The Tenth Attempt Number Ten
Let me try - let me try again, as i have been doing so over and over and over. For in this expedition to discover me, i have harvested nothing other than false hopes and traded everything else for regret. This is me typing, no, this is me ranting. To myself, to you, to no one, to everyone of us tired of hearing the thud that reverberates from a body slapping unto the ground.
new places, different times, same fucked up kid.
okay, first of all, make sure you are seated comfortably and securely. make sure you aren't in danger of falling off somewhere; if you are holding a lethal object, put it down. i don't want you to hurt yourself just because of my announcement. okay game?these days, i don't LOOK fabulous.
well, not in that
way, silly. that's like a hard stunt to pull off. harhar; kidding. here's what i mean though: i was walking in the mall a while ago and *bam!* i suddenly realize that i cannot read the menu--the big one nailed behind the cash register. well, i recognized words like "milk" and "ice" because i knew how the words look like, design and dimension-wise. just like what i told my idiot friend: if the word printed above the door is long, that's where you enter; if it's short, that's where you're supposed to go out.
but seriously, the individual letters, i had a hard time to distinguish. everything was so...suffused. so not sharp. i swear the markings on the board did not have edges. it's like looking through the window when the rain's falling so hard and the view is being distorted by water that's sliding down the sheet of glass.
i don't think i've suddenly become illiterate or dyslexic. and if there's anything i am very terrified of, it is going blind. i will rather lose a leg or an arm but i will not go blind. sheesh, i'd rather give up smoking. (yeah listen to me go on with this, with lights turned except for a cutesy night light and my notebook's monitor.)
truth be told, i actually own a pair of glasses. i have been prescribed one when i was still a kid. it's funny, really, since i am not an insistent reader or what have you. how i could have destroyed my chances of ever being a pilot at that young an age is beyond my capability to connect events. but i know this much: i don't wear my glasses because they are:
1) so goddam inconvenient
2) very unflattering
3) the accessory makes me look smart, profound and all proper--things that i am not.
but right now, all i could think about is going to the opthalmologist to have my eyes refracted the soonest time possible. i probably have outgrown the pair that i have now; i get headaches when using them, those seldom instances that could probably be registered as a phenomenon.
unreliable eyesight is such a drag. once, i ran spectacularly right smack into springfield's display window, actually intending to go inside the shop to check out clothes. and i was so shocked i wasn't able to remove myself immediately; i stayed plastered against it, feeling the glass vibrate behind my cheek and i tried hard to phase out peachy's hysterical laughter, as if calling all other people in the damn mall to come look at the obese boy stuck to the glass like an idiot. i suddenly felt sympathy with the mannequins. instead of the one looking, i felt that i became the display behind the glass. the looks on the faces of the folks inside the store: priceless. that is one way of drawing attention. best part is that it was not orchestrated. that is my most recent MOST embarrassing experience. (well, wait, not really, but it's in the top ten). but then again, this probably accounts for my stupidity rather than the damage on my eyes. or how the good people at springfield are immensely talented with keeping their glass spotless and clear. well, they lost this customer as i scurried out of sight like the idiot i have come to play. bleh.
prissiness is a good thing. it keeps you from being contaminated in countless ways. i sure wish i knew how to be prim because i think i am the world's biggest klutz in disguise. or a slob claiming to be fabulous. there are days when i don't shave and i walk around the house in a robe. a wonderful robe, i must add. lately, i've noticed that i am more excited about these robes over clothes that i can actually wear in public. (mickey, thanks again for that fabulous balinese robe. i love it so much--c'est chaud
dahlin. muy caliente.
and to whoever else you are reading this and in the future, you come into a situation wherein you cannot decide what to give me, well then just give me a nice robe.) going back. but then again, that's a matter of taste, clothes that could be worn in public. i've been into skirmishes over that. they take one look at me and a debate worthy of the philippine senate hall goes off.
but hey: if you want evidence that god does not exist, you are invited to take a look at my bedroom and discover how anarchy would look like when translated into mundane matters, what with all stuff thrown on my couch as if sitting on it was not the consideration for its purchase.
but don't get me wrong, in spite of this cesspool i inhabit which i call bedroom
(my mom says that i am actually destroying
-yes exact word-the house because i insist that one room in it to be this way), i do believe in a higher being. i have figured out young enough that i am not the most tremendous thing. yes, i may have developed the belief that i am important, but certainly, i will not claim to be responsible for such bigger things like the existence of chocolate, tobacco leaves or sugar.
so higher being, please fix my eyes. and when you're done doing that, fix me up with someone. amen.
the internet is evil.
i have so much to finish and yet i find myself in friendster checking out the profile of the one person i should stop being interested in. god, the regret of adding to his "profile views!" argh right now i'm actually banging my head on the wall. okay, the internet is a neutral thing; i am a stupid boy.
i have just finished reading hey nostradamus!
by douglas coupland and i must say that i like it so much. the book has been with me for more than a year now but since i had all his books bought for me, i was determined to read them all in sequence. i finished it in what, two days and now i'm starting with eleanor rigby
. although i'm the kind of person who would rather have an interval in between reading novels, so i'm guessing that i'd stop reading this and put it off for maybe a week or two. or when (or if) i go to baguio next month with hans and co. i guess i digest these stories. i think that's why i prefer fiction, or prose, over poetry. i like to be lost in scenes, in moments, in...well - no other way to put it - stories.
not to say that my life is boring. god knows how much i love myself and no torture can ever make me admit that i'd rather be someone else. none.* * *
speaking of being myself, the semester's about to end and i haven't posted anything about my classes yet. well, technically, my poetry class is done with; i just submitted my poems and my paper last tuesday. i'm not a poet yet but i never really expected (nor will i ever expect to) to be one. the workshop class was fun though. sir jneil was (is) a fantastic prof and i had (have) wonderful classmates.
i just had dinner with sir jneil, kath and noel the other day and it was so much fun. well, the first plan was to have coffee, but since some funky thing was going on at the bahay ng alumni, we decided against choc kiss and went to chateau verde instead. i had lasagna that mysteriously filled up my tummy as if it expanded into a blimp inside my stomach. it still scares me, what kind of cheese was in there, up to this day.
we were just laughing the whole time, but in spite of being with these interesting people, we did not miss checking out the cute guy who sat in the next table. i've learned so many things, like about nawals, how to get rid of crabs and all sorts of drugs. hahaha kidding. well not really. one other thing i learned is something about myself: how is that i am totally capable of talking about sex as if i am not a virgin? even i am wondering where i get all these...material. cos when i say conversing about sex, i really mean conversing. as in sharing opinion and well, um, experiences. (that may not be of sex, but are sexy nonetheless) god i talk crazy for a sixteen year old.
okay i'm starting to be a psycho so i think this means i should start working again. god, i've been doing photoshop all day, my eyes are starting to melt. having this kit ready by later is like so next to impossible. i think i'm going to post the poem i submitted for poetry; the one i most like:
LESSONS IN ASTRONOMY
As if an earnest professor
whose excited words just eddy
in the earlobes of his
one and only student (freshman, i think you think),
you lecture me about
to see for myself the wonders
of the zodiac:
those flickering dots with which to play
an ancient game
of connecting them
into a belt, creatures, heroes,
A busy sidewalk café is
where we always hold class. You drink
your macchiato with long,
slow sips in between sessions that
never went passed the silly name-game
and the explanation of the syllabus.
the practical test.
I haven’t any idea of
the grading scheme but I try my best;
suck up anyway. Hidden behind
foliage and squeaky park benches,
while lying on an improvised mat
of our clothes.
I was never told
by you that I have to be shaken and
thrown into a multitude of angles
just to watch this “spectacular,”
and stagnant, lightshow.
What I failed to say:
I have done some advanced reading.
I shiver under your vast, black umbrella
pricked with countless holes
and I run this in my head:
the stars are not the stars
but light coming all the way from
some from sources that
have already went out
before the imprints poked dots on the sky.
So I light a cigarette and look up,
as you’ve always instructed.
I see not a belt, creatures, heroes,
but a graveyard for promised illumination.
I've seen blogs with song lyrics posted on them. while i do admit that i usually - wait, what usually - i always dodge reading the lyrics and proceed to read the other parts of the entry, i find myself posting the lyrics of a song which i has come to mean something to me. The most lucid memory I have with the song is when I was drinking with segment producers while i was still a researcher at the buzz. (Calling fellow employees in a tv network "officemates" does not sound like it makes sense, well besically because I cannot call a network 'office')
before i give you the lyrics, i want to dwell on this first. my former job did not really required much from me, but incidentally this included twenty-four hours of my day and all seven days of my week. (i swear i broke my knee there, all for the love of chismis.) needless to say, i disappeared from the face of the planet as i entered the world of showbiz.
It was really a dychotomy:
1) there were those who tell me that I fit right smack into that job. These are people who know me from school and I guess they've always known me as quirky and chika and all that and they kind of associated those attributes to the particular show that I used to work for. And it was kind of fun, seeing the reactions on the faces of people when I tell them what I had been doing during those days. I guess they were expecting me to know a lot of juicy stuff concerning people, well, whom i really did not give a fig about. (Binugbugbog ni famous singer/actor/tv host ang asawa nya etc etc)
2) and there were those who just knew from the beginning that it wouldn't work for me. unfortunately for me, I did not fall under number two, but this is a different thing altogether.
So back then, we had post-production/pre-production meetings every monday. after which, these segment producers and I would watch a movie and sometimes down a couple of bottles of beer after. whenever we did the latter, we almost always did so at this 24-hour joint in front of ABSCBN main gate along Sgt. Esguera. The place looks like a big, dreary hut with more often that not no other customers in it.
We were drinking and talking about the history of the show and how they hoped that I would stay and how thye thought that I had a biright future at the network and all that when this song started to play on the radio. I realized then that I had heard the song before but at that moment, something about it soothed me. I was tired then and i was not so hot about my occupation. Being in the company of newly met fascinating people and enjoying it was merely the reason I had for going back to work each day.
I scrambled towards the sound system and demanded the waiter to play the track again. I searched their CD's and scanned every track trying to look for the song. I dug into their big case logic for the sleeve just to find out what the song's title was and who recorded it.
Months later, I would be out of ABSCBN and won't see these segment producers again. I only stayed there for five months and no, there was no future for me there.
I guess, especially now, the song reminds me that (as Mundi and I were talking about a while ago) things don't fall apart. They just change.
Now That's What I Call Quite Good...
Clambering men in big bad boots
Dug up my den, dug up my roots.
Treated us like plasticine town
They build us up and knocked us down.
From Meccano to Legoland,
Here they come with a brick in their hand,
Men with heads filled up with sand,
It's build a house where we can stay,
Add a new bit everyday.
It's build a road for us to cross,
Build us lots and lots and lots and lots.
Whistling men in yellow vans
They came and drew us diagrams.
Showed us how it all worked out
And wrote it down in case of doubt.
Slow, slow, quick, quick, quick,
It's wall to wall and brick to brick,
They work so fast it makes you sick,
Down with sticks and up with bricks,
In with boots and up with roots,
It's in with suits and new recruits,
THINGS DO NOT FALL APART; THEY CHANGE.
Still, I can't help but think that the saddest story i will ever get to write is an autobiography.
in online conversations, it seems that every topic other than sex is small talk. "still in school? what do you do? favourite movie? yadayadayada" and it annoys me when people do not understand "what do you do" but mistake it with "what are you doing now" and they give answers which they thing are witty like "chatting with you." so, that's what you, do, you chat with me. how miserable that life must be. just an observation.
on 2 stars (metro and me)
i know that i have just recently made public my strong abhorrence towards the metrostar. i've once taken a ride on it during rush hour and instantly whipped up an insight regarding vanity and at the same time discovered the true meaning of the word cramped.
But then, i get dropped of at quezon avenue station this morning only to find looooooooooooong meandering lines, taking up every permissible space. i spent more time lining up for that friggin trip ticket than taking that trip. trying to get on that train should be considered for extra challenge. it's a real test on one's agility, stamina and patience. all the while, i wanted to kick myself but no space allowed for this happen. it would have been less complicated had i only waken up earlier.
once i got to ayala station, the first thing i did was to purchase stored value. much ado to be an hour late for work.
so there i was again, morning at metrostar, mouring for myself. to my horror, condition actually worsened and the aircondition in the friggin train was not turned on. in missy's words (unfortunately taken from her own experience) "noon ko lang nalaman na puede pala yun"--i never knew that it was possible for the goddam train to run without aircon. and so the windows were opened i was praying ever so hard for it not to start raining. and then, i made that fatal mistake of heaving my chin up and took a peak of edsa. upon seeing that traffic was manageable and that it might actually take me faster if i brought my friggin car, i swear i felt a warm tear roll down my cheeks.
i took the cab home.
in spite of my 9am work the following day, i go out with missy and nika. and this is only an excuse so that i could post this pic, cos i'm such a star.
happy birthday missy! it's funny that it was because of her birthday that we went out and i find no picture of me with her taken on that night. but hey, don't nika and i look like half-sisters? harhar
okay, things got kinda spunky at the club and we all ended up going home past 4. i wake up at 9, but still took the cab to makati. i arrived at the office at 10:30. shame on me.
next week, i will take the goddam car. i really hate the goddam train. i am spoiled i will not be ashamed of it.
, i have just realized, is a word i use quite loosely. i may walk up a hall, catch a glimpse of my reflection on the shiny steel surface of the elevator doors and go on to claim that i realize something about myself. like something as silly as how how my eyes are not symmetrical. i have over the years, in similar fashion, realized that i don't like sinigang, that i abhor eating at abscbn cafeteria (or at least i did when i was still with the company), that i don't like the bitter taste of beer, that i am obsessed with triffle-hi of gayuma and yadayadayada. i have realized that i don't construct sentences the way i used to (whether i have improved or have turned for the worse is a thing I cannot realize just yet.)
but truly, realization, as i have realized just now, should come with a distinct pain. liken it to being shot with a pellet gun right on your nape, that sting not fading anytime soon after the pellet hits you. and it won't kill you. it just leaves a totally unnecessary feeling of discomfort that causes unrest, grumpiness for the rest of the day. you feel your nape, and never get to neglect the fact that you have a nape. and you miss that feeling of not feeling your nape. of being able to just go on without that full knowledge of having one because it's just there. simply because it was just there.
when you realize something, whether about yourself or about how things go, you part with that part of yourself that's hopeful, the part of your psyche which cannot fully reconcile what you want to do and what you will be able to accomplish. before realizing something, you are magnanimous, invincible and totally able. to part with that ignorance of a certain something is a painful matter that is not always outdone by the new knowledge which takes its place.
and so now i know why i constantly confuse myself. like that lonely horse pulling a calesa up a filthy binondo street, i find it easier to trudge along with blinders on both edges of vantage, steadily ascending without knowing what's on the periphery, being under the impression that that sometime, somewhere will be arrived at, wherever it is, without fully understanding how getting there feels like.
(okay, i should stop being vague. i have a tendency to be vague, and i don't know why.)
but it's kind of too late to gripe over this now for i have just realized that to be something, something real in this world, someone who matters, one has to do things that one does not like to do. it may be as petty as writing an article on something one is actually the least bit interested in. or claiming to be something that one, in the end, does not want to live up to after all.
(subtitle: a very labo post)
uneventful is how i would describe a day wherein:
- i do some funky stuff with some guy over the telephone just before i pull that sleeping mask over my eyes, and the new day heralded not by some rooster but by my snoring
- i wake up to such scorching heat, i turn the aircon on and then i sleep again
- i wake up at 3pm, rush a 300-word write-up for the contributor's page and turn the TV on just to see two guys fight over Sexbomb Rochelle in Daisy Siete
- i arrive at enterprise plaza, an hour late for a staff meeting, and still leave the damn building with parking fee jacked up to a hundred
- i insist, and just may have succeeded in doing so, to do the styling in the fashion spread
- i am given a new article to work on: skin care section, which i know nothing about since i only smolder my face with whatever's in my bathroom
- i hear two versions of "last kiss" on the radio as i pass through that supercongested cubao tunnel and all the dirt and smoke and squalor of manila is sticking to my face because the windows are down since my aircon is still broken. it had been for a month now.
- i meet up with a former officemate and rant the whole night. in two locations.
- i rush a report for class the following day
what i really miss is that feeling that nothing matters because they really don't. i also miss the time when my reading list did not matter; that i would not be judged for reading too little or for reading not-too-literary stuff life rushdie or borges. i miss reading those quark henares stories. (wonder if he still writes...and where to find these pieces) i miss being so sensless and being amusing to make up for it. i miss being something.
after neglecting this page for such a long time, the one time i felt like i was finally going to post something again, the taskbar takes its sweet time. nothing really hurts more than a blank screen to go with a giddy mind. the thing that's not really talked about too often is the importance of internet connection. unfortunately this is nothing i can delve into myself as i don't know a fig about it. as you have noticed, this new template activated the comments option in this blog and everyone is invited to leave me a message concerning internet stuff which you think i ought to know about.
but then what i really want to talk about is the most delectable sin ever: vanity. i can't believe i am only talking about it now, particularly after reading what igz had to say about it in his blog (his blog is linked to mine, if you want to read for yourself).
the other night, i hit cafe saguijo with lotte and her childhood friend wesley - cool guy - and two of his friends. when we arrived, they said that they (wes and his pals) were just going to the toilet so lotte and i stayed outside to have some smokes. after like thirty minutes, we noticed that they haven't come back yet. it was still early and there definitely was no line for them to negotiate. our search for the threesome led us to the parking lot and we were merrily bouncing on some tires that were just lying there when one of wes's friends found us.
at cafe saguijo, we never really bothered to go up the stairs and as this guy led us, i had no idea what was waiting for me. as i took steps, i kept on imagining it as like a place where people smoked weed and do funky stuff. imagining and hoping: kinda same thing, don't you think. it turned out to be a room that was converted into a botique that sold cool and mostly vintage stuff. "lola's baul" the guy we were with said. (god how i wish i remember his name, my blogging life would be so much easier. i know: let's call him ernie.) okay, so ernie said that we were in some lola's baul and wesley was trying some tight retro shirt on, wesley with untamed, curly hair and a scrawny frame. and that was in fact the purpose of our summon: we had to see that. i said he should get it, and went on fiddling with the stuff in the room. treasure--lotte found this really cool small red, rectangular pin (reminds me of name plates service specialists wear) with the word succulence written on it in white. (i acknowledge that the last sentence is the worst ever.)
we were on our way to another bar, talking about the act of mixing friends that belonged to different circles and i was still thinking about the pin. i never figured out why i didn't buy it since it could not have caused much. then i thought of why someone who's not vain would buy it. buy it and wear it. i obviously wasn't thinking about myself, as i had actually already tried it on and had every intention of keeping it on, if only i had the mind to whip up the intention to buy it too. (never even bothered to ask for the price. stupid stupid. so if you go to saguijo before i do, be a darling and leave the damn pin where you will find it because i swear i am coming back for it.)
"vanity is the most delicious sin," i suddenly said. i didn't really care if my statement was going fit in what ever it was we were discussing at that time. (ninetees rock music, i think) "it's a win-win situation. at least you get to be beautiful come your judgement day. with vanity, you don't lose. you might go to hell for it but you'd end up being one hot-looking devil." i think they agreed, but i was too busy agreeing with myself to pay enough attention.
a couple of days prior to that, i had a meeting at enterprise. (every monday actually. so friends who work at makati, feel free to book me mondays after work.) i got into trouble the last time i parked in front a friend's establishment and i just couldn't stomach the fact that i was going to pay way too much for parking. so i decideded to park my car, whos name is montgomery btw, at shangrila mall where parking is fabulously at a flat rate. i took the train to makati and since it wasn't rush hour, it was okay. i arranged to meet cathy after work so that we could ride the train together.
okay, rush hour at the metrostar is like being at a uaap basketball match between ateneo and la salle except that from araneta, they ahd moved the venue to the ayala heights clubhouse. i had to agree with cathy when she said that there was not going to be a small chance in hell that we were going to be able to catch a ride in the qc-bound train. so she had the idea of taking that "roundtrip" ride. meaning, we were to take the train that was heading towards taft and there, we would simply wait for the train to start heading to the other end which was i think somewhere in balintawak. "isn't this kinda illegal," i asked. "many people do it," she said, but you don't really have to mull over it to realize that that hadn't really answered the question. with a promise of course that we'd eventually get seats, i let myself take that bogus course of action. the promise would elude fulfillment. for me, at least.
so i ended up standing during the trip, no, voyage to taft and then back to shangri-la station. this, after walking up and down ayala avenue and practically spending my entire lifetime lining up for a friggin trip ticket. i was clearly not in the most accomodating mood. to top it off, i kept hating that person who "stole" my seat, who were practically everyone who were seated. (except for cathy, of course. she is my friend. she did not steal a seat from me, i gave one to her.) i had to smite them. i did not have to be successfull at doing so but i had to. i had to i had to i had to. so i concentrated on how they looked. it was after all their most apparent flaw. i will not elaborate on this. i am laready coming off as superficial as it is. but i swear, "vanity yields results. it's okay, don't be scared to go fix yourselves" i kept on saying to no one in particular and to everyone at the same time(except for cathy, of course). i realize, dear reader that this might turn you off about me, but hey you must forgive me for i was sooooo tired then and do admit that i had a point. i said more cruel stuff which i am not going to write anymore. and i do admit now that exhaustion blinded me so much that i failed to see the beauty in people. (okay that was too much. i am sure not everyone in that goddam car was repulsive, there.) the next time i had bussines at enterprise, i parked under the building and had to literally pay a totally impractical amount all in the name of vanity.
so these are two concrete stories about how i have been thinking about vanity lately. i thought that in the few posts that i put concerning my job, i was perennially vague. perhaps one, day, i will post stories about it. very pregnant topic, i tell you. spicy and juicy and worthy of the show i used to work for. but i digress. anyway, vanity. what i actually forgot about while i was standing inside that train is this: my stand has always been that everyone is actually vain. as in everyone. and it is such a gross misconception that the ones who are aware of their own vanity - those who are admittedly and outwardly vain - are the more sinful ones. everyone is vain, except that not everyone is successful at being so. if that to them is the best version of themselves, then so be it. like not having a fashion statement is in itself a fashion statement. actively not caring is caring. it takes more time to look like you did not assemble your outfut, i'm sure, just as it takes helluva longer time to achieve that natural look in terms of cosmetics.
but then, i am now thinking if vanity really is my favorite sin. cos i think it could either be glutony or deliberate megalomania.