Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shut up. Listen.

"If that illusion is indistinguishable from reality..we have no choice but to accept it as reality and deal with it as best we can. Otherwise, we might as well sit in a corner, doubt the existence of everything and nothing." Jadzia Dax, Star Trek DS9:Inferno, by Judith Reeves-Stevens
I don’t know that I can but I will sing. I hated music when I was growing up because my two villainous sisters just loved drowning the conversations in Bioman or Astroboy or Shaider with the radio. TV was my world and music was theirs. Growing up in my corner of the world where MTV couldn’t conquer till much later, music and TV never went together, specially when stereos had bigger speakers that they seemed to reach into all the rooms of the household. Not only that I was the youngest of three siblings, I was also outnumbered in terms of preferred kind of entertainment. I learned to control my rage.

I grew up. In addition to hating music, I hated academics. I hated routines. I hated whatever was impractical. I couldn’t understand why I had to measure the shadow of the flagpole and the angle of the sun to figure out how high the flag actually was. I didn’t think I’d spend my life trying to find out how high a damned thing is, though I might want to pull it down to earth, exactly like what I’d want to do with the stars. But I loved the stage. I’d like to think I spent more time on stage listening to myself talk and to applause than in classrooms with no decent air-conditioning systems.

I grew up some more. Now, I don’t hear anyone clapping. I’m doing my fcuking best okay so gimme a standing ovation.

I went out with some friends one time and saw this idiot twit who went on stage to jam with the band. He delivered. The mob rose to a mindless applause. And I clapped.

The world is different now. I still need to be on a stage but I gotta play a different game. I have to sing and I can’t do it out of pitch.

I need the applause.

Monday, July 21, 2008

And it was loud

Rewind to 10 years ago. Just before midnight…

Cut classes. Slept till after sunset. Again. Had more that enough sleep but somehow, I don’t feel rested. My hands shake as I turn the shower knob. It might be the hangover. It might be my turbulent mind. It might be the hormones playing with my insides. I’m 17 years old and I don’t know what to make of my life. Bullsh!t, not this demon of a thought again.

I get off of the shower after infinity has passed. I’m dripping wet. I light a stick for supper and stare at the mirror. I look good enough to eat. That’s the ego talking. I don’t mind. I force my hands through my closet and grab something to wear. I put on my windbreaker. It’s a slow night. I get out of my pad and I’m greeted by a full moon and a cold breeze. Nice.

I walk four blocks to the convenience store and get a six-pack. I’m starting to relax. It’s going to be okay. I’m young. I have demons in my head but my brain works, and not always in fcuked up ways. I’m alive.

My feet take me to a bridge for some reason. I sit on the edge, my feet dangling 30 meters above a loudly gushing, murky river. It might be the sewers. Who am I to decide what it is? I cut classes again.

I open another can. Decadence. But hell, it’s going to be okay. It’s a breezy night, I’m young, I’m alive.

Suddenly, I hear the sound of thunder.


"I followed all the rules; man's, God's - and you... you followed none of them. But they loved you more [...] even my own wife." Alfred Ludlow, Legends of the Fall, by Edward Zwick and David Wagreich

“Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.” Gone With The Wind, by Margarette Mitchell
Life: Call it sh!t - it's one of the few words that cause more than a little uproar. It couldn't get any better even if you sprayed it with perfume. The smell is masked but the sick truth holds: it stinks.

Like Alice, sometimes you gotta run twice as fast to stay in place. Kick some butt and though sometimes you couldn't exactly say there'd be hell to pay, payback comes in fcuked up terms. Save someone else's neck but get real. You don't pull off anything that sticks to you except that you dished out that generosity you want given to yourself.

Life has a retarded sense of humor. Cut yourself a little slack and when you get back to reality, you discover that reality still bites. And it chews.

Get back at it. It might make a Sisyphus out of you but keep pushing the boulder, damnit. Don't be a wuss. Stick up the middle finger and shove it at reality's face like some power ammo. You can't ever really fight back against the indifference the universe puts up but it's a way of saying, "Here I am, still alive and thrashing about." You can't piss life the way it pisses you but you can always try.

Don't complain; that's useless. It will always be that way. That's how the world works. If the universe listened to prayers, man wouldn't have been created. Life is a screwed up game where everything is priced higher than what it's worth. That means you can't win anyhow. It sucks, but the real loser is the one who quits. It's premature, shamelessly dramatic and unpardonably ugly. Grab a beer, get back at life, stick up the middle finger, and get the most out of it even if it means you gotta wear your butt out but don't complain because in the first place, nobody ever said that life is fair.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Are You Alive?

"Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil. Conscience is the trade name of the firm." Sir Henry Wotton, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

"It's not safe out here! It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." Q, Star Trek: The Next Generation, by Gene Roddenberry

"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it." Ricky Fitts, American Beauty, by Sam Mendes
“The red pill or the blue pill?” Modern placebo. I'll take both, let’s see what happens. That's the postmodern attitude... Don't ask me, I don't know what that means.

I don’t make sense. The world doesn’t either. The only time it does is when living becomes too much of a damn paradise that you scream so hard your throat starts to burn and your teeth shoot out gunning down whoever's in the trajectory. That might never happen.

You wouldn't know if you didn’t try everything. Explore. Take the adventure. Please the senses. If you missed out on something, it might never happen again and it'd be your goddamn fault.

Just do it. Don't be afraid. Sin is a manmade construct. It's weak like flesh when it's dead and rotting. Pleasure isn't. It's more than an idea. It's solid. It's a hardcore legacy from those awesome beasts we now call humans. If you gotta be scared, be scared of getting stuck, of uselessness, of death. If you’ve always been scared, there's no use being afraid of death. You were never alive to begin with.

Cheap, but I won't buy it

Yuppies. Who do they think they are?

Young urban professionals. I doubt that they know the etymology. Most of them aren’t bright. They’re just deluded. They think they’re on top of their class; most of them aren’t. They think that by being able to say the word Proactive, everybody must be impressed. I’m not. It isn’t an IQ or economic status determinant. Lately, it has come to equate with pretentiousness.

To them and their fellow decadents, it is a matter of fact that a yuppie is richer, hipper, and more technologically savvy than his average contemporaries - hence, more worthy of respect. Let me educate you: the yuppie came into being in America in the early 1980s post Vietnam War period, which ushered the end of radical idealism. It was replaced by materialism. The yuppie philosophy dictates that one must succeed at all costs. A yuppie can be dumb, previously without taste, and ill-bred as long as he works for a call center even when that call center is after cheap labor instead of what is grammatically correct. His employment doesn’t prove anything. A yuppie can be ugly and inept as long as he is a sucker who can suck up to his Ayala and Ortigas bosses and wipe their butts. His corporate wardrobe doesn’t prove anything. A yuppie can be well over his 30s as long as he has the nerve or shamelessness to deny the obvious and has a car he is willing to starve for even if he can’t afford to buy gas or pay a parking fee. Put more simply and in words succinct enough for them to understand, a yuppie is a pretentious jerk and a useless tissue matter. I’m sorry, are the words Useless and Jerk redundant? Go figure. There’s a thing called dictionary. Just an advice: that’s called dictionary and it isn’t a substitute for the head.

Drink Me

Understand that I don’t drink to prove how tough I am. Understand that I don’t drink to count with my bottles the number of girls I currently date. Understand that I don’t drink to prove I can topple everyone and sweep them under the table like some broken glass. I drink because I want to and I’m not out to prove anything. You wanna prove something. That’s you. That’s bullsh!t.

Who says drinking is a "guy thing?" I have a girl friend who can guzzle up three bottles of tequila and still pronounce the longest word in the dictionary without faltering. I bet you don’t even know what that is. She isn’t masculine. Take the number of girls charmed by your conscious effort at whatever a "guy thing" is, and the number of guys drawn to her charm. You lose. You try to compensate with alcohol. Wake up: it doesn't work that way.

Mine is bigger than your average dick and I can finish three six-packs while you eat supper and still be able to walk two miles for another round from 7-Eleven. By the time I’m having that next round, I’ll sing you an R&B hitting the right notes all the time. I don’t intend to prove anything but you must be told: if you measure yourself by the number of bottles you can empty, you’re nothing but bottle. You’re on the edge alright. When given a bit of a push, you crash down to smithereens. Pull yourself together, assh0le. Tell me you can finish 10 mucho mugs but frankly my dear, you aren’t quite the macho you fantasize to be.


1) Sam Milby’s smile or his approximation thereof.
2) Foreigners acting like they own my country and countrymen who make them feel that way.
3) People airing their misfortunes and blaming it all on the President as though she is solely responsible for that feature of existence called life.
4) Evangelists who practically say you will go to hell assh0le if you don’t join them.
5) MRT/LRT Escalators that won’t work and those able-bodied beggars at the foot of the stairs.
6) Noontime shows whose hosts scream in pretended joy, and goad their contestants to reveal their darkest sorrows squeezing every bit of a tear for the public to see.
7) Sappy and self-important commercials.
8) Local brands of that stuff they call corned beef.
9) Cabbies that reason out - once they open their mouths, you are bound to hear something that will ruin your day.
10) That mountain at the corner of my room called laundry.
11) Friends’ parents who assume that you’re the keeper of their child when out of sight.
12) Call center dweebs in their fake subtlety in assuring everybody that they do work for a call center.
13) Nursing students assuring everybody that they do know the medical field.
14) People who assert their intelligence by quoting (and misquoting) textbook.
15) Loudmouthed moviegoers and those who’d rather text than understand a plot.
16) Hollywood flicks that are more like loud music videos or video games.
17) Novelty songs as muzak in PUVs and malls and restaurants but thankfully are diminishing in airplay.
18) Karaoke patrons who understand singing as a style of reading in various forms of loudness.
19) Aired singing competitions whose contestants can’t sing.
20) Has-beens staging concerts in the P.I. (a marketing strategy I know but it just makes them look like malcontent suckers).
21) Rock bands who insist that rock is all about shouting.
22) Boy bands who call their music non-pop and respectable.
23) Girls who believe they’re cool because they smoke.
24) Guys who believe they’re cool because they drive.
25) Girls who think they’re gorgeous because they have boyfriends, vice versa.
26) Girls who pretend they’re drunk then ask favors and losers who proudly oblige.
27) Girls who think they’re sexy because they drink tequila.
28) Guys who think they’re “the man” because they drink, period.
29) The terrible price of beer in better bars and restos.
30) People with MP3 players who wear their little gadgets like jewelry.
31) Nokia for giving the market a headache about whatmodelthis and whatmodelthat toys (they don’t look like cellphones to me).
32) Forwarded messages that flood the inbox with jokes that aren’t in the least bit funny.
33) Forwarded messages that fcuking promise the worse if not forwarded more.
34) MS Word’s grammar checker, which insists that my spelling is wrong and underlines most of the above items for correction unless they are bulleted.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It eats the brain like a carnivorous worm. It feeds as if it will never feed again. Self-preservation. It devours reason as if it’s on a dreadfully strict diet when it could feed on humor instead. But that could be worse. Rob me off of my sanity, but let me be happy.

I’ll flick it off if I could. Stick it to the hinges of my bedroom door before I step out and bang it shut. Mash it with a flip flop until it seeps through the wooden floor and stinks.

Let it hold the reigns and it will drive you to the farthest and most impertinent paths in swift movements where your sanity is jettisoned like empty wooden boxes. It’s worse than nicotine. Worse than alcohol. Worse than a drug. It’s a recurring headache for which you won’t take medicine.

It’s not that you like it for all your denied masochistic tendencies. You will compromise yourself, commit to something you know is dangerous to start with, wish for the best and hope that your feelings and time and attention are requited. Nothing really happens to smash your expectations but for some bizarre reason, the worm feeds again.


I’ll shout your name but I won’t say I’ll remember it. I’ll take it as it is. But to begin with, I have to know what this is. I’ll find out.

Do you think it would matter to me if I found out this isn’t real? Do you think this is my world? Do you think that I bleed? The question really is, do you think?

I do.

I drink, I smoke, I breathe. I sleep, I get up, I move, I run. I’m messed, I’m jaded, I throw up, I call you, but you need to know that whether or not you come, I’ll live and won’t run after you if it were up to me. I know that I’m alive although you may not, but don’t dare tell me you don’t know that I feel. I’ve shown enough. Would you ask for more?

I’m messed. How do you like it? Give me the freedom to assume you are hooked. Then give me the freedom to think that this is all a bad game. Now think.

How do you know that it has become real? Or should I even ask? Are you interested to find out? Or is that too heavy for your head?

I know you’d rather sleep. With all the places we went to and the things we had to deal with, you’re tired. It’s been another day. Go to bed now. Close your eyes and forget. We’ll play again soon. We have the reason to. Give me the privilege to assume that you made sure of it.

Go to bed now and tomorrow when you wake up, wake up to Monday as if it were any other day because the sun will shine on you like it always does, you get up and hit the shower, drink a glass of water and before you put on your shirt, light a stick and think about your neat little game. You may think about your next move and think about me in it, if you so choose, if you think at all, but just before you step right out of that door, you will stand before the mirror. You will look at the reflection but do not be surprised if – with all your presumptions about who’s in control – it will be me that you see.

Then I’ll hear you call my name.

My Name Is Bitch

Look at me. I am young and I am free; it doesn’t matter what I do with my face to make it look fairer, it doesn’t matter that I can’t buy a plane ticket when I want to get away – I give the impression. I will talk as if I am on top of the world while you sit here right beside me. The wind blows. Listen. Until you feel you know me.

We’ll go somewhere else. You will want to take me everywhere. Let’s play. The world is a pretty big place but I will talk to you until you feel you are my world. Talk to me. You won’t catch my eyes but you will feel you know me. You will feel like you own me.

I was a mess. I am a freak. But dress me up. Feed me. Show me off. I won’t be the prettiest face they’ve seen. I won’t be the biggest happening they’ve been to. But I could make it happen for you. Buy me.

I’ll mess with your head. I’ll be your poison. I can become your addictive reason when reason could no longer stand upright. I will tell you to fight for me when you are confused. I will tell you I’ll be there. I will tell you so many things whispering softly in your ear until it bleeds, until it becomes too loud to listen, until you’re no longer happy.

Feed on me. It’s unhealthy but you won’t believe it. You’re scared now. Believe it but you won’t do anything about it. There will be nothing else left to believe in… when you know me.

I’ll keep talking until you no longer know me. Then you’ll start questioning yourself.

You don’t know what I do at night when you’re not watching. It doesn’t matter if I go out dancing, or go on dancing in my head. It means the same thing. In both instances, I tell you: you’d rather be somewhere else.

But you’re still here even as you want to go places, want to dance, want to sing, want to scream, want to win, want to own me because suddenly, you’re wanting again with that intensity of purpose that was lost in you some time ago, somehow. You’re here anyway and you can’t stop yourself from drinking me in as if I were your salvation because face it, I move you, I make you feel, I seize your head, I mess your life when in that instance before I came along, there was nothing in you worth messing. I gave you that. Even as you do not know who I am, you know what to call me. You know how I taste like. Eat me.

And when I leave, you will punch the wall until your knuckles fall off. But don’t. Punch yourself. Bleed. You let me in.

And when everything turns red, shout my name.