In and on love: delirious ramblings written on the eve of Valentine’s

I love as if it is my last day alive. I am never scared to risk it all for love. I love to love because the act of loving is more than a reason to fall in love and to remain in love. I am confident that all the people I loved in the past and the person I love now never complained and will never complain that I lacked passion, that I did not love them with fiery intensity, only the opposite, that I loved them too much. Love propels me to reach for higher grounds, to do things beyond my human abilities. Love may have caused my past follies as to write the most prosaic of poetry, but my best prose was made poetic by love.

I am the happiest when I am in love. I walk with insouciance, almost flying; I defy gravity. When I am in love, all the food I eat taste like my mother’s specialty dish; I finish all the books I read; a ‘hard read’ isn’t true; I write in the most fluid of manner, unblocking my constant writer’s block; I lift the heaviest of weights, run the longest mile, and swim the most laps; I hug the tightest. I kiss the wettest.

When I am in love, my hypothalamus hypertrophies to a size bigger than my skull, my heart beats so powerfully that I fear it’ll rip my ribcage from inside, that member stands most proudly (its hardness and length rival that of my femur).

When I am in love, this one without any attempt on exaggeration, I become a better version of myself.

I don’t stutter when I am in love. I am calm when I am in love (like a cold gush of wind from an evening breeze). I chew my food slowly when I am in love. I imagine I look good when I am in love. I listen more, talk less when I am, of course, in love.

When I am in love, I quit being sarcastic. I cut on my acrid remarks, dramatically doing away with my often sardonic way of laughing when I think that the world has become hyperbolically un-clever. I become nice, even nicer than a nice cup of tea. I knowingly leave my stiff upper-lip on a train to Stratford-upon-Avon and from there totally forget about it. I become warm, warm enough to boil water 24,000 ft above sea level.

I am not irritable when it’s Valentine’s Day. I look forward to it like how I did for Christmas when I was seven, that is, if I am in love. Like today.

I want to remain in love, to love until the world gets fed up and decides to burn me in stake because of this love. There’s no sweeter reason for dying than to die for love.

And no better reason for living than to live for love and the person I love.

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Abolishing Christmas

MEMORANDUM No. 465371799199121

SUBJECT: Abolition of Christmas and declaring it a null celebration

ORIGIN: The Holy Office of the Holiest

23rd December 2009

______________________________________________________________________

After a thorough discussion with all the concerned departments within the tiers of the Holy Government of Heaven, I hereby formally dissolve Christmas from the list of sanctioned celebration. This goes without saying that everything that has to do with it will also be erased from mankind’s collective memory.

Any complaints or appeals may be forwarded to the College of Saints, but to set everyone’s expectation, the ruling is final and executory. The appeal may be opened for further assessment; however, this universal law has already been set to place and will be effective on the eve of 25th of December of this year. And whatever question it will raise is moot and academic as the college will again convene two centuries from now.

We already anticipated that some sector, the minority I gathered, will ask for an explanation to this hasty pronouncement. Below are justifications:

1. Christmas is outdated, outmoded, a vestige of the past. The Government of Heaven is projecting an image of modernity, or postmodernity if you want to call it this way. Being stuck in this half-pagan exercise is contradictory to the path this Government is heading.

2. It is nothing but sheer garb. And materialism is something this Government frowns upon. Therefore Christmas must go.

3. Although it is not our responsibility to meddle with mankind’s banal concerns, Christmas is disruptive to the normal flow of trade. It is an anomaly that creates artificial needs, supply, and demand. Like materialism, artificiality is also a hated enemy of the Government. Notice the absence of plastic vegetation in the Holy Office of the Holiest. Except for the stuffed rubber elephant in the south section, everything is real.

4. The color motifs of the celebration, red and green, have the worst possible combination in the color wheel that when mixed result to black. Black, as we are all aware, is the color associated to the enemy, the devil, Lucifer.

5. And finally, Christmas is a sham. Therefore, it inevitably makes sham out of the human species. They forgive their enemies, love one another, and maintain a semblance of uneasy peace because it’s Christmas. Come on! You expect my esteemed office to believe this scam?

Effective 24th of December, no Christmas or any of its derivative may be celebrated. So ordered.

Cc:

College of Saints

Space Police

American Psycho Association

AA

All mankind concerned

Waking up alone on a Tuesday morning

Being alone on the holidays is not that bad after all. I’d rather have moments of contemplation and silence in exchange of the long travel to reach home and then realizing that I do not have time to be with all the members of my family because each also want to catch up with friends and people they left behind.

Since my room does not have windows or ventilation, I rubbed my eyes several times to get a complete image of the room in the absence of morning light. Not to mention gasp for oxygen every once in a while. I dreamed I was home, but of course I am inside a small room in this small city. Using my bed sheet, I scraped away the excess oil on my face, headed for the lavatory, washed my face and brushed my teeth. I hated waking up with an oily face, but I soon learned to live with it. Now, having an oversupply of sebum is the least of my worries.

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As a habit, I turned on my computer, played my favorite song, and hum with its slow tempo. I flipped a few pages of an anthology of Kafka’s short stories my friend lent to me yesterday and began reading in a disorderly manner. I kept on skipping pages, running my eyes on the drab leaves, but eventually gave up. The guy is not meant to be read that way; I thought I was disrespecting him. I set the paperback aside, stood up and did some stretching and abs exercises.

Boredom has long ceased to be my enemy just like the sebaceous face. As I grow older, I less easily get bored. But this does not mean I can sustain interest in a thing for longer time. There are lots of changes that come with getting older and we all know that. What used to be something we cannot leave without turns out to be nothing but rubbish we die to get rid of. And what used to be non-material to our existence becomes the reason why we exist.

I went out, ate my breakfast of sausage and eggs at a small deli in the corner, and headed back to my room, this time more confident that a full stomach will allow me to digest Kafka’s thought with less difficulty.

And so I began reading only to fall asleep and wake up again four hours later to write this.

A visit

I left the city this afternoon for Miagao because the city, its noise and grimes, had been too much to bear. I sought refuge in the quiet of the boondocks and the monotonous sound coming from my laptop while writing in my room on campus. I brought supplies with me because nothing is sold anywhere within a three-kilometer radius of the university. The campus is like a ghost town. One will have to walk for twenty-minutes to reach the highway and wait at the corner waiting shed for passing jeepneys. I have to leave for the city early tomorrow if I do not want to starve.

This time, however, I am binging on canned goods, instant noodles, and 3-in-1 coffee, hoping that I am able to store enough food energy to last until nine in the morning tomorrow.

I browsed the net for six hours straights, read the news, and watched some irrelevant videos on Youtube. A friend complained how my posts have been so full of angsts these days. According to him they were shorter, sadder, and abnormally full of rage (as I am an angry writer). I disagreed. But he might have been correct.

I heard somebody saying that during Christmas, all roads lead home, but not, I think, in my case. This is my second Christmas away from home. Last year, I was in Hanoi washing my dirty clothes on the eve of the 25th. This year, I have no idea where I shall be, but I hope I will not anymore be doing my laundry on that day.

Advisory:

Because of the holidays, I may not be able to post for a week or two. You may still leave your comments here and I shall promptly respond the moment I get hold of a web connection.You may read older post; my adventures in Vietnam last year are suggested.

I’ll try to lose myself a bit this time if only to find it again. Nonetheless, we cannot all be doing things like how a romantic would. The degree of being ‘lost’ will depend on my financial means, which is rather bleak this time. The best university in the country is yet to release my salary for November and December because of a drug test I cannot undergo. I am a victim of a system malfunction of the country’s pathetic attempt to be competitive in the modern age without equipping its people with proper knowledge on how to operate and troubleshoot these machines. Full story will follow in future posts.

Until this time, I could not imagine how I managed to survive for two months penniless. And UP, the biggest red tape there is, stuck with its policies and opted to starve one of its faculty members than to forgo something like a required drug test. I might as well take amphetamine and stone myself crazy. UP administration must find ways on how to streamline its operation, be more efficient, and proactive. It cannot continue being the bastion of intellectualism in the country if it works like the Bureau of Internal Revenue. It cannot brag being the best, if the people running it are dimwitted if not brainless.

I am demoralized, demotivated, and furious. I feel humiliated. UP can now be considered in the league of the worst employers in the country. Its human resource department has boxed itself inside a vacuum, a quiet room, deaf to the calls for change. An academic institution striving to be or to retain the position of being the best in the country needs to let go, ax, fire, abolish this human resource arm and replace it with something poised to cope with the changes.

I am so disappointed with the University of the Philippines. Really, I am.

A new addition to my ‘hatest’ list:

Christmas carols sung by college students who never bothered to practice.

They sing stupid songs like Jingle Bells and Give Love on Christmas Day which they consider cute when they were nine and have not outgrown the liking for none sense songs like these. They accompany these atrocity with percussion instruments that sound charming if five-year-olds play them, but an entirely different case if shrieking college students tap and shake them.

And I cannot wait for the Holidays to be over if only to escape from these carolers who might have forgotten that the celebration of Christmas should never be imposed on anybody. And that Christmas songs should not be sung as to trigger a lethal heart attack.

Love songs and how they inspire dread, scornful pity, and cloud one’s judgment

To listen to love songs during late night programming when all cheesy and gut wrenching songs with romantic melodies and lyrics are playing is the worst advice one can give to somebody recovering from a recent breakup.

But tonight, just before all the FM radio stations in General Santos City sign off, I am doing something I would proscribe anyone from doing, with or without of late parting with his/her lover. But I cannot help it, I am doing my sister’s Math project, which she requested me to do last week. I procrastinated until this afternoon when she demanded me to do it with added stipulation that I have to be done with it tonight or she’ll have nothing to submit later this morning to her teacher, and that it will cost her her grades for this grading period. Being a brother ridden with biting guilt that I have not helped my sister with any of her assignments since she started schooling, I humbly acquiesce.

Example is this one below:

8. Of the apples inside the barrel that will be sent to Tampakan for Christmas, 1/13 are green, 2/4 are red Fuji variety, and 7/65 are sour yellow, the remaining apples are native ones grown in Kalsangi (a local farm in Polomolok, South Cotabato famous for its golf course and fine weather). What part of the apples in the barrel are native variety from Kalsangi?

Let me know if you know the answer.

I have no choice but to hear the songs coming from an old stereo to my left, since silence is a harsher company.

Engelbert-Humperdinck-A-Man-Without-Lov-376653_5790

So here I am being drowned by Barry Manilow’s bromidic sermons about love, gasping in Air Supply’s heinous high notes, and helplessly manslaughtered by Engelbert Humperdinck 70s classic, while wracking my head to provide answers to the fraction word problems I wrote myself.

In general, love songs are meant to be confusing. The poetry, or prose, that makes up the so called lyrics is nothing but a gibberish that is arranged in such a way that it sounds intelligible to somebody whose judgment is clouded by a recent heartache or a newly found love. Every line is sprinkled with randomly chosen meaningless abstraction such as the word love (the most overused), memories, the only one, alone, you, heart, waiting, remember, now and then, tomorrow, sun, song I sing, all my life, day without you, and other ludicrous ideas that exist anywhere but in reality.

They all have silly notions that forever can be through, there can be bluer than blue, about a moonriver (a foolish idea) wider than a mile that can be crossed in style someday, somebody whose only want is to grow old with somebody, leaving on a jetplane to someday come back with her wedding ring, or saying ‘I’m yours’ while spending precious time doing an entirely dopey thing of checking one’s tongue in the mirror.

And it would be too much if I still have to comment on the melody. They all sound the same, with some little variations here and there, and whose only purpose is to make anyone of their unsuspecting victims to be out of touch with what’s real.

See, I almost forgot about my sister’s assignment. I have to continue writing now, while ‘Unchained Melody’ envelops my room with an eerie feeling of dread.

Unchained_Melody_by_TOYIB

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