The struggle

In the early stage of being in love, you struggle. The rational in you would ask the same question again and again: is it worth loving him?

You analyze the relationship and give yourself a thousand of reasons to escape from your love for him. You struggle because in your rational thinking you could not give one reason that tells you to keep on loving him. The absence, the unavailability, the uncertainty, the impossibility of a future together, any reason is good to stop your feelings for him. You struggle because, on the other hand, there are another thousand of reasons that do not give a damn about your rational analysis. But these reasons are purely romantic, emotional, poetic and they have nothing to do with the reality.

In the early stage of being in love, you want to reject him, you even want to hate him for being so perfect, up to the point that you cannot resist him. The person with whom you fall in love is just amazing and unique, yet you are tormented and feel the need to escape from that love. The struggle does not come from fear, at least not yet. The struggle is a reaction to something too strong for you at the moment to handle. The minutes, the hours, the days after you fall in love, you already regret. But as much as this feeling tortures you from inside, there would still be this floating exquisite feeling. The feeling that reminds you of his kisses, his voice, his gazes.

The struggle lasts long as both your rational mind and the memories of him are powerful. They are inside you in equal strength. The moment you think of his kisses, your inner rationality reminds you of his absence. And it keeps on living in you. During the time of struggle, there will be no room for other feelings or other persons. Love. No more love. Love. No more love. Until saturation. Until exhaustion. Who is gonna win ? You have no idea. The only thing you know is he occupies your mind day and night. Until saturation. Until exhaustion.

The pumpkin soup

“In traveling, a companion, in life, compassion,'” she repeats, making sure of it. If she had paper and pencil, it wouldn’t surprise me if she wrote it down. “So what does that really mean? In simple terms”
I think it over. It takes me a while to gather my thoughts, but she waits patiently.
“I think it means,” I say, “that chance encounters are what keep us going. In simple terms” (Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami)

Maybe it is the color of the leaves turning these last days into a warm orange, leaving little by little the light yellow tone of the last weeks.

Maybe it is the view of some pumpkins arranged with some beautiful seasonal flowers in front of the same flower shop where I pass by every day on my way to work.

Maybe it is the smell of the huge pot of pumpkin soup in the canteen of my school, prepared by the same old lady working there since years and who only communicates with me in her dialect, which is difficult for me to fully understand but the sound of it is very familiar to me by now.

Maybe it is the combination of all these things. It brings me back to the memory of the last time I had tasted a pumpkin soup.

I had never been travelling somewhere without first having booked a hotel or a place where to sleep, or having known the address of where I was supposed to spend the night. I had accepted to come visit him, whom I had never met before. Not because I was particularly a curious or adventurous person. I had accepted the invitation because I had never been to his country, which is so close to mine and which is also famous for its beautiful landscape. Because his mails were warmhearted and his invitation sounded very genuine. I felt like I could trust him even though we had never met. I had made the trip knowing only that I was invited to stay for one night at his sister’s place. That was the only thing I had known at the time.

A few years before, in his country, there was an ugly sad story of a man who had abused his daughter and kidnapped her for years in the cellar of their house. The story was a shock and had thundered all over the world. When I told my best friend about my trip to this same country, without knowing the man with whom I had communicated through mails, my friend told me to leave him at least the name of this man. He said that with a smile. He did not particularly worry about me because deep down there was nothing to worry about. I laughed back and I told him that I would text him beyond arrival to tell him that everything was fine. He answered me: “Do you think that you would still have a phone connection in the cellar?” We both laughed and I was more than confident that I would be fine. The tone in the mails of my “pen pal” was a strong hint of his kindness. I could be wrong because we never really know a person until we really know, but I was still confident.

When we arrived at his sister’s home, she was preparing a pumpkin soup. His sister was his twin. She was beautiful and shy. Her boyfriend was there too and it was a nice coincidence: he came from where I come from. We started to joke around our own dialect. I felt at ease. I remember the smell of the pumpkin, mixed with ginger and cinnamon and some other spices. I remember she put quite a lot of spices. Then she prepared the table for us and went out for dinner with her boyfriend. It was a nice gesture to have prepared dinner. I was in the middle of the countryside, somewhere in a new country for me, in an apartment of a nice young lady who did not speak my language but who did prepare me a soup and who only smiled to me as an answer to all of my questions. The smell of the pumpkin soup started to embalm the kitchen and slowly the whole apartment. My “pen pal” opened a bottle of red wine. We spent our first evening with pumpkin soup, wine and music. Later in the evening, I told him the story of the “cellar-psychopath” and my best friend’s joke, he gave me the address of his sister. I did not text my best friend to tell him that I was fine. I did not need to know where I was. We probably finished the pumpkin soup by then. I drank one glass and a half, at most. He had to finish up the bottle instead. Then later in the night, his sister called him to ask if we were alright and to tell him that they would be back in half an hour, so that we could get dressed in case we were already undressed and might be in the middle of something. She was funny for having thought of that. It was a spontaneous thought though. Then they came back later on, she and her boyfriend. We opened another bottle of wine. We had chocolate and pistachio. She lit candles everywhere in the apart. We chatted for a while. Nice country, nice people and nice pumpkin soup.

The next day, as planned, we left her place. I was supposed to stay one day in his country. I stayed four days.

The pumpkin soup or anything related to pumpkin, even the color, always remind me of them. The twin sister-brother, she was sweet and he was spicy. She was shy. She stayed in silence but was easier to understand. He communicated but his words were enigmatic. Their country was beautiful, as beautiful as mine. Trusting his mails was a good thing. Not booking a hotel in advance was also an awesome idea, after all.

Was it easy for you ?

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” (Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami)

As promised I have been thinking of you

All day

It was easy

There had been more challenging deals than this one

But for you

How does it feel ?

To be in my thoughts all day long

Was it an easy deal?

Or was it challenging?

Pityful is the fate of a writer?

I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel.
(Alain de Botton)

I have a weird feeling these days. I have never written with such fervor and fever these last days. I remember maybe during the time when I was writing my PhD dissertation, I had the same kind of energy and fever. I could not sleep at the time. I could not talk to people. I could not live normally. All I could think about was writing and finishing my dissertation. I had even lost some friends during that period, those who could not stand my obsession. It was unconsciously stronger than my will. I just could not do anything else than reading articles, books and writing my dissertation. Now again it happens to me the same thing. I hardly sleep at night. I wake up in the middle of the night, grabbing my notebook and pen and rapidly write down the ideas I have maybe in my dreams. I become obsessed with ideas and thoughts. I don’t have time for anything else. I neglect my harpsichord’s practicing even. Thanks God, I always listen to Bach when I write. I get bored when going out with friends. I lose appetite. I used to love shopping. Now I forget about fashion. All I want is to be alone and write. Or doing research for what I want to write. And read all I can to know more about what I want to write.

Could it be possible to isolate oneself that much for an act of creativity?

I almost feel dizzy with my own ideas to how to write, how to explain a new idea, a new short story.

The most terrible thing is that I write a lot about love and truly I don’t know if I am capable of a “real-life” love, a love outside of my conceptual world made only of thoughts, outside of my world of writing. I write about my loves and lovers. Do I love them or do I just love them for my writings? Am I using them for my own creativity and imagination? Do I have the right to do this? When I think of them, I don’t think of them as THEM, as my lovers, but I think of them as the way for me to describe them, to beautify them, to magnify them and all that for the sake of my writings. My words are certainly sincere. My imagination is also sincere. Because they did give me all these beautiful elements to write about them. I picture them with love in my head, but only and again for my writings. When the article is done, I don’t think about them with my love as ME LOVING THEM, but just as someone who writes, ME LOVING THEM WITH MY HEAD AND IN MY WRITINGS.

I feel terrible sometimes. I love each of them as my inspiration. I miss each of them as my muse. Days pass. I love them more and more as characters of my writings, less and less as my real-life lovers. It freaks me out sometimes. Everything is in my head. My heart becomes the one of the writer. Not the one of the lover or a loving woman. It is really scary. But all that love and feelings, even though very strong conceptually, also help me to write about them. Somehow, I stay true to them in my own way. But I find my heart having so many layers these days, the one for the creativity, the one for my real-life. When I write, I feel rescued, I stop suffering from real-life love, illusions and disappointments. I feel blessed. When I stop writing, I start to feel real pain from all these love failures again.

So for what is worth, I prefer by far writing and loving conceptually. But I still try to “love” beyond this “literary experimentation”, I still need to touch base with my deep true feelings. Because this pain, even detestable, makes me write and this suffering, even hideous, is necessary for my writing. I can’t write when I am happy. At least this is an absolute certainty.


I’ve always done whatever I felt like doing in life. People may try to stop me, and convince me I’m wrong, but I won’t change. (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami)

Midnight on Sunday. The weekend just ended. A weekend during which I could barely feel anything, neither positive nor negative. But for the first time, anger.

I saw friends in my hometown. Once again, nobody seemed to understand my choice of life, my attitudes in matters of love. For them, my quest for an ideal love seemed immature and fascinating at the same time. They kept on telling me that they could not understand my hopes and dreams for an ideal person who could suit me perfectly.They repeated it the whole weekend.

I started to doubt. Maybe I am wrong. At this point, I am probably wrong or totally wrong already. If everybody keeps on telling me that what I am looking for in love does not exist, maybe everybody is right. I start to believe all these smart people and friends now. I am not waiting for any Charming Prince to come and rescue me. I am not considering myself as a princess in my tower, up over there.

I am just sincere in love. I don’t cheat, I don’t lie, I don’t stay when I fall out of love. If I love someone, I tell him. If I don’t, I shut up. What’s wrong with that anyway? It’s not my quest for love that is unrealistic. I don’t fancy anything special. I am not having fun. I am not particularly serious. I just live and try to be true to myself. And honest too. It has nothing to do with love or asking for a Charming Prince. I don’t ask for anything. I am just sincere.

What’s wrong with being direct, being true, saying what I want, what I feel to people when it is the time and moment to say it. I don’t play any games.

The weekend was difficult to handle. I listened and could not be indifferent to these comments. I did not justify myself and instead tried to evaluate my friends’ analyses. But they made me doubt so much. I started to think I have taken the wrong path.

Then this evening I went to see the movie of Batman, the last one.

I got out of the movie theatre and asked myself: “What’s wrong to believe that it’s a good thing to have a Batman in your city? Even if it’s a movie and Batman does not exist? Isn’t it that bad to dream, to hope, to reach out for something perfect? The worst case scenario is disappointment. But I think I already know that nobody is perfect and Batman does not exist in real life and we all have been once or several times disappointed by someone or something because it is part of life. Does it hurt to dream a bit, to hope for more? I am tired of being labeled immature and dreamer. How could I survive forty years ahead of me without hope and dreams?

Does it hurt to believe in Batman once in a while?