Duality_entry 1

I do not have a split-personality disorder. It might look like I do, but nobody would look at it and, therefore, I don’t. People know me either from one side or another. They don’t talk to each other. One side doesn’t know about the other. I keep it simple. For others.

For example, I have a good job. It’s one of those prestigious jobs. When I say what I do people get slightly surprised. So I either do tell people (to surprise them). Or I don’t. I don’t particularly like ‘sticking out’. But I do. Like a really tall person would try to bend their knees in order to appear similar to others on a photo. I’d do the same with other people I meet throughout life. But, of course, when you look at a photo where one obviously tall person obviously tries to look shorter it looks ridiculous. But not always. I’m mastering the skill of ‘blending in’. I could write a book about it. But I won’t. I hate it much but not enough.

So my job requires me to wear smart clothes and to always be presentable. I talk to important people, so I have to always think about what I say. Or wear. I bet all those ‘high-flyers’  really enjoyed drama at school. We didn’t have drama at school. But I participated in theatre anyway. I’m glad I did. My acting skills became quite handy in life.

So I get up in the morning, make myself presentable, and go to work where I act ‘poshish’. Good thing I’m a foreigner. It’s not so easy to pin me down and realise that I’m a faker. I don’t think I am. But they probably don’t think that about themselves either. We are all professionals.

But it’s not that simple. Before going to work, you have to shower, put make up on, etc. I can’t quite do that. I live in a place that gathered couple hundreds of artists, illegal immigrants, and other representatives or ‘lower’ layers of the society. We have no showers. Well, there’s one. You pay 1 pound and you have 12 minutes to shower. In theory. In practice it’s about 3, because other 9 minutes you spend jumping out and standing outside of the cubicle due to constant and extreme changes in water temperatures. After the shower I have to walk for 5 minutes through the entire building before I get to my room. Me room has no kitchen. No bathroom. Thankfully, we do have more than one shared bathroom. It obviously stinks. Kitchen I had to organise myself. It’s really quite amazing how resourceful residents of this place are. I bet my coworkers lack this degree of survival skills. They’d probably cry in an environment like this. Well, I did once or twice. One time I found myself punching a pillow in the middle of the night. People that live in this bohemian nest like to party. And they do not like rules. This anarchic approach does not match my 9 to 5 lifestyle. So I sleep with earplugs in, which cause ongoing ear infection. What’s even worse ear plugs don’t always help. My neighbour upstairs is a DJ and he likes to invite friends over after they go out clubbing. So sometimes I wake up in the middle of a drum’n’bass party. I think this is one of those cases when I found myself crying.

But I like people I live with. Anarchists, hippies, artists, whatever you want to call them – they are all rebels. They are the brave ones that chose to fight against ‘the system’. Weird to the last cell of their bodies they represent everything what I like about life: freedom, vitality, individuality. Yes, they are all poor. But you hardly ever meet one person who’s exactly like the other. And they are all willing to chat to you to, to connect with you – truly genuine people. They all…we all…share passion for this independent, almost spiritual way of living.

I write a lot at work. And I do a fair amount of research. So I have to concentrate and I have to build words in a linear structure: accurate and precise. My job doesn’t tolerate mistakes. My job also doesn’t tolerate individuality. I have to follow rules. I don’t know who created these rules, but everyone seem to agree that this is how we do things here. And so do I. I keep the distance. I don’t ask personal questions. My emails are informative, yet polite. I wait for men to open doors for me. Yep, I do that too. Never have, but after I’ve opened a door for a man once and saw the look on his face I’ve realised that I nearly created a revolution. So I don’t do such ridiculous things anymore. In fact, I probably spend about 50% of my time at work thinking about how I ought to behave. I feel like an orphan that was adopted by a rich upper middle class family. I must be thankful. But I’m a street kid. I’m only doing this because it’s fun. I’m playing this game while I think it’s fun. And I like the fact that I can work in place most people find ‘elitist’. I’m an elitist, because I’m clever. And that’s quite clever. You can try and argue.

Duality, how I love and hate thee.

And it is mutual. I look at my life and can’t help but wonder what’s holding all these parts together. It must be the destiny. And looks like she has a very wicked sense of humour.

To be continued…


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