A little humming.

I often go to the same place just to check whatever is new on the market, be it electronics, games, books, anything. I often go there and don’t shop at all, just walk around and check things out. But the other day i picked this book there and just sat in those corner sofas that they have and read a little bit. It was a sort of short-stories assembled by this author and it had a diversity of themes regarding life, love, friendship, etc. So i came across this one short story about a boy and a girl. It went something like this:

So boy and girl meet and, unbeknownst to each other, they are both fragile and a mess. The boy wears this mask that suits him so well that he goes on pretending that everything is fine. Girl keeps it to herself, she has her own little world and she seems pleased that people let her just be. Well, it turns out that boy sees through girl and he finds this necessity of trying to fix her like that also meant that he could fix himself along the way. Time goes by and, with much hardwork and perseverance from the boy, girl starts to be more outspoken and friendly, though still keeping everyone at bay. Eventually they become friends, in the sense that they can talk about things that they have or don’t have in common. It is as close as she allows. Boy is fine with it, he is busy with his own issues.

A few years go by and the friendship grows and they are able to connect on some deeper levels. They both know their limitations, what can or cannot be said. Or done. Girl is too afraid to develop new relationships and the boy tries to encourage, letting her know that the only way love will come to her is if she allows it to. It doesn’t mean anything to her as her mind is already made up and verdict is out: no space for love as she doesn’t allow anyone to come close enough. With the exception being the boy, his friendship. But the boy has his own heart filled by someone else. Someone that makes it all go away except the fluttering in the very same heart every time he sees the girl. Every time she looks at him over her nerdy glasses. But they both know that best thing that happened since their meeting might also become the worst thing. But the boy doesn’t care for it as much as he cares to maintain his friendship with girl. Girl knows how boy feels but she is still the same girl he met and somethings cannot be changed.

I have no idea how the story ends. I didn’t want to read anymore. It made everything a little bit too surreal for my taste so i left the book there, in a different section. I didn’t bother to put it back. I didn’t really care.

I forget the book’s name but it has something to do with a bird. In case anyone might be looking for it.

 Santiago Roque

 

Growing pains.

As i wrote about kids the other day, it made me think about my childhood, my upbringing. I wasn’t a only child, i’m lucky enough to have both a brother and a sister. One gave me liberties, the other one gave me a sense of responsibility. I’ll be forever grateful to them. They are me and i am them. There is no separation of thought towards happiness without having each one in mind. I guess everyone that as a brother or a sister feels the same. But just in case they weren’t aware, i was the favorite one. It is true. I’ve been told this or just imagined it multiple times. Either way, let’s accept it as a fact.

As a teen, my brother used to bully me a lot. I mean, i never got my ass beaten by anyone else but him. It seemed like a hobby to him. I used to think he was Satan himself sent to fucking throw me around whenever he felt like. I no longer believe that of course. I’m slowly becoming an atheist so i don’t believe in Satan. I just consider him a functioning psychopath now. Which is useful. As contradictory as it might sound, he was very protective of me. So anytime anyone tried to mess with me, super-psycho would be there to beat people up. That was nice. Once, when we were already adults and with our shit together, i asked him why all the fights. I don’t mind fighting someone but i do care for my physical integrity. He looks at me and goes ” I don’t mind getting hurt, as long as the other guy gets it worse.” I tell you, it is a double-edged sword having a brother like this. But i love him, he was my first best friend.

For a few years there, i gave hell to my parents. Things got so bad that no school close by would take me in. I had to ride a bus for an hour and 45 minutes to get to the only school that accepted me midway school year. That was fun. But by next school year, my mom had this idea that i’m forever grateful for: a catholic school ! Which meant catholic uniforms, like skirts and knee high socks. And that’s how you obtain a fetish, boys and girls. I really liked that school. For my mom was very useful because my younger sister went there also so i always took her with me to school and back. I still did some shit there but they were very forgiving. They had to, right? Turn the other cheek and all of that. I visited the school psychologist a few times, it was semi-mandatory as long as your parents allowed to. She was cool. She had piercings and dreads so it is safe to say she made an impression on me. Not just the one that she was expecting. But she was very nice. I eventually got my shit together. I did hit a teacher in self defense the next year but that was the last school issue i had. Like i said, i really liked that school.

I wasn’t a perfect child. No even by a long shot. But we were very aware of our shortcomings and failures. And that allowed us to self-improve as time went by. My parents gave us enough freedom for us to discover that by ourselves. They were great to us growing up and i hope someday to have the same impact on my kids too.

“To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.” – Oscar Wilde

I’m thankful for everything you’ve done for us. Everything.

 

Santiago Roque

 

 

 

Over-booked.

I love reading. I have books all around our place, books that i’ve read, books that i’m currently reading or books that i intent on reading. I always said that if i could build my dream house, i would put a library in it. Since i don’t own a million books (yet!) i have them sprawled throughout the house. In my room, in my living rooms, everything but the kitchen or any of the bathrooms although sometimes i’ll leave some laying around there as well. All of this to say that i absolutely love to read.

I used to be very snobbish towards books. I hated that people could just simply give me a book as a gift because they just gave whatever was on the top list that week so i would end up with a book that had nothing to do with either my interests or my likes. This one year, for christmas, my wife’s mother gave me “Twilight”. She justified by saying that the sales lady said it was the new Da Vinci Code (WHAT??!!). She knew i had read that so she thought it was a good gift for me. I couldn’t trade it because i always had the feeling she would ask me about it so i had to read it just in case. I had no idea there were four of them and once i read the first one, i had to buy the other three. I NEEDED CLOSURE ! She also gave me my first Haruki Murakami which balances things out a bit.

Now, i really don’t mind people giving me books. As long as the books seem the least interesting, i’ll read them. I usually read 2, maybe 3 at the time. It takes a awhile to finish but i find it easier to let go of that world once i’m finished with them. I’ll read poetry (which i’m starting to love to read but i do have a thing against this new brand of instagram poets), classics (my favorite of all time is a classic), you name it, i might read it.

But i never gave too much thought to the gesture of giving a book. Until recently. I was given a book, a book that apparently reminded the person of me. I’m currently reading it and it is very interesting. But this person (i’m trying to be gender-neutral as she/he would hate being part of my ramblings) had a perfectly great explanation. As per her/him:

“I decided to give a little bit of myself, the book was just collateral damage.”

Then i got it. I understood why you just don’t give books to people. Not books that you’ve never read and certainly to someone you don’t care much for. And that’s the beauty of books as i understand it now. A book is no longer a book, it’s part of you. When you present it to someone else, it’s part of you you’re giving away. And that is more than anyone can ask, let alone get. A favorite author of mine said:

A book is a dream you hold in your hands.

Because in the end, we’ll all become stories. Thank you for the gift. And the book too.

 

Santiago Roque

 

 

 

Kids.

As i write this, and to my knowledge, a friend hasn’t yet given birth to her second son. She messaged me today saying she was already over at the hospital, i told her to hold on, 24th seems a much more interesting day to be born. It is a boy and when she told me i suggested a name. She politely declined. And she calls herself my friend. Right…

Anyway, she had me thinking about kids. With my age, my parents already had three, me and my sisters brother and sister (sometimes i forget one of them isn’t a girl). Different times. I’m not prepared at all but i don’t think anyone is. The thing is, i don’t particularly like kids. It sounds horrible but it is true. I’m not the type of person that enjoys a kids company. I mean, i have cousins and friends with small kids and that’s fine. I just avoid them. I have a godson too but he lives far way which is sad (no, it isn’t) and i hope we could be together more often (not really). Well, in my defense, when they asked me to be the godfather, i told them i wasn’t the best choice. They insisted, that shit is on them, not me!

But yes, i am eager to have a kid of my own. Meaning, my wife is. But that is cool. I can teach him or her to be just like me and that will teach my wife. Yeah, you wanted a angel, you’ll get a devil, baby! Or not. I’m guessing i’ll become one of those people that hated kids and then becomes a father and starts crying every time they see a baby with those cute adidas superstars. That sounds plausible. I will finally become a man. Ironically.

Concerning names, i don’t think i’ll have an choice in that matter. I mean, i’ve suggested a few but the wife seems to veto every single one. We came to an agreement if we ever have a girl i think but i’m secretly hoping for a boy so that i can call him Voldemort. That’s right, Voldemort. He’ll be famous instantly and the other kids will fear him. Imagine him running around class, just causing chaos and the teacher tells him to behave and just be good and he’s like “There is no good and evil. There is only power, and those too weak to seek it.” Man, how cool would that be? Of course, i would have to invest time and read the Harry Potter series to him as a baby but just the Voldemort bits so that he subconsciously knew all of the rebukes. Voldemort but with a nose. And less homicidal. But only if possible. I’ll settle for the nose only, though.

Voldemort, dad is waiting for you.

Santiago Roque.

 

PS – My friend texted me early in the morning. He was indeed born on the 24th. You chose well, little one. Congrats.

Have i ever told you…

I have all types of friends. Quiet, silly, adventurous, revolutionary, etc… The revolutionary one sometimes comes up in the news either with his face blacked out or altered deepened voice (which, i tend to assume is to hide his identity from the entities he’s trying to fight) but then i find him posting selfies on facebook detailing what he’s done lately. Revolution is gonna take a while, i said revolutionary, not bright. And most of my friends i’ve known since forever. Some go back to pre-school and every now and then we get together and we become the same kids that tried to emulate “The Goonies” (plug-in to the movie if you haven’t seen it yet).

But today i’m posting about one of the few exceptions that i’ve known for a less period of time and consider a friend. We met through work a few years ago. I don’t really remember what made me like her instantly but i did. We just sort of clicked. Her liking me is obvious, ’cause i am, well, i am me and i’m very likable to say the least (it is all true, i promise.) We became the go-to people at work to push things forward while being the goofs as well. I have so many stories of us together ranging from funny to dramatic. Often starting one way, ending up the other. A few years, which now in retrospective seems a lifelong ago, we were having the same romantic issues at the same time. Just imagine me going through a crisis with my girlfriend at the time giving her advice on how to deal with her love problems. And the same way around. Sometimes this comes up and we end up realizing the stupidity of it all. Every time we have a work related get together she makes me sit next to her. “You have to, otherwise what is the point of coming to theses things if you gonna be sitting far from me?”. It is an unspoken rule but everyone pretty much knows, we sit together and that is it. We are more mature now (well, she tends to be) so we kind of have a sip or so of wine or whatever but we used to get pretty wasted at these things. One time, after one of these things, we went to a bar. We were pretty drunk and we get to the counter waiting our turn to ask for drinks and she goes ” whatever happens, don’t leave me alone. im pretty wasted right now!”, And i’m like “dude, i got you. Let them alcohol roll” As soon as i have my drink in my hand i disappear. I don’t really remember much after that but i think i left the bar with my drink and just went home. Of course she grilled me the next day but we had a laugh too.

A while ago, she told me that throughout the years that we’ve known each other, she has seen people come and go and gets surprised at how many of them get a sort of clingyness (is that a word? it is now) to me. “I’m charming”, i joked, and she goes like “yeah, i can see it. i just don’t understand it” It took me a full day for my ego to deflate to recognize that it wasn’t a compliment. What a bitch! But that is how we deal with each other. I tell the most absurd things and she slaps me for it and yet laughs at what i say. She is my test-audience and i love her for it.

I know that she might read this. I’m hoping she does. Because i want her to know that, even though right now we are on opposite sides of the religion spectrum, i’m clinging to that small bit of faith left in me to tell you that one day all your dreams will come true. You have a purpose that i know will be fulfilled. You just have to hold on a little bit longer. And i’ll be here for you the same way you’re here for me. Always.

Let’s get wasted one of these days.

 

Santiago Roque

My cute roommate

I live with a roommate that says that i have commitment issues. How dare she? She’s like “By now, you should be able to call me your wife!” Well, i’m not wrong either, she’s indeed my roommate too. ( i wish i could remember where i heard this joke because it is brilliant and i wanted to give credit to the guy but allas, my memory fails me). I’m married. Have been for a while. It’s nice, i understand why people do it. You get to have someone to share shit with. You know, the good, the bad, whatever happened on this weeks episode of (insert random show you both binge on Netflix). Except, she doesn’t wait for me to see the episodes. She binges all alone and then spoils them for me. You conniving little devil! You know the feeling of waking up in the morning and turning to your side and seeing THAT someone that makes your day worth it, that makes you silly-happy for no apparent reason? You know? Well, i don’t but i’m sure my wife does. I’m that type of person, i make people feel happy, even in the morning. We are very cool as a couple. We no longer have time for jealousy type of shit. Sure, she doesn’t like something, she tells me to my face. The opposite does not happen. I learned my lesson that one time, Jesus! I also married above my rating. Yes, you can argue i’m attractive and all. I go to the gym, i’m athletic. I consider myself tall, especially when surrounded with shorter people. In fact, she has said that i am an 8 out of 10. She claims she doesn’t remember saying. Dude, i know what i heard ! But she’s way more attractive than i am. She used to model so she is as photogenic as they come. Every time we take a picture together, i look like a camel. There is no instagram filter that saves me. But all is good, all is well. In the poetic words of the failed kings of emo Mayday Parade:

Because these words were never easier
For me to say or her to second guess
But I guess
That I can live without you but
Without you I’ll be miserable at best

I got you, babe !

Santiago Roque

 

Music Throwback: Smashing Pumpkins.

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I’ve chosen to include in my panoply of words a kindness to an album that i didn’t fully appreciate before when it first came out but for the last years has become part of my collection of albums that i really enjoy. And this week this one came to mind. As i was driving to meet a friend in need (is a friend indeed, as Placebo would play ) “Beautiful” came on on my shuffle playlist. I found it ironic that, on this specific day, a sad day by all accounts, i would randomly hear this song. As sang by Billy:

Don’t let your life wrap up around you
Don’t forget to call, whenever

It just clicked with me. And as i continued to drive i put the album on. “Zero” took me all the way back to my teens. What a fucking good song! “Throw out your cares and fly, want to go for a ride?” Then “Bullet with butterfly wings”, that anthem of fake rage that me and my friends sang along on our nights out. Hella good times, man ! By the time “Cupid de Locke” came on, i had just parked but stayed inside listening to it.

And in the land of star crossed lovers
And barren hearted wanderers
Forever lost in forsaken missives and Satan’s pull
We seek the unseekable and we speak the unspeakable
Our hopes dead gathering dust to dust
In faith, in compassion, and in love

It crushed me a little bit. But then i put my hero cape on and went to meet my friend. My cocktail of idiotic eloquence made her feel a bit better plus i took some treats. She cried as soon as we hugged and i might have cried a bit as well. Out of joy. Because i was in need of a charger and she had brought one! Baby Jesus, that one saved me!

Santiago Roque