Two people came to work today wearing tags saying something like sister of the something.. something ..of JESUS CHRIST etc. To be honest I couldn't see exactly what was written without rudely staring. But the Jesus Christ part was very eye catching. And well it made me wonder. Why do people wear things that show off their religion? There are so many people that come with crosses around their neck, the Verbum Dei pinned to their clothes and rosary beads worn as a bracelet. I wonder, do they really need to show the whole world that they are Christians? And not only that but they seem to assume that you believe like them. That we are related just because we believe in the same man.

And sometimes when I'm talking to a nun I feel like blurting out the words " I don't believe". I feel like waving my arms and shouting " Hey look at me. I'm a non- believer. Will you shun me now? Will you think of me differently? Will you ask for someone else to be of service to you?"

Because I do not think less of a believer. True, my skin seems to repel nuns and priests but I guess that's from past and present experiences. I mean seriously last time a nun left the shop with 10 euro worth of stuff she was supposed to pay! But that's beside the point. My point is why do believers look down on me and think of me as a lesser person when I accept them as they are?

They pity me because for them I'm a lost soul. I pity them because they're naive. Sometimes, just in those moments of crises when the problems and the loneliness hit you like a knife in your gut, I envy them. I envy their gullibility, their credulity, the hope and trust they put in what I see as fairytales. Because, sure I would love to unload all my problems onto someone else. I would love to say a few words and let others solve my problems. But that's not how it's done is it? And we Maltese have two expressions that I always thought showed the tiny doubt edged in the enormous land of belief.  "Fin-niżla kull qaddis jgħin " and "Għin ruħek biex Alla jgħinek " which translated lightly means that you still need to work your ass off to solve your problems.

So that leaves us where? Me the non-believer on one side and you the cross holder on the other. But is there really a difference between my world and yours? We both get sick. We both get heart-broken. We both have douche-bags and bitches. We both have people that we cannot see our lives without but one day we will be forced into it. So why the smug face? You're no more privileged than me. Clouds rain on me and on you. Wind blows both of our hairs into tangles. The difference? You blame your God for all that happens, I say fuck it and move on.


2, 4, 6, 8, 10

7-hour shift. 6 days a week. Morning. Evening. Same old same old. After swimming through the endless questions on the price of an object in a shop where each wall is adorned by posters stating "Everything for 2 Euros", the arguments about the injustice of pricing a bag at 25c when they have millions at home and the priceless list of lame jokes you're left with a built up of frustration and anger and a bigger hatred for this little island and its close-minded people.

And it’s so easy to get lost in the monotony. The same routine, the same rhythm. You fall in a trance. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Endless pointless chitchat. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Stupid arguments. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Unnecessary blaming. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Sheepish looks of repent.

The only thing that keeps you from turning brain dead are the few regular customers that keep it interesting.

Like the suicidal old man whose wife is dead and all he wants is to be left alone with her spirit or better yet to reach her wherever she is.

There’s the lady with the horrific laugh that gives me goose bumps. It’s like nails scratching on a surface. If she doesn’t get you out of coma then you’re a hopeless case.

There’s the sweet English woman who used to come and buy 3 bottles of cola and a big bag of crisps. I wonder what happened to her.

There’s the 2-bottles-wine-2-bottles-pepsi guy. He’s quiet and nice. He never looks up as if he’s ashamed of his shopping and the trembling hands from years of drinking wine.

The Adams family. Very pulled together. The women of the family wear their long black hair parted at the sides and let down.

The big-nosed headmaster who comes and buys food, always for one person.

And of course the hooker family. Now to be completely honest I really doubt any of them are hookers but that’s how I see them in my head. The mother and the elder daughter are both blonde. The mother looks like the slutty after-the-happily-ever-after version of Goldilocks. The daughter is more sophisticated. There’s also a second daughter, a brunette. She wears tracksuits, while they wear dressy clothes. She wears her hair up and no makeup while they’re always dolled up. She wears headphones to ignore them; they look at her like she’s a disappointment.

The rest of the work hours pass in a whirlwind of trembling hands, weird money holders, strange relationships and numerous complaints. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10.



I shouldn't. It's not healthy. It's the number one sacred rule on self-help books. It's stupid. It's a waste of time. And it breaks me more after. But I crave it. I need it. It's what I look forward all day. To get into bed when everyone's asleep and make believe.

I pretend. I make up stories in my head. I picture memories and twist them in what they could have been. I impose what ifs on my memories. I impose what ifs on future. I allow myself to have a little happiness. I allow myself to pretend I'm someone else. Someone who's got a clean slate. No regrets. No scars. Not broken. Someone who still has faith in humanity. Not a cynic. Someone who believes in love and in happily ever after. Someone who believes that there are things that actually last forever.

And it's addicting. And you start to lust after those little snippets in your day when you can fall back to your freshest dream. 

 It's sick. It's painful and sick and crazy. Because every time you're brought back to reality it seems even worse. And now I know how Dorothy felt in her greyscale world. And I understand why Alice would make up a whole new world filled with talking animals and plants. And I wish I could do like Peter Pan and fly away and fight with pirates and talk to mermaids and Indians and make-believe.

Because the monotony of reality crashes down so hard around you that you feel like the walls are closing in on you. And you start to understand why people feel the need to write stories, produce films, read books, watch TV shows.

Anything to escape for half an hour from reality.

Anything to feel light.

Anything for a few moments of colour.


the invisibility cloak

Sometimes this place gets to me. The provinciality of it. The predictability. The conformity. The religion. The harsh language. The  people. The traditions. The weather. The humidity. The lack of privacy.

Sometimes I would like to go somewhere and do something crazy without being scared that there will be someone who recognises me or that I will reencounter the people there. Sometimes it's nice to be invisible. To walk around in a place where no one knows your name. You have no history and people will judge you on what you look like and how you act not on who you know and what you were. Sometimes it would be good to take a plane and start over again. A clean slate. No baggage.

I could be anyone I want and no one would ask questions because they wouldn't know better. No one would ask me why I am quiet, or if something's wrong with me, or why I'm all noisy and boisterous. No one would know if I take up a new personality and act a character. I could invent a character in each city and no one would be surprised.

I would like to be in a place where not being religious is no big deal. Where not fitting in the crowd is not a big deal. Where I don't have to pretend. I would like to go somewhere where I could disappear in the background without someone pulling me out of the corner. Where I could analyse the human relationships and investigate more. Where I could watch the popular girl, the filled-with-hot-air guy, the socially awkward girl, the shy guy, the oblivious-to-the-world couple. And I could see how this play is acted out without having to read my lines.

It might be a coward's life but it's a life I occasionally yearn for.


There's an elephant in the room

Shall we pretend that nothing happens? That actions do not count? That the quote 'sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you' is not a cock-a-bull story? Shall we waltz around our lives playing minesweeper?

Shall we make believe? Shall we act our way through life like the greatest actors? Shall we put up the biggest pantomime were everything is how it should be and we are all perfect? I am perfect. You are perfect. He and she are perfect. Even it is perfect. And of course it goes without saying that they are perfect and therefore the maths of this solution arrives to the conclusion that we are all perfect.

Come, join me please. Let us make up stories together. Let us invent this normal standard and assume that we all fit under it. Let us all be the same, like soldiers marching into the future. Let us be united and strong so that no one will break us. Let us become one so much so that we cannot recognise ourselves from a crowd. And most importantly let us hide those who don't fall in the standard. Those who don't follow the code. Those who dare to be different, who try to object. Who do they think they are that they can just come up with ideas on their own? This is not what perfection is based on.

Let us play happy families, let us be all bffl's. Let us pretend that we love each other and that we don't know what hate means. Let us smile and wave just like the penguins in Madagascar.

Let us ignore the majestic elephant in the room.