Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One man’s ‘annus horribilis’ can be another’s 'annus mirabilis'

I thought I was going to let it go. Never bothered to kick it off after its first virgin launch. Twelve months, numerous misfortunes and a heartbreak later, here I am again, ready to update my blog for the first time, hoping that the next editing won’t take that long. What happened between then and now? How does the year sum up after all? Rephrasing what all-time-classic Lizzy said back in 1992, this “is not a year I shall look back on with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'annus horribilis'”. And it ain’t over yet honey, let me add… This is exactly the reason I’m posting this. Cause who knows what disasters will come upon my head before the year turns…

Looking back not far ago, I see myself lost in a sea of sweet illusions. A love story was blooming; a feverish wave of change, inspiration, creativity and imagination was sweeping away everything that was old. The past was disappearing rapidly and a brand new fabulous era was on its way. A new home was getting ready to house a new love and a new life. Wow! I had made it at last. I was there. Or at least I believed so…

Change… How powerful a word can be… Change is the transition that occurs from same to different and in the process it requires people to adapt. This is called… evolution. But inasmuch as I had always been taking pride to considering change a welcoming breeze on the back of my liberal neck, now I can see that change can be really cruel. Fuck! I don’t need change. I want things to be the way they were a year ago! Have I turned conservative or what?

Well, let’s see. In October 2005 the memory of a long summer holiday had not faded yet. It was still kicking in my head and D. was the constant reminder. Somehow, I had connected this guy to the pleasures of the summer. Having met a few months back, when summer was just beginning it was easy to let myself go. His smile had always been so summerish. Being a guest at a friend’s tiny apartment, he moved in with me almost immediately after we met and life seemed all roses. He never asked for this, instead he was asked. And he eagerly accepted. I was so very happy and in love. The traveling followed and it was great. I took him to so many places that summer I can hardly keep track. He never asked for it but again he was offered and his eyes screamed yes. Back to the city, D. felt anxious to make a new start in the capital he had come to conquer. But life is not easy. Anxiety led to frustration and frustration to depression. Call it post-summer blues or whatever, the fact is he was not happy. I tried to be there for him as much as I could. He never asked but I felt the need to support and guide him through dark corridors. And he grabbed my hand eagerly and got out of there. I was lost in my own troubles by the time, with the house project, the loan, the banks, the construction works, the job, money and all, but still found time and energy. Before the end of the year, I had managed to unlock a little door for him. He never asked me but I knew he was expecting me to do so. Before Christmas, he had a brand new job that most of the guys in his shoes would have killed for. He didn’t see it as much by that time, but I believe he thinks differently now.

Just before the end of the year, it was me who needed help. Tons of it. But he felt he couldn’t breath in Athens, and had to go north to see his folks for a few days. I smiled and said ok, after all he should take a break I thought. But I was left behind to pack everything in a big house, move to the new one, unpack it all again and make a home. I had wished D. would stay back to give me a hand but I never asked. So, he passed. He never offered.

By the new year, he came back and our new life had become reality. D. was happy, going to work in the mornings, money was back in his pockets. He could at least cover his personal expenses and pay a little contribution for the house. But there was something missing. I knew I was losing him and there was nothing I could do.

As winter was about to slip away, D. felt he was coming closer to having his life’s dream come true. He had to have that expensive equipment that would help him develop all his talent and probably open new ways for him. He had to have it. It was all he talked about. His eyes were sparkling when he was explaining to me all the details, showing me brochures and describing it with enthusiasm. There was only one tiny little problem: he couldn’t afford it. He never asked me to help him out through this but once again I took the initiative and provided the solution of a loan, risking my already fragile living standards. And he was so happy and seeing him happy was my reward.

Over the next few months, his brand new toy became the source of pleasure I couldn’t have been for him. Just before summer 2006, eleven months after we met, he said he had to move on. I was not part of his plans anymore. He was not in love with me, he said. Fair enough, I thought, these things happen. He had it all sorted out in his head. He would keep on staying with me for a few more months –as a friend of course- so that he’d be able to save money, have holidays and find a new apartment by September. Actually, this was the first thing he had asked me so clear and loud since the time we had met. Dazzled from the whole unexpected shift of my fortune I initially agreed instead of kicking him out immediately. A few weeks later this was exactly what I did, fed up with his provincial charm, lies and sense of self-convenience. This was little blow for him, since A., a new sponsor had already appeared in his life, a fact that kept all his initial plans right on track.

Now, D. is shouting “Self-reliance Now” all over and feels proud of it. In a note he wrote a few weeks ago under the title “Dad, will you buy me life?” he says:

“Among the ‘poorer’ are… the rich.
I never believed that money can bring happiness to people (which is a cliché that is not always applicable, since money may not bring happiness but can create the necessary conditions for it). Being already 31 years old, I regret to run into a conclusion, which I hope is transient: ‘People expect to receive from you similar things to the ones they’ve given; palpable, material things that scratch your memory when you’re not there any more.’
The good friend or lover in this world is the one who has left behind something that can be seen and remembered. People give and expect exactly the same returns. It is an unwritten law that says that you have to give back exactly what you were given (without you ever asking).
People have forgotten (and keep forgetting) that what they receive during an affair (with a friend or a lover) is neither money, nor houses, cars nor gifts. The ultimate gift we all receive through our associations is the joy of laughter when we share a joke, the weep in one’s arms, the companionship that pushes away loneliness, the pride we feel knowing we have been chosen. Only those who have received such gifts of priceless value can give them back in return. The rest are simply trying to overcome their incompetence to give, through gifts. This is not as absolute as it sounds. There is also a group of people in the middle, who although they want to offer all these they have never received, they don’t know how to do it. These are the people who confuse the two values, the material and the sentimental.


Easier said than done. In other words, what this note explains is that the writer did give a lot through his association with his lover. He gave laughter, jokes, cuddles, companionship (priceless gifts indeed) in return for “material” and “palpable” gifts that he never asked for (well, he happily accepted them though). In the good old times, when words were more faithful to their meaning and less cheap, the aforementioned give-and-take had one very precise name: hustling.

This indeed has been an annus horribilis for some of us.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello.
I feel that you need to start a new life. Let that bastard go. It seems to me that you have been giving alot staff and he has not been giving anything except charms.
These kind of bastards can destroy your future life (1st: you can not avoid the comparison, 2nd: you are affraid of something simular to happen).
I hope that now you will find a good and nice person to commit.
Take Good Care.

Duck

4:19 PM, December 22, 2006  
Blogger Saile Sistigrev said...

thank you duck.
believe me, everything happens for a reason, after all. life is nice once again.
xxx

8:38 AM, December 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pictures. Who owns the rights for them? Are these yours? I want the 1st one on large format. Can you upload it?


Thanks in advance.
Duck.

12:48 PM, January 03, 2007  
Blogger Saile Sistigrev said...

happy new year duck.
all pictures but the last one in this piece are mine. should you wish one or more of them in high definition i can email.

9:38 AM, January 04, 2007  

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