From the series: Found In The Old Notebook – Part 1

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

‘Immortals don’t die, child. It’s not possible. The day the universe blows up in pieces, maybe they will vanish. Yet, they will not die. They continue to live in a different dimension.’

‘But when the universe explodes, they won’t have bodies anymore.’

‘Don’t underestimate the power of magic, Miss Reed. Mortals see their bodies as the thing that makes them being alive. They might believe their souls continue to exist in whatever place their faith says it exists. But not immortals. Body, flesh. These are just concepts. Perception, as you might call it, can change.’

As he said that, Dr Shaw pulled his sleeves up and closed his eyes. Suddenly, right in front of Agata Reed’s eyes, his body started to become paler and paler. His fingers were becoming transparent and she looked at his face, only to see the wall that was behind him.

‘That. Is. AWESOME.’, was all she could mutter.

‘Please, Miss Reed. Don’t use of this commonplace language in this house.’ As he said that, his body started to become visible again. ‘In fact, I would much prefer if you refrained from using it whatsoever.’

‘But it was awesome!’, she repeated to his utter annoyance. ‘Am I going to learn how to do that?’

Dr Shaw sipped his tea and looked at his watch. ‘In due time. But as I said, the body is just a matter of perception. You will see that when we study transfiguration.’

‘Wicked!’

‘Yet, Miss Reed, you must be aware that it’s a very strenuous process and many have failed before you.’

She nodded, smiling, unable to hide her excitement.

He finished his tea and got up. He went to his desk, where there was a book. It had a black leather bound cover. The book seemed relatively new and he put it in front of Agata.

‘You must read this. For tomorrow.’

The book had nearly 900 pages. She opened her mouth in shock, but closed it just as she realized that Shaw was gone from the room.

She opened it with a small sigh. The book was entitled ‘A Manual’ and it didn’t have an author’s name or year of publication. Agata got up and grabbed paper and pencil to make notes. When she turned her back, she heard a loud noise. It made her jump and drop everything on the floor. She looked up and saw a woman standing by the door.

The woman was short and blonde. Her nose looked like a small potato and her eyes were of a milky colour. She wore ragged clothes and carried a small shoulder bag.

‘Ahn, hello’, Agata said.

The woman didn’t say a word. In fact, she wasn’t even looking at Agata. She was looking at the book. Suddenly, her body tightened up and her eyes narrowed.

‘Are you the girl Shaw is tutoring?’ the woman asked in a demanding voice. Her eyes were inspecting the room. Agata stared at her. ‘Maybe, who are you?’, her ear lobes were tingling, ‘How did you get in?’.

The woman smiled and shook her head.

‘Do you know who I am?’

‘No.’ Agata said defiantly. She wasn’t feeling comfortable in this situation. Where the hell was Shaw?

‘You must be scared. How rude of me’, the woman said, ‘My name is Morgana. I have known Shaw for many years’, she said, sitting down in the sofa and taking off her coat with an effort. ‘What is your name, child?’

‘Agata. Agata Reed. Are you really Morgana? THE Morgana?’ Agata asked eagerly.

‘Yes, I am. Come sit down. Do you have any tea?’

Agata wasn’t sure she should leave her guest alone in the living room. While she pondered, Morgana looked at her with interest.

‘Nevermind. I wouldn’t leave you alone in my living room either.’, she said suddenly. Agata blushed.

‘I thought you were taller. And a brunette.’ the girl said, shyly.

‘I was. Once. Many years ago’, Morgana replied, with a smile. ‘Now, where’s that old rag of a wizard?’

‘He…well…he vanished.’ Agata said, confused.

Morgana looked around the room and got up.

‘Yes, he does that a lot.’, she said, absently. She started to scan the shelves as if looking for something.

‘Can I help you with anything?’, a voice said behind Agata. She jumped on her feet. It was Shaw, wearing a wet raincoat and closing an umbrella.

Amuse me

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

James acordava todos os dias às 6h17 – exceto domingos e feriados, além de outros dias santos. Não 6h15. 6h17. Ele não gostava do número 5 e nem de números pares. Nem de azul-turquesa.
Melissa, sua esposa, já não se estressava mais com os desgostos de James. Ela até achara charmoso e interessante nos primeiros meses de namoro.
Nessa terça-feira em particular (ou nessa particular terça-feira), James não conseguia dormir. Veja bem, ele andava preocupado com o filho na faculdade e a hipoteca da casa. Além disso, ele estava com o estômago embrulhado desde o dia anterior.
Portanto, às 6h17, James já estava de pé. Ou melhor, ajoelhado. No chão do banheiro. Com a cara enfiada no vaso.
‘É culpa daquelas porcarias que tu come no trabalho’, disse Melissa, ‘se tu viesse jantar em casa…’
‘Mas eu nem comi ontem’, responde James logo antes de ser acometido por um ataque de vômito.
‘Pior ainda. Tá vomitando o quê?’
‘Meus órgãos?’
James sentiou o enjôo passar levemente e levantou-se. ‘Passou’.
‘Vai ir trabalhar?’
‘Tenho que ir. Depois do incidente da semana passada tem muita papelada pra resolver.’

James trabalhava no Laboratório Farmacêutico da HSF, um dos maiores laboratórios do gênero no mundo. Nos últimos anos a HSF vinha sofrendo uma série de processos contra testes em animais e foi na semana anterior que um grupo de coelhos, que estavam sendo testados para uma nova droga contra o Alzheimer, escapou. Dos 60 coelhos, foram recuperados 57. Um foi encontrado morto dois dias atrás no sistema de ventilação.
‘A coisa mais curiosa do mundo aconteceu’, disse Jamile, uma das novas contratações da companhia, assim que James entrou no escritório.
Jamile era morena, tinha 24 anos e era tenista nas horas vagas. James vinha dormindo com ela desde o mês passado, na festa de despedida do antigo vice-presidente da companhia.
‘Sim?’, ele respondeu, pensandos nas 7 horas de sexo ininterrupto da sexta-feira passada no motel perto do laboratório.
‘O Dr. Zeller veio aqui me contar que o coelho 58, o que tinha morrido…’
‘Hum’, o estômago de James embrulhou e ele sentiou sua mão direita formigar e parar de responder aos seus pensamentos.
‘Que estranho’, ele murmurou.
‘…não morreu’, a voz de Jamile o trouxe de volta.
‘Oi?’
‘O coelho. Não morreu. Parece que era algum tipo de estado catatônico só.’
‘Hum’, agora o braço inteiro dele parecia não funcionar. ‘Eu vou pra minha sala’, ele falou, desatento ao que Jamile estava dizendo.

Fora alguns enjôos e idas ao banheiro, o resto da manhã passou sem maiores incidentes para James, fora o não-funcionamento do seu braço direito.
Às 13h, no horário do almoço, James foi encontrar Jamile no motel. O braço de James voltou a funcionar mais ou menos às 13h31. Às 14h18, quando ele atingiu o orgasmo, o mesmo braço quebrou a armação da cama do motel.
E às 18h30, quando James chegou em casa, o mesmo braço quebrou o pescoço de Melissa.
Às 18h33, James devorou metade do pescoço da sua esposa.
Por fim, às 20h33 – aproximadamente – Melissa, com seu pescoço meio devorado, comeu o cérebro do vizinho.

On oversexualization and hands touching.

November 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Confession blogs have become quite popular on Tumblr and recently I posted a confession on a Jane Austen blog saying I thought the scene in Pride & Prejudice (2005) when Mr Darcy helps Lizzie and gives his hand was just amazing. There’s a lot of sexual tension in that and anyway the movie is not what the post is about.

This scene is one of my favourites because I think it’s very simple and yet it represents a lot of things.

First of all, I’m a fan of Jane Austen’s work and I’ve seen this version of the movie about 10 times (I think Joe Wright is an amazing director). However, I’m not a naive 15 year-old girl who thinks Regency times were this amazing thing OMG. Nope. I know it was a patriarchal and sexist society, where chivalry was merely one of the many ways of repressing sexuality and so on. I know all that.

So, back to Tumblr. My confession was that I love this scene, because it represents a time when touching the person you like was so rare, that the slightest touch meant the world. Which I truly believe.
There was an argument among other people who saw that confession saying I was ‘misguided’ and that I was naive for thinking that (again with the same argument of sexism back then and repressed sexuality) and while I appreciate that maybe I wasn’t that clear, I think they consider themselves persecuted by something which wasn’t a romantic view of the act chivalry (not at all, I can open my own door and pull my own chair, thank you very much). However, someone said something about the ‘oversexualization’ these days and that’s the point I was trying to make.

I’m not against sexual expression, sleeping with random strangers or having thousands of sexual partners. I’m all for it. As long as you are feeling good about yourself, I say, go for it. My point with that confession was that today, when you like someone, it’s usually pretty easy to spot, the hugs, the touches, the clothes you wear when you’re going to see that someone, whatever. Some people are more discreet, some people are very obvious. It’s normal to start a relationship based on touch rather than on feelings (and that sometimes works perfectly fine). What I’d like to bring to the discussion is that what I meant to say was about sexual tension.

Honestly, I LOVE some good sexual tension and I find it kind of hard to come across these days. It’s difficult for people not to touch, if they are friends or even co-workers. If you’ve never experience that almost electric thrill that comes down your spine when you touch the person you like (preferably by accident) then take your hand out quickly kind of scared, then you haven’t lived. It’s quite unique and sometimes people really ignore that. Which is funny, because that’s my favourite part of the ‘flirt’: when the tension is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. It’s scary. It’s intense. It’s fun. And it doesn’t mean I’m sexist. Sometimes you didn’t even know you liked someone until a random touch to reach for the same thing allowed that weird awkward-make-me-blush kind of thing. Even if you are very open about your sexuality and speak freely of the pleasures of the flesh, it’s impossible to ignore that feeling. Because later, when (and if) something happens, it’s like taking shoes off that have been crushing your feet for hours x100.

I might not be the most clarified person about my sexual life (I know I have problems with being seen naked for instance), but I think it’s more about insecurity than sexism. I know marriage was never the happy thing everyone thinks it is (please, most of humanity married for convenience until the last century) and I know people get divorced more these days, because they CAN choose what they want and don’t have to stay stuck in a hopeless and sad union.

On the other hand, oversexualization is a problem. Look at your TV, at your 11 year-old sister (like my own) and listen to what kind of music they listen to – bitches, whores, pimps and so. It’s a bad oversexualization. It’s not for liberty, if anything, it’s for more sexism for the most part of it. Treating women like objects, just like they did back in Regency times and way before that. If before it was no sex at all, now it seems it’s too much, isn’t it? Of course my judgement is still influenced by a moral society grown out of Catholicism, yet in a country where barely dressed women are just normal and you’re weird if you don’t like to wear tight clothes – like myself – seem to be outdated and sometimes even ‘intimidating’ (because I don’t like to wear uncomfortable clothes? How aboutcha). I don’t blame the victims for being raped, because it’s not how you dress that will trigger a sick man into raping you. If you want to dress with tight short and high heels and a cleavage, I salute you , because I feel very uncomfortable in most things other than jeans and a t-shirt. I’m a well-educated woman and I think as they are allowed to dress like that, I should be allowed to dress like I do, without being frowned upon by people saying I suffer the influence of a sexist society.

So, when I say that seeing hands touching it’s more of a turn on for me than seeing girls shaking their asses on some random rapper’s face, I will not stand for being said I was misguided. My romantic notions are pretty realistic (even if I do allow myself an occasional daydream), but I like the mystery more than the obviousness.

A citizenship

September 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Some days make me ashamed of being a citizen of this planet.
When people murder each other for shoes, when innocents are executed because of their skin or religion, when we rather spend days watching Big Brother instead of giving a helping hand to those who need, when families abandon their children, when children abandon their parents, when we forget who we are or how we got here.
When it’s easier to see hate instead of love.
At the end of the day, all we really have are our actions. Our thoughts will be long forgotten after we die, but sometimes our actions won’t. As someone famous said, do things so that your death brings no pleasure to the world.

A quickie.

July 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

After more than 6 months without sex, you just forget about it. At least I do. And trust me, I’ve spend almost 2 years without sex a while ago.

I like sex as much as the next guy (well, maybe not as much as a sex addict) and yes, I do think about it all the time, but I don’t feel like a horny animal.

I was discussing that with my teenager classmates (I’m studying in a preparatory course to get into university, so I have lots of classmates just fresh from high school). They already spend most of the time talking about boys and maybe it’s because I’m older, but I find it plain boring. Of course, I do partake in some conversations and topics, but it’s THE ONLY THING they talk about. Then, I look at the other older girl there (who is actually married and is 25) talks all the time about how we must all get boyfriends.

I don’t know what’s that all about. The group’s “whore”, the one that everyday she comes up to say how perfect this guy is, but everyday she means a different guy and how she sleeps with random people every week when her mother is not at home. Well, she’s always bitching about how they mostly suck in bed and etc.

They were discussing how they needed someone to call and ask for sex without the guy falling in love or being annoying. I said they wanted a booty-call and all they had to do was shout out to the world and several candidates would appear. Not just because it’s sex, but because they are young and good-looking, reasonably clever girls. They said that would not work, because it doesn’t guarantee the guy would ‘behave’. They wanted a – and I quote – ugly guy, because then they wouldn’t fall in love. I don’t know, sex appeal is kind of important, even if a person is ugly based on someone else’s standards, he could be beautiful to me and that would qualify as sex appeal.

As much as a feminist I might be most of the time and I do not have a problem with people sleeping around, I think if it’s just for the sex, then you could at least have a bit of standards. If I’m going to sleep around, I’m going to do it with good looking people, thank you very much. I might date someone ‘ugly’, but if I’m talking about satisfying a physical need, I do want something nice to look at. The only time I had a one night stand he was the hottest guy I ever hooked up with, had the amazing abs and all that. He was a douche, but still. It’s not like he has any other qualities that I know of for me to have a reason to sleep with him. If it’s just to have something in your vagina, go buy a vibrator.

Also, do girls really think about boys that much when they are teenagers? I don’t think that was all I talked about. Or was it? I don’t know, I barely talk about boys now. I barely hang out around boys (if I do, they are mostly gays). I haven’t had a ‘real’ boyfriend for 4 years, I think. Am I miserable? Not at all. Am I fully happy? Not at all. I don’t see why people with partners have to be seen by society as always happy or if you are single you have to make sure everyone knows you sleep around to prove how fucking happy you are being free and single.

So, this is my statement. I haven’t had sex since November 2010. I haven’t kissed anyone since the same date. I couldn’t really care about this. I have more in mind than having to worry about boys. I like boys, but I don’t have the patience to go after them. I love the chase and I love flirting, but I really don’t have the patience for it. I’m happy for you if you have sex frequently, YOU GO AND GET THEM! If you don’t have sex frequently, well, deal with the matter in your own hands. Or just do as I do: find something else to think about (I travelled around Europe for 70 days), watch a lot of tv shows, read books and then after 6 months you might forget about it.

My heart is filled with hope. *loud POP sound*. Oh.

January 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

So, January. New Year. 2011. Changes. Resolutions. Time to return all those Christmas presents you didn’t like. Time to break up with your girlfriend (because doing so before or during holiday season is evil). Time to look up and have new life perspectives! Until December 21, 2012. Then, the world ends and who fucking cares that you’ve decided to stop smoking?

Thing is, every year since 2001, I’ve written my New Year’s resolution list before the beginning of the New Year. I hide it somewhere and only look at it when the year is done and I’m writing my new list. I check what has been done, like you would with a shopping list and I usually copy those (MANY) resolutions that were not accomplished.

There are some that are always there: learn how to play piano, write more often and every day, travel, fall in love (this one disappeared for a couple of years, but hey, LOOK WHO IS BACK). Sometimes I look at it and I forget what I had written in it, when the truth is that I should have actually kept it somewhere visible to remind me of promises made to myself.

Then again, that would imply other people seeing it and sometimes there are very private things in a New Year’s resolution list.

When it comes to the end of the year, the internet is filled with lists of Best this or Worst that of the year, blogs from people saying what they learned that year and what they did or didn’t and their prospects for the following 365 days. Some are fascinating, some are terrible. Some make me sad and some make me thoughtful. Twitter has been surprising in that aspect as matter of fact.

However, it makes me think of how I have no idea of what to write on my resolutions list this year. I don’t think I have ANY projects for 2011 because I have planned the first half of the year already and the rest is very undecided. I’m not even sure I WANT to plan that far ahead.

I used to plan. I used to make BIG plans for my future and I used to be that girl that your parents point and say “ah, see, you should be more like her. She has a great future ahead.”. I’ve heard SO MANY TIMES from people saying that I would become President of Brazil one day.

Then, yes, I got into University with a scholarship (Film Studies). I had a perfect boyfriend. I was going to study abroad as soon as he graduated. I had excellent grades. Half way through my studies, the perfect relationship ended but still graduated as top of my class, with the highest score. I was working in a production company with a lot of prospects and amazing directors. I had decided to move to London and live my dream of being a Londoner and meeting Mr fucking Darcy.

Done. Moved to London. Now, 2 years later, what do I have to show for? A Film Studies degree with high merit that is 2 years old. A job for 1 year and a half in a pub. No relationship or even the promise of a love in the past 3 years. A good grasp of the English language. No career. I’m leaving London because I’ve been defeated by the constant bureaucracy of the Home Office. A couple of really great friends made here. Seeing my sister grow through pictures and having no idea what’s going on with her pre-adolescent mind. Many friends in Brazil have been lost (due to distance, no one died). No prospects of ever becoming President. Going back home with barely any money and moving in with my parents.

I have nothing to show for and maybe because of it is why going back home to start a career seems like the right decision. Maybe it isn’t. I’m aware of that. I’m aware that maybe going back to Brazil will be fucking boring and I’ll regret it forever.

My only resolution for 2011 is having something to show for by the end of it. Or being on the path to do it. People come talk to me online and ask me advice and ask how life is in LONDON! OMG! LONDON! AMAZING! It is. London is absolutely amazing. If you have an EU passport. If you have at least the opportunity to make something of your life instead of working in a pub, that even though is full of great people, is not challenging enough for me. People back home – good friends of mine – keep telling me I should stay here. But really? 2 years is good enough to gain life experience and see new cultures but I don’t want to see my life pass by and see that all the dreams of doing something worthwhile with my time here have flown by because I don’t want to leave London.

Maybe it’s fear of actually starting life. Maybe it’s just an epiphany.
In the end what I wish for me – and for you – in 2011 is that you accomplish EVERYTHING you can. That you use all the potential you have and do something good with it. Something worthwhile.

Happy New Year. May the world not end in 2012. x

On involuntary thoughts.

November 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

There are only a few things about me that I’m actually proud of. One of them is my imagination.
My suspension of disbelief works wonders, thank you very much. Strangely though, I don’t recall ever having an imaginary friend and my mother says that with the amount of books I read, no need for talking with myself (I can always talk with the book).

Anyway, a vivid imagination is not a blessing all the time. For instance, you know how people say that to find out if you are in love with someone, you have to imagine them taking a shit? Well, every time someone says that, I picture every single guy I ever kissed sitting in the toilet. I can’t control, it just happens.
Thankfully, they are not that many and I’m not disgusted easily.

I must say, it doesn’t affect me that much. It could be because my group of friends back home consists mostly of guys or that my longest relationship was with a guy who had little regard for social rules such as holding a fart in front of me (intimacy, right?). Awkward story: when I was very very young, like 4 years old, I was in a supermarket with my Mom and I REALLY REALLY had to go to the bathroom. Safe to say, it doesn’t end pretty.

Another thing I do is that every time I meet a couple, I imagine them having sex. I can’t control it and I know it’s very much a pervert thing to do, but say that to my brain. I don’t mind if it’s a good looking couple, but sadly that’s hardly ever the case.
I just imagine it. It’s funny to see how it works, though. I don’t always imagine them having sex in bed. Sometimes the image that pops in my mind is a rather odd one. Like in a farm or in the kitchen, dressed up or very pure and safe.

I imagine it without any previous knowledge or conceptions of their sexual behaviours or attitudes. I always want to ask about it, but I think it could end up very badly and people usually take it in a weird way.

“So, Julia, these are my cousins, Ana and Ben.”
“Hi Ana. Hi Ben. So, do you guys like outdoors, hum? Doesn’t the sand bother you at all? I always feel like it would get into the worst places.”

I would probably be slapped by someone in there. Hopefully some people would take it jokingly but what if Ben has just slept with Ana’s flatmate and they are going through a crisis? Tough shit. What I’m trying to say is that maybe it’s better to not say anything.

For instance, the other day I was working in the pub. There was this old man, in his 60s or more. Glasses, wool waistcoat, barely any hair left. He was eating alone, because his son was stuck at work or something. (Excuses, excuses. No worries, we all eat alone at some point. No judgements.)

He was rather lovely and very excited about our selection of beers. Whenever I went to his table, he would try to start a conversation, but really there’s only so much I can talk about ales.
The guy decided to order a roast gammon. I ordered it, it came up, he ate it all. When I went to clear his plate, he tried to strike up another conversation. People love to start conversations when you are holding plates and glasses.

I hoping it wouldn’t be about ales again.
“This was lovely”, he said, pointing at the now empty plate.
Relief. Food. I can cover at least 15 seconds of conversation about it.
“Yes, yes. Quite lovely, isn’t it? I had it for lunch.” I replied, still holding on to the plate. It’s not heavy, don’t worry.
“YES! YES! Absolutely.” he said, “don’t tell this to my wife…”
I immediately thought he was going to say something along the lines of “I can’t eat gammon because of my diet”. I smiled and nodded while I waited for him to finish the sentence. He lowered his voice.
“…but it’s almost as good as…” OH SHIT. Is he going to say sex? Please don’t say sex. I don’t want to imagine you in your wool waistcoat having sex.
“almost as good as…” Hold the smile, Julia. Hold the smile. Please don’t say sex. Please don’t say sex. He doesn’t finish the bloody sentence. It’s too late, I’m picturing already. I don’t know his wife, but she looks about 40 in my head and they are having sex in the kitchen.
He smiles. I’m shaking with the weight of the plate. He doesn’t finish the sentence. He MUST be playing with my head!
“Don’t tell her, but it’s almost as good as…” WHO SAYS THAT THREE TIMES? “…at home.” He finished it! At home! Of course it was at home.

Oh, now I’m imagining them having sex all over the house! No. No. No. Say something. He’s waiting for a reply. I smile. Panic. I look both sides, is there anyone calling me? No. Help is not coming. I smile even wider. My face looks like of the Cheshire cat.

I realise he’s talking about his wife’s cooking. Ah, yes. Why would it be sex? I nod wisely.
“Ah, don’t worry! I won’t tell her.” I say, as if we were accomplices. I would wink, but I’m scared he might think I’m flirting with him.
I turn my body towards the bar. He smiles. I leave, but not before I imagine him and his wife engaged in a wild sex in the kitchen. She’s wearing an apron and preparing roast gammon.

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