April 19, 2011
"I can't believe I'm going thru this".
"Nothing special I think". People outside are starving, going mad with the weather and I'm complaining of something I can't control.
I usually hide myself and pray to God, all I do is to thank him, no matter how much pissed off I am, I just thank him. I know that for every action I take, no matter what the consequences are, it's God's will. And no matter how much time it takes me to accept it, I continue and try. It's part of me. I have a good understanding of what's around me and a strong will to impose myself. I can't consider myself a manipulator, I just know I'm good, I know which direction to take, no matter how many wrong directions I take. People usually start discussing about something and on the way they forget why they started discussing and lose direction. That's when everything's fucked that I get in. It's the chaos theory, I'm that vein of control. Rarely I lose control. I can't say I have a desire to control, I just take the opportunity and control it. After some time I lose interest. Maybe that's why I like fucked up countries, although they fucking annoy me. And it's always the little things...
I pull my pants, wash my hands and get out of the bathroom.
Sitting in my chair, someone comes and asks me (again) how to pronounce my name. I can't remember her name, I just smile and say it. She tries and makes a perfect Portuguese accent.
"Great! Pakistani really can make the Portuguese accent."
"Yeah." And my social manners tell me to continue: "Brazilians speak Portuguese and they couldn't pronounce my name correctly."
"So, what are you up to this weekend?"
I'm really not in the mood for excusing myself
"I'm not sure. Usually it's too hot outside that I don't even feel like going out." I slightly lie. Part it's true. But no weather will keep me indoors.
She comes up with something and I run away saying that I'll give a call if I'm free.
"Okay, see you."
If I'm free.... The thing that I most have in Pakistan is free time. The thing I lost was my mood.
I look at my desk and I can't stand it. It's a fucking desert. Dell computer. Cisco phone with my name on it. Some stapler and my phone... which sometimes I just put inside my backpack so I won't look at it. I try to work but my mind is somewhere else, and I know exactly where it is. I'm struggling inside and looking for a solution in the beach. That's what I think of when I'm running: I'm surfing or I'm playing drums. And it has been some time since I've done any of those.
Phones ringing and people wandering around. I get up from my desk and I go to my boss. I tell him about the tracking of the event I'm planning and I feel stupid and useless. But I guess I came to a point which I no longer care. Sitting at his desk he starts talking about something and the beer cultural moment begins, switching the conversation from Pakistan's problems to Portugal what-so-ever. It's good to have people interested but I don't give a shit about it. Every place just seems uninteresting to me now, but I guess any place in the world gets interesting if you are with who you want to be. Life is made of people.
I try to run away.
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Everything's on the wheels, just keep tracking the event."
I go back to my desk which is no more than 2 meters from his, grab an orange and go to the balcony.
Usually I invite Janina to come but today I'm not in the mood of listening to her, in fact, I think I'm losing the mood of hearing her complaining that every Pakistani man stares at her, or having her saying that she has boobs. I walk to the balcony leaving the Marketing Department and ignoring the HR Department and hoping for not meeting anyone there, the smoking corner.
I'm lucky, no one’s there.
It's a different day: hangover and a phone that has only served me today to wake me up. I lean down and start eating my orange. The smell of the port is unbearable but I got used to it. My mind wanders. In front of me I watch the fishermen taking the fish from the trucks. No, wait. Those probably aren't the fishermen, just workers taking the fish from the trucks to the factories. The smell is disgusting, but even so, whenever I'm with someone, usually people don't want to go outside, but I do. I like to see the sky, the Karachi port skyline and especially the people down there. Women walking in burqas, men spitting the red something which I still don't know what it is, men sitting on the sidewalks, kids playing cricket and, most of all, watching the truck trying to get into the factory. It takes time and if someone closed the sewage entries it would be even easier. Sometimes I find myself hoping for some truck to get it's tire in just for curiosity.
I bite the orange and spit the seeds, and suddenly I wish I could be sharing it with someone. It's nothing new, I always share with whoever is with me.
I leave the balcony back to the Marketing Department, the cubicles jungle. Of course every week there's some excuse to eat a cake: either it's a birthday or because someone's getting married. Most times the cake is from Nando's and it's a nice opportunity to mingle with the people, but not today. I kindly deny the cake explaining that I'm not much of a cake eater and I try to get away from that forced social event. And I notice I'm pissed and sad to recognize myself too much with the main character of the movie There Will Be Blood.
"Hey, what's up?"
Someone approaches me when all I want is to be alone today.
"Hey" I say putting my best effort in it. Smiling always disguises it but it also encourages her to continue...
"All good in the hood?"
"This used to be a marketing slang for the hajib: all good in the hood?" And she touches her hajib with her hand.
I laugh and reply: "All good in the hood."
"What are you doing this weekend?"
"Not again, not another one", I think to myself.
"Humm, I dunno. Maybe I'll go to Manora Island or Tower, what about you?"
"Are you crazy?!"
"What are you going to do there? Besides those are dangerous areas."
"Well, I just want to see the real Karachi, the fishermen, the streets..."
"Yeah, everyone says here that you are very adventurous, but you should be more careful because this is a dangerous city."
"Yeah, I just don't value my own life so it's okay." I say with a laugh.Actually seeing how most Karachiites do in fact live made me value my own life even more.
She laughs with me and finalizes: "If you feel like, we can go for a tea this Saturday with my friends."
"Whatever", I think. "Yeah, sure." I say.
I get back to workless.
I feel like texting Valeriya, but what would I say?
I have nothing to say, I think. Maybe… No, better not. So, I text someone else. But it's not enough and I text someone else and someone else.
"How was it?"
"Hey, how are you? Sorry for my late reply."
"You got’ta show me those pictures"
Done. I initiated a conversation, but I don't feel like talking.
Around me the sounds of phones ringing, Xerox’s machines printing and people talking Urdu and English don't distract me at all. I get the replies and quickly I lose interest. I lost it when I texted in the first place. But I reply this time finalizing the conversation. I'm not in the mood.
Can't focus, but I don't want to focus anyway so I get up and go to the balcony again. On the way some "Hellos", "Any plans for the weekend?" can't stop me anyway, I'm too focused in not being focused. I light a cigarette and wonder why am I smoking so much in Pakistan. Probably because I'm too bored with this fucking place. Haven't done any sports and I'm bondless to anything or anyone right now, such as health and friends.
I clear my head. I say to myself "fuck it" and analyze what's in front of me.
I can't think. I just watch. I finish my cigarette and complete my moment with an orange.
I get back to my desk and after my boss finishes talking on the phone, I go to him.
"Is there anything I can do to help you?"
"Yes" he replies. "Something easy."
"Easy?", I think to myself.
"I need you to take 46 of this certificates and hand it to Jonas."
"Okay", I say. "What the fuck", I think.
I look for Jonas in the cubicles and ask for him, but no one seems to know who he is. "Ask Pauline" someone who's name I can't remember advices me.
"Hi, how are you? Do you know where Jonas sits?"
"Maybe I'm not pronouncing the name right." I try it saying in different ways.
"Oh!! Jonas! Yes, he's right there. See?"
I trace him and realize it's the janitor and I get pissed off. I hand him the files and go back to my desk. I should have gone directly to my boss's desk but that moment I just felt like quitting. Grabbing my things and leave. "Fuck this asshole", I think, "Fuck all this! I'm just wasting time."
Has I sit, someone brings me tea with powder and I think to myself that's just what I needed. My thoughts focus now in all that is going wrong in Pakistan and the time I'm wasting on it.
Has I finish my tea, I come to myself. I only feel guilty when I betray my own way. I notice the office is quiet and wonder where everyone is. Busy probably. Jonas passes by me. This time I won't forget his name. But what for? I just did his job back ago. I look at my phone and I really don't care what the time is. Usually I stress for the time to pass but I think today I have a lot or nothing in my head, I can't really think or focus. After my tea I start to feel hot and turn my fan which I try to manage the best way so it won't blow my papers away. My desk phone rings for a second. Some mistake for sure. Has I cool my body temperature I start to think of my health. It's not normal, I don't sweat so easy. Someone texts me and I ignore. But my politeness will make me reply later. The health issue quickly disappears in my head. I know what I am. In 5 weeks I'll get back to my healthy life in Portugal; in Pakistan I will enjoy. The problem is that I said the same thing 7 months ago when I went to Chile.
I feel like texting Valeriya (again). Wish I never had that conversation. My positioning failed. I failed again. I thought of many ways, just never thought of the one that happens.
"That is my weakness" she said.
That phrase made me wander around the company so I wouldn't think about it.
I go to Janina and ask her how's it going.
"Wanna go for a smoke?"
"I just came from there"
Great, I didn't really feel like smoking anyway or being with her.
I leave for the bathroom. I wash my hands and put some water in my face. I notice my hair has grown and I put some water in it and try to make a hairstyle. I look closer to my face. Not having my own bathroom makes me not watch my face as I used to. "What has changed," I wonder. Nothing, hair is a little bigger. I dry my hands and face and get back to my desk.
I stretch myself on my chair and close my eyes.
"Time to take control again" I think. "Nothing's putting me down."
Back to workless. Back to meaningless.