It’s not technically true, it’s not the heart of Bratislava, I suppose, but it feels like that to me.
There were no clients today, so my monkey mind had all possibilities to make me jump from one banana to the next. To swing from one YouTube palm tree, to the next jungle flower on Twitter. After watching parts of several lectures on YouTube on too many different topics, browsing through Twitter every ten minutes, at least and switching songs on and off while flipping through five books (none of which are on my ‘urgent’ reading list), I had enough, and went out to read and work on a bench by the lake.
It works like magic. Whereas at home I can’t sit still, not even for five fucking minutes, I calm down -almost- completely with the lake in front of me. The inevitable extremely feminine looking Slovak women that stride around the lake or lie there, topless in the grass are somewhat of a distraction (and no, I didn’t take any pictures of them, this might shock you, but I’m not a peeping Tom), but the sort that makes you feel like you still exist, that you are still a fully operational human, and as though life was a big turkey sandwich you can take a bit from right now, if you just go for it.
It’s stupid I haven’t realized this sooner. Put me near water, in the middle of a bustling medium to large sized city in a foreign country and suddenly I feel a kind of focussed, with an inspired fulfillment I rarely experience. You hear the exotic sounds of a tricky language around you, you see people that are somehow more alive than back home (a prejudice or simply a mysterious cultural difference?) and time flies by. No more jumping from one leg to the next, no more standing in the middle of the kitchen wondering what the hell you are doing there, opening up closets looking for food without being the least bit hungry, at least not for food, no more suddenly realizing you are reading about Chinese eunuchs castrated by their own fathers or other weird topics for some completely inexplicable reason when you are supposed to be reading about psychology, the American Civil War or Slovakia… None of that weird shit happens by the lake. No, you actually smile when you hear two girls who are sunbathing giggling over something, when you see a lady in a fancy dress throwing a tennis ball that her little fluffy white dog runs after or when you spot a grandmother entertaining her two young grandsons.
The never ending ‘do more do more do more do more’ mantra in my head comes to a standstill, almost, almost, and I put ideas on paper, and read a novel ‘that takes you there’. Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist, you never know where the night will take you. Or in my case: you never know where staring at the lake plus its lively surroundings will take you. The book describes exactly one night of spontaneous, unexpected, unplanned dating. Two hurt, confused punk music loving people somehow ending up together, with characters so real you think you might bump into them when you walk round the corner. You are there with them in every sentence. I salute every writer who can pull that off. In this case, there are two of them: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. You can’t see that two writers worked on this book, it’s written in the same style. The chemistry in the book must have something to do with some chemistry between the authors. It sparks.
Just like this particular lake is one of my sparks.
My ADD (for lack of a better word, because ADD is an overused and clearly overmedicated reference to a set of symptoms and doesn’t point to what really goes on) would be even less if I finally worked up the motivation to run around the lake again, as I did 5 years ago, but, ehm, no. Must read.