And yet again I’ve put myself at risk. Of losing myself? My dignity? Eventually my life?
I don’t remember what happened. Maybe I just had too much to drink. Maybe someone put something into my beer. Maybe my demons woke up and were too strong to fight them. Who knows. I’m done thinking about it. I’m done analyzing my fuckedupness. It only leads to more suffering. And self-hatred.
I know it was dangerous. I know it could end even worse (because how many times I can put myself through such situations? Where is the limit? Not waking up at all?). And I know I have to stop punishing myself. I have to get my shit together. Because there is a limit. There will be a moment when they will bury my beaten, raped body somewhere in a dump, and no one will ever know where. Is it really how I imagine my future? Is it really something I believe that I deserve?
I thought that a man gets wiser when he’s older. The grown-ups also tell you that when you’re a teenager and they want to shut you up. And even though you don’t want to listen to them you think they might be right. Because there has to be a point in life when you know what to do. When you’re confident and don’t feel like a worthless piece of shit. When people don’t laugh at your ideas. When they listen to you, when they care about your opinion. Right?
Ah, but what a bunch of crap! Sometimes I wish I was naive. I wish I didn’t know all of that. I wish I wasn’t so cynical because of it. I wish I wasn’t so sad and hollow inside. But I can’t change the past. I can’t be someone else. And those thoughts are pointless. I don’t want to do the things that I should do. I want to do beautiful, nice things. That are good for me. I don’t want to hurt myself anymore. Why do I keep doing that anyway? Because of some evil voice from the past? No, I’m an adult and whatever happened to me back then doesn’t matter now. I’ve let it dominate my teen years and 20s. But now it’s over. I am the one in charge of my life. And I will take care of myself. I will be good to myself.
It’s the middle of September and I’m sitting on the beach in Palma de Mallorca (not freezing, homeless Warsaw!). Rays of sun are warming my cold heart. The sound of waves is like a sweet melody calming my soul. I haven’t risked anything by coming here. So, I’m going to enjoy it. And relax. Let it be a fucking yoga retreat!
Because even if nobody cares if you end up dead in a gutter.
Take care of yourself
Because no one else will.
Be good to yourself.
It took me a long time to realize it. it will take even longer to actually live with it.
Oh, my god. What was I thinking? That I can make it? That my book will finally start selling? Really?!! That I could support myself with teaching/translations/writing articles before this magic moment of success happens?
I thought I did think it all through, I was already freaking out before I came here. But there was always this stupid hope. The motherfucking chance. And what now??
What do I do? I had a lot of job offers lately, but they didn’t turn into any gigs. It’s not like I don’t have any money, that I will be homeless or something.
So breathe. Man, just breathe.
Fuck, I’m having a panic attack. And I’m meeting with my Tinder lover in a couple of hours. He came into Palma from Italy. Oh my god. What the hell is wrong with me. With my life. The more I try, the more I do, the more I work hard it just doesn’t work out in the end.
What am I? A spoiled brat? Come on, I’ve been through hell and I survived it. I can make it now. Right? Sure.
I just have to go take the shower, make myself pretty for the boy and drink something to calm my nerves. It’s going to be all right.
I’ve spent an amazing day at the beach in Mallorca yesterday. Nobody will take that away from me. I can be homeless, poor, get drunk or high under the bridge, but no one will ever take the memories of those beautiful places that I’ve seen.
The idea of living abroad has always been on my mind. There were many reasons for that. Firstly, even though I like my home city, Warsaw, I’ve never felt there like home. Because of the suffering I’ve endured for many years at school and home. Because of being treated like shit for a long time. Because of the relationships that I fucked up or I couldn’t build. Because I can’t be close to anyone. And I know that this particular, call it strength or weakness will always be with me. Wherever I go, it can be the damn end of the world, I won’t be capable of holding close relationships with others. I thought that when I get older it would be easier. That I would learn how to be with people. But now I think it’s getting worse. My heart becomes more cold with every passing day. My mind becomes more unpredictable and cruel. My soul becomes more hollow.
But, this idea of being somewhere else, of a better life, of the happy moments is still there. I know it’s an illusion. But if I stop lying to myself that one day I can experience peace and happiness what’s left for me? No more false hope, only emptiness sucking me in. And that doesn’t sound like a good plan for the future.
By the end of last year, the idea grew stronger. I was so tired of my stupid office job with no perspectives. Of every day being the same old shit. Many people are afraid of changes. They prefer their same old shit because they know it. They know how to handle it. And what if something changes and it gets even worse, they think. To me, changes are like a promise. Yes, it could get worse (like, really?!), but there’s always a chance. For the new, exciting things, for something you can’t expect. If it wasn’t for my travels and living in different countries I’d probably be nothing. Sitting in the park with a can of cheap beer. Or in the station with other losers.
The idea was to move to the island. And not because I am a lonely island (shut up, you, ego!), but because I like the heat and the sun (my dark ego is laughing now at me) and the beach and the water. Yes, clear, limpid blue sea where I could swim and float staring at the sky! That’s what I needed. That’s what I wanted from this ungrateful bastard called my life.
I thought about Caribbeans at first, but I’ve decided it was too far for the beginning of my adventure. And just when I was about to focus on my book’s promotion and freelancing jobs, the same old shit fell on my head. The back pain after my accident came back with a double force. I couldn’t move, my head was spinning like a flying saucer, I started popping painkillers like tic tacs and I couldn’t do a damn thing about that. The long months of hospitals, doctor’s appointments, rehabilitation, and helplessness were ahead of me. Yet again.
There was a moment when I gave up. Yet again. I knew that physically I would get better eventually, but my strength was gone. I thought, “Man, I’m 30 and I haven’t done any of those things I wanted to do, so what’s the point of trying? I’m too old for that crap.” In fact, how long can you handle the crazy rollercoaster of your destiny? Finally, you reach the point when you just can’t do that anymore. When you want to hide in your bed, feel sorry for yourself and never get up again.
A few months ago I got better. I don’t know how on earth I convinced myself to keep going. I guess I’m just too stubborn to let this fucking life beat me up.
And after all this time of struggling with getting paid translator’s and writer’s gigs, I made it. I moved to Palma de Mallorca.
Even after a few years and despite my ability to forget everything (except bad things and beautiful people), I still remember my first time in Florence. And to my surprise, it wasn’t a cultural, intellectual experience. To Florence defense, I was partying the night before (probably for the whole week, long live Erasmus bender!) and my head felt like an ass being fucked by a huge dick without the lube. It was an Erasmus weekend trip and the bus ride from Turin made my nausea worse.
When we finally got to the city I wanted to marvel at the rich Medici art collections and masterpieces by Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Machiavelli, but fun fact – when you’re young you’re stupid and partying and acting like a retard is what you usually do. So, after way too much walking and listening to our guide I couldn’t bare the thought of entering yet another church and I sat on the stairs looking at some teenagers making out.
My friends wanted to kiss some Fiorentino badly (like I know why it was such a long conversation) so we went out, but the Saturday night in Florence wasn’t special either. We wandered in the city center in search of a club or a pub with actual people inside, but everything was deserted. When we finally found some place it was crawling with creeps and we decided to just go to sleep. No kisses and sweet talks in the birthplace of the Renaissance for those chicks!
At least the next day was better. We sat on the wall above the river drinking cheap beer and eating melting chocolate in the 30 degrees heat. And just when I was admiring the Florence beauty we had to go back to our Erasmus student colorful reality.
I have lived in Italy for a while and had a chance to travel and discover many amazing places, but that visit in Florence always made me think that there was something missing in my image of Italian essence. When a friend of mine moved there I knew I had to go back and see Firenze with my grown-up (snort) eyes.
I was relieved that this time was different, I guess I did achieve some level of maturity. Besides, after months of stress, sickness and rehabilitation I needed a gateway in my idealized Italy.
A lot of girls from my Italian studies couldn’t resist the Italian “romantic” tactics so they moved to Italy hoping for a better life. But they found themselves working in the hotels, restaurants and as babysitters or they got married and had kids. It’s not what they wanted after graduation, but they are just Polish girls, after all. Pretty, easy and not fit for better jobs.
I’m sexually attracted to beautiful people, what can I say, I’m that shallow (and don’t pretend like you are better). Maybe there will come a day when someone will move that complicated mind of mine because my heart has lost its way to love a long time ago.
One night stands are no secret concept to me, but it rarely happens that I want to spread my legs for a guy I just saw. I ‘m not a fan of Italians either as their sloppy, mammone and ciao bella behavior only piss me off. But because of my weakness for beauty, I often end up with them anyway. And the dark, handsome Ryanair flight attendant on a plane to Bologna made me so horny I considered dragging him to this tiny, stinky bathroom and fuck him mercilessly. Unfortunately, the flight was too short for a much-needed fun (I bet when I’m flying to the US for 8 hours there will be only “meh” guys, too ugly for me to kill the boredom), and when I had this enlightening idea of giving him my number when we land, he went to a different exit, saying goodbye to old hags and families. Just my luck! But no worries, as I knew there would be plenty of hot fish in the Italian sea to catch.
At the bus station, I was welcomed by a traveler who got robbed and was trying to collect money for the train to Consulate in Milan. Poor guy, everyone was looking away as if he was a hobo, pretending they didn’t know English. I was skeptical in the beginning, but he seemed really freaked out, he even gave me his passport to prove his ID, so I showed him my human side and gave him a few euro’s (and they say I’m cold and cruel, scoff). If it was only an act he should get a part in a drama movie.
The second greeting was “get your ass to the car, princess, I can’t park in here!” from my friend who had to pick me up and then manage to bring us home alive. If you’ve ever been on the Italian street, you know what I mean.
The mix of Italian and Polish hospitality made my belly full of lasagne, Chianti and chocolate cream (forget poisonous Nutella, unless you’re very poor and hungry. The huge jar goes now for only a few euros). There was also something for my hungry mind as well.
As I was standing on the Piazzale Michelangelo I looked down at Florence covered in the lights of the night and I realized I’m only a small piece of the universe. If I disappear nothing will change. No one will know. And yet if every star refuses to shine the sky will become a dark hole above us.
My second time in Florence, a whole week, wandering around, Tinder’ing (but not waking up to “Jesus, where the hell am I?!”), getting fat: the best gelato il Procopio, Spritz in a literary restaurant Giubbe Rosse, pizza, wine, schiacciata Dell’Antico Vinaio eaten on the curb (the best street food in town, there are 2 lines, don’t waste your time standing in the longer one as those are the same places), typical Tuscan pasta I pici toscani and some more wine.
Most of the must see checked: Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, della Repubblica, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, churches, Galleria Uffizi, Fiesole (the small town near Florence, just take the bus nr 7 and in 20 minutes or so you can admire the city from the hill).
All this goodness and I still couldn’t get the ticket to Cupola del Brunelleschi! I went to the tourism office on the first day and it was already sold out for the whole week because of the Easter and bazillions of tourists attacking tiny Florence. Seriously, they were on every corner with their cameras, short pants, flip flops and goofy faces (we get it, the monuments, history, art, it’s all breathtaking, now can you let me pass on my old ugly as hell bike to get home from work?!). On Easter Monday I had a small panic attack when I went to centro storico and Uffizi. I was born and always lived in big cities so I’m used to the crowd, but “oh my, tourists invasion, help!”
I didn’t try bistecca alla fiorentina either.
So I have some bad news, my friends from Florence, this petite rebel of an innocent baby face gotta visit you again! I promise I’ll bring by Polish kiełbasa, bread, and vodka! Until next time.
My eyes darken when I see my new lover. Fresh prey.
My body doesn’t really react in a sexual way.
It’s the devil inside me that celebrates next conquest.
We exchange meaningless sweet words.
His hungry gaze penetrates my breasts and ass.
Another drink and laughter.
And then another one.
Sometimes I get very drunk or high.
And then I don’t feel him between my legs.
I don’t see his sweating face.
I don’t hear his moans and questions if I came.
I can’t stay sober when I cheat on you.
I’m such a coward that I can’t even face this inner monster.
It consumes me, it takes away my dignity.
It makes me do horrible things.
It hurts you, the only one who ever loved me.
Who knows what I really am.
No. It’s not the monster. It’s me. I am the whore.
I dig my nails into your soft flesh until it bleeds.
I am the one pushing you away, feasting on your kindness.
I blame those hard punches of my past for my infidelity.
Those cruel hands. Those hateful words.
I try not to, I really do.
I try to be a better person.
But how can I if I am just nobody?
You know why I leave. Yet you stay. You’re there when I’m back.
With your sorrow and cry and resentment and wrath.
If I’m broken because of my pain what’s your excuse?
Why do you keep letting me treat you like a stray dog?
Don’t you have any respect for yourself?
What the fuck is wrong with you?
And just when I think I have my own slave for life you break the circle.
You shut the door with a grimace of relief.
You can’t look at me anymore.
See, you’re finally free!
My inner innocent girl is happy for you.
But the monster inside kicks and laughs at me.
I’m left alone.
I dress up and go hunting.
“I don’t want to think
I don’t want to be
I am slowly disappearing
within the shadows
in the darkness?”
I don’t know why do I even bother doing this shit. Keep trying. To get out of bed in the morning. To keep this fake smile stuck to my face. To think that I can finally make it. How many times did I try? I can’t even count it. And the point is I failed every single time. And I have everything that a successful person should. Beauty, talent, intelligence, strength. And yet it’s not enough. It never was. Time goes by, I get older and I lose hope that I could change my life. That I could be… no, not happy. That’s an overstatement. Let’s keep it real. But at least feel better, you know? Like not miserable all the time.
Shit, it sounds so pathetic when I read it. But I figured that instead of feeling sorry for myself in the silence of cold walls I can write it here. I even had this stupid idea to try it as a therapy. I for sure need one. But I was never brave enough to face my demons. To talk about those terrible, sad shadows of the past.
I kept a journal when I was 12 until 17, I think. And I started it again a few years back when there was a global motherfucking crisis and I was unemployed just like many other graduates. I remember I had to go the unemployment office and I felt like a trash. Like the worst loser ever. I was young, educated, capable of things, I knew few languages and I ended up in the same place as hobo’s and drunks. I survived. Yet again. Such a winner, congrats!
I don’t know if keeping a journal back then helped me. Maybe a little. Because the loneliness I experienced at that time wasn’t just a sad concept. It was a breathing creature. It was so palpable, real and alive that it became my only friend. There was no one else.