A quick ride and I’m gifted with this incredible sight just at the side of the route (Ruta 11)
Around March I was waiting for the bus and it was late for the normal schedule.
I had a very important appointment so I decided to ride a cab instead. There was this quiet woman at the stop with me, out of curiosity I asked her if she wanted to come with me, I could drop her near La Plata.
She said yes, we had a very nice trip talking about Middle Age history and art, her sons and life in general (we both were on our ways to take exams at the uni). She even volunteered to pay half the fare. (I was going to pay it anyway, so I didn’t even thought of asking).
I’m sorry that I forgot your name, but thanks for a nice ride.
About a month ago I was at the bank.
Despite arriving a quarter before the opening hour there was already a long queue and once inside my ticket was number 29. That more or less means three hours of wait.
I carried on with the daily chores and went back, there was still a lot of people before me and I took a seat to rest for a while.
Next to me there was this couple talking, I didn’t quite listen to them but all of a sudden I catched that they had two tickets and were going to the same teller as me anyways. So I asked if they wanted to give me one.
And they said yes, moving me back to the 16. I was glowing in satisfaction. The rest of the people looked at me like some sort of criminal.
Not totally unrelated, last week we went to another bank to do some paperwork on a shared account. I arrived earlier and grabbed a ticket. The other owner was delayed and so I stepped on the middle of the hall asking if anyone wanted to trade my ticket for theirs. Everybody looked at me in disbelief, like, “what’s this wacko asking?”. Finally one slowly raised his hand, we traded places and everyone was happy.
Today was quite a lovely morning, not overly chilly despite being Winter.
I woke up early and rode to Palo Blanco. There was a very, very dense fog during the stretch along the Terraplén Costero.
I didn’t consider all the mud so I missed the sunrise by a couple of minutes as I had to step out of the bike and walk but the view is amazing:
I stood there enjoying how the light starts to appear and brings out detail to everything. The river was very calm and a warm breeze rose, making a whoosh sound as it moved across the trees.
Back at the Terraplén the sun is rising and the day starts becoming hot and damp.
I drifted a bit but not for that much. Back at home the bike was very dirty:
The rest of the set is there at flickr.
Today I woke up early and went for a short bike ride. The morning was a bit foggy but it quickly subsided.
(scheduled to be auto published on June 1st. Probably I’m not around yet)
A lot happened these months.
Earlier this year I was officially stamped as being depressed. The downhill started before but I just snapped around mid January.
I used to live and breath by technology (well I still do but to a less extent), but lately I lost all joy and pride on what I was doing. Standing in front of my computer gave rise to a paralyzing anxiety. I knew exactly what to type, either because it was plain simple or I wrote it before on my notepad on the park, but the mere act of getting to the action part wasn’t working for me. I also spent way too much time doing crappy stuff for others on it, missing on my friendships, health, family and time for myself.
I also have a bad habit of not saying no. Saying yes it’s a different matter, but the net result was a very unhealthy overcommitting.
In a very bold move I decided to cut everything, no halfsies. I stopped answering the phone, every non urgent mail (if it wasn’t something urgent it’s still there, I’ll get back to you. Promise), all the social channels.
I let down a lot of people on the way but it let me really focus on what I care about.
It also gave me a bit of peace, I’m still crippled but not like before. During the last years I did all I could to build procedures, tools, documentation in order to be non essential. The bus factor on many of the things I’m involved with it’s still high but at least I don’t have that much pressure over my shoulders.
I disappeared into a black hole, things didn’t break (well, most of them) and people somehow got around my absence. Being non essential is great, that feeling of freedom is quite good.
Today it’s June 1st and I am officially back online. I wrote a lot of stuff in this period, I don’t think I’ll ever publish most of that, while being technically correct the form reminds me of emo cries from the 90’s.
The last Thursday I got another 0.
As it’s customary for me I had a small dinner with my closest relatives and then went for a lone trip.
My mother took a couple of pictures at home. It’s amazing how relaxed and natural I look on them, yet on the inside I’m wrecked like I was so few times before.
The other afternoon I saw a dude in his early twenties with a brand new Run DMC shirt and very proud of it. A mainstream radio played at middle morning some songs from the album “Lovelife” by Lush, and not even the popular ones. And I’m back to emo days.
It’s holidays. I’m gonna spend all day at the park doing crafts and playing silly tunes with a melodica. Then I’ll climb a radio tower and watch the sunset. Fuck everything else.
The other week I felt like cooking.
I made cubes of calabaza in syrup like grandma used to, with ash or lime to harden the outside. About half day sitting in water and lime, a thorough clean and then five hours give or take on the stove with lots of sugar.
After that I roasted a sweet potato and just for kicks I also fried a banana in a mixture of honey and butter. That was really tasty.
During these last days I went to my parents house to grab the rest of my things and head up to the unknown (well, for the next couple of months I kind of know where I’ll be at).
I was amazed at the amount of stuff that I’ve long forgotten. Books, tools, clothes, even toys… I gave away most of them. If I haven’t used a thing in ten years or more, even to the point of not remembering they were in the house there is little sense in keeping them. And some feel like an anchor tying me to the past, so out to the door it is.
The first day I hauled boxes to the street I felt terrible, sad and empty. Then it became more natural, like a relief.
The other Monday (it was a holiday here) I organized my clothes and kept only what I need and use. Some are so worn out that barely hold together. I’ve found some that I used when I was a teen (that is, about 13 years ago). Some fit me and some don’t, so in a sense at least I grew up.
I’m still childish in a lot of ways and honestly looking at how so many of the adults behave I’m positive that I don’t want to end up like that. Curiously enough, some people told me that trait is charming.
I’m still a long way from Nekkhamma but it’s a tiny step forward.
Next on my list: killing the Buddha.
It’s been a while since I made something nice.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted a neighbour taking a microwave to the curb and brought it home with me, as they are always full of useful bits. This one was not very old but of a very simple construction. It has a mechanical timer that makes a lovely ‘ding’ when finished. It also went through a bit of hard love.
Cavity magnetrons are very cool devices. Besides providing a couple of strong magnets and aluminum plates they are made of a very pure copper allow with interesting shapes.
From time to time I like to burn some lignum vitae and upon opening this one I knew what to make of it. I chucked it on the drill press, gave it several passes of wet sandpaper and then a cloth with polishing compound. It took quite a good shine but the handling with greasy hands is giving it a light patina. The holes are filled with glow in the dark paint. I haven’t managed yet to capture the effect but they look quite good at night (and also with uv light).
I left the rest without a final polish, partly as a testament of its origins and also because probably I’ll make a cherry wood stand for it.
Lately I’ve been living most of the time alone on a house that used to host from four to six people and boy, it feels quite strange.
I can’t say I understand them but I’m starting to do things that always seemed a little weird to me before.
I arrive in the evening to be greeted by an all encompassing silence, I turn on the lights on many rooms, otherwise I feel a bit uneasy (and it is a pitch black here). I also find myself talking a lot more to my cats and thinking out loud.
All of a sudden lots of sounds, that were always here, step to the foreground. I can hear a faucet dripping on the far end. Kind of like the first time I wore earplugs and I started to hear my inner machinery.
This Sunday I went to the beach, Palo Blanco, and as it was a lovely day upon arriving I decided to walk from there to Isla Paulino. Had Sade and Gerry Rafferty stuck on my mind.
I made almost every conceivable mistake, starting by not telling anyone about my plans. Well, I did tell my whereabouts but not that I would walk along the shoreline to the island. Alone.
Started the trip with only a thermos and some cookies because I knew it was going to be just a short one. Halfway I slip and fall, breaking it. I was this close to spraining my ankle and the other bottle of potable water was at the car, together with the flashlight.
I really underestimated the effect of the cold. After a while of walking barefoot as I only had one pair of shoes, my feet started to hurt and all of a sudden it stopped (I realized that after stepping on thorny grass, wondering why I felt nothing, but it surely hurted when I took a hot shower back home). Also between the hard sand and the cold water I had to walk slower than usual (quite a bit) because my tenons ached and at that pace the night would find me still in the middle of nowhere walking back to the car.
The net result was that I walked a tad less than two hours when on more favourable conditions I need about one. Lucky me I arrived at the urbanized part of the island with a few minutes to spare before the last ferry to Berisso leaved. The Sun was starting to set as I walked to the docks chatting with a group of fishermen from Quilmes and there we parted ways, they crossed to Ensenada and I went back to Berisso.
At home I drank some warm tea in a hurry, grabbed a coat and called a taxi. The driver wasn’t thrilled, it was dark already and a trip there sounded like trouble (and my looks were of no help). I was a bit concerned wondering if my car would still be there by then (I also left inside my backpack with a spare set of keys). It was.
According to the improved Google Maps experience (not!, at least not now.) I walked about 5Km, made about 6Km on boat and another 6Km on taxi.
It was totally worth it. The beach and jungle (?) are lovely, more even so without traces of people. Sadly there is a lot of trash, some brought by the river and other left there by who knows. Like always, plastic bags and drums, car chassis and other parts (!) and the new addition this year, textured condoms. Many of them.
Anyways, wonderful moments.
And people still ask why I don’t want to move out.