Saturday, December 3, 2011


Clearing the air.

Imagine yourself sitting with your legs crossed in the center of a square-shaped room where the four walls are of different colors. 

The wall behind your back is a soft, somber red. The kind of red that shades the apron of your mother, colors the Christmas decorations in your childhood home, depicts the blanket over your own bed. The wall standing at your left hand side is light blue, clear as the afternoon sky. The kind of light blue that makes your adventures look bright no matter where they end, the kind that makes you want to explore the most remote locations on the Earth and beyond. The wall on your right is of a chestnut brown. The brown that makes up your casual days, or everyday life - the kitchen table, the rims of the mirror after your morning shower, the bread on which you feed on - that you always want to get rid of but never really get around to it. The wall in front of your eyes is pencil gray. It's holding the other walls together, they all lean on it. It's the color of casual days gone wrong. Arguments, sleepless nights, red eyes, dry mouths.

The wall in front of you collapses on you. The others follow.

People don't usually realize that travelling, being abroad, is not always as fun as the pictures you post let them imagine it to be. I know plenty of people who have spent years abroad and every single one of them has told me what a great experience it was. All of them forgot to mention the tedious everyday life part of it.

I had a really rough week, to be honest. It started with an allergic cold, hay fever. It created an aura of tiredness within two days and built it up with sleepless nights. Moments of staring blankly into the top bunk from my bottom one, of closing your eyes and trying to dream, of dreaming images where your friend screws your eye lids out and leaves you on your knees with blood running down from your face. The sleepless nights resorted into exhaustion. I fell asleep around midday just because I couldn't lift my body up. And the sleep wasn't refreshing. It was suffocating me using a white pillow with drool marks all over it.

The culmination point of the exhaustion, anger and tiredness was a confrontation with my supervisor at work. She overreacted, was displeased - maybe tired herself as well - at our work efforts and gave us (me) a speech I would not forget for a while. It wasn't the first time I have had to confront a supervisor. It's never pleasant but I stood up for my words, kept my emotions aside and was reasonable. To which she reacted by lighting up a cigarette with a hand that held more tattoos than there are books on my shelf and telling me that these kind of situations do not bother her. That she doesn't care. I came closer than an inch to quitting the job on the same day.

The very same supervisor pulled me aside on that day and apologized. I was surprised to say the least. We had an actual conversation where the opinions of both sides mattered, had a laugh, shook hands and were 'bros' again. I left work with a grin on my face that even Maria, who has seen all of my grins, found to be not my everyday grin.

We walked back home with me telling the story about the confrontation. Sat down, had a coffee and organized our lives.

All I needed was a clearing into the dark clouds. Sometimes you have to let out the steam inside your head with a whistle that comes from a boiling tea pot. Keeping the steam inside will eventually end up in lifting the lid of the pot off its place, metal clattering against the stone floor and water running down on all sides. Where there's smoke, there's fire. Where there's steam, there's water. Release the steam and you won't have a fire.

I lifted the gray wall up. The others followed. I stand with the chestnut brown wall in front of my eyes, taking short glimpses at the light blue.

No comments:

Post a Comment