“— Good morning, how are you feeling? Time for your temperature and blood pressure

Today’s routine would be a bit different.

“— You can’t have any food, the doctor scheduled an exam today.

“— I guess I can hold off for a bit.

I smiled but that day I didn’t feel like breaking the comfortable routine. Rushed to the shower, came back, sat up in bed, pulled out some paper and began to fold.

“— Subadrina maste, how are you feeling today?

Pretty soon two men came into the room unannounced. “I can walk, you don’t need the wheelchair”.

The trip didn’t take long, we picked up another patient along the way, and waiting for the exam took less than 30 minutes.

At least I get some fresh air…” That feeling didn’t last long. “I am going to put these headphones on you, this is going to take a while.

I took a deep breath and focused on myself, on my breathing, on trying to catch my heartbeat. All my track of time vanished and I wandered back to the days we shared.

The feelings these memories bring up are very present in me, but they are abstract and difficult to put into words. They reflect my errors, my childishness and emotional mess of those days. My shame is what keeps them from materializing into words.

The way I hurt you by running away still brings me pain and still comes to me when insomnia creeps. And in the ruins of my mind I keep some moments pristine, of the look in your eyes and the feeling of you in my arms.

How do people make ammends of broken trust? How can an ostracized ghost like me get a message to you ? Can digital fragments of life let me know you are happy?

How, and how, and how? Breathe in, and breath out.

The machine keeps roaring and I try to focus away from the claustrophobic noise. Breathe in, breathe out, travel to you.

What do I say?” I freeze and black out trying to think of something to ask. I know exactly what I would like you to know, but I know that you don’t care and I don’t feel the legitimacy to share the stories of these last years.

And if in this dark hour I feel karma and god owe me a second chance, at the same time I don’t want it to come from pity or mercy.

I thought everybody deserved redemption, a second chance.” In the unfold of events and my calousness, I was actually tearing out a piece of myself, moved by misguided ideas and misguided values. And up to the day when I was taken to the hospital, I had been plucking the schrapnel of that atomic attitude. The radiation from the explosion left something inside me that eventually burst and broke me in the flash of an eye.

It is then we feel truly alone and void of purpose. The only thing filling me was the heaviest sadness I had ever encountered. A sadness that came with a gravitational pull that it destroyed any joy around me. Once, the breakdown happened because I found myself surrounded by happyness that I couldn’t echo back, no matter how much I tried.

But I moved on, and I did all I could and knew to deserve redemption and show contrition. Pushed and pushed that barrier, trying to find a loose brick or any cracks in the stones.

Breathe in, breathe out. “How long have I been here?

It wasn’t just shame from past mistakes, it felt like I was in this iron coffin as punishment. I had been drifting so much through life, and now I am stranded.

What else could I have done?” The past is where all the answers live and I felt many times that I had all those answers. So analytical, so filled with wisdom. Even the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz would laugh at me. “Child! Haven’t you learned anything in over 30 years?”. I did not. I had a plan, and do you know what’s the best way to make god laugh?

There was nothing to laugh about inside this casket that made me travel in time and was inflaming my wounds. This was still the apex of my downfall, the nadir of what I felt when I saw you arrive in the airport. I knew nothing about life and knew very little about me.

I know very little today, encased in tech, I do my best to repair myself inside and outside, to be a little bit better than yetesrday. All we have is empty hope, it exists without any sustenance of facts or variety of paths for us to take.

In this void, with much less than what I started with, I sit and wait. Unable to speak and tied up, I listen to your songs, wishing I could listen to your voice and share these small pieces of soul.

avatar Bruno Amaral
Bruno Amaral

I am a Digital Strategist, divided between tech and creativity, working for the Lisbon Collective and teaching Public Relations at the …