Why have we become like this?

A friend of mine, a young woman of 26, asked me if she could leave before three today to join a protest rally on Katipunan, which if a critical mass is reached, will head to EDSA this evening. I indifferently said yes and told her to just make up for the lost hours next week. I on the other hand had to stay until 6 at the school to work on the evaluation of the French class students. I have papers to check this weekend, a class to prepare for, and cats to take care of. I also have to catch up on my workout as I haven’t gone to the gym for a week now because of work.

The people I see on the street, those my age, show that similar look of resignation, save for some undergraduates in their PE shirts or long tees who seem poised to change history tonight.

For all the rest, this protest on EDSA against the clandestine burying of the remains of Marcos is an annoyance, a cause of this monster traffic. The reason they’re stuck on buses on their way home to Fairview or Bacoor.

This is what has become of us. Work has made us unresponsive to events and happenings that would otherwise scandalize us had we been not rendered docile and satisfied but unthinking by work. I hate this feeling. This is what it means to be an adult; I hate that I am one.

I told myself a long time ago when I was much, much younger, that I would be part of history unfolding. That I will not stay home and let pass that rare opportunity to make a difference in this country. But look at me now. I’m scurrying to go home, cursing the traffic on EDSA just to catch some sleep.

And the saddest thing is that, passing by EDSA shrine, I saw a small crowd, hardly a critical mass enough to send the message that the people are indignant. There were several groups taking selfies while a member is holding a placard.

Everyone is tired. Everyone has gone tired. What with the unfulfilled promises of the past two People Power? The world goes on turning, with Marcos’s body finally subject to the actions of worms and vermins, after years of keeping it almost lifelike inside a tomb his family built for him.

But even rats and roaches won’t touch him. Who would want to gnaw on a dessicated body preserved in formaldehyde for almost three decades?

Life goes on.

And that is the tragedy of the Filipino, myself included, this general quiet and seeming indifference, this lack of rage at the direction this country is heading.

And my train goes to the direction of home, and I’m dying for sleep.

Condensation and ‘Nymph()maniac’

For a year I had waited for the rainy season to return. Since Friday night the rain has not abated save for some patches lasting five to twelve minutes when the clouds just took some time resting before they poured again non-stop. It has been cloudy the whole day today. The glass wall of my office was made opaque by this condensing pesky humidity, the same humidity which for three months has overstayed its welcome. I could only imagine what’s in the other side. It reminded me of those pito-pito bold films in the 90s where directors, fearing censorship, veiled their badly done simulation of sex with perspiring glass doors.

Speaking of…

I downloaded this movie by Lars von Trier around a month ago but did not find enough momentum and commitment to spend five hours watching the two volumes so I kept on postponing watching them until an opportunity arose–I became sufficiently consumed by boredom that I was left with no option but to begin watching the movie. The movie is watchable, if you’re a certain kind of viewer. If you have high tolerance for naked bodies, erect and flaccid phalluses (a lot of them), unorthodox tastes in sex, and long-winding conversations, then this film is for you. If you have a habit of associating meanings to anything, this film offers you enough objects of whose significance will make you spend your waking days figuring out. I quit figuring out after a while.

This film will not, I repeat, will not titillate.

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But it’s a nice film, not the kind that you would let freshman English students watch, but good enough to give you a glimpse of the other side of the glass wall made translucent by that condensing humidity.

Thank God it’s cooler now.

This world is lonely

This world is filled with so much loneliness. And the sad thing about loneliness is that everything that can be said about it has already been said and any attempt of anyone to come up with a unique articulation of it suffers the inevitable failure we familiarly call a cliche. And all cliches are detested.

Such is the sorry story of my dinner tonight that reminded me of humid nights spent alone in a room I rent in a staff house back in college.

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Such is the lonely image of my dinner that has to be filtered several times to create a tone, a tone of desolation to keep it in tune with the theme of today’s post.

Ha ha.

At work on a Sunday

It’s not because I am such an industrious worker. Most of the time I am not. My views with regard to work have changed countless of times. They’ve flowed and ebbed depending on the fulfillment and financial reward I derive from them. I could spring to as high as not expecting remuneration so long as the toil gives me some feeling of ebullience and satisfaction for having helped others, or I could neap to as low as counting every minute of it and not working beyond the final minute knowing that I am not anymore paid for it. Work has become so perfunctory (has it never been?) that I often dread going to work. There are rare occasions, however, that I regain my long-lost insouciance toward work. Sadly, I am not very consistent in keeping it that way.

Today, I left home at 7:15 for my make-up work from 8:00-12:00. That’s a failure to keep the Sabbath Day holy, the fourth commandment in the Decalogue. But the issue whether the real Sabbath is Sunday or Saturday is still being debated. Until the time Christians have settled the matter, I won’t feel contrite working on a Sunday (or Saturday).

It’s a downward journey, I hear most people say. Once one has given up his Sunday for work, he’ll have very few excuses not to give up his evenings, holidays, even those precious moments with people dear to him.

Simple sentences and fragments

I woke up very early, at 8. It was very cold. The first thing I did was to wash my face and brush my teeth. I gathered my whites and washed them at the basement. Then I went to the kitchen. There, my books and computer were waiting for me.

It was drizzling outside. A gloomy day. Rainy days vex my spirit.

I boiled some coffee. It would have been in a samovar. If I were in Russia. But I’m in America. So it’s a whistling kettle. Between a samovar and a whistling kettle. There is no competition. A samovar is poetry incarnate. A Whistling kettle is prose.

And how I detest conditionals.

I cooked a cup and a half of rice. I washed it first. Thrice of course. It should be that way. My mother said. The bag of rice was imported from Vietnam. It’s the best variety. A little sticky. Not too wet. Moderately soft. Bright white. My appetite wasn’t with me, though. I approached the table. Opened a book and read. I realized. It was already 10. I stared at the view outside. The falling rain water mesmerized me. I closed my eyes and said a short prayer.

                             

The prosaic whistling kettle announced the conclusion of its reason for being. I poured its briskly boiling content into my cup. Where’s the coffee maker? I seemed to have heard. In case you asked. It’s cracked.

I prefer my coffee black. It’s less fattening this way. I don’t like my coffee bitter, however. So today, it’s black. With a dash of Splenda. I’m already fed up with all the bitterness. Including the bitterness in my coffee. A little sweetness won’t hurt. I guess.

It rained the whole day. I stayed in. I was alone. Everyone left.

Early spring

This is my first time in the US. So far, the biggest challenge I am facing is jet lag. My mind is actively working at night and I am sleepy during the day.

I have already begun my classes. Nothing extraordinary has happened since I arrived which is all that I want.

I have nothing to share for now. Except for these pictures.