Thursday, July 25, 2013

Avoiding Life

Somebody wrote that abandoning a book is tantamount to heresy. I am among those who share this belief, and last weekend I dared to go even further: What if abandoning a book is not tantamount to heresy but not finishing it in one sitting is?

Last weekend I decided to reward myself, a reward that involved spending all of my waking hours with my nose in a book. It was like returning to those blissful days of childhood, when I never stopped reading--not even for food or sleep--until I reached the final page; when nothing really mattered beyond the pages of cherished books. While before I read just for the sheer pleasure of it, now it has become a means of avoiding life itself.  How true these words of W. Somerset Maugham are:

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge for almost all the miseries of life.”

Friday, July 12, 2013

Accosted by a Stranger

I was accosted by a stranger on my way to work this morning.  It made me realize how utterly powerless I am when faced with that kind of danger.

It happened at around 7 am in the overpass beside SM Sta Mesa. Following my usual morning route, I climbed the stairs of the overpass and when I reached the top of the stairs, I saw that lone man with his back to me standing by the wall of the overpass doing nothing. From afar the person already looked suspicious because nobody in his or her right mind would be gazing idly at the traffic along Aurora Boulevard while everybody else is rushing to start the day.

With my guard up, I hurriedly walked past him but he started to trail half a step behind me. I knew then that something’s terribly wrong. At the periphery of my focus I saw that his zip was undone and some skin is peeking through. When I reached the opposite end of the walkway, just before the stairs, he grabbed my left breast, so I screamed and he immediately let go. I went down the stairs and saw a group of police officers a few meters away to which I reported what happened.  

A bit shaken, I continued to walk while turning over in my mind what just happened. Was it my fault? Garbed in a basic black t-shirt with black skinny jeans and combat boots, I was showing neither cleavage nor legs that time - nothing really provocative. Maybe my being alone was invitation enough for the man.  Could I have done something differently to prevent that from happening? I mulled over the things that I did, but I realized that the question itself is irrelevant. I should be thinking of ways to keep myself safe, instead.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I just wanted out

I think there must be probably different types of suicides. I'm not one of the self-hating ones. The type of like "I'm shit and the world'd be better off without poor me" type that says that but also imagines what everybody'll say at their funeral. I've met types like that on wards. Poor-me- I-hate-me-punish-me-come-to-my-funeral. Then they show you a 20 X 25 glossy of their dead cat. It's all self-pity bullshit. It's bullshit. I didn't have any special grudges. I didn't fail an exam or get dumped by anybody. All these types. Hurt themselves….I didn't want to especially hurt myself. Or like punish. I don't hate myself. I just wanted out. I didn't want to play anymore is all.

~David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, 1996

Monday, July 1, 2013

Road Trip to Potipot Island, Zambales

P.S. The sun came out the third day and we finally made it to the island we came for.