They are the overtly privileged youth of the 21st century, Filipinos who have flocked to the warm huddle of the glow of their monitors, and after basking in the radiant information of places like "Singapore" and words like "Progress", wager that they know better than their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, who moved heaven and earth to secure a freedom we all so horridly take for granted. You vapid and inconceivable children, toting your Quezon City college degrees, sipping caffeine-free mocha-gichi-yayas in plush sofas at air-conditioned cafes, fancying yourself as the natural descendants of the Ancien Regime's Salon intellectuals. Yuppies who have been given every single opportunity and avenue to rant and complain about everything from the economy to stepping on a lego, across nine different social networks and all the while craving for masochistic leadership. college kids raised by the idealism and love and care of their ancestors, bred and indoctrinated to be that special snowflake, that special chink in the chain of our country's situation to be the be-all-end-all solution to alleviate poverty, disease, corruption, death, ageing, and every conceivable pain in this world.
And at the first taste of reality, after mere MINUTES of being thrown out into that cruel world we all live in today, opine that our ancestor's actions have inevitably condemned this country to death. That removing a dictator, who had curbed freedom and endangered the actual lives of people ought to have been kept there. That at the price of slain journalists, murdered activists, and slaughtered innocents who may have had but an opinion about the government, was not a bad trade-off for something like Masagana 99, for an impressive peso-dollar exchange rate, for cartoons and Coca-Cola and a nuclear power plant. These are the CHILDREN, and at an alarming rate more and more of them are duly convinced that human lives other than theirs are a reasonable cost for material comforts in life. These are the children who gloss over textbooks and see statistics instead of victims, and toss around the words like "democracy" and "freedom" and "liberty" and "life" and "rights" like marbles: expendable ammunition in what is nothing but a game of chance and physics.
Listen to me, you blundering little kid. I am a child of democracy. I am aware of its limits, of its inconveniences, of its disadvantages and of what it requires from every one of us. I see you. I see what you want to happen. I see that in this day and age it is a worthless thing, that freedom feels weightless and that our rights feel unnecessary. I see you.
And I agree.
I agree because this is our fault, all our fault. In our fervor to practice and use what our parents have fought for, we have taken it for granted. The vote today is now nothing but a coloured tumbler in 7-11. Political participation is watching a 45 minute youtube video about some kocher movement to bring down an African dictator. You should be reading and writing and speaking but instead you are chained to technology, enslaved by the internet, caught up with a 9-to-5 perfectly designed to bleach out the color from your life. And in this vacuum - in this empty Hades - you consider the most radical, the most CONVENIENT, the most PRIVILEGED position that would inevitably fill up that void. "Yes, we need Marcos. We need A Marcos. We need a dictator. Take our freedom, take our lands, take our words, take our hands." You have decided that for want of better air-conditioners, higher pay, and an obscure mistress called "progress" the freedoms we have NOW to even say these things must be forfeit.
To the Marcos Apologist. I see you. I know you. But do not mistaken acceptance for weakness. Do not crave greatness in the form of an oppressive leadership. Do not seek purpose by placing your fate in the hands and whims of a dictator. You say that there are no men like Marcos anymore, that is why he is needed. I say to you: there will always be Men like Marcos, there will always be people like you, people who flock together in masses to find safety in numbers, and in your fear and ignorance you would have such men oppress this country, these people, again.
But there will always be people like your parents, your grandparents, who know the value of liberty and life and freedom - that it means carving out a world better not for themselves, but for their children.
This is the anatomy of a Marcos Apologist:
he is selfish.
The soft, dull thud echoed across the reverent silence of the studio's backstage. PAs, cameramen, even her fellow dancers all watched helplessly, as she was taken by her hair and shook violently.
"Ano ba?! 'di ba sabi ko parati kang ngingiti?! Always smile, iha! O baka gusto mong mabalik sa beerhouse!"
Sheree was smacked again, and she fell once more. She kept quiet, she knew better than to make even the slightest whimper. Tito Bill was having a bad day, was all. Tito Bill has a lot on his mind, with the elections and the failing ratings. This was her fault. She had brought this upon herself. Tito Bill was making an example of herself, that was all.
"Sa susunod, kung di niyo kayang mag-showbiz, EH DI WAG KAYO MAG SHOWBIZ!" Tito Bill screamed. He was sweating now. Sheree knew he hated that. Even when he had her in the dressing room, he hated to sweat. Two things Tito Bill hated: Noise, and Sweat. When he went to your dressing room, you kept quiet. You never flinch, you just let him put his hands on you and have his way with you. That or you get out. There are more than enough girls willing to take your place.
Again, Tito Bill did not like sweat.
He fixed his polo shirt, tailored specifically to shed pounds on camera. He scratched his sideburns, which now itched at the hem of his wig. "Sino pa? Sino pa sa mga gago't gaga dito ang di gagawa ng gusto ko, ha?!"
With that Sheree was kicked in her gut, while she was lying on the floor.
All of a sudden a bell rang. People scrambled to their places and everyone got back to work. Sheree staggered to get up, and Tito Bill helped her up, his voice purred with affection. "Iha, patawarin mo ko." He fondled her chest. "Iha, ikaw kasi eh. Iha, umayos ka na kasi."
Sheree held back her tears, and whimpered a soft "Sorry po, papi". She was overcome by guilt - the appliances, the apartment, the scholarship, getting her brother a tricycle; everything Tito Bill had ever done for her bore down suddenly, 7 seconds before show time.
The lights went on, and the show was back.
Sheree joined the other girls as they gyrated in the background, all of them dancing to muscle memory - churn, dip, churn, dip, keep your eye on the camera and smile. Smile. Wear the smile like a mask. On the front of the studio audience sat a senator, and if any of the girls were lucky they could have a quick one with a big-shot. Last week it was Anna, the other week it was Beth. Sheree was not optimistic on the prospect. Quite frankly, she still ached from Tito Bill's visit last night.
The DJ continued to pump out a dreary hash of cyber-pop-hip hop-synth, and finally it was time to queue Tito Bill's entrance:
"Ngayon, heto na ang pambansang Tito ng Pilipinas, ang ninong ng bawat pinoy, bata o matanda! Uulan ng papremyo't siguradong mabubusog kayo sa NAAAAAApakaraming pamigay ni Tito ngayon! Heto na siiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!"
The girls' cue. Sheree put her hands to her hips, struck a pose, and joined the rest of the girls in collectively cooing "AYYYY! Si Tito Bill!"
Tito Bill came crashing down from the catwalk, bruised and bloodied, each of his hands tied. He hung suspended, like a freshly crucified Jesus Christ, eyes purple and bulging, teeth missing. For a second or three the entire studio shook with fearful silence, until panic spread. Tito Bill mouthed something, some plea for help, but the whimper was lost. His clothes all looked stuffed, and he seemed to be some sad, bloodied pinata hanging from the catwalk.
Suddenly the ropes came loose and he came crashing down to the floor.
His legs were straight and as he crashed they broke with a nettled crack. The bulge loosened into hundreds of thousands of 10-peso coins. Amidst the panic, the crowd rushed to take as much as they could. Tito Bill was raised up again, quickly and high, and again the ropes came loose. He crashed on his back, and the coins in his polo burst into a million rings cascading on the cement floor. Seeing more coins, the impoverished crowd devoured the coins and Tito Bill with their footsteps. It wasn't until 8 minutes later - and 8 minutes too late - that the crowd was dispersed by security.
It was over. Tito Bill was dead.
What is this? This is a letter. We are of letters, you and me. This much you know. Ours is a history of words exchanged, scribbled carelessly across bytes and scraps of paper. This is a letter. I chose to write you here because it's been so long my love. So long since I last wrote you. Once, you told me it was silly for me to think this. To think that much time has passed since my last writing, given that my last letter was a week hence or a few days past. But no. It's been ages since I wrote you. It will always be ages, aeons, since I wrote you. There is no brief moment between now and my last writing, now and my next. Every second spent without your correspondence is an eternity of suffering.
I must confess to another treachery; I write you here, with full knowledge of its publicity, because I am selfish. Or I have been, and still am. Selfish in knowing you, knowing of you, of this wonderful love we share for one another. And, overeager and spoiled brat that I am, I wish to keep you, for all time, to myself. To lock you in a tower without doors or windows, only for me to see and talk to and love. Frightening as that may seem, it is merely an extremity posted for comparison's sake - for I love you to a fault, and I acknowledge such injustice. Love must be selfish - it must demand from us nothing less than our self-destruction. But in doing so, something is given. In two people, who love as we love each other, the fault of love becomes a beautiful fallacy - perpetuating the chaos of emotion, defying all sense and reason.
I am rambling again. I do this often to fill the meaningless spaces in my sentences. Sometimes I pepper our conversations with the mundane questions: Are you hungry? How was work? Was school okay? And although I do care (genuinely) of these minutiae, I cannot help but. But feel disturbed. In our conversations. Will you forgive me? I am perpetually lost in our givings and takings. I cannot find the words - the WORDS - to describe, convey, and communicate the happiness you bring to my life. Every trickle of time, from the humble seconds to the grand scheme of perceived eternity, I am fulfilled and bewitched. I know not what to say, I shrivel up and giggle uncontrollably and say stupid things and when you're not looking I hit myself in the head for messing it up I mean OF COURSE you'd find that silly why would I say that? I am a school boy all over again, sweaty-palmed and nervous, over-attentive to the tiniest misgivings, heart racing, gelled hair impenetrable, electricity running through my veins. But I am also me, right now. The overworked, haggard, young adult, dredging through law school, weakly smiling at our moments of tenderness with the fullness of my heart. I am also old, and not-so-old, and old-in-denial, I am all these things in you.
With this, I call on Time as the culprit, and summon Time to the witness stand. Will Time tell the truth, the whole of it and nothing but? It can tell nothing else. Monsieur Time, how did you know the madmoiselle and me? In the same way I know of all Men - in their feeble attempts to cheat me of my order, of my progression. We seem to have done this to ourselves, Beloved. I feel it is my fault - given the complications of our whens. But understand, mon cherie, I want nothing but tomorrow for you and me. Je vous doucher avec mille possibilites. I do not mean to trick Time. Once, I attempted, much as most vainglorious young men do. And I had done nothing but harm you, Beloved. You see this in every letter I have ever sent you. Please accept my predictable apology - forever too late, forever insufficient.
If you would. Suffer me. For a few more exchanges of words. I would impress upon you this - that I write you here, now, in OUR now, upon a fixity. A point in time, where all things may revolve upon. Beginnings. And Endings. What is in between ought not to be revealed (spoilers!), but discovered, together by you and me. Livejournal. Archaic equivalent of outdated modes of communication. But it has always been friendly to you and me. Perhaps not in the most amicable circumstances, but there are relics here - written, scribbled in between innocent lines of teenage flailing - that contain our history. Do we need continuity? Do we long for it? Require it to continue? No. But it is comforting to know that the old ways are still available. This world spins too quickly, there aren't enough hours in a day for me to show you how much you mean to me. But here, we have memories. Time is on our side. Everything is kept. A confession: This I desperately need. For so long, I have gazed upon you, longed for you, imagined the fullness of being I have only experienced in your presence now. And in my futile attempt to record, I have kept them here, in the farthest recesses of the internet. Though such distance is rendered moot by our union, its shadow exists in metaphors that become manifest in our disagreements. I feel this, whenever we are at odds. This chilling distance between you and I.
I am not without complications or faults, but to me, and to the extent of my limited knowledge of this world and existence, you are perfect. You are every space between my fingers, filled to destroy the empty longing. You are a grin, a flash of inspiration, warm, happy tears that trickle down the softness of your skin. You are a painting of words, deft and sharp and expressive in its contours. You are a scent that clings to every when of my being, leaving me to follow sickly like a lost puppy. You are every tomorrow before it is even formed, explosive possibility humbly and bravely awaiting, as young and foolish lovers vow, existence for better and for worse. Some men fall for women and settle in the wisdom of their lifetime. I am perpetually falling for you, every day, in a bottomless pit of adolescent infatuation, pregnant with honesty and unwieldiness and declamation. I cannot imagine being a better person, having a better world, and doing better things without you. Not by my side, or right behind me, but with me, your hand in mine, leading me into the dark.
I do not say this enough. I will never have the chance to let you know how true these words ring to me. I love you. I love you. Personne d'autre. I love you.
Somehow the whirring of the drill allowed a moment of philosophical clarity. I gaze at my work - prostrate, helpless, bound to an infernal jigsaw puzzle of wire and nylon and chains and gauze. Her features were indistinguishable under her blood, like a chic coating of glossy crimson paint beautifully contrasting the alabaster bathroom tiles that lined my studio. Here, in this hallowed place of life, her breath panted in broken staccatos, sometimes spitting out teeth here and there. Her naked back streaked with wounds like cruel brush strokes from a mad painter, if steel hooks and scalpels were conventional tools for art. Her fingers, blue and weary from the nylon bindings, twitched like rabbit ears eagerly signalling danger afoot. The irony is not lost on me.
I was still caught up with the phrase, still stuck in this momentary pause, like a half-rest in a complicated musical piece. It was not respite from the song, rather it was a part of the repertoire.
My work of art stirs, and begins to defecate herself again. How generous my subject is! To contribute such unique colors into my piece. Her mess added a musky earthiness that could not be captured on my camera. I watch as salt tears run through her eyes, washing away the blood from her face. How quaint, to see the blood on innocent skin be washed away with tears. I take her by the chin, she reacts to the faint smell of my latex gloves, taken aback by the alien scent. Her face twists into a scream, but the voice is gone, hollow and empty. It has been an hour now. The longest sixty minutes of her life, no doubt. And she deserved every second.
For I love her so.
I present her with a tray, lined neatly with my different tools. Astounding, how she remembers what each tool was for. I watch her writhe, react, try to cover up or distance the parts of her body each tool was used. She closed her eyes when I hovered my hand above the tweezers, moved her shackled hands towards her breasts when I motioned for the pliers, tried to cross her restrained legs when I tapped the battery acid. I finally stopped at one tool. She stopped, gasping, choking on blood. She looked to me with a longing recognition of defeat, the complete flight of hope, the cold embrace of despair. I could not help but smile. I picked up the miniature scalpel, its blade no larger than a fountain tip pen. I moved behind her, embraced her head in one hand, and whispered her to hush.
I drew a thin crimson smile on her neck, ear to ear. Her blood poured like the closing of theatrical curtains. Bravo! I heard them. Bravo! Bravo! Encore! A rose was tossed at my feet, and above me stood my audience. Madames and Monsieurs, merci. Merci. There were twelve of them, a lady in the back teary-eyed. Another man in a corner untying his necktie. All of them, standing in applause, at my work. All of them, masked, appreciative, passionate of my work.
"Monsieur, This is your finest work yet." A fat man said, settling the others. "To whom do you dedicate this....this...piece de resistance?"
I look back at my work, its prostate and bloodied portrait a modern crucifixion. I feel my voice break. I clear my throat, I had kept focused and silent throughout the entire creation of my work.
"Monsieur, I dedicate this. To you, of course. To the Parliament, to the Red God, And..."
I look back again.
"To my mother."
- Current Mood: creative
From an historical point of view, we can say that The Flash has always been the eye of DC's multiversal storm. From the time he stumbled upon a Golden-Age self in THE FLASH #123, to Barry Allen's cataclysmic death in CRISIS OF INFINITE EARTHS and his return in THE FLASH: REBIRTH, this is basically a superhero who was given by DC Comics the closest thing they had to Godlike Messianic Powers for continuity clean-ups. Forget retcon-punches and canon inconsistency, The Flash's very existence as a comic book superhero means that DC Comics has an Ace-in-the-Hole. Not difficult to imagine, you know. What if The Flash was an agent of the editors, of the marketing boys down at the third floor, of the writers who want to settle an issue with retcon once and for all? This is not to blame the countless talents that have written the title. This is just to illustrate the nature of The Flash's role in the DC Universe as a sort of game-changer, albeit a heavily ignored one.
And then FLASHPOINT comes along and it's all about our Barry. All about him and facing a world different from ours. The promo material set it straight: NOT ELSEWORLDS, NOT WHAT IF?, it's... ~*FLASHPOINT*~. First, multiverses, now tautologies! DC really loves its readership. But kidding aside, one can deduce what FLASHPOINT means without necessarily reading the title (I'm totally not apologizing for not picking this series up, but it's getting harder and harder to resist their marketing strategies). Think about it. You have a superhero that can refute the logic of continuity, canon, and all those neat little ways of telling a story. Not only did he have a Cosmic Treadmill for time-travel (which has always been, in my opinion, a very tricky way to tell comic book stories) but he becomes the SPEED FORCE, that untapped energy that all Speedsters use to get their powers. Add to that DC's reputation for maintaining their illusion of grandeur (have you read FINAL CRISIS? You don't read it, it reads YOU) and you get something crazy. Anything can happen! But not anything WILL happen. But anything CAN happen!
So Reboot. There you go.
People will probably agree that I did not do The Flash justice in this. But I'm not here to write a paean to the Scarlet Speedster. I'm just here touching one aspect of the superhero - that he's basically a guy who makes things move in the DC Universe.
KEEPING US AROUND
The last decade saw in DC Comics a resolution to keep their titles, for lack of a better term, "cool". You gotta agree on that, right? INFINITE CRISIS? Cool. Okay, we can dig that. WAR OF LIGHT - BLACKEST NIGHT? Cool, okay. BRIGHTEST DAY? Aquaman was cool. BATMAN: RIP? Cool. THE ALL NEW WONDER WOMAN? Sure, cool. The list goes on. Wherever your loyalties lie in the comic book trench wars, you can identify the general swagger that DC Comics wrote and sold their titles with. Along with this came an understanding that half-baked changes in the Universe were to be COMPLETELY avoided at all times. You know, things that try to look like they will CHANGE EVERYTHING FOREVER when in the end they just become another meme in the interwebs. FINAL CRISIS may seem like something major and multiverse-y, but you gotta remember that it ended with the resolution of the Monitors' Orrery. In the end, they were still 52 worlds, arranged in that ominous glass casing. So it's great because they let you in to Kirby's world, and to 52 Supermen, and to Batman sorta dying but not really, but it all goes back, jack.
But this coolness that DC holds on its readership is, in my opinion, threatened by a reboot, at the same time upheld. However, it's more threatened than anything else. A reboot might imply a weakness in the continuity, or that DC Comics is simply in dire need of fresher perspectives. We have to clarify if the reboot is a total overhauling of the DC Universe's mythos (like, giving Bruce Wayne parents or giving Wonder Woman an actual father) or simply a way for them to start anew in writing conflicts that actually matter in the 21st century and beyond. I suppose this is where the upholding of such a coolness might come in - in DC's newfound freedom in making superhero conflicts beyond the usual WHAM!- BAM! - THANK YOU MAAM!
So, if that's all true so far, then it goes without saying we'll follow DC into the dark, and really just wait and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
GOIN' CLINT EASTWOOD ON 'YA
So let's break it down to the essential, easily-accessible triptych of what a reboot will mean.
The Good - A lot of inconsistencies in continuity will get sorted out, some embarrassing missteps and leaving-out of characters in the Universe get swept under the rug, and we basically get to start anew. Also, interesting team-ups of DC talent might mean the production of some really good books, one of them already announced along with the news of the reboot - Geoff Johns and Jim Lee collaborating for JUSTICE LEAGUE. It also means that if you've been collecting singles or TPBs or Hardcovers, they attain a more historical value I think. I mean you hold in your hands the last WHATEVER-AGE-THIS-IS story arc of Batman, or the Secret Six. I dunno about you but I've always found a very grounded resilience in the characters of DC, but I only seem to find it with core members. Given their habit to favor their top-selling characters over others, a reboot means some fan favorites will get to see more limelight. Hopefully.
The Bad - A good friend pointed out that a reboot means all hitherto knowledge and trivia about the current DC Universe might be rendered impotent. You know the way comic book geeks today think of the '80s or the '70s? Yeah, something like that. Format changes mean that the canon evolves, and the continuity is trimmed, like a twisted and complicated tree that needs pruning. We, fellow geeks, are the twigs that fall dead to fatten the soil. Sad as that sounds, it has the propensity to get worse. How are we supposed to feel every time we see something off-tangent to canon, and all DC does is shrug their shoulders and go "Sorry, it's a new continuity now"? The reboot reveals the lack of fixity in the comic book industry, not just for DC but for everyone else as well. This probably explains why the industry relies more on mythology rather than history. I mean, with a superhero like The Flash, where does time fit? So history seems to be negotiable in the comic book universe. But take for example Grant Morrison's transformation of Batman from superhero to mythology, through his trip in time care of Darkseid, and you have something that seems to be very difficult to shake off with this reboot (indeed, aren't you at all interested how the reboot's going to reckon with something as good as THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE?)
The Ugly - It's a lotta work for DC Comics, and it's going to cost us a pretty penny. But there's nothing more gangster than a comic book geek. It's an expensive hobby and you know it. You gotta afford to be part of this fraternity/sorority/gender-neutral-ity. We'll see delays, we'll be disappointed, interested, pleased, excited, apathetic and mostly broke. The reboot means leaving the familiar for something that could be more mundane, but it also means leaving the familiar for something that could actually be better. All in all, I can only hope I'm as brave as the heroes I read, not to mention half as tragic and twice as attractive and rich.
- Current Location:Kitchen
As most people who take reading comic books seriously know, there are those stories that simply stick. Comics that are just so dang clever, beautiful and action-packed that they become mainstay in your "recommended" list. Ohh, you have that list admit it. That list of things you make people read to really get them sold into the hobby. It's right next to the "genre-defining comic books" and grocery list.
Well, Planetary is sorta like that. Sorta. Why sorta? Am I doing the series justice? No, I ain't. It's not fair to call it 'sorta'. But then again, it's not fair to say it's over-the-top fantastic either (for the simple reason that I don't want to get your hopes up). For Planetary, writer Warren Ellis leaves his mark as a mainstay for the more surreal, more vibrant and more lasting stories in comic-bookdom. In an industry that churns out new material in place of old, it's an amazing feat to have something last so long and still be able to take people on amazing adventures. The dialogue's set on sci-fi and it's real witty, the characters are well-developed and deeply involved in the story, and the plot's progression makes sure you finish with a story in every issue read, without losing sight of the greater narrative. Few comic books are written with such pragmatic excellence.
But what's Planetary about? Well, it's about an eponymous organization that explores the strange hidden histories of the world. Passe', you say? NAY. This is MIB meets Ghost Whisperer meets Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider meets Godzilla. (That's an accurate summary. sort of) Planetary is a story that manages to surprise you every time you turn the page. It's an experience, not a read. Take note that this was written in the late '90s, when comic books at the time were devastatingly predictable (you could always expect a lot of muscles, vulgar language, violence and thigh pouches), Planetary's achievement lies in its ability to be read 10 or 15 or maybe even 20 years later and still leave a lasting impression.
We probably owe it to the art. John Cassaday's talent to color the story in honest tones and to depict everything in science-fiction angles makes Planetary one of the most coherent comic books ever drawn in matters of perspective. You'll find no grandiose exaggeration of shade, style or color in Cassaday's art - it looks and feels like a movie (again, cinematic experience). Where Cassaday surprises the reader in this comic is simply in his ability to put you there, right in the thick of it, like being pulled to the page. Okay, I'm not making sense anymore. Bottom line - the art is great.
Finally, if you still need a little more convincing to read Planetary, I'll leave you with this piece of advice (and art). As you delve further and further into the comic-bookdom, I guarantee you will not read something as independently entertaining and pragmatically enjoyable as Planetary. The story begins, there's a climax, it ends, as all good stories should. It won't stretch on aimlessly into forever. It won't leave you wanting more, or sickeningly engrossed. It's simply a comic book that you can pick up, read, put down and feel great afterwards. You'll learn so many things (from Sherlock to Hong Kong cops to Time Travel) and you'll probably find yourself looking through the newspapers, the books in the libraries and the countless websites in the internet and ask:
What aren't they telling us?
And come on, Elijah Snow is in this comic book.
It's a strange world.
Let's keep it that way.
- Current Location:Bedroom
- Current Mood: accomplished
And plenty of time.
The temple welcomed the dusk of that day with its revered quietness. Why was I here again? I could not remember. Then the boisterous laughter of my friends broke all that soliloquy. Ah, right. I thought. They wanted to see the temple. And I'm supposed to be the funny one. Our noise stirs some of the more senior people who visit Shitennoji temple, and by the time we get to the giant gate, two of my friends shush the others. I stay behind and tell them I'll follow. It had been a cold morning, and I was desperate for a cigarette.
I stand by the public phone and light a fag. The cashier girl continued to bother me. I know it's not my place, I thought, but she was...she was something to me. My words scared me. I didn't want to say that she was "pretty", that meant she was like every other girl in Minami. I didn't want to say she was "cute", or "beautiful", or any of those fascist adjectives that limited the attributes of a person to neat little categories. "How do we describe someone special?" "By calling them Special?" There was a bitter irony in that dilemma. I felt my own language betray me.
The ash in my cigarette built up, as I lost myself in thought again. Heh. Maybe my friends are right about me.
I walk into the temple and the cold bites me. I zip up my coat and watch the fog exhaled from my mouth form into the very words I felt were lacking in describing her. "Nice". "Pretty". "Cute". Why do we even bother, anyway? I look around and see people bowing and praying and yanking on ropes tied to bells on the rough. Why do we bother? An elderly lady with her back hunched, walking cane in hand, took lilliputian steps towards the temple. Why do we bother? The cold got worse. Boy scouts ran ahead of their mothers to a flower stand, while elderly men hunched around divine wheels attached to the gate. From the distance, I heard my friends joking about turtle cakes being sold outside, and the girl manning the store there.
Wait, the girl?
Heels clacked against the cold concrete behind me in measured, hurried steps. I felt my shoulder nudged, softly tackled, and a quick sumimasen whispered under her breath. A girl ran ahead of me, her breath billowing past her under the cold. Somewhere there I saw the words to describe that cashier girl in the store.
I look back, and a middle-aged man running a turtle cake store behind me called out a name, yelling "You forgot to take off your apron!" in an almost humorous tone. I look the other way and that girl turns around.
Her name is Kimiko. Kimiko. What a nice name.
She half-jogs back to the turtle cake store and smiles as she passes me. Does she remember me from that jungle of a convenience store? I could never tell. She worked there. She worked in the turtle cake store. She visited the temple. These tiny, irrelevant facts formed not even a hazy picture of her. I needed to know more. It was...problematic.
I am reminded then of what was needed for a religion:
and Plenty of Time.
The night was young and so were we. Me and my friends, the troop, the pack. Out for blood, for a good time, for a fool's time, we say. Foolishness and youth go together, we say. The wintry bite of the Osaka cold seemed obtuse without the fall of snow, but the lights and the people and the vibrancy made everything seem festive. Perhaps like Christmas. Is that how you say it in English? Kurismasu. That holiday everyone gives gifts, regardless of whatever, like some meaning in pointlessness.
That sounds about right; meaning in pointlessness.
A man in a green neon suit heckles at us. "OY! OY!" He gestures for us to go inside. The street bustles with teenagers who smoke cigarettes into the cold air, hanging out on bicycles garaged around the curb. The alleys are never empty, I tell myself. If they are not filled with people, or cash, or the usual miasma of infective joy and hunger for life and all its pleasantries, it is filled with possibility, with chance, with change.
A friend smacks me in the head, tells me I'm wandering off again.
This was when we popped by The Store.
Let me tell you about it.
It was more like a curio. No, a thrift store. Actually it was more like those Japanese Home Bazaars I saw abroad. You know, the ones that have a fixed price on everything. You go in and you have this impression that it's all there is to it - that it's all their selling, and the front was selling garters and corsets and candies and other fashionable things. The place was a motley of colors, and not the balanced, artistic kinds. It was crazy, it was bat-shit crazy. Purple and green and yellow and red and brown and magenta and I-dunno and what-is-that-even. It was like everything was designed to get your attention, all at once, like it was screaming "hey! over here! buy me!".
But the store seemed so small.
You take a left, though, and it's like you're somewhere else now. It was a grocery store now. That sold milk tea and hot sauce and instant noodles. You go down the stairs, and you were in a hardware store that sold nails and door hinges and wood glue. You go a little further down the aisle and it's a toy store that sold collectible cards, action figures and posters. The elevator took you to a gift shop, and you go down to the other entrance (which makes it your exit if you came in through our entrance) and you're in the dock.
This was The Store. But that's not why it's special. How can it be, when everything is sold this way, in this place?
It was Her. Her and The Store and All The Other Ordinary Things That Turn Into Capitalized Words. Because they're special now.
My friends trailed off to get their effects, and I was stuck waiting in front of the cashier lady. Her hair was ruggedly tied to a ponytail, and she wore no makeup. The store's ultramarine apron snugged her body, and her simple-framed glasses reflected my overall puzzlement with a question:
how can something so diligently beautiful go unnoticed?
A family of gaijins bumbled to the cashier with their purchases. I woke up from the question, and hid my shame behind the candies contained in giant plastic cats. I heard her voice sound like a smile, but for some reason I imagined her exhausted - not from work, but from something else that I could not determine.
My friends paid in the other exit-entrance (remember the docks?) and motioned for our leave. They heckled in their vigor and drunken stupor, whistling at a few girls that dressed fashionably. The boots and the stockings and the leather and the make-up and that nymph-like pitch in language only the Japanese's can accommodate. They weren't so pretty to me anymore.
They weren't so pretty to me anymore.
- Current Music:Tank! - The Seatbelts
Yes, it is comic book time. This new thing I'm trying out for my LiveJournal. I wanna give this blog a little more drive, and what better way than to talk about comic books.
Right now I just wanna talk about The current Wonder Woman run, with writing under J. Michael Straczynski. His run on on the Amazon Princess is mostly well-known, because he introduced the new costume to replace the traditional Stars-n'-Stripes one. Here's the cover to #606 that shows the costume:
Okay, okay. It's not that big a deal. But the comic book world was astir when this came out in Wonder Woman #600. But I'm not here to talk comic book recent events. I'm really here to express disappointment at a series that held so much promise. Even if it's not done (I'm nine issues into the series) It's all plot development so far. I find the dialog kitschy (kinda like God of War meets surreal American colloquialism), the plot and theme of the story isn't exactly thrilling or mind-boggling (a modern-day Odyssey, where an epic hero journeys to find the purpose of self) and the art is simply steady.
But issue 609 is bothering me greatly, because it looks all too familiar. SPOILER ALERT: here, Wonder Woman wakes up in a dream world with Dr. Psycho, and he shows her the many incarnations of Wonder Woman across what might be the multiverse. Basically, he tells Diana that the "Wonder Woman" is something of a myth that recurs throughout the ages, all of them true, all of them her, all of them Wonder Woman.
See I would probably be impressed, but it really feels like Morrison's Batman (which, I promise to get into as soon as I get around my awful writing =))) and his whole take on the mythology of Batman. JMS' take however seems to condense that idea into...a single issue.
I suppose that, as a stoic Morrison fan, I'm a little alarmed at how JMS is taking liberties with this whole "mythology" thing. Then again, I could be overreacting.
Overall, the reboot on Wonder Woman and the writing of JMS strikes me as something that better pay off. The costume was a good way to get our attention to the character and her potential; Wonder Woman is a character of both the past and the present. The fact that her story finds most of its roots in Greek mythology is a wellspring for writers and creative minds alike. Add the fact that she brings the entire discursive thread of gender into any story, and you begin to understand why Wonder Woman is a really solid character in the DC Universe. I really would want to see how they plan to neatly consolidate history into her story right now, and I guess I expected something more than a mythology-driven Morrisonian cop-out.
- Current Location:Bedroom
- Current Mood: busy
THIS IS JUST ASKING FOR IT FROM ME.
I never liked Clark Kent because I found it to be an obscenely negative name. So my alias would be Clark Can.
Also, Superman is simply not sensitive to the gender card, and anything "super" would simply carry over the white supremacy flavor. I would be "Relatively-Special-Human-Being".
And I have the power to do ordinary things extraordinary well.
HAVE SOME EXTRAORDINARY COFFEE, MA'AM/SIR.
- Current Location:Bedroom
- Current Mood: FRAK SLEEP
- Current Music:Under Cover of Darkness - The Strokes
by Charles Bukowski
225 days under grass
and you know more than I.
they have long taken your blood,
you are a dry stick in a basket.
is this how it works?
in this room
the hours of love
still make shadows.
when you left
you took almost
I kneel in the nights
that will not let me be.
what you were
will not happen again.
the tigers have found me
and I do not care.
- Current Location:Bedroom
- Current Mood: sleepy
When suicide is presented as an option, as a choice, it is prone to many inconsistencies and to political incorrectness. The question above is in itself problematic; it asks "when" as if death were time-bound, "justifiable" as if death concerned itself with morals, "own" as if anything ever truly belonged to people and "life" like it were just as simple as a single word. I'll pass you all now pages - documents, not newly printed or freshly penned. Aging, yellowish, stained documents of different languages and things. Some, written elaborately, some written hurriedly, even some still caked with the long-forgotten blood that was so carelessly spilled. Suicide letters, last words, wills and testaments, hurriedly written behind used paper, grocery lists, careless words streamed across paper. Do you see them? The people, the souls, their spirits lingering within their words. Life is not essentially time- or existence-bound; in many ways, it is word-bound. We are what we say, in what we say, and in everything else. Death ensures everything else - nothing is left and no one is spared in the passage of time and death and decay. No one is ever fresh, nothing is ever strictly speaking. "fresh". Novelty and originality are dependent on linear progression, linear time. But what happens when we expand to the other dimensions? What then becomes of a dream deferred?
There is no difference between a suicide letter and everything else we write. We write because we know of our impending demise. We scribble and we scramble on reams of paper precisely because human beings are not who's, but when's. Memory is Love. To remember is to love, to forget is to unlove. Not hate, because hate reckons with our memory. No. To truly hate someone is to forget them, to annul their existence, their effect, their influence on your life. The things we forget are the things we destroy. That's murder for you. Or massacre? Perhaps genocide even? How many have you slaughtered, I wonder? How many moments have you killed? "Oh, but I must move on." To what end? With what intention? "Moving on" is forgetting that we are mortal. "Moving on" is emotional procrastination. We deal, we reckon, we do without chronal apprehension. Because we are people. People. People are moments, passing quickly and jogging spirally and downwards to the tick-tock of the clock. School papers, grocery lists, love letters, text messages, e-mails, etc. All these things, we write because we are dying. All these things, we write because we will die.
We write. Because we will die.
Give me the letters back now. I'll now hand you photographs. There are about thirty of them, at least - birthday parties with children in funny hats and the luminescent glow of the birthday cake, weddings, baptisms, graduations, nights spent at the city,
Photography is the art of memory - it is a discipline designed for the purpose of capturing moments. But people are moments, so in photography people are captured. We are remembered more for where we're caught than where we're going. Pictures. A picture can make or break a person, because a picture can make or break a moment. Photography transcends context, escapes it, makes the seconds last forever. Photography makes every passing pain, ecstasy, anger, grief, regret, joy, love, and shame into some vivid idol of immortality.
Photographs are immortal. Because they are moments frozen.
Photocide is suicide, don't you see? Tear the pictures apart. Every single one of them. Now from the pieces, assemble new images. God. How do we know this is not what God did during Creation? "In the beginning, there was Darkness". Yes, darkness. The darkness of a Dark Room, with its crimson faux pas to protect Creation from exposure. Exposure from what? The truth. What truth? The truth of the photograph, of the project in-the-making. Homo Viator, they called it. Man in the process of becoming. The statement is open-ended. Becoming what? Up to you, up to you. Entirely up to you. Man is a photograph constantly being developed. Man is immortal, yes. Man is immortal because what he becomes transcends time, reason, science, physics. Man may be the actual, physical photograph. But the image persists. The memory persists.
Persistencia de la Memoria.
I'll take your torn-up pictures now, and I'll place in your hand a camera. It's old, its brand is irrelevant, and it runs on film. A camera that demands responsibility, humanity, and not the feckless accumulation of pixels, of transforming these moments, these people, these lives, into kilobytes. I wonder, how many people have you sentenced to death? How many times have you edited, cropped, copy-paste-deleted? Our lives are images, and we are photographs. Death is immortality. To die is to live forever. To die is to take a picture of yourself.
Look back at the camera. It is now a gun.
Our lives are images, and we are photographs.
Query: When is it justifiable to take your own life?
Answer: Every time.
- Current Location:Bedroom
- Current Music:Edouard Lalo - Symphonie Espagnole
Coffee shop. Things unsaid. Half-eaten dessert. Hot coffee turned cold. Ashtray. Spent cigarettes. Boy and Girl. Awkward silence. Promises, made and broken. Long-term relationship, but not enough time. Lots of sex, but not enough love. Plenty of honesty, but shattered. Shattered by these passing seconds.
Love, or what was left.
The people droned in the background like moths gathering in their own little pockets of light. She fumbled through her bag (my anniversary gift) and produced a white-gold Zippo (my birthday gift) and motioned to light a slim.
"Don't look at me like that." She said. The minute passed. Five seconds now.
She'll try to hide it, because that's her and that's how she's always been, my beloved. She'll run to her habits to make it seem like this isn't a big deal (it is) and that she's fine (she's not) and that everything's alright (it isn't). She's shaking, and she tries so hard to hide it. Her and her cream skin. Her and her auburn hair, her office attire, her headstrong tone, her crimson nails. Her firetruck lips and her doll eyes. She's shaking, and the jewelry on her glitters in her nervousness.
"It's not like we had anything to begin with." She said. Eighteen seconds.
That's a knife to my gut, twisted and shoved deep into my loin. I feel my entrails spill, my passions scatter in the floor, and all I could do in desperation was try to pick it up, to shove it back and try to fold it in place, like those cartoons where they stuff the closet so full it bends the door that holds it. It was not so much what she said (for what are words, anyway?) but the prudence with which she said it. That casualty, that coyness, that detachment. It was an annulment from all the history we had been through.
She flips the cigarette round and round between her forefinger and middle finger, making the slim stick of cancer dance with her thumb. The smoke cascades like a serpent. A befitting image, I think to myself, for our fate. When it's this kind of love, this kind of partnership, spanning across this amount of time, recounting this much experience and memory, we no longer look at what is said. Endings are in the business of things left unsaid.
"So what do we do now?" She rams the remains of her cigarette to the ashtray. Her timbre was the stingy mix of petulance, anxiety and stress. It was a matter-of-factly, hurried tone. The kind you used on people who were in the way of things to come. Was it a serious question? Was she seriously asking this? Then again, what do we do now? Come to think of it, what are we doing now? Humans really are the pinnacle of evolution; our ability to adapt, to acclimate and to get used to things is what keeps us on top of the food chain. Our environment isn't two-dimensional, however. As she exhibits, humanity also has the frigid tendency to disregard its emotive environment. To brutally adapt, to learn, to take people and relationships and time and love and turn it into-things. Into a "learning experience".
Into nothing but seconds.
Fifty-two seconds now.
"Look, it's not what it looks like." Exasperation now. Apologetic, exhausted and overall cynical about everything. Or maybe not everything. Just me. She gets up, leaving money on the table. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry." That last bit I could not scrutinize. The bells of the coffee shop's door rings. Her cherry-red lipstick (his birthday gift) smacked the cigarette filter which stood erect, as if it were mocking me. The smoke moved serpentine up into my face, wafting across my visage. a befitting image, I think to myself, for our fate. And that's when it hit me. Everything. And I mean everything. Everything hit me in those brief seconds between us. The clocks, the watches, the time on our phones and our computers. The steady progression of ever-faithful tick-tocks, juxtaposed to our infidelity, our failure, our strife. Everything. Everything in the seconds between us. To be at arms' reach, yet so distant. It was not physical distance anymore. It was temporal distance. Personal distance. Emotional distance. The seconds between us. Everything was there, in the seconds between us.
I checked my watch. It had ceased to work. That was then I asked myself.
...was I even her first second?
So this was Love. Or what was left.
It wasn't like in the movies, that much I could ascertain - when they glimmer in the sunlight, cascading downwards in perpendicular slow motion, like gravity was conspiring to show the camera every corner of the cartridge. Edit - playback - retake. It simply fell. It fell without a grander gesture, without ambition, and it sounded without an echo, but with more petulance than the morning sermon's bell back at Church. Bless me padre for I have sinned. I made a mess of things.
Funny how big a mess one shell could make.
The handgun is the single most effective atrocity man has ever created: what it promised was a faceless death. Blades were great for making a gesture. Rope inspired creativity. Sure, these are all wonderful parlour tricks to bring to a party, but the handgun is legit. I am now passing pictures of handguns to you - Smith-and-Wesson’s, Glocks, and Forty-Fives. They differ in shape and size but they promise essentially the same thing: death. You might say "well a lot of things promise death". But not like a handgun. Death in a pocket. Death in a split-second of gunpowder, of physics, of velocity. Death encapsulated in the romance of a single bullet, an indistinguishable bullet. A faceless death. Death from the complete void. A voids-plosion.
Yes, we can invent words, because we won't last the night.
There is no difference between a handgun and a clock - both are neat machinations that illustrate the timeliness of impending demise. Both sound their tick-tock in sync with the seconds that slowly fade from our fingertips. I'll take the pictures back, and now I'll hand you cogs and springs and things - random bricker-bracker. Trinkets and tiny little senseless parts that come together to form all sorts of things. Maybe a clock. Maybe a handgun. It's all the same. The hour strikes in a clock in the same way the hammer strikes the gun's bullet. A clock is nothing but a prudent revolver - toying with us, clicking its twelve-barrel hours into the senseless seconds of tick-tock. But a handgun - ahhh, a handgun. A handgun does not tell the time. It leaves that up to two things:
The bullet's an entirely different craft of engineering. It's useless without its horse. You can throw the cogs and springs and things away now. I'll hand you a bullet. Careful, it's cold. Heh. It has to be. After all, we do not wish to awaken what is inside. A bullet is in the business of facilitating explosions. KA-BOOM! Just as the comics say. But not the bullet. The bullet exhales. It exhales the slug, or the tip, like an ejaculation that - much like its metaphorical brother - goes out to ruin life. Life. Life is a gun all on its own. The birth of a child means the death of a girl and all her revelry. It means the birth of a mother, sure, but it also means the death of possibility.
I'm not saying we need more mothers. I'm saying we need more bullets.
Bullets. These faceless, spiritless by-products of war and greed and sweatshops in China. But they are also white-collars, blue-collars. Any collar by any other colour is a dog-collar. Get it? Heh. What's there to love about the world? We need more bullets. Or rather they need more bullets. The companies. The governments. The parents. The MAN, man. The Sixties was a very un-groovy time to be a bullet. Pass the peace pipe. Peace is unprofessional. No one wants to do business unless there's blood. Blood from the lives of the innocent, blood from the lives of the artist, the poet, the musician, the free-thinking explosion. The world is a gun that's pointed at the darkness, and we're wasting bullets trying to live off the light our handgun gives. Our bullets give.
Explosion facilitated. The world needs more bullets.
No the world does not need more bullets. It needs to aim the gun at itself. It needs to find the balls. To find the balls to load that gun, pull the hammer back, cock it, and point it to its TEMPLE. It's temple of greed, of corruption, of lust, of selfishness, of blindness. Heh. Then it needs two things. Two things to make this work. Two things to change everything. Everything in a split-second of gunpowder, of physics, of springs and locks and safety-offs and anarchy. Two things to change everything.
It only takes one bullet to leave the world into a shell. And it will fall like a casing, trickling down the floor. Not like in the movies. It would simply fall - fall without a grander gesture, without ambition, and it will sound without an echo, but with more petulance than the bells it once dressed Sundays for. So that when it's all said and done, we can look at the mess (and what a mess it would be) and ask ourselves:
so who was left like a used shell?
Out from their lofty
and obstinate skyscrapers,
where we all must have looked
like microscopic monkeys
dancing around the
We who licked our wounds
and fought for scraps.
An impoverished hound,
As the tell-tale trucks
splash city-muck on
our withered faces.
And all but destitution
on our flea-bitten hides.
As we fought to survive
and survived to fight
causeless lives that
wasted, used, littered,
with not even pride to sin with.
Now we fight.
Now we run.
Now we work together.
Now they say nothing.
Would you even ask me?
THE COMIC BOOK STORE.
I'd like to think that, more or less, we have it. It might not even be in college. It might not even be required. But it's that one moment, that one thing, that didn't need to happen, but it did. It did. It happened and. And we're never the same. No, no we're never the same.
I was doing my usual paperwork in the org room, when Rodney bugs me about Prof. Calasanz's class on Medieval Philosphy. What time? 4:30-6:00. What room? K304. Okay. You going? I'll think about it, have work to do. And he left it at that. No insistence. No pressure. Didn't need to happen. Could've furthered my work, could've been one step closer to finishing this GOD-FORSAKEN paper. Could've. Could have. I find myself fond of that.
But I am human, so I give in to the distraction. What the heck. I'll work it off tonight. I could use a break from the continuity. I rush to the room (ID-less, mind you) and sir Eddie-Boy was outside. I walked down the hall and motioned for the room. It was closed. Air-conditioned. I heard the word in my head and immediately began to close my shoulders, feeling a cold. I awkwardly approached Prof. Calasanz and asked him.
"Sir, might it be alright if I sat in?"
He just smiled and nodded. I stepped inside and sat next to Rodney. Apparently, they were doing St. Anselm's The Proslogion. I despised anything remotely medieval. The logic was fuzzy, the reasoning had just the right tinge of Greek, and so on and so forth. It seemed a pretty mundane thing at first, when the professor started talking about it.
Then he says:
"It's a condition that you young people like to go through these days. You want to be certain of something before you commit to it."
"How often do you encounter that? How often do you say to yourself: 'How can I be sure of my sinta if she is the right one? If she is worth it?' It's a condition before you commit."
Again. That. That yanking.
"St. Anselm was faced with a similar problem. His experience as a person in reality and as a man of faith did not jive, did not connect. But he is staunch in his faith, at the same time inquisitive of his reality. 'Oh God, if you are unreachable, how may I reach you?' Even if it was impossible to reach God, how can I? It's a faithfulness that is not informed by certainty, but inspired by it."
Aaaaand the clincher.
"In the end, it's not about 'I will be certain first, then I will love'. What it really means is: 'Love, then I will be certain.' Because certainty is always in retrospect. And a matter of faith. Love, then I will be certain. That assurance, that certainty, is a fruit, not a condition."
And you know.
It's that one moment, that one thing, that didn't need to happen.
but it did. It did. It happened and.
We're never the same.
No, no we're never the same.
Stardate 12 DC 10.
This one's always wanted to do that.
This one speaks from Captain's quarters. Recording equipment is ancient, as with rest of this Ship. Class VII Disruption Cruiser bearing 03-Niner W. Citation: course to uncharted territory. Citation: Limited if not unavailable options for Ship's destination. Class VII model - ancient, as this one says. Recording equipment wordy by nature -
it occurs to this one that it has been more than two months since my last entry. Permission to carry on.
Glad to report that today, this one makes a decision. A very important one, this one might add. Perhaps not too important to the pedestrian eye, but important to the safety of this ship and its mission. This one has decided to detail all this ship's experiences - its details, travesties and adventures - into such a digital log. This one hopes to, for once, learn from its past misgivings and mistakes.
Permission to carry on.
Timeline is fuzzy, broken into several strings that branch out to oblivion. Original log lost in former skirmishes with the Enemy. Rations running low, command of Ship has transferred through four degrees of promotion. This one is its fifth. Deaths of previous Commanders uncertain. There's suspicion that Ship may be plagued, or that Airlock system may be compromised. Also suspicion that this Ship is the last. Timeline is fuzzy. But we carry on.
Permission to carry on.
Crew continues to have no intelligence on the Enemy; its origins, its genus or its intentions. There is only the surety of war; that and the impending threat of humanity's failure. Dramatic, perhaps. But true. Recalling now images of leisurely life - the theater in Fall, trashy novels that kept this one company, cerulean waters to cool one's tongue during summer. Gone, all in flash of white light - blinding, unforgiving.
Permission to carry on.
This one intends to keep log secure. Compromise of log objectives possible if not inherent upon tampering of crew. Observations must remain objective. Will update with further developments.
I'm sick. I should go visit Lisa.
And it wasn't your droning, "i'm-a-lazy-motherfucker" attitude that kept me. I literally could not get out of bed even if I wanted to. It wasn't a fever, or a hopelessness, or some sudden paraplegic condition. I just couldn't bring myself to get out of bed anymore.
The ceiling looked its dull grey, cobwebs caking the corners of my room, while the ceiling fan mocked me with its petulant squeaking. I couldn't get out of bed, but I couldn't bring myself to sleep either. I was a mind fully aware and awake in a body that's dead-weight. Much like the artistic ironies of youth cased inside an aging husk of a man. I really ought to get out of bed. But I can't.
Maybe if I started with small movements? a flick of the finger, a shifting of legs, perhaps. I could somehow squirm my way out of this bed. Nice to know my motor skills are intact. But I still can't get out of bed.
Ugh. Fuck this, I thought to myself. I should just really get up and get this day over with.
You really wanna do that?
Well...I have to...
Yes but do you want to?
I'm...not sure, really. No, I'm not sure.
Not sure what?
You said you weren't sure. Not sure of what?
If I...hey. I don't have time for this.
Yeah that's what's wrong. You never had time for this.
That's right. I never had time for this. Never. I never had time for any of this. That's what Lisa said about us, what mom said about dad's funeral, what my boss said about my job, what my friends said about parties. Yeah. I never had time for this. I think those were all on Octobers too. Or March. Or January. I don't think it matters, anyway, when all your months seem like October. When all your mornings are spent facing the same questions.
Do you really wanna get up?
No, I don't.
Fuckin' hell I won't.
You really won't.
No, I think it happened before the October that was much like this one. Some time April, perhaps? Or was it June? Something about not being able to sleep. Or was it not wanting to sleep? I'm not sure anymore. Something about a cozy room, and a man with a funny beard, and pills and my feelings and shit. Yeah, it was something like that. Lisa was there, through it all too. I remember her crying herself to sleep. I remember caring. I remember not caring. I remember not remembering. I remember her not liking it. At all. I think it was February. I think so coz I remember roses. Fuckin' roses, man. She loved roses. I think it was February. Then we had to move out. Then I lost my job. Then i dunno, man. Shit started falling apart.
Only fell apart coz you left it alone.
Man, fuck you.
Not like you did anything to deserve this.
What, losing Lisa? Losing everything? Being stuck with you?
Oh! Oh I know. Being a FAILURE. That's what it is, ain't it? That's what Ma always said about me. Fuckin' memory loss. Goddamn psychological shit. Fuckin' pills won't work, man.
STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME. I DON'T WANT YOU ANYWHERE NEAR ME NO MORE.
You don't mean that.
Hell yeah, I do. GET OUT.
Don't make me do it.
Do what? You've ruined everything. What more could you possibly do? Lisa's gone, Pa's dead, the pills are gone, career's down the fuckin' drain. I got nothing to lose! So go on get outta here. RIGHT NOW!
It was an October, very much like this one.
wha...what you do to me?
The first few days that peek through your windows with invading sunlight...
You're doing it again! Fucking with my mind! Get out! Just...Get out okay? Leave me alone!
the virginal page...on the wall calendar...
Hey. Put that down, man. Come on, man. Don't do this. Oh God just put it down man.
that's clumsily tacked to your corkboard.
Stay in bed, goddammit. I TOLD YOU TO STAY IN BED. JUST STOP, PLEASE.
Yes, it was an October, long ago, that I got stuck in bed.
I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry, What do you want me to say? Oh god I'm sorry. Just put the gun away and we can talk about this. Stay outta this, man. Come on. Don't do it.
I'm sick. I should go visit Lisa.
I know we've been on and off a lot, and that we've been through so much. SO MUCH. But I guess we've really just outgrown each other.
Okay. I was a total jerk for using you for the past three nights like that. I was a jerk for pleasuring myself with you. And I guess it doesn't help that I'm leaving you now. I'm sorry you're hurt.
But you have to understand me when I say that you mean so much to me.
And okay, you don't trust me, because Leiron's so good with words, he's probably weaving me a tangled web of bullshit so I can open myself again and let him hurt me. But you have to consider how I look in this picture. I'm hurting too. I have feelings too. I don't want to leave you too.
But...there's the other one.
It came out of nowhere. I was out in Ortigas, and we just met, and from that moment on I knew that I could finally have what I was looking for: stability. Don't get me wrong, we were relatively alright, but I just can't be there for you anymore. I want to have something that I deserve, instead of something I have to work for. It's not that you weren't trying your best - You're really hardworking and you stay up on those late hours while I go to bed just to give me what I want. But you two are on completely different levels. This new one gives me a certain amount of freedom I never had when I was with you. It's not that you wouldn't let me, it was just that you couldn't provide.
It's not fair, I know. I know. Please don't break down. Don't be like that.
. . .
I...know this guy.
He's perfect for you. He's really nice, and he'll take really good care of you, I know. And unlike me, he doesn't have standards that are so impossible to reach. You probably won't even have to work half as much as you used to for me to be happy. I just want what's best for you.
No, I'm not patronizing you. Please don't be like that.
Well, maybe you should've thought about that before you broke down on me!
. . .
Oh my God, I am so sorry. I did not mean that.
No, please don't just shut me off. Please hear me out. I just want something good to come out of this.
Of course you matter to me. That goes without saying.
We can still be friends after this. I know, I know it hurts to hear it that way.
No, no i am not coming out of this with a better hand. I just...I just don't want you to suffer for the choices that I make.
. . .
Okay, I can do that. You can have all the space and time you need to think this through.
It's not like I'm going anywhere, I'll still be here for you if you get sick or if you feel broken.
. . .
goodbye, Acer Aspire 5583XMi.
You've been too good to me.
Far too good.
I'll never forget all the shit I went through with you.
- Current Location:Bedroom
- Current Mood: distressed
- Current Music:Jezebel - Sade
I go where I'm needed, and I love my country, no matter what other people say about it.
(or don't say, because most of the time people doubt we even exist =)))
to not vote for Benigno Simeon Cojuanco Aquino III.
With all due respect, and in the name of democratic discourse, allow me the opportunity to reply.
And I will admit, up to this time, I have actually considered the LP ticket, but I thank you, with your article, for convincing me otherwise.
1) I appreciate your candor for Philippine politics, but to bifurcate the 2010 elections in a fantasized epic of good-contra-evil makes for good literary fodder, and perhaps not for political analysis, or campaigning, or even sensible democratic discourse. It is understood that much is weighed on the upcoming elections, but we must never resort to the mythology of nationalist struggle; especially a mythology that is sourced to historical, economic and political elites.
2) Poll-wise, you may have hard statistics to back your claim to this Two-Man run of an election. But to intentionally ignore other candidates and generalize them as the "OTHER" shows that the Aquino voter is deadlocked in a political fixation for this hyper-reality for a democracy. Contrary to what you and other supporters of his campaign may believe, the Aquino campaign has transformed into the mass-hysteria that topples down formal politics, this "Yellow Spirit" that has found a body - Corpus EDSA.
3) Brevity may be the soul of wit, and indeed you drove on this attempt to summarize other candidates into witty one-word labels: Madrigal as a spit-firing mongrel or Estrada as ineffable. And while you reserve a more gratuitous exposition to Aquino's campaign, there seems to be little or no development as to how the Aquino ticket introduces something politically tangible to the voter. What will you give me when elected? What will you plan to do? What projects will you engage in? What specifics can you give? Aquino dominates precisely because he says he will rid the government of corruption: How can we argue against that? What kind of a sensible voter would want corruption? How can we engage in discourse when everyone's loading bullets and you are picking flowers? Do not avoid political friction - welcome it. It is the first vital sign for healthy politics.
4) Again, Aquino and Villar are indeed topping the polls, and there is a strong tendency to view it from this "Top Two" race for pole position. But when you say that "A vote for Teodoro, Gordon or Madrigal is a vote for Villar" is simply not logically sound. When I vote for Gordon (and I will), I VOTE FOR GORDON. Not for Villar. Not for the embodiment of evil, or avarice, or anything of the sort. I vote for Gordon. Precisely because the vote that is cast under my name goes to Gordon. In the same way that voting for Aquino does not vote for the embodiment of nationalistic altruism. And even if it were as such for the Aquino ticket, it is of my humblest opinion precisely this problem that plagues the LP candidate: a vote for Aquino is a vote for the 'spirit of 1986'. The spirit of a year that has come and gone, when what the temper of the times requires of us is to move ahead. I may be accused of labeling, but again, I am simply replying to the possibility that you have already established.
5) Finally, I would like to make a note regarding the political scandals: yes, they indeed leave a black mark in the greater political history of our country, but to assume that this is all the part of some grand narrative - as phases our country goes through - is to view politics in a very apocalyptic perspective. Aquino is not Moses, Villar is not a Pharaoh (though he spends like one) and we are not slaves to be saved from a tethered fate - we are democratic citizens, entitled to the freedoms our ideology and our constitution ensures us and to the responsibilities they demand. To regress and hearken to a narrative of oppression is penultimately a step back, and to view the experience of 1986 as owned by one family - The Aquinos, and to a certain degree, the Cojuancos - is to rob us, the Filipino People, this nation that you so passionately write about, the right to a future that belongs to us. To a politics that belongs to us.
To people who will repost, please give due credit. I take full responsibility for my opinion.
1) I need to take a couple of laps. Walking around campus is strenuous again, or maybe it's because me and my friends have this penchant for taking pilgrimages just to get to places (ie going to Bel Caf for lunch, going to Matteo for studying, going to Lib for quiet studying, going to MVP for org rooms =))) Srsly. If the Ateneo plans to keep this layout of buildings, I think we all need our own SegWay.
2) I've been to two football games so far. Nice to be back on the battery. What's even nicer is that Babble's just as welcoming as it was when I first joined. And here I was expecting a little antagonism :| I feel guilty now.
3) Do you ever wonder what it's like to be in a block where everyone's important? If it's not orgs, or the dorm, or arranging drinking nights... Yeah. That's what block ii's like.
4) You can borrow 10 books in the library now, even if you're not DL! JOY!!! :D
5) You know what's worse than a freshie? A soon-to-be-freshie. You know what's worse than a soon-to-be-freshie? An upperclassman who acts like a fuckin' freshie. :| GET IT TOGETHER, MAN.
6) I've developed a myriad of pet peeves lately: People who come late to class, people who don't study, people who go to the library to talk in hushed tones (tangina sa lib pa talaga kayo nagkita para mag group meeting), people who ask mundane questions (Leiron, what's Social Democracy?), Baristas who can't get my name right (I mean come on sobrang sobrang bihira na nga ako pumunta ng coffee shop :))), ATENEO PARKING (alfSLFHAOIHAFaslfALSDgfalhtaetag), OSCI (SRSLY GET IT TOGETHER :(( Puro conflict ang schedule ng JEEP koooo), ballpens that erratically work (ie some strokes produce ink while some strokes are empty) etc etc etc. I should list this down. hahaha.
7) In the span of 1 week that the Zeitgeist booksale has been here, I've bought 5 books: Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Exit and three other plays by Jean-Paul Sartre, a compilation of essays regarding the Nazi Revolution and the Third Reich and a book about the Socialist economy. :D Also, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung has this primer about the history of German Social Democracy, and Ross gave me a copy! :D Dagdag mo na rin ang Food Wars by Walden Bello, and I got it signed.
8) Si Rodney. Miss ko na si Rodney. :( =)))))))))
9) My father impulsively bought a Bass Guitar at 12k. Yamaha B Motion, slightly used, with a Roland CB-40 Amp (it's huge!!!) So yes. Haha. I've a new toy to play with :D
10) I'm...dealing with it, albeit poorly. Suggestions are welcome.