Eye Makes [the] World Blind (Part II)

The first part, which I wrote on June 22, 2009, started with this line, “I am writing about a writer who writes about a writer dreaming about himself writing about his dreams.”

When I write, I just let my thoughts flow like running water. My mind wanders parallel to the turbulence of the flow; it squeezes freely into the spaces in between of the grains of sand. There’s no end. No boundaries. No direction of any sort. I even said in that note that, “…I find it strange that I don’t have the freedom to decide what my writer has to tell; nor do I have the liberty to design what my dreamer has to see.”

After reading it again after a year, I was greatly mystified by what I discovered.

Two things:

First, that this note I wrote on June 22, 2009 was actually my very existence today. Meaning, it was not meant to be written at that time. It never happened that time. It stupefies me that it’s happening just now, like a foretold story.

Second, that it was a complete reversal of what was actually real. The writer who was writing about his dreams (the 3rd layer existence) – who was being dreamed of by a writer (the 2nd layer existence) which the latter was finally being written by me (the projected “real” existence) – was actually the REAL thing.

I re-started writing about my dreams on July 26, 2010. A day before that, I found a book in Booksale Makati Square about the meaning of man’s existence and the ways of the subconscious. After flipping on some of its pages, I told myself I would write all my dreams again like I had done in high school and college days. When I made that decision, at dawn following that day I bought the book, I dreamed six different dreams. I remembered all of them. I grabbed my cellular phone and typed in the details. This practice has continued until today. I would wake up in the middle of the night and type my dreams in my cellular phone. Then, I would go back to sleep. And then, I would dream again and I would wake up again. And again, and again.

   *** *** ***

Time is not real. It has no dimension, no energy, no life. It is the trickiest magic of all. It does not exist. A very simple experiment would prove this right. Lock yourself in a room for how many “days”, without windows and clocks, just a constant light. For sure, in a “day” or “two”, you will still have a hint of the passing of “time”; but sooner, you will certainly lose track of it. If something were true like time, if it were a universal principle, then it should be applicable in all conditions.

What does it mean to accept that time does not really exist? When you believe that there is no time, you will have to admit that there is neither beginning nor end. It will argue with the conception of “creation” and “death”. It will change the meaning of living. That our existence is forever. That we are eternal.

When you go further, you will realize that matter is just like time – that in infinite terms, it does not exist. A very simple test would also prove this right. Get a high-powered microscope and look into you flesh. Zoom in a little. Zoom in more. You will see that your body is composed of atoms, and then, protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks…and then an empty “space”. Try to do this experiment using your Starbucks coffee or Nokia phone. Is it not perplexing that it is also composed of the same atoms…and then “space”?

You will realize that absolutely everything in this world is composed of that “space” – even the air we breathe and the soil we stand on. If you will zoom in everything all at once and view them right next to each other like arranging a puzzle, you will see that all is nothing but ONE single “space”. That we are all but ONE.

*** *** ***

Why do we look different then?

August 10, 2010

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Eye Makes [the] World Blind (Part I)

I am writing about a writer who writes about a writer dreaming about himself writing about his dreams.

To tell you, neither I nor any of the characters involved in this multi-layered plot can distinguish the real from the unreal. Even if I am the ultimate writer, it doesn’t add authority because my hands are cuffed, my eyes are covered with thick dark cloth, and my mind is wrapped all over in barbs. It is not easy to accept – and I find it strange – that I don’t have the freedom to decide what my writer has to tell; nor do I have the liberty to design what my dreamer has to see. This is a rare happening when and where I exist, at the least, only as a spectator like you and everybody else reading this story; and, at the most, a weaver of these narratives like myself at this very moment.

I don’t know how it goes. It is as though my writer has his own world entirely independent from mine. He breathes with his own lungs and thinks with his own mind. I can sense him sitting right next to me, dictating the words I should use, directing the flow, commanding the structure. I can even smell his breath and sweat like scents of any living soul.

Like when I breathe out at the height of my excitement.

Like when I sweat after a fervent love affair.

And my dreamer, my dreamer who writes about his dreams, also seems to exist separately from me and my writer. I don’t have any idea how he remembers his dreams and expresses them vividly as real as the fact that every living thing dies. Sometimes, I suspect that my writer and my dreamer connive. Do they communicate with each other more often than how frequently I speak with each of them? Do they share memories and hide those that they want to keep secretly? I wonder if they meet each other.

And if they do?

June 22, 09
12:10 am – 12:30am

ant in a glass of chocolate drink

She was nine years old and had thoughts and manners way ahead of her age.

She was introvert and despised mingling with other kids who had blunt and bloody lunchboxes, kept silly-dully stationeries, and boasted off horrible models of synthetic life forms like robots and dolls. To be fair, she didn’t hate those kids; only the thought of herself having or doing those same stupid things. Her attitude, her seeming loneliness, was as natural to her as the fact that every living thing dies.

The only person she was comfortable to talk with was her seatmate. She thought she didn’t need a lot of people to kill time with.

“Since you’re my seatmate and that left me with no other option – unless I tell our teacher you’re pissing me off, but that would sound rather unbelievable considering your submissive looks, I choose you to be my buddy.”

Seatmate, eyes on her, didn’t know what to say.

“One human being is enough to fool around with in this time-maneuvered decrepit world”, her mind spoke in silence.

So, that was it and that was all – she detested time. She was anti-time. She diminished it; abhorred, insulted, waged war against time. Her middle finger couldn’t resist erection every time it would mock her.

One morning, she asked her seatmate why people had invented time. “How did it evolve that it could be broken down to years and hours and seconds and what have fucking you? Who the hell made such ambiguous illusion like time? That person gets into my nerves!” Leaving these unanswered caused her painful recurring dreams.

Because of time, she lost the appetite to many different things. Like sports.

“The hell with bats or balls and cheer dancing.”

She didn’t make it a hobby to play any game like a child would. She didn’t even touch a single stone on the ground, nor kick them like how other children kick stones and roll them down the road from school to home. For her, “Only goofs fool the stones.” She felt humans should not step on the sensibilities of stones. “They have no lives as far as our science describes what life is. Don’t you think they are actually better off – having no life; thus, having no death?”

Seatmate said, “U-huh.”

On a Friday afternoon, when she and her seatmate were heading to their school, she got extremely disturbed thinking about stones again, that in their midst of utter silence, she suddenly yelled, “Why could people not understand stones?! What if they were in the stones’ position, would they enjoy being helplessly juggled out or thrown away for the rest of their lives? It makes me sick! It makes me sick thinking that scientists could have screwed up their research and that the stones are actually on a higher scale of evolution, so high they could exist in harmony and peace. And we, the poor human beings, are at the bottom. We are at the lowest point of this evolution that we could not even understand what happiness is and what matters most to us.”

Seatmate just bowed his head, looked at his feet, counted his steps.

She liked her seatmate because he never went against her, as if her seatmate didn’t even care of anything that she’d been saying. Like a human cardboard. And that’s the perfect person she wanted to get along with: a submissive human cardboard.

At a recess, while her seatmate was munching on his tuna sandwich, she asked him, “Why do we exist? Had our parents not made us, where do you think we’d have been? Why does a couple create babies in the first place?”

Her seatmate gulped and said, “They say because of love.”

“Because of love?! I can’t handle that absurdity. Do they even know what damn love is?! They say we were made out of love but look around buddy, everyone’s beheading roaches and ants, killing themselves and their children by smoking packs of cigarettes a day, kicking stones. Do you think that’s love? Is it love to give tremendous assignments to students like us, solving unreasonable equations and finding that arrogant missing x or writing What-I-Did-Last-Summer-Vacation over and over again? Do you think swallowing dick and semen is love, like what we overheard from the upper class?”

She demanded an overhaul of her being. “Why I couldn’t just be love? Just love. A pure concept. Why I couldn’t be a period? An information? The number 8? Gravity? Shadow? Nightmare?”

Pause.

“Buddy, why do we have form? I really hate symmetry. I hate physique. I don’t like my nose, my ears. Ears look weird, right? I don’t want to be distinguished. I hate our teacher calling my name! I don’t want my name being mentioned by someone, summoning me to answer and explain. I just want to think as if thinking is all that exists of me. I don’t want to see. I don’t want to hear. I don’t want to hear blow job or testosterone from upper classmen. I just want to be pure mind. Just mind.”

Silence.

“Do you think I am being unfair?”

No answer from her seatmate. He was just staring at an indefinite space, as if a daydream was drifting him away. Or probably he felt dizziness after eating a whole lot of sandwich. Little did he know that she was already crying. A cry that was so deep she couldn’t burst out with tears. It was so deep her sobbing and weeping couldn’t make any sound. But her gestures were enough for him to notice that she was crying.

She covered her face with her two hands. Then, she planted her face on the table with arms crossed in front of her dumped head.

“Don’t cry,” he said.

“That’s what I really like about you. You do not ask me why. You are just here. Your presence and absence comfort me.”

“It’s all that I can do.”

“I am crying because I didn’t ask for my life and I loathe my existence. I want to find my infinite nothingness, where I am sure I would find peace. I want to vanish like clouds – you look up and it’s there; and then at a second glance, you can’t find it anymore. It just disappeared somewhere, somehow.” She then raised her head and continued, “You know what, last night I dreamed of myself lurking in a place I couldn’t describe. In that dream, I had no senses at all – I didn’t have that senses of sight and touch and everything that picks up sensation or whatever. That’s why I didn’t know where I was or if I had a flesh like in real life. But my dream somehow suggested that I was not alone. So, I tried and tried until I was able to talk with someone in that place. I didn’t know if I used my mouth to speak words but it was like I was communicating through mind like telepathy. Then, when I awoke, I caught myself smiling. That was the first time I smiled.”

“Maybe there is a reason to your dream.” Seatmate offered her his hanky.

“Thank you. I feel much better now.” She remembered reading a book about life having a reason and shared with him the gist. “Reason? It says everything has a reason and its sweeping application makes it questionable to me. It is like believing in that miracle drug advertised on TV that can heal all the pains and illnesses. Do you think there is a reason to the ant drowned by the waves in the glass of your chocolate drink?”

Seatmate, sitting still, set his eyes on his chocolate drink. He wondered if the ant had really been swallowed within.

The bell alarmed which signaled the end of the break. The ringing was in high pitch that the music playing on a canteen’s stereo got inaudible. When the alarm stopped, Soul Asylum was heard singing, “It seems no one can help me now. I’m in too deep, there’s no way out. This time I have really led myself astray.”

01 March 2009

Dreams and Nothingness

“When I begin to be honest with myself and the world, the world laughs at me like I’m a stupid comedian. And I would feel betrayed. I am not nosy at all or the kind who meddles in somebody else’s stuff. You can take out a sample strand of my DNA and you will know that neither of which can be found in my nature. If you know me long enough, you will just utterly dismiss these presumptions. I don’t give a single word if I am not asked even if I am part of, say, a group discussion. And many times, even if I am obliged to participate and share my opinion, I would not say a thing. Or I would say a few words but I would only speak of something they’d be delighted to hear. So, it’s like I manufacture my words to fit their expectations. I am a pleaser in this regard. Don’t hate me for taking such course. It’s my way to cope with people who do not understand me. Because of past experiences, I learned that manner works best for all. You give what you get. As simple as that. Like when I start to speak of existence and love and faith – when I try to share my thoughts in my most honest way – they would laugh to death as if I cracked a phenomenal joke. Or they would stare blankly at me and would utter such boring, offensive “Okay.” Their faces would look like as if showing the combined feelings of confusion and contempt. Then, I would get the meaning that they either didn’t understand me or I appeared mockingly insane. And they would say I’m rather different. That extremely insults me. And it makes me sick because for one, I’m not trying to be different; and for the other, I am quite misunderstood. I’m trying to be myself but they could not see through me. Don’t get me wrong though. It doesn’t mean that I hate them for not seeing through me because after all, my heart longs for someone who has the same beats as mine.”

********

I slept.

If I remember it right, I was seven years old when I first dreamed of God. The setting was heaven; therefore, I was in heaven. Everything was white. It was like a place inside a cumulus or surrounded by thick vapor like that thing coming out from a kettle. All the people around were wearing white long dresses. I didn’t see myself in this dream; thus, I didn’t know what I wore. My perspective was like that of someone who was watching a movie – I was seeing what the camera lens was capturing when panned to one place and another. I still remember how God looked like in my dream. He (I’m sorry to use ‘he’ for purposes of simplicity) had no flesh, no dress, no shape. He was just a massive white light, oblong in shape with rays that cut through the eyes. I attempted to glance at him but I failed. The rays were so strong that I could not even peep on him. The general feeling was happiness. I felt very happy as a child.

Then, I dreamed again of divine beings in high school. Actually, that was in summer of 2000, after learning I passed the UPCAT. I can’t really remember the exact date. The setting was not heaven. It was more realistic. The location was here on Earth. This dream was so vivid. The setting was like the last week of the world. Each day depicted chaos – war, calamities, famine…you name it. On the seventh day, Jesus Christ went down from heaven – I supposed he came from heaven – like a feather slowly dropping, gliding through the currents of the air. He was escorted by two angels, both females, positioned on his right and left sides. Jesus Christ had a medium built, with long hair and fair skin. He was prettier than Brad Pitt or anyone considered the most beautiful man on Earth. He was wearing a blue and gold dress. The angels, who were also beautiful, wore the same. What happened next was that Jesus Christ and the angels stopped floating in front of the window of our house. He stretched his right hand and handed a rosary to me, as if asking me to pray.

On 27 January 2007, I dreamed of both God and Jesus Christ. Again, everything looked so real. I was in Quiapo. I saw a group of people and it looked like they were busy having bets on something. I was only a few feet away from the crowd when policemen suddenly came and ordered a raid on the crowd. They thought I was part of it and wanted to get hold of me. I ran from them without looking back. I ran as fast as I could. Then, I realized it was like dawn already shifting to sunrise. When the sun finally shone, surprisingly, I found myself surrounded by beautiful fields. I stopped running at this point. I walked around and the place was like vast fields with amazing slopes and fine bermuda grasses. Amazing sceneries everywhere. Then, while walking around, I saw a line of people a few steps from me. This part of the fields was decorated by different lights and colorful decors of different designs and sizes, as if there was a festival. When I was approaching the line, I saw a huge body of light from afar, glimmering with different colors. It’s like a rainbow of lights formed into a huge body of undefined shape. The closest thing I could think of was that it was like a huge amoeba emitting lights of rainbow colors. I recognized he was God because I knew in this dream that I had seen him already in my previous dream when I was a child, only that he was more colorful this time. While thinking of God and seeing him from afar, I felt I had no choice but to fall in line like what everyone did. We were entering a huge gate. I asked a lady in front of me where we were. She told me we’re at the AM/PM City, the city of no return. That day was January 18. We were all accompanied to a conference room and that guy told us we would be meeting the Big Boss. The conference room looked more of a college lecture room and I saw familiar faces (and I prefer not to mention them here). The Big Boss was already inside the room. He’s wearing a shirt (that formal type with long sleeves), slacks, and black shoes. When we were all set, he asked us, “What are the requirements of a 10 square meter lot?” We were all puzzled by the question. Then, he asked, “Are you all ready? Okay, let’s have a briefing.” By the time I saw the Big Boss, I knew and felt he was Jesus Christ. He passed around some pens and pieces of papers and instructed us to write down all the things that we could remember. While writing, he asked us, “Who wants to stay?” Everybody raised their hands except me. I could not say a yes and told them I had to go because my family and friends were waiting for me.

I awoke.

********

There’s no such thing as nothingness.

If so, what was there before the beginning? What was there before 14.5 billion years ago, before that event called the Big Bang?

Everything.

How can you be so certain?

Because logic dictates nothing exists outside of everything. Aristotle once said, “If we do think of what void is in its own right, it will turn out to deserve its name and to be really void!”

When you were a child and you complained to your mom “You’ve got nothing,” you only meant you didn’t have the capacity to own something at that moment. You probably meant you didn’t have a toy or a friend, but it didn’t mean there was no toy or a friend.

What is the point?

The point is, our definition of nothingness varies. It has some sort of leveling. But if we refer to its absolute meaning, then nothingness does not exist.

What if our logic is not always correct, that it is only applicable to some sets of orders?

We would know by then. Unless you provide me with specific sets of orders that are explained by different laws of nature, I’d prefer to stick to the logic all of us could understand.

Why don’t they have answers as to how life started? I mean, they have endless propositions but nothing stands so real that everyone can agree with. What was all there before life and what lies beyond?

Because most of us don’t listen to our hearts. We’re all too busy running after one thing and another. We’ve been slaves of time and yet we are not even sure what time means to us. Again, we are whole. We are everything. All the answers are within us. Nothing exists outside of the whole. We don’t need a scientist, a philosopher, a god to lead us to the discovery of the meaning of life, if that what bothers you at this moment. “Seek and you will find.” Why don’t you tell me your idea of heaven, of life, of death, of reality? What is time? What is love?

April 22, 2011

Otherselves

The siphoning of self into the streams of multiple and parallel existences is a conclusive, non-allegorical theory-to-practice ritual of the mind. This convergence creates and procreates unending possibilities – turning a grain of sand into Milky Way, putting war and peace together, making freedom tyrannical, singing Backstreet Boys after Bob Dylan after Velvet Underground after Nat King Cole, passion evolving into schizophrenia, dreams to hell… love, love, love.

Self is therefore a summation of otherselves.

There is a huge difference between the self who occupies the body and that self who lurks in the exchange of complex binary numbers that are used to build images as its flesh and bones. Sometimes, self tends to envy that self squeezed into the dark passages of metallic rods because that self is more aggressive than the self.

That self is truer than the summed up self.

That self is capable of kissing someone goodnight; or, perhaps, something wilder than a kiss. That self is brave enough to cry and laugh his ass off. That self can die infinitely; so, it also goes that he can live again and again forever. That self can be multi-billionaire and can book a travel to the moon. That self can have a heart of his own and can take it out when he’s tired of loving and hating and proving he’s worth. That self can be god.

Even if he’s just a member of otherselves, that self is more powerful than the self.

Self, the tangible self, the summed up self, is weaker. Self can only sing sad songs like that of Coldplay and Radiohead. He is very contained and claustrophobic and autistic and suicidal. Self is pathetic to death. Once he dies, it’s the end of him. No dot dot dot. Self can only scramble eggs and juggle two balls and he still finds them extremely exhausting. At night, he is blind and naughty. Self is vulnerable even if there’s no apparent reason. He’s highly susceptible to manipulation. The absence of truth drives him crazy. He’s a failure in all corners of the world. Angels have no mercy.

The perceived strength and boldness of self is a sophisticated reactionary device concealing the struggling core.

It is done.

June 9, 2009

My Petit-Bourgeois Love

When it comes to love, I’ve never been a proletarian.

I’m not excused from our comrades’ class analysis, recognizing the fact that it takes a lifetime or two to change petit-bourgeois consciousness. And so, there shouldn’t be a big fuss if I express a bit of romanticism and delve – quite rarely though, I must admit – into the pleasures of lumpenic deeds.

Decisions are always intrinsic. Choices are always a personal command. With all honesty, I try to reshape my own reality and keep up with the progressive thoughts and principles and theories and practices of our sacred struggles. I apologize if programmed relationships do not make any sense to me at this point. I feel it violates the natural flow of things. Nobody has ever offered me with a convincing meaning of love. How could we put a framework to something undefined like love?

Is it not counter-revolutionary?

To some extent, yes. Please give me time. Put me under cultural revolution. For as long as Katy Perry sings on stage, my petit-bourgeois love remains.

What if extend your love to the highest cause? You know what I mean? Will your notion be the same?

You won’t see the depths of my heart but if you will try to hear, the beats are always there, in rhyme with the revolution.

*** *** ***

We define love.

We call each other “baby” because we don’t care if it is mushy. The hell with what they say, those people have bad breath. We deleted our own Facebook accounts and created one for the two of us. We find happiness in changing our profile pictures every other day. Sometimes, it looks like we’re flirting or dancing or making faces. Many times, we pose like rockstars and pornstars. We’re not bothered at all. They’re just jealous in their own pathetic frame of mind.

I always put you on my status so that you’ll receive a notification and like it. I don’t care if nobody likes my status for as long as I see you there. You never put me down. Baby, it makes my day.

We are inseparable like a mixture creating a new substance. A new form. A new identity. Each of us gives meaning to each of us. We love each other more than we love each other. I am you and you are we. I am electron and you are proton. We are magnet’s opposite poles. We are the duality of nature. At the same time, we are the singularity of the universe. We make the world go round. “We’re the king and queen of hearts”. It’s not on our list of favorite songs but it’s rather pleasant to the ears. Cheesy, so what the freak?

When it rains, I hold the umbrella while you carry my things. When it’s sunny, I put a towel onto your back and you wipe away the pockets of sweat running down my nose. I take care of you, you carry my weights.

We make a good couple. They say we now look the same as a sign of real love and happy ending. I love these people; they’d surely go to heaven. Our eyes twinkle with the same glow and our lips fit perfectly every time we kiss. Our noses collide, creating sweet and romantic electric impulses. Our breasts pressed together keep us warm ‘till the break of dawn.

*** *** ***

I love you in a sentence:

I love you that my loneliness would trigger the explosion of nuclear plants and put an end to this world.

I love you that the gravity would go crazy and make everything dangle in space if we fall apart.

I love you that I could knock out Manny Pacquiao in one round should you break my heart.

I love you that I can reach the highest peak of the wavelength of energy.

I love you that I won’t be afraid anymore of that lady in Starbuck’s logo.

I love you that I won’t also be afraid anymore of the Baretto sisters.

I love you that I wouldn’t think of Angel Locsin in my fantasies.

I love you that I could explain the meaning of nothingness.

I love you that I can hide in a photon of light.

I love you that it doesn’t need a metaphor.

I love you that I cannot accept mediocrity.

I love you like a Friday night.

I love you like a revolution.

I love you like stargazings.

I love you like all there is.

I love you is a sentence.

Therefore:

I love you.

—————

May 8, 2011

Grunge

It is the stage of the wasted. The night of bleeding beer or scotch and the burning of our hearts in these nocturnal psychedelic pot hullabaloos. It is the time of our lives. The cursing off at the top of our lungs, the age when the use of the four-letter words is at the loveliest. F*ck. It is loveliest. Tonight, I am The Who and Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. You are Janis Joplin, my rock n’ roll.

I could really feel myself right now either headbangin’ or moshpittin’ or both, along with these Minneapolis kickasses from the Replacements to Soul Asylum to the Suicide Commandos. Smelling the collective addictive piss/pot/puke scents of Manhattan’s CBGB while Ramones or The Heartbreakers or the Voidoids are smashing the shit out of their guitars or drums or what-have-yous. Or freaking out with a peace sign at the wild helm of a crowd of 70s Bistro in Manila. I miss these days of disquiet, the mohawks and thrashing around and all these crazy, stupid get-ups. These days when I called the shots and when bravery was like accepting that I could be f*ckin’ dead at any moment of this generation without fear or regret.

And you look at me. Yes. Dammit, yes, you look at me, lovely b*tch. And your eyes, your eyes are saying let’s do it tonight. Your eyes are rounded and black and purple and are singing Velvet Underground’s After Hours. “Say hello to never,” I hear your eyes blabbing, sounds like alcoholic gulping. I would have kissed you right there and then but you were blabbling all those words. Hello to never. Hello.

2011

The Transcendental Window Cleaner and The Lady from Alpha Centauri

After college, there is no other practical choice left to a human being but work. That is just the way life evolves whether you’re poor or sexy or diagnosed with ADHD. You will be born. You will be bullied and you’ll retaliate by declaring war against your smaller, helpless peers. You will learn to mimic your playmates’ filthy habits like swallowing mucus running down their noses or catching a handful of fart and releasing and smacking it into someone else’s dumb face. Later on, you will appreciate music like that of Justin Bieber’s or whoever is topping the pop chart at the time of your life. (I realized, pop music is eternal. Probably, the only thing that exists forever aside from debt and pornography). You will be sent to a boring school to learn how to measure your penis or how girls should dispose of their wastes after their monthly period. You will earn a degree you don’t even know why you took it in the first place. You will work and put up a family. For some, family will come first.

This cycle is as though the sole blueprint of human existence, like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar or how your morning pee turns into gas and gets into the atmosphere to become rain and soup served at your supper. As early as 2 years old, you will be asked or – as what most likely happens to many – you will be conditioned to believe to become someone else, dream big, and learn to fly. You will fantasize on the idea of becoming a lawyer. Maybe a businessman. An engineer. A rockstar. An astronaut. A soldier. A hero. Whatever pieces of crap. You will shape yourself into a mould of another person’s stupid life or someone who lived like God. Eventually, you will surely fail and realize you dreamed an impossible dream because you don’t have the brains and guts. You will say they aren’t you afterall; those aren’t for you. Then, after wasting many years or more than half of your life, you will take the shot and begin from scratch and embark on a journey to knowing who you really are and what you really wanted. Some, who don’t have the courage to start all over again, will perish, will die. Perhaps, by blasting a gun into their temple or by simply lying on the bed and take overdose of drugs. Remember Kurt and Hendrix? Either way, recovered or gone insane, death is the end of story.

“To work is to live. It’s the way life is.”

“No. I think life is about getting to know yourself and the wonders of life itself. It doesn’t mean getting a job that pays a good amount of cash. Life does not mean owning 20 SUVs and mansions and one or two of the Caribbean islands. I reckon that when you get to the level that you can own a part of the world, it follows that you have already sold your soul. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life collecting someone else’s broken records or take care of a lot of mess and stress me out to death. I’m not up for that. I’m a simple guy. Just a place to sleep, money to buy food, and time to know the secrets of the universe.

“To love would be an accidental treat.”

His biggest dream was to become a window cleaner.

“When I got the job, I was like the happiest man. I was the enlightened Buddha. I am not that expressive so you won’t see hints on my face or gestures. But deep inside, I felt Nirvana. At that moment, it was the only truth in this world that mattered to me.

“I love this job because it allows me to express my true self. There are no pretentions. No obligations to others. No competition. On top of all, there is no politics involved which I despise the most. There is no other goal but to tidy up the windows. I don’t need any math or science or psychology and connections, all those complicated stuff. I just have to be present at the time and place required of me, bring my spray and towel to action. I fell in love with my job the first time I touched the window.

“I still remember vividly the first day I came into work. My shift started at 6:00 AM but I clocked in at 5:15 AM. The store supervisor explained to me that I won’t get paid by coming in early. I said, that’s perfectly fine. At first, she won’t even allow me to get inside but I insisted. Then, she briefed me of my tasks and explained the house rules. She showed me around. At exactly 6:00 AM, I went to the facilities corner, changed clothes, and packed with me a belt bag with my spray, hanky, scrub, and detergent. When the supervisor was talking to me earlier, my eyes were already surveying the store and picked the spot I would start my work on. It was the big sliding window that had no tint, near the front door. I went straight there and stood in front of the window glass. It was very messy as if someone threw up on it. The smell got implanted on my brain that every time I reminisce that very day, I smell Johnnie Walker. I touched the window and got thrilled and a current of tingling sensation flowed throughout my body like goose bumps.

“I was about to scrub the puke out when I spotted a fingerprint on the window. There was something on the fingerprint that made me feel a little nostalgic and animated at the same time. It’s a newly-discovered kind of feeling that was completely absurd. It hooked me up and found myself touching it as though I was the one who put the mark onto the window glass. I wondered whose print it was, which could only be from a 25-ish girl. That’s my strong gut feel. And my strong gut feel never lies. It gives me 100 percent accuracy. My right index finger was still pressed on her fingerprint when suddenly I felt it was sucking me in.”

Coldplay is singing Sparks from the scattered stereos installed at the ceiling. “But I promise you this, I’ll always look out for you. That’s what I’ll do.” From a distance, just outside the window, I see an old lady in bright red gown negotiating to cross the street. A delivery truck slows down a bit. It comes to a full stop at about 5 feet away from the poor lady. She points her fingers and seemingly curses at the driver. The driver doesn’t give a damn and continues on first gear with a smile on his face.

I inspect my right index for it is aching. I feel a gush of unbearable pain. All of a sudden, I pass out.

I have no idea how long time went by when I got my consciousness back. I can hardly even remember what happened. Earlier, if my memory serves me right, I was cleaning windows and daydreaming with an unknown 25-ish girl. Was it really a daydream? My gut’s not working with me anymore. At this condition, reality appears difficult to comprehend and I am getting terribly confused. At this moment, I no longer see myself talking to myself nor do I hear Coldplay and the beeps of the cars in the street just outside the store where I work. I can’t even describe where I am now. For one, I cannot see a thing. The place is completely dark, not even a tiny speck of light is seen anywhere. I blink my eyes and there is no difference between my eyes shut and wide open. All black and nothing else. For the other, when I try moving, I feel like I’m floating on a body of water. It’s crazy because I know my body is straightened out and there’s not a single drop of water splashing over me. So, why the hell I feel like I’m afloat somewhere? It’s like gravity is working against my will with a power similar to the buoyancy of water.

And I also can’t hear any bit of sound except the ringing in my ears.

July 14, 2012

The Mermaid Under the Sea and the Man Who Can’t Be Moved

When the sun sets, the skies turn red. This is the time of the year.

Every October, I feel suicidal. Many afternoons, I schedule myself for different self-made pilgrimages. I travel several places only to find perfect sites to see beautiful sunsets where and when I could take my life away. The urge is simple: when the sun completely digs itself into the horizon, turning off its every speck of light, I desire, at that holy moment, to bite the dust.

I have learned to love MRT’s Magallanes Station. Six years ago, I declared that it was my favorite train stop. I always use its staircase going up to the pedestrian bridge where people cross from east to west or vice-versa. It is always quiet there at the top and only a few people use this service path. I claim a spot there. Overlooking the merging skylines of Makati and Manila, I stand at the middle of the stretch, at the edge of the deck. Beneath is the MRT railway heading toward Taft Station. I stare at the sun sinking into the swelled up nimbus clouds. All of its rays disappear in no time. So, then, I bow my head and look down the railway. I tiptoe, hold the steel bars, and feel the wind that sweetly whispers, “Jump off.”

Boracay might be a little expensive, but it could be the ideal spot to say the last goodbye. Its appeal to lovers and their celebration of love is as equal as to killers and their drama of death. I don’t know how to swim but I can do the float trick. One afternoon, while most are busy parasailing and banana-boating and building sand castles or even real aspirations and goals and dreams, I set myself to sail through the countless waves that spark as if scattered diamonds that ripple away. Floating – therefore, facing upside-down, I see the heavens with changing colors of orange and red and purple and pink, as if the colors dance as they shift their hues. Not too long, the sun becomes as tiny as my iris until it finally hides itself from every business of men. The signal comes. The waves get stronger and stronger. My feet are strained. My body is tilted out of balance. My mind is ready. I swear, I love the feeling. There is a charming mermaid under the sea.

***

One October afternoon, he woke up and found himself alone. She left without a word. Not even with a break-up letter or text or whatever. She just left him with no apparent reason. The day before she left they had made love. They were a very happy couple. They were even playing the songmix game which they invented and which only the two of them knew how to play. He won and he won with this piece:

“The one that got away is the man who can’t be moved. Would he give up even if the stars wrecked his balls? Give him little bits of reason and he would found love in a hopeless place.”

The fact that they had made love the night before she ran away, which he felt was one of the best and most satisfying for both of them, notwithstanding all the fun and laughers that they had in a world they only knew… is mysteriously anomalous in itself.

October 27, 2013

The Fridge Meditation, Of Love and Faith

I open the fridge door; and facing it, I sit on the floor like Buddha.

It is 1:11 in the morning.

I stare at the cartons of juices and milk and bottles of beer and rotting blueberries and persimmons and different treats from different people who traveled places around the world. The truth is, my eyes aren’t moving at all, but that does not discount the fact that I am actually seeing these goods in front of me. I should say, however, that I am really not staring at any of these goods or surveying which ones look well and which ones are taken for granted, if that is at all the intention: I am staring blankly into the layers of spaces confronting me rather peacefully – either at the foreground of my trail of sight or at the depth of the background appearances illuminated by the faint light of this cold, big metal box.

The cold air running from the inside is slowly freed and no sooner have I felt it than realizing that my mind is not functioning as how it is supposed to: like my brain sending my body some signals, telling me I’m hungry or thirsty given that I have not yet eaten anything at all. (But it is not surprising, since my daily waking life revolves around irregular eating habits. My mind, though, is always quick to respond to tell me I am fine, that this is just another ordinary day, another passing time. My tummy does not ramble; ergo, I am not hungry. And I believe in my mind, because how could your mind lie to you?) The cold air, like December breeze, soothes me with indescribable comfort, to the effect that I feel like being summoned to stay absolutely still – just with the dim light, the coldness at this past midnight, and both the real and surreal spaces that disconnect me at times – like this very moment – from the objects of my reality.

                                                                      —–

“I miss you.”

She is looking at me while hearing me saying those words and then immediately puts her attention to the old couple at the park just outside the window where we are seated. I don’t know if she is happy to hear it, or if she feels annoyed, or if she just dismisses it like there’s nothing to it. For a very long time, I haven’t told her how I miss her that is why I have no clue how she takes my words. I also don’t understand myself why I suddenly miss her, which makes me question my very expression and how it registers to her. I’m afraid I’m confusing her – and myself, but that is the truth: I miss you, —.

I’m not sure. I have to assess myself where I’m coming from, where this feeling is coming from. Am I tired or stressed out (oh boy, yes!)? And could it be the reason? Are we not having some quality time lately – just the two of us? Do I like to start to have a family with you, raise kids and all that (somehow, I have entertained this idea seeing my friends having taken this next stage already)?

She always only carries a cheerful face with smiling eyes. That is the only emotion she wants the world to see. I seldom see her sad, lonely, sick, whatever. She is beautiful in and out and it makes me happy. Whenever I see her, I feel like I’m a stronger man. But, somehow, it concerns me, too. It concerns me because I want to see her pain if she is in pain or I want to see her struggling when she is struggling. I want her to know that I am here to carry some weight of the bad things she is going through. That is a necessary condition to reinforce my feelings for her and reveal and express my very nature as a man.

“I love you.”

Then she reaches my right hand with her left, opens it a finger at a time and then zips it close with her left hand.

                                                                      —–

My faith is neither based upon the allegiance to authority nor upon conformity to established belief systems. My faith is based upon my own experiences, the knowledge and wisdom I have gained over the years of my existence. For this reason, who will question my faith that is borne out of my own free will and independent consciousness? My faith follows the realities of freedom, justice, and love. My faith is alive like the beatings of my heart. It does not ask me to believe; it leads me to know. It is discerning and intuitive and, most of all, intelligent.

July 28, 2013