Trespasser

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The apartment is upstairs, a classic building from the 1920’s. The tenants are away for most of the day and night. They come to sleep, to wake up, and to have breakfast, arguably to shower and to leave. Nothing happens past the kitchen. The living room is unused; the sofa is dusted, as most the furniture in the room. Who watches TV nowadays? Who has time for enjoying a relaxing day in the house when there’s so much to live outside? What kind of living creatures lounges under the sofa? Outside is cleaner. The kitchen hasn’t been used as well, maybe a bowl of cereal, a fried egg pan, a couple of cups. They were barely hand washed and left it on the counter, used the next day, and the next day, and the day after that; they are left at the same place. The coffee mug is black, a smart idea preventing from the extreme stains as the last white one. At least, the kitchen is used. Something is being done there from time to time. There’s mold in the fridge, a jar of water, a half-empty bottle of white wine, and an old piece of lemon. There’s mold in the bathroom as well, it’s safe to say that besides that it’s clean. The yellow spot in the corner of the shower is still small, just a little reminder that things are growing rotten inside. It has been rotten for a while; things are beginning to be visible. There’s no love in the bedroom. The bed sheets are picked up at night the same way they are left in the morning. A small pile of dirty clothes on the floor complete the apartment charm. That same t-shirt left on the floor on Tuesday morning is washed on Sunday to be worn Monday all day. It will be joined by the jeans (worn Monday to Friday), second pairs of jeans are kept for special events. Shirts are worn to cover the stained t-shirts. When those are stained, new shirts are bought at any fast-fashion store to replace them; quickly, they are added to the pile. No life except the infectious kind can survive living there. Life has been taken from them, and they continue to live. They are just trespasser of their own life.

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MRS.

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I don’t like weddings, and here I am dressed in white. With my bouquet in hands, I remember every time I had to be the ring girl, to be a bridesmaid, to understand I had to smile, to be nice, to enjoy a moment like the one I’m living now. I’m waiting for my entrance; the guests are excited, my aunt is crying. Thank God the music didn’t start yet; the very expensive wedding planner is holding me: I have to make them wait a little bit. I was ready 10 minutes ago. I want this to be over, jump fast to the ridiculous expensive party. Listen, I love my soon-to-be husband. I want to spend my life with him; I want to have kids and grow old on the countryside. I just can’t connect to the idea that a party, a priest, or a wedding dress that looks like an ugly, fattening cake is going to make me married. Weddings are contracts; and not a romantic one. We live together already; I have a beautiful house with pictures, furniture, and most importantly, love. I confess I got tired of people asking me all the time about the wedding; I’m not having this party because of them, but the family/friends pressure is a small reason for the thick ring to be placed on my left finger. I’m someone Mrs. now. I have to be strong for not molding myself into a briefcase my husband moves around. My identity has to remain intact. I can’t remember how many of my friends lost theirs at the honeymoon. Lame. I don’t. How funny it can be if I say no. The wedding planner is going to be devastated. She is more excited about all this than I am. I do. I’m about to be Mrs. It’s not the man of my dreams, but it’s the man I chose to be my partner. There are still very few of us who can choose who to be. I’m the bride. The guests are here to celebrate us. I’m happy. Still, I can’t stand this party.

 

The Kiss

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He is there, sitting on a bench, waiting for a bus – with all kinds of people passing by him, with all kinds of thoughts running through his head. The money is not enough; the sex is never enough. He lights a cigarette to ease his mind of all he can’t accomplish. He is alone on the bench until a woman joins his presence. “I could spend the night with her,” he thinks. However, he is enjoying his smoky dreams; his laziness stops him to try a conversation. She appears interested in her thoughts only. With nothing more to do except waiting for the bus, he smiles at her. She replies with a sympathetic smile. She moves her body close to him. “What’s up with this girl?” he blushes with her approach. He looks at her; she arouses him. He kisses her; a long kiss he doesn’t want it to stop. The mouth is wet as they, only them, wait for the bus. His thoughts cease by the desire of being with that woman. He wants to kiss her all night. But he interrupts the kiss. A shy smile after a bright light illuminates her face; a car comes into their direction. She moves away. They wait, far from each other.

Many things are missing in her life right now. She can’t keep herself still to wait for a bus. She walks past the stop bench twice; there’s a man there, she doesn’t want to talk. “What’s the problem with men that can’t see a woman alone without feeling they have the right to approach them?” She sits by him; with distance, she doesn’t want to talk. The money is not enough; the sex is never satisfying. She observes him, “the dude is hot,” she wouldn’t mind spending a night with him. He arouses her, but a stranger won’t fill the gap in her life. He smiles at her; he wants to make himself present. “Fuck it!” she thinks, moving closer towards his body; she can smell him. She kisses him, a long kiss she doesn’t want it to stop. The mouth is wet as they, only them, wait for the bus. Her dissatisfaction ceases by the action of being with a man after a long time. She wants to kiss him for the rest of the night. But she interrupts the kiss. A happy smile after a bright light illuminates his face; a car comes into their direction. She moves away. They wait, silently.

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She is anxiously waiting. She is releasing her biggest musical project to date, one that reflects on the life of a woman – it’s a proud moment for her. Lately, her career has been spectacular. The media and the public absolutely love her. They buy what she says; they look at her more maturely. She isn’t the same puppet girl dancing on stage waiting for claps; she is here for more. Her new music transcends people’s perceptions of her. One more minute and the album is out. She has one more minute to breath before being judged by her work. She feels secure about that. Artists must use their voice, that is the reason for their fame, and the reason for millions to engage in their life existence. She is giving a little bit of that. Her life somewhat manifests in her music, not just with what she feels, but also in a description of what she lived. Audiences crave for that small piece of information that makes “super-humans” into regular people. Everything involved in her life becomes expectable; it’s just one life. One made with mistakes and glories like everyone else. The difference is the price tag of the clothes she wears. Personalities are more than just that. Still, everyone just wants to know the inside gossip of their personal life. It’s a lack of perception of the hardship of training one’s talents; how one works hard on a piece of entertainment to be more than a fab. She fights for her creation to be out, for people to enjoy more than a frivolous beat, for people to relate to her testimony of the current world. She questions how many people from the thousands she reaches will reflect in what she is saying. Art is a matter of reflection. Through art entertainment exists, becoming mundane when the society is more reflexive of what celebrities are drinking than what they are saying. And they have a lot to say. The media isn’t helpful as well. They give the fans an unrelated idea of who the artists are. They use the audience’s admiration to portrait an exciting life when in reality, it’s just as tedious as anyone life. A catharsis created to give a little bit of satisfaction in knowing that someone better – better? – has a life full of difficulties and challenges, for the whole purpose of making the spectators feel better about themselves. She hears a bang. The champagne is open; everyone is celebrating her new music endeavor. She shakes the hands of her inner circle. She smiles like the beauty pageant everyone wants her to be. She knows just that – give them brioches.

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She wakes up, goes to her kids’ room and wakes them up. Check on her phone, She has some messages. She doesn’t read them yet because she has much to do. Her kids are still sleeping. She wakes them up. Puts on her robe and goes prepare the breakfast. Her house helper is running late. She doesn’t like that. Still, she puts up with her; she does a good job. But so many problems surround her life.

Another bomb explodes in the world. Another political scandal surfaces in the news. More messages, she checks her Facebook. She places some comments. She thinks about her kids, the well-being of her family. She feels unsafe. She goes to her pilates class, feels stretched, feels strong, goes back home. Driving back, air conditioning on, she sees some kids, she looks the door. Pick up her kids from school. At home, she oversees the work of her helper. Her husband is having lunch at work. She takes a nap.

Wakes up scared, she looks at her phone, and nothing changed – more messages, more Facebook, more bombing, more political scandals. She goes to the kitchen, asks her helper about her kids. The helper tells her they are at their afternoon activities. She is not asking about her kids, but the helper’s kids. The helper says they are fine, and thanks her for asking. She checks her phone while the helper is talking. It’s just her habit after all. Before she goes to pick up her kids, she asks the helper to make sure all doors are locked before she leaves. She lives in a high-security building; she feels unsafe. In her car, she sees a homeless man. She thinks he is also intoxicated. She passes by a wall that called her attention. It’s written “wake up” on the wall. She doesn’t understand; why people vandalizewalls like that. She checks her phone, someone buzzes her. They have to go.

Her husband is still at work. She picks up her kids, takes them to dinner at a high priced fast food. She goes back home, she oversees the work of her helper. She puts her kids to sleep, turns on the tv. She asked what’s going on. Her husband arrives from work; finally. She serves him dinner; she hears him talking about the bombing, about the latest political scandal, about finances. She agrees with him, tired, she goes to bed. With her eyes closed, the graffiti wall comes to her mind. In the end, it’s just another man judging her.