Carter

We have been friends ever since I can remember. We were best friends from the very first moment we saw each other in kindergarten and continued ever since. Everything went smooth until we hit the age of seven. That was the time, when Carter started doing these weird things. It all started one afternoon during a lesson. Out of nowhere he started shouting “Boooooring” and doing this plopping sound with his lips, followed with a wild jerk of his head. The teacher lost it, he got so mad, that Carter was disrespecting his lecture, that he kicked him out of the classroom. But unlike anyone else in the room, I knew that something was wrong. Carter was a quiet introvert, who would never do such a thing. His facial expression was showing, that he was desperate and very confused as the rest of us.

For the rest of the week, Carter didn’t show up to school. Apparently, he continued doing those weird gestures even at home and when being told off, he admitted that he had no control and it caused him tremendous discomfort and exhaustion to try to suppress it. His parents fortunately believed him and took him to a hospital… there he was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome.

Growing up was not easy. All our friends were slowly avoiding us, one by one. Nobody wanted to have anything in common with that weird guy that was shouting random things or doing wild hand gestures. Nonetheless, I stayed. I never left his side. For some stupid reason, nobody was able to comprehend what an extraordinary person Carter was. Our favourite activity was to watch movies and different TV series. We had always the subtitles on, so we wouldn’t be disturbed if he did some noise – that was when I discovered that reading had an interesting effect on him, and calmed him down to some extent. I started bringing him comics and bunch of fantasy and sci-fi books. He loved it. In fact he loved it so much that most of his vocal tics started being references from those different comics and TV series. There is nothing more hilarious than when we are walking down the street and he starts shouting “To the Batmobile!” or “Heeeere’s Johnny!” or “Why so serious?” and many more. He never failed to make me laugh and he was glad to have someone to be laughing with him and not at him. Not everybody though was so nice. Many people were giving him weirded out looks, even offended. They thought he was a freak. He was unable to keep quiet for a long period of time, so school became very hard for him and let’s face it, other kids are very judgemental towards people who are different. Eventually it got even to the always positive Carter. It started slowly. He became frustrated, scared and later on very depressed. I watched him every day be more and more sad, as if a piece by piece he was dying. His ticks started to be more rude, which made him more anxious, which made him tick even more. I tried to be there for him, to support him, to cheer him up, but it wasn’t enough.

One day he didn’t come to school and I wasn’t able to reach him on his phone. I became very worried. He was capable of anything at this point, despite the loving support of me and his family. The outside world just overpowered the good and placed him in a dark hole, out of which he couldn’t get out. Anxiously I left school early and hurried over to his flat. We were twenty at that time.

I tried to ring the doorbell, but nobody was answering. I had this bad feeling, so I stopped messing around and fair and square threw a stone in his living room and climbed in. I got some very bad cuts, but I couldn’t care less. I searched most of the house, until finally, I found him on the bathroom door, crying his eyes out, holding a closed tube of pills. I sat next to him and hugged him. We didn’t speak, just sat there.

After this incident, I decided it was time to do something. I found a local group meeting with people suffering from Tourette’s syndrome and brought Carter there. He was amazed. All those people were like him, they accepted him and they loved him as much as I did. He finally found a place where he belonged and discovered that he wasn’t alone. We started attending regularly and even found out that in the group was a professional comedian. We attended one of his performances and I could see, that a new spark appeared in Carter’s eyes. Finally he could see that there was a way, that he could live happily and at last he was able to see himself as I saw him all those years… as an extraordinary human being, that everybody should be jealous of, because nobody was even close as awesome as he was.

Advertisements

The torture of the dark and cold cave

There were only a few of us left. Outside was a beautiful spring day, the sun was shining and the first time in months it was actually warm. Yet we were here, in this dark and cold cave, with only dim light shining through the small aperture. We weren’t supposed to be here anymore, the torture was over, the freedom was so close… but we couldn’t go. Slowly but surely it was coming towards us, but it was still out of reach, our ticket to freedom. Not everyone was strong enough. The darkness was pulling meout-of-the-cave into its grasp, I started hysterically laughing, tears falling down my cheeks. I wasn’t the only one. The individual next to me was trying to joke, ease up the situation, but there was no use. We were all so desperate, knowing that even if we get out of here, even worse things are about to come. Not only were we getting depressed of the absence of light, but our hunger was making itself known. Most of us hadn’t eaten in days. There were some that straight up gave in, lying there without signs of life.
It was closer and closer. We could feel its presence. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on it, till finally! The attendance sheet got into our reach, twenty minutes after the end of the lecture. We signed it and got the hell out of that forbidden place, knowing that it was the last lecture of the semester and exam period was coming. Suddenly we wished that we could sit there forever, waiting for our ticket to freedom, because everything was better than the upcoming stressful days.

 

The magic of formal clothes

I’ve always been the girl who wears oversized band T-shirts or the one with fandom print. Put some oversized converse shoes and ripped and patched jeans in the mix and you have pretty much the picture of me.
When I was a little child and my mom was picking clothes for me, it always meant that it would be pink – she loooved pink. She loved pink so much that once at a summer camp I found myself dressed in pink sweatpants, a pink hoodie, and pink shoes… yeah, you can’t even imagine how embarrassed I felt. One thing led to another and as soon as I was in control of what I was wearing, I tried to be that dark intimidating rock leather wearing girl. I must say that I did succeed to some extent, I was finally proud of what I was wearing. The more band and geek T-shirts I owned the happier I was. But then I found myself a boyfriend and started attending college. You say that you don’t have a clue what that has to do with clothes? Oh, let me tell you – everything. I’ve never really been a make-up girl – I do have severe acne scars, but I tried to heal my complexion and one step to prevent pimples was to cut out heavy make-up, so in my rock days I just applied eyeliner and some mascara and I was good to go. But then I went to college and I met this girl heavily obsessing with NYX liquid lipsticks… and soon after I fell in that trap too. I started wearing lipsticks, actually started doing my brows and I’m slowly getting down full face make-up routine when I have time and for special occasions. But that pretty look wouldn’t do for my rock clothes and that’s when my boyfriend comes to the scene. He is a well put together young men, always in a shirt under a nice sweatshirt and he despises my band T-shirts. Formal clothes somehow were never even in my dictionary – I never really needed them and if I did, I possessed one skirt that was sufficient. My boyfriend changed all of that and convinced me to buy some prettier formal clothes – nice WHITE sweatshirt, a shirt (it has little Darth Vaders all over it so my geek self is satisfied too) and something I would have never imagined – tight fitting skirt.
I’ve always tried with my looks to be intimidating, to present this picture of a fierce strong woman who isn’t scared of anything, but it wasn’t until now that I realized that black clothes looking like I came straight from a metal concert, wasn’t it. There is something in well put together clothes, when you have a tank top and tight-fitting skirt with high heels, that you truly feel invincible, like you own the place. A strong woman that means business and won’t let you bring her down. I always tried to avoid feminine formal clothing but all this time, that was the key to being a fierce intimidating powerful woman and I’m glad I was able to see this new world.
(Next, I’m gonna dye my hair silver, wondering how’s that gonna go!)

“You shall not pass!” said the Universe

Sit around kids and I will tell you a story of how when one thing goes wrong the universe usually piles it up and everything goes wrong. So on this lovely day, everything was going fine at first. The exam period came so I had no classes scheduled for today, there was just this one credit test I had to attend. I wasn’t worried or anything, I knew it would be pretty easy and without classes, I could sleep in and had also plenty time to study what I needed to refresh. I live on the outskirts of this town so I have to take a bus and change to tram and then to another one in order to get to school. I planned to arrive there half an hour before the test.
Because I had plenty of time before I had to go, I decided to be a bit fancy today and did a whole face make-up routine and a French plait. According to my phone it was 19 degrees Celsius outside so I decided to just wear a band T-shirt, ripped jeans and because the universe was obviously laughing in my face I chose to wear just a flannel shirt instead of a leather jacket and (I’m not even sure myself why) flats.
My bus, as expected, came late. But I was counting on that so it was ok. What wasn’t ok was, that the first tram all of a sudden stopped right as it started pouring down outside. After a few minutes, the tram driver announced that there has been a car accident and that he doesn’t know how long will it take till we move again. At that point, I would have been just on time if the tram moved, which it didn’t and the driver didn’t want to let us out so we wouldn’t get run over by some car. Eventually, to my luck, he did let us out, so I jumped out into the rain, I took off my shirt and used it to shield myself from the rain and went on foot to my school. I arrived ten minutes late, drenched to the bone, looking completely wild as my hair fell out of the plait and my flats felt like a pool. I wasn’t allowed to write the test. Fortunately, my teacher is very reasonable and understood that is wasn’t my fault that I came late, so I had to wait an hour (a very comfortable hour I must add – like daaamn wet jeans are so itchy!) until I could write the test with a different group.
It was a very interesting experience, but if you think that next time I’ll try to come even earlier you must be nuts. You won’t get me so easily universe!

The photographer

There was a girl, she had a dream. She was nothing special… she was socially awkward, had her demons chasing her and she didn’t know where her place in the world were. She started out as a photographer for her friend who played guitar in a band. It was just her and her camera which meant a lot to her… it was her only connection to her father who she never had good relationship with. She had her daddy issues but that wasn’t important when she took the most stunning pictures at their concerts. Her work was so admirable that she got recognized by a famous band. She wasn’t a professional or anything, just an ordinary girl, yet they asked her and no one else. She agreed as she wanted to record the atmosphere, the emotions and the people at such big concerts. And so she went on a tour with them. The band and crew loved her. She was this precious person that everybody wanted to protect. She laughed with them, she was just thoroughly happy. She was the kind of person that didn’t want to stand in somebody’s way or to shield their view so it was hard for her to stay in the first rows of the audience. She was always visible for the band because her camera sticking out of the crowd was hard to miss. Once they couldn’t see her though, so between the songs the singer asked his audience where his photographer was. The crowd was silent and only one hand raised from the very back of the room. The singer smiled and asked his fans to bring her to the front and something amazing happened. Several arms reached to her and brought her above their heads and up she went and slowly was carried to the stage. She was capturing every single moment of it. Once there was also a time when she was so caught up in her work that in the middle of one song she ventured in the middle of the stage, despite her shyness, and captured the singing crowd. It took her several minutes before she realised that she wasn’t hidden anymore and put down the camera. She was frozen, staring at the hundreds of people staring at her, she didn’t know what to do. The guitarist though recognized her despair and made people applaud her. She blushed, she waved awkwardly and left, but the photos turned out amazing.
She was always the one capturing every moment of the tour, not just on stage but also behind the scenes. But once she was the one being filmed singing a song by the band. And the band loved it and played this clip on these big screens in the concert hall. And they didn’t leave there. In secret, they wrote a song about her and before they started playing it, the singer started an introduction: “This song is for all of those who feel lost, who feel different and like there is no one for them in the world. For those who were on the verge of committing suicide or who have scars from self-harming.  This is for you, this is for our dear photographer.” They started singing the song while one crew member was walking back stage with a camera filming what was happening, life streaming on those big screens till he finally found their photographer. She sat there, bawling her eyes out, unable to handle all her emotions. Her self-harming scars, that she always tried to hide, were visible on her forearms. She was so touched, she felt important, she felt like she wasn’t alone anymore… she felt like she found her place in the world.