Tuesday, October 12, 2004

On Their Way Back From

I have a headache. I am bothered. Wild boys. You never close your eyes.

The days are passing by so quickly, like letters and newspaper slipping under the door. Like cold cuts being sliced, accurately, consistently. Swish, swish, slash.

I was at Powerbooks the other night and I found myself watching people. Cute guys, cute girls, weaving through the fiction shelves. When I am stressed, I think of sex.

I haven't read any novels for quite some time. Back in college, I decided to spend a lot of time understanding the short story form. Mainly a practical decision: it was easier to read and store than novels. So I collected the annual Best American Short Stories. I wanted to collect the Philippine version, but the closest thing was the Palanca compilations--which was published erratically.

Now, there is a deluge of novels.

For a time, there was a lot of memoirs and confession novel. About rape, child abuse, violence, trauma, psychological problems. As a reaction, one guy came out with a novel about his tediously normal childhood.

If I had confidence (or talent) as writer back then, it would have been fashionable to write about my unhappy/happy childhood, the roots of my current distemper, distraction, distaste.

Luckily, with my limited budget (because of an overblown credit card debt), I enjoy reading the blurbs of novels. Pictures of the author is an extra thrill. If the book is interesting enough, I even try to read a few pages, always starting with the last page. And sometimes, while I kneel for the lower shelves, my eye goes of the page and catches a patch of skin, nape, elbow, thigh, of the girl across me.

I love browsing through books.

I've always complained to myself that I don't have anything to write about. Write what you know, they admonish, all these published authors teaching in the Ateneo. But I hate what I know, what I've been through. All I ever had was anger and confusion and denial. How can I write and go around the very core of what I'm looking for.

Myself, my heart, my next step.

I miss all the friends I've made, especially the ones I pushed away. In my mind, I decided that they all want to leave me alone, let me be. In my mind, at the very back, I wanted them to save me, pull me out. Time gave out, years ago. I am now on my own, avoiding self-destruction at every turn. I have friends, some good ones, but I am supremely afraid of hoping anymore. God will save me, if I am lucky.

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