20 de julho de 2010

Here and There (Aqui e Lá)

Do you know what happens? Neither do I! The mind at these times is a whirl and sends disordered signals to the heart to beat faster, to the sleep to remain absent, to the basic functions of the body to be disarranged, to the lips to start to be bitten on the inside and the nails to become smaller and irregular.

The body tires, not the mind. Many things arrive at the magnetic field of this powerful tool that changes the course of the things and makes it so tattered that I can look the backlog that I continuously do and redo and notice I didn’t leave the place. Place, moreover, is the problem… and solution at the same time. It’s that time when the Libran scale flips out.

There is where I always felt confident, sometimes overconfident, owner of myself. My job wasn't the dream's, but I strove to do it the best. From this, came good results and compliments. There is a space where I had domination of my territory, and I always fight intensely for it. There is the place where my friends were always ready to have fun together and also to have hour-long conversations filled with advice and outflowings, or about the banalities of public transport or that TV show.

There is where life is easier, where I’ve all the elements that protect me, care about me, look out for me, surround me.

Here, on the other hand, is where the things happen. I don’t talk just about the hype of the new gadget or about the concert of the moment; here the things happen when you’re ill, need to move around the city or even make the supermarket purchases of the month. They happen on a daily basis. Here life is more difficult, more challenging and also makes a fantastic and dynamic place, that consequently moves you along with the river current.

Here, nobody cares if you go out on the street in flip-flops, floral shirt, top hat and filibeg. Maybe they think I’m eccentric, but they’ll hardly lose more than 5 seconds of their busy lives with me. Here they don’t care if I’m young or old, man or woman, gay or straight, Brazilian or Polish. Here you have to show it belongs, without carrying the prerequisite social tags and labels that the majority don't put on you. Here is a multicultural cauldron with buzzing differences around common interests, that makes more viable the acceptance of the other, who doesn't have, in general, a routine very different from yours. Even though he earns your triple, he knows that the easiest way to reach his workplace is by tube. There it is also known, but is better to cover the eyes, give a smile and move on.

There they smile a lot, here not so much. There they also fake a smile a lot, here not so much. There they’ve sympathy, here respect. There they’ve hypocrisy, here a possible loneliness. There they’ve the idea that what comes from here is the best. Here the domestic product is valued and yet the outer one, respected. There, the idea is to multiply, here is to share. There you do have the best treatment in the world, here you’ve the world on your treatment.

There and here are opposites. And twins. There are differences that weight and search for a balance inside the ones who pass between both locations. This is what happens with me and brings me the whirl.

Here the glass windows on the offices let everybody follow other’s routine. But, to be honest, nobody cares that much about the work routine of a stranger. Strange one that consequently has exposed his life, but has at the same time more freedom than he would have there. And he hides himself more efficiently that he could there.

The people from there that are here brings a bit of the taste of home, but this reminds me too that they have a knack for everything and always, it can disturb these good memories and remember that being wherever they are, have in their nature the trial to take advantage of everything, even if it means cheating on the person that lives with them. And this is sad, here or there.

On the other hand, the people there have natural swing, that the people from here try hard to imitate and can’t do at first, sounds artificial. The people there have this swing also regarding music, this music that is often less logical and technical than here, but that is contaminated here, that just repeats meaningless phrases they listen, as well as there’s ones repeats, most idolised, the songs from here, returning to the paradox value and respect.

But both here and there some similarities take shape in light of the passage of time. The bath, for example, anywhere, is my deepest, more intense, logical and practical thinking. It’s a pity I can’t verbalise as well as thinking in the bath.

Either there or here, bureaucracy, high taxes and corrup politicians exist. The difference is that here the results of the taxes are returned to the population, the bureaucracy serve as efficient register most of the time and corruption must be uncovered publicly in a satisfactory way.

There, the appearance counts a lot. Beyond the physical and personal, the house must be beautiful and imposing so that the others will have a good impression of your job, which must bring status, even if only in the nomenclature of the post that carries the badge. The clothes have to be stunning, even if they’re uncomfortable.

Here the functionality of the things matters more, being simpler. The houses are virtually all the same, mainly externally they’re twins among them. The job must reward each one’s necessities, independent if its function is waiter, receptionist, manager, marketing researcher, representative or company’s owner. And knowing that, everybody respects the others, without looking down on them.

But now, there is here and here is there. Everything changed… again. But many things didn’t change. Others are completely different. The adaptation between the “here” and the “there” seems much more difficult now then when the direction was from here to there, even though it brought uncertainties (and maybe exactly because of that it seemed easier). Here’s family can’t and won’t understand how painful it was to leave there. There’s family can understand a part of it, to live a similar situation in the change of here and there. Only the family of transition, the one which walked here and there, the other piece of middle part, is the one who knows that beyond all of it, the plural, in terms, turn to be singular. But knows too that there’s a mark this process left on us and that will keep an eternal link.

Between singular and plural. Between here and there.

[From the original, in Portuguese: Aqui e Lá. Thanks to Louise Latham for the language correction!]

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