The state of things

Think of a year. Maybe 2014. Mid-January. Summer. Now, think of a place. Around South America. Say Chile. Santiago de Chile. Downtown. Barrio Brasil. There’s this okay building, with a decent apartment on the sixth floor. Behind some shitty dark brown curtains, there’s a bed. There’s a guy lying in that bed. He’s 30 years old. Messy dark hair. Beard. Skinny. I mean, really fucking skinny. He’s naked there, and you can clearly see his ribs through his skin. He’s been starving for a month now. He broke his left ancle and can’t walk. Can’t go shopping, either. But he’s broke too, so even if he could, there’s no point. But he still has a smile on his face. Suddenly, you can hear the toilet flushing in the bathroom. The bathroom door opens and a pretty English girl comes out. They talk. Laugh. Fuck. Again. They both lie in bed afterwards, sweat running down their skin. He caresses her face in silence. They both stare at each other. He smiles. He feels lucky. There’s no money and no food, but there is sex. There are girls. Life seems promising. For an average looking guy like him, who’s living out of his mum’s groceries and the charity of his lovers and friends; he’s more than fine. Barely working. Barely making the rent. In debt after his accident. Struggling to become the writer he says he wants to be. He’s fine, anyway. He smiles. Yet again.

Flash forward to the end of June, 2016. It’s also summer, but the location moved a bit. A dozen thousand of kilometers. Europe. Denmark. Copenhagen, to be specific. Same guy. 5 kilos fatter. A lot less hair. A bit more dressed, although still not wearing pants. He is in an okay flat, in a hipster area, just like Barrio Brasil. Way more kebab joints around, though. He is certainly not starving and can walk perfectly fine. Well, with a little limp, but nobody’s perfect. Not after such an accident. And he sits there at his table, in his living room; writing on the same laptop he had at that time in Chile. He came back from the mall, not long ago. H&M sale. He didn’t get anything. Or actually, he did get something: he got sad. He’s very self-aware of his current existential emptiness. So he does this kind of shit sometimes to get by. He goes shopping. Or drinking. Or clubbing. Or eating. Trying to have the feeling of control over his life. Or over something. He keeps failing at it. At least, he now manages to write more and there’s still sex. Okay, not that much sex. Nor girls, either. It’s been a while. And the smile, it comes, but not that often. Life doesn’t seem promising. Nor awful. It feels like a pause before something. A strange status quo, in strange circumstances and strange times. That’s the state of him. The state of things.

He looks at the selfie he took in H&M and reads over what he just wrote. He smiles. Yet again.

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