Category Archives: Hello cruel world

Break a Leg

It’s been 3 months now since I had that unfortunate bicycle accident in which I ended up breaking the top of my tibia (an undisplaced fracture, they call it), and I can honestly tell you: whoever came up with the idea of saying “break a leg” as a nice way to wish somebody good luck, had no fucking clue of what he was talking about. These past weeks have sucked more than a vacuum cleaner on steroids.

Not only I missed one week of my well-deserved holidays but I also managed to miss the Olympics too, an event I had been looking forward to for almost 2 years, not just because of the world-class spectacle it turned out to be but also because of all the painful Tube disruptions I had to suffer while Transport for London got its act together and prepared for the show. I’m talking about closures on various lines almost every weekend for the last 2 years and a half. I’m talking about traffic jams from hell due to planned engineering works on London’s busiest roads. I’m talking about that ugly logo and the horrendous Olympic typeface splattered on every single poster and billboard in town. And, what for? I went through all that shit only to end up in bed watching the goddamn thing on a 13-inch screen, not being able to attend a single match, party or free gig that took place all over London, not being able to hook up with any of the countless super-fit Eastern European athletes that invaded the city for a full month, and ultimately, not being able to enjoy the festive atmosphere of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. All because I fell off a fucking bicycle that was barely moving.

As if this wasn’t enough, a couple of months ago, the UKBA took a heavy-handed measure that totally compromises all my plans to stay in London; everything I’ve worked for since I got here, suddenly sabotaged by this narrow-minded Government that doesn’t get tired of abusing and ramming its cock down international students’ throats with all their anti-immigration policy bullshit. I just heard I have graduated with a First Class Honours (Distinction) and I don’t feel like celebrating at all, go figure. Add to the mix the recent death of a relative, missing my sister’s wedding, my creative partner dumping me due to all this UKBA mess, the agency that was going to hire me losing one of its main clients a couple of weeks ago (therefore no budget to hire me anymore) and my head playing all sorts of tricks at nights, and I think it would be fair to say that I haven’t been at my best lately.

However, although breaking a leg has been absolute shit, I must admit that it has also been a very humbling experience. Over the last 3 months I have been forced to ask for help to take my laundry from the kitchen (where the washing machine is) to the garden (where I always hope it will get dry only to find hours later that it’s as wet as it was when it left the washing machine), or to go to the supermarket for me, because my hands are too busy with the crutches and I can’t carry any bags; I have been offered a seat by an elderly men and a pregnant women and every time I’ve had no other choice but to embrace their kind gestures because I simply can’t stand on my left foot for more than 5 minutes, particularly on a hectic moving vehicle, where the risk of losing my balance and falling can really make things worse, and everyday tasks like opening doors, lacing my shoes, going up and down the stairs, showering, and cooking, just to name a few, have become quite challenging endeavors.

This situation has also made me realise how underrated pockets are. Seriously, since I’ve been on crutches, I rely on these unsung heroes more and more often and every time I find myself stuffing them with tomatoes, small glasses, forks, knives, biscuits, sauce jars, cheese, plantains or whatever I might require to carry from one place to the other, I can’t help but wondering who the hell invented them in the first place. I need to look that up and I once I find out, I will start planning my pilgrim to wherever this genius is from to pay my respects (whoever you are, portable textile container inventor, I salute you). Speaking of food… I must say that cooking has been a pain in the old arse. As I can’t carry anything because my hands are always too busy holding the crutches, every time I want to prepare something, I have to either throw the ingredients from the fridge to the kitchen worktop (I’ve become quite good at it) or have put a chair half way through; a wooden bridge, if you like, to make possible the transition from one place to the other, a process that is as annoying for me as it is entertaining for everyone else.

Imagine this: I walk to the fridge, park the crutches somewhere near, open the fridge, take out whatever I need to cook, put all the ingredients on the chair, shut the fridge’s door, take my crutches, walk to the stove, park the crutches somewhere near, reach to the chair, stumble upon the crutches in the process, grab the ingredients, put them on the kitchen top, grab the crutches, get them out of the way, realized I forgot something, taking the crutches, walking to the fridge, park the crutches somewhere, get that thing I forgot to take in the first place, put it in the chair, get the crutches, walk to the kitchen top, park the crutches, get the thing from the chair, and finally start cooking. By the time I get to this point, I already feel like giving up and ordering a pizza instead, but a man can’t live on pizza alone, nor it can afford to pay for it every day so the cooking has to be done, whether I like it or not. While I cook, I often happen to be in need of a cup or a plate or a glass or a pot or a pan, and they are always on the other side of the fucking kitchen, of course. If I’m lucky, they will be on the table, in which case I can hop there, get them and hop back to the stove. My housemates find these impromptu performances to be particularly amusing. Bastards.

Right, enough of all this whining already. Things could be way worse than this and despite all the rough times, I know I am one goddamn lucky monstertrucker. Besides, the EELS have announced they will be releasing a new album early next year and the Internet guy has just fixed our router, giving back to this place we call home, the dignity it had lost a week ago when the stupid Virgin SuperHub broke down.

At least, one less thing to worry about.

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Grab yourself a fun pass

Every now and then, life makes me feel that dreamers are highly overrated. All these people holding on to hopes, pouring every ounce of their energy to make things happen, taking punches over and over again only because they know there’s nothing else they rather be doing but chasing this damn thing that make their hearts beat loudly; fighting against adversity, uncertainty and fatalistic foretellings armed only with a dauntless spirit and a loving ambition… what are they getting out of it, anyway? Sometimes events in life lead me to believe these people are just a bunch of ingenuous fools who sooner or later will suffer the painful disillusions of the dreams they dearly treasure and die victims of the merciless by-products of their own hippie creation.

But then, just when you’re on the brink of deeming that innocent desire as a big disheartening waste of time, someone shows up on your doorstep and restores your faith in everything you were about to give up on…

Back to my swing

If I was asked to sum up my week with a picture (I honestly can’t come up with a good reason why somebody would ask me to do that but lets just pretend someone just did), I would probably pick this one…

You know, you were in your little swing, enjoying the view, having a nice time, actually looking forward to a few things, and all of a sudden you found yourself in the air, looking like a fool, having nothing to hold on to, not really sure of what to do, not really knowing how did you end up there, only certain that you will eventually land on the floor, get a few bruises, and inmediately will need to stand up, all covered in dust and a bit confused, pretending nothing happened and trying not to cry, to go back to your swing and give it a try one more time, even if the damn thing didn’t behave the way you expected. That’s how life works, I guess. Fortunately enough, I’ve never been in the middle of a really tough situation (knock on wood, hey), this has just been a badish week at the playground, but still, I have realized that some pretty average earthly setbacks can actually dislocate me a bit and even bring out a good bunch of insecurities and fears I don’t feel particularly thrilled about. I embrace them, of course, and try to face them and learn whatever I can in the process, but I really wouldn’t mind them to get the fuck out of my head and never come back.

When they stay, I try to deal with them the best way I can. Sometimes I smile and it works, other times I smile and I kid no one. I hate when that happens. I hate being there, looking California and feeling Minesotta, but at the same time, finding myself in that state of mind usually puts things in perspective and pats me on the back, giving me that bit of extra hope I need to tell myself things are gonna be alright. I’m sure they will.

I’ll go back to my swing, it’s Friday.

Don’t lose hope

Came across this a couple of days ago and it almost brought tears to my eyes. Made me think about how certain people seem to have a supernatural sense of survival, a fierce desire to overcome adversity. To fight back. To come back.

Maybe we all do.

As Eddie Vedder would say: “No matter how cold the winter, there’s spring time ahead”.

Hang in there.

Act nice and gentle

What a year. If I’m completely honest, just the fact of sitting here with the intention to consciously review the last 12 months of my life, feels a bit overwhelming, probably more than ever before. I’ve gone from utter happiness to absolute sadness, from joyful company to sorrowful isolation, from bitterly cold weather to pleasant hot clime, from hopeful aspirations to disheartening disillusions; I took things for granted and paid the price, I underestimated my luck and suddenly found myself in the middle of situations most mortals could only dream of. I laughed like a little kid and cried like a bitch. I fell in love like never before. I went back to Uni, moved houses 4 times and ate ridiculous amounts of pasta because I couldn’t be bothered to cook anything else. I said things I wish I didn’t say. I shook hands with Dave Grohl and Slash, twice. Back home, both my gramps and grandma died as I watched from afar, not being able to say goodbye. I had the time of my life in Amsterdam without surrendering my lungs to pot (got pretty drunk, though), I saw amazing people turning their backs to amazing opportunities, and I met up with Jimmy Page more times than I did with some of my long-time friends. I got to know extraordinary people with greater fear of failure than bravery to pursue their dreams; I tried to encourage them but they refused. I learnt that habit is a hard thing to break. I was inspired by humble people and discovered that I’m a modest man who can actually find happiness in simple things. I made my first painting and wrote my debut poem, then gave them away for love and I have no regrets. I went to dozens of gigs and didn’t pay a penny for any of them. I became a fan of cheap arse wine. I saw people I love with all my heart, seriously pondering the benefits of death or being helplessly brought down by fear and vulnerability. I’ve been reminded that having a heart sometimes could be heartbreaking. I’ve been scared of not seeing people I dearly love, ever again. Frankly, this year has been a fuckin’ rollercoster ride I’m still trying to get through without throwing up.

For the first time in a long time, I’m as somber as I’m thrilled about the year to come. A very strange mix of excitement and despondency has taken over in the last couple of days, and I must confess, this feeling is all very new to me. I’m not entirely sure of how to deal with it but it seems to me that the only thing I could possible do is to take a breath, chin up and keep striving. I can’t lose perspective and I can’t give up but I suppose I can make a kind plea, just in case…

2012: Act nice and gentle to me.