of years more and I know that you were glowing only for me. However, I forgot the qualm triggered by seeing those glowing eyes shutting down and replaced by that empty look, flooded with all those substances you started to abuse.

You taught me how to ride a bike. This is a very useful one and it helped me collect all sorts of stories from all the places I later had the chance cycle about. Like that time when I took an old bike for an off road in the forest and I almost wound up in the river. Or those summer days I spent in Helsinki when I would ride my bike to work, enjoying the chilly northern mornings and inhaling that progressive blend of smells: the forest when I left my place – the sea as I got closer to the city center – fresh berries and fish as I was passing by the daily farmer’s market in the harbor – all sorts of flowers as I was crossing the park. Then, when my shift was over, I would jump back on the saddle and cycle all the way to my favorite beach, the one that was bordered by that beautiful forest. I’d strip down to the swimming suit I had hidden underneath my clothes for the day, and enjoy the sea, the trees and the everlasting sun. So I thank you for my first bike and for teaching me how to ride it.

I especially loved at you the easiness with which on an idle Friday night you’d suggest to go somewhere and one hour later we’d be on a train, or, even more dramatic, one week later we’d be on a plane. And those nights when we’d stay in with a bottle of wine and laugh our asses off. And how you’d hide around our apartment to scare me, just because you knew how easily I scream in despair when confronted with an unexpected stimulus. Did you ever notice that even though it was you who scared me, I always jumped into your arms for protection as if unconsciously I knew that my safe place began with you? Those were the best days. I learnt that back then all my friends avoided me because I was too happy and they thought I was lying about it. How silly!

You know, I finally managed to talk to other men without searching for you in them. I even fell in love again. It felt so right and I was so ready to move on. He wasn’t, so it didn’t work out. The health of my lungs was shattered once again, but in such a different way. I was in hell, but it was so refreshing to be in a hell that wasn’t triggered by you for a change. Of course, I cannot compare the years we spent together with a story that basically died before it even begun. However, it took me quite a lot of time to get back on my feet and it made me do things I could have never considered doing before. I truly don’t understand how I fell so hard for him. Anyway, I was so happy to be finally able to put myself first.

I recently talked to a beautiful stranger who helped me understand something very important. The challenge is not to make the things work out, but rather to find a person with whom things are naturally working out. That person you’re so comfortable with from the very beginning. That person that makes you laugh and appreciates you as you are and you don’t feel the need to put on a mask to impress him.

I guess I’ll keep learning my lessons time and time again, until the end of time. But you know what? After I survived you I know that I can survive anyone. It didn’t get easier, but now I am not afraid anymore that my lungs will collapse after a loss. Now I know they won’t.

Today I know that I won’t choke.

In ritmuri de Klezmer

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Mereu sunt uimita cum acelasi stimul poate genera asa un amalgam de amintiri. E august si sunt pe scarile de la intrarea intr-o sinagoga. Mi-am luat ceva de mancare si acum privesc cum apusul incendiaza cladirile din Kazimierz si ma gandesc cum mi-ar placea sa ma pot mistui odata cu ele. Felul in care soarele inca imi arde pe piele dupa ce a asfintit, in contrast cu racoarea aproape insesizabila a serii, e una dintre placerile cele mai sfinte ale verilor mele. In acelasi timp, mi-am luat o cafea si o carte si am iesit in gradina sa ma zgaiesc la primele raze de lumina in luni. Incetul cu incetul iarna asta incepe sa se termine, orasul pare sa isi scoata nasul dintre nameti. E martie si sunt cam -10 grade, dar dupa cele -30 de saptamanile trecute, cand inchid ochii aproape simt musonul impletindu-mi-se in par si mi se face pofta de Mai Tai si ananas proaspat. Ma apuca o oarecare nostalgie cand ma trezesc si sunt tot in cazemata mea de zapada inghetata. Dar nu imi e frig, ba chiar sunt imbracata in fusta (ma intreb daca am vreo pereche de pantaloni decenti ?!?) si mi-am facut un scop din a lasa caldura venita de la un soare mare, dar inca prea timid, sa mi se strecoare pervers pe sub haine. Sunt acolo, in ambele locuri simultan, insa in realitate, nu-s. E una din zilele alea cand mai degraba m-as adaposti printre amintiri si mi-as imagina cum mirosul de ciuperci coapte, branza si paine proaspata se imbina cu mirosul de zapada, cum acea zapiekanka imi incalzea degetele, in timp ce picioarele-mi incep sa resimta frigul intr-un final. Acum, ca si atunci, ceva ritmuri de muzica Klezmer imi inunda urechile. Mi-ar placea ca asta sa fie adevarul si sa fiu pierduta in imaginile astea pentru ca niste cantece evreiesti se infasoara in jurul meu, legand trecutul de prezent. Mi-ar placea ca felul in care suna cuvintele rostite in Yiddish sa fie ceea ce conecteaza bucatelele astea ale mintii mele, insa nu e asta. E o stare de vid si de imprastiere pe care o resimt visceral. Atunci nu eram acolo, la fel cum acum nu sunt aici.

Ce e drept, acum mi-ar fi folosit mai mult ceva de mancare decat in seara aia. Imi cumparasem o zapiekanka de la ghereta din Nowy Plac, mai mult din obicei decat de foame. E aproape absurd sa treci pe acolo si sa nu te opresti in locul cu pricina, dar pur si simplu nu pot sa ma ating de ea. De cand am ajuns in Cracovia, acum cateva luni, tot am o senzatie apasatoare in piept de fiecare data cand ajung prin partile astea ale orasului si, cu cat ma apropii mai mult de Podgórze, parca devine din ce in ce mai greu de suportat. Dar acum e mult mai mult decat mintea mea refacand un trecut pe care nu l-a trait. E vineri seara si mi-am petrecut ziua lucrand la azilul din Bobrek, dupa o saptamana grea la jobul meu normal si of, toate lucrurile astea care se aduna pe capul meu si toate vestile astea care ajung catre mine, intr-un moment cand eu sunt niciunde. Mai bine as fi ramas la casa din Wieckowice azi si mi-as fi respectat programul de zile grele: terminat munca, suit pe bicicleta pana la cel mai apropiat magazin, cumparat bere de ghimbir si apoi consumat bere de ghimbir in padurea de alaturi. De fiecare data ma relaxeaza ritualul asta. Imi place sa miros campiile de pe marginea drumului, in timp ce simt cum curentul de aer produs de masinile care trec pe langa mine imi ridica usor fusta, imi place sa ascult muzica in timp ce pedalez, imi place portiunea de off road prin padure, pana in poiana unde stau de obicei. Am sperat totusi ca nebunia orasului ma va scoate mai usor din ale mele de data asta.

Inca ma mai doare rana pe care mi-a facut-o B. zilele trecute, e departe de a se fi vindecat. B. este una dintre pacientele internate la sanatoriul unde lucrez , un ONG conceput ca o ferma unde adultilor cu autism li se ofera de lucru. Cultiva tot felul de legume si fructe, iar in schimbul muncii depuse primesc ingrijire medicala si psihologica, mancare si, unii dintre ei, dorm peste noapte acolo. Partea mea in povestea asta ar fi trebuit sa fie dezvoltatul de programe educationale si interventii psihoterapeutice, dar, dupa ce am gatit in locul lui R. cand s-a imbolnavit, am decis ca ar trebui sa fac asta in fiecare zi, asa ca am pornit un experiment. Am inceput sa pregatesc pranzul impreuna cu o parte din pacienti. Ii asist sa taie legumele pentru supa, sa unga painea cu unt, orice sunt capabili si disponibili sa faca si, pana acum doua zile, totul mersese minunat. Inca nu inteleg ce s-a intamplat. Era la masa si isi vedea de salata ei si apoi s-a azvarlit asupra mea si s-a infipt in bratul meu, urland a disperare. Nu mai vazusem niciodata un om atat de speriat, era ca si cand unghiile ei se varasera in mana mea pentru a se agata de ceva real inainte sa ii cada carnea de pe trup si oasele sa i se dezmembreze si sa ramana doar un vartej de panica paroxistica. Eram intr-o lume in care cuvintele oricum nu contau, insa fusesem martor la o manifestare emotionala atat de primitiva, atat de nemodelata de societate, incat simplul fapt ca acum pot sa o cuprind, asa imperfect cum o fac, prin limbaj mi se pare fara sens. Am reusit sa ma desprind iar B. a fost dusa in camera ei. In tot timpul asta, viata continuase fara noi. W. continuase sa cante in acelasi ton monoton in timp ce dadea tarcoale mesei, P. continuase sa dea cu palma in masa la fiecare cateva zeci de secunde, K. continuase sa se legane pe scaun, scartaindu-l din tatani. In momentul acela totul mi se parea atat de abject, atat-atat de absurd incat ma disociasem cu totul de acolo, tot ce mai imi amintea ca sunt prezenta era bazaitul mustei care se pusese nestingherita pe fruntea lui P., iar el parea sa nu o simta. Ma uitam in jurul meu, dar ceea ce vedeam de fapt era scena din ‘Los amantes del circulo polar’ cand Otto isi gaseste mama moarta de cateva zile, cazuta cu capul pe masa de bucatarie si mainile infipte in mancarea care incepuse sa se degradeze, si mustele bazaind in fundal.

Cat de departe era universul lor de al meu! Sa iti fii propria cusca, sa simti trairi atat de brute si atat de putin nuantate, dar atat de puternice si sa nu poti sa le exprimi, sa nu te bucuri de mirosul capsunelor primavara sau de stransoarea mainii celuilalt cand mergeti pe strada, sa ti se fi furat dreptul de a dormi in bratele celuilalt si de a deschide ochii dimineata si primul lucru pe care sa il vezi sa fie zambetul lui. Simteam cum se prabuseste totul in mine, era unul din momentele alea din care singura scapare era sa am capacitatea empatica a unui miriapod, dar singura asemanare intre mine si un miriapod era ca ma simteam strivita de greutatea intregii lumi la fel cum biata vietate trebuie sa se simta odata ajunsa sub talpa unui bocanc. Si inca nu vazusem nimic… La Bobrek viata insasi a murit. Seceta a parlit toata vegetatia si e atat de mult praf in jur ca abia mai respiram. Pe alee erau insirate ici colo cadavre de broaste care s-au uscat pur si simplu din lipsa apei. Nu imi spusese nimeni ce se intampla cu adevarat acolo. Am patruns pe culoarele cladirii si, pe parcurs ce le strabateam, intelegeam ca ma aflu intr-un azil de barbati cu diferite forme de invaliditate extrem de grave. Malformatii fizice cum un om care traieste in lumea lui in care notiunea de sens nu e de neconceput nu isi poate imagina ca exista. Handicap intelectual cum niciun DSM din lume nu o sa poata descrie vreodata. E atat de rau incat daca oamenii astia nu sunt incuiati in camere minuscule in care nu sunt decat saltele pot sa moara in orice minut. Aproape ca nu imi mai aud vocea mintii, s-a pierdut cu totul printre tanguielile si onomatopeele care razbat la mine printre gratii. Singurul lucru pentru care mai am suficienta concentrare e zbarnaitul telefonului in buzunar. M. e la spital, cu 1000 de simptome, niciun diagnostic, in asteptarea rezultatelor testului HIV, iar eu sunt aici si Bucurestiul nu a fost nicicand mai departe.

Ce-o fi fost in capul meu sa imi iau zapiekanka asta, serios? Prin fata mea trec tot felul de oameni cu povestile lor, pare ca nimic sa nu se fi schimbat in afara de lumea din mine. Ma ridic si o pornesc spre si Nowy Plac Zgody, sperand ca vederea scaunelor goale si a ramasitelor fabricii lui Schindler inconjurate de forme de viata fireasca imi va aminti cam cat de rezilienta e specia umana.

Intre timp, am plecat de la birou. Nu stiu unde s-a dus ziua asta, sau ce am facut cu ea. Aproape am ajuns acasa, dar nu imi vine sa intru inca, asa ca m-am pus pe marginea unei balustrade nou construite de-a lungul Dambovitei si ma uit la cum se reflecta reclamele luminoase in apa. In ziua aia in Cracovia acum 5 ani s-a schimbat totul de fapt. In ziua aia era sa mor o moarte mult mai profunda decat cea fizica. In ziua aia mi-ar fi fost atat de usor sa aleg sa nu mai simt nimic, niciodata. Nu stiu cum s-a intamplat ce s-o fi intamplat insa. Ajunsa in Nowy Plac Zgody m-am asezat pe unul dintre scaune si, stand acolo, am decis ca nu o sa imi mai fie frica niciodata. Ca o sa fac tot ce imi sta in putinta sa ma bucur de mine, de oameni, de mare, de tot ce ma face sa tresar. Ca o sa prefer sa investesc tot ce am in povestile pe care viata mea o sa le scrie, chiar daca nu voi putea alege mereu continuitatile sau finalurile pe care le caut.

Mi-a luat mult timp sa invat toate astea si inca nu reusesc mereu. De atunci am mai cazut de prea multe ori. Inca mai mi-e frica uneori, dar niciodata nu imi e atat de frica incat sa accept sa fiu propria mea cusca, sa accept sa simt pe jumatate, sa refuz sa ma bucur de mirosul capsunelor primavara sau de stransoarea mainii celuilalt cand mergem impreuna pe strada, sau sa las sa imi fie smuls dreptul de a dormi in bratele celuilalt si de a deschide ochii dimineata si primul lucru pe care sa il vad sa fie zambetul lui. Nu sunt nici nebuna si nici inconstienta cand ma investesc cu totul in ceva in care cred, doar am vazut moartea cu ochii.

To long too long

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I am the quintessential introvert. You’ll read about me in psychology textbooks, you’ll be offended by my silence, you’ll be shocked when, once in a while I’ll do something as histrionic as can be. I can confidently assure you that this is how you’ll experience me – I get hurt by my behavior before you do because, as you know by now, I am the quintessential introvert and I have a raspberry heart. This metaphor came to my mind when I was thinking about all my practice as a child psychologist and at all of the stories the kids told me along the years. It made me reflect upon what I would have said to a therapist, should I had been given the chance to see one back in the day when I needed it the most. I would have told him (or her) that raspberries bruise easily and one must handle them carefully. He (or her) would have replied by nodding in the most psychotherapeutically correct fashion, or by saying something too wise to matter, something like ‘no one’s careful all the time’. I would have stared at him (or her) in disbelief and the tears in my eyes would have changed the color and shape of reality. I would have felt once and for always that no one will really understand me. I was careful. Raspberry hearted people are careful all the time because they understand just how heavy the lightest things can be sometimes.

In spite of that, lately I’ve had the thoughtlessness of a person whose patience had been stretched out incredibly wide and I cannot help but feeling overwhelmed by this new recklessness of mine and by the shame of taking out my inability to wait on people who had nothing to do with it. I’d always thought that in life there wasn’t any line until one crossed it, there wasn’t any limit until one pushed it far enough over that line to feel the consequences of one’s actions. And this is exactly what my life had become: crossing lines and pushing limits I never knew existed, and, as long as I didn’t forget who I was and what I believed in, this game was a wonderful engine of self-growth. However, in this moment, I feel as if I’ve destroyed the very notion of limit. I had to slip through my fingers something really good to remember that I am limitless only within my limitations and, more importantly, that other people’s limitlessness is just as important as mine. My freedom stops right in that point where someone else’s cage may begin if I am careless. Now I have to live with my loss and with this abject guilt that I gave up on my raspberry heart. Unfortunately, knowing that all I’ve done I’ve done it out of love doesn’t ease my pain. It still feels like a lesson I should have never taken, for its meaning pertains so deeply to common sense.

Who wrote the book of love? Self-love is the very first romance

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I sit on the couch, having no purpose whatsoever, or so the voice at the back of my mind tries to inform me. My eyes have been restless for the past minutes, bouncing from one wall to another, time and time again. They soften the edges of things and they soak in the colors, translating them into a stream of electricity that invades my brain. I am pretty sure that if people were able to visually explore the processes that take place inside other persons’ skulls, they would have been able to notice how the flow of light penetrated my retinas and how it was instantly transformed into liquid information that dissolved into my system in the most beautiful Brownian motion. At some point the rambling stopped and now I am starring at the pinkish fish with a human face painted on one of the walls. There is something about it that I cannot grasp, but it makes me uneasy. I feel as if I had forgotten something, but I have no idea what. I don’t even know if I’d really forgotten anything. It’s drawn quite surrealistically, that kind of artwork that would make me say incommensurable stupidities. Like that time when I told A. he could have been painted by Dali, or when I told M.C. she looked like one of Modigliani’s characters. It took me a while to understand that those were compliments only within the limits of my mind.

I was 19 when I met M.C. and she didn’t mark my life in any other way than by creating a few random memories in my head. Besides her undefined fury directed towards my remark (I truly found her long neck beautiful), I recall she had fat toes and fluffy soles that contrasted with her petite figure, she was loquacious, and she could finish a whole jar of Nutella in one sitting. I met her quite a few years ago in Cabourg, in Normandy, when we were both volunteering with a Paris-based NGO, taking care of a bunch of institutionalized grandpas and grannies over their summer vacation (provided by the above mentioned foundation). I think of that experience as being the beginning of my journey as an adult, for most of the things I’ve done and seen back then were everything M.C. wasn’t: ground breaking.

I have no idea how I got here tonight, starring at my fish, but I feel lucky. Of course, many things went terribly wrong in the intervening years, but terrible things happen to others too. In fact, in this moment I could have done much better, but the idea is that, in spite the lack of sleep, the fever and everything else that’s going on in my life now, there is no other place I’d rather be. I love who I am, I act authentically, and I’ve found peace of mind.

It is scarily striking and liberating at the same time to realize how that element that you thought for as long as you can remember that you cannot go on without was actually the very reason that kept you broken in pieces, too scattered to understand your wholeness, too blinded by its shine to enjoy your own beauty. Of course, at first it was real and ecstatic, but as the years went by it became the acid that burnt your skin and carved holes into your flesh and bones. When I eventually walked out on him, I watched him chastising me for everything I was and everything I believed in. I was human and I believed in humanity. I was diverse and I believed in diversity. I was free and I believed in freedom. How low can a human being go to condemn the person he once loved for all of this?

The other day I had the wildest experience. I went to see Akua Naru in concert. People say that the performance was rather weak, but I wouldn’t know, as I didn’t perceive the music through my ears. I absorbed it with my whole body in an avalanche of synesthetic sensations. My mind was surrounded by the amniotic vodka tonic I was sipping on and I was wrapped up in the layers of my existence. I was going deeper and deeper, down, down, down inside of me. I was looking at this gorgeous African American singer, at the people in general, both at those who were present that night there at the concert, and at those who were present in my head. People of all colors and shapes, who held all sorts of beliefs and went through all sorts of experiences, and I couldn’t help but literarily seeing in all of them a terrible beauty running through their veins, making their hearts tick. I stood there wondering: how wrong can a life go to transform a human into a racist, a xenophobe, or a sexist? For the first time in my life I was able to perceive just how bad all bigots have had it in order to grow so sad and sour and I felt sorry for them. They’ll never understand how it feels like to fearlessly let yourself crushed by all the beauty in the world, how it feels like to be so at peace with yourself that you don’t have feelings that the world can hurt anymore. Of course, our existences mean nothing separately, as we need other people to validate us as unique human beings and to share with them the mere joy of being – freedom only begins in contact with the otherness. Then I had this crazy thought that we’re all made out of raw energy. That we are the outcome of an explosion triggered by the most mysterious chemical reactions, held together only by a perfect body, and connected to others through skin, eyes, taste buds, olfaction and ears. That real freedom starts when our senses become an outlet for this enormous force and we let it flow between each other fearlessly. When we cease believing in higher instances and we turn to ourselves and rapturously explore the otherness with great attention and in a perpetual search for holiness. There is no holier feeling than that you experience when boldly allowing someone else’s glance transcend your skin, or someone else’s smell flood your blood. I have always sought that person who would let me keep these immensely sacred sensations inside of me, who would feed my unstoppable drive to carelessly walk about with my soul out in the open. And when I’ll find him, I’ll yearn to be given permission to lick his synapses and taste the life that his body confines. In return, I’d contain him like the land encloses the sea, shaping it, nourishing its ecosystems, and always ready to accommodate its torments and caprices. I’d get wasted on his salt and I’d let his tides overflow me, for if I was of earth I’d die without the water, just like the water would lose itself without my shores.

I am still starring at the fish, but the only thing I see now is the image of the main beach in Cabourg. I see it just as if I was right now on the terrace of the Casino and I can perceive the tide growing. On the patch of beach that is not yet engulfed by the ocean I can still see puddles of water from the previous tide. How does it feel like to be the ocean, to always run over your borders and to ravage them? Does it hurt to leave behind pieces of yourself?