Thursday, 8 July 2010

Short story

Have you ever had a random dream that inspires you to write? Well, I did. I wrote this literally five minutes after waking up, so it's not perfect, but I kinda like it. Here it is:


I still remember my first day of school. My mum had made breakfast (we never had breakfast), put me into a boring looking uniform and fixed my hair. She held my hand as we walked to the subway station, and sat by me when we got in the train. I remember being very sleepy and very confused. And then I saw you. You were sitting across from me, your eyes closed and your head resting in your mother's shoulder. I remember the pink hair bow you were wearing, and the pink watch that, as I would later learn, was your most valuable possession. I stared at you for a few seconds, not knowing why, when you opened your eyes and looked at me. We stayed like that for a while, until you put your finger in your nose and stick your tongue out. I remember laughing at that, the way I could only laugh when I was a child, like nothing else I had ever seen, or would ever see, could be funnier than that silly face.
With a screech the train stopped, my mum took my hand and led me out to the station, as your mum did the same. I remember making one final ugly face to you before climbing the escalators. After leaving the subway station, we walked for a while until we saw a massive church. I think that if I went back there today it wouldn't be so gigantic, but at the age of three, it was the biggest thing I had ever seen. I held my mother's hand a little harder and went inside with her. She went to talk to the woman in the reception, and I sat on the ground and started looking at everyone around me. At least five kids were crying, a few were asleep and one or two were playing in the corner. And there you were. Sitting nervously by your mother, checking your watch constantly and looking like you were holding back your tears. I was staring at you again when a young lady appeared and said she would be our kindergarten teacher. I stood up, quickly kissed my mother's cheek and went with the woman.
The years that followed were probably some of the happiest of my life. We got close as time went by, and grew up to be best friends. We would fingerpaint together, play on the swings pretending we were spacemen (although you always said you were a spacewoman), sat by each other for lunch and slept on the same blue gym mattress at nap time. I also remember the last time we saw each other. It was graduation day, and our teachers had been working the whole year to put together a show for the parents. Our class was going to do a ballroom routine, and we were partners. I remember my tiny tuxedo, and your frilly pink and sparkly dress. We probably looked quite silly, but we didn't care. We practiced really hard, like it would be the most important moment of our lives, and when the time came, we went to the stage holding hands, with determined looks in our little faces.
And five minutes into the dance I stepped in our foot. I remember feeling all the blood leave my face, as I looked at you ready to yell how sorry I was for ruining our special moment. But you just looked at me and laughed. That cute, innocent laugh. You held my hands again, told me how silly I was, and coached me through the rest of the dance. I remember feeling like I was walking through clouds, like nothing else existed except for you and me.
After the show, our mums were talking, so we went to the playground. We rushed to the swings, happy that there wasn't anyone around to go on them before us. As we swinged, we talked about what the next year would be like. You were staying at the school in the monastery, while I was moving to other school across the city. Suddenly you stopped swinging. I stopped too. You said you would miss me. I said I would miss you too. And then we hugged. Not for long, just for a few seconds, but a lot was said with that hug. Before we could say anything else, however, our mothers called to us so we could go home. I never saw you again.

As I write this I wonder many things. Where are you now? Are you married? Do you have kids? What's your job? I am married, to the best woman in the world, and we have two little boys who are everything to me. Today was my oldest one's first day of school. As we sat in traffic waiting for the light to turn green, I looked over and saw my little boy making funny faces to a blond girl in the car next to ours. And it all came back.
I don't know if I loved you. We were too young for that. But I do know that you were special to me. And I sincerely hope that, wherever you are, whatever your life is like right now, you think of me every now and then. When life seems hard, I hope you remember how innocent and joyful we were. I know I sure do.


It hasn't got anything to do with me, btw. It's just a random story from a random dream I had. Thoughts?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Menswear rant

I find it extremely hard to be a well dressed guy. Not because of monetary issues (well, maybe a little) but simply because I'm finding myself in an absurdly difficult time of my life fashion wise: I'm both a man and a boy, with a limited amount of money and plenty of insecurities. Also, I'm skinny. Let me explain.
Being in my late teens, I don't wanna dress in jeans and hoodies anymore. I'm past that, I want something more polished, more serious. However, I work at McDonald's and go out with my friends for drinks on the weekends, so wearing a suit wouldn't be exactly appropriate in any situation. And that's where my problems lie. Nowadays, menswear retail caters to young children, slightly older children, teenagers and adults. Nothing else. What am I, a young adult with a fair amount of maturity and personality, supposed to wear? I don't feel comfortable wearing a three-piece suit, but I also don't feel comfortable wearing bright yellow jeans and a pink hoodie. Where's the middle? And where can I buy it for an affordable price?
Yes, an affordable price. As said before, I work at McDonald's, which means I'm not exatcly rolling in cash. And, as Murphy's Law would have it, the only shops I know in Wellington that sell nice, perfectly fitting, fashionable-yet-not-trendy clothes happen to be the most expensive shops in the city. Maybe I have expensive taste, but that's not doing me any good.
And what about the places I can afford? Well, that's where I shop. Unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, I've found some pretty cool stuff at places like Cotton On and Jay Jays, but mostly what they offer is supposedly trendy (not good trendy, that kind of trendy that will make you embarressed to think you used to wear that in six months time), disposable clothing. Sure, I've got about three pairs of nice skinny jeans. But that's what they are. Nice. Not perfect, not fabulous, not amazing. Just nice. Same goes for most of my t-shirts, and maybe a couple of sweaters and a jacket. The rest is all stuff I'd never wear outside if I had an option, but somedays are just way too cold for me to, well, have an option.
But hey, I can't be that unlucky, right? I'm not the only 18 year old with a limited amount of cash in the world. Most guys seem to be doing just fine, right? Yes, right. But in my opinion, if a guy in my situation actually likes his clothes he either:
a. Doesn't care about fashion.
b. Lives in a fashion friendly city, like New York, where you can find pretty much anything in great prices.
c. Is more creative and/or smarter than me.
d. Some other reason I don't know. But wish I did.
So, for now I'm getting by. Wearing my pre-made combos (I have three: skinny jeans + t-shirt + oversized woolen sweater; skinny jeans + t-shirt + jacket; skinny jeans + t-shirt + cardigan. Oh, the variety) and struggling to find something new to buy. Maybe I should just lose my fear and start wearing stuff like harem pants, long wife-beaters and printed tuxedo jackets. At least I'd have the excuse of trying to be a hipster.