Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Séance of Sleep

Outside my window sleep avoids the city and I am a compatriot in this plague. Looking down, the opposite lanes of EDSA stream with headlights; their velocities determined by degrees of drowsiness, urgencies and whether the limbs tapping the pedals have had an extra cup of coffee that afternoon. Pedestrians huddle in elevated walkways, their movements erratic, like a ballet orphaned by a sinister choreographer. Near the lower end of the stair planks the blind guitarist strums paeans to heartbreaks, accompanying the desperation drifting from sweet unschooled voice of the equally-blind female vocalist seating beneath him, their tragic duet a catalyst of sudden philanthropy and quiet shudder of relief among passersby who are confronted of their plight but unwilling to imagine having a chance to share in their misfortune. A pair of lovers, having just punched out their attendance sheet in the nearby grocery walk by, their feet a bundle of aching nerves for having stood all day yet their spirits are light, consoled by the thought of sharing a bowl of goto in the neighborhood stall—a moment where they are absolutely assured to be in control of their destinies before they part ways with a quick kiss into the hard boards of their respective bed spaces to dream of better lives before tomorrow’s drudgery start to creep in and rob them of such fantasies. A Sluggish cabby combs the streets for that random call center agent rushing to midnight shift so he can meet the boundary rates; a slight mix of remorse and guilt creep into his thoughts for having acted like a jerk, tormenting commuters during rush hours. Along the fading refrains of sappy pop songs and the hoarse voices of late callers seeking breakup advice from a DJ who feigns sympathy, he touches the dangling Rosary twined around the connecting node of a rearview mirror, bargaining with God for a generous passenger. Street urchins accost strangers with practiced expressions of pain only to be ignored. Policemen patrol the well-maintained lanes this side of the metropolis like bored hawks, avoiding an occasion of impulsive penile erection from staring at the pinup leering in the center spread of a tabloid. The convenience store across the corner becomes a beehive of chains smokers, drifters, a couple darting off their car who forgot a quart of milk earlier, insomniacs, hustlers busily tapping their mobile phones with their impatience growing while their patrons suffer the slowness of elevators and BPO employees having animated conversations in their newly-acquired accents. I pull the canvass curtain shutters, forfeiting myself from tableaus of wakefulness staging autonomous concerts twenty nine floors below, wondering what shades will float into my dream, if it ever comes, and whether it will have a face or a name that will haunt me long after I wake up.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just Because Jose Mari Chan Made It His Album Title Doesn’t Mean I’d Get out Of This Rut

Change, as clichéd tongues would mechanically wag to no end, is constant.Jose Mari Chan wailed (rather painfully) about it too. Though there is little room to dispute this unadventurous wisdom the smartass in me would oftentimes roll my eyes and reenact soundless vomiting midsentence when this very tenet is uttered.

What makes this tired belief more insufferable is the fact that whoever utters it is possessed of massive reserves of optimism that makes you wonder whether s/he swallowed both the sun and Oprah for breakfast.

I, being a habitual pragmatic/jaded lot, would take on this disposition with characteristic glum of someone who steered clear of Chicken Shit For The Soul, which is the cue for Mr./Ms. Sunshine to save me from the clutches of pessimism. Which, is precisely my cue to start screaming and begin entertaining thoughts on cannibalism.

And the most annoying thing is Mr/Ms Sunshine would smile brightly when you reject his/her positive, cheerful and hopeful disposition.

MSUNSHINE: Change is the only constant in this world.
YOU: So is your endless supply of clichés that makes my pancreas gray with boredom.
MSUNSHINE: (Smiling so bright you can tan youself under his/her gums): Why so negative?! Today is but another day and tomorrow...
YOU: *stabs him/her with a salad fork in the eye*

Which makes me wish for a raw deal:

IDEAL MSUNSHINE PREACHING: What an ungrateful, wretched bastard you are! Of course things change and you can either grow up and embrace this reality like every thinking person would rather than moping around like a baby who deserves to be forcedfed his own diapers! If it were up to me, fools such as yourself refusing to accept the evolutionary nature of things should have been aborted so you become less of a burden in this already insane world! Get real you piece of waste of protein!

I would have more respect for a person like that.

But no, I would always receive a dramatic sigh, an almost-psychotic smile and a sympathetic gaze that tells me the mutterer of a thousand clichés is worried for my very own welfare.

S/he probably is, and it’s a comfort to know it.

But why is unsolicited kindness always the Siamese twin of cliché?

Whatever happened to originality?

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Hello, I Maybe On My Way Out Again

Disappearances are the hotbed of anguish. Often than not the despair resides in the hearts of those who are widowed by nonattendance, where it throbs and branches out like springtime tendrils searching for answers or apologies. The absentee, no matter how valid the reasons, or how urgent the manner of departure will always leave a bruise while carrying with him a pouch of guilt that can only be mended by homecomings.

When words fail you, melodrama comes in handy, doesn’t it?

Hello, I’m partially back. (Be warned though: this might lead to another sudden exit.)

I miss out on a lot of things, obviously. Just thinking on how to catch up exhausts the living sap out of me.

I wish I know which one to pick up first: the broom to sort out the cobwebs around here, or the mouse to click my way into non-refundable ticket to sunny Rio?

Decisions, decisions.

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