Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking stock


The following is an e-mail from the past, composed 11 months and 24 days ago, on December 10, 2010. It is being delivered from the past through FutureMe.org

Dear FutureMe,
I am writing this today, it's Dec 10, 2010.
Ano na nangyayari sa'yo ngayon? Ano na ang plans mo?
Are you in a relationship? Are you happy?
Well at least try be for this day :-)
Good luck!



Dear PastMe,

Nagulat ako sa email mo, nakalimutan ko na 'to totally. Nakiliti ako nung nung pagbukas ko ng email ko at andyan yung sulat mo, para kasi akong nakatanggap ng isang napakagandang balita.

Ni hindi nga ako makapaniwala halos isang taon na pala ang nakalipas. 2011 has been a year of metamorphosis, actually. And you know what? It started unfolding the day after you wrote that letter. Just one day, truly, sabi nga nila: what a difference a day makes. All I did was to open myself.

Or, maybe to put it better, to finally break down all the walls I've built to challenge myself with. It was a labyrinth I am no longer in need of. I thought I needed to triumph over some Minotaur at the heart of it, but there was none after all. I admit there was some dark pleasure in being haunted, even by your self.  And all these years, I had a hard time knowing where the maze actually stops, and where the real world begins.

But then you sneak in some light little by little. Watch how new shapes are limned out of the familiar darkness you knew only by touch, and discover the usual doors and windows that comes with a usual home, a bit unkempt and musty, but yours altogether.

There is room for others here, too, if only you welcome yourself to stay.

Pastme, I've met a lot of new people, and together with the old, all of them have made this past year the landmark in a man's life that it has become. And then there's also this one who wandered just by my door, I happened to have let him in despite the dishes waiting in the sink. He said he doesn't mind and I hope to high heavens he really really meant it so. Because in my room, I pinned this oddly-fitting photograph of two people sharing the same smile. Outside the frame, you can't see it, but he holds him in his hands. The pronouns pertaining to which person does which make for bad grammar, but this is not about grammar.

I am now getting back to those remaining dishes.

There are days to sit out under the sun and sky. Search yourself and make plans. And again when some don't work. Take walks when it hurts. Clean your desk once in a while. Kiss inside the movies. Say stupid things, write badly, fail to meet deadlines. Breathe deeply and take the world in, isn't it all there? Don't you just have to will it and choose?

Uncertain as ever the future is, you go on and meet it nonetheless. And is there any other way? But remember to carry always a space in your heart and a bigger one on your head. Hold not yourself back, but take anchorage in what you hold dear. Let your hands them remember well.


___

Friday, November 25, 2011

Return

well, gusto ko lang magshare ng tula. Nakita ko kasi ulit yung notebook ko ng handcopied poems, marami-rami din akong naisulat dito, yun nga lang hindi ko na natuloy. Binabasa ko ulit yung mga tula, yung iba maaring hindi ko na gusto gaya nang dati, yung iba naman andun pa rin yung unang talab gaya nung una ko silang nabasa. 

I've always loved this poet, Stephen Dunn, ang personal kasi ng mga tula niya, mostly meditations. Tipong reading his poems is like hearing someone talk to themselves out loud, at gusto mo lang umupo at pakinggan siya. For me, he's a person with such a lovely humanity.



Essay on the Personal
by Stephen Dunn


Because finally the personal
is all that matters,
we spend years describing stones,
chairs, abandoned farmhouses—
until we’re ready. Always
it’s a matter of precision,
what it feels like
to kiss someone or to walk
out the door. How good it was
to practice on stones
which were things we could love
without weeping over. How good
someone else abandoned the farmhouse,
bankrupt and desperate.
Now we can bring a fine edge
to our parents. We can hold hurt
up to the sun for examination.
But just when we think we have it,
the personal goes the way of
belief. What seemed so deep
begins to seem naive, something
that could be trusted
because we hadn’t read Plato
or held two contradictory ideas
or women in the same day.
Love, then, becomes an old movie.
Loss seems so common
it belongs to the air,
to breath itself, anyone’s.
We’re left with style, a particular
way of standing and saying,
the idiosyncratic look
at the frown which means nothing
until we say it does. Years later,
long after we believed it peculiar
to ourselves, we return to love.
We return to everything
strange, inchoate, like living
with someone, like living alone,
settling for the partial, the almost
satisfactory sense of it.

___

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Differences, and ugh that yellow smoothie

I think I've always been class conscious. It's one of the reasons why I particularly am not nostalgic over my college life and kept to a small company of people over those years. And especially after that ruse moments before my graduation with respect to my being a scholarship recipient (which was practically a rude reminder I take it of my middle class standing), my affection towards that certain college-basketball-crazed institution practically went nil.

You see I have, what I'll call it generally, "car issues." It's that discomfort and insecurity for example when I first found out my boyfriend drives his own car or otherwise practically has a driver. It's that feeling of alienation during my undergrad days that made me avoid solo trips to a nearby Mcdo (mcdonald's for pete's sake!) with its throngs of fellow students calling their yayas and drivers for sundo. And don't even let me get started on Starbucks.

Early college years before I rented closer to school, I hated Mondays and early classes. Those usually spell braving the rush hour and the mad traffic along SLEX. So I learned to stand farther from the train doors, away from the daily mob action and potential pickpockets. To cool myself under where the aircon vents are. To pick the best seats on a bus. To demand the right change because I know exactly how much my fare costs and when there are hikes. Which is why I have mixed feelings of resentment and envy for those who come late to class because of "difficulties" with campus parking lots.

Why me? Why them? Those kinds of questions. Why can't my father who has an office job even buy a family car? Who gets to decide that this shitty gymrat RayBan-in-hand (but hot) freshman and his new company of cool guys deserve their own rides while I have to lug my backpack (and sometimes a hand carry even) across the whole of the metro twice a day? In what way could I say that I'm perfectly okay with that? The questions began to touch on moot issues of who deserves what, meaning, less of a sense of fairness but rather of entitlement, which frankly aren't the right issues, though they may be closest to heart.

So you learn to accept facts of life, and learn to ask other questions. (Or at least get a move on.) Perhaps those less naive, those more positive. You know, those with "importance". Like what career to take? Should you follow your dreams? Or which stable job leads fastest to a car? Hehe.

Over the ease gained after downing few beers, I once told my boyfriend I've realized how different our paths appear to me. If I do adhere to conventional standards of success for "my class," I will work to earn enough for a car and a place of my own. And even then stability is no guarantee. But once you accomplished that, then no one gets to say you haven't succeeded. That's something a man can take pride of, and in no way do I look down on those material aspirations.

What I realized is that it translates already to years, to different priorities that will motivate our separate endeavors as two individuals. So there's a wee bit again of discomfort there. Again. At differences. My weak point really, I admit. (In a way, aren't some differences harder to take from partners, than even from closest friends?)

Actually what got me to revisit and muse on this topic is some trivial incident. Boyfriend treated me to a drink on his usual hangout/study place Starbucks where I only order half the time. That particular time I was resolved not to. Because I can't afford the luxury. Because to be practical, a coffee worth 2-3 decent meals is a luxury for me. Because of so many circumstances that leave me sometimes bitter like my resentment for my less-than-capable father; and since I want a vacation with my boyfriend, because I needed to accept tutoring the exact kind of students I am most insecure to so I could manage myself by myself over the break between semesters. Boy, was I unable to keep my calm and I almost gave in to an unfamiliar anger. (Because a part of me was embarrassed?) Good thing I didn't. It was a well-meaning gesture after all. But I just had to pause and reflect afterwards why I had that so intense a reaction. Turns out it's an insecurity I still have to keep working on.

You know I have that opposite equivalent of a poker face, and it was so easy for him to see how ruffled I was. Yes, I got angry. But I knew better than to talk at the heat of the moment, what with my legendary incompatibility with coherent speech.  So what I did was to take down a big gulp of whatever that yellow smoothie was (And for the record, I  didn't like that flavor, haha, not complaining though, free is free), together with a good measure of ego and pride. In no time, I could smile again.


________________________
Holler to V, it's our <3rd month. Hey you fine mister you.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pagsasanay sa Retorika | Lumang Tugtugin


Aporia
Ano bang nakita
ng puso kong ito sa 'yo?
Kapag ika'y kasama,
anong ligaya ko, sinta.

Bakit labis kitang mahal?
Yakap mo'y di ko malimutan.
Bakit labis kitang mahal?
Sumpa man, iniibig kita.

Pagwawangis
Isang ngiti mo lang
at ako'y napapaamo.

Pagtawag
Heto na ang pinakahihintay natin,
heto na tayo magkayap sa dilim.
O, kay sarap ng mga nakaw na sandali
habang tayo'y magkayap sa dilim.

Pagtatao
Heto na naman naririnig,
kumakaba-kaba itong dibdib,
lagi nalang sinasabi:
pwede ka bang makatabi?

Pagmamalabis
Oh babe isang ngiti mo lang 
pawi na ang aking uhaw.
Huwag ka lamang tatawa
baka ako'y malunod na.

Pagtawag
O kay ganda,
O kay gandang mag-alay sa 'yo.

Pagtutulad
Dahil kung ikaw ang yakap ko
parang yakap ko na rin ang langit.

Yung simple lang
Walang iba pang sasarap
sa pagtitinginan natin.
Sana ay di na magwakas
itong awit ng pag-ibig.

___

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Master Speed


by Robert Frost



No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still—
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.


______
Para kay V, na laging handang tumigil

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Upward-beating heart, hay Rilke


from Letters to a Young Poet


Most people have (with the help of conventions) turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult; everything alive trusts in it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself any way it can and is spontaneously itself, tries to be itself at all costs and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.

     It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginners in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered around their solitary, anxious, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time, and therefore loving, for a long time ahead and far on into life, is: solitude, a heightened and deepened kind of aloneness for the person who loves. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. Only in this sense, as the task of working on themselves ("to hearken and to hammer day and night"), may young people use the love that is given to them. Merging and surrendering and every kind of communion is not for them (who must still, for a long, long time, save and gather themselves); it is the ultimate, is perhaps that for which human lives are as yet barely large enough.


-Rainier Maria Rilker, May 14, 1904

Friday, September 16, 2011

How to say it in Pastiche

I see us in the park,
Strolling the summer days in the imaginings in my head.

In the evening when the day is through,
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine,
Blowing through the jasmine on my mind.

You keep your rights, I'll take your nights
No one can lose when we take the lights out.

Let's start with the ABC of it,
Roll right down to the XYZ of it,
Teach me tonight.

Aye, aye,
Teach me how to dougie,
Teach me, teach me how to dougie.

Then one by one, the stars would all go out.
Then you and I would simply fly away.

I may be climbing on rainbows, but here it goes,
And if you're wondering what this song is leading to,
I want to make it with you.


***
Knocks me off my feet - Stevie Wonder
Summer breeze - Seals & Crofts
Sweet surrender - Bread
Teach me tonight - Dinah Washington
Teach me how to Dougie - California Swag District
If -Bread
Make it with you - Bread

Dahil kailangan talaga bawat personal blog ay pagdadaanan ang cheesy lyrics na post.
(♫ All my bitches love me,
All my, all my bitches love me,
You ain't fuckin' with my dougie)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Short musings

You know what, I'm at a point in my young life where all's good. It's far from perfect, definitely. Uncertainties old and new may be creeping up at times (numerous, actually), I'm still messed-up as everyone else is, but I am getting more of these quiet moments when I could honestly say to myself jeesuz, I'm fine (so relax and stop whining). Well, I admit part of it is because of a certain somebody who likes to microwave adobo and hates carrots. This is not an uncommon result, so my imagined surveys say. Well, I've got nothing else to say. Just got lucky, I suppose. Here's to hopefully more luck on its way, who knows maybe I could  someday go to Mongolia and travel with horses like a nomad, live in a yurt, and learn to play the morin khuur (a horsehead fiddle) and throat-sing. Oops forgive that bit of random dreaming there.

And oh, I've come to write a little something by way of reminiscing.

***


Premise

We needn’t have hurried after all
he says when he missed his 3 A.M. bus, a hint
lingering in the air you ignore, but you give in
instead to a last kiss before closing the car doors
meant: Well, have a nice life, good luck
with that fight you’re having, cheater
you turned out to be.  But you are tired
and fumble on the double locks, you wanting
to just close the night after you
on a bed you do not share. Next time
perhaps this you’re getting is a nicer screw
with fewer surprises, like the taste of his mouth
you’re now discovering, heavy breaths you’d like
of it quicken as he takes you in, out. Come later
you would invite him to your room but tonight
the time being must just be a detour so
I think I’ll go now you address the room
buckle your belt as you must leave
nothing, again it’s same way easy. You could
be polite and not betray a little too much
smile learning to keep yourself in check. But
suppose convince yourself you are not that
pleased, suppose, yes, you could stay for the night.


___

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Studies on Postscripts

I posit that a love letter is a written as token of one or more of the following: a promise, an act of humility, a confession, a belabored apology, a defense,

 a surrender, a risk, a dedication, perhaps even an ending, or a prologue, a roadmap, a sweet nothing.

That although a love letter could only be written for the first time (could it?), what you add hastily or otherwise at the end’s always is.

I said I sometimes get scared. What I didn’t say: don’t forget I never said I’m unhappy. I found out one can inhabit these states at the same time though I muddle my saying it with double negatives. It’s an affectation I’d like to keep when I walk in on difficulties.

For hours, we lie like beached creatures on the sheets where sleep shallows into somnolence, breaking and foaming gently between the crevices our locked bodies try to close. The sound of tall bamboos and the wind that rattles them when I wake, this is that I am writing for the first time. There you were, with your habit of shores I imagine you to have, telling me it was like a rain-forest instead.  Which turned out to be a trivia, my hesitation secretly turning to embarrassment at that. And our quiet laughter that filtered out the window and was lost to the world outside bathed by the weak sun and abating rain.


___

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Phases on a Haiku


The midnight pulls in the remnants
of day, the moon in its fullness
it should be enough

***

The midnight pulls in the remnants
of day, you are the moon in its fullness
is here yet elsewhere, nowhere.


***

The midnight pulls back the remnants
of day, the moon in its fullness
stays, resists the turning of the hour.

***

The midnight pulls all remnants
of day, ours is the moon in its fullness
ripe between your teeth, my fingers. 


___

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Somebody aced it: "The Secret Lives of Gay Men" by Ryan O'Connell

Boys love each other like this: shirts off, blue jeans, smoking a joint in bed maybe listening to some old records. They’ll take their fingertips across each other’s chests, down arms, and almost to the penis. They’ll circle it curiously and then either go for the plunge or shy away. They’ll bury their heads into someone else’s arms and have their hair stroked. It will feel like you’re getting shampooed at some fancy salon and you won’t ever want them to stop. Boys love each other like that.
Boys love each other when they’re wrestling. It’s a thing amongst gay men. We use our aggression, beat each other up and then switch gears when we feel the need to get all tender and soft. It feels strange—switching seamlessly from physical aggression to absolute devotion and tenderness—but it’s what lives inside us. We tread those lines constantly. We want to punch you hard on the arm and then hold you tight.
Boys break down each other’s walls. It’s an exercise in patience, getting a man to surrender to you, but when they do, their body explodes with feelings. They lock themselves up and when someone finally opens the floodgates, a whole lot of everything comes out. They’re a piñata and you’re carrying the bat.
People always seem to marvel at men who unravel and show their sensitive sides. A woman delights at seeing such a change. It’s such a victory to see a male become unchained to their machismo. When it happens between two men, however, it’s truly magnificent. The sight of two boys loving each other like they’ve been taught not to do is a revelation.
We know what you think of us. We know that there’s this image of gay men just being detached and hungry for sex. There is that. There is a lot of that. But there’s also thoughtfulness, concern, monogamy, Sunday afternoons in bed, I love you babe, I love you a lot, and you make me so happy. There’s so much of that and it’s never really talked about. It’s the secret lives of boys who love boys. Let’s blow the lid off of it, okay? Let’s expose every sweet moment, every kissed neck, every intense hand holding session. It’s super progressive to treat us like loving human beings rather than horny animals, isn’t it? So progressive.
____
original here

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Having fishbol with you

(o kung pano balahuraing-salin ang "Having a Coke with You" ni Frank O'Hara, at oo ito yung ginamit sa chick-flick na Beastly, pero alam ko na sya bago nun ah)


Having fishbol with you


mas masaya pa yun kaysa ang pumunta sa Tagaytay, Pagudpod, Antipolo, Laguna, Cebu
o ang hassle na pagsakay sa LRT1 mula Taft hanggang Monumento tuwing rush hour
marahil dahil sa uniform mong black shirt na mukha kang mas payat at seryoso
marahil dahil sa gusto kita, marahil dahil sa hilig mong humithit ng lights
marahil dahil sa mga matitingkad na bulaklak ng fire-tree sa campus
marahil dahil sa lihim na kinukubli ng ating mga ngiti sa harap ng ibang tao at mga estatuwa
di ako makapaniwala na tuwing magkasama tayo ay mayroon pang kasing payapa
kasing taimtim kasing tiyak gaya ng isang 10-talampakang Buddha samantalang sa harap nito
sa init at sikat ng alas tres ng hapon ng Maynila ay dumuduyan tayo
pabalik sa isa’t isa gaya ng isang punong sa sarili nitong pagmamalas ay humihinga


at lahat ng mga larawan tila wala silang mukha, pintura lamang
na bigla kang magtataka kung bakit pa ba sila ipininta


Tumingin ako
sa’yo at nais ko lang ang tingnan ka, kaysa ang lahat ng larawan at litrato sa mundo
except siguro ang Bench billboard ng Philippine Rugby team, yung nasa Guadalupe
at buti ‘di ka sumasakay madalas ng MRT kaya maituturo ko sa’yo ang tanging bahagi ng Pasig na kilala ko dahil naging parte ko na rin ito
at dahil sa kakatuwa mong pagkabulol nang kaunti hindi ko na iintidihin kung bakit ako tatawa
gaya ng kapag nasa bahay ako hindi ko naiisip panoorin ang Gandang Gabi Vice ni Vice Ganda
o tuwing gabi naaalala ang lupit at pagsambulat ng liwanag sa Nighthawks ni Hopper
ano ba ang silbi ng lahat ng pagphophotoshop at pagpapa-vintage ng pictures sa tumblr
gayong ‘di naman nila nagawang piliin ang tamang taong tatayo sa lilim ng puno sa takipsilim
o maging ang awit sa bangketang hindi piniling maigi ng binatang makata gaya ng kung kanino
ang boses ng tula, sa bulag ba o bingi


mukhang nadaya sila at napagkaitan ng bagay na malaki ang pagka-astig at kamangha-mangha
na hindi masasayang at mawawala sa akin ngayon, dahilan kaya naman heto’t sinasabi ko sa’yo.


___
para kay Alex Pettyfer at sa kanyang abs. Bow

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Off-center, part i

I noticed that characters in Wong Kar-Wai's movies rarely find their way to the center of the frame. Technique man yun o mere ornament (not much likely), isa lang ang sigurado ko: para sa'kin lahat ng babae sa mga works niya ay Gorgeous (partly because of my bias for women in cheongsams). Of course, credit also goes to the cinematographer, Christopher Doyle.

Kahit na cigarettes are mega cliches by now, Idol pa rin.
















*images from Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, and 2046

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seng Guan Temple hall

where a gilded Buddha peaks
behind your back
where you look
is it nowhere or nearer
still I hold this in focus, steady
it becomes. It comes to me
an aperture tunnels a surface
that peeks into itself, a bottle
mathematicians fondly name after Klein.
Not much knowing nor arrived
in mind I hold it as a calyx
having no outside or inside, just
bounded, there resides that day
closing inward how can it
not find into another, then into this
the world being tendered
the night could not but open
into its scent, collapse of light in myself
reversing in spheres until they are walls
thinned in the lost distance to be won
before the poem on love is written.

___

Sunday Morning, Rain is falling... aka Son, I saw you've got rubber

So nag-aalmusal ako kanina, tapos biglang sabi ng Mom ko:
“Kahapon pala nag-aano ako tapos nakita ko sa bag mo, nakita ko may condoms. Gumagamit ka pala ng condoms? (hint of a subtly forbidding/inquiring tone)”

Ako naman pasimpleng “Oo...” ang sagot with matching tono tulad sa “Duh, obvious ba...” Hindi na ko nakapag-isip nang mabilisan, sayang tuloy ang chance na humirit ala Vice Ganda (Ay hindi Ma, hindi ko ginagamit, nilagay ko lang yan para naman may makita kang kakaiba for a change dahil alam kong ina-"ano" mo yung bag ko. Tapos lalabas si Ashton Kutcher at sisigaw ng You just got Punkd! )

Pero ganito yung lalabas na ashton kutcher haha.


Patay malisya lang acting ko pero syempre kinabahan ako, syempre hindi naman dun natatapos ang ganitong usapan. You know moms, impossible yun. So kambyo ang ermats,
“Hindi naman masama gumamit ng condoms, mabuti nga yun....
“Pero kasi hindi ka naman nag-uuwi ng girlfriend dito, baka makabuntis ka. Yung anak nga di ganyan blah blah. Kung kailangan mo ng condoms, marami kami (nurse kasi mom ko).”

Pak! Narinig ko si Buddha at lahat ng Bodhisattvas na nagchorus sa pagtatawanan at pagkanta parang Glee, oo chong, narinig ko ang halakhakan nila kahit hindi ako buddhist, ganun pala ang pakiramdam. Parang scripted ang mga pangyayari, parang play lang at sa nagsulat ng plot na ito, taena, ikaw na! Ikaw na ang witty.

Kaya naman pala kagabi panay ang text ni ermats sakin dahil gabi na daw at pauwi na daw ba ako. Aha...
Tama naman ang (unspoken) hula niya, nasa date nga ako.
So apparently:

1. Either my mom was faking it and was waiting for me to say it, or wala talaga siyang idea na bading ako. Kung sinabi ko na lang kayang wag siya mag-alala na hindi naman ako makakabuntis dahil hindi naman babae ang tipo ko? Tambling siguro sya nun. Ewan ko, para lang siguro to get it over and done with. But that’s a bit cruel, I know. Does the shock of finally hearing it change though? Can you ease that? I have no idea.

2. Pero ito ang bongga talaga: nag-offer pa siya na bigyan ako ng stash ng condoms, which means, she’s totally ok with it. Early twenties naman na ako haller, anyway. Tanungin ko kaya siya kung meron silang extra thin for maximum sensation or yung ribbed for extra pleasure?

Now I have a simple idea for a coming-out scheme. Instead of putting a burden on myself to find the right time, I’ll pass it to my mom. *Evil laftir* Iwan ko na lang ang cellphone ko at hayaan kong mabasa niya ang “suspicious” text messages. Then, either it’ll just be an open secret of the family or she asks the question when she’s finally ready to hear the answer. Or should I feel responsible and finally man up?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fix you

It was the performance that first made me understood dance really as an art form, and I didn't expect seeing it from a TV contest. But there it is. I haven't seen much else actually so I wouldn't be able to critique refined techniques and judge according to corresponding standards. Alam ko lang tumalab sakin yung piece.

Snapshots of awesome parts of the routine:

Premise



The two pictures above and below are continuous. Beautiful arm movements. This has a symmetry I cannot put my finger on. When she emerged from the hoop of his arms with that expression and momentum, I knew right at that moment the choreography was going to special.

The climax of the music begins. Fast, fully-extended movements and the dancers pull themselves into the other half of the stage. The usage of space was subtle to me yet so amazing. It was able to delineate a different ground/span of time where the dancers then entered into a synchronized duet, suggesting a (temporary) resonance between the two characters.

What flight. Shit. Let's just call this move: So fucking amazing please teach me to dance too.

With her back turned on him, she launched herself in the air relying on him to ran forward at just the exact moment to catch her. Caught in his shoulders, the arc of her body suggested heavy burden. Now that image is already perfect, but imagine the actual requirements (e.g. trust) for the dancers to able to perform that. Ugh. Crazy people.

Ugh again, because it transitions to this immediately. This actually happened fast like a snapshot, not unlike a lapse.

The throws then become sick integral to the narrative. Look at her.

Then, the tone quiets down together with the music. Notice that the two are back again on this part of the stage, facing in that particular direction. The expansiveness we've previously witnessed deflates and the irrevocable creeps in. On the ground, with his forehead he nudged the back of her legs forward (probably, I was tearing up then for the last 30 seconds). That gesture is utterly priceless.

And then shet lang, tanginang power ending: he embraced her and slipped his feet beneath hers, he began to guide her steps slowly as they walked as one. Combined with the expression of the characters and the two performers' commitment to that final emotion (they kept on going after the music almost to the edge of the platform), its sheer impact made me reel back and blink stupidly after some time. Yung tipong parang bawal ka muna makaramdam ng kahit ano, ng iba pa for a short period.

I can't embed the video here so just check this link. May better HD versions if you search for urselves. The choreography (billed 'contemporary' btw) set to Coldplay's Fix you is by Travis Wall, performed by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker. Robert, please marry me. KThnksBye. Haha.

At dahil dito, may natutunan akong term: Negative space. In this context, from what I understand, negative space refers to when little to no motion is presented for longer-than-normal period of time. It's when the mood, facial expression or posture are highlighted, I guess. Awesum.

If you've watched Talk to Her (Hable con ella) ni Pedro Almadovar.. ang galing lang nung paggamit niya nung opening na dance na "Café Müller" by Pina Bausch. Pero ibang level na yun, di ko na yata ma-aannotate yun.

___

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Multiple-choice Guide to Practical Hooking-up

Pick your favorite pen or pencil. Play quirky song for dysfunctional people. Dance, dance, dance.


1.
a. Introduce yourself but never give away your real full name, maybe just parts of it to ease conscience.
b. Change/add letters to your name, from Mark to Marc, John to Johann. Do not insist on Alexandra if you’re an Alexander. This is not advisable.
c. Only coolly inquire for his name at the end of it all. Then add him straight away on Facebook using your real life account.

2.
a. Maintain proper distance while exercising politeness and the obligatory show of interest during conversations.
b. There will be moments of awkward silence. Do not be bothered if he feels bored, as long as things appear to lead to your getting inside his pants.
c. There will be moments of awkward silence. You want to keep him interested in you, he seems smart, not to mention cute. Rack your brains desperately for a good topic. Failure should lead to regret, success wins you his smile which you receive like a trophy.

3.
a. Avoid sleepovers. Grab the first opportunity to go. If you can leave even with the rubber on, kindly head to the nearest exit.
b. Let him lean on your chest as you watch a rom-com or a chick flick. Before this, he heats leftover adobo in the microwave, your feet dangle from the edge of his bed unknowingly swinging in the widest of arcs.
c. Maybe, even hold his hand as both of you doze off. Be endeared when he snores.

4.
a. After the deed, avoid communication for at least 3 days. Otherwise, you will appear clingy.
b. Mask your replies with pretensions you are only after being fuck buddies.
c. Ask him an hour later if you’ve left behind something very valuable at his place (e.g. mint candies).

5.
a. You have a short-term memory and you always put it to good use. This is called being rational.
b. Google is your friend. Type in his name and tirelessly go through the results. Repeat 3 times a day. This is called being obsessed.
c. Meeting a person of his kind, you quickly find out, is like being thrown a lucky bone. Will you call yourself naive or fortunate?

6.
a. Hey, you want trade movies sometime?
b. Hey, you want trade movies sometime? :-P
c. Hey, you want trade movies sometime? hehe

7.
a. Manage expectations. Having next to nothing is optimal for peace of mind.
b. Debate on the idea of dating. Suddenly, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, out of fear, out of his presumed judgment, coming to you in waves.
c. It will either be due to the circumstances or in spite of. In this summer heat, is there a mirage that (con)fuses both?


___

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to say "I love you" accdng to Ayn Rand

"Because love is an expression of self-esteem..."

For some weird reason nagkaroon naman pala ng matinong content ang Playboy at one time. (wushu sasabihin ko kaya to kung Playgirl instead? lol) Nagpublish sila ng interview with the philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand. Medyo nagresonate kasi sakin yung mga sinabi niya kahit wala pa kong nabasang works niya previously.


Excerpt:

PLAYBOY: Where, would you say, should romantic love fit into the life of a rational person whose single driving passion is work?

RAND: It is his greatest reward. The only man capable of experiencing a profound romantic love is the man driven by passion for his work -- because love is an expression of self-esteem, of the deepest values in a man's or a woman's character. One falls in love with the person who shares these values. If a man has no clearly defined values, and no moral character, he is not able to appreciate another person. In this respect, I would like to quote from The Fountainhead, in which the hero utters a line that has often been quoted by readers: "To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"

PLAYBOY: You hold that one's own happiness is the highest end, and that self-sacrifice is immoral. Does this apply to love as well as work?

RAND: To love more than to anything else. When you are in love, it means that the person you love is of great personal, selfish importance to you and to your life. If you were selfless, it would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and the existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that person's need of you. I don't have to point out to you that no one would be flattered by, nor would accept, a concept of that kind. Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person.


***

Bam! Ayn Rand, gusto ko for the most part yung sinabi mo eh, tagos eh, kaso kung susundin ko to the letter, parang magiging matagal pa bago ako magkaroon ng love life, haha. Ampf, walang namang ganyanan.

Share ko lang: Nung lumabas yung playboy dito sa Pinas, bumili ako actually ng copy. Lesbian, yikes!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Making Peace


Recently I realized that my coming out had another dimension to it: it made me more at peace with my body. Dati kasi there's always this thought at the back of my mind that my body would rat out my "secret." Not that I'm pretending. You know, mahirap lang talaga kapag inuunahan ka ng ibang tao, eh sa sarili mo hindi pa naman malinaw. Yun siguro yung in-the-closet feeling for me, mahirap, kasi chances are, it might trigger your defense mechanism just for the sake of proving others wrong. Unnecessarily. When that's the last thing you need to be able to accept whatever it is you need to accept.

Digression: Counting out my family and a handful of people remaining, I think I can say I'm almost done coming out. From hereon I'll strive to be plainly open about it to the people I meet, with proper judgment of course. Being gay is just a yes-or-no question after all. Being you, on the other hand, isn't that where the real hard work is?

So I'm thankful for having outgrown that kind of worrying. I feel freer and lighter (Modess?!?) sort of. Although sedentary pa rin ang lifestyle ko for the most part, I'm trying out activities I really enjoy. Then, you realize na teka may katawan nga pala ako noh, sumasakit yan at napapagod, maraming hindi kayang gawin. Yet, it grounds you at the same time, a lesson I'm learning to appreciate more and more.

I think, those thoughts I've been mulling over are what motivated me to fish this out of my subconscious, hehe.


***

Errata


Sure I wanted the body
exacted toll for its infirmities

I could list down to make up
the whole, the sum even

of missing parts, this is merism:
I say breath, limbs, and heart,

those beat against the head
-ing to the farthest I've been at sea,

again I say breath, limbs, and heart
for that much has been, much

lost from you or relieved
where does being whole stop

but at infinite. So a body begins and begins
its natural closing on its tiny self

taking in hook, line and sinker,
these beyond the body allowed in

safe passage, free to take course within.
So I counted down to eight planets,

measured the age of light, made this shore
an ancient crater of the earth. All along

the porous body still nothing finally
to be faulted for, too difficult there

small fissures were crusting
all over its exterior, deposits

I began calling spirit, essence, soul—
small currents coursing a geography:

stretch of mountains to trenches,
channels of veins, nose hair and cartilage,

skin, pigments, watercolor, words, fence,
wind, watermilll, song, all of the same finite

element I pick up, I break, I could mend
only incompletely, and I do those again

all over to this I possess, center, flat,
maybe on turtles all the way down.



___

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mancrush: Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Dahil nanonood ang couple dito sa bahay namin ng the Aviator, at narinig ko ang Moonglow sa background, so magpapakacheesy muna ko


Probably, it's something I imbibed from Hollywood movies, but I just get that picture and pleasurable "nostalgic feeling" of myself lounging in a dimly-lit bar smoking cigarettes when I hear this kind of jazz. Baka sa previous life ko pinanganak ako during that era?

When I was in my angsty teenage period, I turned to jazz because I wanted to reign-in all the chaos that my emotions stirred. Kind of my tranquilizer, so I guess, you might call me proper junkie then. Twisted right? While I still indulge in my romanticisms over this genre, fortunately, I am differently motivated now. Props for some personal growth. Though I've still got a long way before I can properly say I enjoy the more intellectual likes of Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, etc, (maybe it's because I've not been properly schooled in music and so unfamiliar with the heady stuff?). But heck, I can listen all day to big-bands and swing, and someday I'll learn to play standards on trumpet or sax. I confess I too have this all-time fantasy of dancing that someone (my "man", of course) to oldies like Cheek to cheek, or It's been a Long Long Time. Call it: life imitating fiction, yeah, best put it that way so at least it sounds less hilarious. Come on, you cannot not melt when you hear the lines, "So kiss me once, then kiss me twice, then kiss me once again...." Sigh. Then imagine your Man. Isa pa uli, Sigh.

So, meet my man (I seem to be owning up to this hopeless-romantic type well no?)

Oops, that's a not really flattering pic, still cute pa rin naman. Kulit ng antics ng Modern Family but I have to say I have this big crush on this guy (sorry boys, may boyfriend na sya), one more reason why I enjoy the show. It's definitely got something to do with that immaculate beard. For the time being, Jesse holds that ideal image of my type of guy you would want to come home to. Regardless of all the Hideo Muraokas, Daniel Matsunagas, Bernardo Velascos and Marlon Teixeiras. Kahit pa lahat sila may chiseled abs at naka-underwear lang. (Ako na ang mahilig sa brazilian models) Keso, I know!


This guy I could imagine snuggling with in bed. We would be asking each other how the day went for us, and then maybe, not getting to hear the other answer because one of us probably dozed off already. He'll be someone in reading glasses while poring over a newspaper in the morning, and later forgets his keys. I could go on and on. Haha. Me and my domestic fantasies.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Strangers

Kahapon may nakasabay ako sa train! haha, may small crush kasi ako sa kanya nung una ko palang syang nakita sa capoeira trainings, may hawig sya kay Kyuhyun ng super junior (di ako fan ng super junior, pero cool nung dance sa sorry, sorry), promise! Kyuhyun pero mixed-jap na ang ganda ang biceps at magaling gumalaw. You know, that man-boy vibey eye-candy. Pero awkward na sya eh, nahuli nya yata akong tumitingin madalas tapos nung minsan sa isang party, sobrang inasar pa ko sa kanya with matching tulak, kamusta naman yun. Kaso straight sya at kilala pa nya yung college friends ko (di pa nila alam about my um, orientation haha).

Anyway, we both pretended not having noticed each other kahit we were almost face-to-face nung pagpasok ko sa train, kunwari na lang akong busy-busy thumbing through my playlist, at sya naman nakita ko turned on the opposite direction. Hindi naman ako affected (ok, konti lang hehe, sayang di ko nakita yung cute nyang smile).

Blah-blah, bat ko ba shinare yun, wala lang. May binabasa akong poetry book on my home that time (na hindi ko pa rin tapos kahit ididiscuss na ng reading group ko mamaya, lol) tapos BAM! basa ko tong tula na to, nabasa ko na to dati eh, pero nung oras lang na yun ako tinamaan. Ako na ang ang emotero sa loob ng tren. Inspired daw kasi ako that time, char. Basta. Sobrang hands-down talaga ako sa mga poems that speak not just on the level of words BUT also on the level of image.

Galing sa Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts ni Jorie Graham:



Strangers

Indeed the tulips
change tense
too quickly.
They open and fly off.
And, holding absolutes
at bay, the buds

tear through the fruit trees,
steeples into sky.
Faith is where we are
less filled
with ourselves, and are
expected nowhere—

though it's better to hurry.
The starlings keep trying
to thread the eyes
of steeples.
It's hard, you can't
cross over. The skin

of the pear tree is terse
like the pear, and the acorn
knows finally
the road not taken
in the oak.
We have no mind

in a world without objects.
The vigor of our way
is separateness,
the infinite
finding itself strange
among the many. Dusk,

when objects lose their way, you
throw a small
red ball at me
and I return it.
The miracle is this:
the perfect arc

of red we interrupt
over and over
until it is too dark
to see, reaches beyond us
to complete
only itself.


___

Friday, April 1, 2011

About fortuities and a vandalism

__


09194998649


I was here.

I saw you passed by outside and I followed. You saw me enter the cofeeshop, more than twice. I took my time buying a cup because I was stealing glances. I took a nearby seat and counted enough change for the fare home. I was relieved. I noticed you had a calculator and I was stupid to mumble something like I had to know the value of Pi, up to eleven digits after the decimal. But now you know I’m actually smarter than that.

You rang me up the next day. You liked me more and more. Shyly, I admitted feeling the same. We gave each other presents. You hated flowers, moreover, you wouldn’t give me one. I hated your bad days, and told you to pick your fights. You preferred the train because you avoid overreaching for lazy passengers’ fares. And I knew they’re called pushcarts for good reason, thank you, but still I liked to pull on them. But we counted the months. I sang you Your Song. And then you actually sang it better. We had plans. We gave each other morning and parting kisses.

Later, I got so down, when it took longer than expected to find another job, I waxed the floor and bought new rugs. You slipped on one, I was terrified you’ve broken more than a wrist. You did. You laughed it off and said you look more rugged with the cast. I agreed, not just because I was sorry. I drew a crack and from it emerge nuns, priests and trains, and I helped you in for baths, in dressing up for work. I enjoyed it, you didn't have to thank me much. We hoped for marriage. Someday, maybe.

Then came a difficult fight. I gave you a bruise, not before long did it turn from crimson to ugly violet. You were drunk and kicked down chairs.

It got better somehow with a long talk and lots of compromise. We missed each other, you approached me in a manner I knew too well. I pushed in early, you hurt a lot, we had to stop. I did it again and you yelled “Easy, Tiger!” In French. Well in any case, you wouldn’t have called me that if you hadn’t wanted it rough, I knew that too.

Anyway, by the time you're reading this, if you ever happen to read this, hopefully we each still pay half of the month’s rent. And that you never forget again your credit card in case I got too excited buying groceries pulling on carts at the supermarket . Forgive me if sometimes you have to mop the bathroom so often. I’m wasteful, I flood the floor and keep forgetting to close the tap. Don’t worry. I knew all along you burned my favorite dress shirt with the iron. And it’s OK, as long as I get to borrow yours. I secretly envy your good taste.

In the event that one of us had declared it over, I hope we didn’t fight too much on who gets to take care of Marcello. He’s not our kid (weren’t we contemplating on adoption), but our jack russell. You wouldn’t have agreed to naming our child Marcello anyway.

Either way, you must be absent-mindedly scratching your eyebrow now, I’m right, ain’t I? No, don't stop, it's cute. With a few potholes here and there, some uphills, a major quake or two (I hope not literally but who knows), I can’t say for sure if we’d still be standing. But whether I’m waiting for you outside (dinner's on me tomorrow, in that case) or not :-( , I should have told you earlier on when something’s not working pretty well...

It’s the bad plumbing here, you see, you should have taken the other stall.

Tee-hee.


For 09279877854


___

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Never

From the collector's notebook of substitutions
by Conchitina Cruz



Say grief: things that wander with the intention to return

Say maybe: things that entertain the possibility of always

Say afterthought: things that haunt rather than invade

Say souvenir: not erasure, but palimpsests

Say disappear: letter, sans serif, white, umlaut

Say collateral: not risk, mere substitution

Say document: proof and signpost

Say never: things that breathe easy elsewhere




***

Look for her poetry collection "Elsewhere held and lingered." One heavy reading. Poem after poem, napa-"shit, grabe ang galing" yata ako. Harrows you with its intense revelations and examinations of a self that survives?/perils?/fragments? itself due to an illicit affair.
The author surely ranks among the best of poets in the country today.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Thousand and One Nights




It may have been just a dream but I remember I woke up once in the middle of the night so haunted by those first two lines that I cried.


What is it about darkness that's so exquisite? Sometimes I feel it's partly conceit. That we're special and the universe somehow makes an effort, no matter how little, to make sure we suffer beautifully and to our satisfaction.


Maybe it's related to what Carl Sagan said in Contact that we feel so alone. Our solitude makes us aware of this imbalance, the improbability of our existence. It's either we invent a companion god (was it Nietzsche who said something like: there isn't enough love in this world to assign it to other beings), or we humble ourselves with the thought that it would be an awful waste of space if it were just us. And then there's this, we take small hidden pleasures in hardship. We anticipate. Like every civilization must have come up with its own version of apocalypse. Not for that light at the end of the tunnel, not for the lessons to be learned, just that basic reassurance that our position in the cosmos is that of frailty.


In the book One Thousand and One Nights (popularly, Arabian Nights), the primary story is that of a Persian king who weds a wife every day and beheads the one from the night before. That is before Scheherazade. She would tell him stories each night that would be cut short by dawn and this way the King was forced to spare her life. In the book, after one thousand and one nights, there are no more stories to be told, but the King has fallen in love with his storyteller and thus it ends happily.


Yet, I suspect,"one thousand and one" refers at the same time to infinity.


____

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dahil Maulan (tama sisihin ang ulan!)

Sabi nga nila kung ayaw, maraming dahilan.
Kung tinatamad, mas maraming paraan.

Teka mali yata yun. Mga procrastination tactics ko talaga, I surprise even myself.
Anyway, pag maulan nga naman at may makakasalubong kang pogi sa daan. Haha. Joke lang. Sana lang may nakasalubong talaga akong pogi.


***

Sa Aawitan

Ilang beses bang bumagsak ang ulan nitong huling mga gabi
na nahuli ko ang aking sarili na nilalakad
ang daan mo pauwing bahay sa aking pagkakatanda?
At gaano ba katagal bago mawala o maging mali ang mga salita
sa kantang narinig natin sa inayos na lumang radyo?
Maiiwasan pa ba ito, nahihinto ako sa gitna
paakyat ng matatarik na kalsada dahil darating ang sandali
ng minsang nagtagpo ang mga labi, mabilis na saglit
at agad mawawala, mapapatanong bigla sa sarili
dahil inakalang ligtas ang panlasa sa guni-guni.
Kung naroon pa ang poste ng ilaw sa kalye bago ang huli
mong liko pa-inyo na pupundi-pundi sa ating pagdaan
at nasabi ko noon nabigyan ko ito ng kahulugan,
pwede ba akong maging hindi makakatotohanan at gaano,
maari bang nananatili pa ang awit para sa iyo.


___

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Date A Guy Who Reads

Saw this cute post Date A Girl Who Reads by Rosemarie Urquico on tumblr.

There are some stuff here and there that's gonna sound arrogant but the original author intended it as a reply to another article: You Should Date an Illiterate Girl.

Her original post is here.

If you feel lazy going through the post and actively substituting the word "girl" and related words as you read along, below's the edited version for us gays, hehe.

***

Date a guy who reads. Date a guy who spends his money on books instead of clothes. He has problems with closet space because he has too many books. Date a guy who has a list of books he wants to read, who has had a library card since he was twelve.

Find a guy who reads. You’ll know that he does because he will always have an unread book in his bag. He’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when he finds the book he wants. You see the weird guy sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

He’s the guy reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at his mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because he’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. He might give you a glare, as most guys who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask him if he likes the book.

Buy him another cup of coffee.

Let him know what you really think of Murakami. See if he got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if he says he understood James Joyce’s Ulysses he’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask him if he loves Alice or he would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a guy who reads. Give him books for his birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give him the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give him Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let him know that you understand that words are love. Understand that he knows the difference between books and reality but by god, he’s going to try to make his life a little like his favorite book. It will never be your fault if he does.

He has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to him. If he understands syntax, he will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail him. Because a guy who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because guys who read understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Guys who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a guy who reads, keep him close. When you find him up at 2 AM clutching a book to his chest and weeping, make him a cup of tea and hold him. You may lose him for a couple of hours but he will always come back to you. He’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time he’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. He will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and he will recite Keats under his breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a guy who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a guy who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give him monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a guy who reads.

Or better yet, date a guy who writes.


____

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Ideal Guy Day ni Aleph

Disclaimer

Hindi kasi ako nakuntento sa isang ideal guy lang so ang ginawa ko para bongga, inisplit ko na lang sila sa marami, at nakasama ko silang lahat sa isang araw. Define malandi. I know right?

***


• At Home

The day starts with Zero.

Zero was the guy I homed in at the gay club I went to last night with my friends. He wears his hair long that it touches down to his shirt. A pretty guy, as one friend noted, but definitely straight-acting and with a nice gentle smile. If I had the chance to dance with him I would’ve put my hands on his nape, which would be so soft and smooth, would’ve ran my fingers through his mane. And when he least expected it, I’d have pulled on the roots of his hair, not too hard, but just enough to see his expression when he winces. Actually, I don’t know what had gotten into me but I also brushed lightly on his butt on my way out of the CR. 100 SLUT points for me. Later, I had the courage to talk to him and asked for his number. One big problem though: he doesn’t have a number. So he said. Isang malaking wehhh, di nga, tatawa na ba ako, hindi porket Koreano ka magaling kang magtaekwondo.

But I get it, he’s just being polite and no, he’s not Korean (but dang, koreanovela guys, gaganda talaga ng styling ng buhok nila). Funny thing is, I can’t really recall his face now. It must be the hair. I’m a sucker for that. And since it was my first time to go to a queer bar, I kind of wanted his number for a trophy/souvenir. Yun naman ang kalakaran doon diba?

Oy, enough time in front of the mirror, Aleph, you’re running late.


• At the Campus

Ikaw na, ikaw na talaga. Why do some people seem almost perfect? Buti na lang atheist ako kundi sasabihin ko na namang ang daya-daya ni Lord.

Exhibit A.

Group reports day. My jaw drops when he enters the room. So this is what he’ll look like when he’s already got an office job. Hmmm, eh kahit pagsesekyu papatusin ko, para lang makita sya araw-araw at mabati ng Ang ganda ganda ng umaga [andito ka na kasi], noh ser? Or if I’m his boss, patay kang bata ka, sigaw ako lagi ng : I’ll see you in my office now, Mr. Tiu! Repeat 5 times a day with You can take off your clothes, I mean ,your coat. *ahem, ang init ano ba ‘to...* Pwede ring 10-15 times if it’s a particularly stressful day. With the same slip.

Articulate with his ideas, opinionated but open-minded. Knows how to lead a group but has a warm presence. I’ve got this classmate who’s the perfect boyfriend material, except that he’s straight. Aigoo. And that’s the only thing that makes him flawed in my world, imagine that. He’s an unbelievable devourer of books, and I don’t mean it’s because he reads 10 books a week. Actually, it takes him months to finish a book he really likes, savor talaga. He likes Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (shet, di ko nga matapos yun eh), delights in the tenderness and grace of a mind’s voice in Ishiguro’s novels, and practically is in awe of Borges, too. Surprisingly (or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised anymore), he’s a good reader of poetry too!

Despite the heavy work load now that the semester’s ending, how does he still manage to look like that? No pimples, no eyebags, I mean, come on! He’s gotta be feeling tired like all of us. But nada, it doesn’t show at all. Matalino ka na, yummy ka pa. Hence the conclusion: Pota ka.

Lunch break. Something sweet for dessert: the maintenance hunk in our building. Without so much as an ounce of effort but the gel in his hair, this scruffy lightly-bearded moreno guy never fails to look hot despite his crappy cleaner’s uniform. I know he’s catched me so many times already checking him out. Today he feels generous and lifts his shirt to reveal an awesome pack of non-gym ”laking-kanto” abs on a super duper flat tummy. He’s pretending to wipe his nose. Really now, really? I just died. (NOMG, I just channeled that hag Rachel Zoe.)

So back from the dead, I go to my remaining class for the day—it’s for 3 hours straight. Gawd. The only thing that makes it bearable is Boogs.

We call him Boogie ‘cause he’s a dancer (well, mostly hiphop and bboy), he loves football and badminton, has a good built, lean physique (imagine no abs, but still sexy) and ding ding ding, he’s gay. So what’s wrong with the equation here? Gusto ko man magbitaw ng linyang Let lips do what hands do that one time he tried to teach me how to do a routine hands-on, it seems to him I give off more of a friendship vibe. We get along pretty well in fact. He has this outrageous sense of humor that cracks everybody up and his lamest jokes are usually cute. Aside from
musicians, I think the funny guys are actually a smart group.

The only thing Boogs and I don’t agree on is football. My god, watching this sport bores the hell out of me. You know, theoretically, I can understand why basketball is exciting, but in football a game can end 0-0. That’s some crazy shit. Sorry Boogs, I’ll concede the players are hotties in shorts, fine (wallpaper nga niya si Yoann Gourcuff eh, pero mas type ko si Xabi Alonso), but I’ll skip the whole 90 minutes and just watch them swap sweat-drenched shirts with each other.

As the class wraps up, I basically force Boogs to drop me off at the mall. I tell him I have a date. But only after he annoyingly mocks my choice of movie does he agree. Nagsalita ang magaling, he probably doesn’t know he pronounces Hitchcock, Truffaut, or von Trier with such disturbing breathiness and relish. Despite being a movie snob and condescending to the tastes of the “lowbrow public”, I know for a fact Boogs actually enjoys watching the series of Step Up movies, plus Twilight due to a shirtless Taylor Lautner. Of course. Magkasama ba naman kami on all those occasions eh.


• At the Mall

Actually I have no date and I just lied to get a free ride. I’m just buying notebooks, pens and more paper. I’ll burn an hour reading at a bookstore probably and then meander down grocery aisles too. Plain ordinary happiness.

But if I have a date, let me think. I wish it would be a musician and we’ll drop by an instrument shop. He’ll pick up a few guitars, strum some chords and remark which ones sounded better. I wouldnt’ be able to tell the difference honestly. And when I see the price tag, sabihin ko bigla: Uy, ibaba mo yan! If I’m luckier, he’ll be a kick-ass band drummer who maintains a nicely trimmed stubble but is thinking of growing a beard. He’ll fix back his tousled hair with his fingers. Only recently has it grown long enough to be tied but I’ll stop him because I think the curlicues at the ends are divine.

Sigh. Shrug. Sashay.

I lean tentatively on the railing and see a flower stall. Maybe that someone could also know about flowers? At least more than me. He’ll tell me which are geraniums and lilies because I have no idea what they look like. Maybe he doesn’t like daisies that much, but he’ll stoop down to eye a bunch of yellow-greens I haven’t noticed yet, and tell me how beautiful these cymbidium orchids are. Which leaves me speechless. I love the color is all I could say. He adds, gusto ko rin yung brown & yellow variant pero ang ganda-ganda nitong chartreuse, ano? I’ll never be able to answer his question probably. Because I’ll just stare at him for a few stupid seconds since I’d like to kiss him at that point already and see him blush to a certain shade of red which only I would name.

Every time I’ll see that color, sasabihin ko sa kasama ko: Tangina, chartreuse yang kulay na yan, alam mo ba yun? Sabi ng boyfriend ko. Sinearch ko pa nga sa wikipedia eh. Stop arguing with me, sino bang bading sa’tin dito?


___

Friday, February 4, 2011

Forgetfulness

Last stanza from Forgetfulness by Billy Collins

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

It was exactly a year ago and it was 5 AM; we were on the train station where an old woman kneeled by the edge of the platform as she took out mangoes from her groceries. She was counting and I counted with her.

A train passed by as words were uttered. I thanked you for the nice evening and I like you, really, maybe we should take this forward but whatever it is you replied, my mind insists on a sudden gust, rush of air that had already eaten your words.

The only thing that’s left vivid is the color of flowers that you had drawn on a milk carton, lost in the flood long time ago. I couldn’t be sure now. True. But what other color do flowers have in this season? On the other hand, how many mangoes was it again? Nine, I think. Weren’t you there too, did the guard took notice, and had he his whistle in his mouth as our foot strayed on the same yellow the mangoes were balanced precariously on?

I open my eyes and the night moves in with its uncertainties: toppled stacks of books, wall cracks innumerable under the moon, broken lines of thought. It’s you, and a not you, at the same time I conceive of.


_

Monday, January 10, 2011

Notes on a Party



  • Never rush up the elevator without talking to the concierge. And the elevator would only let us up to the 5th floor. Used the stairs and at the landing, doors can not be opened from our side. Had to go down again. Attendant has card key. Epic!

  • Officially my 2nd gay party.

  • First reaction: WTH?!? Servers in wifebeaters. I suspected the worst (or the best ) and immediately texted my housemates, emotional support came pouring in.

  • Soju shots almost every 5 minutes. Soju is 20% alcohol. Had to take a shot in 3 gulps already well before midnight. The sink got clogged in puke, thankfully not mine.

  • Theme song: John Mayer’s “My Stupid Mouth.” A room full of gay guys is a perfect conductor for gossip.

  • Furtive glances.

  • Strippers indeed.
          Strippers indeed, indeed.
  • Got curious, had to tiptoe and crane my neck above the wall of frontliners. Meh. Didn’t excite me that much, wait, this is supposed to be my thing right? Self-doubt ensues. But really, not my thing, that at least I found out. (For now, maybe?) If they had touched each other....

  • He gave me an 8 out of 10. I didn’t even say thank you. Ako na ang autistic at king of awkward. A quicker wit for socializing is urgently needed.

  • Now, I carry mints in my pocket all the time. Why is this?

  • Not-so-furtive glances.

  • A kiss or two. And not with the same person. I think I enjoy kissing, but would enjoy it more if people don’t give it so easily. Even better (pronounced “evan bettah” a la Emma Watson as Hermione) if we’re on some connection.
  • I really, really love their company but sometimes I get the feeling that random kisses and pairings are parts of the bargain. Am I giving off a certain impression? Would I be considered a phony and a hypocrite?

  • Sober and not a hint of an incipient hangover. Level up! All them weaklings. HAHA.

  • Wee hours of the morning and the Baklaan death/pride march (hey bading kami, exaggeration is in order) towards McDo near Shaw station. On the way, guy in a car stared full at our direction for a few seconds, midway a U-turn, o-ha! As they say looks could kill, good thing the roads were empty or he’d have become a real casualty.
  • Breakfast menu showed up on the counter as I heaved past the heavy doors. Big breakfast! Dozing off. The Gibbs Cadiz and Les Miserables freebie, thanks!

  • Today's score: Aleph vs Aleph, 0-2. Because I consider myself as the winner.