Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life in black

16. I woke up from childhood and had just lost my mother to a sign of the horoscope. You know what I mean. My family had been acting strange for a while now and kind of putting me apart in a very caring way. Like in a protective bubble. Banned from reality. Prived of the thruth. A few month earlier..... That saturday my father, brother and sister had to go somewhere, unspoken for my ears. I don't even remember with whome I was staying while they were gone but my brother-in-law would drive them. My mom was in the hospital for months now and she wasn't doing well. Everybody had made me believe that my life was all about football and school. I was supposed to be such a talent on the field and my father was building castles in the sky about my future as a football player. When I think of it now it was probably his way out. His way of hiding from the pain, agony and guilt and maybe to reassure my mom that everything would be allright with me. To make a long story short, my mom died that morning, relaeved from her pain and defeted in battle, but a hero. When they came home and I come running to them, my father fled. He couldn't face me. It was my brother and sister that answered the questions: "How are you?" and "Where did you go?". The hidden teardrops in their eyes betrayed them before they could speak a word but still I had a spark of hope for them to tell me that everything would be allright. They didn't tell me so. While hugging me and bearly being able to talk they told me mom was no longer but she was in a better place now, free of pain and looking over me, always taking care, like in real live. I bursted out. I just lost my mom and sadness toke over but I was mad too. Mad because in all their good intentions they prived me of something very important. My chance to say goodbuy, to kiss her on her eyes and to tell her myself not to worry. I remember us all crying in the hall. My father joined us by then, completely broken. He had more demons to fight with and for the rest of his life he tried to overcome them. In vain. He died e few years later, a bitter man. No strenght left for anybody else but himselve. For the first time in my life I had the feeling I couldn't get what I wanted. I had been a worrieless child. Child in the real sense of the word. Playing and having a lot of imagination. Spending hours with a ball or soldiers in the sand. Now it was different. I was reaching out in the void, screaming in echos and realizing I would never have that recomforting feeling again of coming home to the warm arms of my mom. Goodbye childhood, hello realisme and cold adult world. I couldn't make a distingtion between a breaking heart and a pack frustrations. I was yelling inside all the time. Was I mean to my brother and sister in that time? I hope not. I do know they where there for me in that time and it was hard for them too. I know that everybody wanted to say sweet things but the clich├ęs people told me to make me feel better got me even more angry. "When you die on a sunny day, you go directly to heaven" and "God first takes the best with him as a reward!" My God!! I didn't talk to God in that time and didn't know how to but I did ask him loud and clear to stop doing that! My relationship with the Lord in that time was stricktly a schoolrelationship where I had to follow the lessons and do my Holy Communions. Christmas and Easter were fun because of the commericial aspect but never I thought about the deeper meaning of it all. Like I told you I was a child and probebly very absend minded. I know what you're going to say, everybody thinks their mother is the best, but there is really nothing else I can say about her. She was selveless, always ready for everybody, didn't drink or smoke. Her only pleasure was some sweets now and then and going to the hairdresser. She really took care of us, especially of my father. He didn't always understand. Later that day we went to see her in the morgue. Darkness toke over and I decided to live my life in black. The funeral was for me a day of big pain but also of revelations. We had a nice little church in Nieuwpoort and I had not thought about the scenery. As we drove up the church way I saw a long line of people outside the gates. Some of them I had never seen, others were neighbours and friends of the family. But as we entered the church, following the coffin, I saw my school was there too. All the students of my year and all the teachers plus a delegation of the bord of directors. The church was packed and the people outside that I saw before were people who couldn't enter anymore. I suddenly realized how loved and valued my mom was. Just for a moment it warmed me up a little. It was very hard for me to stand in line and wait for everybody to pass and greet us, especially the girls and boys of my school who, some of them, were geniuwinely crying. Some of them fell in my arms and hugged me. I don't want to tell you more about that day, I felt like erassing the rest. Some time later... I made quit a transformation by know. From a nurdy boy with long hair covering his ears because he thought people laughed with them and glasses with a thick brown frame, I had now very short hair on the sides and back and some peaks on top and no more glasses. The nightmoth had become a dark butterfly and for the first time I got noticed. I call myself a dark butterfly because by now I only wore black. It was as if there was a new kid at school and everybody wanted to know him. It had given me a boost of confidence and I also found an ally in my daily struggle: humour. I really found a way of making everything look funny and therefor a lot of people saw me as an optimist. Actually I was a very good clown, wearing a mask and searching for salvation in making others laugh. It made me feel good and I was convinced that was the reason I was born. Laughing in the day time, down in the evening and night. At home I was spending all my time in my room. I painted it in dark green and only used a little lamp. I listened to music. Oh yeah, I was a new waver by now. My all black periode led me to black eye liner and hair standing up high, stiff with gel. But wait, there is more. When I went out in the week end I made my face pale and put on red lipstick that was wiped a bit to my right jaw. No, I was not gay. My father was afriad I was thou because he asked my sister to talk to me about this. I was just copying my idol in the time, Robert Smith, the singer of The Cure. I liked it so much and when my friends were joining me we felt cool. I even invented a group name for whenever we decided having our own band. The 17 Joy's!! We never did. On another level I kept my father's dream alive because I got selected to be a sub on the first team of football. I was still 16, it was a big deal for us. Faith decided that after 15 minutes I had to sub for the right defender who injured himself. I never lost my place anymore and was asked to go and test for teams of a higher league. The highest test match I played was for a team of third division, that's on national level. They argreed to take me but my current team asked a ridiculously high amount of money and so I didn't go and play for them. Mentaly it was a set back for me and I started not to care anymore. I stayed where I was for years, rotting the talent I had to end up quiting, for ever. 17. Life at home wasn't easy. My father blamed me for everything that happened. He got sick and couldn't do his job as a janitor like it should be done, so I had to help. He smoked a lot and day by day I could see him having less air and strenght. He ended up an invalid and lost his job. We had to move to an appartment. I don't want to tell you where I had to sleep. Damned. In the meanwhile I allowed a bit of colour in my life. Not to bright thou, dark green, grey and one shirt I liked because it was with all kind of stains. It was long and I had to wear a heavy belt to shape it. I was listening to Echo and the Bunnymen and to The creeping Foetus of the wheel. A very strange group but I liked it. Because I started to wear trousers that were torn I had to go to the director of school asking me, in a very nice way, not to do that anymore. I wanted to add "very nice way" because allthou I looked strange in black and with some make up, I never caused trouble. Even the cops skipped controling me. Pff, to think that some of them became my collegues later on. That's another story but reveals that I had to change my dear dear black for blue. You know what? I'm going to stop this wright here because in between the black and the blue there was aperiod in white. Curious? Maybe I'll tell you one day. I wish you all a bright life, Pascal

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