Somewhere only we know
Hey, do you have a minute so we could go, talk about it somewhere only we know? Look, I know that today was supposed to be about Movie Challenge, as I finally decided how I want it to look here (summary every two months), and it’s ready I promise. But. But… I really need this. It’s been on my mind for a while now.
Do you ever get that feeling, like everything is actually going well? Life, work, home. And for the first time in forever, you don’t think “Okay, it’s suspicious… Something bad will happen soon, I know it”. You just enjoy everything, even long hours in the office, because you’re stuck there with friends. It’s fine. You wrapped you mind around so many things now, it seems like you really got it this time. Your brain is not looking for excuse to overthink. You accept things you can’t control. You control things that you have influence on.
Can I tell you a story? I think I’m quite good with them. And maybe you will like this one too. Close your eyes and imagine two strangers in a bar, in a perfect world when it’s not weird to just talk. Perfect world, where my problems matter to you and yours matter to me. Open your eyes, when you lock that image. We’re having drinks, what’s your go-to?
I will go with wine. You can never go wrong with wine, right? But I asked bartender to pour double, because I usually end up with two glasses of wine, so. It’s fine. I will have tea later. Wine for you too? Great. We can talk. I paid for my drink and you pay for yours.
Ah, it’s been ages.
Can we take that corner table, by the window? I just love bars, where you can sit by the window. Oh, and especially when it rains. It’s cozy, it gives you this tingling, warm feeling inside your heart, like the window glass is the shield from cold and rainy darkness. It somehow makes you smile, even the thought. And neither of us actually wanted to go out, it just happened.
It takes time for me to talk first. But you wait, because you know that I need this. You know, that your turn will come after my storm calms. You see me, slowly turning my gaze from the window with a sad smile, the kind that could fool few people. But you are not easily fooled, it takes some effort. When you feel cold hand on your neck, slowly choking the air out of your lungs, it’s pointless to lie. So, let’s not. Let’s be perfectly honest, sipping wine by that corner table in this little bar.
So, my life is pretty great right now, you know? And believe me, there is no single bit of irony in that sentence. Sure, there are speedbumps that I can’t avoid – like my grandma’s cancer. But it’s out of my control and there is a limited things for me to do. I can support her, help with groceries and cleaning up, buy concert tickets for October so she has something to look forward to, I can just sit with her and watch TV and bring her Rooibos that she loves. And I can leave after few hours and cry on the tram, because there is only so little that I can do. And I cry because the threat is real and it’s… Scary. I’m terrified, you know?
I can only imagine.
Oh, I know. I don’t expect you to… You know. Don’t imagine this, please. It’s too painful and I really hope you won’t ever go through that kind of experience. But like I said, it’s a speedbump, something that happens all the time in life and as long as you don’t rush over it, you will get used to it and you will learn how to maneuver. It’s tough, I’m not gonna lie. But my life is really good, I have no reason to complain. Long hours at work… Well, it happens to everyone, right? Sometimes you just have to. And sure, I am tired as hell. Every know and then I feel so tired and overloaded, that I cry. It’s just how my body reacts to waking up at 5 am after few hours of restless “sleep”, not drinking enough water and having a little too much coffee. But it’s just a phase and I know that. And I’m not the only one who has lots of work. We all do, it’s a curse of modern world. This is exactly why it’s important to maintain work-life balance, going for a language class or gym, or to the movies.
You just love movies, don’t you? Watching one movie over and over again.
You don’t judge. You play with your glass, carefully studying my reaction. It’s obvious, right? My smile says it all. I do love movies. It’s a liberation and I am an excellent escape-artist. But you’re curious. Why there movies, that I could watch over again, if there are so many others to see? Am I really a movie-lover then? I know, that was not your point, but don’t worry. It’s actually quite funny, I can see that now. But it makes me happy, you know? Simple as that. And yes, I get involved with the story, I follow the characters on screen, but only for the first time. Second time is for all the details I missed, or Easter-eggs. Third time is for the music and technicalities. The list goes on, but does it matter? It doesn’t for you, right? You know, I’ve heard that this isn’t normal. That there are so many good films to watch and that I’m wasting my time, that I’m mental. Not normal. But I can see in your eyes, that you appreciate it about me. That this is one of the things that you could love me for. That I’m like a child, that simply enjoys the act, lives through it, cries, laughs and gets scared.
Even if it’s The Lion King for the millionth time. Ahh, The Lion King. You got me there, my soft spot. You see my gaze drifting away from your eyes for a moment, like I’m somewhere else entirely. Somewhere only I know. So, you wait, you lean back comfortably enjoying the view. It looks like a movie scene, doesn’t it? You understand that it’s something special.
You know, it started before high school. Teenage struggles, broken hearts, not knowing what love or being in love feels like, meeting your best friend who maybe was in love with you and then you were in love with him, only to keep it buried for next 10 years or so. But you know this story already, you remember? The Lion King became something of a life line for me. It was easier for me to cry when Mufasa dies and just blame this instead my true feelings. And it turned into a bitter-sweet ritual. I tired to gather my thoughts and explain in better, but this will just have to do. You know I had a cat? Before those two little kittens I have now. His name was Nicolas and I had him for almost 12 years. He loved watching TV. Honestly, I think he was a little addicted. Hey, don’t laugh! It’s serious. Aww man, that cat. He couldn’t leave me alone, he was always there beside me. In bed, when I was working from home, eating, taking shower. He was always there when I watched The Lion King and he ALWAYS watched it with me.
He really did! It’s an animated movie, I get it, but he was watching it. He followed all the animals, he sniffed the screen. Hell, he even scratched it once. It used to be a painful memory, you know? It still brings tears to my eyes, you can see them. Do you know what he did every time I cried when Mufasa died? He’d just tilt his head, jump from the drawers he was sitting on and start wiping my face, my red-puffy face with his. Occasionally, he would bite my nose. And he would leave me, with his hair everywhere, he’d jump back in front of TV to watch the rest. Every goddamn time! I think he knew how much it meant to me. Or maybe he just thought that I’m weak and using kid’s movie to deflect whatever was going on.
Both I guess. Anyway, you know what? I was really happy for live-action Lion King. Mainly because I knew that Hans Zimmer will work on soundtrack again, but… A small part of me though that when it’s on DVD I will watch it at home, with Nicolas and it will be life-changing experience for him! Like, animals that would look very real to him? He loved that. He would have.
He didn’t get the chance.
No, he didn’t. And this just broke me, you know? Hell, it was one of the reasons I went to therapy. And you can say what you want, but I lost a piece of me that day. I’m still a kid at heart and I don’t cope well. He was supposed to get better. And instead we had to make the decision. And I know that he’s not in pain anymore. But he’s not at all, okay?
You know, we had a small family party last night, my godfather came for dinner with his wife. We reconnected recently.
Damn it. You’re good. You caught that half-smile too. Ahh, I will tell you about it in a minute, okay? Let me finish about the cat. But it’s not easy, because I’m not such an easy-going person. Well, sometimes I am, okay. The rain is pouring now, you can hear it banging on the window. You can hear it even though the place is crowded and now you have to lean forward to catch my whisper. I sometimes get angry with my mum. I love her, I really do. But when we are alone she’s different. She changes a bit when we are around certain people and I get it, because we all do that. But… The way she said it last night. That Nicolas was loud and moaning a lot to get attention, or that he bit me all the time. So what? I mean, that’s what we loved about him. That’s what we appreciated about him… She was joking about it, of course she loved him. In my eyes though it seemed like she was simply telling her side of the story.
Do you see my point? Ah, you frowned. People can say that watching the same movie more than one is not normal. They can even make it sound like a joke. People will laugh, I will laugh because… Because. I’m used to it.
But this is one of the things I love about you, appreciate about you. It makes you, you. If they don’t see it, they don’t deserve to have you around.
I wish, but world does not work like that. Perfect world would, so if we could stay there for a little while, I’m just gonna say thank you. We’re half through our glasses and I really appreciate you keeping up with my slow pace. It drives some people mad, you know? But I’m a girl. No need to rush with my drink, besides. We have a good thing going on here, right? Perfect world. Someone goes for a smoke and we can feel cold breeze from outside. It smells like rain.
But I mentioned reconnecting with my godfather, right? It was really sudden but on the other hand, carefully planned. It’s been 20 years. 18 maybe? Shit, I don’t remember, really. I reached out first, out of curiosity. But I didn’t see that coming. Things were tricky for him, long story short: he is trying to make amends. It’s hard. It’s super ducking hard, trust me. Do you know why I hesitated? It’s not because I smell something fishy here, no. It’s just how my brain prevents me from hurting. Like an auto-defense mechanism. He makes me question a lot of things, like motives, reason, honesty. I am an open book for you. For many people. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m proud of it. But sometimes I crawl back to my walls, to decide if something is worth sharing. If the other person is worth it. I don’t like calling it mask, you know? But it resembles one. But it’s not a mask, because eventually I end up sharing a lot. Otherwise, there would be no point of Twin Peaks Café.
This was a big step, right?
Oh you have no idea. But I really do hope that my godfather will stay in the picture and that my damageness won’t scare him. Or anyone, for that matter. This is my greatest fear, you know? We all have problems, some bigger and some smaller. But those smaller for you, could be a big deal for me. But it’s okay. When it rains it pours and sometimes all you can do, is shield someone from your storm. They way you just shifted in your chair makes me think, that you would want to hear all about my storms, right? That’s sweet. Is it because you are going through your own storms? That’s understandable. We long for people who are experiencing similar stuff. If you promise me one thing, I swear I will tell you about every storm. Promise me, that you will never look at me through that damaged mirror you’re carrying. What? You thought I’m blind? I can see what’s bothering you and that you think you’re damaged. You’re probably right but please. Don’t ever let this damageness take over your eyes. Own it, be proud of it, but never in hell let it take you over. It will slowly shut you down, dull you, numb your heart. Trust me, it’s one of the worst states of mind. Because it is strictly in your mind and it takes real effort to break out.
So, you work. You do gym. You go to the movies, often. You write, you have this blog. No time to date, I assume.
Aww, come on. You are better than that, but I do appreciate the effort. I’d have that tea now, how about you? Let’s get one. Honestly, I’d go for entire pot, but we’re at a bar after all. You know, people actually bust my balls for that. It’s quite funny, because they call me boring. Well, I’d rather be boring than drunk. But that’s another story.
I’ll have the earl grey, do you think they have lemon here? I bet they do, for drinks. You can continue with wine though, don’t mind me. You know, making tea is also kind of ritual, right? Observing how water turns from transparent to light brown or darkish brown if you like your tea stronger. I always make a cup for when I write, it’s my fuel. Okay, coffee is the fuel. Tea is this magic potion that makes everything better, even my writing. You know, when I started this place I wanted to make people smile from time to time. I wanted them to come back not because they are my friend and they feel obligated to. I wanted them to come back, because they genuinely enjoyed reading my words, divining inside my mind. It’s surprisingly easier for me put my thoughts on paper.
When you say it out loud, it gets real.
Oh yes, that’s one thing. You hear your voice, it becomes real in your head. And it can be dangerous. When I write, it is a bit safer. I can always say it’s just a story. But I never do, don’t worry. It’s never just that. But yes, it was a leap out of my comfort zone, into the middle of the ocean. And you know what? I have great friends, they support me. Few weeks ago I had a crisis, real one. I questioned if this blog even makes sense. I don’t know if people read it. Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram is easy, one does it robotically. Throwing hearts and likes is nice, sure. But is it honest? Do you really like everything you click “like” on? Sometimes you do it, because it’s the right thing to do. And you know, instead of meaningless like or heart I would rather a few words. A smile. A look.
But that’s the digital world we live in. It consumes you and you’re hooked, with less time for other things. You said no time to date. Huh, do I seem like that kind of person? There is always time to date, if you meet the right person.
Aw, come on. Don’t give me that smile – you should know by now that I am a romantic one. Why waste time for someone who is not worth it? It’s time you won’t ever get back. And if this means that I will be single for few more moments? So be it.
There is no perfect in love, you know that?
Of course. But I’m not looking for perfect. Look, I know my worth. I never cared much about the looks, and trust me – I still don’t. This is difficult, but try to understand my point of view. It’s actually a déjà vu, you know? I had this conversation last night with a friend. I told him, that every failed relationship… Every weird situation with a guy, every on and off kind of thing, I blamed my looks. I would always blame how I look, rather than me being…. An idiot. Stupid. A person that you wouldn’t talk the entire night through. You know where I’m going with this?
I’m tired, just really tired. Of games, of figuring out what the other person wants because they think something will just magically flick in my brain and I will know. I’m tired of overthinking every word he says to me, wondering if he meant this or that. Sure, flirting is nice. I love this, but I’m tired of games, of unspoken bullshit.
And for once, I am giving myself the upper hand. I’m done looking for the right person. Beatles says to let it be and that’s exactly how I’m gonna live. What’s the point to worry? It took me a long-ass time to realize that I am worth so much more. And I deserve more. Especially on the love ground. Plus, there are so many things that I enjoy doing by myself, like going to the movies.
I think the trick is to find someone to do things by yourself, with them around. Do you know what I mean?
Do you ever feel lonely?
Knotty question, but I think you already know the answer. I looked through the window a little too long. I do feel lonely but I know that I am not alone. I hope you know that you are not alone either. Bad things can happen if you let yourself think that you are all alone. You never are.
But life has its ways to bamboozle you. Isn’t that why we had this conversation? Ahh, your smile says it all. The tea mug is no longer hot, my hand go used to the warmth. You know, I sometimes think that we are meant for great, extraordinary things. The only thing standing in our way is timing and timing is a bitch. A lot will change in my life in the next few weeks. I will know the outcome of important work decision. I uh… I’m buying an apartment. And it all happened at once, all happened so fast; I didn’t have the time to overthink it like I always do.
And that is what I meant on the beginning, that life is going pretty well. Because it is! God, I don’t remember feeling so good about my life choices. And yet, I feel this ice-cold palm on my neck, ready to close the iron grip. Funny, because it was always there. Just know… I am more aware. And I just can’t wrap my head around it; is it good or bad thing? Should I be afraid or just embrace it? Face my fears? You don’t say anything but I know you feel the same hand on your neck. I’m sorry, I really am. Wish I could help you with that, because if I could help you… Then that would mean that I’m not that helpless after all.
You’re still silent, so I think I will let it sink in. It’s a lot to take in, even for a stranger. But thank you, the tea was great. Your mug is only half empty. I’m a quick-tea-drinker. For real, there is no point of competing with me. Thank you. I really needed this.
Hey, before you go? Was there something I could’ve said to make it all stop hurting? It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless…
No, please. Don’t worry. It’s going to be alright. I’m used to it.
8 thoughts on “Somewhere only we know”
Somewhere deep in my mind I have this tiny bit of hope that maybe you had me in mind while writing this piece and that you do know that you can always count on me when it comes to listening to the tiniest bits and noticing stuff.
You see, somehow dealing with your own shit makes you more aware, makes you notice stuff other people don’t, makes you find tiny hints the other person leaves silently screaming for help. I noticed that nowadays it’s so hard to find a person that genuinely wants to listen to what you have to say, not just absentmindedly let your words in through one ear hole and out through the other just to get to what they want to discuss with you. A person who really is interested in how is life going for you, how you’re dealing with your stuff is a real treasure. That’s how I would like to be treated by people so that’s why I try to be like this for people. Yeah, I regretted it gazillion times already, but somehow it is so deep in my nature that I cannot get rid of this habit.
And it’s the same with you, love. You are a good friend. The one of the kind that swallows their own fears and problems to extend their hand and help the others. The one who sees you need a hug and hugs the shit out of you, until you’re whole again. The one who takes you to the movies and goes crazy about a trailer with you. It is the real you, the genuine you, the dorky you, the movie-loving you, the writing you, the passionate you that I adore the most. You’re awesome with words and this is what I admire in you. But you don’t always have to be strong, dealing with everything all alone. Sometimes you have to tell the world to screw itself, scream on the top of your lungs that you’re not okay and that you deserve to be noticed. Like REALLY noticed. With all your cracks and scars. But you know what? It makes you beautiful. As you said, there’s no perfection. But hiding your imperfections does not make sense to me. Embracing them and talking loudly about them – that’s brave and wonderful and awe-inspiring.
I hope the world, the speedbumps, the little cracks will never change you. Keep the inner child alive as it is the trait that defines you. You deserve the world and only the good things should come your way. Remember about this. And whenever you forget, I’ll be there to remind you.
W O W!
You’re a very talented writer/storyteller.
It was never mentioned what music was playing in that bar while you were there.
I think it was Vangelis 'Memories of Green’ and 'Blade Runner Blues’ 🙂
Congrats on buying a flat! Fingers crossed also for your work decision. Wish you all best.
People DO read your blog 😉