I’m Ignoring

21 12 2008

Sanity is slowly creeping back in after days of feeling like an obsessed 15-year-old girl (ugh!). Confident this won’t be another serotonin-rush backfire like Jan 2007 (or May 2006 or Feb 2008). In case this ever happens again, someone please shoot me in the knee or something.

In other news, it’s merry Christmas to everyone in four days!


Where’s the Parteh?

18 12 2008

Got a big big big heartbeat, I think you are the sweetest thing. I wear of coat of feelings and they are loud. I’ve been having good days.

– Animal Collective, Purple Bottle

Baka sakali lang maisip mo naman. Ako’y nandito lang. Hindi mo lang alam. Matalino ka naman.

– Up Dharma Down, Oo

Why does it always end up like this?

– Tori Amos, Spring Haze

At this moment, my 30-hour partying spree finally ends. Except for four hours of sleep, it has been non-stop rush of laughing, ingesting alcohol, avoiding overeating, struggling to keep eyelids open, gift giving, joke sharing, photo taking, and spreading the season’s spirit. Just when I thought December could not become any better.

Despite tarot cards foretelling otherwise, I still feel I’m forever doomed in anything related to romance. Hello Mr. Kristian Karlo, in matters of love, you are a pathetic loser, so might as well give it up. Get real. Wake up. Smell the roses. And the coffee. And the morning scent of frying bacon and sunny-side-up eggs and corned beef and ham and all other food you said you would refrain from eating ever again but would most likely end up consuming soon anyway. The last sentence from James Joyce’s short story, Araby, is quite appropriate for tonight’s epiphanic paranoia:

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

Since it’s almost Christmas, I’ll end on a hopeful note. My gift to the lovely thing responsible for all this mess: Я тебя люблю. What a bother! Privyet, sappiness, privyet.

Cardiac Arrest

15 12 2008

Went to Manila again on Sunday and so I have to blog. Photos here!

Quiapo was our first destination and we went under the bridge, which turned out to be a bustling piece of tourist souvenir heaven. Intramuros was next and something must be wrong with it since it was getting lovelier by the minute. Chanced upon interesting corners that were previously unexplored. The Manila skyline was dramatic, the street art was colorful, and the old (or restored) buildings were glowing in the late afternoon light. Even derelict walls were suddenly exciting.

From the southern end of the walled city, we walked along UN Avenue to an Indian grocery where chickpeas, rotis and samosas were bought. Aborting an initial plan to head over to Paco Cemetery, we decided to try the samosas in a bakeshop instead. They were deep-fried, crispy vegetable loveliness.

In other news, I promise not to cause heart attacks on friends anymore! I’ve learned my lesson. But I’m deeply grateful to the two of you for understanding. Muchas gracias, grazie, merci, shukran, spasibo, khop khun khrap, cam on, kamsamhamnida, xie xie, arigato and whatever it is they use in Mars.

Nine Songs

14 12 2008

or Copying Lyrics Here Since I Can’t Make Emotions Become Words Tonight

1. Fireworks by Animal Collective – “Sacred nights where we watch the fireworks that frighten the babies through” (Fireworks happened earlier tonight above the world’s third largest mall, and I felt it was all dedicated to me.)

2. Pagan Poetry by Bjork – “On the surface simplicity/But the darkest pit in me/Is pagan poetry/Pagan poetry” (The end part of the song pretty much sums up everything right now.)

3. Wrapped Up in Books by Belle and Sebastian – “Our aspirations are wrapped up in books/Our inclinations are hidden in looks” (Restrained and prudent or a semi-pathetic coward?)

4. Wolf Like Me by TV On The Radio – “Say say my playmate/Won’t you lay your hands on me/Mirror my malady/Transfer my tragedy” (Twilighty.)

5. A Sorta Fairytale by Tori Amos – “Like a good book I can’t put this day back/A sorta fairytale with you” (Sorta is better than nothing.)

6. Sun in My Mouth by Bjork – “I will wade out till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers” (Sexy time.)

7. Real Men by Joe Jackson – “And so it goes, go round again/But now and then we wonder who the real men are” (Yes, we wonder.)

8. Piazza, New York Catcher by Belle and Sebastian – “Oh elope with me in private and we’ll set something ablaze/A trail for the devil to erase” (Will never happen but worth at least a try.)

9. Purple People (Christmas in Space) by Tori Amos – “Breakfast at every hour/It could save the world” (Merry Christmas!)

Flesh Canoe

10 12 2008

Till now I always got by on my own. I never really cared until I met you. And now it checks me to the bones.

– Jazper’s version of Heart’s Alone

In line with the series of inexplicable events, I started jogging tonight. The last time this happened was…the last time it happened. I cannot seriously remember. But I enjoyed it immensely! Interesting jogging characters and all.

Cardiac Cartographies

8 12 2008

Wait, they don’t love you like I love you. Ma-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aps. Wait, they don’t love you like I love you.

– Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maps

So I noticed people were staring at me while I was malling around and I narrowed the probable reasons down to three: a) because I’m hot; b) because I had something in my face; c) because I stared at other people (an admittedly bad habit). I would like to believe it’s the first reason but it is most probably reason three. Important lesson: when you stare at people, they will stare back, so stare discreetly.

Well, it seems I had a counter-epiphany to a recent epiphany. With the heavy air of romanticism around me (i.e., people are in the mood for love), it may be worth at least a try after all. (And so the vague, epiphany-related entries continue.)

I’m dying to try fiction again. Nothing significant has been written in more than three months. Somehow, the last piece, which is silly, gimmicky and sophomoric, fits the overall work’s theme perfectly. It goes:


When I tasted blood as we kissed that Monday afternoon, I thought it was because I accidentally bit her lip. With clumsy braces ready to take the blame, I severed physical contact and was about to apologize when I noticed a thin trickle of clotting blood issuing from her left nose and dribbling down to her upper lip. She wiped it off with her knuckle dismissively; I quietly expressed alarm, thinking, at the back of my mind, that my braces were still somehow responsible. She expressed an assurance that this was not uncommon to her, especially during instances of extreme emotional tension. I gently brushed the light red smear of residual blood off her nose-lip cleft (an indentation I learned was called philtrum upon later googling) and knew that her nosebleed simultaneously confirmed our hunches and shook off our hesitations. After a few moments of silent calculation, our lips met again and explored the familiar anatomy that we both missed after four months of separation, until some racket from a band of communists outside the car interrupted us.

We watched as the procession of red-shirted student protesters (who shouted singsong chants that were surprisingly catchy) bearing loudspeakers, oust-the-president banners, crimson flags, guitars, and rabbit-toothed effigies paraded before us on their way to Congress. It took a few minutes before the street and the parking lot was quiet again. She suggested we go to Katipunan for dessert since classes were suspended anyway; I suggested we head home to beat the possibly horrendous traffic that might ensue any moment now. She pursed her lips and stared at me, thinking, and when I spoke of how I missed her baking and expressed my desire to taste her cakes once again, she made a cutesy face (which was something I always found annoying since it was superfluous) and consented, adding that she had missed my mom and would like to discuss food suggestions with her.

Mother was out and had gone to Makati, Gina, our household help, told us while closing the garage gate when we parked and we both immediately headed for the kitchen where I found her a familiar apron, which she tied over the waist of her high school uniform. There were not enough eggs, so the cake plan was aborted in favor of chocolate chip cookies. She did her thing, gliding and moving about in the kitchen, while I sat and watched her from a table and pretended to read Macario Sakay’s role in Philippine history. Despite the noise of clattering utensils and the dull sounds of her footwork and the occasional sneezes that she released due to flour inhalation, silence enveloped us, and I reflected (as she adjusted the knob at the oven) that if only it was like this every time then things would work out fine.

As the cookies baked in the oven, we drifted to the living room, where I slouched in the sofa, a glass of tomato juice in one hand, and watched her fingers pound the piano keys with quiet ferocity as she played a tune from an artist with a strange last name (a Regina something). She tossed her hair as she started another song, and when I noticed the outline of her bra under her white blouse, I stood and proceeded to the fridge and accidentally poured a copious amount of tomato juice in my glass. Her piano playing and my juice drinking were interrupted by the heavy drone of helicopters overhead, which told us that the presidential speech, something that I had to listen to for the history class, was about to begin.

We sat on the rug at the foot of my bed and I quietly munched on her cookies as we watched the presidential chopper land in Batasan. She told me she was taking weekly capoeira lessons since April, and I scoffed in disbelief and in my mind couldn’t come up with an image of her taking up any form of strenuous physical activity, and she rose and showed me some moves (which involved air kicks) to dispel my incredulity. Convinced, we were quiet again as we watched the president in her pink dress cheek-to-cheek-kiss a senator and other old ladies with heavily powdered faces. I told her a certain talent agent approached me last week and became a fan of my jaw, and she chuckled and smiled and allowed her fingers to wander in my face, an index finger gently resting between my jaw and cheek. I was finishing the last cookie as we followed with our eyes the president walking across the Congress aisle and up to the platform where the baronged house speaker and senate president awaited. With her finger tapping playfully on my cheek, she adjusted her posture and exposed her knee to my direction. Pretending to not have noticed, I quietly landed my hand on her knees and slowly inched my fingers up her skirt. My face felt red hot and my heart seemed to skip every other beat. The national anthem played on television and our lips and tongues were once again rediscovering each other. We quietly lost our virginity that afternoon amid the background of hovering chopper noises and presidential promises about inflation and agrarian reform.

Pretty Good Year

7 12 2008

I will take the sun in my mouth and leap into the ripe air, alive, with closed eyes.

– ee cummings by way of Bjork’s Sun in My Mouth

2008 has been more than kind to me: finishing MSc thesis, graduating on time, receiving PhD scholarship, passing exams, exploring Vietnam, Tunisia and Caramoan, celebrating 3-day birthday parties, drinking and eating nights away, discovering daily pleasures in books, films and music, and waking up everyday to the quiet delights of happiness. There is a lot to be grateful for and I am thankful.

Meanwhile, I had epiphanies on the drive back from Tagaytay yesterday early morning and on the train to Makati later yesterday that the scenarios I have imagined in my head for the past weeks now are simply not worth it. But then there is always the ‘you jump, I jump’ mentality, so I can never claim closure.

Finally, many thanks to those who helped make 5 Dec 2008 a wonderful day. The long list includes family, proximate and distant friends, past and present students, real-space and cyber greeters, Ms. Fonda and her boobs, and that high-note-hungry Pempengco girl. It’s too early to say that the above will soon be missed, but there you go.