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

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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