mardi 22 novembre 2016

Mode survie

No final das contas, tem coisas às quais a gente sobrevive (susto, gente canalha, macumba leve etc.), tem coisas para as quais não tem jeito (guerra nuclear, tumores malignos múltiplos e metastatizados etc.). Para esses últimos casos, só há uma trilha sonora possível (a saber: Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet ─ Having An Average Weekend. Aliás, favor tocar essa música no meu velório).
Por outro lado, achei por bem fazer a melhor trilha sonora (estilo mixtape) de músicas para sobreviver, enquanto ainda está dando. Não me liguem, não deixem agradecimentos eternos nos comentários; me agradeçam com ações da Pfizer, porque não está fácil, não.

Aí vai, para vocês que ficam:

1. Whitaker ─ So long
2. Witness U.K. ─ Second Life
3. Lauren O'Connell - All I Have To Do Is Dream
4. Calum Scott ─ Dancing On My Own
5. Leonard Cohen ─ Famous Blue Coat
6. The Mountain Goats ─ This year
7. Clarice Falcão - Survivor
8. Cayetana ─ Favorite Things
9. The Weakerthans ─ Sun in an Empty Room
10. The Tragically Hip ─ In a World Possessed by the Human Mind
11. Isaac Delusion ─ Midnight Sun
12.  The Velvet Underground ─ After Hours
13. The Magnetic Fields ─ '74: No
14. Beat Happening ─ Bad Seeds

jeudi 23 juin 2016

A cheater's guide to a tree of codes

E se eu fizesse minha árvore de códigos com Junot Díaz? Daí que eu fiz:

"And, of course, you swore you wouldn’t do it. You swore you wouldn’t. You swore you wouldn’t. And you did.

She says nothing. Later, in the hotel, she cries. You block their e-mails. You change your phone number. You claim that you were sick, you claim that you were weak.

And every hour, like clockwork, you say that you’re so so sorry. You try it all, but one day she simply sits up in bed and says, No more. You stop. You never see her again.

You’re fine for, like, a week. Then your moods become erratic. You’re the one I always wanted. You start losing your temper with friends, with students, with colleagues. It’s fucking scary. Before you can figure out what the hell is going on, they flip you the bird and peel out. It happens again and again.

Three times, drunk white dudes in different parts of the city try to pick fights with you. You take it all very personally. I hope someone drops a fucking bomb on this city, you rant.

That night, you drink yourself into a stupor, then spend two days recovering. You figure that’s as bad as it gets. You figure wrong.

During finals a depression rolls over you, so profound that you doubt there is a name for it. It feels like you’re being slowly pincered apart, atom by atom. You stop hitting the gym or going out for drinks; you stop shaving or washing your clothes; in fact, you stop doing almost everything. Your friends begin to worry about you, and they are not exactly worrying types. I’m O.K., you tell them, but with each passing week the depression deepens. You try to describe it. Like someone flew a plane into your soul. Like someone flew two planes into your soul. Breathe, he tells you. You breathe non-stop, like a marathon runner, but it doesn’t help.

Your little letters become more and more pathetic. Please, you write. Please come back. And then you wake up. You stop sleeping, and some nights when you’re drunk you have a wacky impulse to open the window of your fifth-floor apartment and leap down to the street.

You make it through both semesters, barely. It really is a long stretch of shit, and then, finally, the madness begins to recede. It’s like waking up from the worst fever of your life. You ain’t your old self (har-har!), but you can stand near windows without being overcome by strange urges, and that’s a start.

I’m done. You clean up your act. You want to turn over a new leaf. Takes you a bit, but you finally break clear, and when you do you feel lighter.

I should have done this years ago, you declare. You wait, what, a week for the bad energy to dissipate and then you start dating. Like a normal person.

One month, two months, three months, and then some hope. A little kissing, a little feeling up, but nothing beyond that. You know you should be patient. And you almost say yes, but then your idiocy gets the better of you. You know as soon as you say it that you just buried yourself. Right back into the depression. What are you going to do? Focus on me for a while. That’s what everybody claims. Easier to say that than This shit sucks. Not really.

You take your break. You try to get back to your work, to your writing. You get serious about classes and, for your health, you take up running. You used to run in the old days and you figure you need something to get you out of your head. You must have needed it bad, because once you get into the swing of it you start running four, five, six times a week. It’s your new addiction. You run so hard that your heart feels like it’s going to seize. Your body changes, of course. You lose all that drinking and smoking chub, and your legs look like they belong to someone else. Every time you think about the ex, every time the loneliness rears up in you like a seething, burning continent, you tie on your shoes and hit the paths and that helps; it really does.

Sometimes it takes a month. Sometimes six months. Sometimes a year. Sometimes longer. That makes you so sad that you go home and lie in bed in the dark. You’re afraid. I don’t want to go back down the hole. Finally, you give up. You sleep in. I know, that’s the dilemma. Yay, you say. You’re in bed for a solid two weeks. So now it’s your feet, your back, and your heart. There is no rush to the head, no tearing up your lungs, no massive shock to your system, but it’s better than nothing.
You make little advances. Of course you end up in bed. What the fuck, you say.

Revenge is living well, without you.

That year your arms and legs begin to give you trouble, occasionally going numb, flickering in and out like a brownout back on the Island. It is a strange pins-and-needles feeling. What the fuck is this? you wonder. I hope I’m not dying.

You’re probably working out too hard. Probably just stress, the nurse at Emergency Care tells you. You hope so, flexing your hands, worrying. You really do hope so.

You drive around, just to get a feel for the city. You have a couple of friends in town but you don’t call them, because you know they’ll only want to talk about old times, about the ex.

You’re surprised and excited and a little wary. What’s up? It’s like bad television. You asshole. You don’t know what to say or how to act. You are surprised at how hollowed out you feel. I need to stay here. I have nowhere to go. I can’t go back to my family.

Everybody had a blast except you. You were in the middle of the great downturn, which meant that you spent most of your time alone, floating on your back in the ocean or getting drunk at the bar or walking the beach in the early morning before anybody was up.

Are you fucking kidding me? Now you wake up in the morning in more pain than ever. This is what you write in your journal. I fucking hate you. This is ridiculous, you say. More bad TV.

A month passes, two months pass. You’re afraid to tell anybody else. Your back is agony, and the numbness in your arms is starting to become pretty steady. In the shower, the only place in the apartment you can be alone, you whisper to yourself, Hell, Netley. We’re in hell. Later, it will all seem like a terrible fever dream, but at the time it moved so very slowly, felt so very concrete.

Do you need anything?
I’m fine, thank you.

What the fuck do you want? All sorts of terrible fears race around inside you. You didn’t think anything could hurt so bad.

You’re not going to go psycho on me, are you? You don’t answer.

And that’s the end of it.

The rest of the semester ends up being a super-duper clusterfuck. What the hell else are you going to do? You ain’t got nothing going on, outside of waving your arms around every time they go numb. 

This used to be me, you’re thinking. You can’t help yourself. Nobody stares, because those ain’t real loads you’re carrying. It will work out, he says testily. And what the fuck do you know? It ain’t like your shit ever works. Can’t argue with that.

You look into his eyes. He looks into yours. That’s more or less when you know. It’s breathtaking. Don’t be a jerk. Cut the crap. A long silence. You ignore him. There is no significance in this, you tell yourself. You insist. You have to. You know you can’t live a lie. It won’t be good for you. Don’t you think it’s better to know? In all honesty, you’re thinking that he won’t do it, that this is where it will end.

Fuck, he says bitterly, fuck fuck fuck. Changes his cell-phone number and his e-mail account.

Of course you feel terrible. You think about the way the boy looked at you. With him, it’s like nothing happened. You wish you could be as phlegmatic.

The numbness in your arms and legs increases. From there, what little life you have goes south.

You want to move on, to exorcise shit. This seems to you like a good sign.

Maybe it was a mistake, you say. You work harder than you’ve ever worked at anything—the teaching, your physical therapy, your regular therapy, your reading, your walking. You keep waiting for the heaviness to leave you. It’s just a matter of will power: the day you decide it’s over, it’s over.

You never get over it. You take the longest walks. Afterward you’re in so much nerve pain that you can barely move. Finally, when you feel like you can do so without exploding into burning atoms, you open a folder that you’ve kept hidden under your bed.

You did the right thing. You go to more doctors. And then, one June night, you scribble the ex’s name and: The half-life of love is forever. You bust out a couple more things. Then you put your head down.

Sometimes a start is all we ever get."

mardi 29 mars 2016

Nous étions formidables

Primeiro se foram os sapatos, com força, quicando no chão. Em seguida, estranhamente, as luvas. Aquelas amarras, que escondiam os piores demônios. Os grampos do cabelo. Teve um que ficou emaranhado, dando mais trabalho. Saiu, mas levou um punhado de fios junto. Não sentiu dor; sentiu alívio. Perdeu a paciência com a meia-calça, que desfiou toda. Jogou no chão, chutou. O emaranhado de nylon, leve demais, mal se moveu. Sentou-se na cama com os cotovelos apoiados sobre as coxas, e a cabeça pesando sobre os punhos. Esperou o frio subir pela espinha. Nada. Abriu a janela, no escuro, para deixar entrar o ar frio. Sua respiração continuava quente, ardendo. Acendeu a luz, porque já não bastava ver o mundo: queria ser vista. Gritou e gritou. Ninguém gritou de volta; ninguém reagiu.

Mediu as juntas do piso. Contou-as uma vez, duas. Mediu o quarto em passos. Quatro. Tão, tão pouco. Não era à toa que o ar tinha se transformado em brasa. Um, dois, três, quatro ─ rápido, com afinco. O quinto foi um impulso no parapeito. O sexto foi no vento denso, que a impulsionou. Lá de cima, era para o mundo parecer em miniatura, mas ele parecia assustador, gigantesco, mas do avesso: um reflexo numa colher.

Viu seu reflexo macroscópico deformado, atroz. Achou que era um oceano, mas era só o rio. Quis mergulhar, mas percebeu que não sabia como. Desceu, subiu, passou pertinho da margem, mas não teve força o bastante para atravessar a película d'água. Percebeu que talvez nunca mais conseguisse pousar. Imergir parecia ainda mais improvável. Quis voltar para os sapatos de solas gastas, para o conforto das luvas, para a disciplina dos grampos e elásticos. Só não sentiu falta da meia-calça, que odiava com força.

Quase começou a se imaginar de volta e, quando olhou para cima e viu as nuvens carregadas, sorriu. Decidiu que iria se abismar nas raízes da chuva.

Para ouvir: Rolling Stones ─ You Can't Always Get What You Want

lundi 28 mars 2016

Tu souris trop pour être heureux

Ressuscitar um blog citando Marx ─ what a concept! Mas eis que, nove anos depois, a história se repete como tragédia. Nove Páscoas. O dia exato é difícil especificar, mas vou jogar lá na conta da margem de erro. Na época, era uma coisa só, curta, pontual, que se arrastou por algumas semanas. Alguns dias sem dormir, alguns momentos de crise, um final de semana de Páscoa e bacalhau e fondue de chocolate com gente que eu nunca mais vi, umas reviravoltas, uns carros na contramão, uma passagem aérea só de ida e um punhado de malas. E assim tudo se resolveu.

Agora, é todo um pacote de coisas, um troço que já vem se arrastando por alguns meses, com muitas malas e passagens de ida-e-volta no meio do caminho. E eis que. E eis que eu me vi de volta naquele mesmo lugar, sendo salva por amigas e amigos incríveis, mas sem bacalhau nem fondue de chocolate ─ nem aquele memorável churrasco de bacon. Em vez disso, eu pilotando forno e fogão (quem diria!), algumas garrafas de vinho e cerveja, um retorno às minhas origens neo-aristocráticas, um bar hippie com uma jam band, alguns aplicativos no celular, um brunch, uma tarde deitada ao sol. Dessa vez, nenhuma das pessoas a minha volta fala minha língua materna, e a gente alterna entre duas ou três línguas outras, todas tão estrangeiras como todas essas sensações que eu não me dei o direito de vivenciar da primeira vez. E eu mesma fui procurar os comprimidos para dormir, para acordar, para viver.

Eu achava que o mais difícil era desistir. Há nove anos, o mais difícil foi desistir, sim. Porque eu queria muito continuar. Queria viver mais que todo mundo. Quis tanto que não percebi onde estava, o que estava fazendo, e tudo o que eu estava trancando em um armário que eu nunca mais abri, para poder correr, rápido e ao longe. Voar, correr, nadar, pedalar. Dessa vez, o mais difícil foi continuar. Ir dormir e querer acordar. Mas aí eu gritei de volta para alguém na rua, senti o sangue esquentar apesar de tudo, cliquei em "going" para aquele evento em que vou ter que ficar cara a cara com a pessoa com quem eu estava evitando comprar uma briga, senti o sangue ferver apesar de tudo. Quando acordei no mesmo lugar tanto tempo depois, com o celular piscando para mim num reality check que deu um frio na espinha, percebi que era hora de fazer meu chá, trocar de delineador e esperar pela próxima vez, quando, com sorte, a história se repetirá como farsa.

Para ouvir: Stromae ─ Sommeil