Part II. Touching the void
My nephew came to Amsterdam with a friend, to go to an university for a visit and see if it was something for them.
So I picked them up at central station, and later on I put them on a tram at Dam square. And hence she worked close by, I thought of giving her a visit.
But something was wrong, I don't know how but I had that distinct feeling, maybe because of the other night?
I walked into her shop, "hi Malnjiska" 2 and I tried to pronounce it as good as possible. "hi sweety" she answered. We kissed and we had a small chitchat, nothing special. But the old air raid siren slowly came back to life in the back of my mind.
And then she said something, a phrase. One simple phrase. But that simple phrase made all other world problems insignificant.
"I need more space."
I felt like I've been hit by an 18-wheeler. Felt the sudden drop of my blood pressure. The room around me started to expand and got blur. Sounds around me faded away. Like somebody just hit the emergency stop of the engine that drives life around us.
"-All systems offline.-"
I knew that this was the end. I just couldn't believe. Why?
What happened, what'd I do wrong, what'd I say?
I don't know, and I will never know.
I felt cold, my breath stuck, and I had no words left. And the old siren had gained back all his powers, and was shrieking so loud, I got stunned.
"Houston, we have a problem"
She said, she would let me know. What kind of answer is that? I turned around and started my way home. I moved in slow motion, and the world around me stopped. Like it was frozen in time.
The next day, we talked again on msn. And it all sounded pretty good, and still nice, she still referred to me as her boyfriend. And discussed serious things and non-serious things. She even mentioned that we fit so well together. She said it was perfect. But still, I didn't feel comfortable at all. Especially about the "I need space" thing.
No contact. Give her the "space" she wants, I thought.
No contact. I went crazy, this is killing. Yes after just two days already.
I had to know what was going on. I didn't sleep anymore, lit one cigarette with another and drank beer like water.
So I went to magna plaza, I needed some answers, and not by phone or any other electronic way but in person.
My heart was beating slowly but strong like it was trying to pump out every single drop of blood each beat. I stood on the escalator, coming closer to her. Walked into the shop and asked if we could talk for a few minutes. No she said, I am busy. So I went..
I was outside again, but it didn't feel good at all, I'd felt her aura and it almost made me sick. No time? Come on, so I went back.
I said, please, just five minutes. She said she couldn't her boss was here and was afraid that she would think she always was like this . . . . .
But I saw her eyes, they where moist, I don't know exactly what I saw in her eyes. But it was definitely sadness, maybe even fear. I don't know. And that feeling again when I was in her range. It's a feeling I cannot describe.
But I do know I went crazy.
Is this the end?
It has only just begun.
That evening I came home from work around ten. I did my job, but I wasn't there. As soon as I came home I turned on my computer again, hoping she was online. And she was. It was a sad conversation. There she told me that she didn't feel at home in this country. To many problems before her diplomas would be valid. She didn't wanted to fall in love any further. Was planning to find her luck in Australia. And if she would fall in love deeper then it would only be more difficult later. She also said: "I don't know if I want to be with somebody anymore" why? What happened? I didn't expect this at all. She must have felt so uncomfortable here. And I knew she hated the language, and the stupid job. Of course, selling stupid cashmere sweaters when you're doctor. Of course that's frustrating. If only I could do something, but what, talk into her? It was all so vague.
I had the feeling that she was running, running away from her problems. Don't do that. The only benefit you have in Australia is the language, you don't know that country, and believe me it's a hard country as well.
I had to talk to her in person, I did not want to loose this beautiful person, I was already addicted. God I felt so bad, really I don't have the words for it, and for me it wasn't really over yet. I was convinced that her love was as great as mine. And love conquers all, right? Amor omni vincit?
Tomorrow I thought, I will visit her tomorrow afternoon. And in the mean time I will find out what other possibilities there are here. For visa and ways of validating her diplomas, there must be more then one. And there is. How come she doesn't know that?
I went to her house, with all the stuff I had found out about visa, study, and validating foreign diploma's. From Sibio, 3 IND 4 and other agencies.
I rang the door and waited. And waited. Nothing.
I sat down in front of the house, and send her a message; "please Natasha, let me talk to you. Please open the door, I can wait here all day"
And there I sat. took a smoke. And waited. Minutes passed. I think I've must have been there for over an hour, when she came down and opened the door for me. She said she was busy in the bathroom and hence she didn't hear the bell and her phone. "you're crazy." She said. Yes I am I thought, about you! I came in, gave her a hug, but it didn't feel like it used to be. Then I showed her what I've found out, but she was not interested, she was busy in calculating points she needed to get a visa for Australia.
"Baby, please think about it, don't rush things." I said "And don't run away from you're problems. I am here for you, I will do everything within my power to help you. I would go through fire for you, don't you see?" But somehow there was no connection. "Address unknown, return to sender."
After a while I felt that I had to go.
We held eachother, close, for a long time. I could taste the tears in her kisses. Those kisses didn't feel like they like they should, it felt more like a kiss before dying. She was shivering in my arms.
If only I could take away the worries in your mind, but I cant. What the hell is going on in there? I went home, this time I didn't conquer the world, this time life had struck back, with no mercy at all. And the already familiar siren was silent, it had done its job, this war was already lost.
That evening a friend had asked me to come over for dinner, he is one of my best friends. I didn't feel like going. But I went and during dinner and two bottles of wine I told him the whole story.
He said, respect her choice. But besides that why don't you two make the best of it while you're still here? You already know that you will be separated one day. But make the best of it, even if it's for a few hours.
And when she goes, keep in touch, you both go on with your lives. And if the love is still there, you can visit eachother. And when you've finished your study, and she is still the woman of your dreams, you can also decide to go to the other side of the world.
It sounded so true, and so easy, but it isn't. not for her. And maybe not even for me. When I went home I had to fucking cry like a child. I felt so down. I still cannot believe that this can hurt places so much, I never knew I had inside me. Really I'd rather get shot. Because that pain you can heal, and control.
But this, I cursed God that he can be so great in letting two people meet, and create such feelings for eachother, and then, he puts a fucking sword in your back. And even twists it. Like a child which is killing ants for fun.
O yes if he stood in front of me now, I would beat the shit out of him.
Amen, believe me, I would!
When I came home I turned on my computer, hoping there was a message from her. Hoping that she'd changed her mind. And there was a message, and it was from her, my heart was raging. It read;
Wondering to give you call but always dont have enough money for call, stuped.
I hope you ok dont be sad please. I also miss you and was missing you all this time when we didnt see eachother
but this is my decision i am so sorry sweety i dont want hurt you believe me thats why i want stop it now.
Its also difficult to me what i did believe me sweety.
When you went its took me 15 min to go outside i am not so strong like you think of me.
I want that you see it in good way dont be angry with my decision please...
The world stopped turning and crumbled, and it wouldn't matter to me if it really did. I just couldn't stop the tears. This was another needle in my soul.
I was desperate and confused, why? WHY!? "You love me, and we have such a good time together. You also felt that we match! Then why do you break up sweety?" It just didn't match to me, it made no sense. No sense at all!
Woke up, I was on autopilot. And I would be for the coming weeks and weeks to come. Did my necessary things, brushing teeth, breakfast. No, no breakfast I didn't feel like eating. I wanted one last change. I thought about what my friend had said to me, I must tell her that. So again, Magna plaza.
And there she was again, she looked so beautiful, but her eyes didn't shine like I've seen them before. I told her that all doors where still open and everything was still possible. But she didn't even think it over. Strange sentences and excuses came out of her mouth. Such as: "I've been alone for seven months" And? I thought, so what? It was like we both had a different conversation. Not a dialogue with eachother. And we were so good in talking, why not now? We'd talked about everything already, why must this be so difficult?
"Please keep in mind that I love you, and that I am here for you." I told her.
I kissed her on her cheek, and squeezed her shoulder in a way of saying "take care"
"Take care sweety." I said, and I left.
The whole world around me was blur. Felt like a cheap bad dream. I heard the traffic, just enough for not getting hit by a car, tram or bike.
I went home, got myself a drink and a smoke. And thought. I thought thousands of things at the same time. Trying to put everything together, that's what I would be doing for the next weeks 24/7.
And the lyric creep played further in my head, but the meaning had been changed.
I don't belong here
She's running out the door,
she run, run, run, run, run.
Whatever makes you happy,
whatever you want.
You're so fucking special,
I wish I was special,
but I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here,
I don't belong here.
"Are you running Natasha?" If you are, don't, you told me you don't like to choose the easy way, but sometimes it can make a big difference.
"What are you running for?" Problems, love, life?
"What are you afraid of?" Problems, love, life?
I'm afraid I will never find an answer to these questions.
But if your choice makes you happy, then so be it.
Whatever makes you happy, whatever you want,
Cause you're so fucking special,
I wish I was special...
The weekend was killing. Like I said, on autopilot. Barely ate, but smoking and drinking, oh yes, trust me, yes I am weak I know. But I didn't care, really about nothing. And then I mean nothing.
I wrote her a love letter that Monday. I wrote her how I felt, how fucking strong this has grown. That I wanted her in every way. I fell in love to you Natasha. I begged her to give Holland a change, and no matter what, I can and want to help. It was a two-sided love letter and I still have a copy. Maybe I should just write it down here.
" My sweet love Natasha,
Please don't be angry that I send you this letter. I didn't write it to convince you to stay here. But there is so much I want to tell you. Maybe I write this in an attempt to feel better, or maybe because my heart tells me to do so.
My feelings for you are so strong and I know its both way's. I know I am a romantic and a dreamer, but I want to grab this dream with both hands and never let go.
I know it's hard for you to live in another country and trying to build up your life again. But be careful, Australia is a hard country as well, the promised land doesn't exist. Don't flee.
Believe me sweety all I want is you to be happy. Please be careful and take good care of yourself. It's a big hard world outside. Make good investigation about Australia.
So if you really go away, again; be careful and take good care of yourself. I'm worried, I really care for you.
Be happy and beloved
And no matter what, wherever you are, whenever you need me. I am here for you.
I will never forget.
I will never forget you Natasha.
You will always be in my heart.
Take care, Hugh
She's holding the dice now, I did all I could. I left all doors open. What else can I do?
Hope, that's all there's left and that sucks. The ratio in your mind tells you its over and to move on but emotions took over and keep whispering her name. every single fucking minute of the day, I wake up with her, and I go to sleep with her. She's here, in my mind. 24/7.
Believe me, I loved her so much, and all this just don't seem fair. All I can say pain like this is fast and its rare.
I have the feeling there's a knife sticking out of my back.
And I wonder if I will survive.
Days go by. And I am a wreck. I am amazed, I am amazed. That such a feeling can be so strong, in such a short time. A feeling that has two sides, one is enlightened, and the other side is dark. Is there any other feeling that works like this? Is there any other feeling that can be so strong? Is there any other feeling that makes a man feel he has it all, and the next day, he hits rock bottom? Is there?
I've been scared in my life, I've even been kidnapped.
A gun was pointed on my fucking head, I laid blindfolded for three hours on the backseat of my car. While those guys where trying to get my bank account robbed.
Yes I was scared, but I haven't shed one single tear. Not even sleepless nights. No I didn't really care. I was myself within just one single fucking day. And I had a nice story for my friends in the bar.
But this, this is killing me. Again I am truly amazed this can happen. It hurts, but where? Everywhere, no band aid for these wounds. Can't find any cure in my pathology and pharmacology books which both reads over 1500 pages.
What am I doing wrong, am I too emotionally? Well, tell me how to shut that down. Would be nice if there was a button for such things. "all systems offline" are you sure? Click, Yes/no. YESSS,
That click, was a snap in my mind. I lost it. Really I lost it. My mind was in a continuous fight between ratio and emotion. But the emotion army was far too strong, to overwhelming. And the frontline was deep inside my soul, there was a war going on, beyond imagination. My soul was bleeding. The ratio army was slaughtered. Because my brains wanted just one thing, the sedative the drug, phenylethylamine. Which could only be provided by an 1,72m and 55kg measuring female called Natasha.
I was beaten, me normally a real down to earth person. Ratio is my middle name, but now, I was beaten. Literally, broken.
And all other emotions and problems I had banned and stuffed away for years and years in the deepest and most secure vaults of my brains, all escaped. Pandora's box was opened.
Explanation to the Russian words: first you read the transliteration, and next to it the translation
- Spokojnoj Nochi ljoebimjetse; good night Darling,
- Manjiska, Sweety
- Sibio; Agengy that provides services for foreign medical doctors.
- IND; Immigration and Naturalisation (Dienst) service.
- Soeka; Bitch
- Prostitoetka; Whore.
- Kak Djela?; How are you?
- Ja Khorosho; I am fine.
- Do svidanya; goodbye
- Poka; see you again, so long, bye, goodbye! farewell.