Chapter 2

THE FOLLOWING DAY

 

The following day, and for the following months, I dedicated myself to the writing of this book. In all of my free time after my work day ends, I am totally dedicated to this book.

I grab my laptop and write wherever I want. I am not limited by physical space like in a band/singing rehearsal. I can write even if I am sick, if there is background noise, with loud music playing…I love to write.

I also write in my head when I am tossing and turning in bed trying to fall asleep, when I’m in the shower, when I’m at the gym, when I’m at work, when I’m waiting in a line somewhere…I think about what I have to say in the book.

Easter is approaching and I’ve got some time off work. I can’t stay locked in my house, enclosed between four walls, I need to forget walls…and London too.

I go out where I can be surrounded by carefree happy people...I go to the food court of the shopping mall where I bought the ketchup for the French fries…I always take my laptop with me wherever I go.

Months go by. Easter, long past; now it is November. My birthday was a few weeks ago…at the end of September. Chapters 1, 3, 4 and 5 are complete. The book will have five chapters.

I still haven’t completed chapter 2. I continued writing it again yesterday because I had stopped writing at “…I go to the food court of the shopping mall where I bought the ketchup for the French fries…I always take my laptop with me wherever I go.”

This habit of going to the “food court” has also ended. Now I prefer writing on my laptop in my car parked in the lot of that mall.

The parking lot has got background music! I hear the same music as those who are actually in the food court! The parking lot is not closed and so a lot of fresh air enters in abundance. It brings oxygen from the mountains that can be seen in the distance. So, there is no danger of carbon monoxide intoxication from the many cars that are parked there. I’m fine.

In August, a month when I am on vacation, I mostly stayed at home. When I say home, I mean in my parent’s home in the country. This house is surrounded by a property with some trees, a fountain, big fields, vineyards and fruit trees. I have also got playful dogs and cats. The cats sit on the kitchen table, right next to my plate when I eat. The dogs sit next to the kitchen table closely at my feet.

Now, in November, as in the past, my plate of food is not entirely for me, for I divide it among all of us: me, the cats and the playful dogs.

When I’m eating they look at me sweetly as if saying “We ate well at 7p.m., the time that your parents and us usually dine! You get home at 11p.m. You leave your job, you grab your laptop and write your book and at 10:30p.m. you decided to come home, right? It’s 11 p.m.! We’re hungry! Let us try the food on your plate! You like us, don’t you? Look at our beautiful eyes! Look at those two annoying cats meowing at your plate! Shoo them away! Don’t let yourself become hypnotized by our playful doggie eyes! Look at those two annoying cats! One of the cats is pushing some food off your plate with its nails right into its mouth! How rude! May I ask if the food is good? Can I have some? How many pages of the book have you already written today inside your car in the car park?”

The music that they play in the car park can be quite loud sometimes. I close the windows of my car to muffle the noise, but sometimes this is not enough. Today I was particularly affected by the music. I think it’s because I have too much to do at work – it tires me. I decided to put small pieces of tissue in my ears!

A driver just walked past me. He smiled and looked at me again! What’s so special about me?! I looked at myself in the rearview mirror. I forgot…I’ve got tissue in my ears that goes so far out my ears it looks like I’m wearing a wedding veil! At least I make people smile...I smile back, “Nice look, don’t you agree?”

My tears fell as I ran in the rain that night...the night I was wearing the boots that let all the water on the road in and wet my feet...A dark night...bad weather... When it seemed that I would show those bastards who’d left me behind that I'd make it without them, is when everything fell down on me...

On the same day, after having arrived in Portugal from London, I wrote an email to Cristina, an American from New York with Portuguese descent asking if she was available to translate a book to English which I imagined would be about 400 pages long. Cristina had reviewed some of the lyrics I had written in English – all of which ended up becoming songs! They were not just a mental project! I worked for them! I fought for them!

All of my free time, all my love, all my hope, all my faith, all my money, all my passion, all my thoughts, all my dedication…went into my songs. I earned money in my daytime job to give life to my songs! They are still not able to provide for me, but they are what sustains my soul so the debt is netted! 

So, here I am, caught up in this book: “I, Ninfa Artemis”. Without the adventures that destiny had in store for me, I would never have thought about picking up the book again, a project which began a long time before the songs. The book…a “romance” with a relatively well known singer and a break up which led me to embark on a musical journey: writing and composing. This is in the 4th chapter of this book. 

Here I am in London, on my last underground trip from my hotel to Victoria Station to catch a bus to take me to Stansted airport and eventually, Portugal.

My ticket confirmed my flight time as 6 p.m., but at 6:30 a.m. I was already out of the hotel and on my way to the underground. Outside, the sky was a dark grey one. I was leaving everything behind. I had no other choice, no money and I was exhausted.

There were some people on the streets. It was a cool March day. People wore warm sweaters. I, however, was wearing a black cotton shirt with a three-quarter sleeve. My rage and revolt kept me warm.

I walked quickly with my trolley rolling behind me. I hadn’t slept a wink. I kept the television on all night to keep me company. I didn’t look at it because I didn’t care about what was on. The sound that it emitted convinced me that someone was speaking to me; that I was not alone in the world. I had so wanted to change my life...I’m much worse off now than I was before…my thoughts…

The light projected by the TV screen distracted my anxious mind which knew that outside it was 2 a.m., that no one was on the street, that in the hotel the walls were silent and everyone was asleep. I observed the light from the street lamps reflecting onto the humid street, damp from the early morning dew. Here the nights were humid even in the end of March as well as in the summer.

On the black road of the street I could see circles of yellow light reflected from the street lamps. Where are the blinds of the London windows? They don’t exist! The windows draped in long curtains that allow one to glimpse outside easily.

When the dawn breaks, the sun beams into the room! It screws up my mind! Many times I would sleep with my pillow (which should have been under my head) over my face so as not to see the daylight!

 

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