I just killed Eva Braun

It’s been a sunny, warm Monday in July, holiday, summer, and I have witnessed the Third Reich fall. I killed Hitler. I killed Eva Braun. I dropped bombs on the others. They fell from my hand, slipped through my fingers.

You see, exaggerating is also an art. Of course I killed no one, especially no people that have been dead for ages now. But I was reading a book about Eva Braun’s niece, and when I put it away, it felt like I had a choice. Will I let her live? Or will I let her die? I didn’t have to continue reading, I didn’t have to kill these people.

On the other hand I knew that the end is always inevitable. They would have to die anyway… So I read on. And watched it all happen. And felt a very weird kind of guilt.

You see, it kind of feels that I’m the one who does all this because I am reading on. I felt that quite clearly when I was reading Bring up the bodies, a book about Thomas Cromwell. I knew we were reaching the point were Anne Boleyn has to be executed. When I put the book down to do something else (which was hard, sometimes, though I knew what was about to happen), I suddenly felt the guilt creeping upon me.

You are killing here. But you have a choice. Will you let her live?

No… No, I want to read on.

But you will kill her. And there will be no turning back.

But… But…

No. You have to choose. Choose wisely.

Needless to say, I kept reading. Because ignoring the end doesn’t make it any different. The last page was waiting for me and the scaffold was waiting for her. I could only apologize to her, inside my imagination.

Is there some kind of word to describe this? The feeling you are killing the people who die in your book? And do you feel the same way?

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Welcome to the cage

Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable. You’ll be spending the next three weeks here, between these four walls, only coming out to eat and get something to drink. No, not in a bar. I mean to get yourself coffee in the kitchen. To stay awake and hydrated.

Between these four walls you’ll stay, you’ll sleep here, study here, sneaking around on the Internet while you really shouldn’t. After three weeks of continually being here, you’ll have the finals – you’ll be spending equally as much time here as between those other four walls. But those four walls, there you’ll do everything: sleeping, eating, studying, sneaking on the Internet, and drinking (coffee and tea, still). Repeat.

Every once in a while there might be a moment when you see someone else – they will be alive, but you just won’t be sure, because you don’t get to see anyone. You can suppose they’re alive, but you won’t see them often enough to really have the prove. Seeing people again will be weird. What are you supposed to say again? What can you even talk about? Nothing really happens. Your books will become your new best friends. (Though it’s going to be a hate/love relationship.)

You’ll forget what good-looking clothes feel like, or shoes, let alone makeup. You will partly forget what being in a bar feels like, but that won’t change the missing. It feels like being buried alive. Buried in books. The outside world, with people living and leaving the house and everything – too unreal. Can it be that there’s still a life after this? If you survive, that is.

The good part is that your parents take care of you. Food will be served, dishes will be done (with a machine that does the work for you, can you believe that?), groceries will be shopped. Your only job is to ram all the information into your head and survive.

Survive.

Welcome to the cage.

Current condition: Studying

It’s summer, the sun is shining, it’s that kind of perfect weather… And I’m inside, studying to retake an exam. But I don’t really mind, as I don’t have the money to do all the fun stuff anyways. My life is so tragic.
Either way, here’s a sort of closer look, analysing of my current condition: studying.

Clothes: yoga pants and loose T-shirt with owl print.

However important elegance is to me, it doesn’t apply to all situations, okay? It’s bloody hot in my room, and I need the freedom to change my position every five to ten seconds. Plus: my inner dancer is very happy with these yoga pants. I can get up and throw my leg in the air whenever I want. Which is something I frequently do. (It sounds as if I’ve got a prosthesis. I mean to say I do a grand battement.)
The owl print is really cool, by the way. It’s more of a drawing made of stripes. Maybe I make it sound worse with every word I add, but seriously, it’s one of my favourite T-shirts. And it’s loose. Literally cool.

Makeup & Hair: Not really, and a mess.

Self conscious as I am, I do put on makeup when I leave the house, even if it’s just to buy bread or something. It makes passing by a mirror somewhat easier to deal with as well. But I got to the point where I sincerely long to dressing up and going all the way with makeup… Not just mascara, but eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, everything I can find here (which isn’t that much after all). The only makeup thing I have done now, is nail polish. I don’t think I’ve ever had such well done toe and finger nail polish. Seriously.

My feet. With blue nail polish.

My feet. With blue nail polish.

The hair, well, that’s more of a bun, if you want to call it like that. In reality it’s more like hair surrounded by a rubber band (the ones you use for hair, not like car tires).

Physical condition: hypochondriac.

Insomnia has been kicking in, I’m hungry all the time, headaches, chest ache for the moment, and so on. I’m always convinced I’ve got some terrible illness, but that’s probably not true. I mean, everyone has aches every now and then. I just wish I could sleep well. That would be so great.

Mental condition: happy as ever.

Hehe. I’m not really the shiny happy person who’s always optimistic. Things have been better, things have been worse. My self-esteem has decided to go on a holiday, but hey, he deserves it. He’s had a hard time after all. I hope he sends a post card.

Concentration: what’s that? Some kind of illness? It’s certainly not something I’ve got.

Desk condition: pretty crowded!

I’ve got like four piles of papers in the running, a book, Word documents, books I use to procrastinate, pens, pencils, movies I still have to watch, a Spanish fan (the ones you have in your hand. the automatic one has a place on the floor) and a stuffed pig. I’m not sure what to do with that pig. He’s kinda cute, and I got it once at a dance performance. Good memories. I’ll just let him be another witness of my struggle.

Knowledge condition: however much I’m trying to get all facts straight and in my head, I’m sure he’ll ask something I don’t know. Plus: it’s history I have to retake. Only the Polish, but all history is so tied together. Hurray hurray. I wish I had the feeling I know stuff, but I still feel like I don’t know anything at all. Like ‘Poland? It’s a country, right? Somewhere, I don’t know, south from America?’.

Only five more days to go.

Five’s not much.

Dear lord.

1984 – Is it horror or heaven…?

Seldom have I read a book as scary as 1984 (George Orwell). No skeletons, no blood, no living dead or any kind of horror like that, but the frightening fact that we’re not free at all. You might think we are free in our minds – we aren’t. Everyday we’re being influenced a lot, without even noticing it. But there are worse kinds of influence.
There is nothing that can’t be changed. Even your thoughts are not more than things with no mass that can be changed into anything. You can believe that killing a murderer is justice. But the murderer probably believes he’s done the right thing. And with a little effort you can convince everybody of one of those two opinions. Everything is relative. (Believe me, I don’t like saying this things because they take away all certain things)  One day you might think this, the next day that. And what will be the right sight? I’m drenched with this mentality because the book forces me to overthink this. It forces you to doubt every single thought, every single conviction. It takes away every feeling of safety because of your belief in your own righteousness.
We should all be able to doubt our opinion but we also should be able to hang on to our goodness. I don’t dare to judge anymore though. I want to be good, but that’s pretty hard when you don’t know what good is anymore. It is time for me to divert and comfort myself, so I can think again  ;).

Read this book when a) you want to read a classic novel
b) you want to think about freedom
c) you need something that scares you subtly
d) you need to overthink good and bad again
e) we actually should all read this to feel free again

The Dutch Wiki-page about the book has some mistakes, don’t read that but read the book. Think about good and bad and justice. Safe us  ;).

The Devil and Miss Prym

Is human nature bad? Would we kill for the greater good? Even when the greater good will turn out to be egoism? Paulo Coelho asks us this when reading his book The Devil and Miss Prym. A small village full of hard-working people is offered a great opportunity that could save them from their good but boring lives. But they have to kill someone. Anybody. Chantal Prym is the messenger of this deal, made up by a strangers that stays in the village for a week, whether she wants it or not. She starts struggling with good and bad, angels and devils. The villagers are struggling to get the possible murder justified. All because of the stranger, he wants to know if human nature is bad.
While reading, you can’t escape asking yourself the same question. Will they kill someone? Is it possible to murder when you take somebody’s innocent live? Would I be able to do that?
The answer is mostly frightening: we don’t know, but we will all try to get our choice justified, whether you kill are not. As soon as you suceeded in justifying, you could do anything.
To know how it ends, read the book, you probably won’t regret. It’s written in an accessible way, it doesn’t feel as a ‘heavy’ book. At the same time it makes you doubt human standerds, human moral, compassion and choices.
Would you kill for a better live, even when you always liked your ‘old’ live?