She got off the bus and started walking home absentmindedly, not seeing the bike that missed her by a few inches, nor the look of the passersby who registered her glassy eyes with a mixture of curiosity and concern. It had been a long-hard day, and all she could think about was getting home, and putting her feet up.
It was funny to her now that a while back she had had things figured out. But that was before the dictatorship took the country by surprise (or at least that is what all the politicians had said). Alex didn’t care about that. She just wanted to relax. Things had finally started getting better after many years of uncertainty, and now it was time to rebuild the country. Although what she really wanted was some sort of stability and peace of mind.
She arrived at her studio apartment in a not-so-nice area of the city, and went straight to the sofa bed. She put on her headphones to drown out the noise of her wanna-be punk band neighbors and started drifting off to sleep, slowly and calmly.
Alex woke up to the noise of the construction work close by. The construction had been going on for months already and they would always start using the machinery whenever she was having a well-deserved rest.
As a 27-year-old woman, she considered herself mature enough to be independent and pay her bills, although she would suddenly have fits over being completely lonely and scared at times. After 3 years, she had finally decided to put an end to her previous relationship with a good person who was just not good for her anymore.
Nothing had really happened, they had just unconsciously gone their separate ways until one day, with no pain and no anger, they had decided to put an end to it. It’s only fair to say that the decision hadn’t been entirely Alex’s, nor even 50-50. In fact, Alex was not really aware that they had been drifting apart until Joanna said she just didn’t miss her anymore. Nonetheless, always proud, Alex realized that no matter how much they’d care for each other, there was no point in fighting over someone who didn’t want to be fought for… even though she was sure she’d regret the decision. Alex had no way of knowing if that was true, and deep down she suspected it wasn’t, but blind as she had been to the whole thing, it was what she needed to think to cope with the situation.
The first few months were pretty bad. Alex did not recognize herself. It was as if all joy had been taken away from this world. She forced herself to continue working and studying, even if she would stay up feeling miserable most of the night. However, despite her efforts, she was still struggling with work and school. She really did want to graduate, and her professors had been more than patient and helpful, but still, her full-time waitressing left her too exhausted to be able to focus much on her legal studies.
“Hey! Wait up,” Alex heard someone shout. She was not paying much attention to her surroundings, so she kept on walking, ignoring the slightly familiar voice and calculating what grade she needed to get on her next final to avoid having to take the exam. The calculation went nowhere, as her friend, Mariana, caught up to her.
“Hey! What are you up to? I’ve been chasing you for the past 2 blocks! I know I said I wanted to get in shape, but I didn’t mean like this!” Mariana said, laughing at her own joke as if it were the funniest thing anyone had ever said.
“I wish I were so happy,” Alex thought, before immediately dismissing it. She knew Mariana had her own issues to deal with and that she tried hard to be a supportive friend. How had everything changed so quickly?
“I’m sorry. I’m just trying to figure out how to get an A in Statistics when I don’t understand why Chi is squared or when I keep confusing the mean with the median! That’s the lowest score I need to pass the class, and there’s no way I can get all that info into my brain!” Alex blurted in exasperation.
Mariana was aware of how hard these last few years had been for Alex. Of course, there was the whole issue of coming out to her friends and family, which was always an important event in someone’s life, irrespective of the outcome. Unfortunately, Alex’s family hadn’t taken it very well. There were no hurtful words, no tears, but something changed in their relationship and in time both sides felt it was too late. Luckily for Alex, her friends, although few, were accepting and open. They were so excited for her. The first thing they did was set her up with different people, and, although an introvert to the extreme, she made an effort to go on these dates, as she couldn’t believe how lucky she was.
Right around this time, she had decided to go back to University. She had started her nursing degree years ago, but she was forced to quit when the de facto government took charge in the previous years. However, this time, there was no one to support her financially. Still, she was not a quitter.
(…to be continued…)
Series – Evanescent
January: If Something Can Go Wrong…It Will – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)
February: The Planet of Pleasure – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)
March: Evening with Jackie Chan – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
April: Vuvuzelas, Walkie-Talkies and Madiba Magic – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)
May: Remembering – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
June: 5-4-3-2-1 – Talia Stotts (America)
July: Getting Ready for Newborns – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
August: Regrets – Kate Korneeva (Russia)
September: A Hollow Pursuit – Diana Haidar (Syria)
October: The Test – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
November: A Life Rekindled – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)
December: Translation Perfect – Zhang Lu (China)
Special: Catching Water III – Javier Gomez (Argentina)
Background – Context
Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)
Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: Montevideo, Uruguay – Prado – DFLC Prints (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed