An odd, mixed ramble of an anecdote.

It is an odd thing… to remember stuff you never planned on remembering and forgetting stuff you need to remember.  This romance with the sub-conscious that makes you remember and relate the seemingly unrelated to each other.   How a simple phrase; at that opportune time, latches on to your thoughts and never lets go.  It develops itself like the big bang theory and its only realization is when you actually get down on a keyboard and unravel it.
 
I guess writers experience this.  Is it the muse?  Most times I find myself staggering for an idea.  Like all things forced, well… it won’t come naturally.  It becomes the uninspired muse in Dogma. Certain aspects like, once you start getting paid for the stuff you like doing, you end up finding yourself on that ever present fork in the road.  Ah… to find your niche in the world. 
 
 ‘The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.’
— Pablo Picasso

The irony of things at times.  There are so many things in this world that have a certain sense of duplicity or duality.  We spend so much time contemplating on the in-between(s) or the gray areas of these aspects that we tend to forget that one thing that matters.  It dilutes the purpose at times although yeah, it may strengthen it as well should we overcome these ‘distractions’.

I am pretty much blabbering at this point.  This sudden urge to write was spawned by a small conversation with a good old friend of mine.  We were talking about online work and the one I referred her to sounded pretty interesting to her as well.  We were laboratory mates at one point.  Not the chemistry lab or anything but we used to be part of a literature community called “Laboratoryo”.  It was spearheaded by the shaman/ermitanyo, our leader who pulled us away from another forum when it crashed on itself at the time.

It pretty much lasted about a year before internal conflicts drove people away.  I learned a lot from that group.  The critiques I received forced me to proofread my work.  It polished my tagalog skills in ways I had never imagined possible.  (I used to almost flunk that subject, considering I was a filipino myself.) I still admire them, really.  Alambre. Moonchild. Shin. Luna. Charlie Brown.  Even their altnicks (which pretty much caused the internal hullabaloo) which seemed to deviate from their usual writing styles.  I will remember them forever.  Once I find their blogs (or them for the matter) I will follow them too.

Anyways, I am regressing.  Me and that old friend of mine talked about this writing post and then the topic of Laboratoryo came along.  I told her: “do you still write? I miss your work.  Para kang snow leopard noon eh.” (You were like the snow leopard before).  She laughed at the thought of the allusion being a seemingly random jungle animal.  I told her it was a reference to Walter Mitty and that snow leopard conversation.

Sean O’Connell: They call the snow leopard the ghost cat. Never lets itself be seen. Walter Mitty: Ghost cat.
Sean O’Connell: Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.
 
How the mind works eludes me.  Most times anyways.  I guess the trick is to stay amused and let these little unexplainable (yet rational) things surprise you. 

This is how I feel

“Would you stop sleeping around with other people?” Thursday suddenly asked out of the blue.

“Sure, if you leave your husband.” He quipped, while tracing his finger on the cactus by the dresser.

His phone suddenly flew from the table to the wall beside him, cracking against the wall and made a lifeless thump on the carpet.

“Maybe next time you could throw it on the carpet instead?  A phone is no match for a wall you know.” he moved towards his phone, the screen now displaying a crack by the corner.  The touchscreen was now hopelessly unresponsive.  He put it back in his pocket and approached the door.

“I’m sorry… I’ll get you a new one.” she mumbled.  Obviously, she was still keenly trying to keep her anger in check but the damage was done.

“No worries.  I’m sorry too.” He took one last look at her and closed the door behind him gently.

That was three months ago.

He wasn’t responding to her messages afterwards.  At first because he couldn’t even if he wanted to.  His phone was pretty much useless.  Now, he simply didn’t bother at all.  He was determined to put his life back in order.  That meant not seeing anyone anymore.  Admittedly, he was a bum.  He was with one girl after another, seeking comfort in their arms.  He had left his job in a hurry and the girls he used to date took him in.  They all knew what he was doing, and they didn’t mind.

He would bounce back from this, they all thought.  He didn’t.  He felt worse and he got worse.

“BK”

That was Thursday’s bat-signal.  After three months of silence.  He had a job now and he was creeping back into society.

He found himself going to Burger King after an hour, which was their old arrangement.  It became a habit of hers.

“BK :)” was a booty call.

“BK :(” meant she wanted to talk because she was sad.

and “BK” just meant: “meet me at burger king after an hour.”

He had other bat signals for the others and he didn’t save their names or their numbers on his phonebook. He simply knew who they were.

Thursday was different.  He actually fell in love with her.  The only one who was married, of all people.

He entered the restaurant and saw her at her usual spot.  She was in her usual attire composed of a v-neck, leggings and a pair of running shoes.  Most likely, she had just finished one of her late night runs.

Thursday put down her glasses when she saw him coming.  She tilted her head a bit and smiled.  Her bone structure shined from the lights.  Her skin was glossy from the run.

“Thursday.” he nodded and he sat down beside her.

“You look fat and dirty.” she said. He just shrugged and smiled at her.  He didn’t shower nor make any effort to look good.  He wasn’t used to it anymore.  He also wanted to turn her off, somewhat.  The four-day stubble, the longer hair and comfortable clothes seemed to do the trick.

Thursday hugged him, regardless.  They both smelled like sweat, only Thursday’s was a lot more pleasant to the nose.  He had a more neutral scent that smelled of oatmeal cookies for some reason.  She loved smelling him before and it seems like she still does.

“Stinky and pokey I see.” she sat up straight and sat more comfortably.

“So… what’s up?  How is life?” he said.

“Same same, did you get your phone fixed?”

“I bought a tablet.  It’s my big-ass phone for now.”

She snickered at thought of him answering calls or messages with a 10 inch tablet.  He just looked at her and smiled, snatching some of her fries.  Thoughtfully, she gave him a ketchup packet and watched him.

An hour passed.  They just talked and joked and laughed as if nothing happened.  It was just hard to stay mad or anxious most times.  They were like that.

After laughing at some random topic Thursday suddenly asked if he could come up to the unit.  He hesitated for a bit and agreed.

“Don’t throw the tablet, I just got this okay?” he jokingly said, clutching his backpack tight.  Thursday laughed at him.  She had always loved his humor.

Her condo was still the same.  Neat.  Immaculately clean and organized.  She was a cleanliness-freak which explained a lot about her personality. He was a like a wrench to the whole design.

He set his bag down and plopped on his favorite couch.  She went to the kitchen to get some water.  It had been months since he had been there, he thought.  A lot of good things have happened here.

“I really wanted to talk about what happened last time…” she said.

“I know.  I was just waiting for you to bring it up.”

“You don’t seem angry though… which is helping.”

“You know me.  I don’t really stay mad.”

She took a pillow and sat down on the rug and she just looked at him.

“I missed you.  I know you don’t normally reply but you didn’t show up either.  I was beginning to think you hated me.”

“Well…  I am here now, right?  I was… busy.  Soul-searching crap and all.  When you stopped sending messages I did get lonely too, you know.”

“Why didn’t you send any messages then?”

“No load.”

“Bullshit.”

Silence followed.  He just looked at her now, who was staring back at him.  He wanted to avoid this kind of confrontation, really.  The right thing to do was to end this, but he couldn’t keep away either.

“I feel stupid trying to keep this together.  It feels like I am the only one who wants you.” she took a sip of water and set it back down on the side table. “I understand I was the one who made the rules and all… There; I’ll say it first so you don’t bring that shit up on me anymore…” she paused when she noticed that he was fidgeting now, a hand on the side of the pocket.  She stood up and handed him an ash tray.

“Thank you.  You’ve always been the more considerate one.” he said, asking permission to light up and offered her one.  She took a stick and lit one up.

“Fuck the rules…” she took a deep drag and let it out.

“I can’t say that I understand how you feel really.  You and me together like this escapes me.  I ain’t rich or handsome or anything.  I am messy and vulgar, and I smoke and I seem to have every little thing that irks you.  I laid out my cards about my other women and still, here you are.  It defies logic, really.”

“Do you really want to know how I feel?” she asked.

“Please, enlighten me.  Put me in your shoes.” he replied.

She stood up and put out the cigarette.

“I’m not to good with words… but do you trust me?”

“Yes, I do.” he replied, lighting another cigarette up.

She walked over to her dresser and produced a razor.  Apparently, her husband owned it.  He just looked at her, curious and anxious at the same time.  Thoughts ran through his head on what she might do with it.  Slash her wrists perhaps?  Slit his throat?  His love for the dramatic gave him all sorts of images he didn’t want to think about at the moment. She got some shaving cream and a clean towel and went towards him now.

She knelt down in front of him and unbuckled his belt.

“Seriously?” he asked.

“Trust me, please.” she said.  Her eyes were saying a lot of things now.

Having a girl go after your privates with a razor was very uncomfortable but he obliged, choosing to trust her.

She pulled down his pants and underwear and put them away beside her.  He watched her.  She was looking at it.  “Hairy.  God, you really aren’t as neat as you used to be.” commenting on the growing forest.

“You still smell nice though, oddly enough.” she took his member in to her mouth and sucked on it like she always did.

He moved against the couch in anticipation.  It was awkward sight: she had a razor on the other hand as she was giving him a blowjob. He knows he had hurt this woman, and yet he can prevent his hard on from taking over.

“It is harder to shave it when it is all soft, you know…” she said, looking at him.  Her face was a mix of anxiety and sadness.  She applied the cream and started shaving him carefully.

“How can I put it?  There is this fear that takes over.” close to the skin, the blade went, slicing through his pubes in a delicate fashion.  True enough, he was afraid.  She could cut him if she wanted to, and yet she didn’t.

It was a mix of fear and want. He could feel the slight tug and the cold touch of the blade as he was shaved.  His hard on was very strong as she maneuvered the blade around the stem of his cock.  Catching all the hair, cutting them in the process.

“It is a mix of fear and anxiety.  To know that this person can hurt you in ways that you can’t recover from.”  she kissed the tip.  Their eyes meet.  The blade stopped, the sharp side pointing at the stem now.

“It is like a blade running through the most sensitive regions of your soul and yet… it excites you…” she clutched his penis firmly and let it rest, facing him.  She pulled at the flesh on the ball sack, and applied some more cream and continued shaving him.

“It leaves you wondering when the hatchet will fall.  You wonder what he will do to you next, and yet, you trust this person not to.” he has never shaved his balls before.  Trimmed them to a comfortable length, yes… but never so close to the skin.

“It drives you crazy.  In the end, you don’t get hurt.” there was something about her voice as she said her piece.  It was like halfway in between a whisper and a conversational tone.  A monologue in a radio station like some DJ on her love program.

It was sending shivers all throughout his body.  He tried in vain to stop himself from squirming.  He couldn’t really understand what she was trying to do.

The message was clear though.

She finished with his entire nether-region, including the hair around his ass. It was a bit overboard, but he felt like he could understand her more now.  She gently cleaned him up with the towel and went straight to the kitchen sink.

He was looking at himself now… no wounds. It felt sensitive and nude.  He felt exposed and vulnerable.  He looked at her now in a different light.  There had been times that the knowledge that she was married didn’t matter… many times it did.

This one was one of those moments that it didn’t matter… and his hard-on didn’t go away either.  All he could do was stroke the part where his pubes used to be… and it kind of felt like a cactus.

“Your turn.” she said, handing him the razor, towel and cream.

Anino / Shadow

ang anino mo’y nag-mistulang
higanteng nakayuko.

ni gabi o ang mga ulap
ang sanhi.

sa bawa’t apak
na mariing kumakayod
sa lupa, at sa pawis na namumuo
sa iyong nakakunot na noo;
hindi ka lilingon.

hindi ka lumilingon.

ika’y palayo.

palayo sa liwanag
na dati ay nagpapa-alala

sa iyo

na ikaw ay nabubuhay.

(Rough Translation)

your shadow resembles
a shrugging gian
t.
Neither the night or the clouds
are the reason.

For every time
you dig your heel,
grinding in to the ground
for every bead of sweat on your frown:
You do not look back.

You will not look back.

You move away.

Away from the light
that used to remind…

You…

That you were alive.

Challenge Accepted!

This week was a real whirlwind.

Glenda. ANZ. Thumbtack.

I got accepted on one of them online work from home thingies as a snippet writer for Thumbtack.  Pay is good/fair.  Work is good/fair.  I also passed the final interview at ANZ today and am now awaiting my job offer.  Both right after Glenda hit.

Challenge accepted.

I had a goal in mind:  Work two jobs that are unrelated to each other.  TT is flexible while ANZ is more on a rotating shifting kinda thing.  Hopefully, weekends are off.  I plan to work my arse off the next few years to compensate for slacking off.  Then get a car.  Then get a house.

Well, at least that is the plan.  I can always give up one of them if it gets too stressful for me.  Obviously, keeping the work from home gig is the wiser, less-stressful choice but working for an actual company has it pros.

1.  Healthcard for me and my kid.
2.  Insurance for me.3.  Stability.
4.  They have a soccer team. (LOL)

This just might be the craziest thing I do for money… but we all have to do what we have to do.  Until we figure out something more efficient and more rewarding.  That elusive niche where I find fulfillment.  I will find you.  I just have to keep trying.

On conversations in twilight

Glenda came in and disrupted the Philippines.  She ravaged us with shrieking winds and pelted us with fat droplets, flooding the streets. She tore trees, lamp posts and left us in total darkness.  Most areas anyways… but it also did something beautiful:

We talked.

People here and there started talking to each other.  We put down our phones and toys as their batteries dwindled out to oblivion.  Candles lit tables as everyone gathered to sit down and be human again.  We reached out and communicated in the most original way to convey thoughts:  the personal approach.

At first, it reminded me of how people were while watching the Walking Dead.  We had no phones, no electricity and no internet.  The only difference is that there were no zombies to hold us in fear.

I held my harmonica to my mouth and blew a low C.  Dust was evident from the prolonged times of unuse.  The guitar, now warped from different changes of temperature, was no longer playable.  My cousin laughed at how nostalgic it sounded.  Like some western on the brink of a sunset.  We laughed at the dining table.

We talked about plans and dreams and all other things.  The whole afternoon was filled with laughter and energetic voices… as if something went alive so suddenly.  I was looking at their faces.  It felt like i hadn’t seen those faces or that timbre of their voices in quite a while.

For 8 hours, we were humans.  Devoid of any social media.  No games.   No electronic devices.  For a glimpse, we were ourselves… what we ought to be.  Things became clearer as ideas bounced back and forth.

Although the ordeal was a hassle, it awoke something that fell asleep when we all went online.  That side of us which wants to reach out and communicate.  To share.  To experience.

I actually look forward to this forced event.  No storms or anything… but i want to look forward to the next time we would all just sit down and talk for awhile.

Thank you, Glenda.

Metamorphosis

The carapace has cracked though the surface;

where the light bounces from, seems clear, serene.

Lies an undertow of wrongful fire the tumult know

nothing of.  It reflects in their eyes.

Though tough, it gives way when he gave in,

unsettling crystal and miles of thought.

 

A perplexed form emerges, once pondered complete

from the outside, yes‘ it bitter-quips, smiling.

Crawling out from Umbra’s deepest shade, it recites

the sounds of the waves to invoke the dawn.

It is because of this sun I remained in the shadows…

shutters closed in a sound proof room.

 

Emerge. Colored wings sprout from nothingness

chasing shadows with light set back a decade ago.

Tilting chin up, blue mirrors reflect heavenly passing

as if musing some puzzle it  just  concluded.

Shifting tongues, he let fade the drowning sun

Au Revoir, Le Doux Cauchemar c’est fini…

 

Untethered, he drops the feeble form that burdened

his wings.  Something was coming, some torrent.

It beckons, draws him close but he was willing

even if it was some strong force he hasn’t seen.

I am tangible because of this northward moon,

which shed new light and fire…

 

for when it came:

 

It caught me between a half-breath and a sigh.