You didn’t get it, did you?

I think we have silently harbored our reservations and contempt towards one another. I have heard yours, and in a way or another you have heard mine but completely missed my point in most cases.

Lately I find you inauthentic actually. Too pretentious in the social media; too pathetic almost, overtly craving the approbation of the online folks at the expense of integrity.
 
What I’m trying to say is it’s not just you alone who wants to walk away from this — I do too. I no longer want you in my life.
Sometimes I want to take back everything I have said, every idea that I’ve articulated, my words and phrases that you’ve mimicked and taken as your own. I wish you would stop doing that. It’s annoying as hell, this sheer absence of originality.
 
I silently rue ever introducing to you the people I know, those closest to me, unknowingly lining them on the road filled with your opportunism. I wish you would just leave them, really. You are rude beyond reason, beyond belief.
 
Take heart on this: more than anything, I want you out of my life and out of everything — and most especially out of every one — that I hold dear.
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Penny for your thoughts

It’s a bit dim but there is a beautiful memory deeply lodged in the indented piazza of my childhood recollection.

Like all the other kids, I have godmothers and godfathers. One of them, my godmother, is a couturier. This explains why my clothes back in the 90s were specifically tailored for me. Her husband, on the other hand, is a photographer.
 
My mom normally commissioned their services each time there was an event in town wherein I was invited to participate.
 
One time, my mother left me in their house. I don’t remember much about that day but I do remember a long, tenebrous corridor lined with stuffed animals.
 
By stuffed animals, I don’t mean toys made of fabric and cotton. I mean actual animals, dead and preserved and striking in their haunting beauty.
 
The trick there, I noticed, was the chip of glass planted inside their eyes. This was what made all of them flare with life.
 
At the foot of the stair, there stood two white wolves. Their mouths were half-opened; the crinkles on their snout boasted its prominence. They looked as if they were about to jump and slaughter their prey.
 
At the top of it was a cat, curled and sleeping. Except the cat was stuffed, like the wolves so it was not sleeping but dead. There was an owl tethered from the ceiling, there were rabbits and guinea pigs and other species of birds and dogs, and they all inhabited that long, tenebrous corridor.
 
I do not remember if there was a window at the end of it, but I remember walking in that musty hallway, lined with dead, stuff creatures and feeling not a nip of fear but a burning fascination. I remember the creaks of the wooden floor and the echoes of my footfalls.
 
I was five years old, and at that tender age, I have discovered my love for everything that is strange and remarkable.

Into sea mists and sunsets

We’re literally verging on death and no one even bothered to properly orient us on what it would be like.

There’s the West Valley Fault, ready to strike a fatal blow that will make buildings crumble and set an entire city afire. There is always the Tokhang, a ruthless method that could practically annihilate and gun down anyone through gossips and word of mouth. There’s the brewing tension between the North Korea and the US, the possibility of nuclear war and bioterrorism breathing at the back of our necks.

Earlier today, a friend of mine witnessed an accident. A death, I hazard. Broken bones and crumpled body. A loud explosion, a worker coming face to face with electrocution. He fell from the roof of the footbridge, she said, near Session road. Mortality is easing up on us, she said.

So before any of these befall on us — any of these dooms — as it inevitably will, I would like to ask you to go out with me. We’ll go anywhere, anywhere at all. Everywhere, nowhere, wherever we want. We’ll talk and dance and scream and exist all at once. We’ll build bonfires and watch the stars and roll under the moon beams and in silence and anticipation, we will wait for the arrival of the morning light.

We will savour the last sliver of our days and we will hope. We will carry the splinters of our bones and we will find our way out of all these harms, into sea mists and sunsets in indigos and golds. We will never cease hoping. We will go on living and with each breath we draw against everything that happened to us, each beauty we make out of our sorrow and uncertainties, we will mock this grey, grey world.

Stumbling Proses

I.
Went to the beach today. The place was packed with merry yells and warm sand, gathering dusk and sea foam, last glimpse of the red sun and late afternoon salt water. I walked barefoot on the shore and conversed with people and savoured the wind and read a bit. Oh, the stubborn way we refuse to surrender hope and insist in transforming the pains of this bleak, bleak world into candid portraits of ecstacy.

II.
It’s April. A year ago, I was in Los Baños manically writing my manuscript. Life was neatly laid out — the goals for the next month, the thesis sections that needs to be filled, the diagram of existence that needs to be followed, all idealism burning afire.

Days used to be banal, until the collosal blow of everything hits you hard. Suddenly you are surrounded by weddings and childbirths and deaths of people close to you — the blend of excitement and loss passing through you and leaving cracks.

And there you are, on the bed somewhere, watching the soft, innocent gleam of the morning sun. The ball of your life rolls beside you, patched and pulsating, like the stubborn beatings of your wandering heart.

Another day? It asked.
Another day. You answered.

III.
The inside of my mind is filled with murky water. The scribbles of my thoughts are submerged in a sullen, silver mist. Sometimes I wonder if human existence is condemned to lead a life of phenomenological isolation.

And so we collect memories as we tread on, our days a montage of choices and sacrifices. We savour the strange contour of the mountains, we laugh here and there. We inhale the cold wind, love the innocent mornings, deliberately seek tranquility, and crave for our bygone childhood.

There are things we cannot share, and there are those we can but can never be understood. Still we hold on and nurse our hope — against sorrow and death and anything.

And this is what catches us when we fall.

Tales of Anielou

It’s funny, somehow, the things I learnt about you.

A month ago, I was gravely disappointed at how you have insulted the realm of reason. I have expected more from you but I guess you are not mentally — let alone psychologically — capable of identifying and resisting the superficial belongingness stemming from false acquaintances.

You are just like them, a failure and a parasite who find comfort in justifying your own incompetence.

Last week I met her, your former colleague, and she told me what you did. You go to the office at 11, take your lunch at 12, she said. And you never return until past 4 in the afternoon. You failed to see the gravity of your every act, and your cognitive faculty is too dull to process the magnitude of your negligence.

You said I am the unsympathetic one but you have been wrong all along. Of the two of us I was — and I am — the sympathetic person and I understand things and people and you don’t. But you pretend to do so — the same way that you pretend to be on time and never late when your bosses are around.

Worse, you could not bring yourself to care — you self-absorbed parasite who cannot move past the remains of your lover who has deserted you long ago.

You harboured anger towards those you should have given your solicitude, all the while deluding yourself that you are capable of love you are not. You have successfully devalued the complexity of that experience and wielded it as a shield for your cheap ego.

I could elaborate all the defense mechanisms you have employed — denial, regression, sublimation, displacement — but it will only defeat its designated purpose. You have already unveiled yourself and exposed your own pretense and incompetency and above all, absence of honor.

You have done damages that your tiny mind will not be able to grasp. You’ve delivered a razor-sharp pain that your non-existent heart will never be able to understand.

In the first day of your colleague at work, you told her you are the supervisor before rudely asking for her identity. You like that huh, a drunken sense of power that will never bring back your past lover no matter how loud you cry in the social media but makes you feel in control, somehow. It’s a defense mechanism called displacement.

It’s funny, somehow, the things I learnt about you. You are just like them — selfish, imprecise, and short-sighted. A chronic liar and a usurper. You pretend to be but you are never the sympathetic one.

I was that person all along.

With a patched, beating heart

No, I don’t expect the insides of your mind to be coherent and organized. I don’t believe there is a single person on Earth who possess that kind of well-regulated consciousness.

I understand that you are a fractured being, a montage of everything you’ve encountered in this cosmos — late passengers in the subway, long lost friends, the comfort of the falling rain, the pang of rejection, the bitterness of coffee that puts you to sleep.
 
No, I don’t expect you to be spotless and perfect. Doing so is an unrealistic conjecture. You are not spotless, and I perfectly understand why.
 
I imagine your inner landscape as a field of dandelions. It’s sunny at times — the bright sunlight piercing the sky of your consciousness, your dandelions swaying in your wind.
 
But you cannot be like that the whole time.
 
A sullen mist is bound to fall and engulf your consciousness. Your flowers will wither, your field will be submerged, you will be overwhelmed, always close to drowning.
 
You have sunny days and you have sullen mists, and I understand the co-existence of these two and how it makes you who you are. I don’t think you can ever dissociate one from the other, but if you ever succeed, I don’t think the outcome would still be you.
 
No, I don’t expect the insides of your mind to be coherent and organized. It is not possible. You are a montage of good days and bad days, a fractured, evolving being with a patched, beating heart.
 
With all your strength you try to hold your pieces intact, but there are times when, in the dead hours of the night, you simply want to let it all go. There is nothing wrong with that. Uncork your bottled feelings and pour me all your happiness. When there’s nothing left, pour me all your pain.
 
I am here to help you pick up your pieces if you ever fall apart.

Our entire history will be typewritten

I will love you like the 90s. There will be no social media hype for us — no Twitter or Instagram selfies, not even a Facebook post that professes the depth of my affection for you.

We won’t need that in constructing our world.
 
Instead, I will get a 1935 typewriter from an antique shop and write you a letter. I will press it in-between your book pages or leave it in random places — on your pillow, in your pocket — for you to discover in random days.
 
I will watch you read and reread it, and I will find delight in seeing your secret smile. Understand that I wrote it for you and no one else.
 
I will ask you for a walk on the beach. We will talk about life. We’ll bring a chaperone, a kid preferably, and she will trail behind us and collect sea shells. I will kiss you sneakily when she’s not looking.
 
The wind and the open sky will serve as our witnesses. I will crown your hair with purple thistle.
 
I will write a poem for you. Better yet, I will dedicate an entire volume of work — like F. Scott Fitzgerald to Zelda — and I will make it strong enough to stand beside your name.
 
In the cozy afternoon of every summer, we will sneak in the movie theater — passed the guard and the ticket lady — and we will revel in popcorn and old films. We will walk out after that, hand-in-hand, giggling at our secret joke.
 
I will recite random verses as we stroll on — past the mannequins behind the glass window in that lane of RTWs.
 
There’s a vinyl in my room. I will ask you to come up, gingerly, through my window. I’m never good at dancing but I will ask you to dance with me.
 
We’ll play Eric Clapton, Sixpence None The Richer, and Beatles. We’ll sing our lungs out until we’re exhausted. We’ll collapsed on my bed. The online community will never know how we slip into intimacy as the night blooming jasmine soothe our tendrils.
 
There will be no social media post about it. Our kisses will be a metaphor. I will love you like the 90s. Our entire history will be typewritten.