Your pain in my thighs 

When I put down my cup I realized this wasn’t going to be the last time. I felt the slap as if it was my own. Like somebody hit me in my thighs with a baseball bat. Stomp. Once. Stomp twice. I looked at my cup, paralyzed and silently. How many times was this? I had lost count. 

The bewildered woman was running in the field. Running as if she knew something was going to hit her, badly. She kept looking over her shoulder, but I couldn’t see her face; it was covered with her wild and curly hair that was hiding her features. Lest I should see it. The coffee in my cup looked like it was moving. Was this me? Was I dizzy? From the woman’s running? From this thought in my head, here in this house? 

Abruptly I stood up. I needed to test this theory. I needed to get away. Get out. Get out of my house. My coat flung to the floor when I ripped of the chair. I landed in front of my cup. That was silent now. Still. Like untouched water. Out, I said to myself. 

I plucked my coat off of the floor and headed for the door. I could see the axe. I could see it once. Then I saw it twice. 

She fell. 

In the field. 

My hand on the doorknob. It shivered. I trembled like I was her. Her pain was my pain. And they knew it. The house knew it. Or it’s inhabitants. I am empathic like that. There is no more difference between you and me when you’re in pain, or grieve or any other trouble. 

She was on the ground. As I was on the floor. Nailed to the ground like a wooden board. My hand still on the doorknob. I needed to get out. Out! Her hair, her wild and curly hair, like strains over her face. My face covered with tears.

The axes had hit her twice. And I was still where I was. On my way out. This is how they keep me in, I say to myself. They paralyze me with their horror. Planting it in my brain as if it was as normal as thinking about bread. Giving me horrible thoughts to put me down. 

It won’t work. 

The door flung open like the Red Sea. 

And I left her there in the field. On the ground. Hit by two axes that felt as if they hit me.

I was free. It was as still as water in me. 

The porn program 

I remained silent. It was hard, very hard. But it was my only way out. To remain as silent as stone. He reminded me of Scrooge from Charles Dickens, just as insolent and rude. 

‘I am taking your computer,’ he shouted while he burst into the room and snatched my laptop literally from underneath my hands. I was still typing. And then he ran out again. 

‘But,’ I stammered, ‘I just emailed the writer. I was giving her directions. Now how is she going to get here?’ My colleague obviously had no answer. She was numbed like me. 

He burst back in. ‘And you won’t be getting it back until tomorrow.’ 

Numbed like a dead phone. 

I did get it back the next day. Filled with porn. ‘This is the best program,’ he scowled. 

‘But sir, it is full of porn. I cannot open any program because busty ladies won’t let me.’

‘This is the program we’re using. Because this is the best program.’ 

‘Well, I’m sure you feel that way sir.’ My colleague was waving at me to hold my tong. I had to bite it. Scrooge was on a roll but so was I. I didn’t want to, but somehow the words came out all on their own. I was like a puppet on a string. Unwillingly dangling on another beings whim. Still this was the first job I had in a whole year, I couldn’t afford to lose it. 

‘It is proven. The only program to use.’

A penis flashed at me on the screen. My colleague and I were gesturing Belgian fries underneath the table. They’re so limp they always bent before you bite, so your chin gets smeared with mayonnaise. 

‘From now on we all use this program. No exceptions.’ 

‘Well,’ I say as I fold my hands in my lap, ‘you have caught my attention. If you don’t mind me asking, what is the program called?’ 

‘This.’ He points at my screen. A man and a woman are undoubtedly swapping body fluids. His eyes widen. He startles. And leaves the room without another word. 

‘But sir, is it expensive?’ 

Yeah, I should have remained silent. Like a stone. 

Into the gloom

The light was gloomy. Like the day wouldn’t show itself. It kept it’s new beginning contained,  hidden behind an exterior of shadowy images of day. Even birds were flying low. They crossed your path like regular pedestrians. 

I bounced back when their wind stroked my hair, I thought they would land on my head. Stroking my hair as if to put it straight, I saw it. The birds cried in high shrieks leaving goosebumps on every limp and my eyes watered. Oceans entered. Barely see-through, but black oceans, oceans of hate and violence. 

I saw the guns. I heard the bang. Felt the slap. I wanted to bent. And falter. But instead I froze and stood in the haze of the gunpowder taking the last bit of light the day had granted us. I think I sniffed or hissed, or produced a sound remotely human. He just stood there and looked at me. What did he know? He could not see what I saw. 

The violence was in my mind, in my memories. Just surfacing for the occasion. Like I could take them out of a drawer anytime I needed them. But the thing was I no longer needed them. Now, they had become dirty ghosts. How do you explain your ghosts to your date that thinks he found a decent and smart person? I think of the bird raking my hair. He was right, I should have taken cover. Into the gloom. 

drama, suspence, mystery, thriller, blog

The signals 

The signals aren’t always clear. I prefer calling it signals, because I don’t believe in Omens or signs or any of that spiritual uplifting read my energy and safe the planet kind of vagueness. But there are signals. Definitely and clearly. Many signals. 

Not that I send them out. I’m just the receiver. The person at the other end who sits there listening with a half broken radio. Victor, Charlie Charlie, do you read me? Loud and clear. But it’s a one way signal. I know they can hear me. In my storm, with my half broken life sending an SOS, on repeat. 

All I get is the beating, the heavy storm damage, the howling wind that rips through my life leaving it a waste and a mess. Now I can pick up the mess, but I cannot chase the storm that never lies down. 

And so I am here. On my floor. Designated area. Hoping for protection. Hoping for help. Or just hoping, that somehow I can make the storm lie down, even if it’s just for a while, so I can discern the signals. And know what to do. 

Premonition playground 

As I pour my coffee into the cup with flowers and butterflies on it and the smell of satisfaction enters my nose, I think of what music I will put on when I’m in the car. In my head I browse my Spotify playlist of favorites, old time classics and newby’s that are on constant repeat. I get eargasms when I think about it. I take a sip from my flower cup and go uh-huh. 

In my mind my fingers touch the screen, swipe over perfect words like ‘Say you won’t let go’ and ‘Slow hands’, sometimes they stop, tap and then swipe again. But then suddenly I’m missing half an arm. How can I browse with half an arm? Where did the other half go?

Shake it off, I say to myself as I try to delete the thought. Delicious coffee, brand new day. But my hand trembles as I bring my coffee cup to my mouth, it’s like a slow motion picture and all I want to do now is fast forward this moment. I suddenly feel so tired, it looks like the whole world is distorted. 

When later in I trod the busy streets of the morning, new coffee in hand, I realize I’m so tired I want to cry. Fall down on my knees, in the middle of the street and cry an endless stream of tears that mean absolutely nothing. I’m so dead beat I can’t walk anymore, I can’t even think anymore. My brain and body are simultaneously giving up functioning and all there is left for me is to produce streams of water as if they could rise high enough they could drown me. 

My eyes are looking down, I feel so drained I can’t get them to rise. But then I nearly bump into someone. And that someone is missing half his arm.

I have been here before. At this premonition playground. But I don’t get to choose where I want to swing. They do. The premonition playground decides which way they will push me. Like they’re the fat guy at the other end of the swing set and I’m going to get launched exactly where they want me. 

Whether loosing my arm or loosing my dignity. 

The days that changed it all 

I didn’t know. Nobody knew. Me. Levine, Macy or anybody we knew. It was as if a fog had lifted, clouding us all; like infants looking for an answer. 

Nor did I see it. With my eyes wide open I didn’t see the signs. The fatigue on my own face, doors suddenly closing behind me, and those neighbors. Even the biggest goofball would have seen it in their outfits, their matter of speech and frankly everything else. It was as obvious as rain on a dark and cloudy day. 

And that’s when the days began for me. The days that changed it all. 

Dutch monkey talk

Macy and I walk the nine streets of Amsterdam, small shops and curiosities, fuming coffee at fuming cafés, and bicycles that seem to grow out of the streets and canals filled with boats. A mini-break I can’t afford. But neither can I afford my life, so I decided it didn’t matter anyway.

There is nothing better than sitting at a cafe (in this case called Pluk) and watch people go by. Apparently, they call it watching monkeys here. We’re all for it.

‘Dentist monkey, for sure. Look at his teeth, they are too white,’ says Macy fully confident.
‘No,’ I say, ‘I’m voting for broker monkey. He looks too sharp to be a dentist if you ask me. And he’s too fast as well. Definitely broker monkey.’
‘Library monkey across the street. Look at his clothes.’
‘No, I’m sorry to say he’s sales monkey I just heard him say he reached his target and will receive his bonus.’
‘How are your ears so sharp? Sales monkey with an edge of a library monkey, and probably not a very good sales monkey if you have to call your friends you made your targets. Look at her.’ She takes a sip from her pink wine in the excitement. Pink wine is what you drink here when the sun is out and you sit outdoors and it looks exactly what it sounds like: pink. It takes a little lighter than wine, somewhere between wine and lemonade, which makes it very easy to drink; like lemonade.

‘Stylist monkey going straight for Laura Dolls.’
‘The shop we’ve just been, where they sell the incredible vintage dresses. Seriously?’ The woman disappears around the corner. ‘I’m following her.’ Macy jumps up and starts shadowing our stylist monkey. I stay put to guard our pink wine. Five minutes later she is back and crashes into her chair fetching her wine on the way down. ‘Stylist monkey, I even checked.’ ‘Okay, next one’s yours.’

A group of young men walk by. Two regular and one very handsome. Macy leans her head towards me: ‘my pleasure.’ She takes another look. Smiles. Tilts her head once more. ‘Graphic design monkey.’ ‘I’m with you on this one, but has a girlfriend, and not a fling but in a long relationship, likes to skateboard and mountain bike occasionally and has a thing with the artist Escher.’

Macy bends over and stares at the guy we just monkey-labelled. He turns his head. She produces a vague smile and falls back in her seat. ‘Oops!’ She takes a pink sip.

‘Okay, Jackson lookalike by the corner. Stay at home dad monkey,’ I say with a surprise in my own voice.
‘Stay at home dad monkey. Huh. Probably with wife with top job monkey.’ From around the corner a woman enters with a baby buggy and a phone in her hand. She immediately hands the baby to daddy and has practically no eye for them thanks to her busy phone life.

‘Wow, how about the guy with golden earing. What does he do?’ Macy looks at me with eager anticipation. But I’m done with monkey search and just want to soak in the sun and get on one of those hyper super duper bikes that look like they come right off the beach. ‘Golden earring monkey.’

Golden earring monkey smiles at us when he passes and I get an unsteady feeling. I suddenly see a weapon in my mind and I stiffen and hold my breath. Release, I say to myself. Macy leans in: ‘it was just a golden earring, not an almighty stripe.’ ‘Apparently Almighty Stripes come in various forms. Shake it off.’ Macy hands me the pink wine and throw it back in one gulp. Golden earring monkey raises his glass to us. I get another sharp streak in my head. ‘Can we leave? I’ve seen enough Dutch aapjes. Let’s get on a bike and feel the wind that will make our cheeks glow and our hair dance.’

‘Can’t we just cycle?’
‘Fine. Let’s cycle.’
‘And get a bottle of pink wine on the way.’
‘Let’s cycle and get a bottle of pink wine on the way.’
‘And maybe a Dutch monkey as a souvenir.’
‘Can I have a world traveller monkey?’
‘Good. Pink wine, bicycle, world traveller monkey.’