Monday, April 28, 2008

The Dreams The Dead Dream




He smelled like rain. He walked past me and his scent reminded me of open windows and twilight. Of water dripping and umbrellas drying in the hallway. I didn't think I would have such a reaction to these, but it opened up a hunger inside me that made me want to swallow raindrops and reach for thunder. I want to embrace the lightning I saw when he passed me by.

These yearnings, they make me almost believe I am still alive --- that I have a heart that is yet to love and that there is a future yet to be lived. It almost convinces me that one day, I will open a door and realize what stood there was the reason why I had been living my life. One night, I might look up at the sky and just know, all of a sudden, that life is complete.

These are the things the dead dreams off: the flame that gives off warmth; the touch affirming the capacity to feel. The intensity of need --- for reality to bend and make one live again after having died and suffer existing all the same.

It's like a perpetual marathon. You run and run until you believe you are numb from exhaustion, covering the fact that you were already numb to start with. You cannot stop but pray your heart will, so you'll have an excuse to falter and rest. Sometimes I daydream I have total catatonia. Only to realize that it wasn't illusory after all.

Jumpstart my heart. Pass by me once more. Make me smell rain. Hold me and make me feel skin. I will eat summer and swallow oceans, hoping that someday, you could teach me to stop pretending and start living the life I lost.

Dead nevermore.

A Dark Fantasy

He wrapped his arms around my waist, his chin on my shoulder.
"I think I have to let you go..."

My heart skipped a beat, too afraid to understand if its pain or elation I'm feeling.
"What?" I asked.

He buried his face at my nape. "Don't think I haven't noticed... you've got that far-off look in your eyes, like a bird trapped in a cage. And... you haven't written anything the few months we've been together."

"I was taking a rest... I was..." I weakly replied.

"You were uninspired." he finished for me.

And my silence was all he needed to confirm it was true.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lead, Lady


I was browsing through a friend's blog and saw the quote from the movie The Holiday:

Arthur Abbott: Iris, in the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you're behaving like the best friend.

Shoot.

So, can somebody tell me how NOT to be the best friend? It gets tiring, y'know, all that moral support, cheer-up-chummy thing we "best friends" do. You all think it's easy? It takes selflessness and non-exclusive capacity to understand people to do all that foolishness. You think it doesn't put a weight on our shoulders? The weight of being a best friend is in the heart. You get emotionally tied down without the benefit of having... whatever benefits. Darn if I know. Because for some reason, Fate has chalked me down as a "best friend." And all my life all I know is how to be pleasant and agreeable and reliable. And all I can remember is the sound of my heart twisting everytime I realize, I am only the friend, yet again.

They say a woman shouldn't be so emotionally accessible. That makes you "BF" material. But they also say find somebody who will like you the way you are. My strength is Empathy. Cheerfulness. Reliability. Fairness. Last time I checked those were GOOD traits. Maybe not desirable traits for men, which goes to show how weird most of them are.

Yes, I am the Best Friend. But I am a quick study. Somebody teach me how to be the leading lady and I'll integrate the 2 and create a new breed. Just wait and see.

There's Something I Want


A big box of Crayola.

I think I want to do colouring books. I think I want to color something magenta and aquamarine. I guess I need to de-stress. Oh boy, you don't know the week I had.

Yesterday, I almost self-destructed in the office. I was snappish and incoherent. I was drowning with all that camp crap that I can't think straight anymore. Good thing Ian helped down a save. While everybody else went out, in the blistering heat, to have lunch, he decided to stay. He also hates the heat as much as I do. He waited for me to finish, and I knew that was a sacrifice because he's been complaining about his hunger since 10:30 a.m. and I got done around 11:45. Don't know why, but it made me realize I shouldn't be a total bitch. I calmed down.

Today, I got hit by the flu. Feverish, cold sweats, et.al. I took the day-off, but guess what? I worked the landline AND my cellphone (sometimes at the same time!) contacting people, typed all afternoon, and even now, I just had to take a break but I'm not yet done. Sick leave my arse. I doubt if I can see straight by tomorrow.

And so... Aquamarine, Carribean Green, Cornflower, Cerulean, Chartreuse, Dandelion, Periwinkle... That's what I want to think about. Colors.

Because if not, I'll end up a GRAY mass, puddling in my seat, electrocuted by my own brain cells as punishment for courting complete self-annihilation.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Little Secret

I Like Singing along with Regine Velasquez and Pretend Its My Voice I'm Hearing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Keep My Story and I Know I'll Live Forever

We are born into the world amazed of things we do not understand. We imagine it as magic, or unknowable, or impenetrable. And for a long time, from childhood to adolescence, we accept it as it is. But at one point, you will tire of accepting things the way they are and you will start to seek and search; you turn things upside down, perhaps to see if you can still put it back together the right way up.

The day I saw where the starting line was and understood how I figured in the scheme of things was the day when I realized my Mother was human. Just human. The world shifted, but it was a good change. The day I heard the story of her life made her feel more accessible and less of a god-person. It made me realize that we ALL have to make our way through life, mistakes and all.

She told me of her impoverished childhood and the humiliation she encountered from their snobbish Kapampangan relatives. It didn't help that she looked mestiza; it made their poverty even more ironic and ridiculous. She had to wear slip-shod shoes stuffed with newspaper because my lola could not afford to buy her ones that fit. She wore hand-me-downs and relied on her own sewing skills to make it look presentable at least. She had 5 cents allowance for a week and ate bread for breakfast and lunch. She had 7 siblings and they would share 4 pcs of longganisa amongst themselves for dinner. One whole longganisa was reserved for my lolo who worked as a driver.

Nevertheless, she was always voted class president. She was always at the top of her class and was a shoo-in for her much coveted career as a lawyer. Unfortunately, the grandfather who was funding her studies could not afford to give her a law education and she settled with a degree in Education. Graduating Cum Laude, she got snapped up by the oldest college in the country and she teached there for the remainder of her life. She never became a lawyer, but countless students she has taught did. Some of them returned to her to thank her. They told her how she has helped them become successful. She would smile serenely and tell them they have helped themselves. My mother, robbed of her dream, can still tell them this. For a while, I have hated those students. To me it seemed they were rubbing salt on her wounds. But I realized that my mother had a complete acceptance of her mission. She said we were all put here on earth for a reason, and God must have had more use for her as a molder of minds than as defender of truth. Her acquisence is amazing. It taught me a very hard lesson people often never learn in their lifetime. Accept God's will and your life will never be a waste.

She also got to share with me her unusual gift of extra-perception, an asset passed on to her unwitting daughters. Hearing her experiences, and her own battle with unearthly darkness, made me realize I am not alone. It comforted me to know she has passed through the same things, and that I am not just insane after all. She told me that the world is far darker and brighter than people could ever grasp, and we should always be vigilant to know if we are going down the path of perdition or the avenue of damnation.

That night she poured her story out for me remains vivid in memory. I am seated where I am seated right now, the computer forgotten as I fumbled to catch the seeds of her own tree of life tumbling out of her lips.

My sensitivity to drama being what it is, I knew it was a life-changing moment. I even sensed that it was one of those last things I have to treasure because an end was at hand. I knew my mother was telling me her story so I will have her life recorded in my mind. It was a plea.

Hear me, daughter, and let me live forever.

I have heard and she will exist. I have written it down and now it will live far longer than our two lives put together could ever last.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Girl and a Book


Book in Hand: Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman
Song in Mind: Wake Up Call by Maroon 5

I don't know why, but this image really strikes me. Maybe it's how the girl is leaning in closely towards the book as if she's being devoured by the story itself. Or it's as if she's trying so hard to put herself inside the time and place she's reading about, an escape from wherever she may be.

Lovely. It's all the reasons why I love reading too. Take me away and never bring me back.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Darn It



Have you ever met someone you immediately are smitten of, but you know deep down inside they could never ever be yours?

Wait, wait, wait lang...

Before you smother me with your "Where's your fighting spirit, girl!" and "Para kang baliw! Trust The SECRET: want it bad enough and it'll be yours!"... Before all that crap, listen to me.

Some things are just true. Not for you. I know it's a no-way when even my brilliant imagination fails me. No matter how hard I try, I cannot imagine him mine. I have better chances of imagining Prince William stepping down from his throne to marry the Catholic girl that I am. Yes, it's that implausible.

And it irks me sooooo bad. Call it the inner spoiled brat: I just simply am not used to being helpless about something. It's so hard to swallow that some things you just can't do anything about. After being spoon fed about girl power and wish power, it's a hard lesson to learn that some things you just have to stand aside for and let pass.

Sigh. Wisdom, thoust better hurry. Refrain me from doing anything foolish. Like believing there's a chance.

My gulay. This is hard.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Never Forget

I was lying in bed already when Gabe came in to say sorry for fighting with me earlier this night. He hugged me so tightly and I melted and now we're okay again. But his hug reminded me of something.... It took me a moment to remember. I might have been subconsciously hoping that Gabe finds comfort in my arms the same way I found comfort in the arms of my parents.

Then it brought me there, to that pinnacle of memories, and I was stunned by how long it took me to remember --- How did it feel to be hugged by them again?

When was it the last time I hugged them? How did it feel again to hold their hands? What was their skin like again? Were their hair soft or coarse? I have vague memories of warmth and softness, but the physicality of it evades me now.

There was one night when Daddy, Mummy, Ella and I were in the same room, sleeping on a small twin bed. We were like sardines atop one another. But nobody complained. I remember that I sat up on a chair and watched them sleep. I listened to my parents snoring consecutively. remember thinking, this might be one of the last times you'll have this, so take it all in. Don't forget every detail. Sear the image into memory, never let it go.

And here I am almost forgetting.

Good Lord, don't let me forget. You know, it might be a long time beforeI feel that safe and complete again. You know, it might be never. So grant reprieve to my fading memory. How was it to hear their voice? How rough were my Daddy's hands? How soft was my Mummy's skin? Please help me keep the only things I have left of them. I lose more of myself everyday. DOn't let me lose them.

If only in my mind, I can remember how it felt, I might still convince myself I haven't totally been abandoned. I might still survive day to day. I don't care if it will just keep me hurting and grieving. I can take that pain.

I WILL NEVER LOSE THEM BY FORGETTING.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

After Hours (Or is it before?)

Book in Hand: The Third Secret by Steve Berry (on loan from Bing's husband)

Did not mean to blog so early in the morning. But I had one of those strange night time occurences again and I've been fighting off sleep at least until sunrise. Just to be on the safe side.

I wish I could read my borrowed book, but I have temporarily lost my appetite for anything else but the latest Dresden Files. I've heard Small Favor (I think the 10th in the series) is coming out this month in the US. That probably means I have to wait til next month to get my hands on it. Meanwhile, the 3rd Secret isn't so bad. It's about the last secret Our Lady supposedly divulged to Lucia in Fatima. Funny, I remember reading the documentary book about that divine apparition back when I was 12. I remembered getting so freaked out for my soul that I spent every minute worrying I won't get to heaven because I wasn't reciting the rosary as much as I ought to. Heh. I still worry.

My aunt cleaned our room and found some of my books. I realized I forgot about the stuff my Book Club friends gave me for my birthday. I still have left Fforde's The Eyre Affair, Kiko Machine something and Le Guin's Compass Rose untouched. A travesty, I must agree. Bili ako ng bili tapos ang dami ko ng tambak. I think I even have Christopher Golden's second Borderland book still in its original wrapping lying around somewhere.

On the other hand, my own fiction has taken a battering with my recent schedule. My problem is, after having a lull in writing, I end up losing interest in my own story. Then I start another. I couldn't count the number of notebooks which have a couple of scribblings already (the start of a new yarn), but have somehow been abandoned. So, I lost interest again in that new version of We Who Have...

I ought to stick to my writing sched. I shoulda. I ought to stick to a story too. And someday, it'll be there again. That thing I have to write that i will burn if I let it go unwritten.

Well, it's 4 a.m. now. I've been up since the "thing" around 2. I want to go back to sleep now. Pray I don't get bothered this time. Nyt! Or, 'Mornin'!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rabids versus Rapids

I did not parasail or zipline. But no use pretending I'm too comatosed to try at least 1 adventure sport: white water rafting. Not bad actually. I did live to tell the tale.. :)

Rabids win.


Sep, moi, Yel, and Dre


One high paddle...


Kulang na lang daw... loofah...


Yey!


We were so wearing the wrong outfits... we were about to bake under the sun for 4 hours and we were wearing shorts.... ha! Buti na lang I was wearing sunblock that's spf 75. Dre was wearing SPF 5... I don't think that could even protect you from a heated eye-glare. Guess who ended up charcoal-black?

Book in Hand:
Song in Mind:
Something's telling me it's going to be one loooong summer.

Overheating had always been my weakness. I am tempted to never walk under the sun ever again. It doesn't help that I'm pressed at work as well. I should call down from heaven that Olivia who used to handle everything efficiently.

But I'm sooo far from that girl right now. She's merely a shadow of my former self. And right now, with this danged summer, shadows are the last thing I can see.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Life's A Beach

Yeah, I hate summer. But not when I'm in the beach. Below are pics I took with my camphone when we went to various beaches. Yeah, beach bum who hates the sun. Irony abounds.

Puerto Galera with workmates

Nice view from afar...

But it kind of sucks when you're on White Beach already. The mass of humanity, erck.

Marcelle, Bing and Tita Remy inside the ferry to White Beach

Ian with JBart. Yeah, J's in PBSP na rin (he was my college classmate). Cool.

Bing and I, chillin' at the bar... or the closest we got to it.

Beauuuutifuuul CAMIGUIN!!!

Sunrise at Camiguin's White BEach, infinitely better than Galera...

Polvoron sand.... niceness!

Dre, Yel and Sep ( yeah, we're into three-lettered nicknames) playing at being mermaids... or doing beach yoga. I get confused.

Mount Hibok-hibok at the background, taken from the sandbar.

At the sunken cemetery....

At the cold waterfalls... the water was so freakin' cold....

Nasugbu, Batangas

Beauty --- but just don't go into the itchy water.

Ella's idea of hittin' the beach : armed to the teeth with her office documents, laptop and manang bag. Sweet!
Swingin' at Matabungkay....
Not the beach. Sonya's Garden, actually. But love the benches. Love the trip.
Hay. Love the beach. (Even if I still hate the sand). Maybe, I can survive summer.