I’m sitting at the poolside, an indoor swimming pool, reading a book. There are many children there, all around me, being loud, jumping in the water, sitting there drying off and eating, dropping french fries on to the wet tiles. None of the children are mine, I don’t know why I am sitting among them and not somewhere quieter.
A woman comes and puts her things in one of the few free areas fairly near me and sits down. She seems somehow sad, and very shy. She is very attractive, in a way hard to define. The little make-up she has on does nothing to detract from her natural beauty. She has short, dark hair, it’s hard to say exactly what color, because her hair is wet. We both appraise each other while trying to seem not to. Or I appraise her and she notices and looks away, blushing ever so slightly, and I do the same.
She seems very familiar, too. I can’t tell where, but I have seen her face somewhere, perhaps in an advertisement or something. Or at the supermarket down the road. I certainly don’t have the feeling I’ve ever met her personally… perhaps I’ve seen her at the poolside before. Is that why I am here among the children, because I have seen her sitting here before?
I have the definite feeling I would like to get to know her, to fathom the sadness which I sense in her. She somehow piques a sort of protective interest in me, I want to help her. In some of the dreams I strike up a conversation with her, sometimes we are simply there together, very much aware of each others’ presence but somehow reluctant to speak to one another, both being shy.
There is never any conclusion to this recurring dream. It always ends with us sitting there, near but apart, exchanging a few words, or ostensibly ignoring each other while actually focusing our complete attention on each other. There is always a tension in this dream, perhaps a trace of sexual tension, but on the whole something else, something almost undefinable, but if I could just…
„Hellstrøm, wake up!“
Short, dark, dirty, like a winter day. Nevertheless, there are highlights. Feel the hail on your face, you little fuck? That’s life. Nothing like it, nothing sweeter than that little pain. Those tiny needles on your skin may be the best you’ll ever know.
Y’know, when I smoke a cigarette, I roll it myself. Just the tobacco. No filter. And I roll that little mofo fat, as fat as the packaged cigs everyone smokes. Yeah, you guessed it (well, probably you didn’t, because you aren’t quite sure where this blog-post is going yet, and you don’t know a damned thing anyway), the ones with a filter. I know a few people who roll their own, but they roll ’em thin, and with a fucking filter. Each time I see how they roll the little filters in, that they bought extra, I have to laugh.
Dammit, if I’s gonna do drugs, I’s gonna do ’em without a God damned filter. Fat. And, believe you me, tobacco is a drug, baby, one of the most addictive there is. I’ve kicked tobacco twice, the second time for 14 years, and what am I doing now? Smoking a damned cigarette. Enjoying it, too. Tobacco tastes good. Especially with coffee in the morning. Or with wine in the evening, or… you get the picture. Of course, when I get drunk and smoke one after another, my mouth feels like an ashtray the next day.
What does an ashtray feel like, actually? Hmmm. In any case, not good. It’s then, drinking my coffee on the morn’, and (what irony) smoking a cigarette, a nice fat one without a filter, coughing, that I think: why are you doing this? Well, my inner voice says, because it tastes so damned good, in spite of everything.
So, what is the point? It’s this: I want to enjoy life, even if it is not healthy. Life itself is not healthy. After all, it ends in death, and what could be less healthy than that? Nevertheless, I want to enjoy it, and that means I want it unfiltered. Pure. Let it roll over me, knock me down, infuse me, fuck me over, pick me up, toss me on the mountainside in the snow, pick me up again and let me fly. I want it. I want it bad. I love it. It’s beautiful, even when my mouth feels like an ashtray.
No damned filter, please. So many people I’ve met filter their lives. They steer clear of anything that might hurt them, and thus they limit their lives to necessities and banal shit. And when, in spite of all their efforts to the contrary, they encounter heavy duty stuff, they simply tune it out. They do everything they can in order not to feel the pain. They don’t love, because love is dangerous; they might get hurt. If in doubt, take some antidepressives, is it not so?
Now my inner voice says, you do that too, don’t pretend you don’t. You don’t like pain, c’mon now, admit it, you superior little fuck. When you are unhappy, you drink. Well, I answer, it’s true, I don’t like pain. I don’t like to suffer. But I do love, and if it doesn’t work in the end I always face it, because I feel I have no choice, because I still possess at least a trace of self-honesty… don’t I? The inner voice grumbles, and says well, a trace, a trace, mind you. Well, better than nothing, I say, and besides, you know as well as I that I often revel in pain. That’s what melancholy is all about, and I think it’s really too bad melancholy is hardly accepted in todays society. Why can’t people just feel like shit, when they feel like it? Because it hurts, you fool, as if you didn’t know… my inner voice mutters on, but I can tell it’s resigned.
It knows me too well to argue any further. Fuck you, I say, giving it the last stab. Even when I drug myself to stop the pain, I do it conscientiously, without a filter, to get the full effect. I don’t go to a psychiatrist to ask for drugs to stop the pain, I prescribe for myself, and when it doesn’t work, surprise surprise, I face the shit I’ve staved off long enough to allow me to deal with it somehow.
You’re just buying time, it says, in a last effort to bring me to my senses. Just like everyone else, it says, just like everyone else… I take another slug of ouzo, light a cigarette, and tell my inner voice to go fuck itself.
I already am, it says. Fucking myself, that is.