An art exhibition, fear of death, and the house of dragon

15th September, Berlin, 21:29, yesterday we went to an exhibition in the garage of my previous company. The company produces electric scooters and they laid me off almost two years ago because of economic problems created by the pandemic. It was our incompetence to sell scooters really. We had it coming already. It turned out to be a blessing for me. I’m now working for a big company, earning more by doing less. 

Everyone at the party was looking smart and extroverted. It was a bit weird to see old friends whom I didn’t keep in touch with. A bit of awkwardness on their part to see a laid off person, especially the HR and the CEO. But the conversations were friendly and warm. 

Until the bitterness crawled out of me and I blurted out a name with resentment. I knew I was making a mistake before I did it, yet I couldn’t stop myself from indulging in a minor gossip. The energy in the group didn’t change, but I felt bad afterwards. I regret it. Every time I spoke from a point of anger or grudge or bad intent I regretted every word. 

But it happens, we’re human. Like a stain, like a rupture, those words stay in the relationship. You try to repair it as much as you can, but some wounds take forever. And sometimes there’s no way but to leave, to abandon, to start fresh. 

I did run after my divorce. I changed my job, changed my house, changed my clothes, changed my language. 

Yesterday, when I did make the old mistakes, I felt like I undid the last two year’s progress towards being a more mature man. I felt like running away from the party, running from my old self, running from the environment that brought out the lesser me.

How to run away from your mistakes against your parents? I still regret all the times I scared my mother or the vile words I spoke when I was a spoiled kid. 

The other interesting thing that happened in the party was the word got out that I’m now a writer, or writing, wanting to write a book. There is a powerful motivation in openly committing to a goal. I feel the pressure cranked up a notch.

What was the last time I was scared of dying? 

A few months ago, I woke up feeling sick, feeling terrible. I was ok going to bed, so this sudden drop in health sent me into a panic with a sequence of thoughts passing through my mind in the blink of an eye; Was I covid? But I had a vaccination. If that’s the case, will I be able to survive it? I remembered in a flash all the bad news about how unpredictable the recovery is, how the young are now being affected, etc. Right or wrong, my mind compiled a calamity report in the face of the unknown and presented it to me and sent me spinning. 

I weighed the possibility of dying. It’s such a heavy reality. It’s impossible to reconcile. So, in my panic and in the belief of my impending doom, I reached for my girlfriend sleeping like a baby next to me. I must’ve looked like an unreasonable old man, crying for help. In that frenetic moment I knew I was unreasonable but I couldn’t shake the fear. I also knew this was a precious moment, an insight into the millions of people struggled and struggling with the sickness, waking up to a mortal fear and waiting for the final judgement. This must’ve been the exact feeling of a soldier cornered in a broken building, waiting for the bomb to drop and the dice to be rolled.

Talking about death… we started watching House of the Dragon and already finished four episodes. It starts in King’s Landing, in halls and gardens we know from the original series. The council members resemble the characters we are familiar with but slightly different. After all they are the great great grandfathers and grandmothers of the people of the long winter we watched. If you watched all the eight seasons, you’ll be hard to surprise in the complicated chess game of R.R.Martins’, but here we are again, the board is being set up, the pieces are slowly presented, the pieces that would be destroyed in some glorious fashion. After four episodes my favourite is by far Daemon, a great villain, the only unpredictable one, and I can’t wait for him to be eliminated. Because if there is one thing I learned from the Game of Thrones, that is the certain death of the characters we root for.

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