Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Peek Into my Daydreams

Today is my parents' 27th Wedding Anniversary. Still together apparently. And going quite strong until eternity.

Not bad, eh? :)

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I often have daydreams. Heck, I always have daydreams. Sometimes, it's a chronicling of what I hope was happening to me instead of my current life or a far flung fantasy which could only come true if pigs suddenly fly. But, I suppose it's entertaining or else I wouldn't have continued doing it for the last 25 years.

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Here's my current one. Let's call it,

The Rebirth of Schahrazad


I am waiting to cross the street in a busy intersection. The pedestrian signal goes green. I cross. Coming from the other side is this frail old lady who can barely take 2 steps without shaking really bad. I opted to help. I get her safely to the side I came from and I take a look at the lights. It's still green. I probably can still make it to the other side if I walk fast.

I cross. Out of the corner, a car hurtles towards me, bumps me, sends me flying to the curb. The pedestrian light turns red. I black out.

When I wake up, I'm at the hospital and no one was there save for this stranger. He looked surprised I am awake. He's holding a bunch of papers. He tells me my sister just went out to buy coffee, and should he call the nurse? I answer ok, and who is he?

"I'm the guy who bumped you.." his eyes look sad and he motioned to my feet.

I see that both my feet are in casts. I can't feel them at all.

"More like crippled me, it seems." I tell him. "What are those?" I point to his papers.

"Insurance... I will help you pay the hospital bills."

I nod. I'm not rich so that'll help. "You have to pay me more than insurance."

"You mean, damages?, Uh, erm... I'll try... I should probably call a lawyer... I don't have much cash..." he fumbles.

"I don't need money." I tell him. He genuinely looks puzzled.

"What then?"

"I bind you to tell me one story a day, until I walk again."

"What kind of stories?" He sat down, probably needing all his brain energy to try and figure me out.

"Any stories. Yours, the world. One per day. You can miss a day, but then you'd have to tell me two stories the next time."

"You're weird." he tells me.

I raise an eyebrow. "Or, I could sue you for 50 million pesos."

He smiled. "Stories it is. Hardly a choice there. Telling stories are easy."

I smile grimly. "Really?"

"Yeah!" he very nearly gurgled, from the sounds of it. "I just get stories from people, from books, anywhere you can see..."

"And then when those runs out, where will you get your tales? You'd have to get them from somewhere inside of you. Darker, deeper, more personal. This deal wouldn't be easy for you. This will tire you. This will draw you out of your walls, your comfort zones. You will tell me easy ones at first. But it will get harder. Much harder."

His face shows he doesn't believe me.

"Shall we start?" I asked. "Why don't you give me your name and tell me the story why you deserve it."

"Huh?" he scratches his head

I smile. "Tick-tock."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Frailty

It's a wonder, really, that mankind has lasted for so long.

Amongst all creatures in the animal kingdom, we are certainly not the biggest, fastest or (yes, even) smartest, but here we are proliferating and thriving on this miniscule planet in the vastness of the universe.

We break so easily. Have you not noticed how pliant our skins are? So soft and squishy. Easily yields under pointed or sharp objects. Recently, I've realized bones are breakable too, being painfully conscious of my squeaky knee. My physical therapy sessions include electric stimulation and traction to straighten my spine. One wrong mechanical mistake and my spine can crack leaving me disabled for the rest of my life.

Yesterday, I found out I am also now diabetic. I thought that It'll be a while before I buy medicines again now that Mummy and Daddy have found the permanent cure to their ailments. But no. I was prescribed the exact same medicines my parents have been taking for much of their adult lives. The cycle moves on.

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Today, I went to a paper shop near the hospital after my PT session and sated my sudden craving for lots of notebooks. On my way back to my uncle's house, I hailed a jeepney expecting to be home in a couple of minutes. I wasn't 30 seconds seated yet when the old man seated beside the driver slumped slowly towards the steering wheel. The passengers, including me, thought he was just drunk. But when I caught a glimpse of the man's face, it reminded me so much of Daddy's first and last heart attack. The man was definitely having a stroke.

The other passengers, sensing trouble, went down the jeepney until there were only three of us left holding the man up. The jeepney driver was new to the route so he had to ask information on how to get to the hospital. Funny, they brought me back to MCU where I had just been 30 minutes earlier. When we got to the hospital, the driver left ( he had to make a living, understandably), leaving just this thirty-ish woman named Ochie, a matipuno-guy named James and me.

I wanted to leave. There was just too much stress and bother and stirred memories to deal with. But I couldn't bring myself to leave because I saw Daddy in this man, and it would be as if I was abandoning him. We rushed him to the ER where the doctors confirmed he had a left ventricular stroke. After sifting through the countless IDs and phone numbers he had, we finally located his relatives who were in Karuhatan.

PEOPLE, ALWAYS HAVE PERSONS TO CONTACT IN YOUR WALLETS JUST IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES. It took us almost an hour to call each and every number until we called an unlabeled number which turned out to be his sister's house.

My couple of minutes going home turned into a couple of hours, but i do not regret it. At least grandfather was alive, although a little on the worse side. I wasn't that lucky the day Daddy had his attack.

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I helped save a life today Daddy. Tell me,

why couldn't it have been you instead?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Not So Perfect Day

I attended the wedding of my colleague from PBSP today and I realized one thing --- I’m the type to cry at weddings. I’m not sure if I’ve always had this predisposition, or it’s just that, I get sad in weddings now that I know my parents will NEVER get the chance to give me away.

Also hosted the reception program and was tired. The thing about having a part in the program is that you’ll never enjoy the whole thing. Every time there’s an occasion, I always emcee it (debuts, birthdays, etc…) that I don’t really know if such events are actually fun for those who are there to just attend. It seems always stressful to me. Add the fact that I didn’t take my medicines to make sure I think and speak clearly the whole time was torture.

But the ceremony itself was beautiful. And Jing was so beautiful. And Vic’s eyes were brimming with the love he felt for Jing. It will take a hard core cynic not to want to believe that it really is possible to find the right person and to make a life with them. It was beautiful enough that during the wedding mass in the Our Lady of the Abandoned Church, I used up my 3 wishes to ask for help in finding the right person myself. Maybe I’ll be wed too someday.

There was this song that we’re supposed to play during the Father-Daughter dance in my wedding. It’s called A Perfect Day sung by Roger Whittaker and his daughter Jessica.

Dad:
The sun has set and golden
Clouds gleam in the evening sky
I must confess I'd always hoped
Today would pass me by

Daughter:
Dad I really hate to see
The sadness in your eyes
we always knew this day would come
it cant be a surprise

Dad & Daughter:
We had our special day to think
You were always my best friend
But the princess and the old king
Knew this day would end

A perfect day, a perfect day with you
Just a perfect day of perfect hours
No other word will do
A perfect day, a day for you and I
Now the evening shadows chill my heart
And I cant say goodbye

Dad:
It was always I who said I'll see you soon
When you were young
So many things we left unsaid
So many songs unsung

Daughter:
Dad dont worry now I'm grown it'll be ok
You taught me well so trust me now
And I'll be on my way

Dad & Daughter:
We had our special day together
You were always my best friend
But the princess and the old king
Knew this day would end

A perfect day, a perfect day with you
Just a perfect day of perfect hours
No other word will do
A perfect day, a day for you and I
Now the evening shadows chill my heart
And I can't say goodbye

A perfect day, a day for you and I
Now the evening shadows chill my heart
And I cant say........

Daughter:
I'm leaving home

Goodbye

I will never have this now.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Curious and curiouser

Contrary to what you might have heard, I still am very much alive and kicking. Well, maybe not kicking... but alive, certainly.

As it happens, I scraped my patella. God, how I wish I was talking about cheese or spaghetti or whatever italian food you might be imagining right now. But the patella, I recently learned, is a protective covering of your knee, helping the ligaments function friction-free. And I damaged mine. Congratulatory greetings for this supreme idiocy is in order. I probably busted it while pretending I can do muay thai or tae bo in the gym. The medicines I have to take makes me woozy... a lot. Sometimes, people just split into 2 images right before my eyes. The floor also has this quirk of slanting upwards; furnitures suddenly go all Beauty-and-the-Beast-animated as well.

The bright side is, I was advised to stay at home for 10 days. Count that, TEN whole days. I have the medical certificate and everything to prove it is official. And since I am undergoing physical therapy in a hospital near our old house in Monumento, I am staying at my aunt and uncle's house where I don't have to do housework. ;)

My only concern is how to occupy myself for the next 10 (well, technically, it's now just 8) days. And when was spare time ever a problem for me? Never.

Ergo, books and DvD abound. Also, it's less boring here because we're right smack in the middle of a bustling urban community. There's a store to manage. There's Gabe to babysit. Yeah, this isn't bad. Not bad at all.

The Dresden Files

I'm not sure how many people in the Phils. have read Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. I chanced upon a secondhand copy of Book One : Storm Front for only Php70. Heck, it's good. Thing is, the book costs Php 600 each in National Bookstore. So, although, I am technically in love with the books, I've read only one.

I didn't even know there was a TV series based on the book until I saw the DVD in infamous Quiapo. I bought it even if I don't have a DVD player at home. Y'know, just in case I'll chance upon the resources someday, and that someday turned out to be now.

For practical reasons, the story line of the TV series aren't the same as those of the books, but the premise is the same. In Chicago, there is a police consultant by the name of Harry Dresden. He's a wizard. And the Chicago police goes to him when something "weird" becomes an element in their investigations. Cool, actually. The actor, his name eludes me still, playing the wizard is charismatic alright. But he might be too good looking for the Dresden I met in the book. He's also way too charming for the supposedly socially inept Dresden, but well, that's marketing for ya.
I am not encouraging you to buy the pirated DVD. Instead, I encourage you to buy the books. And then ---- lend it to me, darling. We'll be best friends forever, promise!


Morning Breeze Subdivision, 4 years later

So odd. I grew up in this place, all my first 21 years. But I took so much to our home in Fairview that I easily, too easily, outgrew this place. Morning Breeze now feels cramped and hot and dirty to me. Too many people and too many smells. But now that I am forced to re-live it all again, I remember the good things about it, little by little. How, there's always people near enough to help you in times of emergencies. How convenient it is to be a walking distance from so many stores and restaurants. How easy it is to find a ride home to and fro anywhere.

A lot of things has changed. The streets all look alien to me, except maybe those which I frequented because classmates or friends lived there. I feel like an observer seeing the place for the first time, every time. I was surprised to find that there's a house that priests are renting nearby and they give free breakfast to kids from Bagong Barrio every Wednesday. The parish church was painted color Pink (for some reason). So many new faces now.

Somewhere here, there must still be echoes of an old Olivia. A more innocent, more carefree girl who only knew her close-knit family. I don't want to be her anymore, but I would like to see her again, if I can. Just for a second. Just enough to remind myself that I had been a happy kid who believed she will be someone great and famous someday.

Great or famous, I am not. But I like to think, I can tell her, this young Me, that she shouldn't be disappointed. Because at the very least, I'm learning oh so much about being strong.

In the Likeness of a Dreamer

Gabe, my 3-year-old cousin, was telling me about a bad dream he had the other night. Nothing particularly strange about it; it certainly sounded like something a 3-year-old would dream about. The odd thing was in the words Gabe used to describe it to me.

He's intelligent for someone so young. The words "startled" and "probably" are included in his vocabulary. But tonight I learned he could also use words to indicate clarity of his feelings.

He told me that he was lost in the dream. He was younger than he was now and he was looking for his Mom. He found a lady he thought was his Mom but when he approached her, he learned she wasn't anyone he knew at all.

"I felt it in my mind, Ate Olids, I was lost. And my throat hurt, and I couldn't speak. I was scared of how the colors weren't so sure after."

A 3 year old said that in English. Even I couldn't articulate my fears or confusion in such colorful fashion.

Oh, I love Gabe, so much that it hurts my throat too.

I told him there'll be no bad dreams tonight. Instead, there'll be castles, and candies, and ponies. And before closing his eyes, he told me: "My pony is white, Ate Lids, and yours is gold. I can see it now."

And he closed his eyes and slept.

Good night, little boy. Goodnight all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Akong, Butchoy and Cadet

Guess who the cat dragged in today?

I was in MCU Hospital today, getting my banged-up knee a fix through, when this specter from the past drifted in.

In college, there was this Chinese guy who was my classmate in one or two subjects in AS. He wasn't tall, but he stoops, probably because he likes to walk so fast he is stuck in permanent inertia. He was always smiling, even when alone. He likes singing out loud, even if he doesn't have a good voice. He spits a little when he talks. He was excitable and he was weird. Oh, and he gave me hell by picking me out from the class and being too nice. Overtly nice. pa-cute nice. (Shivering with the memory now... eeewww..)

Now here he is, eyes all excitable again asking me how I have been. Let's call him Akong.

Akong: Olive! How are you!? What are you doing here?! It's been so long!? Where do you work?!

O: (thinks for a second if there were real questions in there or was it a monologue) Uy, Akong, oki lang. Eto, malaki pa rin (my standard reply to classmates)

Akong: Cute pa rin!? (their standard reply to my self-deprecating humor).

O: (not amused this time). Ah, hehe...

Akong: San ka na work?!

O: (thinking the repetition must imply it's a question then) Sa PBSP, NGO siya.

Akong: Wow!?

O: Ah, oo. Wow? (painfully added) Ikaw? (please don't tell me, I don't care...)

Akong: Sa call center!?

O: Ah, ok...

Akong: Kita naman tayo minsan!?

O: (Ngayon nagkita naman tayo diba?) Ah, hirap nga lang mag-sched, kasi field ako lagi eh.

Akong: Kahit lunch this weekend!?

O: (bakit???? close ba tayo? Two rows ang layo mo sa akin noh!) Intramuros pa kasi office namin. This weekend, may therapy session ako. Busted a knee cap kasi.

Akong: Ay, sakit!?

O: Di naman.

Akong: Eh di nxt weekend!?

O: Nasa Mindoro ako.

Akong: Next next weekend?!

O: Nasa Palawan (Swear tutoo naman itong pinagsasabi ko!)

Akong: Ah, busy ka nga!?

O: Ah, oo eh. (Ang kulit mo!)

Akong: O sige!? Rain check!? Text text na lang!?

O: Okei. Uy, tawag na ata ako ng doctor. See you...

Akong: Ay, wait, number mo!?

O: 0920-82134_ _ (magkano ba new sim?)

Akong: Sige, text na lang kita, para ma-save mo # ko!?

O: Bye!!!

Akong: Bye?!

I just realized that in my haste to leave, I have no idea why he was there as well. He was in front of an OB-Gyne's clinic which she was sharing with an Oncologist. So, it's either he has cancer or he's pregnant. Huh. Baka pregnant. Shucks!?
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This reminded me of 2 other guys who were as kulit as he was.

Let's call the 2nd one: Butchoy. Eto talaga pare, hobbit sa laki. As in hanggang bewang ko lang ata. He also happened to be a little unhygienic looking. He was taking classes in CD and he was my classmate in, what was that? CD 121: Social Advocacy. Maliit na malikot na makulit. I was often early for my classes and this guy who used to come in 30 minutes late was suddenly coming in early too. Feeling na kung feeling, pero bakit naman kasi tuwing pasok niya, hello Olivia agad siya? Tapos, (que horror!) tatabi sa akin, tapos mangungulit.

He was also part of a fraternity famous for running the halls naked every December. When he ran, he was not content to just run naked. He agreed to be hoisted up by his brodmates, fully exposing his non-existent *bleep*. Although their faces were covered, it was unmistakably him because of his height, his skin color, and his voice since he keeps yowling. And after the oblation was over and we met again in class, he told me he was looking for me because he wanted to give me a rose daw.

Thank God for angels who watch over the easily mortified.

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Last one, let's call him Cadet.

This isn't a bad guy. He's dark-skinned but has a good smile. Thing with him is, he walks ram-rod straight everywhere, everytime. He was my classmate in History and I have no idea what he wanted. He managed to finnagle my number from a friend. Which is fine. But then, who calls me? His best guy friend. And when I asked why, wala lang daw. May nagpapatawag lang daw. What did we talk about? Wala lang din. Complete and utter waste of my seconds and brain space.

Kagalit diba?

Then in class, he wouldn't even talk to me. So what was I supposed to think, right? Ako pa? Eh di ang response ko, bahala ka sa buhay mo!

The next sem, I saw him walking with a girl and heard later on he had a girlfriend. Labo diba?

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So that's the ABC of failures: Akong, Butchoy and Cadet. Someone once said, making sure the equation boy likes girl plus girl likes boy happens very rarely.

Geez, tell me about it. Would it change the very fabric of reality for someone I like to like me back?

Ano ba Sebastiannnn!!!! (not his real name). Mauntog ka na sana at malaman mong ako ang hinahanap mo!!! ;p

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Dreadful Minute

I believe that life is made up of minutes. Half of the time you just live your life unaware of what will happen the next minute. Those of us who construct elaborate plans with strange calculations doodled on their organizers are all just, at best, pretending. All of us are just living by the minute.

When you're adrift like I am now, the minutes seem longer. Intensely lonely. I don't know who and what I need. You are just left alone, even in the silence of your spirit.

This dreadful minute will pass.

May God bring me succor in the next one.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Secrets

I am not a secretive person AT ALL. I give away my own secrets as if they were flyers for distribution. I think it's because it makes me feel a little bit lighter inside --- less burden for the soul. It also helps me think twice whenever I am presented with the opportunity to do something which I know would be heavy on my conscience. Keeps me clean.

This is not the same though for keeping other people's secrets. Asking me not to say anything about it is like signing a contract with me (with just the usual defaults especially if the secret will be harmful to another person). I honor it as if it's iron-bound. That's why I resent people who tells me to keep mum and then proceeds to tell other people about it herself.

Oh well, naisip ko lang.

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I feel the need to unload a couple of secrets off me. Maybe more than a couple. Let's see if it makes me feel any better...

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SECRET #1

I am starting to detest the role I have to play in the house now. I'm both Mum and Dad and Ate to Ella and Ryan. I budget, I dispense advice, I distribute household chores... God, had I also been such a critten of ungratefulness to my parents back then? Those 2 kids just don't get how hard it is. They expect me to be their friend, but that's so much harder to do now that I have to be a voice of authority as well.

Makes my head ache all the time now.

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SECRET#2

Onwards to lighter secrets but I might as well divulge:

I think I might be diabetic now. 2 mornings I took my blood sugar, they were both too high for a pre-breakfast rate. And I thought I was free of buying medicines forever.

Yes, yes, going to a doctor next week.

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SECRET #3

I secretly detest my swimsuit. My dad bought it for me five years ago and it's about the only thing that would fit me. It's blue with flower patterns in it. And it has pant legs. Wearing it, I look like a flower patch that grew legs.

I'm going to the beach tomorrow and I'm too shy to buy a new swimsuit. The mortification to ask for the largest size and have it not fit at all!

The swimsuit I secretly covet is a simple black one-piece much like what professional swimmers wear. Simple, but oh so difficult to acquire. :(

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SECRET #4
I wrote all my short stories and novelettes by hand in high school. I haven't finished any story since then. Even with the advent of the speedy computer, I just cannot reach the end anymore.

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SECRET # 5

Secret Flirting Style:

I boss the guy around and/or I grow wittier by half a mile than normal.

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Secret #6

I have secret crushes on:


Sam Milby - even if he is often pa-cute in pictures and cannot act to save his life. I like the shy aura he exudes when he's in one of those danged variety shows.



Marky Cielo -- he's cute. I really like the eyes of Igorots, parang butones na may buntot. :)


Mo Twister -- Obnoxious, yes. But intelligent.. or even if he's just medium-smart, at least he's got the guts to speak up. A lot of people say he sucks at disc jockeying because he's not updated about the latest popular music, but the music he does deem PLAYABLE hits the spot right on. No Madonna (thank God), no Britney Spears (thank God), or Paris Hilton (there is a God).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Phil Genre Stories

I have decided to join the PGS contest and write a story in 300 words or less (too short, too short!) about this image drawn by Andrew Drilon:



Hmm... something dank and nasty this way comes...

From Post Secret




no explanation needed.

www.postsecret.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cease Ruminating

Tsk, tsk. The Olivia I know really does work best under pressure. I had this article I was supposed to work on over the weekend. I was requested to submit an article about Corporate Social Responsibility in the Philippines and I procrastinated because I thought it was going to be a drag. Today I found out that I actually know more about CSR than I let on. Four years in the field, well, not embarassing anymore. After putting off getting the job done over the 3-day weekend, I finished the 1,000++ word article in three hours and even got good reviews from my boss. Hehe, not bad. :)

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I have a colleague who's love life is more active than Mayon Volcano. She's the tall drink of water type, with long hair and morena skin. Her exotic looks have snagged her a fair share of foreign guys. Well, today's discussion over lunch skimmed over th election details and point blank ricocheted back to her "concerns." She wasn't the type to fall in love head over heels. When it comes to guys, she knows what she wants and what she needs. She seems to have mastered a cool efficiency in dealing with them and all the bothersome feelings they come along with. What feelings?

Ha, of course I'm not going to divulge it here! Not a gossipmonger, this lass. But it did lead me to another round of rumination about my capacity to ever fall in love hard.

After another irksome round of conversations with my increasingly-former crush, I just started scolding myself for nearly falling for another non-complementary guy (that is in relation to me). I entertained the thought of trying to look for older guys to gush about, maybe they'd be more mature. But the very thought chilled me to the bone. I realized that I don't like older men because if I'm with one then I wouldn't be in control. Control freak. That's me.

Looking back, I do have the tendency to like guys which I believe "kaya ko dalhin." Younger, shorter or weaker-willed (not all 3 at the same time though), but must always be brilliantly intelligent. You won't believe the number of smart guys who are emotional-morons.

No, I haven't concretized this theory about my personality. I myself can't believe that under my peachykins demurrings, a calculating, controlling biyatch resides. Maybe, it's just a tendency and I can still snatch myself from the claws of a personality schism such as this.

For now though, I cease ruminating to start hibernating.

Good night.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Blown Away



Why does it feel like I'm disintegrating into air?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I spent the whole day lying down on my back, slipping from wakefulness to sleep then to wakefulness again. Today, I am pain and it was everything I am conscious of. Pain in the back, stomach cramps, pain in my heart...

I hurt everywhere imaginable.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

We said goodbye to my closest friend at work last night. She made the leap and resigned from PBSP. Hurrah for her bravery to face the unknown! Whatever it is that's waiting for her back in Bicol, I hope it's something bright and beautiful.

Now there's the matter of dealing with life without her in the office. Hmmm, what a quieter place it would be.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

If I was just the kind of person who was full of herself, I'd start thinking there must be some conspiracy to "keep Olivia reeling." Important people in my life keep disappearing. There was a time when I was the one who breeze through people as if I do not really need them. Now that it has become painfully clear to me that it isn't true, the people I want to hold on closer to are vanishing. But I know that the world doesn't revolve around me, and these people I love need to go on with their lives. They have such bright futures ahead. So bright, it dazzles my eyes. And perhaps, the intensity of their fire-bright tomorrow blinds me a little so that when I look back on what I have, it seems bleak. These quiet little things I have before me. This old chair. This broken electric fan. This quiet house. This faded shirt I'm wearing.

I am certain that I am not being melodramatic when I say this: I have never felt so alone as I do tonight.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Raindrops



I've often imagined meeting him on a day like this.

Halfway to my next stop, the rain poured. I forgot to bring my umbrella and I started to worry that it would not let up by the time I need to go down the bus. When I reached Philcoa, fortunately or unfortunately, the downpour has lessened to a drizzle. Not strong enough to drench me, but not harmless either.

Upon alighting the bus, I ran. Up the stairs of the overpass, hurrying, clambering, as much as my sore back could manage it. There were so many people avoiding large puddles, zigzagging this way and that. Some of them carried umbrellas, blooming multi-colored mushrooms of the city. Some of them were like me, umbrella-less --- half-frightened the skies would open up to play a cruel joke and drench us to death.

An old woman veered towards me to avoid a muddy spot and I had to move closer to the edge of the bridge. My altophobia kicked in and I suddenly felt cold nausea clamp upon me. For half a second, I was really afraid I'd lose my balance, topple over the railing and crash to the busy avenue below. But before I can even imagine it, another scene popped into my mind. A hand from behind me reached out to steady me, and a soothing voice asked me, "Are you okay?" It felt so real that I whirled around to check if somebody was really there.

But, of course, nobody was.

Although disappointing, the event did steady me. Once sure of my feet, I moved on again. I got into an FX and rode to Manila. This incident could easily be forgotten, if only I can let go of the what-could-have-beens.

I imagined meeting you today. You were there on the bridge and you made me feel safe. Another dimension of this world might have played out differently. Somewhere in this multiverse, maybe you did reach out to help me. Maybe you did ask if I was okay. Maybe you asked for my name and gave me yours.

I will think of these possibilities and hope that the day I meet you in this reality is at hand.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Inanities

What is this inanity of a tv show that Claudine and Piolo is starring in nowadays? I don't care how much twist they put in it, what I know is that it's disconcerting. Isn't there a law that if you grew up as brother and sister (legally), you can't marry each other? I imagine the twist is that Piolo's not really Edu's son and sumwhatsquatch like that. Still, they grew up together and it gives me hives just thinking about it. Imagine this kind of show on prime time TV. No wonder Pinoy lives are getting more dramatic and squalid by the year. This is the kind of cr_p they see on tv every day.

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I would really prefer to tell you about our 2 new schitzu dogs: Suri and Maddox. Yup, named deliberately after some of Hollywood's most precious. I much prefer to tell you how they look like dirty white rags when they lie flat out on the floor or that they're so chubby that when they run they end up running sideways... but I doubt these are the kind of things which would hold your attention for long. I think you'd prefer that I rain fire and brimstone upon Claudine and Piolo, am I right?

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I discovered 2 new songs which I loved at first soundbite.

First is my ex-crush Rob Thomas' song featured in the movie "Meet the Robinsons" entitled Little Wonder.
"let it go, let it roll over your shoulder
don't you know, the hardest part is over..."

Second is The Feeling's song Sewn
"give me the song and I'll sing it like I mean it
give me the words and I'll say it like I mean it..."

Look for it now now NOW.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Swallowing the Air

When in pain, I swallow.

Most times, I swallow food or water. But times like this, I can just swallow the air. Trigger moments for remembering my parents are getting fewer now. But everytime it comes, it's still as intense as ever. Just a while ago, upon seeing cocktail hotdogs, I was reminded of how Mummy put them on toothpicks and pin them on a cabbage covered with aluminum foil during parties. That hurt. Now, I can write down hotdogs as another thing that hurts me. Ha. Right alongside with throw pillows and the scent of burning grass and the sound of rain. It's becoming less and less of an exclusive list, I tell you.

Oh dear God. Swallow.Swallow.Swallow.


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I went to the doctor today and I was told that I sprained my back. Yahoo, liv.

Welcome to the geriatric ward of Life. Bad news: there's only one way outta here and you either go to heaven or hell afterwards. Good news: you're the youngest old person in the room.

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In the jeepney, I saw a kid who uncannily looked like me when I was four or five years old, except that he's a boy. So I'm not sure which is which: does he look like a girl or did I look like a boy?

Anyhow, I'm glad to know that God's making new people using the same mold with just a few modifications once in a while. That kid could've been my twin brother if I was 4 again. Or... he could be my child.

Awwwww..... I want to have a baby boy! He had the most adorable puckered lips and long-lashed wide eyes. I want that baby boy! Argh.

Hay, livia. itulog mo lang yan. Sabi ng doctor, rest your back for 2 days. Sige, hala, simulan mo na!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Starter Grown-Up

It felt weird to wake up this morning and know that I am waking up inside my house. MY house. Other quarter-lifers my age are probably just starting to think of getting out of their houses, finding a place of their own. They’d probably score a small, cramped apartment or a one-room flat. Richer kids would probably find themselves pampered inside a condominium or a townhouse. But me ---- I live inside my own house. A real one with five rooms, a surrounding garden and two 20-year-old kids to mind.

I am officially the only adult in the house now. One of my aunts was kicked out of the house because of dangerous behavior. The other one had to go live with a Tito who will be shouldering her medical check-ups. This leaves me to manage our house and our lot.

It was liberating at first. I can finally prove to myself how I can be as grown-up as this. But then, it gets daunting. The responsibility involved makes my eyes water with pain just thinking of it. Admittedly, the house our parents left us is too big for a starter grown-up. Maintenance alone would kill my back. Ella would be getting a job soon and I’m counting that it will help augment the expenses. It’s really challenging, I promise you. And it feels kind of lonely too.

But I promised. I promised to stay in the house and take care of it. And this promise, I cannot bear to break because it would also break my heart. So help me God.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Complete Range of Motion

I am proud to announce that I have regained my complete range of motion now and thus can function like I normally do. (As if i ever had been on the right side of Normal, wherever that is.)

Sorry if it took me a while to upload my Sagada travelogues. Had to do it piece meal and only in times I can manage to sneak it in. But Now, it's complete and just as I promised, chock-full of my insensibilities.

Also managed to write a story (not The Story though) and smacked it right below this.

Cheerios!

The Story & The Song (Or One Queer Encounter in The Cordilleras)

It was a vacation that was planned to be unplanned and I was soaking up the spaces of each free second. I was quite unabashed about hogging the balcony table that overlooked the splendid mountains. My notebook, pristine and white, was opened and awaiting the first word. My pen was held upright and poised at the edge of a potential good story. Oh, I was getting there. I was reaching out for the first word, pushing my imagination beyond the porous boundaries of time, almost there when...

the gruff voice spoke and ruined it all for me.

"Are you a writer?" a Caucasian man asked. His voice must have it's own bass-enhancer -- it was booming. Accented. Familiar.

Annoyed by the distraction, I gave him a tight smile. "Sir, I just write."

I thought that was enough to push him off. Another aspiring writer --- we're everywhere. I turned back to my notebook and scribbled the first words: "Since time..."Then I stopped when I realized the man was actually leaning in and reading what I was writing! I sat up straight in a good imitation of a PMA cadet and expressed my annoyance in full. "Excuse me, sir?!"

"What's it about?" he asked again, not noticing (or ignoring) my obvious disgruntlement. "Adventure? Love? Murder?"

"I..." I was ready to ricochet a cheeky remark but checked myself because he was obviously a nosy grandfather who thinks all the world's his progeny. But the half-second pause was also enough to remind myself that, I do not have the first idea what the story is about. "I don't know...yet. I - I'm just starting."

This seemed to have gotten his approval. "Then it's going to be the best kind of story! The best stories are always.. always! Always those about the unknown." He nodded and waved at my pen. "Go on, carry on. Write it down." He said it as if he meant to watch me as I write the full length of the story.

"Uhm, I work best when I'm alone, sir."

He pooh-ed at that. Then he sighed and shrugged as if giving in. "Writers always do."

I nodded. "I think it just gives them time to think."

The man grinned. "Yes, that and then some..." He gave me a conspiratorial wink. "It's because you consult your muses in solitude, right? Tell me, are you Irish?"

I was taken aback. There was no hint of Irish-ness in my features. I was pug-nosed, dark, brown-eyed and all. "My great grandfather was. By the name of Gilleagan. How do you know that?" I answered, seriously curious.

"Because you young lady, possess the classic Irish malady of having a story-sundered soul. What's your name now?"

I became wary for a nanosecond and he must have sensed it. He started to guffaw and clap his hands. He might as well have been watching PT Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth for all his amusement.

"Look at me, I'm no faery. I will not claim your soul upon learning your name. Your surname then, if you are more comfortable with that!" He stopped tumbling over his seat but continued to chuckle. I felt silly.

"It's Burgos, sir."

"Clearly Spanish! The song-filled soliluquy!" He shook his head, eyes twinkling. "A Filipina with Irish and Spanish lineage. A warrior with a story in her soul and a song in her heart. That's the good part."

"Oh? Is there a bad part?"

"The story-sundered soul knows no rest until the story is told. You are enchanted by them all -- small stories, epic stories, tall stories, fat or thin. But always keeping an eye on a story that will reflect the story you have inside of you." He looked at me for validation. I shrugged, unsure.

"Okay, let me tell you more then. Some nights, I am sure, you are driven to insanity with the need to write but not a drop of precious word can be milked from your bemused pen... And it shatters you! It tears you apart!"

He was getting closer to home, I have to admit.

"Then some days, the song-filled soliloquy urges you to fill your room with song, with rhyme and melody but complete and utter inability barricades the way... Oh, i would hate to be you on those days, on those nights."

The story and the song. Both unwritten. My spirits spiraled down. I hate being myself on nights like those too. On days like this...

"Oh, now, you keep writing. You find that song too. Being Irish is almost being psychic. You'll find it just by sensing it, I tell you. Well. You have to find it, or your whole life's going to be miserable." He huffed and stood up. Finally. "Best to leave you to your writing now. Goodbyes and many times over... hello and goodbye." Then he left me musing about my fate.

The story and the song.

How can happiness be found only through the path of such a thin pen-drawn line? The misery of the storyteller and the bard remains.

Best to start writing then.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ayeem Back!!!

Hallo, hallo!

Sorry for not checking in yesterday as promised. It's just that, I was completely wiped out and I decided to hibernate for one more day.
Now, refreshed (albeit a little heartbroken) --- I BLOG!

Whatta weekend we had... Baguio to Sagada then Baguio again... a total of 28 hours of traveling on the bus. Definitely not for the fainthearted. ;p

For a complete travelogue, please visit my Sagada Blog:
Pictures and commentaries overflow. ;p
Iyaman!