Thank you…

To the first person who “bought” Unquiet Minds on Smashwords. 🙂

I didn’t mention it before, but it is pay what you want for the ebook. If you can’t or don’t want to pay, then simply reward me with a couple of nice words. My email address is at the end of the book.

Cathy

73 questions

1. What’s your favorite movie
A few good men / my own private Idaho

2. Favorite movie in the past five years?
Théo & Hugo / Deadpool 2

3. Favorite Hitchcock film?
Never seen a Hitchcock film

4. A book you plan on reading?
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?
On n’est pas sérieux quand on a dix-sept ans by Barbara Samson (English title: Being seventeen)

6. Favorite TV show that’s currently on?
The Big Bang Theory / How to get away with Murder / the Americans

7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?
If One is bad and Ten is super excited, I am a 4

8. iPhone or Android?
Android. Never had and never will own an iPhone

9. Twitter or Instagram?
Twitter

10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?
Matt Haig. Not only is he a very talented author, he is also openly speaking about mental health, and overall, he is not afraid to speak his mind.

11. What’s your favorite food?
The French call it Bouchée à la Reine. (Vol au vents?)

12. Least favorite food?
Brussel sprouts

13. What do you love on your pizza?
Spinach, prawns, eggs

14. Favorite drink?
Tea or Pinot Gris

15. Favorite dessert?
Mousse au Chocolat

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Milk Chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?
Tea

18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?
Managing the chaos and remembering everyone’s schedules, while working, and making sure everyone has enough clean clothes in their cupboard to last two days

19. What’s your favorite band?
Anathema

20. Favorite solo artist?
Ben Howard

21. Favorite song?
Running up that hill by Kate Bush (and most cover versions too)

22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
Robbie Williams

23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?
Piano

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?
Left lower arm

25. To be or not to be?
To be

26. Dogs or cats?
Neither, but if I had to choose: dogs

27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?
Whale-watching

28. Best gift you’ve ever received?
A personal song from a musician I once admired

29. Best gift you’ve ever given?
Personalized jewelry. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but I took great care in choosing it and there person was really happy and is wearing it a lot

30. Last gift you gave a friend?
Tote bag

31. What’s your favorite board game?
Karuba

32. What’s your favorite country to visit?
France is nice

33. What’s the last country you visited?
Germany

34. What country do you wish to visit?
UK and/or Patagonia (which, of course, is, technically, only a region in Argentina)

35. What’s your favorite color?
Purple

36. Least favorite color?
Orange

37. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds

38. Heels or flats?
Flats

39. Pilates or yoga?
Yoga

40. Jogging or swimming?
Jogging

41. Best way to de-stress?
Drinking Maté and listening to music. A bath helps too.

42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation

43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?
Acknowledgement, awkward, jealous

44. What’s your favorite flower?
Sunflower

45. When was the last time you cried?
Today

46. Do you like your handwriting?
Yes

47. Do you bake?
Yes

48. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
I am too hairy everywhere

49. What is your most favorite thing about yourself?
My eyes, my ass, my boobs, my humour, my wit, my empathy

50. Who do you miss most?
Jamie and Daniel

51. What are you listening to right now?
Snoring of my partner. Musically, I am listening to a random playlist on Spotify

52. Favorite smell?
My perfume (Jean-Paul Gaultier pour Femme)

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My boss

54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?
Robert

55. A sport you wish you could play?
Ballet

56. Hair color?
Brown

57. Eye color?
Brown

58. Scary film or happy endings?
Happy Ending

59. Favorite season?
Fall

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
River Phoenix, Emma Thompson, Thom Yorke

61. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs

62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
The Beatles (duh!!)

63. Where were you born?
Luxembourg city

64. What is the farthest you have been from home?
Djerba (Tunisia)

65. Sweet or savory?
Savory

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?
Lipstick

67. What book have you read again and again?
None. There are books I read twice, but usually, I only read them once.

68. Favorite bedtime story?
None

69. What would be the title of your autobiography?
In search of a balanced mind – the story of a troubled soul

70. Favorite sound?
Happy children playing and laughing

71. Favorite animal?
Donkey

72. Who is your girl crush?
Angelina Jolie

73. Last photograph you took?

Showing my view to my colleague while chatting.

Questions in the comments are allowed and encouraged. Thank you.

(Credit to Vogue: 73 questions)

untitled flash fiction 20180701 or With you, I want to live

“Do you ever think about suicide? About ending it all? Just vanishing? Being gone? Not existing at all?” he asked, avoiding making eye-contact. He took a sip of his coffee and looked at the people on the other side of the street. She didn’t answer. She didn’t know how. “I do,” he continued. “I think about it. All the time. Not about death itself, but how to make it easier for those around. And I wonder what they will say and who will miss me.” Their eyes briefly met, before he averted his gaze and looked at the clouds in his coffee. “I would miss you,” she croaked, cleared her throat and repeated the same words in a steadier voice. “Why?” he whispered. “Why” was a question that often made his life unnecessarily hard. That three-letter word made him dread and anticipate answers, all at once. “Because the thought of not having you close to me breaks me inside. The void you would leave would swallow me.” Tears welled up in his eyes. He didn’t want to make a scene, but she had a thing with words; always finding the words that forced his emotions to explode. “If you were gone, I would probably follow you. There is nothing keeping me here. If it wasn’t for you, I would not be here,” she whispered sadly. He didn’t know how to react and how to respond. He just covered her hand with his trembling one. She looked at their hands, then she lifted her head to look into his face – into his eyes. “Please don’t leave me behind,” she begged. “Never,” he replied. “I love you too much.” She nodded, wiping the corner of her eye. A tear was threatening to ruin her makeup. Lately, she had thought about taking her own life a lot. She led a happy life, but something dark was clawing at her thoughts. Something devastating was fraying the edges of her fragile soul. Holding on was much more exhausting than she would have ever thought. Why was living and staying alive so easy for most people? Why was it so hard for her? And him too. “Let’s promise each other to stay alive together for as long as we can. There are reasons to stay alive, right? If I remind you of them, and you me, we will be okay.” On the other side of the street, a toddler was crying in his stroller. From her point of view, it looked as if he didn’t like being strapped tightly in the stroller without any means to break free. “Freedom is just an illusion. A creation of the mind. The emotional cage we are living in is a creation of the mind too. It either helps us to stay sane, or we will break and grow insane.” He tilted his head to the side and took a sip of his coffee. It was as if he was seeing her for the first time. He had been too busy with his own thoughts, missing that she was not alright either. “Depression is a selfish bastard,” he thought out loud, taking his hand back. “We should go,” she ignored his statement, got up from her chair and put her bag over her shoulder. He stood next to her, kissed her forehead and let his hand find hers. She looked up at him. The affection in her eyes made his heart race. “I love you,” he blurted out. He had never said the words before, but they had never been this true and important to share either. A genuine beaming smile appeared on her face. She didn’t reciprocate his words. She didn’t have to; he felt her love wafting off her skin. Being alive wasn’t so bad, if he was allowed to do it with her.

For You.

And as my fingers tire from the constant typing, my thoughts drift to a safe place. The place that is inhabited inside of me, by you. I never hide for you, I forgot how to. It is scary to be vulnerable for someone new. But also, it is not, because this is you. There is no need to make this into something it is not, but I love you. And the longer I think about you, to more I realize that it is true.

More thoughts about (self-publishing)

I have all these thoughts in my head that want out right away…

Self-Publishing on paperback is such a pain in my (extremely sexy) posterior. (Sex sells, right!?) I can remember now why I didn’t bother with my first attempts… But the prospect of holding a real book made of real paper in my hands, with my words inside and outside, with my handwriting on the cover… It makes up for the hassle. It really does. In about 72 hours my book will be available for your Kindle and next week it will be on Amazon to buy as a paperback.

Exciting times. Even more so when I think back to last week. Last week, I didn’t even think about publishing.

Once again, go buy or download this amazing book called “Writing Notes”. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/844360

One of the first reactions: “I love this. It touches the heart”

Cathy

News

So… Today I did something quite impulsive… I published a book. It is pay what you want and if you are a regular reader you might have seen this or that entry before. But… I would love it if you took a look. The book is pay what you want. If you can, give a little change, if you don’t, please just share the book with your friends.

I am excited and freaking out at the same time.

Here are the links.

Catherine Micqu’s Smashwords Author Profile: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/micqu

Writing Notes:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/844360

Cathy

PS: it’s National Day in Luxembourg. We are celebrating our Grand-Duke’s birthday.

The Road (throwback poetry)

I’ve been on this road for many years
Trying to forget all those tears.
And in the deepest low
Behind the darkest glow,
Hope was always hiding
A light was always shining.

I’ve been on this road, walking endless miles
Ignoring the past’s echoes and its cries.
And as I stopped and sat down
It took me a moment to understand that there were new friends in town.
My restless travels and my frantic searching were in vain
This was where I wanted to be stayin’.

I’ve been down that road so many times
Creating stories and words in my minds.
And in the shining sun
When I felt like I needed to run,
I found solace in my broken thoughts,
Tying together their fraying knots.

But this is not the end of the road,
This traveler’s pace has just been slowed.
Soaking in the beautiful landscape
Even the one that was manmade.
Just resting my weary eyes
And listening to the path the soul takes when it flies…

No words to say

They don’t see what I can’t tell, they can’t understand that I am not well.

Everything is perfectly fine, apart from me and my mind.

Another morning filled with silent tears, this is the worst in years.

I can’t go on and I can’t give up, but I need to make this stop.

It’s crippling me, breaking me into pieces; the overwhelmed feeling increases.

I know they love me, they see me, but even their love can’t free me.

How can they see what I don’t tell, and that I am living in my personal hell?

I dread the moment when i lose my strength and cave. Until now, I have been brave. For now, I safe. Please, keep me safe?

Say something

If my sun isn’t rising, it is because the flames in my soul are burning my sins.

I dream awake and try to find answers that are tattooed under my skin.

And every time the rain hides my tears, there is an explosion within.

Without asking, you took myself away from me, and I don’t know where I’ve been.

Redeem my sins. Tattoo your love on my skin, and spark explosions within. Tell me where you’ve been. I am waiting for you to say somethin’.

underneath the surface of my skin (throwback poetry, June 3rd 2016)

Underneath the surface of my soul hides a raging silence. One that becomes louder with every scream. One that haunts me in my sleep.

Underneath the surface of my soul lie many hidden emotions. Those that are never far from being voiced. Those that bubble up until they become an explosion.

Underneath the surface of my soul lives a ghost. One that will never see light, yet never succumbs to darkness either.

Underneath the surface of my soul are rotting lost hopes. Those that make me have regrets. Those that pull me down and make me drown.

Underneath the surface of my soul a whisper is repeated. One that says ‘I’m still in love with you’. One that says ‘I’m still loving you’.

Underneath the surface of my soul are blooming fragile bonds. Those that will last forever, even when they are broken. Those that constrict my heart with their beautiful intensity.

Underneath the surface of my soul is a place for you. One that will always stay yours. One that will never fade – even when it is invisible.

Destination Unknown (repost from March 2014)

I am nervous. It isn’t only the flight that makes my pulse race, but it is the knowledge that in a few hours, I will be able to look into his eyes, to hear his real voice, to feel his arms around myself and to smell his scent. All for the first time.

This is not my typical self. I was never the adventurous type, I prefer to live my life as straight-forward and predictable as possible.

But then I met him. A lot of things are different with him. We met on the web. It was never really my world and meeting a man and falling in love? That was for fools only. He made the first step, chatting me up and at first it was only meant to be fun and distracting for me. Banter and flirting, where’s the harm in that? Slowly, though, his emails and the photos he sent me day after day, became the highlight of my mornings. And now I sit here. In a tin can that is about to fly me across the ocean and to him, and I just have a one-way ticket.

****

The plane starts to move and takes me out of my reveries. The flight will be long. There will be time to worry and to be happy and to be afraid too. For now, my hands are clammy as the trees become a blur, and I get pushed into my seat. Takeoff. Silent tears stream down my face. I am not able to stop them, and I am too panicked to make a sound. I look out of the window, grabbing the armrests until my knuckles become white, and I can only see the clear blue sky. I look past the row of other passengers and look out of the opposite window. I can only see green fields. My hands grip the armrest that separates me from the empty seat next to me tighter, and my fingers hurt, but I am not ready to let go of my support. It’s becoming my safety. And then, the plane seems to have reached its travel height. The tension slowly fades away from me, and I breathe, relieved. I am not afraid to fly, its the takeoff that makes me panic and with no one by my side to soothe or distract me, the fear and anxiety I experience in this situation is overwhelming. Once the plane is up in the air, everything is okay. I have to sit by the window, though. I need to see everything around me, the fake control calms me.

****

I am giving up my old life for him. I sold everything I couldn’t fit into a few bags, I gave up my job and my flat, only to fly into the unknown. A new continent, a different language, no job, no apartment and I have never even met the man in person. He is supposed to take me in and help me get my feet on the ground over there. What, if he doesn’t like me? What if we don’t get along? And what if he is a creep? Before I can rile myself up too badly, I feel my eyelids becoming heavy, and I slowly drift off into a dreamless sleep. At last, the Xanax my sister slipped me in my drink is kicking in.

Next thing I know is that a flight attendant wakes me up and asks me to fasten my seat belt. “We are going to land soon.” Did I actually sleep almost six hours? In a plane? Alone?

The plane lands effortlessly, and I breathe again. It feels like the first deep breath since I woke up this morning. The landing is never as hard for me as the takeoff, because of the pure knowledge that soon there will be solid ground underneath my feet again. I am so weird. But that makes me my loveable self.

People scramble their belongings together and make their ways to the exit, where a flight attendant waits and says goodbye to every single passenger. I like this. It’s nice. It’s normalcy. Polite too.

As soon as I enter the terminal, my heart begins to pound in my chest. The inevitable moment is close. I don’t have to wait long at the baggage claim. For once I wouldn’t have minded to wait, if only to stall and keep the inevitable from happening. I heave my bags on my luggage cart. I hate to steer those things because they never go in the direction I want them to go, but with a bit of effort, lots of strength and one or two choice words, I manage to push it to the exit. Ropes separate the newly arrived from the ones being there to pick them up. My heart beats so fast, it threatens to burst my ribcage. It’s an unpleasant feeling. I see people falling into each other’s arms, crying happy tears and clinging onto each other. Families, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons… Reunited. Different people who arrived at their destination. Not me. I am an alien.

The crowd slowly dissipates, and I am still looking for the one person who is set to pick me up. I’m beginning to fear that he isn’t here, but then, through a group of laughing teenagers, I see a man holding up a poster. SHELLY, it reads. That’s my nickname. It is him. I feel hot, and I smile. I don’t want to do it, but I can’t stop or hide it. It takes me a moment to get my legs moving. They are like lead and trembling as if I had never taken a step before.

At first sight and from the distance, he is even more gorgeous than he was in his pictures. I see him stretching and rising on his tiptoes. He is scanning the crowd with a frown. I can see the exact moment his eyes land on me, and he recognizes me. A bright smile erupts on his face, and I know it is matching my own.

Step by tiny step, we get closer to each other until we both stop in our tracks. Only three steps separate us, and I see his face becoming serious, the smile faded and he is worrying his bottom lip with his teeth. How do I approach him? Are there any rules for this? I am unsure what to do, my instinct tells me to run away from this weird situation, but my body doesn’t want to obey. And I don’t know where to hide anyway. Dreadful moments pass, and I wait. Frozen. Unable to act or react.

“Shelly,” he whispers almost inaudibly, because of the busy people hurrying to get to their planes and the ones hurrying to get home. I nod, not knowing what else to do.

The poster glides from his hands and slides to the floor while he takes another step towards me. Feet are walking over the white sheet of paper. I see it and think for a brief moment that it’s such a waste, then my thoughts are back in the now. The suspense and anticipation are killing me. My heart still races and if nothing happens now, the moment passes, and we will never get it back. And the something inside of me snaps. I can’t contain myself any longer and jump into his arms, laughing out loud. He catches me with ease. He is shorter than I had imagined him to be, but he is still a few inches taller than me. My body fits his perfectly. I bury my nose in his neck and smile when I notice his scent. It is an aphrodisiac. His arms come up and circled my waist almost lifting me off the floor, and I laugh happily. The sound is bubbling out of me. His arms feel like home, and I haven’t even heard him say more than a whisper.

My hands cup his cheeks, and I scan his face. I look into his eyes – beautiful light green eyes. I take a step back, not to walk away, but to get a proper look at him. His cheeks are stubbly, just how I love it, and his ginger hair is cut close to the head, but not too close. He is gorgeous. His lush lower lip begs to be kissed and again, it is me who takes the first step and I kiss him hesitantly. He kisses me back and pulls me closer to him. All of this is shallow, and I know it, it is appearances and superficialities, but I already know the person hiding inside.

Reluctantly, he lets go of me and now, he looks me up and down, making me slightly uncomfortable. Mere moments ago, I did the same to him, and I feel a little ashamed that I did. What does he see when he looks at me?

“Let’s go home,” he says smiling and with a grunt, he gets my luggage cart to move and pushes it towards to parking lot.

Time and time again, we look at each other, only to shyly look away again. We load my bags into his truck, and he comes around to open my door. His truck seems huge, but every car I see here is. I am not in Kansas – sorry, Europe – anymore.

Before I can climb into the massive vehicle, he holds me by the wrist and spins me around. I stumble into his arms, but again, he catches me with ease. He lowers his lips to mine and then, kisses me passionately. I’ve been kissed before – a lot, but I’ve never been kissed like this before. It takes my breath away and leaves a warm feeling inside. My heart skips a beat, and it is as though an electrical shock rushes through my entire body. I am aware of how silly it sounds, even more so because I used to make fun of people saying this. But wow… If I have had moments of doubt about my decision earlier, I am sure now, to be at the right place with the right person.

“I am glad you are here. Finally.” His voice is gentle, but deep and a little hoarse. I like it very much, and I wonder what it will sound like in the morning when he wakes up. It occurs to me that I will hear it soon enough, and it makes me smile again.

“You must be starving. Would you like to go out on a dinner date with me?” he asks formally. It takes me a while to find the right words and my voice, but I accept his invitation. Of course, I do. We seal the agreement to our first official date with a long kiss. A car honks, and we break apart, chuckling like teenagers. We drive off into the sunset. Destination unknown.

***
(Unedited… I will get to that later…)

Last letter to a stranger

I always knew that I wouldn’t be the one to save you. I cannot save myself, how could I possibly save you? See? I thought we had a connection. I really did. After all, you saved me for more than two years. We share the same thoughts and opinions. We share the same fantasies. But that is not enough. It is not enough to be less toxic than it is. Because you are who you are, and I am who I am. Together we are bad for each other. Apart, we are in pain; but it is healthier than any other option. And that’s good. But because I also am who I am, I am willing to submit to you and your wishes. I am willing to forget what I know, I am willing to forget who I am, to be the person you want. But you know what? That’s not how it works. I am a strong woman. I might not always be mentally stable – in fact, a lot of my latest bouts of depression and feelings of unworthiness were fuelled by you. I know that you are blind to that. Or are you just pretending? You are in your head and I am in mine. You are in my head too. I romanticised something that was not romantic in the first place. Or maybe, maybe it was. Maybe it was too much. There is a reason why I keep thinking of you as my twinflame. I allowed you to do things and tell me things I would never have allowed anyone else. Willingly. I gave my consent. I gave you all the control over our situation. I reasoned for myself that it was out of respect for who you are and what you do – being in the public eye and all. But the truth is: I wanted to push away my own responsibility. Truth is, I need someone to take care of me. Someone who shows affection and is attentive to my needs. Someone who tells me what I need to hear. I wanted that person to be you. I assumed things and I projected feelings… It was my own fault. My responsibilities. In the end – you are free as a bird. Caged by your own insecurity and your own mental health. Me, I am not free. I live in my own cage. No, I am not free. And yet, I am the one who tried to demand all these things from you. Mostly, I demanded time and some sort of steadiness. You weren’t willing to give me that. Of course I felt rejected and began to overthink. And I ended up in a spiral that didn’t allow me to break free. I am still holding on, to be honest. Even though I understand your “fuck off” in my direction very well. But – silence is easy. Talking is brave. We are both cowards, though. We had this one opportunity and we didn’t use it. But again, blaming this one opportunity is wrong. We had so much time; we had months and years, but, we chose to keep the distance. We never shared anything physical. Not even once. And this brings to my mind something you said after our last video-call. I said that for the first time, it felt real. You smiled and said: nothing is real unless you are in the same room and breathe the same air. I wanted it to be wrong. But last night I understood how right you were. We were in the same room. We breathed the same air. I even inhaled your cigarette smoke. And yet… We were miles apart. We never tried to bridge the gap. Of course, it would have been my role to play the proper fangirl and try to get to you. But – I am not a fangirl. I never was. You are only human. You have flaws, plenty of them. And I was willing to accept them and you. I deserve and demand a better treatment. I am worth more than that. At a training a couple of weeks ago, we were asked to write down the answer to the question: how much am I worth? I had a good day and so I answered: I am worth more than I allow myself to be.

You once told me that you don’t deserve to be loved. That you deserve to feel pain. I think, you deserve to be loved the way you are. I think, one should not change in order to be loved – no matter who you are and how you behave. And I think that you don’t deserve pain, though I know what you mean when you say you do.

The other day I wanted to mark myself and the upcoming event. But I felt a complete lack of emotions.

Last night, while I stood in the crowd. I felt that lack of emotions too. It’s the opposite of how I am feeling now. Silence scares me. Your silence is at once comforting and torturing. equal to being rejected and being ignored. So what am I doing now? What the fuck am I doing?! I am doing what I kept doing for so long. I am finding excuses for you and forgetting me and my needs. We both know that it was and is all about you. My own needs just coincidentally match some of yours. And you fed me just enough to stay around. Now that you said goodbye, all I feel is empty and I am drowning in a void. Oh Stranger… I can’t let go – I have to let you go. I want to protect us both. I want the best for you. And me. I keep forgetting me. Such a bad habit, isn’t it? And I keep forgetting to learn my lessons, too. This was important for me. Very much so. You said that we will meet in an other life. We only have this one life. I choose to write this final letter. Intense and overwhelming, just how you know me. And how you will miss me. Goodbye dear stranger. I will miss you forever and a day.

Always and forever your Sweetie

November 2017