Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Unbroken

unbroken

 

It’s like waking up one afternoon and realizing that the pieces don’t fit anymore. It’s hard realizing how much you wanted it to work—how hard you bled for it—but it had to end in such a bitter, cold way.

 

No matter what you do, that one person can never understand why you did the things you did. That one person can never fully accept that sometimes words must be said, pats must be given, coffee breaks must be shared. That one person can never understand even if he tried.

 

It’s like walking down the street with your head empty. The sky starts to mourn and it’s no big deal as you start to get wet. It’s like you wanted to get wet in the first place.

 

It can be painful yet surprisingly liberating all at the same time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Floating

float
The wind blew hard. The curtains that draped over the windows fluttered as if they were sails of a huge wooden ship (the ones you see in old movies, dating back to 18th century history) braving a terrible weather en route to a new land. Think of John Smith on his ship, that should give you a clear picture. The lightning flashes could clearly be seen from the living room. I started to feel chills run down to my arms.

After I waved a stick of cigarette to my friend on my way out, she said, Naa pa ka? I smiled and went to my room to get the rest of the sticks that I’d bought before she arrived.

The wind was really cold outside. It felt like a storm was brewing. The sky looked terribly dark, and the lightning flashes made it look like a swirling vortex willing to suck everything. For a moment, I felt a chill run down my spine. I thought of being struck by lightning, or heaven forbid lightning should strike our house.

I stood cold on the porch, watching the sky. Before the cold -and the chill from paranoid-driven thoughts- could wrap me whole, I lighted a cigarette and breathed the nicotine into my system. It felt warm- relaxing. It had been weeks since I had my last nicotine trip.

“What if pabyahe-on ka un this kind of weather on a bangka?”
I asked my friend while she was busy texting and puffing her stick.

"Dili ko ui, risky kaayo!"

“What if kauban imong uyab?” I jokingly asked.

She said something like, Aw, kana! OK kaayo!” with a big smile on her face.

I had to stifle a laugh and shake my head. Adik! I said.

We all need a sort of survival jacket during harrowing times, so to speak. ‘Cause then things wouldn’t suck—or be as bad—as much. To others, they sort of turn to ‘romantic jackets’ to comfort them during these times, which I think is human. It’s always the thought of having a ‘lover’ that keeps them warm at night, so to speak, again.

As for me, I don’t really think of a romantic jacket when it comes to the subject. And that’s not just because I have never had any romantic relationship since birth (one that’s official, and, say, not just mutual) and have given up on the hope that I might one day find a pair of hands that fit my own hands. I’ll get to that point someday. Where I am right now, all I need is a bunch of crazy and loving people who know my worth—and who need me in their life. I have my family, I have real friends, and for now it’s more than enough to keep me floating amidst belligerent waters.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Encounter with the Worst Kind

trike

Some of the worst people in the planet are tricycle drivers here in Tagbilaran. Some being the operative word. I’ve had a lot—and too much—of unfriendly (unfriendly is such an understatement) interactions with these people that sometimes I think of bringing a knife when I go out and use public transportation so I can plunge it into a driver’s throat should the situation deem such criminal action morally acceptable.

Just this morning, after I dropped my brother off at school, I unfortunately boarded a red, close-to-extinction tricycle. I didn’t know if the driver was either sleep-driving or just plain dull because he took the longer route. I did not complain because after all he was the driver, so it was not my business if he wanted to waste his gas. About a block away from my house, he said Unahan man diay sa Peanut Kisses inyoha, nilibot pa jud ta! in a rather surly tone.

I felt blood shot to my ears. “It’s not my fault you’re such an idiot!” I shot back trying to sound as aggravated with his words as I was. He didn’t respond, and I almost scolded myself for not talking back in the vernacular. I didn’t know if he knew enough English words to understand what I said to him. But he understood the word idiot, I gathered, because after he got my fare he threw it into the coin counter as if he didn’t care that he could miss.

“Idiot!” I said to his face without a care that he might get off his motor and punch me in the face. “Kinsa may driver, ikaw o ako?” I added.

I swore he looked like he was about to explode. He sped off like a speed maniac without saying anything, which I was glad about. I was not exactly in the brawling mood that morning. Not that I’ve ever been in a brawl with a driver before; just something close to it.

And now that I’m at it, I just would like to say that some tricycle drivers stink like cat shit; they stink so bad that you’d wish you were dead if only to not be able to smell them.

I’ve also encountered drivers who talked a lot about the President. Some complain about the high price of gas. Some ask questions about my view on the ‘estado sa atong ekonomiya’, as one bearded driver put it. Excuse me, but I don’t talk to strangers, let alone have conversations with them.

As with the smell, I’ve learned to hold my breath for a few minutes while desperately gasping for air through my mouth every time I feel like I’m going purple; and it’s not really a problem ’cause most of the time I bring a hanky to cover my nose. You see, I have absolutely nothing against tricycle drivers. Unless they’re major assholes, of course.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Like Death Warmed Up

nose

I should be off to bed at this moment, but while I can still ignore the tired feeling in my eyes, I also feel it best that I continue to entertain my writing mood tonight. If I were to be asked, "How's the cold doing?", I might just respond in the same exact way Emily Charlton did to Andrea Sachs in the movie  The Devil Wears Prada, "Like death warmed up, actually." Of course, I wouldn’t dare miss saying it with the British accent because I am deeply infatuated with the accent.

A cold is something that just ruins everything for me. And this cold that I have right now is not really due to my allergy—yes, I do have an allergy, and it’s a clinical finding, mind you—but due to the erratic changes in the weather.

It’s clear to me that all this absurd changes in weather is a manifestation of global warming. And I mean, what the fucking hell, are we doing about it? What gets me about this whole global warming phenomenon is that people aren’t doing the necessary steps to at least attend to it, to hinder its effect on our planet—on us. A lot of people, I think, are still in the dark about it. But the worse part is that there are people who are fully aware of it -and are capable of doing something- who aren’t exactly what you call ‘concerned’ with what’s happening; they’re not doing anything.

So yeah, I mean it’s not like a simple act of being ‘green’ can ultimately and instantly alter what’s happening, but it’s those little acts that start the bigger things, right?

Right.

I have already consumed almost half of a loo roll, and I’ve taken about four litres of water. I am drowning from the inside. It feels like there’s a huge sponge in my nose. My head feels clogged up, too. And my hearing is slightly affected. My nose has already gone red and sore because of constant wiping and rubbing. So yeah, I guess I should really be hitting the sack.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Morning with Christian

christian

Max is barking like an idiot. That bloody dog needs to shut up. But of course, if it weren’t for that askal roaming around the neighbourhood at night, we can all have some peace and quiet. And I wouldn’t have to peer through the window and tell him Shut up, Max! Patyon ta ka ron!. Of course, like a clever pawed creature, he would pipe down—but only for a few minutes. As soon as he sees that bloody askal, he starts barking like a crazed hound. This happens almost every frigging night.

The last thing I need tonight is a distraction. Not when I’m all pumped up to write.

So this morning, while my mum tried to landscape the front lawn with the help of our trustee house help Bags, I did some cleaning around the house. I was not really up for the task since I was feeling rather ill due to my pesky nose—apparently, the slight itch in my nose had turned into a real cold—but hey, I couldn’t count on our invisible housemates to do the cleaning, so I, well, cleaned. And while I was cleaning, I plugged in my mp3 player (dear Snowflake) and for a change listened to Christian Bautista’s Live album—oh, you know, our local music industry’s take on Unplugged. And while I liked the way his voice sometimes teeter on high notes, I hated that it had to break on some parts.

I overheard my mum and our help talking about my odd unusual choice for music this morning. Unsa kahay nakaon sa usa ka taw, nay? I heard my mum say. See, my family is not really used to hearing me play (mainstream) love songs, especially from local artists. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain Pinoy artists that I like. It’s just that you’d rarely hear me play their songs.

I thought I’d like the whole album, given that I’m familiar with ninety-percent of the track list, but I skipped a few tracks. I’m not such a big fan of extra cheesy love songs. And yeah, I belted out some notes, daydreaming I were in a room surrounded by adoring fans who almost drooled while listening to me. I liked the sound of my voice this morning—kind of husky, thanks a lot to my cough.

After If Ever You’re in My Arms Again, I skipped to the original Unplugged style of MTV. And of course, the artist was no other than (drum rolls, please) Alanis Morissette. One certain thing one must know about me is that I never (and I mean n-e-v-e-r) fail to listen to Alanis every single day. Hey, what else can I say?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lump In My Throat

lump

I feel a lump in my throat, and a congestion in my nose. I feel the terrible tandem coming—cough and colds. It must be ’cause of the horrible weather; one day it’s blazing hot, and the next thing you know, it’s raining cats and dogs. But whatever.

Just a thought that came to me while I sipped Irish cream-flavoured brewed coffee at a coffee shop—while I listened to a boy friend air out his girl problems, and while we waited for a girl friend to arrived (again, it took her forty-eight years to arrive, but no harm anyway): time really does move like a snail when you’re waiting for something. But I’ve waited too long to give up now. Two months more wouldn’t hurt.

It seems as if I’ve been waiting all my life. Waiting for someone to let me under his skin, waiting for friends to realize the gift of the couch, waiting for my rocket to come. Now, seriously, it’s a figurative thing.

Truth is, I’ve been tempted, countless times, to leave- to give in to the flow. Some people around my age are already making their mark in, as some people would call post-college life, the real world. I’ve always found it stupid why others refer to post-college life ‘the real world’. Like, was life before graduating college just a fantasy? Some pile of bullocks, I think. And when you’re living in a world of superficiality, where the only thing that people seem to care about is how much money you’re earning, it’s not easy to keep your ground. But of course I know better than to let it all rule me. I have been gifted with my own will and I intend to use it. Will, for the lack of better word.

Sometimes waiting takes a lot of courage, too, you know. It’s not always that waiting means you’re too afraid to move away from your platform. So what if I still don’t have a stable job? It’s not like I’ve been completely unemployed after college. And it’s not like I’ve been asking around for money. Hell no! I’ve worked my ass for whatever it is that I’m spending right now. It took gruelling—and jaw-breaking—hours of teaching English . So unless I’m asking you for money, keep your bloody nose out of my business.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Unfiltered, Intoxicated

intox
 
Think of Neil Gaiman and his skill for writing pie-eyed. That is what I am attempting to imitate right now.

For weeks, I have been struggling to keep my sanity intact, and I have been trying to resist hitting rock bottom. Of course, one who knows me should be able to come up with the conclusion that the two are completely difficult jobs that I am miserably failing at. And that the two are, of course, dependent on each other. I haven't been able to write a decent post. All I've been capable of was writing some poems that are evident of the mental and emotional turmoil that I've been going through. I missed writing. I miss writing—take note of the tense, for I am not entirely sure that I will be able to reach my goal of satisfying my need for catharsis.

Nothing has really happened during the past weeks. At least nothing pivotal. Like I've said, I haven't been able to write something that could pass as decent in my own judgment. I have just been scribbling down words, verses. I missed writing. And no matter what I did it seemed as if my muse still has not returned to its sanctuary. I've been reading a lot of blogs, articles, been listening to songs just to be able salvage a piece of inspiration to trigger my mind to write, but everything failed. So when all else fails, I can only hope that an experiment, one that I've read Neil Gaiman has done, will be fruitful enough to bring my writing consciousness back.

Don't get me wrong, I love to drink. But I am not a dipsomaniac. There's a huge difference, and I believe that so long as you're aware of the difference between the two, you're not really an alcoholic. And I also believe that people who drink when they have issues—okay, problems—are more than likely to become dipsomaniacs as opposed to those who drink out of merriment, and in my case: wanting to resurrect my writing senses.

So anyway, before I digress even further, I have finished one bottle of the venerated Red Horse. And I am on to my last bottle. Surely, you didn't think I'd be dense enough to indulge myself with more than two bottles of beer. If that was the case, then I would not even begin to write this.

I had a chat with a friend this afternoon and he sort of encouraged me to get back on the writing camp, to be random and even write in Tagalog. So here I am, just trying to be random—trying to embrace the juvenile tendency that I seem to have abandoned. Abandon. It's such a painful word. And for me, abandonment, like everything in this world, comes in different shades.

So far I don't think my drinking-to-write is doing me any good. My stomach feels a little hot, like steamy, and I'm constantly burping like a baby. I like babies. I think babies are adorable, like I-want-to-keep-my-nose-on-his-skin adorable. But I hate kids. I mean, as soon as babies stop being, well—babies, they become really annoying.

I like making babies cry. And now I'm reminded of someone who likes to make babies cry. But I shouldn't really think about that person. I should really just let it go. Shouldn't I, Flinch?

Anyway, I am aware that I am beginning to sound and look like an idiot because with every word I type I say it aloud, and with facial expressions. See? Am not really drunk at all. I am aware of what is happening. But I can't really tell if my grammar is still good or if my spellings are still correct. Ugh, who cares, right?

Oh, gawd, this is embarrassing. But I don't think I can call myself a writer unless I am able to write about the truth. And the truth is that I am fine. (Now that put a smile on my face)

The truth is that I am struggling. Struggling to keep my sanity and struggling not to abandon myself.

Did I just call myself a writer? Was it completely overconfident?

I haven't drank in a while. My friends and I have mutually gone on a drinking hiatus. It seems. I think we all want to keep the drinking down a little. Earlier this year, we've been drinking like whores in clubs, and so I think we all want to cleanse our system—at least for a while—so we just have coffee when we have a get-together.

Well, you know what, although my mom repudiates the fact that she has a quarter per cent of Chinese blood running through her veins, and thereby suggesting that her children have not an ounce of such blood in their bodies, I believe that I have at least some considerable Chinese blood in my system. At least from the way I see it through my glass. My mom has issues with her family, so I understand her wanting to disavow blood ties. But anyway, we have Chinese blood running through our veins whether we like it or not. So maybe that's why I am inclined to Chinese stuff. Like I so like listening to Chinese music, and I am entranced upon seeing Chinese sceneries, and I dream of one day touring China and spending a day or two in a Kutong village.

So have I written on to incoherence? If yes, then I guess it should make up for the times when I wanted to write but couldn't. I hope to be able to write again soon. And by write, I meant 'write'.

It's 11.01 and I still don't hear my eyes calling for the bed, which is normal. I don't know what else to write. I can hear the exhaust of the system unit hum. And I am listening to 'Incomplete' by Alanis Morissette.

Alanis Morissette. My friends are tired of listening to me talk about how Alanis has influenced my life. But Alanis is Alanis. And I wouldn't be who and what I am now if it weren't for her. One day I'd like to write something for her, a sort of panegyric piece.

Gawd, that sip of beer tasted awful.