This post was supposed to be about James Dean

When I was younger, I thought that being 20-something was a ‘big’ thing.  Like a notable era in a vast alley of history such that being in your 20-something is like being in Martial Law in the 1970s or being in the Renaissance in the 15th century.

Years passed and here I am in my matchbox apartment, downing a pack of instant noodles, and experiencing being 20-something at its best.

Or at its worst.

Or maybe both.

You see, being 20-something is a double-edged sword. Everyone thinks you are too young to do this, but too old not to do that. The 20-something stage puts pressure on your shoulder to accomplish great things worthy of telling when your aged and hoary; but it also gives you the best (and maybe lamest) excuse when you fail to make one—that you are too young.

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June

And half of the year whizzed by just. like. that.

It’s funny how I stopped writing here because I got a job as a ‘writer’. 

Last weekend was one of the lamest weekends (save for meeting up with Leyn) I’ve had in years. I spent two days tucked inside the blanket, delaying laundry tasks, and figuring out the best hot spot for wi-fi in my tiny apartment. There were so many things to do–I could finish Palahniuk, write my exclusives, sort out work emails, respond to people, etcetera–but I did what I do best: slack the fuck up.

An idea also struck me last weekend. It’s still a fetus idea–fatal and fragile in all aspects–but I plan to make something out of it. Scanning through old folders in my computer, I realized I spent most of the ‘writing’ hours on fragments, introduction, and unfinished letters. Here are some excerpts from letters that were never sent:

Excerpt One:

To D:

While I saw it coming, I’d have to say that everything went quite abrupt. Not that it surprised me; but I just think something was off with the way DMG let me go.

But first let me explain my side on that “last straw.” 

Excerpt Two: 

Dear M:

When I said I had feelings I meant I was in love with you; when I said I wanted to you to let me go, it meant I wanted you to give me a reason to stay. When I said I wanted to burn bridges, it meant getting over you will take a really long time and there’ll be nights I’d spend crying.

Three Months

Three months. Probably the longest time this blog has been put on hold.

What could ever happen in three months?

Probably enough time to learn the basics of playing a guitar. Or brushing up your Spanish you first learned in college. Or mastering the art of breaking an egg in between your middle finger and thumb. Or knowing that breaking one is art in the first place.

Or piling up requirements for grad school, scrambling for recommendations, submitting late because you were never on time. Never.

Three months is enough to quit a job, sulk in a corner, and stalk people you knew and how life seemed pretty good at them. Or how ‘pretty’ and ‘you’ can never be in one sentence.

Or maybe three months will do for a much-deserved, your words, sleep. It’s like trying to get even with those days you spent without a hint of sleep. In college, when you were cramming your thesis. In life, when the guy you thought you loved broke your heart. As if you can take the train back to the past, blot a white ink on your mistakes, and do the same mistakes when you’re sane and okay again. As if you can do that.

Three months. Enough to discover a quaint coffee shop three corners from where you work, never missing an afternoon spent with the bitter aroma of espresso, loving it so much that you get used to it all to soon, realizing that after all, maybe, you don’t like it that much.

Some sappy movie told you that there are people who are only better at first-time encounters.

You are good at staying–for three months.

Three months. Quite adequate to know someone; but maybe not long enough to hang in there for a little more time.

(Post within a post)

Copy-pasting some random blabberies i wrote when i was jobless and had no internet connection. Things tilted a bit since i wrote this–for better or for worse, I still have to figure.

This, Again

Three words to summarize this year—just another cycle. I guess that’s what we are most afraid of: repetition. We are afraid to make the same fall again, in the same breath, in the same frame. Our appetite for repetition is our double-edged sword. We learn things through exposure—habits, routines, osmosis–stuff like that. By the same token, we make ourselves susceptible to fucking up because we are used to it. ‘Immunity’ is one word that comes to mind. And this year has been about that: failing, indulging in some hope, getting some things done, setting everything half-baked, and then failing all the same. In the same breath, in the same frame.

My nine-month love-hate affair with my day job ended in November. While I saw it coming, I have to admit the conclusion was quite abrupt. One simply does not get jobless when bills are piling up and there’s a grumpy landlady ready to knock on the door every end of the month. Not when Christmas is just around the corner, not when everybody is rumbling about their 13th month pay. Here’s the thing, for nine months I chose to stick with my low-paying job because I thought something bigger might happen along the way. There were days when I would spend more than I would earn–but that was okay, because someone in the office said something like “sacrifice.” I had my mishaps and shortcomings which I tried to counter in the most beneficial way I could. But as I would relate to my friends in the most subtle way possible, there was just no reciprocity of investments on both ends. Someone drew the last straw, someone had to leave. Parting ways with that job is not really about stripping myself off of a title. Who cares if I turned from being the Cyber Account Marketing Strategist to the Nap and Laundry Projects Coordinator? Parting with that day job actually means saying goodbye to 9-am MRT jam, solemn walks on the bridge way, presentation jitters, and coffee jelly in Ministop. See? Routines cause us emotional baggage that should not be there in the first place. So here I am, stuck with my bed undone, gorging on a canned tuna and daydreaming with my embryonic hope.

They say, between love and career, only one is to survive. I do not know what happened to me but I fuck up on both. The guy who makes me smile a sheepish smile at the oddest hours is the same guy who caused my bulging black eye bags. Tears have a habit of making out with sleepless nights, I say. It has been an on and off relationship with B; sometimes I think it’s worth it while most of the time I think it’s suicide. There’s only one thing I realized in this—that the only time you can say that you’ve moved on is when the former flame comes back to you, begs you with let’s-start-again-and-i-missed-you’s pegged a la One More Chance and all you feel is nothing. Not a thing. Probably not a tinge of elation. Not that feeling you get when he texts you to come over and you turn up in no time ditching your biggest presentation for the next day just to be with him despite, and maybe because of the consequences. When one more chance is not worth a second thought, you have moved on. I was one hair strand away from completely moving on but when B came back—poof! I could have as well prepared confetti and balloons just to welcome him back. But I am in love so what the heck.

Two years ago, I was jobless. Two years after, I still am. Three years ago, I thought I was in love with B. Three years after, I know for certain that I am. Sure, life happened in between and under—I got a job, flirted with other boys, did rackets, and almost made out at the movie house–but things are the same. Going back to square one is becoming a habit.

I am in this, again. Maybe it’s time to create my own version of pitfall.

Leaving and other sessions

Leaving and Other Sessions

It was her 5th nap of the day. Her rumbling stomach—satisfied by a trip to the convenience store this lunch—woke her up. Eating, unlike other days, had been more of a necessity than a whim. Waking up, on the other hand, had been more like a choice than a routine. Days like this gave her the benefit of choosing when to wake up, where to wake up.

She finished half of her beer the day her day job walked out on her. On happier days, she could finish half a case—even better when prodded by a good company, greener jokes, and fake guts. On drunker days, everything is magnified: punchlines are funnier, friends are dirtier, and everything else, including the sentiments some try to nurse, becomes an open wound wanting to be healed by brewed malt. She thought she could trade one day of soberness for one bottle of beer. (She doesn’t need much of it anyway.)

The weather in the city is a combination of tasteless smell, cold breeze, and polite gestures of TVCs urging dwellers to worm through the malls and waste money. Christmas has been a favourite season. Everything else changed when her dad passed away.

Computer shops, to her surprise, still existed. Oftentimes, she’d found herself sandwiched between a high school kid playing video games and a middle-aged woman logged on to Skype. It had been two weeks since her internet connection at home had been cut. Friends, those that she shares intangible elements with, had been tossing out guesses in her absence. Some hypothesized death (dark humour, she believed), some thought elopement, while others, the ones closest to her, knew it was just one of those days when she would disappear without goodbye. Sometimes, absence has a way of knowing who remembers.

Leaving had been a habit—a dangerous one, to some extent. Alternating her routes in an attempt to avoid some people proved to be the best antidote. For the past years, her life had been had been about that: moving from one’s space to another’s, planting feelings to some place she arrives, leaving them unwatered, until it withers and she’s ready to move on to another. “Disclosure” is a word that needs breathing space in her vocabulary.

B is back. As wrecked and fucked up as her life already is, she still had the balls to welcome him back.

still 22 on the 24th

I am a very sad girl writing on Christmas eve. Sadness becomes even sadder when everybody else is happy. This is my second breakdown for the year. Everything feels heavy. It had been about bad decisions invested on the wrong people and wrong timing and overthinking. Believe me, I want to be happy–and am trying to be one. The routines, the cycles, they are haunting me. I want to disappear. I want to die. I want to dissipate into tiny bits of moist like what happens with the rain hammering on the road outside this house tonight.

Like the past years, this will be a cold Christmas.

Gold Fish Memory Wiper

“Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.”–Friedrich Nietzsche

 

A goldfish has  a memory span that lasts up to three months. Despite its shallow intellect, a goldfish is a favorite domesticated sea creature. They demand less, require small space, need little maintenance, and leave you with no poop to clean afterwards. When they die, they just die. If you want a pet for convenience with little attachment, a gold fish is the way to go.

A gold fish can remember through consistency. Their memory requires practice. Thus, the tendency to fall for the first bait. But a gold fish recognizes signs and signal. They respond to differences in shapes, colors, and sounds; they distinguish.

In three months, a gold fish learns to select which one to remember, which one to forget. The things it remembers make survival possible. Whether by knowing when to be fed or when an attack is lurking around. The things it forgets rest in oblivion forever. A gold fish unknowingly knows how to detach.

It anticipates only when bounded by consistency. It does not require too much of its owner, if ever it is owned at all.

Of course, things are much more complicated with humans. Humans are stupid. They remember things. They cling to memories. They do this despite knowing that in ignorance, we find bliss.

Decisions, decisions

Now or later. Say or fuck up. Shut up or still fuck up. To go or not to go. This way or that. Make a call or not. Patron or Upper B. Roam around the bush or prolong the agony. Confess or get caught. Flats or heels. Write or sleep. Disappoint or be disappointed. Love or eat. Play around or be boring. Quit or perish.

Decisions, decisions.