Sunday, November 30, 2008

There are no ends but rather changes

This space has been quite comforting for me but, perhaps, it's time to move on. I've always had a terrible habit of deleting online journals after I'm done with them. Discarding all trace of whatever thoughts and brain farts I've had as trash. For a new resolution, though, I will be keeping this one for posterity's sake. Hopefully some chemically fucked up and sexually confused boy might find comfort in these posts someday.
I'm not done with the Illustrados yet. This space has only given me the courage and opportunity to start writing all those characters that have long resided in my head. There is so much more to be told about them. So many other characters that has yet to be introduced. The truth about Adrian's death has to be revealed. He didn't kill himself. No man (or woman) killed him either. It happened by a very unfortunate chance, a hamartia brought about by a sudden change of heart. Maybe someday, I will start a blog solely dedicated to them, when I've managed to piece out their emotions and sorted their sordid lives. Perhaps, also mine.
For the meantime, I'll be keeping another space with much lighter baggages elsewhere.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A digression

The two of them, barefoot, facing each other, sat on their legs. They were having an orgasmic serving of Salmon Cheese Roll at a quaint Japanese restaurant along Arnaiz Avenue. The sensational dish seemed to shoot out wads of creamy melted blue cheese into their tongues with each grind of their jaws, and it was just for appetizers. They were both speechless for a while, relishing on the flavor of the delectable dairy that enveloped the seafood sushi being savored by their taste buds. Each bite was sending out thousands of different sensations from the synapses on their tongues to the neurons on their brains. Each current seemed to weaken their defenses. They looked at each other sternly as they tried to hold themselves together, trying to read the other's mind while surveying the countenance of the person in front.
"So how... is... Cassie?" The boy tried to ask in between chews.
"She's fine. She'll be staying in Bulacan for the meantime. Uncle and Agnes will be taking care of her." The girl proudly replied, gratified at the upper-hand given by the vacancy in her trap.
"Did she say what she was upset about?" The boy asked with a squirm right after he swallowed the masticated  roll down his throat.
Carmen paused with a poker face, staring down at the lined-up rice rolls left sitting on the table, struck, suddenly, by the question about her bastard sister's sadness.
"I mean, did Lia's death have anything to do with it?" The boy continued as he shuffled his chopsticks with apprehension between his fingers as he mentioned the dead girl's name.
She continued to stare at the table. Lost in her own thoughts. Thinking about...
"It's strange how two sisters can be so much strangers to each other."
Iñigo paused as he tried to recall why he invited her out to this dinner again. Days ago, he got a call from her asking for help about an emergency with her sister, Cassandra. She was found unconscious, lying on the ground floor of her building a few moments later after she was reported scaring fellow residents downstairs with her delirious murmurings. He was in a law firm nearby. He arrived just as the building guards were manhandling the poor chemically drowned girl to a van. He insisted that he take them both to the nearby hospital instead. The next day, he called the girl right in front of him now to ask for an update about his ex-girlfriend's condition, which proceeded to the invitation. His curiosity felt that he had to know what really happened.
"Why should it bother her? If there's anyone to blame about Lia's suicide, it's you. I never liked her but what you did to her was really nasty." The girl came back to her senses.
Iñigo smiled, slightly embarrassed by her comeback. He felt sweat suddenly forming out of his skin. So he tried to form his own defenses but with no actual success. He realized that his faults were simply too obvious to be denied.  "Lia had her own problems but, yes, I admit our break up might have tipped the boat more for her. I just thought that the similarities of the incident to Adrian's might have brought back memories."
"Adrian didn't kill himself. The Yakuza got rid of him. He and Cassie really pissed those Japanese off. Buti na lang uncle was able to fly her off to Paris before they got to her."
"Where did you get that information?"
"My uncle."
"Oh." The boy came out with a defeated kind of surprise after realizing how little he knew about the cousin he thought of as a brother. "What did they do?"
"They were too busy taking all those chemicals they were supposed to deal that they forgot they have to pay off their dealers. Ewan ko ba why those two were dealing drugs for extra cash."
"They wanted to be independent." He recalled a thought he had ages ago. He has always been fascinated by the unbreakable messed up relationship between his cousin and his ex-girlfriend. He knew his cousin was a homosexual, which became the paramount belief he held on to that there was never anything between them that could hinder his relationship with her, and yet, still, he had troubles connecting with her. It didn't seem to matter that much to him back then. She was a divine figure to him in the twilight of his pubescence. Her beauty, her wit, her aloofness and her devotion for his cousin had him hooked on her.
Carmen, noticing his moment of nostalgia, joked. "She has a cute doctor. Not exactly my type but definitely one of hers I'm sure." She laughed gently like the lady she's always aspired to be.
Iñigo smirked. "Well I'm sure the cute doctor is going to do a good job keeping her from trying to kill herself again."
"Actually, he's back here in Manila."
"Ah..." He trailed on, trying to figure out what proper reaction to give her to conceal his uneasiness. "And what about your boyfriend? Why isn't he her tonight with us?"
Carmen froze for a heartbeat. Her heart skipped the next.
"Oh! He's probably out somewhere with one of his other girlfriends. He won't mind."
"You're okay with that?"
"Yeah... well.. what am I supposed to do? Cry?"
"Take this advice as an old friend. You deserve better."
Carmen smiled at the boy sitting in front of her, the boy she once harbored an innocent infatuation for back when they were younger.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A letter

May 24th, 1999

Dearest C.C.
I wrote this letter before we left for Paris as, most of my letters are for you, an answer to your request. This being the only letter apart from the one we buried in that island in Pangasinan that you coerced me to write. I handed this to Kohji-san when I gave him the payment for our debt. I asked him as a favor, to hand this to you, at a time convenient for him whenever he receives news of my passing, which is hopefully not in the near future. If ever, he goes first before me, I have asked him also to entrust this letter and the task I have asked to one of his most trusted men. I wrote this also, in any case that I might forget to mention to you that I have HIV, and among other things that I will be sharing to you in this letter. I'm writing this under pressure of time because we have to leave in a few hours. So if I get lost in my words, I ask for your patience.
First, we are explicably where we are: chaste and burned. Sometimes, I feel like I have caused you the biggest share of your sorrows. If I didn't think it would be too impractical to completely remove myself from you, I would have. All those chemicals and a life seething with cruelty is too bad for such a gentle soul like you. We're just unavoidably dependent on the other.
Do you remember that time in Marabella? The day after the party, when I was sitting at the beach on a gloomy afternoon while Felix was asleep, you sat beside me and you told me that you think perhaps every one loves most the person one cannot truly be with in a married couple sense. That that is what life is truly about. Because what else shall one do when that person finally attains that?
We're comfortably lonely, complacent in this somewhat loveless state we have. For us, now, that is just a distant childhood dream we've grown out of. I take my responsibility in soliciting this predicament to you, which I, on some part, regret. I confess though, I never saw us going down this road. Once, I also dreamt the same dreams you had for the two of us. I just woke up earlier.
I didn't love Felix -- for a time perhaps but that was mostly infatuation. He amused me more than any guy I have been with even up to now, I have to say, but I never felt anything for him remotely close to any part of my feelings for you. He is a friend at the most. You, on the other hand, are a totally different matter. Perhaps, even now at the time of writing this letter, I am still confused of what my true feelings are for you. I'm not even close as to figuring out how we will be in the future.
If time grants me, I would never need to say this, but if ever there is a case that I am hindered to prove because I feel I am treading on a wobbly thread myself, I trust that you will believe my words that I will take care of you and that child in your womb. I paid the debt to Kohji-san already as I have mentioned. He told me that man who attacked you is Yusuke's brother and his intention was to take advantage of you and in no way was he one of Kohji-san's. We have no more reason to fear Kohji-san. Although I told your uncle that it would still be best if we left the country because if word gets out about your condition, and I doubt we will be able to conceal it in the coming months, I fear propriety will put too much pressure on you and you may make terrible decisions. I believe that anonymity will bring much comfort to you in your current condition and help you reflect better on what to do. I also didn't tell my cousin. I don't think Iñigo is smart enough to take responsibility for this. I decided to let you make that decision for yourself on how to deal with him.
I have considered marrying you as a consolation but given my condition now, I doubt I will ever be able to give you a child that is both ours. I don't think a disabled child would truly make you or me happy. Hopefully that child will be the consolation. I know the both of us well enough (and yes, apparently, I am considered disabled). We're too much of logical idealists, which is the worst kind of sentimentalists, I think.
Millions of years will pass and billions of solutions for a trillion more problems will be made and I will still feel this same confusion for my feelings for you. "We do what we do because of who we are. If we did otherwise, then we wouldn't be ourselves." Perhaps you will be the only person I will truly love in this lifetime.
"In a trillion years, stars will no longer shine. We'll get it right or come back again still hopelessly hopeful. What lies I learned lessened my ability to be present. My love will never change though we've ruined everything. The stars still conspire for us."
With all my heart,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


One realizes how deeply and profoundly disillusioned one is when one is starting to judge kindness bestowed upon. Perhaps, one simply has too much time on hand despite having too much deadlines to meet and drafts to submit. Nevertheless, there is truth that can't be denied to the idea that each act of kindness is motivated differently.
Some people are kind to other people because they like the person. It could be because they have some physical attribute that tickles their visual stimuli right enough, or they have a certain character quirk that rubs their hearts warm. Maybe, they were told by their parents to be kind and these people are simply too respectful enough to follow what their parents told them as kids without question. Some people are merely forced to be kind because they are afraid to be judged by the people around them.
Then, there is that kindness that comes from experience. Call it guilt, regret or penance or whatever you may have inside your bag of wise-ass retorts. But, this kindness comes from a deeper region of human emotions. It goes beyond fear, prejudice and hate, and perhaps, the only one that can truly understand them.
A verse my mother fondly recalls to us over and over comes to mind. "Mighty is he who can conquer a city but he who can conquer himself is mightiest of them all."
Last night, I was talking to this guy whose over the top gestures of kindness towards me I initially dismissed as simply being motivated by superficial reasons. As he told me more about himself and the past mistakes and mishaps he has done back in his hay days, I started to understand where all his kindness was coming from. Maybe it still had a touch of neediness but it helped to understand that the most part of it was coming somewhere genuine.
My best friend told me, after sharing this particular inquiring thought with him, that I am perhaps the most shallow person in the world for judging kindness. Maybe I am. After all, I have been called an asshole, greedy and evil in the past.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A continuation

"The tricky thing about happiness is when you're a child who's not so bright, like me, you're stuck with your parent's idea of happiness until you hit a wall. And believe me, hitting that wall isn't such a pleasant experience."
"A nice family in a nice home with a nice job?" The doctor replied as he followed her sit, leaning against a nicely sized mango tree that embraced the breeze around the two of them.
The girl was a lovechild, a desperate attempt at a son by a son of a haciendero with the French belle best friend of his homosexual brother. Her mother, having no legal claim at the estate of her father, fought for her place in the haciendero's son's family. The haciendero's son's legal lover fought for her's and his two older daughter's. She died, first, in grief and resentment. Then, finally, in a consequential accident. Her mother left her father after and went back to her country. She never remarried, but, rather, distracted herself, isolating herself in her work, earning her own estates. Her father did so as well. So much for happiness.
"That is the conventional happiness. Although it comes in so many forms these days." She retorted with a snide laugh.
"A convenient happiness is more like it." He laughed with her.
"Despite our best efforts to deny our limitations and weaknesses, it always manages to manifest in our inevitable need for stability. We don't change as fast as technology. We ease everything in. We mourn." She continued.
"I remember a few months before Adrian died, we were about seventeen or eighteen then, he introduced me to this guy he was dating."
She still remembers his face so clearly as that bright afternoon. His cheekbones, his jawline, every crease, every dimple, every pore was still embedded on her memory. She remembers that summer. She remembers the marble sidewalks and the white stone walls, how the light illuminated everything in that bleached town. It seemed like a summer haze. The heat, the brightness of the place, the strong perplexing emotions caused by their hormones and their adolescent idealism. The sun was as bright and promising then.
"We were in Marabella. The three of us went out. The guy turned out to be such a darling that we're still good friends now. We went out for drinks, to get high and to dance later in the evening. We were there, the three of us, in the middle of a crowd of mostly half naked men. We all just took another round of purple MG's. We were all peaking. The music was like magic and the moment was just perfect. The three of us were just dancing under a luminescent new moon. It didn't matter that I wasn't his girlfriend anymore. He's my most favorite person in the world. He was the only person who's seen me from childhood up to that point."
"I thought we were going to get married. It didn't matter if he slept with guys." The girl smiled again, faintly but something more radiant like a ray of sunshine from an old world on a cloudy day.
The doctor inhaled the last of the remaining ambience looming from the sunset. Then, he smiled too, with her, as if he was there in that particular moment that was.
"But he wasn't ready to live the rest of his life in the closet?" He asked. 
"He never came out. He didn't have plans. He just didn't want to be happy living a lie."
"It wouldn't be right to live your happiness at his expense either. He's a noble man."
"Of course, I'm telling you this in full confidence that you will honor confidentiality stipulated by our medical relationship."
The doctor laughed.
"Don't worry, mademoiselle. I may not be as noble as your friend but I deeply honor my profession."
Then, for the first time, she laughed an innocent laugh. Not outlined by contempt or scorn but by pure genuine amusement, perhaps, by his self-depreciation or his mildly comforting character that seems to be exactly what she needed.
"I realized that that was happiness. Even if you took out the chemicals out of our system, it would still be. The chemicals just aided our inhibitions out of our system. So I can see the bigger picture. All that mattered was what I felt."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sleeplessly procrastinating and frantically passive

I feel so tired. I have two projects to submit on Tuesday. One's a draft for my thesis paper and the other's a draft for an interactive game. So far I have done absolutely nothing. Not a single word typed or a single pixel drawn. I lack sleep. It's moments like this that I want to give up already. I don't know what to do. The computer crashed a few days ago. The hard drive was fixed but all my files are gone, every single byte wiped out. It's really such a defeating emotion.
At least I have a new guilty pleasure but I'm afraid it's taking its toll on my time. I'm too lazy to get my ass out of this chair and actually do something about my project woes.  I'm just too glued, reading this blog. It's like Irvine Welsh meets Lord of the Flies. Very raw and strong characters and emotions bouncing of violently everywhere. It started as a sex fantasy that grew into this epic story about real estate corporations caught between two star crossed lovers from a quaint town in Iloilo. I'm still half-way through the story. It's campy and it's dark but somehow, still, the writer manages to inject valid and feasible human emotions and instincts, which never fails to reel me in deeper into his world. One of the networks here should really take a page from this piece of fiction for their soap operas.
I feel like I'm back there again in my condo in 2434, when I'd be too depressed to get out of bed. No matter how hungry I am or how bad I need to go to the toilet, I'd just lie there in my bed, not sleeping, not really physically immobile but just too unmoved, emotionally unmotivated to move even a single muscle, my brain compensating for the lack of any physical activity. I would stare at my blank white ceiling and move my gaze around the white walls for hours, sometimes lasting almost a whole day. It used to feel like an asylum because it was a huge white space but I painted one wall vermilion just to add a little depth and spirit to the whole place.
Now I'm here. Sitting in front of the computer. Completely unmoved from my seat ever since this morning. Save for my the mechanical wrist motions to maneuver the mouse, and fingers clicking on buttons and keys, and my two visits to the kitchen because the maid kept bugging me to eat, I'd have zero muscle movement.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An excerpt

There they were. Two figures leaping over that big gapping hole that drops into a shallow rocky lake. The grasses swayed their heads watching them fly through the air and they were crushed, finally, by both their pairs of shoes as they landed.
"Looks like you're an expert at this -- saving guys." The tall chap with the hat chirped.
"I have saved a couple of boys in the past." 
Cassie chuckled with a sly note.
"I didn't realize you were so limber." The chap replied.
"A woman's entitled to her own secrets, don't you think, Dr. Lao?"
"I supposed so." He lowered his gaze to his feet with a slight embarrassment as he started walking away from her.
It was such a lovely afternoon for a stroll in the fields. The breeze kissed their skins ever so gently as it waltzed with the dancing tall straws of grass, as they stood guard between these two strangers.
"So why did you do it?" The concerned physician queried.
She turned to him. Her hair glided so effervescently along with the breeze as it slithered around her. He looked at her move listlessly. The sight of her against that sun. That figure against such brilliance, much like a nymph frolicking along the grass. Her lips pouted so effortlessly towards him as the sound of the last syllable trailed in the air. "What? Swallow those pills?"
"Why did you try to kill yourself?"
"I didn't intend to kill myself. I just wanted to get high."
"Because I was unbearably sad and utterly inconsolable. Those pills have never failed me in the past."
There was a long pause. It may have lasted the whole sunset. It felt like it.
"Why were you sad?" He began to ask again.
She smiled for a heartbeat. Then, she threw a stare at the sun as it said farewell to that particular day. That day is gone now. Every little detail of it is nothing but a piece of memory, forever shifting and undulating in their memories, left with no certainty.
"I don't know."
"You know, the hospital wasn't the first place I saw you." He scrambled to pick something out of his brain to keep hers from thinking about the fateful past few days.
"Yes, I remember that party a year ago. You were there too."
"No, that wasn't it either."
"Really now?"
"I first saw you about seven years ago. I just arrived in Manila, at the airport." He said bitting his lips with regret.
Cassie smiled. His trepidation amused her. "Go on."
"You were there. I wasn't sure if you just arrived also. You looked lost. I wanted to ask you for directions. But then, I guessed you were lost too. So I figured it would be pointless to ask."
"I was confused. There's a difference." She joked.
"You looked sad. But you're smiling now. So is that a real smile now?"

Saturday, November 1, 2008


There is this long running thing in my family. My departed lolo, from my father, had it. My dad has it. Unfortunately, I got it too.
My mom calls it a curse. She never explained its origins or why we have it but she would often play her mind games on me, dropping cryptic lines like "I may not see what you're doing but God can and God never lets a sin go unpunished." Sometimes, I think I have it due to all the mind games that she has been running on me ever since I was a child. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is what pushed my dad over the edge as well when he left her. He told me he never loved her in "that" way but I've always thought there had to be something else that pushed him away because he lasted more than two decades with her. They even had three children. I never bought my mom's crazy religious crap about curses and punishments anyway. She even had this zany line about how if a man sins against God, He will punish his family ten folds down to the third generation. God knows where she gets all her pitiful prejudiced beliefs.
I remember she told me that my lolo died, about six years ago now, because of grief from that curse. Then, in another occasion,  that she'd rather have a dead son or husband than someone who sins against God and that my father will probably die of that curse as well. I guess she's also telling me that so will I. Sometimes I don't even think it's really God she's talking about but rather someone who's just her god. Some godhead she created for her emotional convenience. Although sometimes her virtues works for her but, after all, most of her values are anchored deeply to pure unadulterated Christian beliefs. But like any form of Christianity nowadays, it's nothing but a byproduct that derivates from the ancient religion and compounds it with their own contemporary agendas.
While we were on our way to my lolo's remain's resting place earlier, which was an unbearable three hour drive, I wondered about his funeral. I could vaguely remember it now. All I could remember was it was a sunny day. Everyone wore white. Apart from those I can't remember any detail anymore. What was everyone talking about? Who cried? Who wasn't there? Did I cry?
Then I thought about what I was doing when I got news that he was already gone. I was sure I was in a bus. To where or which stop exactly, I couldn't remember anymore. I know I was about to go to a date or a hook-up or something my mom would deem immoral.
I was never close to my lolo. We rarely talked. He was like my father. They were men of few words. Or maybe we, three, are all alike also in that way. We have a hard time connecting to people. Even our own family. I've always wondered if my dad has a best friend, someone he can talk to freely and someone who can make me feel comfortable to be himself. He was such a well-conducted formidable man. So was my lolo. They must've had someone they can let themselves loose with. I was never introduced to anyone who seemed like it though.
Ever since I was a kid, I've always dreamt of meeting someone I'd grow up with, like those things I see in the movies I grew up watching, someone who will be my best friend. I had a friend in grade school. We'd be in school together almost always. We'd visit each other's house on weekends. When I was transferred out of that school, we lost touch and we grew apart. After that I never really connected with another person. I became this shy, timid loser geek who everybody liked because he did their homework and had an enormous amount of humor to let everyone slide when they picked on him. Sometime between high school and college I gave up on ever finding a best friend. That was when I started my life of debauchery. I started using MDMA with an unbelievable amount and frequency because it made me the happiest I have never been.