How do you deal with death if you don’t believe in God?

10 Jun

Life sucks, and then you die. Well, my mom’s passing away is the first time I can relate with that phrase.

Best person I know, wouldn’t hurt a fly… kept the family together. Worked all her life, sacrificed her health to help me get by. All that I am, all that I have achieved is somehow related to her. That little push, that big help in key moments – she was always there.

And then she got the bad news – she had cancer. The deadly type. Just when her second youth was about to begin. Pension. Quality time. Peace and quiet. She didn’t get that. She lived with the clock ticking and we, the ones who loved her – we heard that clock. I heard that clock every day for two and a half years. Tic-toc.

I got to spend time with her at the end. I had to hear my mother say she was pissed off to have awaken one more day. I had to hear her tell me not to go away and leave her in her misery.

I had to hear myself say “it’s better for her if she goes”.

“She goes”. I never believed she goes anywhere… She’s gone… that’s another thing.

Easy for believers to let go. They get the hope…

For me, I know there’s no hope. No “after”. No “reunited”. She’s just gone and I can’t deal with it yet. I’m trying. I wish I could believe in something. I wish it so badly…

I do believe in our ability to forget. Even if we don’t want to.

I don’t want to forget. I need to.


Peace of mind, mediocrity and the power of go fuck yourself

14 Dic

So, I’ve just been given a… trophy, of sorts – for my 5 years of commitment and success at my current job. Or, current company – the job changed a bit, lately. Can’t believe it’s been 5 years already. It’s the longest time I’ve been… anywhere, actually…

I wish I could say it’s been a rough ride – but it hasn’t. If you look at it, it’s a great place to work, for almost anybody. Decent money, car, Christmas bonus, health insurance, good hours, flexibility, restaurant tickets, laptop, phone, incidentals, and you get payed on the same day of the month, like clockwork. The company is solid, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon and it has the backup of an even bigger whale somewhere else in the world. What more could you ask for?

There are some issues, for a guy like me. I like conflict, I believe it’s the source of evolution, much like war is the reason we have radars, radio communications, microwave and hordes of other inventions that changed the world. A corporation, while offering stability, forces you to mediocrity. And that just ain’t right for me. I can’t stand an environment where the greatest joy of the crowd is the failure of the colleague. Everybody walks around with a knife or two in their back. Some look like fucking dartboards.

Can you imagine me accepting mediocrity? Accepting for others to do the thinking for me? That’s what a corporation is. “Work, don’t think”. So I’d like to explain myself. There are 3 things that kept me here.

One: this particular company has a boss – I mean the guy on the top floor – who’s actually very smart. So, since my brain acknowledges that, it makes it easier for me to accept decisions I don’t particularly agree with by telling myself there’s something I’m just missing. And this is actually a thing that the man upstairs won by clobbering me in different arguments or negotiations and making me walk out convinced he was right. It’s a privilege. And before anyone says I’m a kiss-ass, there’s virtually zero possibility that he’ll read this, so … don’t even think it.

Two: we had a child mid-way through my “career”. Amazing how responsibility for a family changes the perspective you have about the importance of what you think, feel or want. You start thinking before you talk, evaluating negotiations before you start them and accepting failed goals. “All-in” is no longer an option. Simpler times huh? People with kids will get what I’m saying here. But I couldn’t trade all of me – I wouldn’t have survived anyway. So I came up with number 3.

Three: the power of “go fuck yourself”. I managed to maintain my personality intact by clinging on to a job I love in an environment I adore. Negotiator on the street. The world is my public and there’s no one breathing down my neck. And, since I’m … above average, at my job, they let me bark once in a while and do things my way. That’s the beauty of it: even if nobody, and I mean nobody, is indispensable, if you bring value you can maintain your spirit intact and be able to sleep at night and look at yourself in the mirror – while at the same time having the peace of mind that working in a corporation gives you. As long as you bring VALUE to the table, you can send a few people to go fuck themselves and get away with it.

So yeah, five years in the same place, and I’m still happy as a dog pissing on the last tree on Earth. Here’s to five more years to celebrate, cause I ain’t going nowhere

Three years of fatherhood

1 Ago

Just to get this out of the way, this is not about teaching someone how to be a good father, nor is it “10 ways to educate your child”. Mainly because, even if I’m arrogant, I’m not enough so, to even think I can teach someone how to educate their child. I’m clueless on the matter. Just like everybody else, starting with the so-called experts.
I’ll say this: it’s quite a ride, being a parent.
First, it’s the feelings. Just when you think you’re old enough so that nothing scares you, all the fears of your child rebound on your consciousness and multiply themselves by a million. And you realize you’ve never been more afraid of anything other than something harming your baby. Just when you think you’ve experienced all the flavors of happiness life has, you get perpetually overdosed whenever your child does something new. Like, squeezing your finger, for example. Or saying your name.
Then it’s the adrenaline-like strength. The thing is, it doesn’t just come in short bursts. You’re tired, overworked, under slept, on the brink of an aneurism and then it all goes away and you feel whole again because the little thing called your name. “Tati!”, he shouts at me, climbed up on the window, every time I leave home for work. And suddenly, it all makes sense to me and I can fight another day.
Last, it’s the utter and complete ruin of everything you thought was important to you. It’s the way you look at your life and what’s actually important – that changes. I have a scratch on my quite expensive TV which I’m pretty sure will mean the death of it, sooner, rather than later. It was a toy car rolling on the screen that did it and I don’t even care. Not even a little bit. It’s a stupid example but you get the gist…
It’s love. The purest, purpose free, “I’ll die for you in a second” – that kind of love. And you don’t know the capacity you have to love someone, until you have a kid. (That’s a quote from Robert Downey Junior)
So here’s to many more years of fatherhood. Happy birthday David and thank you, for making it all mean something. For making my life mean something.

Happy and uninspired

21 Ago

Well, even so, I need to get back to writing – it used to be such a relief. But, since everything seems to be OK with me, I’m just gonna write my first… article (I guess) about sales (men).

In the end, even the most boring people sell and buy stuff each and every day. Products, excuses, lies – we all buy them. The advantage of being a high level salesman (which I think I am, and also modest), is that you learn to sell more crap and buy little to none.

Basically, selling is all about getting the people around you to do shit you want them to do, react the way you want them to react to get your way. So since I hate the social stigma the surrounds salesmen, and the ill-defined notion that is applied to any monkey walking down the street with some fake Rolexes, from now on I’ll upgrade what I think a true salesman is to the title of Negotiator. It’s the true nature of the business, being able to negotiate your way to your goal.

Most sources I’ve used to train myself divide negotiators into categories: impulsive, aggressive, passive, direct, indirect etc. What they’re actually doing is enumerating attributes a negotiator must have. Nobody is just one thing, what we, the Negotiators are, is ADDAPTABLE.

True, some are more inclined to be aggressive and others to be passive, but if you’re good at it, you need to be able to detect what you need to be at a certain point, and become that.

I can’t really think of a good business that can function without good negotiators. Maybe selling the cure to cancer… but then a bad negotiator would sell it too cheap. So it’s indispensable for any business.

And here’s the great part: it’s something robots will never be able to do. Nevah-evah? Never ever. Robots may be able to do brain surgery and replace production lines, program themselves or whatever. But thy will never be able to paint a beautiful woman you know can never exist, compose a song to fill you with emotion or write a book that you just never want to end. They will never produce art.

That’s just the reason why they’ll never be able to negotiate.

Because it’s an art.


21 Dic

As the future becomes past, I find myself reflecting on the perfect shape of a circle. The human race, dominant as it is, shouldn’t really repeat as many mistakes as it actually does. The dominant figures of this dominant race should actually have a statistic quite a lot higher than the average in this particular aspect.

But they don’t.

So this, my highly praised leaders, is a warning. From this moment on you have been advised to see US as a whole, not just mindless ants. Your party is placed on top of a volcano.

We are the ones who sell and buy your products.

We are the ones who fight your wars.

We are the ones who fill your banks.

We are the ones who watch you sleep.

We are faceless to you now, but get this: you either put a face on each of us NOW and treat us like you should, or you will soon realize you’ve fucked with us for too long.

We will be the ones who will bury you. There is no question about that. Your choices will determine if we wait for you to die, or do it sooner.



Brain update

15 Dic

I find myself… troubled. In one hand, I have a duty to society to try to inflict change whenever I see something terribly wrong with the world, but on the other, I have to realize that this puny life I’ve been given – I have to enjoy it.

Why does one exclude the other? (You may ask)

The thing is that today we are under a non-stop bombardment with information. Good, bad, useful or not, whatever we do, wherever we go, they tell us stuff that may or may not be of our interest. So you need to create filters for that information, and by the day, the filters need to be tighter and tighter in order not to just go completely nuts.

Me – I’ve got to the point where I just negate whole topics from getting into my brain. Politics – for example, is one of them. Social over-mediatized cases of sick children are another topic. It’s just ridiculous to me that while millions of children die of hunger and lack of basic medicine in Africa, we focus on some poor family who had the angry hand of God fall on their only son or daughter and then fought tooth and nail and got the hundreds of thousands of euros necessary for some experimental surgery that in the end, saved the life of the kid. Every day, we read Facebook just to see if something new has been posted about Andrew, who was born with some rare disease.

My wife tells me I can’t just create a bubble around me and hope it doesn’t burst someday but I just have a simple counter to that: while I’m in the bubble, I get to live happily. If the bubble bursts, THEN I’ll get to experience the cold damp reality but meanwhile, let me fly around in my own little world and enjoy the fact that my kid is healthy, we got jobs with sufficient income to live a wonderful, almost carefree life and I haven’t been diagnosed with throat cancer yet.

Someone who doesn’t know me and reads this might think that I’m just not a fighter; I’m just a coward who doesn’t want to do anything to change the world.

But I am a fighter mister. I’m a warrior. It’s just clear to me that the world we live in is beyond change. It is beyond saving.



23 Jul

Modesty… is for the modest. For the simple, basic, very poorly evolved humans. Me: I’m not that modest. Actually, I’m not modest at all, am I?
But today… oh… today I’m gonna throw flowers on top of my own head, and then look in the mirror and feel oh so good! Because today, once again, I can look around me and recognize friend from foe, and damn it, my friends are way better looking, smarter and more loyal than my foes. That says something about me, doesn’t it?! Today, I remember the old Romanian saying: “present me to your friends and I’ll tell you what kind of person you are”. I’m just paraphrasing here, but hell… you get the gist.
So I’m gonna confess, publicly, my new new-year’s resolution (which awkwardly, comes in the middle of summer) – I’m not gonna let any negativity from anyone affect me. If you hit menopause or have hormone problems: stay the hell away from me. Just, leave me alone, let me live my own life and you can live yours, pitiful as it is.
Now, if you’re my friend, and you prove it now and then, I have a free shoulder you can cry on, and a set of ears to hear your pain. If you’re a very good friend, I’ll even give you money! I’ll throw myself in the flame for you – my good friends will back me up on this one. Because I know you’d do the same for me. And I tell you, from the bottom of my heart, that after my son and wife, you come next.
But if you’re masquerading around, a wolf in lamb’s skin, know that the day will come when I’ll turn my back on you. After that, you can break all your teeth chewing on the bottom of my gummy shoes. I don’t give enough of a shit to even send you to fuck yourself. Even if I had a sack of shits, and all it took to save your pathetic life was one of them, I wouldn’t give it.
Pheew… a lot of rage in this little text, ain’t there? This… writing down my rage. It helps me not to break laws… or necks. And it helps me learn to be a better friend, father or husband. And tomorrow, it will remind me of what I said today. In the end, we are defined by the tiny piece of world that surrounds us – we are defined by our families and friends.
And I must confess, I feel so good about that. I don’t even need to look around; it’s enough to just close my eyes 

Half way there

12 Jul

31 years and 364 days.
That’s how old I am. And I want to take a moment and share with myself… ridiculous as it sounds. A friend told me that, through writing, you get to know yourself, explore your inner core and, undoubtedly, grow.
32 years of my life – gone. Not wasted, not by a long shot – just gone. Some more to go… I don’t know how many. It would be quite interesting to know how much time you had left until you close your eyes for the last time. Lately, I tell myself that I’m half way there – and then I look back at all the wonderful things that happened to me and think to myself there’s a lot ahead to explore, a lot to do. Still…
I’m only just half way there.
And the world is so wrong these days. I mean: we spend almost all our time and effort focusing on our material goals – and when I say that I actually mean getting through the year and looking back at the small steps we took forward. Maybe we bought a house, or maybe we saved some money. 10 to 14 hours of every day, we work. We sleep 6 or 7 and the rest of it: we worry or run around doing god knows what, just to keep the machine rolling. My wife asks me what I bought yesterday and I can’t even remember.
I wonder, if I’d die tomorrow – would I be missed by anybody else besides my family – especially my wife and my son? Would they never hire anyone to fill out my position at work? Would they remember me in a year? I don’t think so – I think they would be shocked for one day, sad for another two or three and by Friday they’d be welcoming the new guy. Now and then, some of the transitory friends I have there would maybe mention my name… maybe. But I’m sure my wife would cry for years, I’m sure my son would never ever be the same.
Makes me wonder about the viability of working 14 hours just to buy myself one hour of happiness close to my beloved. One hour, free of material worries. Good thing the hour’s worth it… and then some!
Life, huh? God’s ultimate joke on humanity. The weak believe in afterlife, but I don’t. As mister Tyler Durden would be proud to hear: I just know I’m gonna die one day, I don’t fear it. And tomorrow will be one of the happiest days of my life. And the day after that, and so on…
I’m only half way there.
Life, huh? You gotta love it.

The salesman

24 May

He wakes up, each and every morning
Practicing his broken smile
But yellow teeth issue the warning
Hope has been gone for a while…

His tie stays crooked for some reason
And it doesn’t match his belt
It doesn’t matter, it’s the season
The client’s prejudice will melt.

His worn out suitcase, full of hope
Actually contains nothing.
Just some old clients and some rope
In case he feels like hanging

He steps out, doesn’t even notice
The pigeon stains on the car
He lights a smoke, and sighs in silence
He has to travel so far

No worries – he breaths deeply – let’s go!
Today is gonna be great!
The client will sign, the joy will flow
With luck he’ll be home by eight

The plastic seat at the village bar
Where he waits for the buyer
Seems to want to leave another scar
It burns as hot as fire.

Time passes – the client doesn’t show
The salesman decides to call
Cell unreachable – thoughts start to flow
One more failure, all in all…

He drives home slowly, it starts to rain
Notices the empty tank
Choking as he tries to seal the pain
A tear falls out – hope has sunk…

As he gets inside his home, she stares
And realizes instantly
It’s comfort, love, that’s what he now needs
She offers it, quietly.

Maybe tomorrow his luck will change
Success must be within reach
But right now he has to rearrange
His thoughts, his clothes and his speech.

He wakes up, each and every morning
Practicing his broken smile
Nothing should ever seem a warning
Hope’s here to stay for a while…


March of the evanescent

22 May

March of the evanescent

Every day
We march on
Through paths of lies
And mountains of flies
Without any beacon
To guide us.

Every day
The despair
Of dreams undone
And memories gone
Burns like a flare
In our eyes.

Every day
We live through
With mendacious prayers
And dried out tears
We suffer the flu
Of the lonely.

Every day
We’re reborn
We raise our heads
And clear our minds
We keep holding on
To this life.

Every day,
We die
A little more.