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» SACRAMENTO »  » Poor twisted me.


Poor twisted me.

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1

[NIC]Christine Laurent[/NIC] [AVA]https://s32.postimg.org/3kk5u2kk5/image.jpg[/AVA] : Christine Laurent & Sebastian Underwood
: somewhere outside in the night
: the night is dark and full of terrors
: if you catch the right moment, you might learn the most unexpected truth.
https://d.gr-assets.com/hostedimages/1407286665ra/10668880.gif

Arne Jacobsen (2016-07-01 18:37:25)

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[NIC]Christine Laurent[/NIC] [AVA]https://s32.postimg.org/3kk5u2kk5/image.jpg[/AVA]  Christine loves her life. She really does. She has a nice place to live here in Sacramento, the place she shares with the best flatmate one can ever imagine. She has a job she enjoys. She has no reason to feel depressed, rejected, alone. No reason at all. And yet its there.
However much she loves her job, its kinda tough. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Accidents happen, bad people happen well, things happen, you know how it is. Still, whatever happens, it cant be a good reason to break down, things come and go, and its okay. Thats what the girls always said. And yet
Maybe today wasnt her best day.
Christine was walking the street, her usual route to get home. What a quiet night, what a beautiful sky covered with stars like small shining gems!.. She didnt notice them though, or didnt bother to notice. Her head was spinning uncontrollably, making her feel dizzy, and she couldnt see clearly through the mist of her own tears.
Laurent has taught herself to live with her transgender identity. Her mental health was ruined, no doubt, as well as relationship with her family. Being yourself demands sacrifices and casualties. Shes gone a great way to finally become who shes always been, and yet it was NOT enough. And it hurt.
Suddenly unable to walk farther, Chrissy collapsed on a bench. It seemed to be the only bench for miles around, as well as the streetlamp nearby. It tried its best to light the way, but it wasnt enough. Poor lamp, it was trying so hard and failed. The girl knew the feeling.
Shes done so much, and still it wasnt enough. She looked like a girl, talked like a girl, acted like a girl she WAS a girl, but her body told otherwise. And despite her hardest efforts, she wasnt a real girl thats what she learned today from a couple of lesbians. They were drunk, alright, and probably didnt really mean it in an offensive way, but they were right, and Christine knew it. It was the kind of truth that cant be avoided. She wasnt a real girl. A fake, thats what she was instead. She was something wrong, like a broken doll, something that will never attract anyone sane, something no living man ever truly like.
And Chrissy got on with it just fine, because she wasnt the kind to be disappointed in life so soon. Neither she was the kind to be gloomy all the time. She was an optimistic girl who fell in love with life and the world around her after that desperate suicide attempt. People often say silly things, which is natural. She should smile and keep going on. And she knew she would. What was happening now was just a quick moment of weakness, something that would soon pass away, but she needed this moment.
So she was sitting here on the bench, her eyes closed, tears streaming down her cheeks. Christine cried in a very silent way, she never wailed nor whined. There were narrow lines across her face created by salty water, mixing with her make-up, sparkling in the light of the tired old streetlamp, but the girl wasnt making any sounds at all. Her palms clasped as if she was praying, but she wasnt her mind was as empty and hollow as she was feeling inside.

Arne Jacobsen (2016-07-01 18:37:10)

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I found Christine Laurent on Facebook, and sent her a couple (or was it a dozen? My memory fails me) of messages. Keeping in mind what I learned about her during our curious conversation, I sent her links to Russian songs that I liked by melody, invited her to the literary club that we mentioned, then to an art show, then to the cinema. Enough to show her I was interested but not to look like a stalker or a sticky nuisance. Or so I hoped. I walk a thin line between an old-fashioned gentleman and a creepy stalker.

My last invitation was probably a mistake, I reflected, after I watched the film alone on the last night it was on show.
A couple of times, she replied quite nicely that she had other plans, then at some point stopped answering. I did cross the thin line, then. Christine did not reply to my last suggestion at all, so I supposed that she either had a working night, or she was fed up with my unwelcome attention.
Maybe my choice was poor, I reflected on my solitary way home from cinema. The Danish girl was not a film to show to a young girl from Texas. I always choose movies based on the actors' looks, and in this one, both stars happened to be extraordinarily beautiful. What could go wrong? I thought, and avoided all trailers to keep my perception fresh. Now it was torn to threads. As I walked back home alone from the late movie night, I was accompanied by  a profound sadness and a number of unanswered why?s . Not all of them were related to the movie.

Why I, once again, failed to interest a girl? It was, in retrospect, quite explainable. That fit my usual pattern of hitting on girls. Christine acted tactfully, especially in comparison with her lookalike Dia who excused herself in the middle of our visit to a second-hand shop, walked out through the shops back door and disappeared forever.
Whats wrong with you?! would be a typically American rhetorical question at that point. What was wrong with me? It must be my evolutionary inferiority, my faulty phenotype, as Johnny used to say long ago, when I took up his explanations as eagerly as any sound of his voice.

I lit up a smoke and braced myself. This was not the first and certainly not the last time when I had to tell myself: She (or he) doesnt want to sleep with you. Face it like a man.
To be fair, only one of these rejections really mattered, and nearly three years passed since then.

Walking past a bus stop, I noticed someone sitting on the bench. I didnt fail to recognize those purple and yellow tresses. There she was, bright and fragile, Christine Laurent in person. And she was crying.
There were no sounds that one would expect: she was not sniffling, or blowing her nose or swearing under her breath. She was just sitting there like a living allegory of grief, with teas and mascara streaming down her cheeks. That looked scary. Her face was so still it made one wonder if she was alive at all. Or if she went sleepwalking and then sat down for a crying bout.
I stopped for a second, then quietly walked towards her.
She didnt open her eyes.
At that point, an encounter with a stalker could be a welcome diversion for her.
Christine my God whats the matter?! I asked.
Maybe I shouldnt have crept on her like that. But I have not much experience in calming down crying girls. I dont even remember if I have ever made a girl cry. Probably not.
Sorry. I didnt mean to frighten you. Want one?
I sat down and waived a pack of tissues at her.

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[NIC]Christine Laurent[/NIC] [AVA]https://s32.postimg.org/3kk5u2kk5/image.jpg[/AVA]  However weird it sounds, here, late at night, alone in the darkness, Christine felt safe. No one was around, no one to witness her little breakdown. Thats why it was safe. She wasnt the one to eagerly complain on her hard life to anyone who would listen, and certainly not on that specific matter. The girl didnt even dare to talk about her gender identity, she never discussed typical trans-people problems with other transgender girls. Not because she was too shy or whatever. The fact was, Chrissy actually disliked the word transgender. She was just a girl, a woman, cisgender or transgender, what difference did it make, after all? A girl, no prefixes. She wanted to be accepted just as a female person accepted by society, by men, by other women. But it wasnt going to happen so far everyone thought of her as of a lady with something extra between her legs. Oh how people do love to label others
So, lost in her sadness, Christine didnt really expect to hear a human voice so suddenly and so close. These alien sounds came as a surprise and made her jump on the bench. Still, she didnt scream.
- Oh my!.. she gasped, staring at the source of the voice, this stranger in the night. In a second, though, he wasnt a stranger anymore Christine recognized the man even through the mist of her tears.
- Oh, sunshine you did scare me, - she managed a smile and wiped her cheeks with her hand, ruining what was left of her make-up completely.
Here he was, Sebastian, and what a coincidence once again, almost like their first meeting. Only, now she didnt look as joyful and cheerful as then.
- Peace, sunshine. Im alright, thank you, really, - which probably didnt sound very convincing. Even to herself.
- I, um Im okay, Im just tired. Long day, - she tried to think of a better explanation, but she didnt want to lie or make something up, so eventually decided to reveal this little piece of the truth. God knows, Christine was tired. What a long day indeed.
- Do you ever feel tired, sunshine? Look at this streetlamp. Why is it standing here alone? Where are other lamps? Isnt it obvious that it cant light the way through all the darkness around? No, it cant. But its trying, you see. Trying the best it possibly can, and yet its not enough. Its still dark, - she stopped and closed her eyes, because she felt new tears ready to crawl their way down her face. Oh, how ugly she must have looked at that moment, with wet skin and trails of mascara. So pathetic. -   Its dark. But when the night is over, the Sun will come out and it will be bright and light, and I know it, but but its a very long night, sunshine. A really long night. I have no idea when its over. I have no idea if its ever over.
Dark nights, dark secrets How perfectly it all fits together, like a magic puzzle. Suddenly Christine remembered how, back then, she had almost told Sebastian her secret. What if she does it right now? There must be a reason for this unexpected encounter. Could this be another chance?
- Sorry for all that, - the girl tried to smile again, - really. I think I could actually use one of your tissues, if you dont mind. Thanks, sunshine. 

Arne Jacobsen (2016-07-01 18:36:52)

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5

The wind rustled ominously in the bushes, then settled down. We were left in the unwavering yellow circle of street lamp light.
Peace, sunshine.
I admired Christine for keeping all her old-world grace and dignity even in that moment. Its rare that one sees a woman who stays charming even in tears.

Whatever you do, it is not enough, it can never be enough.
Whatever you do, you are still unsuitable. I know this feeling well, though I tried to forget it, finding myself easy occupation, tangible goals, virtually anything that could grab my attention and stir it from my memories.
I seem to hear the old song again: Hes the sunshine, the moonlight of my life. The Cranberries sang the song that sounded too sweet, that used to be new when we first met. I will never see him again. That is, if I keep my promise. I managed it so far, putting the Atlantic ocean between us. Here, in the New World, my vision gradually accommodated to darkness.
I knew that if I go on obsessing with him, my night would never be over. Yet my feeling seemed one real thing in my life, something to hold onto, regardless of lighting level.
I kept my silence about the whole thing. It is strange that it came to my mind now.
I certainly hoped that Christines use of the metaphor was based on an entirely different context.

Yes, thats really sad. I looked at the street lamp, then at Christine, and sat down next to her. Do you mean, you can sympathize with the lamp? You keep doing something but it seems that all your efforts are in vain? Such thing can happen if you work with people I added, tentatively. You know, burnout. Psychotherapists and social workers get that a lot.
So I heard from Jim in my Anonymous Alcoholics group, but I wouldnt elaborate on that before Christine.
And come to think of it, a barkeeper has much in common with a therapist. Someone friendly to whom people like to turn in the hour of need.
From our previous encounter, I remembered that Christine was a straight girl working in a gay bar. It could be exasperating for her to endure pickup lines from drunk lesbians, night after night. With her striking appearance, she was bound to attract attention.
As someone sleeping on both sides of the bed, I am not gay strictly speaking, but I still prefer to stay in my closet. I dont like hanging out with openly gay people. If by some improbable chance I tried Christines job, I would hand in my resignation after a few shifts.

The moment of diversion took Christines attention from her grief, whatever it was, but only for a short while. I watched Christine blotting on her cheeks, in a haphazard manner. I took a new tissue out of the pack and blotted the other cheek for her.
I suppose everyone gets tired once in a while. You must have been working too hard Do you feel hungry? You look positively frail. Do you feel like having some ice cream?
Because that was what American girls did when they were really sad, in movies or TV shows: they ate ice cream. Quick sugars seemed to possess magic mood-changing properties. A pint of beer always was more effective for me, but as a former alcoholic I had to explore other options.
I had no idea about Christines age, but now, without her make up, Christine looked too young to live in a strange city on her own.
Or I can walk you home, or call a taxi. I would like to stay with you until you feel a bit better. Or at least make sure that you get in a safer place than a deserted street Look, is there anyone who can take care of you when you feel down? I asked.

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[NIC]Christine Laurent[/NIC] [AVA]https://s32.postimg.org/3kk5u2kk5/image.jpg[/AVA]  Sebastian was nice to try and comfort her. Christine smiled again, thinking about possible things that bartenders and therapists could have in common. She knew well what real therapists psychotherapists were like. When you attempt suicide, you get to meet them a lot.
- Thanks, sunshine, - she looked at his face with extreme sincerity and gave him a thankful smile, - you sound really comforting. Youre so kind. There are not many people like that. But Im not hungry. Im just tired exhausted.
Okay, this was it. The right moment to tell the truth. She needed to share it with somebody, somebody who could understand and react in proper way, who would not stare at her with this despising expression on their face, who would not ask all kinds of questions like Which bathroom do you use? Are you going to have a surgery? How do you have sex?. Someone who could still see her as a person. Somehow she had a feeling like Sebastian was the right company for this confession.
- No! I dont want to go home. I cant go home! Christine seemed frightened by his offers. Her eyes were open wide now. There were new tears again, and she tried hard to hold them. Not now.
She took a deep breath to calm down. That was true though, she couldnt go home looking like that.
- Its safe here. Its okay. I just I have a flatmate. Hes the best friend on earth, but I dont really want him to see me like this. I mean, look at the state Im in, - now the girl let herself make a short laughing sound, even though she didnt feel any fun in the situation. The only reason she was on this bench all alone was Boris. She didnt doubt his comforting skills and surely never doubted his support, but it was not the case which he could help. Christine couldnt tell him the truth. Not him.
- You see, its, um its not about work, really - God, she was lucky to have Sebastian by her side. Very. I, uh well
How can one find the right words? How is one supposed to say it at all? Should it sound like Im not actually a girl?. But she was a girl! Im not a typical girl well, that didnt sound right for sure. Im a girl, but I have a body of a boy. Im a girl, but I am trapped in a male body. Sweet Lord, give us strength.
- Now I have my ways to overcome these moments, - Christine gave up and started talking. Let the words come out, - I meditate, it helps. I draw. Im not good with colours, though, cant tell green from red, but it doesnt matter. A few years ago, sunshine, I didnt have this knowledge, but I was tired already. So much that one day I tried to kill myself.
She could remember it clearly, everything. The way shed cried writing her note. The way shed taken the pills with her trembling hand. The way shed swallowed them and spent hours in agonizing pain afterwards. Finally, the way shed woken up in a hospital room. Quite an experience. Waking up alive.
- It was a mistake, I know. I love my life, I swear I do, and I love this world and people around and my job and my friends. I know now Ill never do the same mistake again. But the reason I did it its its still there - more tears were coming, and Christine pressed her fingers to her eyes, just like she was trying to stop them. Everyone keeps reminding me that I cant let it go.. its always there, I cant ignore it its a fact, its the truth, its something I cant really fight, I oh God - she gasped, not sure what she was fighting now her tears, her hard breath or herself, - I-Im transgender. And I have to live with that all my life
As soon as she said these words, she suddenly felt surprisingly better. There was less pressure now.
- Sorry sunshine, Im so sorry, - she put her hands down and tried to smile, - I didnt mean to complain Im just, you know
Christine was lost for words. But she certainly felt better.

Arne Jacobsen (2016-07-01 18:36:26)

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7

Christine was in need of help, or at least, of a sympathetic ear and she was saying sorry!
Its okay! I hastened to reply. There is nothing to be sorry about. I can imagine that it is tough, living with something that does not let you have a, um, normal life.
In some way, I could sympathize with Christine. But I never experienced the situation on such a large scale. My obsession was part of my own nature, it was not something foreign. Did Christine experience her body as a nuisance, as something that stands like a wall between the real her and other people?.. What did I know about transgendered people at all? I have never even given much thought to this matter, until I met one.
I look at her, from the corner of my eye, I dont want to stare. But she does not seem to notice. So I go on looking and wondering. I hadnt noticed anything unusual about her, except, of course, the piercing, the make-up, the hair (or was it wig?) Maybe I just dont pay much attention to attractive peoples gender. In women, I dont look for femininity,  but rather for charm and individuality trait that we can meet in any human being.
Maybe I am not gender biased in my attention because dont think of starting a family? I dont know.

I never thought you were a transgendered person, I replied, in a melancholy way. After all, this was my first falling for transgendered girl, and I had to get used to the thought. But then it means that you have a condition that requires ongoing hormonal treatment? Are you on medication now? Because it could affect your mood, you know.

When I was alcoholic, I occasionally thought of being lonely, worthless and inadequate to almost any task. But I calmed myself, repeating the magic mantra: thats just the whiskey talking in my head. That helped to get over with such thoughts. Lately, it became more difficult, but I offset self-derogatory thoughts with a cheerful at least, I don't drink.

If I was comfortable with Christines unique blend of gender and personality, I did not like the thought of her roaming alone at night, in this fragile state. Christines flatmate is a friend but she cant go home and even seems scared of the prospect. I smelled a mystery here.

Ive been to the magic land of Friendzone, know what it is like. Being a friend involves holding a girls hair when she is puking after too many cocktails. Or retrieving her stuff from her ex-fiance. So, if friendship it is, it would take a lot more than your ruined make-up to destroy it.
So I said with eloquence, then remembered that in my diatribe, I did not allow for unpredictable personality twirks of this friend. Not all friends are alike.
"And then it is so late that nobody probably would see you, sneaking quietly into your room."

Among the other things that make me curious, here is the one I have to ask about.
Is it your body that you are unhappy with, or other peoples reaction to it?
My question is not the most tactful one. But I dont think it is rude. There are so many things I would like to know. Not about all transgendered people as a whole. I dont think there is a way of making broad generalizations about them. I mean about Christine, personally.

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[NIC]Christine Laurent[/NIC] [AVA]https://s32.postimg.org/3kk5u2kk5/image.jpg[/AVA]  Just like Christine expected him to be, wanted him to be, needed him to be, Sebastian was full of sympathy.
- It is tough, Im not gonna lie, - she admitted with a shadow of a smile, - but, you know, it could be worse. At least I live my life and I am who I am, and I have to accept that. How can I expect other people to accept me if I cant accept myself?
Sebastian must feel really curious now. This means questions, of course. There are always questions when people find out the truth about the delicate matter for the first time. But, as Christine finally had to agree, it is rather natural for human beings to gather information about something they have never seen or never known. From the other hand, curiosity killed the cat, but who ever cares.
- No one usually think I am before I tell them, - she laughed about it, - its funny how they get mad and frightened at the same time and suddenly Im not a girl anymore not for them, at least. Humans are funny creatures indeed.
Actually, it was nothing like fun. How many times had she been insulted, hit, almost beaten? That was definitely not fun. But people like Sebastian gave her hope his reaction wasnt negative at all, and he was a man.
- Hormonal treatment, you are quite right, - Chrissy nodded, - Im kinda used to these mood swings, its totally okay.
And sure thing it was. The worst about hormones was how much money this treatment required on a regular basis, and Christine also tried to save some for the surgery, which cost a fortune.
The way the man talked about friendzone sounded cheeky and hilarious at the same time. The girl felt her smile slowly creeping back to her lips. Thinking about the friendzone she'd formed with Boris, they had gone through some incredible adventures together, including her losing consciousness and falling into his open arms and their sleeping side by side so the cool night air couldnt freeze them half to death. What about that ridiculous situation when he walked on her in the bathroom while she had nothing on except for the bath towel? She still couldnt believe he hadnt guessed anything. Oh well, drunk people usually fail to notice lots of interesting facts.
- I think Ill follow your advice, - she smiled, looking at Sebastian. He was right, she just had to be quiet and careful, and she could do that, - many thanks, sunshine. You truly saved the day.
And there was it. The Questions, or one of them at least, came.
Christine wasnt comfortable with the topic, but still decided to answer, giving thorough thinking to her words.
- Well Honestly, I dont really know. Both, maybe. Ive had this body for all my life, I got used to it in a way. Besides, its in my power to change it with medications and surgeries. But I cant change the way people see me, - she looked Sebastian in the eyes, - I dont want to be seen as a transgender. Im just a girl. Trans or cis, what difference does it make? I just want to be myself, thats it.
She was silent for a moment, thinking hard on a new subject to talk about. She looked up at the sky and jumped from the bench in one quick movement, like a lightning:
- Sunshine, look! Look How beautiful are the stars tonight! How come I didnt notice that before
Christines eyes travelled from the sky to Sebastian again.
- Its your turn now, - smiling, she explained, - tell me something. Tell me your secret. Im sure you have plenty, dont you?   

Arne Jacobsen (2016-07-01 18:36:09)

+1

9

Leonard Cohen The Famous Blue Raincoat

Now that I learned more about Christine, I should say I felt confused. I was glad that she accepted herself, or at least aspired to it. I was worried about strangers possibly being aggressive with her, and about the things that modern medical science can offer to a transsexual. The heart-rending final scenes of the Danish Girl were still vivid in my memory. Antibiotics were invented since then, of course... But still, the whole sex changing procedure was roughly equivalent to chemical and surgical castration. It was hard for me to imagine anyone who would willingly give up sex, for whatever reason except, perhaps, religious ones. But here she was. It was wrong of me to think of sex at all, in this context.
What I just heard from Christine changed my perception of her. Do not mistake me: I am attracted to girls of all shapes, even if they are visibly unconventional. When Christine said that just she wanted to be perceived as a girl, I thought that I would give her this. Before, I had intimately known some girls who were not happy with their body. But their narcissic wounds, as French psychoanalysis would call that, were quite superficial. Christine, on the other hand, was saving towards a surgery which would irreversibly remove some healthy body parts. That seemed a little creepy to me. I always had a vivid imagination and frankly, didnt like any irreversible actions. That was why, probably, I never contemplated suicide, but lived my life on and on, even when it looked despicable to me.
Christines question about my secrets sounds like she heard some of my secret thoughts, or memories.
Well, it seems that sexual disinterestedness was now mutual. Ergo, I did not have to worry about Christine not seeing me in my best possible light. And the idea of confession seemed strangely attractive to me. Irish people are said to have a deep catholic background. Even though I am an agnostic, some of that seems to have passed on to me from my ancestors.
I shrugged.
Plenty of secrets? Just like anyone else, I suppose. Nothing special. I dont know if my secrets will amuse you but well.
The problem was, I always was rather chattier than average, and there were few things of which I chose not to inform the world at large. They were things I felt ashamed of, or problems I could not solve.
I am an alcoholic, I said. Every week, I go to the group therapy for addicts, and there I learned that once alcoholic, always alcoholic. I have no willpower whatsoever. Wait, I must have some, but I dont know how to use it outside the context of work, deadlines, paying bills, that sort of things.
Actually, I had to leave England and come to live here because I could not stop stalking someone
.
Just  now, I did not feel like revealing that someones gender. The story was shocking enough without adding more sordid details.
We used to date, but that person moved on, and I did not.
I had to explain that. Because otherwise the whole thing sounded like I stalked someone whom I did not even know personally, like the killer of John Lennon did.
That was an obsession. I would not think about anyone else. There is a thing with addiction. They say that if you are prone to addiction, you cannot get rid of it, you can only hop on to the next one. So the first, for me, was emotional addiction, and the next one was alcohol.
It all sounded dry and business-like. I was feeling very ill at ease.
I dont suppose you can make anyone want to spend time with you when he is just not interested anymore.
I had not the heart to change the pronoun he for she, though it was  not very noticeable in such a very vague sentence.
"I could not give him what he wanted." I said, throwing all caution to the dogs.

Sebastian Underwood (2016-06-10 19:46:37)

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[NIC]Christine Laurent[/NIC] [AVA]https://s32.postimg.org/3kk5u2kk5/image.jpg[/AVA]  Christines question was not just a matter of curiosity. Its natural for people who have learned some secrets of each other to form something like a weird bond. It doesnt necessary mean most loyal friendship, but, you know, theres a special feeling about that person who knows so much about you, probably more than anyone else ever will, and you know some hidden points of him, too. Even friendship doesnt bring this level of trust so quickly.
The girl was looking at Sebastian, patiently expecting him to start talking. No rush is needed in that sort of chat.
An alcoholic? Sebastian? Christine wasnt shocked by the fact of the addiction itself growing up in a small village of Texas, you get to face all kinds of unpleasant human behavior, including severe drinking habits. But hey, Sebastian? Really? He certainly didnt look like one. Not like the ones in Texas, at least.
The way he was talking about his trouble sounded too pessimistic. Chrissy usually tended to think that it was in ones power to change whatever they wanted to change about themselves. She was born in a wrong body, but she definitely can change the situation. Addicted people sure can give up their addiction, if they have enough self-confidence, hope and faith. Cant they?
- When I first met you, sunshine, I thought how really strong you had to be all the time, I mean, you are responsible for so many things with that job But no one can live under constant pressure, you know? she smiled sympathetically. Maybe its time for you to give yourself a break.
Oh, now she understood where the things were going. Fair enough, romantic unhappiness can bring anyone down, to the very bottom. Especially when things are so complicated. The mand left Britain and came here to live so far away from his home place, and now it was clear why. Painful breakup, stalking, desperate efforts to bring things back Must have been a difficult time indeed. The fact that Sebastians love interest was a male figure didnt surprise Christine in any way. Nothing can surprise someone who works at a gay bar, believe it.
- Im so sorry to hear it all, - she gently tapped him on the arm as a gesture of support, - Im sure you did everything you could. Life is a beautiful thing, sunshine, though sometimes it gets hard. I know, trust me, I know how difficult and painful it is to leave the past behind, but Im sure you know it: whats history is history. Why dont you switch your addiction on something pleasant and healthy? Like, walking in the park, meditation, creating art? I understand its not as easy as it sounds, but its not impossible. Not for you. You are strong, you just really underestimate yourself, - Christine was smiling, trying to encourage her poor mate, - you know what I believe? I believe that you can make any wish come true, only you have to want it really hard. Look here! See? she pointed somewhere to sky with her finger. A falling star! Make a wish, quick! And what I believe is that whatever youre wishing right now, it will come true, sooner or later, it will. Falling stars are always true to their words.

Arne Jacobsen (2016-07-01 18:35:50)

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11

A demure touch on my arm reminded me that I was not alone with my sorrow.
Thank you Christine. If my grandmother were an lady and not an illiterate Irish country woman, she would tell me exactly that.
I feel more than a little ashamed of myself.
In a few words, I just outlined my plight in full. In fact, I said more than enough.
But still, it felt as if I did not even begin whingeing.
The night is quiet, the traffic noise died down, the wind is fresh with the breath of the river. Is it not enough to enjoy Life? Walt Whitman would insist it is.
And here is a star, falling from heaven, why, what did it lack up there? Or was it a Star Child from that story by Wilde, now on his way to meet his unheeding foster parents who will bring him to Hollywood and live happily ever after?
- Make a wish, quick!
What do I want?
I believe that you can make any wish come true, only you have to want it really hard
Do I, really?
I gaze at the star spellbound, as if Johnny could really fall from Heavens right onto my lap, at the risk of a double hip fracture for me (he had put on some weight since we last met).
I am not asking for much, I said, articulating painfully. I just want to see him again. Thats all. Thats enough. Every time since we agreed never to see each other again, it was like that. Wed meet under some pretext, wed make love. It was inevitable. Johnny knew it too. He was furious with me about that. Last time we met he tried to strangle me. He really wanted to, I say, looking down, with elbows on my knees.
But he couldnt. He has small hands. I wave my own (rather large) hands in demonstration.
A drop, then another one fall on the concrete.  I suddenly start to cry so hard that it looks like rain. All my while here in Sacramento, I had not thought about the past. I had not thought that what I did, what we did, was irreparable.
I did not fight back; it seemed to me that he knew better, that it would be better that way. But just because of that, he got weirded out... So, we both agreed I had to leave England. Johnny was right of course: he had no business going to jail because of me. And so, here I am.
Here, on a street bench, in an indefinite part of a random city; I feel as much at home as I am ever going to feel anywhere.
I blow my nose and throw the tissue in the general direction of the dustbin.
Home is where the heart is, I tell Christine, wisely.
Homely adages, even if they are not quite to the point, are known to lift the spirits.
Everything changes, mostly not for the better, but what harm is there in trying to cling to what remains unchanging. Some people get a talent, some other, a contemplative nature, and I have got this. Mind you, I am not proud about having tried to trade it for alcohol. It was a mistake. You should not worry. Thank you Christine, you did cheer my up. I hope that your wish will come true.
I glance at the sky; I dont know if Christine thought about the wish to change into an authentic bona fide girl, or something else altogether.  We exchange secrets, but it is always for us to decide about the extent of our confidence.

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12

The story Sebastian was telling revealed some shocking details. How on earth can someone try to strangle the man they used to love?! Even if its a clear used to love thing. Christine frowned. She watched poor Sebastian while he was talking and crying at the same time. Holy cow! What else can one say in such circumstances?
- Its terrible, - she finally said in a quiet voice, almost in a whisper. The horrified expression of her face could tell it much better than words. What he did is terrible. Well, Im not judging your relationship, of course. If it came to an end, it mustve been for a reason. But this nothing can justify something like that, - because strangulation, really? And the way Sebastian was talking about it, the way he didnt want this psycho to get into jail was totally devastating. She felt sorry for him. As a bartender, Chrissy had to witness all kinds of breakdowns people tend to have, she listened to endless stories about hard times with job, family shit, incredibly stupid bosses, crazy ex-lovers, etcetera, etcetera, she saw girls crying, she saw guys crying, and she actually thought nothing about human relationship could ever surprise her. Listening to people confessing their sins, looking for pity, sobbing with despair, confusion or even rage lets one see all sorts of human nature. What else can ever be surprising?
But still, looks like wise children of Mother Nature never fail to surprise.
- Here you are, - Christine smiled, now fully touching his arm with her fingers, - and here is your home now. History is history, alright?
History must be history, however ugly and frightening it is. And it usually is in most cases. Take any person, any country, take worlds history, try to go deeper and you discover wars, disagreements, misunderstandings and enormous oceans of blood and suffering. Sometimes even Chrissy could feel her faith in humanity crack a little.
For Sebastian, even if the war was past, all the battles he had gone through left him in a ruined state, and recovery is a difficult thing. Now the girl wanted to let him know he wasnt alone in this anymore.
- I want you to remember something, sunshine, - she smiled and squeezed his arm, still gently, - whenever you feel down, Im here for you. Never hesitate to talk to me about whatever you feel like talking, okay? Thank you for trusting me. Ill never betray that trust, I promise. And from now on you will always keep it in mind, alright?
What a night it was. Secrets, tears, memories of painful moments from past lives. It felt strange, but it felt good. Despite all the pain, the tears, the memories and sad talking, it felt good. Exposing your naked soul to someone is much more hardcore than exposing naked body. What's a body, after all? Just a physical container. It's what is inside that matters. Oh Christine knew that.
What a night indeed.
[NIC]Christine Laurent[/NIC] [AVA]https://s32.postimg.org/3kk5u2kk5/image.jpg[/AVA]

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