Fourteen

“If I never see you again / I will always carry you / inside / outside

on my fingertips / and at brain edges

and in centers / centers / of what I am of / what remains”

– Charles Bukowski

I’ve spent my time seeking for the approval of others, that sometimes I forget that we are all individual snowflakes – special, unique and severely fucked up in our own little way. I have practiced all this time to perfect my disguise. From cradle to grave and from dusk till dawn. Seasons change and the leaves bury the earth and I bury my face with all these shallow facades, all these cliches, all these – whatever.

I have buried myself many times and dug up myself more than it has done me well. The earth has grown numb with the countless earthing, unearthing, re-earthing, and re-unearthing. These shovels and pickaxes yearn for peace, for serene falling of rain, for moist windows, for roaring fireplace, for a steady hand to hold, as they scream silent infidelities against these trembling calluses that wield them.

Beads of sweat form perfect teardrops along the curvatures of my face. Rolling, rolling, rolling until it free falls upon scorched earth.
Saltwater and the great escape.
A fathom of irreparable hindsight, of failed autopsies, of lost conversations, of pieces of vanishing has been, and vacuous spaces yearning fingertips and hushed obscenities.

You know what sucks?

Teaching the heart to have courage in times when what it sorely yearns for is to falter.
Teaching the heart to practice so as to perfect its disguise.
Teaching the heart that the hardest journey it will make is the fourteen inch line from the  chest to the head.
Teaching the heart to channel longing, wanting, and feeling through self-imposed numbness, or through selective forgetfulness.
Teaching the heart to reason with the unfathomable.
Teaching the heart to accept the love it thinks it deserves.
Teaching the heart that everyone it meets can be loved – can be saved.
Teaching the heart that it is a bottomless vessel of compassion available to anyone who shows the tiniest bit of attention.

Teaching the heart that it is a mistake.

Because it’s not. (And that sucks)

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Something that Looks like Love

They say that writers are sad people. I disagree. I believe that people write when they’re sad. It’s been months since I last spilled my thoughts upon these pages. I believe that that’s a good sign. Being busy with school, activities, and the daily grind for the imperfect in a world of impermanence, my mind wanders less, the river moves without any hitch. However, will resolute yields. We give in sometimes. The steady flow of the river vanishes beneath the tumultuous and cataclysmic events that follow upon its wake. And I find myself talking to myself in public.

I-You. The oldest story in the world. What I want is to be needed. To be indispensable to somebody. To lick each others’ scab, to eat ourselves up, to sing about our scars. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction.

You keep telling yourself that it’s love. But basically you’re just using each other up. You say, save me from something that looks like love. Before you laugh. A sick kind of desperate laugh that betrays the world. Sometimes it’s easier not to let the world know what’s wrong while smiling. People smile with that invisible gun to their head. And you laugh.

I think this is the reason why I write. I write in retrospect. I may never have the control when things happened, at least I can control the manner in how I recreate them. All these stories, experiences, anecdotes and past lives have taught us to live in the past. People telling how this one dramatic story has changed their life forever. Now their lives are more about the past than their future.

I-You. She has a mouth like unswept glass – when you least expect it she cuts you. He’ll wear a smile when she slits his throat. He’ll wear a smile when his mouth bubbles crimson gasping for his last breaths. His smile will wear him after he apologizes for bleeding on her dress.

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Aso

Bale nakasakay ako sa tricycle kanina papuntang Rotonda kasi pupunta akong UST. Sa loob ako ng sidecar umupo, tinabihan ako ng babae na may sukbit na bag. May akay-akay na aso sa kanang kamay habang nakadikit sa kaliwang tenga ang teleponong hawak ng isa pang kamay. Tila may kausap yung babaeng amo sa teleponong hawak. Una kong tinignan yung aso. Kasi naman, sa 13 taon kong pagsakay sa terminal dito, ngayon lang ako nakaengkwentro ng asong binitbit at pinasakay sa loob ng tricycle kasama ang amo. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, Shih Tzu yung lahi nung aso. Halong puti, itim at brown ang kulay nito.

Sabi nila, swerte raw ang pusa kapag tatlo ang kulay ng balahibo nito. Pati kaya sa aso?

Anyway, hindi ko na winari kung babae o lalake yung aso. Bukod kasi sa natatakpan ng mahahaba at makakapal na balahibo nito ang kanyang etits (o ededs) naisip ko na baka mahuli ako nung amo nya na sinisipat yung pribadong bahagi ng katawan nung kanyang alaga. Mabuti nang mahuli na tao ang sinisilipan kaysa naman hayop. Hayop ka na nga, hayop pa ang trip mo.

Lumarga na yung tricycle matapos itong mapuno. Hindi ako nakapagagahan ngayong araw dahil huli na akong nagising. Napasarap ang tulog dahil sa bagong kabit na aircon sa kwarto. Kaya pagkabangon ko, diretso nang paligo at pagbihis para pumasok. Isang tasang kape at isang basong tubig lang, solb na.
Kung gaano kabilis tumatakbo ang tricycle, ganun naman ang ihip ng maalinsangang hangin na dumadampi sa aking mukha. Okay na sana, kaso parang may halong balahibo yung dalang bulong ng hangin. Pagkasalat ko sa aking mukha, nahipo ko na may balahibo ngang nakaangkla sa pagitan ng labi ko. Kinuha ko yung balahibo at ininspeksyon. Ang putang ina naglalagas ng balahibo habang nasa loob ng tricycle.

Dito ko na minata yung aso. Yung pagmamata na hitik sa poot at malisya. Sa sobrang abala ko sa pangmamata, hindi ko napansin na dinidilaan na pala nya yung bag kong dala. Putanginanggagongtarantadong ito. Napasigaw ako dahil hindi ako yung tipo ng tao na magpapadila ng gamit sa hayop pagkatapos akong pakainin ng balahibo nito sa loob ng tricycle sa ilalim ng nagbabagang maghapon na tubig at kape lang ang umagahan. Nalaman kong nagulat ako dahil agad kong isinara ang aking bibig dahil sa nagbabadyang piraso ng mga balahibo na tumatambay sa hangin, nalaman kong nagulat yung amo nung aso dahil halos nabitawan nya yung hawak nyang telepono. Nalaman kong nagulat yung alaga nya dahil wala na sya doon sa kanyang pinagpupwestuhan.

Sabi nila, kapag itinapon mo raw ang pusa mula sa mas mataas na lugar, palagi itong babagsak sa kanyang mga talampakan.

Tumalon ang putang ina. Yung aso hindi yung amo. Nag-ala superdog pagkatapos magulat sa pagkakasigaw ko. Pero imbes na lumipad, plumakda sya sa espalto at nagpagulong-gulong na parang tsubibong tumira ng shabu. Sampu, kinse, bente. Hindi ko na nabilang yung dami ng ikot na ginawa nung aso.
Pero kahit gusto ko man bilangin yung rotasyon nung katawan nung aso, hinadlangan ako ng 20″ na gulong ng rumaragasang Fortuner. Matapos lang ang ilang segundo, hindi na katawan nung asong nagpatambling tambling ang nakita ko sa kalsada, ngunit ang kaliwang gulong ng kaskaserong Fortuner na madali lang kaming inover-take-an.
Pinilit kong ispatan yung katawan, o kung ano man ang natira, nung aso, pero malayo-layo na rin ang tricycle sa pinangyarihan ng trahedya. Pinilit kong sipatin kung babae ba sya o lalake, pero iniisip ko na baka husagahan ako bilang manyakis ng kanyang amo.

And I therefore conclude na hindi swerte (hindi ko sinasabing malas) ang asong tatlo ang kulay ng balahibo. At hindi rin ito bumabagsak sa kanyang mga talampakan kapag tumalon sya sa gumagalaw na tricycle bago masagasaan ng humaharurot na sasakyan.

Pic related. Parang ganito yung itsura nung aso (bago napisa na akala mo ginulungan ng magmumurang pison)

ShihTzuPurebredDogsLongHairedFullCoatFredRed5YearsOld

appreciation for use of photo credited to where credit is due

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Thumbscrew

Want to hear something corny?
Something corny is lying on my bed during a windy 18 degree Celsius Saturday evening with these thoughts of you clamped like thumbscrews inside my head.
How about something cornier?
Something cornier is having those thoughts of you swoon and waltz to the rhythm of my exhausted and laboured breathing. The idea of you clinches the individual nuts that hold my sanity together. Like a vice grip, slowly spinning, and turning, and twirling and whirling sporadically through intricate motions yet irretrievably bound to its axis.
A recurring flash of familiar hindsight. A daydream cycle. You, you, you. Is something cliché even if it is the truth?
How about something sad?
Something sad is living off these memories of you every day until the dying light. Something sad is holding hands with you while lying on this bed during this sweltering 64 degree Fahrenheit Saturday night.
Something sad is prying your fingers off, as I break mine holding on to these thoughts, ideas, memories, and histories that was and never will be.

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Hear the Leaves Sing

“Do you hate people?

I don’t hate them… I just feel better when they’re not around.”
― Charles Bukowski

I think about people as much as I think about leaves. A throng that clings to the tree of life, haphazardly rustling to the tune of the whistling wind that ebb and flow along the bottomless blue sky.

I hear the leaves sing. But to listen to them is another matter.
Sometimes their song sings a nectar of harmony. A symphony of depth and sincerity that hangs perpetually at the palate of the mouth. A feeling of nostalgic burning etched along the erratic creases on the tongue that sears the memory and sets the soul ablaze. It fills the mouth with the taste and scent of rosewater. As if life is worth living.

But sometimes it whispers an aria of sorrow.
A collective shrill of dissonance that skewers the laughing heart. Its tone evokes the feeling of ineffable longing for someone, or something of some distant mental imprint. An insatiable yearning for purpose and place.

We are at the end of history. Our war is a spiritual war, our depression is our lives.

I usually lose myself inside my head. It’s not the “ape shit mad” kind of mad where someone thrashes around, while another slurs ‘My Way’ on a vomit layered microphone, after that someone discovers that his ka-table, who’s been downing beer bottles faster than a snatcher running pass in front of the beer house with a recently swallowed piece of bloodied earring, has a dick.

No, it’s the kind of mad that takes the route of the movie Inception. A leap into imagination away from the plane of reality but with the promise of return.
In this state I often ponder about myself. The “I”. The absolute necessity. Ich. The oldest story in the world.

What are the possibilities when two or more people I’ve met and who are likely to never meet within each of our lifetime, by sleigh of fate’s hand, meet?
The horny introvert crosses paths with the happy-go-lucky moral compass inside a back alley shop that caters to the most lascivious fetishes imaginable.
The abandoned prostitute finds a picture of its long lost mother inside a customer’s wallet.
Or when the teacher catches someone using his phone in class and directs another student to read it in front of the same whole class,

“Son, why aren’t you answering the phone? Your father didn’t make the operation.

He’s gone.”

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Lips

This is me surreptitiously tonguing my lips after you kissed me goodbye. Caressing the lacerated strips of flesh that hang by a thread, my salivated tongue swirls into the intoxicating crimson of memory.

This is me talking to myself in public. As I tiptoe through social conventions, my mouth mumbles vague weightless obscenities unto the void. Rich people. Beautiful people. Perfect people born with silver spoons lodged in their mouth, spitting out self-righteous poison or singing loudly about their scars. Sometimes I think my birth is a mistake that I’ll be spending my whole life trying to correct. But I bet you hate yourself for not feeling real enough unless people are watching.

The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.

This is me locking eyes with those at the back of my head. When nobody looks at me, my eyes can stare a hole in them. I pick out the minutest details that I’d never have gotten if they would ever return my gaze. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection. This is my revenge. Your face is my piñata.

When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves.

This is me licking my lips on the mirror. You can’t kiss someone who has no lips. You don’t say you love someone when you don’t.

Oh but sometimes, you do.

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Insomnia

I close my eyes. I see you. Your body laced with virgin white Italian silk. Or ragged tatters of pajamas two sizes smaller – does it matter? In this state you are one and the same.

The blanket of night embraces you. Its cool and disinterested arms swallow your body whole. As you toss and turn on your bed, the paper moon hangs above – all seeing. An impartial observer, a silent sentinel watching over its dominion.

Currently, its eye shines upon you. Your body drenched with moonlight as it continues to turn and topple, like an abandoned buoy that is excommunicated to go out to sea, sentenced to a life of isolation, amidst a sea of faces and dizzying streams of names and places.

You lay on your bed. Restless. Tired. Sore. Hair tousled and heartbroken. Your left arm has fallen asleep before you did. Slumped and numb, you adjust your body and allow blood to flow through.

A million needles stab you simultaneously. You let out a blood curdling scream.

I open my eyes. The moon stares at me.

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