Thursday, October 27, 2005

I Want to Do the Impossible

I'm about to do something crazy. I'm not sure why. To fight against the meaninglessness of it all, some sort of existentialist gesture? Or, like I hope, to get something going, get the gears moving, get off the humdrum track and into the wilderness.

I want to fight bears and tigers. I want to jump on an eagle's back. I want to run across a lava field. I want to touch the floor of the abyss.

I want out, basically.

The great thing about being alone is that I can over dramatize my life and it'll seem real. There's no one to contradict me, or pull me back down to earth, or into the light.

I've had it, really, with all that surrounds me and fills me. I want a new hand of cards, a fresh plate. I want to be born in another place, another time.

What do I want to do? It's not just one thing anymore. Not a field, or career, or project. I want to change the assumptions, the premises, the foundations. I want to go deep down and decide for myself.

I don't want to end up as anything. I want to be there, in that place, as that person, in an instant. At the snap of my fingers, upon making a decision, I want my eyes and my world to change. I want my heart to turn inside out.

I don't want to have to justify or rationalize what I do anymore. I don't want to have to understand or explain myself anymore. I just want to know or not know and be okay with it all and move on anyway to do sure things, fantastic, unimaginable things. I just want to do and do and do, with no doubt or hesitation.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am Afraid to Look Beyond the Lighted Room

Someone told me yesterday that I will live a long time, until I'm in my 90s. I didn't believe her. There's no reason for me to stay alive for that long, unless God wants to play a joke on me.

I broke my hip last April 1.

Luckily, or not, I was in St. Luke's when I slipped and fell down the stairs. They whisked me away to the emergency room. During the whole time, I was wondering what if this happened at home? What if the phone was out of reach? Could I dial 911 and help would arrive?

I was in hospital for a week. My aunt took care of me and paid all the bills, which cost as much as a hefty downpayment for a new car. When I was released, she took me home back to the province. I wallowed in bed and was served my meals. After my wound healed, a physical therapist started visiting me twice a week.

I can walk now. A bit. With a cane. But not too much. "Recovery is on schedule," my doctor said.

During that whole time, I watched way too much TV and ate very little, resulting in my now trendy body type. (I should eat more now.) I filled three notebooks with all my self-pity. All without the Internet.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Just Read this, I Don't Know What to Call it

It's such a stressful day for me. I'm fantasizing about that scene from the movie, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle: Rebecca De Mornay's character quietly goes to a public bathroom with a small shovel and, after gently closing the door, starts wildly hitting everything with the shovel.

A peek into the unimaginably wild beast beneath a calm skin.

And I thought everything was going along well.

I saw an old friend last night. Old, as in, we last saw each other in 1997. (She once promised she would invite me--if she ever gets married--to her small beach wedding.)

It was a small party in a small (but fairly new) Makati bar. I didn't think I would bump into her. But she was there. All smiles. We said our hello's and how-are-you's and performed our obligatory hug with matching beso. I didn't notice at first that she was with someone.

Half an hour later, she was across the room, posing for a photograph. And she was with someone. They held each other, just for a second, and it was all it needed for my world to turn upside down.

"Are they together?" my date asked me.

Isn't it freaking obvious?! "I'm not sure," I replied. "I think so. It seems like it. She hasn't said anything to me."

My old friend and her girlfriend.

How come she never told me? When did this start? My life started flashing before my eyes.

She was my secret love. That girl across the room. There was a time when I loved her, when love was able to make me vulnerable.

"It's weird," she said over the phone, a lifetime ago.

I didn't reply. I didn't know what to say. She continued, "You're a good friend, but I don't look at you that way. You're like a sister to me."

It was a hot summer afternoon. I had dropped off flowers and a do-or-die card at her house in Las Piñas. All the way across town. I was in Makati.

What could I say to that?

"Okay," I muttered. "I'm...I didn't..."

She added, "And I'm not into girls. I'm not gay."

End of flashback. The roar of the bar crowd comes back.

I wanted to call her a liar, to blame her for all the tear-soaked journal entries and the cuts on my arm, the pillows filled with muffled screams. For the pain of unrequited love.

I went to the bar--the open bar, thank God. "White Russian, please."

I was thirsty. "Another one please."

I found a bar stool and started a conversation in my head.

"I need a good fuck tonight."

"Oh, yes, you do."

"What's the worst quotable quote about love ever, in the history of freaking womankind?"


"It's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all."

Another White Russian gone.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Weekends are Not Restful for Me Anymore

I've been feeling weird this whole day. Under the weather, since last night.

The days seems to pass in and out while totally ignoring me. No hi, no hello. It's as if I'm sitting in the kitchen, staring at my now-cold tea, and time just barges in and grabs a can of Coke and leaves.

Hoy. Look at me. Or do I shuffle to the bathroom in my bathrobe and slippers, and take a hot shower? Or nevermind, and I'll just sleep again, under the sheets, hiding from the glaring sun.

In here, out of sight, I'd like to type or write and get lost in this world. I'd imagine a tree and a lake and no people. A giant, rocky mountain, casting a foreboding shadow. And an endless line of chocolate cakes. I will dip into the pond of nonsense.

What do I need?

The sun hangs like a 200-watt light bulb, too bright to stare at, washing away the landscape. In the horizon, I see Manila Bay, like gold, like glass, like it's on fire. Everything else is grey. The buildings, the sky, the sound.

I wish I could just stare at this, at nothing, until the sun disappears, and I have an excuse to leave the office, and disappear into the city.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

All I Have to Do is Wait for the Next Leaf to Fall

That green leaf over there, pretending to be growing. That green leaf over there, gathering enough guts to let go and jump off the branch. Leaves are lucky, it reminds itself, because they don't really fall down. Too light, too soft, they are caught by the wind, no matter how gentle or how still. A leaf will never fall straight down. Sideways, it will go, or even travel across the street. In a windy storm, it can even fly across town.

I wish I can watch that leaf fall. Any leaf, for that matter.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Smart, emotive blog"

Said Lauren Cerand of Cupcake Reading Series, one of my favorite literary blogs. Of course, she also labeled her October 28, 2004 entry as "Cheap Literary Thrills" and reposted an excerpt from my October 12, 2004 post. Please read it, I can't believe it myself.

This Google discovery came right in time.

I just came from a long holiday from Tagaytay, spending Christmas and New Year's away from everything and everyone. Despite all that, despite all the rest, I feel I came back to Makati all empty. I was supposed to recharge, but my internal Motolite needs changing.

For fun, for self-deprecation, self-immolation, let's dissect Lauren's remark.

Smart: I can put together coherent sentences, even entire paragraphs, with very few misspellings. Perhaps decent typist, with amateur editing skills. I have a wide enough vocabulary and attempts at some irony, along with other simple literary tricks. I claim to be bisexual, very cosmopolitan, contemporary. I also claim to be literary and design-sensitive.

Emotive: Not only good in the head, but also in the heart. As opposed to "emotional", which is a bad word that alludes to "hysterical"--a very bad word. Women can't call other women hysterical. Hysteria is a phallocentric concept, not for us babes. Therefore, "emotive"--a way to hint that I like to talk a lot about my feelings, that like to complain and be obtuse and difficult, that I curse, that I can let it all hang out. That I can ramble on and on without making sense--while being "smart".

I don't want to diss you, dear Lauren.

I want to put your remark in context. I am thrilled by your three small words and proudly claim it. It affirms my own ideal for this endeavor. A cheap thrill, as you would say.

At the end of it all, I left with myself, on the other side of the world, in the third world. Our tsunamis are nothing compared to your recent mudslides. We are a blip in your radar. The 12 people that died in California is bigger news than the hundreds of thousands that are dead and missing in our part of the world.

I am Makati, I am the Philippines, I am ravaged Asia.

I am at that time of the night where I have nothing to look forward to, nothing to wake up for. The days are all the same. This new year is the same as last.

At the end of it all, I left with myself and whatever energy is left for me to write in this goddam blog.

Pause with me.

Like this.


And nod.

I feel lost, as lost as when I started this blog months ago. But I say this with no sentimentality or nostalgia, with no emotion. This is a practical matter for me. What do I do with my time? How do I build my energy?

Sex can only go so far. And I don't want any commitment or any complicated relationship. I just want my space, my paper, and my pencil. A computer and Internet access, my occasional lover, a cat who feeds himself. I want a view of the beach. No TV. No radio. No watches or clocks. I want no world, except for mine. I am not a social worker, I am not selfless, I am not who you think I am.

I am not smart or emotive. I am angry and tired and frustrated, and so is this blog. I am seething. I am a fault line, ready to shift. God help me.