There is a crazy man in Brno. The one who lost it completely and doesn’t even care to hide it, cope with it or handle it, like the rest of us.
Every time I pass through Namesti Svabody, the piazza in Brno, I see him. He is walking fast fast and faster, talking to himself, munching on a personal language, moving his face and his arms as if ready to take off. When I come back from work in the evening, usually he is sitting on a bench, in front of McDonald’s, mumbling, twisting the words, working on some kind of mystery. His beard is somehow always the same length. The same clothes all through autumn, winter and now spring.
I saw him yesterday morning also. He never looks people in the eyes and does’t have to watch out, everyone is giving him the space. Everyone is also ignoring him. Yesterday evening something happened. At one point he stopped walking, but continued to move his body as if stuck in an epileptic attack. Vertically. Like a tree being torn apart in the middle of storm. As if dancing some kind of dance.
This crazy man made me ask myself what is this presence supposed to mean. If we are all connected (and we are) what does his tumult, among the supposedly normal way of life, mean? I feel that he is actually representing that which the majority of us are still managing to handle. The dark side, the unseen, the mind, the emotions gone astray. Something happened, he was vulnerable and weak and then he just gave up caring about himself or any other thing or being. Now he is lost in a parallel universe even if physically he is here, walking up and down Masarykova street, cutting through the masses like a hot knife the butter.
Who does he listen to? How can someone make him react to what is happening here? What is his language, his story? Why is he the crazy one, the weak one? What makes him different from the crazy colleague I have? S. in the office manages to obey some of the socially accepted rules, he is keeping the job, but hardly dealing with his emotions, reactions and relationships with other people. What happens to these people? Why do they become some kind of channels reveling our common darkness? Some kind of never healing pimples that we all hate.
And so, walking, I am hearing different voices in my head. One of them is asking if I am going to became one of the crazy ones who does’t give a fuck about anything? I wrote the text bellow some week ago but I did not publish it. It is quite raw. Today I want to put it out there. I have to see myself from outside. Maybe I can made something out of it.
“My grandmother called me like that” the manager said one morning in the office. He misunderstood a word thinking that it was his childhood nickname. My grandmother never called me by any name, I thought. She never spoke to me directly. One time when I left my home town heading towards Romania to study, she told me: “Become a great person.” Să fii un om mare. That was very kind of you, grandma, but how the heal do I do it? Fuck it.
The Italian line is again deviating. I have to cover both the German and the Italian until the fragile, new colleague is coming back from his illness (just a cold, which in my world is not an illness). One call in Italian, one in German. At one point I start saying to the Germans sono Victoria, to the Italians hier is Victoria. Not a problem. Fuck it.
PS. Update after a few weeks. The Italian line is heading towards disintegration. The new colleague decided to leave the job. The management is quite as deep waters are. The storm is about to take off.
My sister promises to write now that she is in Holland for a few months, taking part in a start-up project. I wait. She does’t write, I still wait like a fucking dog, and I make up different excuses of what could have possibly happened. Not the first time. I stop waiting. Fuck it.
PS. My sister wrote after all and she is doing fine. I was worried.
My deepest desire is to go away from this life. I call it extreme curiosity. My greatest challenge is to find reasons why should I be here, since I am. I have been trying to convince myself that this is not what I was supposed to feel and want. But I do. I have always felt it. When I was small I was asking my parent why did they make me, I never asked to be here. They just told me to stop that shit. All right, fine, I will stop saying it but this thing, this idea is not going away from me, dear parents, I will stop mentioning it out loud but I still feel it. This might be a reason why I put myself in extreme situations when I have to fight for survival. These are the moment when I feel like I have found a reason to be here.
Walking shoe less in Seoul, because the sandals I had broke, didn’t make me sad. On the contrary, I felt real. People didn’t noticed. Afterwards, I bought some cheap shoes from an underground market. In that part of the world, the metro stations are so large. They fill in that space with all kinds of things, mostly cheap markets, similar to typical Moldovan markets. Walking bare foot made me remember a moment in my childhood when I finally got a pair of new sandals, so beautiful, brown with leather strings. I remember this so clearly, my mother told me not to loose them. I did not want to loose them, I loved them, I have been waiting for so long.
We went playing beside the river. There is a small river passing through the city, Cogalnic. It was summer, the sand was hot. I never found my dear sandals. I walked home trembling already because my mother’s rage was powerful. It creeps into your bones. Fuck it.
When I left Moldova, almost two years ago, there was no one at the airport to say good bye. My parents were fine, I visited them and said goodbye the day before. Me and my sister were not in a good phase. I was not able to have any kind of friendly or sisterly relationship, I was close to the limits of drainage. It was the convalescence period after getting out of the modeling world. Any type of interaction was sheer pain for me. She didn’t know. She thought that I thought bad of her, or I don’t like this or that. I was happy to know that she was doing fine but could’t do more at that time. I felt abused and I was also in a very difficult work situation at my new job in Chisinau. Paying the rent and having something to eat was victorious. It was glorious. It was a good time.
My sister came once to visit. This lively, good smelling woman, long haired, wearing a smart scarf and a leather jacket was my sister. She was so beautiful, so full of life. I remember one thing from that visit. She said:” I like it here, it is like a boudoir”. Oh, my dear sister, that was far away from the truth. It was a nest for me to heal and decide if I want to continue.
For more then one year I washed my clothes by hand. I bought a rope, tied it across the bathtub. The clothes dried there. I kept the nest clean and dry, although, during the winter black spots appeared on the sealing.
Now, when she left for Holland a few weeks ago, I felt it. I did’t know the exact day but I felt it and asked her when was she leaving. She was on the way to the airport at that very moment. I didn’t want her to feel alone, and I prayed for a good flight for her. In spirit I kept her company, it made me feel good being there.
But why do I feel also the need to be alone and feel the rawness inside of me? Fuck it.
The past days I read this:
This is the biography of Fritz Lang- a famous (apparently, my ignorance!) German film director. Through this book I made another expedition in the creative world looking for the blending between real life and creativity. ‘Cause, this is what I’m after. I found out that his grandmother was from Brno, the very place where I am now! This fact encouraged me to finish the fat book (I adore big books, they are like sedatives). He loved two things in life- making movies and changing women. He did a lot of both. Running away from Germany poisoned by Hitler’s insanity he started all over again in America, Hollywood. His movies in the very begging had no sound. His last one, Contempt, made in America stared Brigitte Bardot. Somehow he managed to keep his luxurious life all along. He loved beautiful clothes, luxurious restaurants and fancy women. He helped anti Nazi groups from America, also German writers running away from the NS.
Wintering is a novel by Kate Moses depicting the life of Sylvia Plath after the divorce from Ted Hughes and before her suicide. Sylvia Plath wrote a collection of poems, the last one, during these months. It is called Ariel.
Some of us decide to leave early. And you know what, I agree.
Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis is a raw presentation of the reality of a young American boy. Growing up in a wealthy family, surrounded by even wealthier friends, he describes the few weeks spent at home, coming back for Christmas holidays. His way of presenting the facts, which reflect a visible emotional blockage (people are busy buying cars, getting tanned or high) is so raw, cutting through flesh.
A little taste of it:
Lunch with his father who bought a new Ferrari:
“The business man leaves. My father doesn’t say much. I try to make conversation.I tell him about the coyote that Blair ran over. He tells me that it’s too bad. He keeps looking out of the window, eyeing the fire-hydrant-red Ferrari. My father asks me if I am looking forward to going back to New Hempshire and I look at him and tell him yes.”
At a party:
“The girl doesn’t open her eyes. Spin digs the syringe into her arm. I just stare. Trent says “Wow.” Rip says something.
“And she is tight, man,” Spin laughs”
“Who is she? I ask.”
“Her name is Sandra and she goes to Corvalis’ is all Rip says.”
This book made me remember the modeling world. The real modeling world.
After the desperation in Less than Zero this book, Creative living beyond fear by Elisabeth Gilbert is life saving. Literally. This is the story of her decision to live as a writer. Which is her creative way of living. Which means following curiosity and doing things just for the fun of creating, of doing them. Because the process itself is what makes life meaningful and interesting. She believes that ideas are alive. They come to you if you have an open mind to receive them and change their form (thought) into a physical/visible one. In this book she addresses different aspects of creativity and all the blockages that one might choose to believe in.
Definitely, a wake up call this book.
Elisabeth Gilbert says:
“You don’t need to conduct autopsies on your disasters.”
“Martyr energy is dark, solemn, macho, hierarchical, fundamentalist, austere, unforgiving, and profoundly rigid.
Trickster energy is light, sly, transgender, transgressive, animist, seditious, primal, and endlessly shape-shifting.”
“People’s judgement about you are none of your business.”
“I believe that enjoying your work with all your heart is the only truly subversive position left to take as a creative person these days. It’s such a gangster move, because hardly anybody ever dares to speak of creative enjoyment aloud, for fear of not being taken seriously as an artist. So say it. Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”
Some people think that reading is a waste of time because it takes you out of the reality and it doesn’t make you rich. Growing up, work came first. Reading was my entertainment. My colleague, the little Italian, recently made fun of me because I read. The last time he read a book was a few years ago. I asked him. That is why I choose to treat him kindly, he is not in his right mind, full of some kind of poison. He has to let it out.
People can be passionate about different things-football, dancing, gardening, bar-tending, drugs, religions and Gods, computers etc. Could we please leave the other people alone, let them live, they can choose, they are free.
I read because this is my thing. Fuck it.
I am thinking about what will come when the time here, in Czech Rep., will expire. I will have to start again, from the beginning. During my first time in Italy, I’ve cleaned bathrooms, served tables, washed dishes, worked in a kitchen, I tried even to sell things (not good at it) just to keep me in the race and to make (some) money. The atmosphere in Italy is heavy, confused. Looking for a job is from the very beginning dedicated to failure by other people, they keep repeating : it is very difficult to find work, it is so fucking difficult, you will not find it. You have to know a friend who knows a friend just to get a meager job.
But I will try again. Let’s just be creative about this. It is true, this time I am ready to starve but not clean shit in bathrooms. I will try to find something else. I can do something different. Let me be the crazy one too.