Monday, October 03, 2005

It Should´ve Been You

This morning as I awoke from my dream, I searched for you in my bed... but you weren’t there.

It was empty...
I still miss you. ... Nothing I do seems to fill this void.

I dreamt I walked my daily trip to the Metro in darkened morning silence. It seems like the rest of the world was still asleep as I descended into the underground. Beneath the world it was empty, there was no one to my left and to my right was only one soul sitting on the bench also waiting to be taken somewhere else.
Taking a closer look, I decided that he couldn’t be much older than I was and that only his damaging good looks ring the possibility of danger.
Considering my heart’s emptiness, I could see no harm in taking that risk so I sat down and smiled at the face that recognised my existence. He rewarded my friendliness by smiling back and I could hear the sound of a thousand female hearts breaking to the handsome face that stared back at me.
"You know... my dad warned me about girls like you"
Just what I needed... a flirt!
"Oh really? What kind of girl is that?"
Another smile that melts icecaps...
"The kind that steals your heart with a smile and never gives it back."
I couldn’t avoid smiling again and decided to let myself relax. A voice from inside reminded me that if I was going to move on with my life, If I’m going to forget you then I was going to have to start letting other people in...
So I included an introduction with my smile.
"You know, my dad’s warned me about guys like you too..."
"Oh really? What’s his theory?"
"They steal your heart without the intention of keeping it"
A smile quickly turned into a frown.
"Now why would a guy like me do a thing like that?"
"Why have one heart when you can have many?"
Uh Oh... here I was reflecting my fears, way to go to mess up a great first introduction! The gorgeous smile didn’t seem swayed though;
"What’s the worth of many if yours belongs to just one?"
We connected.

The next thing I knew, he held my hand as we walked down to a house near the ocean. Wherever it was that I was going that morning... it didn’t seem important now. Here I was with my prince charming and he was taking me to meet his father whose theory intrigued me.
I was lead to a veranda where an old man faced the ocean. My prince charming spoke something about getting us drinks leaving me alone with the powerful presence who’s back was to me. Suddenly the air grew cold; I sat down beside him afraid to disturb his thought.
"It should’ve been her."
I strained to hear him.
"I’m sorry, did you say something?"
"It should’ve been her." he repeated louder than before.
"Her? Her Who?”
Shocked, I stood motionless wishing my prince charming would appear and rescue me from the constraining atmosphere.
"I see you, and I feel her. The one I was supposed to be with. Your smile is her smile; your eyes are her eyes... How I miss her!"
Afraid but intrigued, I moved a little closer, unable to see his face in the shade but attracted to the sound of his voice.
"But she wouldn’t come to me. I didn’t go after her. We were fools. All the signs were there. We knew we were meant for each other, but we didn’t believe. It was too hard, we were too proud." Unable to ask questions, I merely listened... and understood. "We said life was too complicated... how foolish! We lived as if we knew what life had in store for us. Running from what we felt, convincing ourselves we were making the right decisions. Too much feeling, too few confessions. I miss her"
I felt my heart beat faster as he turned his face to me.
“I miss her like the deserts miss the rain.”
This old man who was playing my heart strings a song too sad to dance to, was threatening fresh tears into falling. I felt the panic rising.
Where was he? My prince charming that was supposed to rescue me from what I was feeling? Why was he taking so long?
I can’t suppress these feelings in the presence of this old man. Soon they’ll be stronger than me… I shouldn’t feel this way… I shouldn’t, but I do... but I mustn’t…
Under the watchful eyes I feel my soul attacked by a panic I can’t control and unable to listen to anymore, I stood up and walked towards the ocean leaving the old man with some feeble excuse. I could only manage to see the faint glimpse of what looked like a smile and it frightened me as much as his presence.The more I thought about the smile, the faster I walked until I was almost running. What on earth was I thinking? Behaving like that? What had gotten into me?!!

Eventually I talked some sense into myself, causing my pace to decrease as I allowed my surroundings to relax me… I must be losing my mind!
The wind picked up and the ocean’s waves became more violent. In the distance I could see a woman standing on a rock with her hair blowing around her shoulders. It wrapped around her like a silver silk shawl and worried that she might be in trouble, I went closer.
Afraid that any sudden movements might trigger her into jumping into the sea, I moved closer to her without a sound well aware that she had made note of my presence.
"It should’ve been him."
I suddenly felt suffocated… this must be a nightmare! No no… I told myself, any moment now my prince charming will rescue me. The old lady didn’t seem to hear my thoughts and continued…
"I loved him like no other, he made me happy and yet I ran from the unhappiness I thought he would bring me. That’s the thing about love honey; it’s like a see-saw where a smile and a tear play. He who has your heart has the ability to hurt you as much as make you happy. Scary huh?"
She smiled sweetly at me as she looked my way and I felt nauseous!
From far away I heard someone call my name. It was prince Charming! He was here to rescue me. She heard him too.
"Go ahead, you’ll go back, live a healthy life, have lots of babies and raise a family, living the life you always wanted… like the ones in the books your write... but he’ll always be on your mind. No amount of distance will change that"
I knew I had to be dreaming... I just had to be! How can they know about me, about you? I wanted to ask her…
Gone. I looked into the stormy ocean... she must’ve jumped in!
And from a far I could still hear my name being called.
Looking into the ocean I contemplated whether to jump in after her, she wouldn’t answer to my calling... we both would get killed!
And that’s when I saw it... In the midst of the waves I saw the pink bracelet floating and I knew...

I miss you.
I’m scared of this storm that’s brewing...
Scared of losing you...
Scared of losing me...
Just scared.

Give me something I can hold on to so that neither of us looks back at each other saying "It should’ve been you"

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Hero to the Rescue

It’s been two weeks in the big city, though sometimes it still feels like it was just yesterday that I stepped off the plane.
Let no one tell you that a change of this magnitude is easily overcome… it isn’t!
I was born brave, stubborn and adventurous and already I’ve been reduced to tears more than once, for something as silly as getting buildings confused.
What I’ve mostly learnt (or relearned…) is that success depends mainly on your attitude and perspective; I was reminded of this yesterday when once again life put an obstacle in my way:

To get to work, I enter the blue line in the underground Metro which takes me to a station called Marquês de Pombal where I switch to the yellow line that takes me straight to Entrecampos where I work.
As simple as this whole system may sound, I’ve found myself on the wrong side of the tracks a few times, not to mention the times where I was distracted and got off at the wrong station… like anything in life, it takes some getting used to.
And while all those mishaps may seem like mini-crises in the first few days, nothing could’ve prepared me for complication that awaited me next.
It was only when I arrived at Marquês de Pombal and felt like a Sardine in an ocean of people that I realised that something was wrong… the yellow line broke!
Hundreds of people, hot and irritated swore under their breath at the mechanical failures that were keeping them from getting to work.
Work! How on earth was I getting to work now?!!
Repressing the upcoming panic, I closed my eyes and forced it to subside while I considered my options:
I could wait with the crowd until the line got fixed but from the looks of the things, I realised that the solution was in slow progress and I had only twenty minutes to be at work on time.
I could go up and take a bus, but I had no idea where the buses could be found, much less guess which one to take!
The easiest solution then seemed to be to take a cab, but after taking one look at my empty purse I realised that unless I found an ATM on the way, taking a taxi wasn’t an option.
Standing against the wall with the desire to sit on a corner and cry, I decided to give myself five minutes just to stop and look around me.
It was as if I’d removed myself from the picture and confusion and when I came to, I was looking at the map of the underground when it occurred to me that if I went back onto the blue line, I could reach Praça de Espanha, which I was told wasn’t too far from where I worked.
I’d arrive late, but instead of worrying I decided to embrace my sense of adventure!
With a smile on my face and free from all traces of panic, I got back on the blue line and got off at Praça de Espanha.
Of course when I got out, I felt even more lost!
Nothing looked familiar to me, all the buildings seemed different and all the streets looked the same. I had no clue as to where I was or which direction I should be going. I asked an old man who didn’t seem too sure but at least he pointed me in the right direction, and so… I walked.
I walked past a theatre, then past a museum and an Opel stand. There were no signs that said “Entrecampos” or “Feira Popular” so I walked in the direction of Campo Pequeno where I once had coffee with my colleagues.
I couldn’t have walked more than ten or fifteen minutes but it began feeling like hours and I once again found myself having to suppress the panic.
It’s not that I was afraid I wouldn’t get there… I knew I would eventually; it’s just that the thought of arriving an hour late at work did serious damage to my self discipline.
Once again closing my eyes, I asked for a little help from my angels. If nothing more, I managed to relax and find my sense of North (In this case my instincts are more reliable than the compass on my phone!!!).
And as I crossed the corner… there it was! Two blocks ahead of me was the blue building I’d been searching for. I arrived a mere eleven minutes late to work.

It’s easy to panic, to lose your self-control and fall into despair.
Many mornings I wake up staring at my phone running through the names of people I’d like to call and radio in for help. Some mornings many names go through my head, sometimes none… Truth is, I’m aware that none of them can work miracles on my self confidence, that job is all up to me.
I’ve learnt that the hero we search for lies within us and sometimes we just have to shut out the sounds of the world in order to hear her voice.

It’s true that no (wo)man is an island, we all depend on one another to live healthier and more fulfilled lives. But while we may have a thousand hands of friends willing to help us get up, none of them can make that decision for us. The attitude and perspective in which we choose to see the world and ourselves, depends solely on us.

Have Courage, but above all my friends… Have Faith.