Thursday, May 31, 2007

Inescapable Parts of Life

Thursday, May 31, 2007

There are instances that I find onerous and annoying but are inescapable parts of life that I might as well learn to deal with.

  • Making small-talk. Coming up with appropriate chitchat is such a taxing task for me. It feels a bit phony to me. In a situation that requires small-talk, I always end up wracking my brains for politically correct, bland yet pleasant things to say. For some, the safest topics of chitchat are the weather, what province the person came from, and other infinitely boring stuff. Far worse than small talk is drivel. Can people not just tolerate silence when there is nothing senseful to be said, that they end up talking about nonsense? Can verbal diarrhea be cured?
  • Hearing “The number you had dialed cannot be reached. The number you dialed is either unattended or out of coverage area”. Isn’t it irritating to call someone and instead of hearing his or her voice, you hear those words in that unnaturally neutral tone? Out of frustration (or the neurotic me taking over) from several unsuccessful attempts to be connected, sometimes I hear mocking overtones in that voice and it makes me want to tell her to just shut up (if only she can hear me)!
  • Bad breath. I don’t think anyone can tolerate this. Toothbrushes, toothpastes, dental floss, mouth wash, mint candies, breath fresheners, and dentists were not invented for nothing.
  • Bars and everything that go with it. The smoke. The noise. The hubris-filled drunks. The crowd. All that shouting to get one’s voice heard. The smelly comfort rooms. The groping. The puking. The morning after.
  • Break ups, whether mine or others'. I used to believe in stuff like marriages-made-in-heaven, living-happily-ever-after, love-is-all-that-matters, and love-never-dies. The ubiquitous implosion of relationships has made me question those beliefs. No matter how intense the emotions expressed, or strong we hold on to a relationship, or how much of ourselves we give, sometimes relationships still end.
  • Men who cheat. Or women, for that matter. They make a mockery of human feeling and they make my skin crawl. I know i sound too judgmental. I'm speaking from the pain of being cheated on.

Assailing a Mango

How can you claim him when you know, deep down, that his heart belongs to someone else? Did you ever wonder about all those calls that have never been returned, all those messages that have been merely ignored? You assume that he’s busy – but with what? Or with whom? How can you not look at the mirror and compare yourself with her, knowing that you have nothing to offer to him that she, herself, has not given already? How can you not see all the questionable things and the grey areas he never bothered to explain? C’mon, woman, open your eyes. How terribly self-deluded are you to assert that he is faithful to you? How on earth did you convince yourself that he is committed to you when you know with certainty that he never made such commitment? She was already introduced to his parents and his siblings? Were you ever? Have you built a bond with the people dearest to him, like she has? How can you bear the thought that hers is the voice that he longs for and not yours? Are you aware that she was the one he called last before he left and the one he called first when he arrived? How can you sleep at night knowing that every night he dreams of sleeping in her arms? How can you be proud when her finger wears his ring, and not yours? Can you continue loving him like what she has been doing – given all his faults and the painful knowledge that other women like you exist in his life? How can you compete with their history together – how their lives have been intertwined by years of sacrifice, of struggling together, and sharing the seemingly mundane yet intricate details of daily life? How can you hold on when you know that he was never yours to lose?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Brownout Induced Writing

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
It’s a minute to nine pm. Electricity’s been out for more than an hour now. I was on page two hundred nine of John Fowle’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman when the lights went out, leaving me with the passage “..male vanity lies in being obeyed; female, in using obedience to have the ultimate victory” hanging in my head. As I put on more decent clothes, laughing quietly to myself, oh yes, I am so guilty of that. Then I went out of my apartment to check how things are. I saw the corridor littered with people – some condo unit owners are using the hallway outlets to charge their phones, a number of children are playing with blocks, one woman is sitting on the floor, furiously typing on her laptop, with open books surrounding her (What could she be working on? I wondered. School hasn’t started yet. Must be stuff from work.) Going back inside, I asked myself, what do I do now? I contemplated sleeping, but I’m still too hyped up for that. I reached for my phone for some sms action, then suddenly realized that there’s nobody out there - except for my mother and my sister - who would give a damn about my situation. Tonight’s darkness threw a strong light on the absence of a significant other who I am significant to. Remembering the passage earlier, I thought, there is no one to be obedient to.

Drenched in sweat and convincing myself not to let gloom enfold the night but to take pleasure in it, with a pair of candles as the sole source of light, I began to write.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spinster Sisters

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sunshine Lunch was our watering hole and chicken mami was our chicken soup for the soul. Endless and to-the-last-minutest-detail conversations about the inane and the profound, we found gratifyingly therapeutic. My overly complicated romantic attachments and her lack of any are the perpetual topics of these conversations – both face-to-face-actual and online-virtual.

In this vastly standardized cultural prairie, we bring jologs-ness and baduy-ness to a whole new level. As unashamed high-maintenance kikay ladies, we embrace “all for the beauty” and “always go for the classics” as our battle cries. Reverent of the Ilocano dialect, we are forever awed by the beauty of such words like gurabis, naikaglis/naidugmam, and tagbat/bagsol.




























As self-proclaimed spinster s
isters, we dread incipient spinsterhood and yearn for that one true love yet have the character and personality to make it a non-issue.

Distance now keeps us apart but spinster sisters we remain, still.

Friday, May 25, 2007

a healing and a wounding

Friday, May 25, 2007

I never had the ability to keep sorrow to myself. Whenever something bothers me, I have to write everything down. The compulsion to write is always there, even if words oftentimes fail me. Writing has always been a source of solace to me - the exacting struggle of expressing my deepest feelings clears my mind and detaches me emotionally. My previous blog is a result of my waking up alone every day, embittered and slightly dazed, struggling to ignore the presence of pain yet assailing the source of it with subtle but stinging words. It was both a healing and a wounding - a way to exhume and bury memories, unabashed hopes and unassuaged dreams; a way to break away from the spell of despondency.
 
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