Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cause we gon make a movie, a movie, and it's gon be in 3D, in 3D

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you desperately need to run from something, but you can't, you're too heavy and it feels like you're running in slow motion, or even not moving?
Or is that just me? 
Anyway, they’re incredibly frustrating, and the other day one of them happened to me in real life.
It was morning rush hour and i was on the U7, ready to get off at Wilmersdorferstraße and change to the regional train for Potsdam, but as i was about to exit the train, something snapped in my brain and the station i get off at every day, all of a sudden didn't look familiar to me. 
So i stayed, frozen.
I just stood by the doors as they closed in front of my face, and the train pulled out of the station.
I felt like such a fool.
I got off at the next station in a state of near panic.
This idiotic and unexplainable mistake meant that i would surely miss my connecting train and be about fourty minutes late for work. 
The train going back where i came from took forever, but when it finally stopped back at Wilmersdorferstraße, i decided to make a run for it.
The doors opened and i bolted.
I ran down the platform, up two flights of stairs and... and i was already out of breath. 
Severely out of breath.
I still had almost half a kilometer between me and Charlottenburg Station, and only four minutes to catch my connecting train, and that's when i entered the dream state. 
Just like it's happened to me a million times before in my sleep, i ran and ran and felt like i was going nowhere. 
It was as if i was stuck in the quicksand that used to cause me even scarier dreams as a child.
Of course it wasn't quicksand, and i wasn't dreaming. 
I was just wearing really heavy boots. And i was carrying a heavy backpack. Oh, and my inflamed lungs were still recovering from a viral infection that had me coughing twentyfourseven for almost a month.
But the feeling was the same, as was the frustration and helplessness.

I made the train with one minute to spare. 
Panting loudly, trying to catch my breath. 
People were staring, and i'm sure it would have been embarrassing any other day, but since i had already been crying on the metro, my embarrassment threshold was probably higher than most people's. 

So why was i crying on the train again?
Well, remember the breakup?
Yeah it didn't quite stick.

I’ve never been much of an on again/off again kind of person when it comes to relationships, but a few weeks after the breakup, we met up to have one last talk.
To find some closure.
And we talked, and it was great, but instead of closure, we found that we weren't quite done with each other.
And it was confusing and amazing, and stupid obviously, but i felt helpless to stop it.
Blame it on love, blame it on chemistry, blame it on me being too greedy to give up something good that easily.
So without defining what was happening between us, we fell into a familiar pattern.

Over the weeks, i kept telling myself it couldn’t keep going like this.
I knew rationally that it had to either stop or progress, cause i needed to define it.
Define us.
But how do you put an end to something so good?
Something that feels so right?
“Next time i see him i’ll tell him we need to talk. No, but seriously, next time. Ok, the time after that”.

Cut to us standing outside Adidas Originals on Weinmeisterstraße last Saturday, among tourists and busy shoppers, holding each other and saying the slowest and hardest of goodbyes.
After hours of bargaining, debating, walking, kissing, coffee drinking.
Who goes break-up shopping together anyway? 
We were never ordinary and that's one of the things i liked about us.
Anyway, after hours, but really weeks, of trying so hard to come up with a solution, a way to be together without compromising our core beliefs, we hit a dead end.
I felt such a profound sense of unreality every time what seemed like negotiations came to a halt, every time we’d look at each other and realize we were only postponing the inevitable.
What do you do when you can’t compromise on your own needs anymore… but you also can’t let go?

And i couldn’t, i felt like my world would end if i let go of him, and in a way it did.
My life with him is over, the chapter is closed for good, and we will never be “us” again.
And i loved us. So much.

So we stood there,
Holding on. Hugging. Crying. Trying to think of excuses, reasons to stay. 
Unable to walk away and let go. Until we had to.
Until i had to.
And then it was done, i walked away in tears, Lucifer in tow, and i couldn't think of anything i wanted more than to take it all back and try again. 
Even now, days later, i still feel as if i’ve made a huge mistake, and i wanna throw away all of my reservations and keep trying and trying and trying, just for the chance to spend one more minute in his arms. 

I'm left wondering if the compromises i would have had to make in order to stay with him were really that much worse than the compromises i've made to be with other men? 
Maybe they just seemed bigger because we dared to say them out loud.
Maybe the compromises i made in order to stay married to the same person for twelve years were far worse, but always unspoken.
Doesn't the fact that i'll never have children, or that i never got to have a career of my own, stand as a testament to that?
People will say you shouldn't change for anyone, but don't we always, though? 

At least i liked myself with him. I liked the person i saw through his eyes. 
In fact, i don't think i've ever liked myself more. 
He made me feel like a better person than i am, and no one ever made me feel more beautiful than he did. Ever.

I really hope he liked the person he was with me too. 

Maybe this time, it'll stick.
We'll move on, and maybe, even though we'll live in the same city, the same part of town, we won't ever see each other again.
Eventually he’ll forget about me and Lucifer, about how fucking great we had it.
There'll be someone else in his bed soon enough.
And she’ll be tall and German like him, and much, much prettier than me. 
And then, just like that, he'll be over me.
And he'll go by my house and instead of it bringing back memories of us, it'll just be another house where someone he used to date lived, and he'll hardly notice.
And i'll walk the dog in the park, and i’ll walk right past the tree where he was late for our first date, and the stone bench where we first kissed while drinking cheap beer and watching a thunderstorm.
But instead of pausing to try and recall the expression on his face or what we were talking about, i'll just keep walking without even giving it much thought at all.
And that’s how it should be, that's what people do.
But i’m not ready for that, i’m not ready to be over it.
And to be honest, i'll probably never fully understand why we can't just be together when the love is there.

I think i finally have an idea of what i’m looking for in a relationship.
Which is great, logically.
Finally having the courage to ask for what i think i deserve is a great thing.
Except right now i don’t want any of those things.
I just want my boo.

"I want us to be magical space beings.
I want us to be unicorns who elevate and inspire each other to be the best and happiest we can be.
I want us to be like Troy and Abed, rather than Marshall and Lily.

I want to do fun projects together, and never hold back ideas out of fear of being judged.
I want us to have trust without being predictable, and to have excitement without too much drama.
I want our lives to be as strange and unpredictable as the movies i watch and the books i read.
I want us to dress up and be goofy and play games and never grow up.
I want us to choose each other instead of settling.
I want to walk the line between dream and reality.

I want the feeling of love to take my breath away, punch me in the gut, on a daily basis.
I want the talking to go on for hours into the night, even when i have to get up at dawn.
I want the sex to be weirder than the inside jokes we share, and hotter than the crappy coffee i drink to stay awake at work.

I want people to ask: "What's going on with Flora, i haven't heard from her all week" and i want the answer to be: "oh, her and her boo got really into live role playing, and now they're holed up somewhere creating their own language to make their forest elf characters more believable", and i want the answer to be: "oh, her and that guy have a massive three day hangover because they went to the karaoke place and got tequila drunk while serenading each other with cheesy love songs until the sun came up", and i want the answer to be: "i think they bought a run down old Volkswagen van that reminded Flora of the one her parents drove her on vacation in when she was a kid, and they took it camping somewhere, i'm not really sure where, but they'll be back in a few weeks".
Or i want the answer to be that i'm alone in my room, painting or writing, because what i don't want is to be in the kind of codependent relationship where you need a sick note to get out of being someone's permanent date for the night.
You shouldn't need a get-out-of-relationship-free card to spend time alone or with others. 
Being together should be a choice and a privilege and something you look forward to doing, and for that you need time apart.
So i don't wanna sit at home every night with someone, watching Netflix, and talking about hating the same things. I've tried that, that's not who i am anymore.
I want to keep my single life and my single person identity.
With someone.

I want us to do the things others only talk about.
I want to be with someone who can make my reality as exciting and strange as my inner world has always been."

God, you must all be sick of reading about this breakup.
It's literally taken months.
And this post is getting long.
If you're still reading this far: sorry and thank you!

This is difficult for me to write about.
Not only because it's somehow still in progress, still happening, but also because i know he will read it. 
This. Hey.
And i don't want me being sad making him sad.
Although i suspect he already knows how much i miss him.

I'm gonna post a bunch of pictures now, and they're gonna be very random, but looking at them make me feel better.
Because they tell me that even now, when i'm spending most of my time in a dreary, grey office, or on public transportation between Berlin and actual Germany.
Even now, when i'm a little brokenhearted and a lot unsure about the future.
Even then, i manage to find and capture magic.
I find and frame and edit and post and share special, fun, weird moments, that for maybe just a few seconds or minutes, take away the pain. 
And that tells me that no matter what happens to me, i'll probably be ok.

I look at my camera roll differently at the moment... i look at this and think "oh, this was pre-break-up, or post-break-up, or somewhere-in-between"... nothing i look at just is, everything connects to him

On a lighter note, a few weeks ago the weather was nice enough for me to eat lunch outside, and i made some hungry new friends... even the ducks are fancier in Potsdam!

I remember taking this when i was at home sick

Brunch with him and his friends, somewhere in the in-between period where doing couple-like things both excited me and scared me, because i knew we weren't, not really 

Break-up part two started at Voo Store and Companion Coffee, because we classy like that

Lucifer has been with me for a long time this time, and despite me being gone for almost twelve hours every day, he's doing much better than expected, and when i come home at night, i'm usually greeted by a dog who's just happy to see me, and not the sad or traumatized creature i had expected to see, since he's used to going everywhere with me

That time me and Mike went to Primark and got us flatmate onesies... i'm wearing mine right now, and i bet at least one of the others are too

Worst part about being sick, besides being fucking sick, is having to go to the doctor for a sick note on the first sick day, and realizing that waiting for that note can take up to four hours. No, not fun when you're running a fever and can't stop coughing! Just one of the many joys of working in Germany...

These were blooming outside Charlottenburg station for over a week, and i would take a picture, or post them on snapchat, nearly every day (it's been raining for two days, though, so there aren't many left)

Cleaning day (looking around i can see that i should probably do that again soon)

Another one from break-up day... i went straight to h&m to numb the pain with shopping, and while it obviously didn't work, i at least got this really cool Star Wars set that i've been sleeping in for days

Roamers, just Roamers

When i was cleaning my room that one day, i found a bunch of old photos. 
For some reason i feel that Amalie age eleven, the girl in the dorky outfit sitting on a sand dune, and i, have a lot in common

I was feeling skinny that day 

Sometimes this Shiba is on my morning commute

Deep fried banana and honey goodness at the Thai park

Since starting my new job, my entire instagram feed has been reduced to interior shots

Hey guys pizza gang (the one on the left had a cheese crust so delicious i felt sorry for the one on the right)

Weekend breakfast in my room 

Lucifer and Sriracha getting along with each other melts my cold heart

Killing about fifteen minutes before a doctor's appointment in Schöneberg

I found the perfect table for the hamster at a flea market, so i moved her into the living room where there's more natural light

Berlin kills me sometimes

Thinking of...

I made some pretty great kitsune udon for a new girlfriend the other day

People come and go, but it's always me and him (always, and forever)

When i've posted my apartment from every possible angle on instagram, the good old legs and coffee shot is always there to keep me relevant for a few more days

Break-up day again... he took this. 
It's blurry, he sure wasn't instagram husband material, but i posted it anyway

You don't expect to find Adidas Originals at the local dirt mall, but Neukölln is full of surprises

This day was the absolute worst, but since this was during somewhere-in-between, i could text him.... now, in the last week, so much bad or weird shit has happened, but since i'm trying not to lean on him too much, i've kept most of it to myself 

Sunday breakfast for Wendy, Jess, Marine and Frances a couple of weeks ago

That time we shot a car sharing commercial together... i uploaded this photo a few days ago, and then yesterday, i got an email that the commercial was finally finished. Isn't that just so fucking typical?
It's hard looking at pictures of us together, but looking on the bright side, now that this commercial is undoubtedly going to make us all kinds of rich and famous, i'm sure all the money and hookers and cocaine would have torn us apart eventually

No regrets. I had so much fun with you.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

El alma y el cuerpo

Sooo... that happened.
Another headstone for the Berlin Relationship Cemetery.

I'm ok, though.
Past the point of hoping, that maybe... but not past the point of missing him, and thinking of those last two hours we spent together.
About how i had wanted to freeze that moment in time and play it on a loop, and just... live in it.
For as long as possible. 

Yeah, i'm still sad.
Sometimes the absurdity of my life, where i've ended up, the isolation, and the longing, makes me cry, right there on the S42 train. 
It'll be packed with people and i don't care.
Sometimes i cry for the loss of the person i once was, sometimes because life is a constant fucking struggle and i feel like i can't breathe.
And recently i guess, because i'm still mourning the loss of what could have been, with us. 
The memories, like that last day, are flashes, too bright, reminding me that i knew, even as they were happening, that they would some day hurt like this.

But it'll pass. 
Right? It usually does. 
Case in point; the other night i went to see a guy i used to date. 
A guy who, for a while, was the guy. 
The one whose texts gave me instant butterflies, and whose house key i would carry around in my bag, just in case he was still working when i was coming over. 
It wasn't love, but he was someone important to me.
And recently we've been trying out the friendship thing. Which is why i went over.
But it's weird.
Cause there's not much to build on when your entire mutual past is basically sleeping together and occasionally going out to dinner. 
A crush is not a strong foundation. 
But it was fine. We drank tea. And he was still cute. Very. 
But i wasn't feeling anything, and i took some comfort in that.
It reminded me, that attraction fades, and the love and the longing i'm feeling now, will too.

The urge i'm feeling to text my love right now, if suppressed for long enough, will eventually cease to exist. 
And when that happens, i will have moved on, again.

Until that happens, at least i have a distraction, a distraction called life-is-little-more-than-work-and-work-is-numbness. 
It's something to be done. 
I go, i'm on autopilot, i'm out-of-body. 
Or more like i'm the tiny alien operating the Flora vessel. 
And every day after work, after two trains and a tram, after competing for a seat and ignoring the coughing and and the smelling and the nose blowing and the smoking-a-cigarette-on-the-tracks-then-entering-the-train-while-still-exhaling-smoke and the staring, oh the staring! 
You avert, you stare back, you do everything but yell "you're not supposed to stare at people you're an adult and it's rude what the fuck is wrong with you?!" and still their cold, grey, emotionless eyes just stay fixed on you, judging and not even caring that you know. 
Hah. I'm fine, commuting is fine.
Anyway, every day after... that,  i go home, hoping that once inside the apartment, my body and soul will reunite and become who i was, someone who'll paint and laugh and listen to music like they used to, but it doesn't happen, cause the vessel is so exhausted it's practically shaking, and the tiny alien operator don't have the means or the energy to try to waken it. 
So they both do what the have to do to survive: eat, walk the dog, write maybe one important email, do some dishes, wash face, look at face in complete disbelief. 
Brush teeth. 
Confront own mortality.
And then they look at the time and go: "holy shit how did it get this late!?" and they tell each other: "Tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be "i" and i will have just a little more energy, just enough to do something with passion, even for a few minutes". 

And when that does happen?
Those few minutes are what i live for.

I've started drinking coffee at night as soon as i get home from work, and it helps.
As if i don't drink enough coffee to stay awake during the day.

On a more positive note, weekends are finally something i look forward to. 
I used to hate them, not for being much like the other days of the week, although for a while they were, but for being a reminder of what i didn't have. 
Someone whose happy thought was to spend a Sunday with me. 
That's all i wanted, just to be someone's happy thought. 
And for a short time i think i was, until suddenly i wasn't, and weekends again became painful reminders of my loneliness, but even worse than before.

Now, weekends are for sleeping late.
Late these days meaning 10 am.
And for spending time with my dog, who during the week sees my flatmates more than he sees me.
It's for doing laundry and watering plants and seeing my room bathed in daylight. 
For working out, cause i can't do that every morning anymore.
For writing at a cafe, cause i need to see something besides my room, my cubicle, and the damn train.
And occasionally for drinking and dancing and spending the day in bed hungover watching bad tv.
Weekends are now a rare privilege, and not necessarily one that needs to be shared with another person. 
Not that i don't miss it, miss him, i do, but no more or less on Sundays.
So for that i'm grateful for my new routine, for the numbness, for the job that takes a little bite out of my soul every day, instead of feeding it.
For the quiet hopelessness of working out of necessity rather than passion. 
For this separation between body and soul.  

I love my room, and the crazy plants invading it

I made a few prints of this painting and sold them, there is no greater feeling in the world than that

That time i decided to break through a fence and go urban exploring on my lunch break

Totally worth it... when life isn't magical, you must try extra hard to make magic happen

More prints, these now live at my friend Carly's place here in Berlin

Lucifer has had to get used to a different lifestyle, now that i can't stay home with him, but he's handled it so well, and he loves his new flatmates

That time i needed to take passport photos for my insurance, and i realized that my face is Harrison Ford level asymmetrical

One morning in Potsdam, the fog was irresistible 

The flower shop next to the bakery where i get my morning coffee

Shopping last weekend, you bet i bought this

I made some backpacks out of kitten tote bags, and put them on my etsy

I miss the ubahn, actually

I made a friend on another lunch break, he was like a cartoon character basically

Awful picture of a great breakfast very late on Sunday afternoon... i've had a great weekend

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Things i wanted to tell you

- When i got up this morning the hamster had escaped!
She was just sitting on the cabinet outside her cage, contemplating her next move.
When she saw me, she looked like she knew she was so busted.
My first instinct was to take a picture and send it to you, but then i remembered...
So instead i put her back in the cage, taped the door shut, and left for work.

-At work i deleted all the article drafts i had written under someone else's name, because you were right.
It was good work, and i should get the credit for it.
So now i'm writing my articles in Word, and saving them on my computer until i get my own login.

-Found out that The Guardian isn't blocked at work!
The first headline i saw said:
"Penguins on a treadmill
Fat ones fall over more often than slim ones, study finds"
I wanted to send you the link.

-Tried to hi-five my older colleague, but it turned into a weird mix between a lo-five and an awkward handshake.
So i just don't think the Friday Feierabend fist bump we talked about is gonna happen.

-In the middle of the day it hit me that i'll never get to see your reaction, when you find out who the last Cylons are on Battlestar Galactica.
I always imagined you being so surprised that you'd start jumping up and down on the couch, screaming, and possibly injuring me in the process.

-I wanted to tell you... i wanted to tell you that i wrote something on my phone about you, after we went to that concert movie.
And that i should have read it to you back when it still mattered.

Excerpt from an entry in the iPhone journal, back in January:

"I had so many thoughts while watching the movie. 
About life and art and people and music.
And about Patrick.
About how I look at him with such happiness and pride. 
That I get to be with him.
I won't get to keep him, we don't get to keep anything in life, but now...
Right now, the joy of looking at him when we're out, I can't help but smile. 
A big goofy smile.
Sometimes I underestimate his effect on me, cause I've been caught up in negativity for so long.
This is someone who sees me, and motivates me, and goes to great lengths to give me great experiences.
That's worth all the other stuff.
That makes all the other stuff shrink into almost nothing."

But the other stuff wasn't nothing.
For either of us.

Office stilleben

Chasing sunsets

I couldn't believe the weather this morning... classic Berlin, never one to give you a break when you need it