Caminar sin rumbo

Storyteller: Oana Maroti

It´s really early, too early for this country and too late for me. I fix myself a café con leche, morning´s classic smell addiction and for my stomach´s sake a simple food parring, freshly toasted bread with sour cherry marmalade, a delicacy from my country, that I do not find here or elsewhere, something that my parents made specially for me. Good morning sweet taste of care and familiarity, good morning chirping birds.

Waiting for the time to pass, so I can take a shower without waking up the whole building, because the walls here are so thin. I wonder if I have ever woken up after 8 am?! As a child maybe, not very often, however, as an adult and after working as a cook, the biological clock is ticking. Every day, the same thing, getting up before 6 am. Now that my brother is in jail my brain is still in shock, trying to figure it out or at least understand why.

Nice breakfast with Skunk Anansie in my headphones. Post Orgasmic Chill album… love…the first time I put my eyes on this album I felt impressed: finally a woman beautifully screaming about things that matter.

¨So you should be by yourself 
Instead of here with me 

Music friend your sincerity gives me wings and so much energy.

7 AM

A piece of paper and a pen sticks to my hands in the morning, step by step preparing the next letter, with all my heart, short stories, description of nature and music, nice things that I see or hear around, that my brother can´t. Behind bars, there´s just a bed for him, inside a crowded room, no personal space, grey walls and boring television. In there, all the ideas of freedom and mental relaxation comes from books and letters, if one can read:

¨Dear Cătălin,
From the top of the hill I can see the sea whenever I want and sometimes I just put my shoes on and go down, walk towards the sea. Today an aimless walk, I miss you so so much. The sea is kind in it´s rhythmicity, shall go there to take a picture for you and go on writing my letter, describing the water, the wind, the healing warmth, the birds, boats and fisherman’s waiting under the bluest sky.¨
Spontaneous tears almost ruined the paper. I don’t know from where they are coming, cause there have been some years since I cannot cry, my eyes need extra tears, they don´t produce it anymore, but the feeling of impotence, that my hands are really tied, that there is nothing I can do gives my brain the impression that I can cry. Red eyeballs and sudden pain, breath in, breath out, 15 push-ups, genuflections and screaming music in my ears. While washing dishes I always dance, it helps a lot.

It´s a ¨Run Forest Run¨ day, must go out for a long walk. Inside my backpack: lemon-water, a small fuet bocadillo with homemade tomato salsa and splendid olive oil, Catalan style, some strawberries, a book, something to sit, comfy shoes on and off I go. In childhood, I used to travel more than 10 km by foot crossing the woods to reach my grandfathers super-small village, now I need a greater distance.

9 AM

Barcelona, fast cars in the morning, the red semaphore does not impress them. The firsts to walk around are seniors, this is their town and they don´t run as fast on the zebra as the busy people in the cars would probably imagine. How can you imagine that someone with more than 70, 80 springs of life, as the people here have, will suddenly run to save themselves, because you are in a big hurry… Physically it is not possible for them. To reach and clean their dog´s shit, it´s a challenge, yet I see them doing it with all the efforts, while younger people, with no back problems have difficulties to bow.

A few more steps, the semaphore it´s green, a senior with shorts and muscular legs approaching. We reached the crosswalk together, we tried to regularly cross the zebra, without success, some wise guys in a hurry, 2 cars passed furiously right in our face and then red light. A silent ¨fuck you¨ forming in my mind. We waited again for the green light and I remembered that in Jersey Island, where I have worked some years ago, the seniors using super-electronic wheelchairs liked to make contests when they saw me with my kick scooter-bike. I used to loose with pleasure and they would pass me in speed, laughing and making winning signs, making my day brighter. Must I say: I love to loose like that. I take a fast look at the mister who´s waiting with me right now. He wears a black face mask and he is moving, anxiously. There is a small competition feeling, so I decided to look up at my phone and give him an advance. The man rushed to traverse the zebra pass and arrived the first on the other side of the road. I smiled, thinking of my father who is dealing since decades with motor problems. A spontaneous mini-contest like this one would be a great challenge, even the simple idea that he´s participating could amuse him and bring some joy.

The light is kind at 9 am and the barcelonian streets are not crowded yet, in the middle of the week. Exotic enormous plants peep out from interior gardens, bright colors, yellowish, magenta and purple flowers. Now and then a fig tree pokes out, full of fatty leaves and figs, 2 size the dimension of the figs I´ve seen. Diversity, sculptural architecture and tall buildings impress, throughout the city and when I enter the Poblenou area, constructions … Suddenly, I start to detect in my visual field interesting mural projects and organized graffiti-art.

This city is a gem when it comes to visual attractions. The morning light casts its own shadow on the painted walls, changing them. Lace walls, botanical embroidery.

No strict direction, no map. Loosing myself on the streets of a charming town, it´s the best thing I can do in a free day. So much, so much to see.
It smells like coffee, bread and pastry, my kind of aromas, hmm…exquisiteness. I have a boccadillo with me, but I can´t help it. Chapata looks tremendous and it´s hot, yum yum yummy. Noup, it´s way too big for my backpack. Mmm, I could perhaps eat it all? Well, I could for sure, but it´s too much. Croissants? Nope, too sweet stuff. Oh, yes, I know, finally…I have been salivating behind my face mask for a couple of minutes now, it´s time to buy something delicious. I put myself in line, with a safe distance, the others are polite and when I reach my turn I say:

¨Bon día! Un pan con nueces, por favor.¨

¨Ahora mismo guapa.¨ the kind lady responds and gives me the much desired freshly baked pecan bread. The smell alone is an orgasmic fantasy. I find an isolated bench, under a tree, sit down, obsessively disinfect my hands and take a bite, a big one. Quite difficult to chew, my bite was a quarter, but I am satisfied, intense nutty flavor. A little water, I drink, I drink and I go again through a huge park, getting lost again in the streets and finally I arrive at the Mar Bella that I know and from there to the beach. The sky is cloudy blue, the wind blows through my long hair, a chill breeze, the salty sea and the seagulls sound in front of me.

Near the desert dining ship there is a quadratic fitness structure with horizontal bars. I would so much like to hang around a bit, I miss gymnastics and it’s very good for my back, but there are always so many guys there, muscular men, impossible.
The sea is calling, shoes off, great feeling of liberation. Wind is blowing strong and makes my Balkan motif dress move and showing the short pants beneath, the jeans I´ve cut this morning, as I used to do in the ´90´s. I fell like Marylin Monroe, only that my dress is dark with small wildflowers, not white at all. With much more volume and a more silkier materiality, I could even try to perform the “Serpentine Dance”, like the one filmed by the Lumière brothers in 1890.

The wind,
the body,
the dancing with the waves in
silky delicate fabrics.
The touch of it.

Deep breath, face mask still on. There are just a few on the beach and a small group of senior lady´s are breaking the ice this year. Like little girls, impatient, already swimming, laughing, making jokes in Catalan. What a joy, what a pleasure to see the elderly having fun, you can’t imagine it. A dream come true.

I see the fisherman´s from distance and decide to sit somewhere isolated, yet with the view at them. My brother found fishing as a way to disconnect. I used to go with him by the lake or near rivers as family quality time. So strange, I still wonder what is an impaired person, who´s kind with all animals and even with the fish doing in prison, in the midst of pandemics, no personal space, no video-games and all that after he spend his whole childhood in a hospital bed. What´s the idea behind cutting the wings of an impaired who learned so much, who learned to walk after no chance given and reached the top of academics. Why kick him out of work and school only to put him behind bars to go crazy and be insensitive, instead of helping him develop? What logic is there in all that and how will this prejudice the rest of his life, in a country that considers rockers as demons, someone who was in jail has no chance to adapt, stigmatized as there was not enough 11 operations, each year cut-open, metal insertions and malpraxis, no wheelchair, just our strong arms to carry his body, no autonomy. Stressed parents and lost, I´ve raised him. In the Balkan countries, the older sister or the older brother, takes responsibility for the younger ones.

¨Dear Pelican, Cătălin brother,
I reached the beach.
Birds float in the blue sky, more than one type of seagulls.
The sand feels nice, not cold at all,
waves reach my feet,
the caresses of the wind…
instant neuronal reception.
it´s nature´s way of hugging,
relaxing non-intrusive touch.

Few fisherman´s are here. I made o photo for you, with their fishing rod and the horizon. Where is that photo of us, Maroti brothers, back to back, you with your Counter-Strike mouse and me, with my Stylo-ink pen. Bessitos, Peli, may the force be with you, so you can teach others how to write, if you can´t show them video-games. It´s the only sense I see, you being there.¨

It’s so windy, reading was difficult. I take my things, put on my mask and take a walk, massaging my feet with every step I take on the golden sand. In the distance I see the paintings, lined up on a large wall, leading from the beach towards the sea. Wow, I’ve reached the Forum area. I thought it wasn’t that far away. An attractive sight. I’m going fast, I feel it, but actually walking on the sand makes me very slow. To get to the wall you have to climb some big rocks and to my surprise, in spring, flowers bloom among these rocks. A beauty.

All kinds of mural paintings, a wall of colors. In lateral, there is a big semi-nude graffiti of Varuna, the Hindu goddess of oceans and water, this time represented as a woman, art work signed by agua_maga. A man stands nearby, face towards the sea, I take no picture yet, he friezes and looks at me. I smile and say ¨Hola¨. The man smiles back quite shy and continues what he was doing that was not illegal or strange at all. He had a stone attached to one hand, attached with a piece of fabric that must be hold tide: improvised dumbbells, fitness alternative. He was actually doing the same thing as the muscular men do in the gym, but with a rock. I kindly smiled and said: ¨Nice invention¨ and continued my wall exploration. Big up to all those people not giving up and finding ways, even if the means are lacking.

The photos I have made are not that good and just a few murals are more or less framed. This must have been an organized project. First artwork that attracted my attention is ¨Can´t touch this!¨. It pictures an angry feminine fighter and her boxing-roses gloves, this one:

The dancing with the waves in
silky delicate fabrics.
The touch of it.

A duo collaboration signed by Anton Seoane and Magia Trece. The boxing-roses gloves metaphor is strong, it goes all the way to ¨The Little Prince¨, the lovely story written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and shows up the rose thorns force, a delicate feminist fist, European cute-grotesque character. Funny think that my brain translator made me think at first that Magia Trece means: the magic pass by, hahaha. Language interference under different means. In my native language ¨trece¨ is the verb for passing, therefore my brain made a direct recognition for the word, not for the number: ¨Vreme trece, vreme vine¨ it´s from an old poem, written by Mihai Eminescu who says: ¨Time passes, time comes¨. I always liked the continuation of this melancholic lyrical beginning:

¨All are old and all are new,... don't be afraid¨

I have spend some time in front of the wall, art speaks to me. Here are some other works extracted from this mural project, the artists´s names and some titles I have made for their visual representations:

Juanjo Saez La Vida Naiva (¨El sentido de todo es vivir¨)

Dada visual poetry, a cultural movement I know so well, because the unhappy Tristan Tzara was Romanian and his pseudo-name means sad country (țară tristă) – he had to leave his native land, was not accepted. While dada means yes yes in both Romanian and Croatian, in Arabic it means father.

Hands behind back, nude-realism by Lidia.mpaKKete

This work describes somehow my personal feeling related to my brother´s actual imprisonment situation and my own social rejection situation, for falling in love during high school, with another girl.

The traveling singing bird, painted by Inventura Studio, in ¨Saudade¨ is a migratory bird, that carries a miniature home in her back.

¨Saudade¨ it´s health in Portuguese. I haven´t visited Portugal yet, but it reminds me of a good wish for the road: ¨Sănătate¨, good health. I´ve heard this one each time I had to leave my family, to work abroad and it´s an important fact, that an immigrant traveler is lost without a good health. From experience I can totally say that each time I got sick while working abroad, I´ve lost my job. I do consider that 3rd world people like me are send out there to make performance in work, not to enjoy life, under a fair contract. An immigrant knows what modern slavery means through direct experience, not from stories. Often we are sent with only one-way ticket, so health is essential. You can only rely on your mind and body.

Flamingo´s eye by Silvia Ospina.Art it´s a metaphor for development and beauty, or at least this is how I see it. The ugly duck complex: no self-esteem for the ego it´s exactly my complex in life. A small flamingo is mneah!, not so wow, it can’t be compared to an adult flamingo shattering your eyes with an exotic aesthetic, but it will become one, it just takes time.

Nuria Farre Abejon – ¨Intrusos¨, realist painting showing that the frame in frame narrative idea, well known from Geoffrey Chaucer’s ¨The Canterbury Tales¨ is now present in our quotidian life, with the existence of books and social media. ¨Intruders¨ is also an ufology book, based on a family´s case of abductions. Mystery is nice, yet in this mural-painting the alien presence is suggested by texting, an uncomfortable alien, extra presence can as well be a human, someone you know, that just by sending text-messages can take advantage. Sometimes the manipulation is not so obvious, it is well encrypted in the written language and from the written language it can be revealed, that is, decoded. The math is nice, it works well for quantities, but the important content, the sap tree is the text.

Eagle Eye Grotesque by Sagocoink, black and white graphic mural:

The flight,
Superior visual perception,
Parameters of an eagle eye
Knowledge that humans can intercept.
Tesla´s electric fields,
directed to an inner consciousness.
Collective vision,
valuable information derived from each tragedy.

This article is missing some fancy murals, the ones that don’t show up well in the pictures on my tablet. I shall go back to complete the Forum Dada wall series, soon.

I did came back a couple of times, but only found signatures and I don’t bother to take pictures of them.

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