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I’m right in the middle of filling this blank space up with words, characters some would be quick to correct me. It is early morning of Saturday; I’m in front of  the television that gives off soft glare, hearing Gus Abelgas’s glottal detailed narration of a heinous crime committed by an obese twenty-something. The ambiance of the living room makes me sleepy.

If not for the unforgiving fluorescent, I would have already stopped writing, climbed up the staircase and should’ve already been sleeping now. Thanks to the 40-watt bulb, I am still up until this time to continue writing. I thought of using this free time, the only one I have this week, to distill my rambling thoughts.

A friend told me that I wallow in the banalities of my writings. Although this isn’t the exact words he used, but the manner he said it sounded as strongly as ‘wallowing in the banalities’, that while I constantly remind my students that their writings should have a purpose, that it should comment, albeit subtly, on their social reality, complete with the trappings of an elegant utilization of the English language, my own writings have barely escaped the personal and the mundane.

I hate it when I do not write for several days; losing this very precious momentum I’ve painstakingly built, because of a long break, makes it even more difficult for me to gather enough propulsion to hurl myself back in front of Microsoft office and commence writing. I’m like a weightlifter suffering from massive muscular atrophy after a long respite. Or a soprano unable to sing an aria after a tonsillectomy. Or somebody whose former memory could be described as eidetic but stopped being so after undergoing three frontal lobotomies. On a second thought, one cannot hoard momentum, just like one cannot hoard sleep, time, or courage, when it comes to writing. Every day is a different day; a better metaphor would be somebody being on a labor bed giving birth every time he decides to put his thoughts into writing.

I just ran through posts I wrote years ago. At the very core of it, the entire act or reviewing posts of past years was nothing short of narcissism, and a blatant one to boot.

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I find it remorseful reading old posts. They remind me of my latent naivete, still obviously present in my newer posts, but hopefully more subdued this time. I quietly enjoy mocking my former youthful decadence. But while I take pride in how I unreluctantly debase and berate my old self, no holds barred, like all narcissists, I derive an inexpressible pleasure from the act of reading my old thoughts, more like Narcissus staring down at his own reflection in the pool. The images I see may not be beautiful, but how the image appears is immaterial, the fact that they’re mine and that I come close to enjoying the covert exercise, are enough to classify this as self-worship in nature. One philosopher, his name escaped me, said that self-love is insidious.

So right in the middle of filling this space up with characters, these things occur in my thoughts. I cannot help from writing them down, for future’s sake.  I find being afflicted with Alzheimer’s romantic. Though the idea scares me, reading these from the perspective of my Alzheimer’s-ed self is  rather intriguing.

Now, I certainly need start to writing.

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Ordinary revolutions

I probably read it in one of Anton Chekov or Maxim Gorky’s works. It went something like this: it’s easier for a man to live in a revolution than to face the routine of his daily existence.

On a weekend, I stay at my younger sister’s place; she is taking her undergrad at a university in the city. And during the whole time, we do nothing but eat, sleep, and for me, workout in the gym in a nearly automatic fashion. During these two days spent in advertent indolence, I am able to reflect on thoughts as scandalous and ingrate as this.

This confrontation with the ordinary, the clichéd, the redundant, proves just too difficult for my frail human soul to endure.

Could this be the same force that drives some members of the bourgeoisie to abandon their easy, repetitive, therefore boring, existence and take arms against the status quo? This lack of anything to do is more assaulting to the spirit than the thought of an impending revolution ahead.

But being so used to a secure life, although they thought they’ve already taken part in a revolution, they would keep on reiterating an ideology they accept as universally obvious. In Brodsky’s words, “What’s wrong with discourses about the obvious is that they corrupt consciousness with their easiness, with the quickness with which they provide one with moral comfort, with the sensation of being right. And so they wallow back in banality, this time, of their own ideology.”

But how pleasurable this banality is

Somebody once told me that I overrate sex, that I am too caught up within its crafty, labyrinthine path that one day I’d wake up totally enmeshed in and unable to escape from this game I all too enjoy playing. I laughed at the person giving me the remark, disregarding his comment as something at the height of naïveté. Sex moderates itself and the idea of being ‘oversexed’ is a fallacy. Sex operates within the bounds of diminishing marginal utility; inevitably one will get tired of it. And besides, I reason, that I am not getting any younger, the natural course of things is to slowdown. And thirty, forty years from now I shall altogether lose interest in it.

But he went on by saying that I’ve redefined moderation to a point that it becomes unrecognizable and unbelievable. My appetite for sex, he observed, is beyond compare. It’s as if I’ve been starved of it for years and reintroduced to it; I’ve transformed myself into a maniac who needs sex like one needs air and water to survive. I gave him a meaningful wink that caused him to almost choke in the oxygen he was inspiring. “Spare me,” he emphatically declared.

“And are you sure you’ll live for thirty or more years?” He jokingly asked.

“Well, I only intend to live until in my fifties. I do not dream of growing too old to be unable to perform well in bed,” I sarcastically answered.

“That is if you reach that age without having contracted syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or God forbids, HIV,” he finally said.

I looked straight to his eyes and asked, “What do you want me to do? Stop doing it and become an asexual salmonella like you?”

“What I mean is moderation. I do not have to define what moderation means in order for you to understand it. I have complete trust in your intelligence and ability to comprehend.” He paused, “And you’re all too aware that you are over-doing it.”

I was silent for more than a minute, sipped my cup of lukewarm cappuccino, and before me came a surge of countless images of the faces of people I had sex or made love with (as the two are totally different ideas and acts). I confused one from the other, forgot when I had the most unforgettable, the best, or when I did it for the first time. Sex has become too cheap and easy. And it was I and my almost insatiable thirst for it that made it too cheap and easy.

It’s as if my entire existence rests on this platform whose sole purpose is to seek pleasure. Sex ceased to be an emotional experience for me, and I do not remember whether it ever was an emotional experience shared with another person. What I know is that it is an exercise that dissipates bodily heat, facilitates an exchange of bodily fluids, and mediates the union of emptiness contained within equally empty bodies. But how pleasurable this banality is.