MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

The wolf isn’t always bad

??????????????????????????????????????Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. When they came of age and were ready to move out of the house, their parents told them that they should build strong houses to protect themselves from the big bad wolf who roamed the country and was constantly an imminent danger to them. So, to cut a long story short, the first little piggy built a straw house that was blown down by the wolf in seconds. The second little piggy built a wooden house which was also destroyed instantly by the wolf and they both ran to the third piggy who was smart enough to build a brick house which was almost impenetrable to the wolf.

“Couldn’t he get a power drill to break it down?”

“Why? Are you on the side of the wolf? He’s supposed to be the big and bad one. It’s the little piggies that you should root for!”

“Yes, but everyone deserves a fair chance…Maybe he just wanted to talk to them and be friends because he was lonely and his aggression was the only way of outing his suppressed feelings”.

“OK, Jack, let’s move on to the next story. That might put you to sleep.”

So there was a prince that the whole kingdom was proud of. And yes, in that time, such people still existed. When he became of marrying age, his father decided to hold a ball to find him a suitable princess to marry. So invitations were sent far and wide, and all the fair maidens excitedly began to prepare for the biggest night of the year.

“Oh, I know what happened! A wicked witch came the night before the ball and cursed the prince into a wolf. He had to find his princess by midnight or he would forever remain a wolf!”

“OK, that’s an interesting twist. So this Wolf Prince, then…”

“Wait, why not Prince Wolf?”

“Well, because that sounds like barking more than anything else.

So this Wolf Prince started to panic. It was a full moon that night and the King began to fear he would start to howl too. So the Queen placed a cloak over the Prince’s head because terror would ensue if people saw his real (cursed) face.

Maidens stormed into the ballroom and began their frantic attempts to conquer the heart of the Prince. But it was not easy. Especially given the mental and physical state he was now in. But it was only a few minutes before midnight, when the doors of the ballroom opened wide and a bright light came flooding into the room, causing many to cover their eyes. The Prince was mesmerized by the white figure that stood in front of the spotlight. It was a young maiden, dressed in a sparkling white ballroom dress and as she elegantly descended the steps, he saw the crystal glass slippers she was wearing. Her blonde hair, golden as the light that was accompanying her, fell gently around her shoulders. When she looked into his eyes, he knew instantly that she was the one. He had a few minutes left. So he took her hand immediately, stared into her eyes and told her “I’ve been waiting for you”, to which she softly replied “sorry I was late”.

At the sound of midnight, the Prince’s wolf form magically changed back to his charming self, as his cloak dropped while he was dancing with the new Princess of the realm. And from then on, they lived happily ever after.

Now you should go to sleep. I’ve told you two stories tonight.”

“OK, but what happened to the witch?”

“Well, nothing really. She probably went to find the wolf so that neither would be lonely anymore and they could control their evil tendencies”.

“That’s nice”, the little boy said with a smile as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Who do you run to now?

Time to say goodbye friendIt’s hard to lose your best friend.

The one who was always there for you. Who you would look into their eyes and just know that everything will be alright. Who would sense that you were not feeling well and come cuddle with you in bed or on the couch simply so you wouldn’t feel alone. Who would sit and watch a movie with you, silent, even if they didn’t care much about what was happening on screen. Who would look out for you, so much that you would wake up finding them sitting right in front of you as they were checking to see if you were still breathing, just to make sure you were ok. Who would be silly just to make you laugh. Who would let you sit with them even if they felt like sleeping. The one who would understand you even if you never said anything.

A friend like that is a friend for life. Because no matter the disputes, the arguments, the scratches that you may cause each other, somehow these are easily forgotten simply by looking into each other’s eyes. You can tell that they don’t hold a grudge, and how could you? The benefits of such a friendship are so much more and so priceless that it doesn’t even matter why you fought before.

It’s to a friend like this that you can run to with every problem you have. Sit beside them after a long and hard day and cry your eyes out because that is the only way to vent out the tiredness, the frustration, the sorrow. And this is where you feel safe. Because you know they will never judge you. Rather, they will be there for you, no matter what. And a hug from them is all you really need to regain that feeling that there is something still going right in this world. All it usually takes is a word. No matter how incomprehensible it may sound, the intonation is always right. And this friend always knows when to say what and how. And soon a smile creeps its way back onto your tear-wet face. It’s hard not to laugh with friends like this. They know just the way to bring you up when you’re down. And that is why losing them causes an unprecedented suffering and a wound that will never heal, and will definitely never be forgotten.

Sometimes all you need is a cat (or a dog). Because that is where I had found my best friend and family.

It’s hard to lose your best friend. It leaves a void in your heart that can never be filled.

The day the lights suddenly went out

Rainy daysIt happened on an October morning. It was strange because October was always the month that made her more melancholic. It may have been the eventual setting-in of autumn with the cold and rain becoming the daily weather trend, but it may also have been that another end of year was rapidly approaching and it made her contemplate on everything happening in her life as she became another year older.

Anyhow, it happened that morning. The sun was shining brightly outside, despite the fact that it was raining heavily all night. She couldn’t have seen it coming. She had felt weak for days but blamed it on the psychological impact of the particular month, the full moon, the zodiac signs, anything other than what it really was: fatigue. She was clearly overworked and underfed. But she just didn’t stop. She didn’t know how, and didn’t really want to. Because if you stop, you need to face reality. And that was just something she didn’t want to do.

She had asked her mother that morning to draw the curtains because the sunlight was burning her face. Her mother did so, unwillingly, as she really needed this Vitamin D so freely offered that day.

She didn’t have the energy to get up, not even sit in bed. She didn’t have an appetite either. All she wanted to do was remain curled up under the covers. Couldn’t she just vanish?

But alas, nature called. And she was forced to get up. But that was when it happened. All she remembers was washing her face in the bathroom and enjoying the coolness of the water on her scorching forehead. But then everything went black. And she remembers nothing.

Fainting, also known as “passing out” – medical term: syncope – happens when you lose consciousness for a short time because your brain is not getting enough oxygen. It is usually brief, lasting from a few seconds, to a few minutes. Yet, she couldn’t tell how long she was out. It is as if she simply disappeared for those moments. Just as she had wanted to.

All she remembers is feeling lightheaded and a bit dizzy before everything “blacked out”. There was nothing more. She didn’t know where she was or if she was somewhere at all. All she knows is that for those brief moments she was calm, carefree, and invisible.

She opened her eyes to her mother gently slapping her cheeks. She looked up and saw her mother as pale as a ghost – not that she had ever seen a ghost, but she was white as a sheet. And that scared her. She mumbled that she was fine. But she could not imagine being on the other end. Of having to pick up the person who fainted, of not really knowing what to do, of trying to bring them back. It took a few minutes before she could sit up and return to normal, as much as possible that is. But the incident was one she would never forget. Even if there really was nothing to remember.

That night she had soup, slid under the blanket and fell asleep to the rain growing louder outside. She loved being in bed when it was raining. It made her feel safe, because no matter the hailstorm that was going on out there, she was untouchable under the covers.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Captain James’ Journal, day 134

goodridge_m_r_e-clipper_ship_in_stormy_seaI woke up to a stormy sea today. I almost fell out of bed and my back is so sore. I feel as if I’ve been carrying the weight of the entire boat on my shoulders. It’s cloudy outside and the sun can barely shine its rays past the thick cover of cotton surrounding it. As I climbed onto the dock I realized the whole crew was gone. They weren’t missing because they were still in bed. They were simply gone. They had preferred to jump overboard and be swallowed up by the raging waves, than stay onboard and fight through them.

It’s hard when you lose hope like that. When you simply surrender. It’s as if you’re giving up your entire life and everything that matters, simply because you have no more energy to fight.

I’m still struggling.

There are moments where I too wish a tidal wave would just gulp me and my ship away. But then I dream of something so much better. Of reaching a land as peaceful and as prosperous as I imagine it. And as I lay on my hammock, enjoying an exotic cocktail, a slim, elegant figure would approach. I would only be able to see her shadow as she would be standing right in front of the sun, her dark hair waving in the wind. I would be mesmerized from the first moment I laid my eyes on her. And as she came closer, I would be able to distinguish her stunning features. Her emerald green eyes, deep as the ocean itself. Her diamond smile that could bring light to even the darkest of nights. And that voice of an angel. I could stare at her for hours, days even. How fortunate I would be to have such a woman on my side. We would talk, flirt and laugh. And when night came we would salsa on the beach at the sounds of a live band. And hot as we were with excitement we would continue the interaction elsewhere. And sunrise would find us wrapped in each other’s arms, with only a white sheet for cover.

I think of this and regain some element of hope. Because without that there is nothing keeping me from walking the plank – even if I don’t see any sharks waiting for me on the other side. At least not yet.

Superpowers aren’t just for heroes

MagicPOOFWhen doing all these online quizzes (with which it’s so easy to procrastinate doing anything else), there is almost always one question that asks what superpower you would like to have – usual replies are: the ability to fly, to read other people’s thoughts or to be invisible. Between flying and invisible (because do you really want to read other people’s thoughts?) I would often choose invisibility. But unless it’s Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, what I would much rather would be to disappear.

There are some days more than others that you really do wish the earth would just open up and swallow you down. Well, maybe not while you’re in bed wearing your pyjamas, because if there is anything down there worth exploring, you would at least like to be decently dressed for it.

But the urge to disappear comes mainly due to all the things that are happening during that period. The constant running around, nothing going right, the countless responsibilities you have, the fact that there is not enough time in a day or even in a week to do them all, the lack of sleep, the insufficient food, and above all the immense tiredness that strikes your emotional chords leaving you close to a nervous wreck. And worse of it all, the fact that no-one understands this, or even cares about it all.

I admit there are days that I actually have to drag myself out of bed, after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock – actually my phone – so many times that it automatically stops yelling at me. And then after I get up, I spend five minutes looking for my phone, only to find it hidden under the pillow.

It’s a problem being good and diligent at what you do. Because it doesn’t allow you any time to rest. You know, as well as all those who depend on you, that almost no-one can do it as well or as attentively as you. Without meaning to sound boastful, that is the perks of being a perfectionist. But it is also the curse of it. And although I actually like all the things I do, sometimes all I want is to simply disappear. Even if it is only for a while. I would like to see how all these things I do, and which to some may simply seem as though they magically appear to be done out of nowhere, how all of them would be done if I were gone.

Haven’t you ever wanted to disappear, even for just a little bit? For starters, you would be able to encompass the flying power with the ability to hear what other people were thinking / saying about you – well, at least in my head you would!

But it would also allow you to see the world without you, how your loved ones and the people you deal with every day would actually be affected by your disappearance. It might bring you further down, but if you really are the struggler you believe to be, what you would see would really bring you back up. Maybe in your absence they would actually express all the things they don’t in your presence. Maybe that would even get them to understand that some things should be said to others while they are still there – like how much they are appreciated and loved, and how much all that they do is recognized and acknowledged.

Disappearing is not just a magic act. It’s a wakeup call to everyone. Including yourself.

Sometimes you think you want to disappear, but all you really want is to be found.

Surprisingly weaved together

Security-CameraHarry would enter the ATM branch on the corner of the street with the best bagel-shop in the entire city center every Wednesday around midday. Silvie knew that. She had been watching him for the past couple of months. But he was not aware of it.

Silvie worked as a security guard and was responsible for monitoring all action in the ATM room from the cameras situated at every corner of it. There was rarely something suspicious going on, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. The last time something out of the ordinary occurred in that specific branch, the security guard had stepped out for a quick smoke and missed the masked man entering and dropping a smoke bomb which mystified the cameras and allowed him to blow up an ATM and run out with the cash. It took three weeks for the police to find him. And the security guard was re-assigned to another post. He still cannot forgive himself for the incident and like everyone is very thankful no-one got hurt. He now quit smoking.

Silvie, however, was much more diligent. And she didn’t smoke. On Wednesdays she would not even get up from her seat until Harry would appear. Of course she did not know his name. She didn’t know anything about him. Simple that he was elegant and charming and always came in wearing a freshly pressed suit. One time he looked up at the camera while he was waiting for an ATM to become available and Silvie blushed.

Her colleagues made fun of her. They even encouraged her to go ask him out herself. But she was more traditional. She preferred to charm him and get him to want to ask her out. So she persevered and continued to admire him through a screen.

One Wednesday though, Harry stood staring at the camera. He was looking straight at it and Silvie felt that he was looking right at her. She felt the need to fix her hair and began to feel on edge. What happened? Harry kept staring. He completed his weekly ATM ritual and before leaving the room, he once again looked back at the camera.

Silvie was baffled but simply forgot about the incident.

To Silvie’s surprise, however, just a few hours later Harry appeared right outside her glass door. Silvie almost fell off her chair and had to rub her eyes and even pinch herself to make sure she was still awake. She opened the door with a trembling hand.

Hi, I’m Harry Woodstaff,” he said, extending a hand. Silvie shook it and in her bedazzlement managed to utter “Silvie Goldtie”.

She couldn’t help but stare into his chestnut eyes. He smiled. She blushed. She offered a drink. He politely refused. She was disappointed. She thought that would have done the trick to keep him there a bit longer.

He began to tell her that he goes to that specific ATM every Wednesday (Silvie was about to shout “I know!” but managed to suppress it). Harry continued that today as for the past two weeks he has noticed something strange about the camera that is facing the door. Silvie was alarmed. This could raise an alert. She jumped to her desk and took out a notepad and pen ready to record any irregular sign witnessed.

You see,” said Harry, “it’s been there for quite a while now, and I didn’t pay any attention at first, but now it’s been growing and it’s actually hard to miss.”

Silvie’s eyes opened wide and her heart began to beat faster. Did someone plant something in there on purpose?

It’s this gigantic spider,” said Harry in all naturalness. “I am not really afraid of them, but it is strange this one is there and to be honest it is a bit unnerving, so if someone could come clean it out, it would be great.”

Silvie smiled, noted down “spider” and reassured him that it would be taken care of. “Don’t worry,” she said, “it will be gone by next week when you return to the ATM”. Harry looked at her and smiled. She was either a really good and attentive listener, or a stalker. Either way though, her smile had won him over, and as he turned to leave, he said “would you like to go out for a coffee sometime?” Silvie was ecstatic. Mission accomplished. And to think she didn’t even like spiders.

Forever is too long

Forever is a very long timeIt started when she was four. She told the doll her father brought her as a gift from his travels, that she would keep her and love her forever. But then she grew up, found new hobbies and left the doll behind, tidily tucked away on one of her bedroom shelves.

When she was a teenager, the hormones kicked in, and when she was upset – very often – she would believe that this situation would go on forever, that no one would ever understand her. She eventually calmed down when she moved to college.

There she fell in love – truly, madly and deeply. She told him that she would love him forever and they would be together through it all, forever and always. But something happened in the meantime. They fought, he lied, he cancelled plans they had been looking forward to for so long. And something broke. Forever just started to seem too long.

When she found her first job, she thought she would be stuck there forever. But then, unexpectedly, an opportunity arose, and she managed to gain a noteworthy position in a renowned company. Everything seemed great at first, but like almost everything, the excitement withered away, exhaustion set in, and it was not that fun anymore. But now it was much harder to find another job. Contingencies in the global labour market had ensured that. She thought she would be stuck there forever, doing something that she was no longer proud of, and no longer motivated her.

Networking at events is important even despite their boastful or narcissistic appearance. She realized that when during a certain event she met someone who had read her work, who appreciated and recognized her worth. He offered her a contract that would make all her aspirations come true. Nancy leaped at the opportunity. “Staying put never got you anywhere”, she thought. She would move around, every so often changing her dreams and plans, and living life as it came along.

Forever was just too long.

Is this really worth it?

heartbeatIt is strange how one single moment can affect your life in ways you could never imagine, or even expect. How one single blow, one missed heartbeat, one strain too many, can change your life forever. You don’t seem to realize this, until something happens and you receive a wake-up call. When you are shaken up and forced to change your perception on everything. On the way you live your life, on your priorities, on what you care about.

Seeing a loved one lying helpless and intubated in a hospital bed, does that to you. It shocks your system to the core and makes you re-examine every single thing in your life. You begin to wonder if everything or anything you are doing is really worth the trouble. If the long hours you work, the lack of holidays or any rest, the multitasking and the constant strive for top quality, are really worth it. Is it worth giving your all for so long without receiving any acknowledgement, recognition or gratitude, while you risk losing the only one thing that matters and keeps you alive – your health?

Maybe it is time to rethink about what really matters in life. Because in the end a job is just a job. And unless you own your own business, you will forever be treated as just another employee. So is it worth wasting away your time, health and energy for this? I used to believe that you should do your best under every circumstance and no matter what. Because that is what you have to show for yourself. But sometimes, that is not true. No matter what you do, your expectations (of others) are never met. And in the end, you are the one at fault on top of it all; simply because you cared too much.

I don’t like hospitals much. And I hate seeing people I care about lying helpless in a bed not knowing when they will be out of there. But these are the moments that get you thinking, that slap you up and awaken you, reminding you that your health is the most important thing of all. Isn’t that what we drink to anyway?

So, ask yourself this then: is this really worth it?

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

A stone in the road

TestYourStupidity-24134There is a stone in the middle of the road. Careless passers-by walk over it, stumble and fall, get up and continue their way, all the while cursing the stone that was in their way. If one of those took it and placed it aside, none of the rest would fall again. [from a poem in Greek by Ioannis Polemis (1862-1924)].

There are countless such examples in our everyday life. Things that demonstrate not only the selfish nature of humans, but their stupidity above all.

All you can do is take such instances lightly, with a glass of wine and a laugh.

Journalist reports on the meeting of a Minister with EU officials.
News anchor asks in all seriousness:
“So the discussions focused on the competencies of the Minister?”

Friend calls you at home: “Hi! Where are you?”

There are a lot of stories of comic (and at times pedagogic nature) from Nasreddin Hodja who lived in the 13th century. For example: Hodja was riding his donkey on the way home from the fields where he had been working all day. On his shoulders he was holding his plow. A friend meets him along the way and asks “Why are you carrying the plow on your shoulders?” To which the Hodja replied “So that I relieve my donkey from the weight of carrying both that and me”.

This is the logic to which we have become accustomed to. No longer being able to think rationally or at times even at all.

As the world becomes more and more dumb in a sense and this kind of daily stupidity increases, perhaps we are leading towards the kind of society depicted in Idiocracy. And that is not good at all.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Never enough

Just-Good-Enough

 

 

 

 

Grandma always said two words in life
were all you needed to know
Good and Enough.

You had to learn to always strive to be good
And know when enough was enough.
That was all it took.

So she grew up being the best
Because simply good was never enough.
But good enough would never suffice,
And that would eventually be her curse.

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