REPORT A PROBLEM
"I have an idea."
"Let's do something every day, at exactly 2:01pm. It can be to shout the word 'crazy' or pull out one hair."
"Even if we're apart?"
"Narrow it down."
"Okay, let's focus on hair. Let's tuck a strand of hair beneath our right ear every day at exactly 2:01pm."
"And even if there is no hair to be tucked behind, like if it already tucked behind, you will make an effort to mess up your hair so you can tuck it behind your right ear."
"God, sometimes you think too much."
My brother got married yesterday. It was New Year's Day and people still came to the ceremony. Sometimes you wonder if people are really busy or if they are just lazy. If they are just making excuses or if they have it in them to do something they really want to do. Before yesterday I thought on New Year's Day everyone is supposed to be asleep because they slept late the night before. But they came to the party, all dressed up and awake, for my brother and his wife. It's heartening to know people express love in this way.
My mother stammers when she is nervous. She says a string of unintelligible and unrelated words. We all do this, except all of us isn't my mother. What I'm saying is, I like watching her when she's nervous, when she knows she's cornered or when she knows she made a mistake (who decides what a mistake is?), she tries to compensate by talking and talking, and laughing a little. I wish she knows she doesn't have to apologize for her mistakes. That all of it is compensated for, because she is selfless, because she thinks of us first all the time.
There is a need for these: bed, desk, chair. A proper bed, instead of a futon on the floor, so that one can swing her feet down. So that there will be x seconds before it hits the ground, an x amount of seconds of anticipation. A desk for the illusion of organization, a surface to put the mess on, a flat terrain of nothingness to be filled with things that are not needed. A chair for the back ache. A chair with those little wheels. These are needs for a better life, or maybe a pitiful semblance of it.
You are a yellow mass of blur that moves in front of me. There is sound coming out of you and it soothes my ears, makes me feel safe, but it also tells me of coming rain, that there is a chance polar bears won't make it, that maybe ants aren't that strong after all. You are both light and dark, and it is not your fault. Who says if something is one's fault? If you cause harm does it mean that you meant for it to happen? You do not know. You do not know. You do not know;.
If I stop today in the middle of a task and do something else, I can be accused of multitasking and not being very good at it, because it is 95% certain that I won't be able to finish either one of the tasks I began. If I police myself, watch every action, every decision, every flicker of thought that emanates from my head, I will be a very overworked and underpaid policeman, always tired and grumpy, always wanting to go somewhere else but in the end decides to stay put. I won't even know what to watch for, really.
Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim. Xian Lim.
How to go about love that you should keep versus love that you should avoid? When the world was young, people drafted rules for this. They said: Love shouldn't be hard, you never should have to work for it in order to get it, it should be given freely, and when it is given to you all you have to do is accept and try to give it back. There is love you should avoid, this is forced love, this is the kind where you tell yourself "I want this," but then deep inside you know it's the blackest lie.
Yesterday we walked. You told me: "I wish I had counted all the steps we took, multiplied them by four, and then that's how much our feet was worth yesterday."
"By how many steps they took?"
"Like that, yes, but more of an imaginary distance, an imaginary amount of people they have passed, earth they have met."
"If it's imaginary then don't you think you shouldn't have to define and box it in a number? You can just say 'many'."
"We took many steps?"
"That's what we did, yes. A number confines it."
"Sometimes worth is a tricky concept."
"What is it called, when you think of a person first thing in the morning and think of the same person last thing at night?"
"That's an easy question which is hard to answer, other people may say that's a hard question which is easy to answer."
"You think you understand things, right? You think there is just one person. But then there is also you. You have to be clear what your role is in that situation."
"I think I should just call it infatuation."
"When you start naming things, that's when you get more confused."
These are what I remember from that night: lamp posts that looked like proud ballerinas, a sea of people, a drunk guy trying his hardest to be mean, two guys trying to be friendly, two girls occupying my seat, a couple who didn't look like they were in love, and my favorite band playing my favorite song. Also, me thinking of my mother, 20 minutes away by bus, waiting for me to come home. I have planned the trip around this concert, now here it is happening and all I can think about is coming home to my mother's smell.
You say that the stars speak to you in a funny way. There are consonants upon consonants, semi-audible words. They are color blue, sometimes orange. They stream in front of you like ribbon-y smokes. You try to catch them but you are distracted by their sound. Hgtrfhgtrfghtrf. Sometimes they sing, you say. And you are mesmerized into a sound sleep. The only thing you can remember from this one time was that a light blue smoke almost touched you but it hesitated. And then you began to spend your life trying to understand that hesitation. How's it going?
Sundays are tall and thin creatures. They stand above the other days but they can't help it that they're towering. Sometimes they grow even more especially when people hug and eat together on Sundays. They are at their tallest during lunch time because that is when the the most hugs occur. Kisses make Sundays blush a little. So you see, if there are hugs and kisses at the same time, you will notice a Sunday becoming taller and then blushing, and all the other days will look at it and giggle. Sunday will be a bit shy. Sundays are adorable.
This is a story about a foodcourt and a book. Calamansi juice, a bag of potato chips, and 5 hours. Also, a girl who didn't want to go home. So she reads in a food court and doesn't notice the time. It passes just like that. She sat down at 2 pm. She is sure because she took note of it. The next thing she knows it is already 5 hours later. But it is not an ordinary kind of 5 hours. It is 5 hours later and she is in a different place. She may never go home again.
I want to talk about potato chips and cheese. What if there is an alternate reality where there are large bowls that produce potato chips on command? Would you like to go there? I would. If that alternate reality only knew of pretzels, I would still go. I would go anywhere where love of food is nurtured. But I hope they will eventually produce potato chips. Then there's cheese. It is the best food! Cheese-flavored anything is the first choice always. Cheese deserves superlatives. Cheese should run for president (my friend Glenn said this.) I agree so much.
It is a sad truth, isn't it? That someone important to you can be someone who is not important to you anymore. These things happen on their own. Even if you decide now: You are not important to me anymore, if that is not how it should be then that is not how it would be. But the next day, even if you don't think about it or even if you fight against it, if you see that person and nothing just stirs, and you actually feel the halting? Hear it? You get a tad sad that something has ended.
Did it take you by surprise, when you started to feel an odd feeling? Or did you always know it was there all along just waiting to pounce on you? What is an odd feeling anyway? I guess, it is like blue turning into pink, or smooth turning into rough. Do you get the picture? It is an abrupt change, almost a secret change. Like a phantom that refuses to be acknowledged. You begin to wonder if this pink has always been pink, wasn't it blue just days ago? You begin to doubt your memory. Something eats at you.
There are small endings. Imperceptible from afar but they add up and form small mountains, that in about a few years they become creatures of their own, capable of getting under your bed and making you cry at night, you will wonder for weeks upon weeks why you are sad about a small ending, and you will not know that it's because that small ending is the last of its kind. Something like it will not happen again, you mourn that even if you don't know the specifics yet. In the future you will understand, but not today. Not today.
Saturday is sometimes jealous of Friday. In fact, Saturday stormed into Friday's room last night and demanded an explanation for a boy's foul mood. "Well, the week ended for him and he doesn't like days that start with S. Some people do hate weekends, y'know."
"This is an anomaly! You must have done something! Nobody dislikes me!"
"What can we do? We are just here, we are not allowed to do anything. We don't have hands, we don't have voices that they can hear."
Saturday moped the whole day. So Sunday was cross with her about that as well.
The cure for Laziness to Get Off the Bed is called Getting Off the Bed. It's those first 5 minutes of sleepiness that you have to shake off. If you convince yourself that you still need sleep and that an additional 15 minutes will work for you, then baby you are setting yourself up for 10+ repetitions of that until it's 3 hours later and you're still in bed. That is, if you are anything like me. If you are nothing like me though, and you can open your eyes and start the day right off, then good for you.
It is wintertime. We are huddled by the fireplace, our laughter doing a better job of keeping us warm. You open each story with "Do you remember that time when," and I perk up trying to predict which time you'd be referencing. I try so many times, and fail to guess correctly. Because the truth is there is one time that keeps cropping up, that one time which I hope you will retell me: It was our first winter and we were huddled like this, we kissed for the first time, and knew that night that we were in love.
There is an island where, if you say the right word upon your arrival, a group of women will welcome you and treat you like royalty. Rumors say that the word is old, unused, forgotten. Nobody is sure if a person has been successful in doing it, what is certain is there have been dead bodies. Still, some are brave enough to try, if only for the chance of being treated like a king or queen, one chance is all you need, right? The word may sound like a grunt, they say, but you have to be precise or else.
I'm afraid that you will turn away and it will be because of something I have no control of. A sentence that didn't sit well, an off-hand comment, a moment of stupidity or arrogance. I fear that if I tell you these things you will let go. What if you are not even holding on to anything? "I am afraid of the future." I have decided today not to tell you a lot of things. I have decided, there is no point predicting what will happen. I have decided, if you turn away, then that's what's meant to happen.
There's a photograph that talks. It is in one of her drawers. At night, just before she slips into dreams, there is a scratch at first, she hears it as such, but it is actually a shout from a little lady in the photograph. It then becomes the sound of a Ferris wheel, it does have a sound, yes. Whirr whirr whirr. Screams of delight. She opens the drawer as she does every night and pleads the woman in the photograph to be quiet. It is this ritual that keeps both of them alive. It gives them a sense of importance.
How many photographs do I need of you, just one good shot, is all. You will be smiling that smile of yours, your eyes will tell me of blue skies and the smell of powder, your ears will stick out and remind me of your touch, your hands will be by your side and I will know what you would have wanted to do with them. In that photo will be a million possibilities frozen in a single frame. The sun off your hair will make it appear golden, there is a breeze and I am forever looking at you.
You look away and say "The door is ajar, please close it properly, it might slam and startle the quiet."
"It's these infinite number of seconds when we absolutely know what to do but don't know how to do them, and so we just sit and wring our hands worrying."
"That is the quiet?"
"It just gets noisy when we pretend to know how things are done. It gets noisy with force. When we sit and wait there is peace."
"But there is also anxiety. Doesn't that count as noisy, too?"
TV says more rain. You wash your clothes, buy crackers and tuna, mend your umbrella. In case of flood, you make sure that you can survive. You devise a boat with a roof, a paddle; you prepare a floater, a whistle, a flare. Floods this side of town are huge, you have seen one. TV says there is little chance for that kind of flood to happen twice. Only certainty is heavy rains. You decide that the umbrella is useless. You buy a second boat. You look out the window. Rain is here. It whispers "You are not safe."
Mondays are gregarious. They try too hard. They wear bright colors: oranges and yellows. Their laughter booms and when you hear it you are comforted but a few seconds later you feel a pang, not knowing where it's coming from. The only thing you know is that there was a lie that took place. The laughter you heard wanted to be a cry for help, but Mondays are too proud to admit that they need help so they laugh this loud laugh. They think nobody notices that they only pretend, they don't know everybody is just pretending they don't notice.
"I don't like what you wrote about Mondays," said a Tuesday.
"Mondays absorb a lot of crap. There are also good things that happen on Mondays but people focus on the bad. They go 'Oh I hate it that it's Monday again!'" this Tuesday looks pissed off.
"You know what most Mondays say to me? They say 'Oh it was tough, as usual, but most of the week would hopefully go on smoothly now.'"
"Don't you hate that word 'hopefully?' Don't you think Mondays shouldn't have to hope and instead be sure that everything will go on smoothly now?"
My name is purple. I'm a color, as you know, but I am more than that. History says that I used to be a princess. I smelled of roses and my touch was light, my smile was radiant and blinded some men, my hair was so long it circled the whole world. I find it hard to believe that I used to be a princess. My memory only gives me these: I sang to a boy every day, I let him touch my hair, I loved how he smiled at me, I let him take my heart and walk away.
Thursdays are tricky creatures. They are lanky and wise. Not such a good combination if you were to go for looks. See, lanky creatures walk like they don't care. Wise people usually seem like they care a whole lot. This is how Thursdays confuse people. They don't mean to do it, but it's just how they were made. They saunter towards you with this magnetic smile, you are sucked in a funny story that makes you think 'Oh, life is so easy.' But then some Thursdays tell you out of nowhere: "Life is hard and you are not exempted, kid."
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