MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

This is not a Cinderella story

flower-fly-twoGrizelda, who also went by Grizzie, was one of those girls that gave “bitches” their name. She was tall and sturdy, almost manly in some light. But she was also a femme fatale when circumstances called for it. She was determined to get what she wanted no matter the cost, and rarely cared about what other people think. She had one weapon in her purse and never failed to use it: her rich father’s gold credit card.

Cindy on the other hand was exactly the opposite. She did care what other people thought and felt, often too much. She put the good of others before her own and that led to many a heartbreak. But she lived to love life and not money. She wanted to succeed on her own and refused to live beyond her means. She worked hard and strived to accomplish her ambitions in life. Her weapon was her dreams and the strength she mustered in her soul to fulfill them one day.

Cindy was the type of person many would see as a “push-over”. But in reality she wasn’t. She fought for what she wanted and stood up to others no matter their rank or status. Even to Grizzie.

You could never tell these two were sisters. Let alone twins.

They were nothing alike.

Cindy learnt life the hard way. She would take the bus and metro and train to work. She would work an unending shift, go home, cook, clean and engage in an attempt for a social life, while she tried to balance rent, necessities and fun on a meagre budget. She would count her savings at the end of the month and plan ahead if she had the luxury to go on a short trip somewhere nearby. Yet life taught her to be organized, to take into account the fact that other people are busy too, to set priorities, to comprehend when something is urgent, to foresee circumstances and to always be prepared.

But Grizzie was not like that. She seemed to be living in her own little world that was not even close to reality. She drove to work in a car that was cleaned and fueled by someone else. She worked at the family business, hence had her own office, title and paycheck without truly even knowing what the company was about. She ran around with her friends, was constantly wired up on all her e-gadgets, and could not care less that some people had to work for a living. She was the type of person that left everything until the last minute, or until it best suited herself, not caring about what that may cost the other. In fact “the other” simply did not exist. Life was for her to live and enjoy; not to worry about everything else. She couldn’t fix things anyway, so why bother?

Cindy learned a lot from observing Grizzie. She learned that she never wanted to be like her. And she felt sorry that there are so many people who are so similar to her in this world. People who spend their lives drifting, but never truly absorbing anything. People who look around but don’t really see anything. People who exist, but don’t ever live.

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing” – Oscar Wilde

Can you do magic?

magicfeatherCandy was a sweet little girl. She was usually dressed in a brightly coloured floral dress and had her hair either perfectly combed straight falling onto her shoulders, either in two pigtails on either side. If she stood still long enough people actually thought she was a porcelain doll.
Candy had something special about her. Something that at first she herself didn’t even know.

She could do magic.

Not magic that needed cauldrons and potions, but magic that came from the heart. She discovered it by chance when one day that she was lying sick in bed she waved her hand in a “wish” feigning to close the window and draw the curtains, and all of a sudden it worked. She thought it was a hallucination at first, but the same thing happened when she wished for some more water, and when she magically produced another blanket on her bed.

It was official. Candy could do magic. She hadn’t told anyone though. Who knows what they would do to her – wire her up and treat her like a lab animal. And that is if anyone even believed her.

Candy progressively discovered she could do all sorts of things, which usually involved moving objects around without touching them, and other material stuff. She could not affect human lives, she was not Cupid or Zeus. She could just do some magic.

But she soon realized that all magic comes at a price. Hers was as simple as it was hard. For in order to practice magic, Candy had to be happy. She couldn’t do magic when she was angry or irritated. It was simply impossible. Even when she was so upset she wanted to break the glass window before her, she couldn’t do it no matter how much she tried – and she had tried pretty much everything short of getting a hammer and breaking it herself.

Then one night Candy had a dream that helped her explain all this. A bright pink butterfly in the form of a small twinkling fairy came over and sat on her nose. Staring into her eyes it told her: You only see the magic in your life when you are positive enough to be truly able to view the wonders that lie before you. Anger clouds both your view and your judgment. Try to be happy and positive. Magic will then come naturally.

What?

rude-boys-bus-stop-10300805The other day I took the bus down town. At the next stop an old lady grabbed the handle at the door and yelled to the driver if it made a certain stop. After he yelled back to affirm, she – with great difficulty – pulled herself in. There weren’t many people in the bus during that time of day. Two twin girls had taken up two seats in the front of the bus (you know, the ones that are usually assigned to people who need them the most) and their mother was sitting next to them across the aisle. I looked around and the people commuting weren’t really old. At least not as old as this lady.

She was obviously in pain from something. You could see it in her facial expression that she needed to sit down, as she was already panting from the effort to catch the bus and then actually get on it.

She looked around and I observed.

No-one seemed to care.

No-one, not even one person – anyone – even thought of giving up their seat for this woman. (I was standing, so I couldn’t really help).

You could see she was boiling inside, looking at the twin little girls who were carefreely staring out their window, and then their mother who didn’t really seem concerned about anything other than when they would reach their stop.

The women sitting next to the mother then got up to get off at the next stop and the old lady tried to squeeze in to sit in the inner side of the seat as the mother had not budged. The old lady resorted to clearly stating that she wants to sit down because her foot is hurting, and only then did the mother get up to let her sit.

I am left wondering, are there no manners anymore? Savoir-vivre and savoir-faire are obviously non-existent, and the only thing left is the savoir-moi.

We live in a society where everyone only cares about themselves. Where the mentality of “as long as I’m ok, I don’t care about anyone else” reigns. Where giving up your seat for someone who obviously needs it more than you should be a given. But it’s not. (And let’s not even talk about the example the parents give their children…)

Where the words ‘excuse me’ and ‘thank you’ are no longer part of our vocabulary, but instead they have given way to ‘what’, and all the swear words you can imagine.

Rudeness is such a part of our everyday lives that people have stopped paying attention to or being bothered by exactly how….rude it all is.

Walking on the sidewalk and trying to overpass people who are trailing along at snail’s pace, talking on the phone, while at the same time puffing chimney-loads of smoke back at your face. Trying to quickly insert all your shopping in the plastic bags at the end of the counter, so you have time to pay the bill without having to gather remaining items, when the next customer pushes his/her way over to your side and is literally breathing down your neck. Reaching a bus stop and realizing there is a person there taking up the entire bench, having comfortably adjusted themselves in the very middle of the seat with all their belongings on either side. There are numerous more examples of how everyone tries to make everything easier for themselves, without caring how much more difficult things become for everyone else.

There is no ‘we’ in our lives anymore. Only an ‘I’ which comes first.

Tragic but no comedy

vin__s_glass_dagger_by_laurorag12-d4x074dJustin looked down at the body that lay lying between the rubbish dumpster and the ladder which would have served as his escape route. It was pitch black outside still and if it weren’t for the growling cats on heat, nothing would have been heard. Not even cars rushing by. It was a peculiar night. A full moon always pre-empts something strange. Justin believed his ancestors’ belief to be true. And tonight it had become a reality.

Two hours ago he was standing there in the living room of his fourth-floor apartment drinking an Irish beer with his friend. “Friend”. He had just met him a week ago. How well can you get to know someone in such a short time? Even if you did spend an unusually large proportion of your time each day in their company?

Why? Because what they shared went beyond the ‘normal’. And the ‘legal’.

No, they weren’t smuggling, selling or growing drugs.

No, they were not into human trafficking.

No, they were not into something disgusting or perverted.

They were running around town all day, trying to do a good deed to change someone’s life.

They smiled at everyone in the street, no matter if they got sworn at or nearly hit in return. They truly believed that one single smile, one good deed, no matter how small, may one day save a life.

It was good karma if nothing else. And it certainly made them feel their day was worthwhile.

Until that moonlit night.

Justin remembered that they had even joked about the only thing missing from that “twilight” sky was a howling wolf.

It was ironic that a cat howled like a wolf when the body fell four stories down and crashed onto its tail.

He didn’t mean for it to happen. He never wished anything bad for anyone. Not even him.

It did not matter that he caught him stealing money from his wallet. He offered to give him more if he needed help.

But Justin did not understand why the aggravation and the change of tone all of a sudden. What was with this attitude? The person who said a smile would make anyone’s day now suddenly lost his own. Without reason or explanation. He didn’t use to be like this.

And then it happened. The irritation brought about a quarrel which turned bloody. And then, he asked Justin for some water. Those fatal drops of transparent liquid would seal his fate.

For as soon as Justin returned with the glass in his hand he barely managed to avert a dagger stained with blood flying towards him. And his “friend” was falling butt-first out the open window. As if he was diving in a water-park fun pool.

He just made sure he would seemingly signal the culprit.

Thirty minutes had gone by, with Justin playing the scene over and over in his head. The sirens had become louder now.

He drank the water, placed the dagger in the glass and hid it in his inside coat pocket. He would leave no trace.

Only one.

An Italian gold carnival mask.

He was not known as the Harlequin for nothing.

The victim had after all smiled at his Colombina… And things, even a smile, are never what they seem…

Ψάχνοντας τα αυτονόητα / Seeking the obvious

(English text follows)

idiottestΨάχνοντας τα αυτονόητα

Τις προάλλες περνούσα από μια πολυσύχναστη λεωφόρο. Μια νεαρή κοπέλα στεκόταν στην άκρη του πεζοδρομίου με ύφος κολυμβητή των 100 μέτρων ελεύθερο που περίμενε το καμπανάκι για να βουτήξει. Καθώς πέρασα από δίπλα της την άκουσα να μονολογεί «Καλά τώρα πώς θα περάσω;». Η διασταύρωση πεζών (με φανάρι) ήταν μόλις 100 μέτρα πιο κάτω.

Μια άλλη φορά ήμουνα πρώτη στη σειρά για ταξί. Μόλις είχαν φύγει δύο και περίμενα να έρθει μπροστά ο επόμενος για να μπω. Ξεπροβάλουν από πίσω μου δυο νεαροί και ατάραχοι πλησιάζουν το ταξί, έτοιμοι να χιμήξουν σαν την λεοπάρδαλη σε νεαρή αντιλόπη. Εγώ δεν κουνήθηκα. Ξάφνου γυρνάει ο ένας και με ρωτάει σχεδόν έκπληκτος «Θα το πάρεις εσύ;». Τώρα τι του λες; «Όχι, απλά στεκόμουν εδώ για τον καθαρό αέρα»;

Τέτοια παραδείγματα έχω κι άλλα πολλά. Και είμαι σίγουρη πως ο καθένας έχει τις δικές του περιπέτειες να διηγηθεί. Αυτό που όλα αυτά όμως σε κάνουν να αναρωτιέσαι είναι «πόσο δύσκολο είναι να σκέφτεσαι πια λογικά;».

Λένε ότι τα ευκόλως εννοούμενα παραλείποντα. Αλλά όχι πια. Γιατί αλήθεια, τί είναι ευκόλως εννοούμενο τη σήμερον ημέρα; Το να περπατήσεις λίγα μέτρα παραπάνω και να διασχίσεις με ασφάλεια την λεωφόρο παρά να κάθεσαι μισή ώρα στην άκρη υπολογίζοντας την φόρα και την ταχύτητα που θα πρέπει να λάβεις για να περάσεις δια μέσω διερχομένων αυτοκινήτων; Ή μήπως το να περιμένεις υπομονετικά τη σειρά σου αφού σαν κι εσένα άλλοι τόσοι βιάζονται;

Αν έστω μερικοί ακολουθούσαν την κοινή λογική, η ζωή μας θα ήταν πιο εύκολη. Θα υπήρχε καλύτερη οργάνωση, λιγότερα νεύρα, και σίγουρα καλύτερη συννενόηση. Για φαντάσου να ακολουθούσαν όλοι τους “κανόνες κοινής λογικής”. Θα ζούσαμε σε παράδεισο. Αλλά πού τέτοια τύχη. Χρειαζόμαστε περιπέτειες εμείς. Που θα διηγούμαστε μετά και θα γελάμε. Το πόσο μετά δεν ξέρω…

Ίσως να περιμένουμε πολλά απ´ τους άλλους. Αλλά στην ουσία περιμένουμε μόνο τα αυτονόητα. Μόνο που πια δεν είναι και τόσο αυτονόητα…

 

commonsense12345Seeking the obvious

The other day I was marching hastily on the sidewalk of a busy avenue. Cars were rushing past and you could feel the wind being pushed forcefully at you by these speeding vehicles. And then I saw her. A young girl remained frozen on the side of the pavement staring into the jungle of racing cars, as if she was expecting a starting gun to sound so she could dive in. As I was passing by her, I heard her say to herself “Now, how am I supposed to cross over?” The pedestrian crossing was only 100 meters away.

Another time I was first in line for a taxi. Two yellow cabs had just left with their passengers and I was now waiting for the next one to pull up so I could get in. Two young men sprung suddenly from behind me and carefreely moved in front, like a leopard attacking its victim. One of them turned round and surprised asked “Are you taking this one?” What did they expect me to say? “No, I’m just standing here to enjoy the fresh air?

I have many such examples. And I am sure many of you do too. Each of us has these sort of “adventures” to tell. Things that make you wonder “really, how hard is it to think logically nowadays?”

It is usually said that what is obvious may be left out. But apparently not anymore. Because, what truly is obvious nowadays? Walking a few more meters to safely cross a busy avenue rather than lurking for half an hour or more on the side, calculating the speed and boost required to cross amidst speeding cars? Or waiting patiently for your turn, as you are not the only one in a hurry?

But it is said that when you’re stupid you don’t know you’re stupid. It’s only hard for everyone else.

If only some people followed principles of common logic, our lives would be much easier. There would be better organization, less irritation, and certainly better communication. Imagine if everyone was equipped with ‘common sense’. We would be living in a heaven. But no. We need these adventures. Things that we will be later describing to others and laugh at them. Only I don’t know how much later that would be.

Maybe we’re expecting too much of others. But in essence we are only expecting the obvious. But maybe it is not so obvious after all…

How to address a cat

CatsCats are magical creatures. All kinds of cats. It is not strange they are usually associated with the female gender, given they are flexible, feline and elegant. In addition to cranky, independent and stubborn.

Cats are magnificent. And indeed they “are very much like you” just as the ending of the Cats Musical suggests.

One of the most famous and long-running performances of all times, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical is a feast of dance and song. With extraordinary costumes and makeups, every single cat-person performing is an artist in every sense.

CATS_LogoThe musical itself is based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a collection of whimsical poems by T. S. Eliot about feline psychology and sociology. With wonderful and very catchy songs such as the renowned Memory, the Jellicle Cats, and the magical Mr Mistoffelees, this is one performance that will have you singing its tunes long after.

It will also teach you how to ad-dress cats, for just like you and me, these feline creatures also expect some evidence of respect before they condescend their trust to you.

So next time you look into the gleaming eyes of a cat, let it speak to you – it has eight more lives than you; it would certainly have a lot to tell you!

One thing is for certain though – after this show you will never look at a cat the same way ever again.

 

Koty_musicalMoonlight
Turn your fa
ce to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin.

The biggest appointment

rebelDear Diary,

John got upset with me again. He yelled and stormed out of the room. My John. The person who I thought would understand how I felt and why this was so important to me. The person who saw me spend nights and days without sleep, racing to beat sunrise in my attempt to please everyone and have everything done as best I could. The person who saw me forgo meals in order to finish some report or analysis. The one who picked me up when I collapsed for all of the above. I wish he (and so many others) would understand why it thus matters to me to be acknowledged, to be appreciated, to at least be recognized as important and not be taken as granted.

I am used to striving for excellence in everything I do, yet it seems that does not matter. I’m even being rejected for jobs because I’m overqualified. I know being a perfectionist is an ambivalent quality – but in the best of cases it means that you will always deliver the highest quality possible. Why is that not appreciated? All it takes is a simply heartfelt “thank you” every now and again.

And today, today I’m feeling ill inside. I feel left out of so many things. Even my life itself. It’s like high school all over. Because no matter what anyone says that never really stops. There are still those cliques, the mean girls, the jocks, and you trying to figure out where exactly you belong in all of this insanity.Here's to the crazy ones - Steve Jobs

I’ve been described as many things – good I hope. But lately I keep finding myself being considered the rebel, the reactionary, the non-conformist. The one who keeps yelling and gets irritate with a tick in the wrong place. It seems like nothing I say even gets understood, never mind acknowledged. And I am always the bad cop in every equation.

One thing I’ve realized out of all this, is that no matter how much you prepare yourself you are never truly ready for this. The biggest appointment in life is the day you realize that nothing is what you expected. Not even close to what you thought it would be. Miles away from what you’ve ever dreamt. It is then that disappointment hits you like a full-force tidal wave pounding on your wooden shack. And all you can do is scramble afloat for air and muster the courage to survive.

It is hard being the rebel in a status quo world. Many said it would be worth it. But no-one said life would be easy.

Love,

Anna

Also part of Daily Prompt: The Heat is On

What you can do in high heels

high heelsDiana knew this day was going to be different. Hectic from the very start, she prepared herself for a lot of running around across the city and some sort of inevitable irritation. But she was not at all prepared for what ensued…

The weatherman had said the day before that the day would be warmer than usual and sunny. Yet when she got out of bed, Diana could already hear the thunder and rain battling outside her window. “Was I watching a re-run of the weather yesterday?” she thought as she muttered to herself that these weather people never get it right – “they’ll know tomorrow what the weather was like today, great help that will be”.

She put on warmer clothes than she had picked out the day before, but kept the high heels. She had to look elegant no matter the weather. Her first conference was at 9am and it was already 8.30! She quickly threw everything that she needed into her bag, grabbed her keys and rushed out the door. Within five minutes she was at the bus stop. Yet, as it usually occurs the bus was late. It was a quarter to nine now and no bus in sight. And the traffic was unimaginable. “WTF! Do people lose their minds whenever it begins to rain?

She began walking fast – short to jogging- to her destination but was lucky enough that when she reached the next bus stop, the bus was just pulling up and she jumped on. Of course, it was packed. And of course, you could hardly breathe. But she soon got off. “Now where is this place?” She didn’t really know where she was going, but no matter how much time she tries to leave in advance, she somehow always ended up late. After consulting her digital map (yes, the GPS) she figured she would now have to walk a little further. In the rain. This meant, that of course, a couple of cars skid by not caring she was on the sidewalk and splashed her with the puddles that have formed at the side of the road. Luckily, her anorak was waterproof, and her shoes were out of colorful plastic, so the damage was at least controllable.

She reached her destination only 15 minutes late. But given the weather conditions, she was not the only one late. She stood in the huge queue that she saw forming and waited patiently. What she noticed was that the line was not moving. In fact, it was not even a line. People were coming in from all sides! She pushed her way to the front (being nice was not an option here, if you wanted to get inside). When her turn came to register, the officer in charge told her she was waiting at the wrong queue.

Diana almost erupted. Couldn’t they put signs above people’s heads to inform them where they should stand or ask for assistance?

It took around 25 minutes to get things sorted. She hoped the conference would have been worth the trouble.

But it was not. Half the speakers were unable to make it and the other half were blabbing away about things that turned out to be irrelevant to the reason she (and most other participants) were there for.

Around noon, she left. She had another meeting at 2pm across town.

She decided to take the metro but with luck clearly not on her side, the nearest station had been closed due to a protest that turned wild in the area.

I’m going to need new heels or new feet by the end of this day!” she thought to herself as she sighed and searched for a water bottle.

Diana spent the day running around town in the most uncomfortable of ways and reaching her destination puffed out, flustered and constantly a few minutes late.

She managed to cram into the day everything she needed to do and that at least satisfied her.

It had not stopped raining that day, despite the weatherman’s smiling forecasts of “sunshine throughout”.

When she finally returned home around midnight she literally passed-out on her bed. “Was this bed always this comfortable and fluffy?” she wondered as she drifted into sleep, tired but content at all she had achieved today. And in high heels. That alone is an accomplishment!

Also part of Daily Post: Out of Breath

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