There is a truth and it’s on our side

Well, I’ve got a new realization — that I don’t really like the idea of beaches. Somehow, it seems that every communication material — pictures, songs, literary passages — all of it associate beaches to this sort of place culled for lovers where they can have sex and all of it will be romantic. I find it too mawkish, sensationalized, dependent, conditional and weak. Not to mention too crowded and noisy and everybody seems to delight in this visualization of naked people.

On my end, I think I prefer the notion of seascapes. I associate it to solitude and finding of the self — a place where the wrecks of the world can be convened, at will, inside one’s mind. A force. An inner goodness. Genuine debauchery. Something like that.

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Claude Ver. 8

Claude Ver. 8

Debauchery.
That is the void in her life.
Debauchery.
Deep, endless debauchery.

The elevator closed and, in her mind, she saw them grabbed each other. She saw her back pressed against the railing; his palm pressed against the wall. She saw his arm around her waist; hers around his nape, holding a notebook.

Classes have ended and, in her mind, she saw them – her lover and his past lover – disappeared.

She saw things that happened many years ago. On a sofa in the living room, in the car, on a piece of cloth, in the open air, under the stars, against the tree and wall, every time they were together. She saw his hips against hers, their bodies coiled and inseparable and buried in anticipation and ultimate fire.

Unable to bear the torment, she grabbed her laptop
and wrote the things she saw
many, many years ago. (To be continued)

The Ocean from Here

The Ocean from Here

She wasn’t there, in her cubicle, when I arrived.

It was empty, that part of the faculty area apart from the tables, the afternoon light passing through the window and the ravines dividing the place. Her spot was full of dust, past dated old calendars and dreams of its former occupant who was eaten by the ocean and drowned.

Well, at least the rumor claimed.

I don’t know if it’s true, but everyone knows what the former occupant did last summer. It was about two weeks before her wedding when she ran away with her student. Both of them just disappeared from the circulation one day.

During the early part of their absence, the staff and classmates assumed that the reason might have been just trivial, like a mere cough or a fever.

But time and weeks dragged on and both of them were gone. Nowhere to be found. No words were left. No notice either. Nothing. They simply disappeared, just like that. Like one day, they have decided not to exist in this conventional world anymore.

Like a bubble ceasing to float, developing contempt against the bubble populace.

They stayed in an island, it was said. Packed their bags with clothes, flash lights, canned goods – everything they could carry at a dead run. Then they hired a boat which carried them to their destination, but no one found out the existence of the boat. There was no trace. Not even a slight.

The island was remote, detached and unoccupied. People say they built a settlement somewhere in the area, made of woods, twigs, leaves and perhaps, love. But some says they have their tent, and it was where they dreamed their elusive dreams.

But a storm broke in the dead hour of the night, shaking their sleep. All the trees and vegetation swayed to and fro, trying to catch the unfamiliar song of the wind while avoiding the occasional bouts of the lightings.

It must have been beautiful, the entire universe in sheer panic, in the middle of the night, embracing you home.

Before they knew it the tide rose and the world quivered and the waves grew massive and rolled and crashed in that part of the island and that edge.

She wasn’t there, in her cubicle, when I arrived.

Nor did the island in its former spot. It was vacated, that part of the faculty area apart from the afternoon light passing through the window which overlooks the contour of the overlapping mountains.

I placed my bag on the table, took a pen and scribbled a note saying that I’d be back some other time. She must have been in her class but I cannot be sure.

I cannot see the ocean from here.

Into Being

Into Being

Years ago, back in college, I developed this odd habit of not sleeping at night. I would sit by the window, read a book, invent worlds, stare blankly into the space and possess time, until morning arrived. Then, the moment sun came into being and touched my existence, I would retreat to my room and sleep.

For a couple of hours.
A couple of hours that made people wonder if I sleep.
At all.

Now, again, for two consecutive timelines I have seen the break of dawn. Drowsiness was very elusive, but I managed to snatch sleep and smuggle it for a couple of hours. Like before. But was shorter.

Than before.

I wonder if it’s back and is reclaiming me.

Inhumanity

I recall a discussion I had with a past lover, regarding prostitutes. His theory was that prostitution stems solely from the lack of education. Totally disregarding the objective conditions that enslave the vast majority, the core of his contention stands on the popular belief that a college degree is a ticket out of poverty.

The base, on the other hand, stands on the shaky ground of his subjective assumption regarding human laziness.

He argued that prostitutes had choices—that they could work in the factory or call centers, or, at the very least, serve as maids or house help—disregarding the fact of the growing rates of unemployment, underemployment and job mismatch.

Hastily, he asserted that the only reason they had chosen the fatal path of sexual exploitation is the fact that in that scheme, money can be easily generated.

With figures based on flimsy estimation, he even calculated the possible income of prostitutes. A total of P2,000 a night could lead them to earning a sum of P20,000 in 10 days, and P60,000 in a month—excluding tax, of course.

Deducting their expenditures, they could still save a lot more, he claimed. Prostitution gives them easy access to the acquisition of material possessions—so easy it is that they have practically chosen to stay in the said industry.

He has, however, fundamentally disregarded the factor played by the failing economy, the growing social inequalities, and the fact that we were debating, not about commodities sold at a relatively fair price, but about the sheer exploitation of his fellow human beings.

To begin with, the unemployment problem stems not from the lack of education but from the lack of employment opportunity itself. Being connected to a larger oppressive scheme and considering the societal graces and their economic state of absolute poverty, the women have been forced by this system to swallow every opportunity for survival purposes, even if it means hocking their human dignity.

They are not prostitutes. They were prostituted.

To say that those women have choices and conclude that laziness is the root cause of their situation indicate perfect ignorance. If the condition for a decent standard of living means meeting the physiological, social and other needs and keeping the mortal existence beyond subsistence level, then most are living a life of sheer indecency.

In this era of economic inequality, options are available only to a privileged few. The rest of the population has to struggle. In the world of these women, options do not exist.

Because universities never teach pertinent matters about life, intellectual learning is reduced to a mere commodity framed in the form of a diploma. And given this feudal society that implants irrational beliefs in his head, I cannot blame my past lover for his uncritical reasoning.

But in his pool of anti-people and inhumane stances, I have lost all interest.

Also, in his poor sense of humanity.

Claude Ver. 7

CV7

Perhaps, within this year she will die.

She has already expected it, somehow. She will have a quiet death and it will be weeks before people discover her corpse. She moves about a lot and changes her identity a lot and when it arrives, it will take a very long time before her friends learn about her passing.

It will never break their hearts.

She will be alone when that moment comes. She’ll draw heavy breaths and in time, her existence will blur and people, even her lover, will gradually forget the truthfulness of it. She’ll look for something to hold but her hand will trip on old memories and hope, smashing them into pieces. Even in death, her room will be in clutter.

Perhaps, within this year she will die.
She has already expected it, somehow.

It will be a disappointment when it doesn’t arrive. (To be continued)

Said the Really Useful Book

3

In the beginning, she found herself in a new and empty space.

And all was white, and the corners were a bit flaky, and the carpet was a bit manky, but it was a good space. And she sat in the center and saw a clean white sheet of void.

She held the charm to her face.

And reflected in the charm was a city of lost horizons, and tall and towering stories. And just as it had been reflected in the charm, so it appeared in the void.

And when there was no more room, she turned it over and continued on the other side. And so the void was filled from corner to corner on both sides. A city of front and back. A city of light and shadow. Then she rested on her bed and dreamed of her creation, and the lives that inhabited it.

And in the days that followed, there were other voids and other lights and other shadows. The charm, she placed beneath the sign of the queen, to show the city that she knew it would never be finished, because the city was her life and her dream, and it would live forever.