REPORT A PROBLEM
I'm going off on a vacation tomorrow, so I think I'm going to miss out on my entries for the next six days. Oh well, better get things started. Today, two friends came over to my place, and we watched a movie. Then we drove out and picked up another friend. We played dodgeball at the Freedom Park; it was crazy and extremely fun. We were using a plastic ball which easily decelerated from air resistance, so throwing it really took its toll on our biceps and shoulders. Oh well, the price of fun for today was a little pain.
I'm at terminal 3, waiting for our flight. See you in a few hours, Cebu. Something's wrong with the word counter below, but I can't figure out what. So I'll be counting the words manually. Anyway, I'll count words with apostrophes as one word, while those with hyphens will be counted as two.
Some people are being paged right now - men and women who're late for their flight. I can't help but feel irritated at their tardiness, but when I think about it, I, too, am always late. Maybe I should get irritated at myself. Yeah, I think I am.
My sister said Bantayan is just like Bora, minus the commercialization. I'm on my way there, riding a Ceres bus. It's a good thing bus WiFi is becoming a widespread luxury. I'm managing to write entries to this site on time.
Last night, I had a really weird dream. It seemed so realistic and it was very long. It was weird in a nice way, but I felt really sad at what I had to do toward the end of it. Is it an absolute truth that some things are never meant to be? I do hope it is not.
Island hopping and snorkeling for today. I never knew how much I loved the sea. At a few points, I imagined how nice it would be to glide in the water like a seal. But we are not creatures of the ocean. And I don't even know if we are creatures of the land.
The Philippines - it's beautiful. And it's an archipelago. This fact is important, one that I failed to realize, living in Luzon, surrounded by land and cars. I hope the crown of thorns infesting the seas won't eat up all our corals. They're too beautiful to die.
Island tour today. Did some kayaking in a mangrove sanctuary, which was damn crazy. It was harder than I thought. Then a little cave swimming, too. And driving by some tourist spots, which I won't enumerate lest all my hundred words are used up.
I'm depressed at how easily I fall asleep when I'm on vehicles. And at how dependent I am on sleep. I can barely function at eight hours a day. And getting up is the hardest part.
Anyway, I'm walking at a dark beach right now. Later.
I didn't intend to go swimming one last time this morning, but I decided to, even if I was bursting full of garlic cheeseburger and Frankfurter baguette. I had to get wet, for reasons I won't say. Anyway, it was a really good decision. Seeing the beach at high tide late in the morning was simply amazing. The sandbar was fairly eaten up, with a large part of it submerged in about a decimeter of sea. It was beautiful, sublime even. The water, sky, and sand were just perfect. It's nice, how clouds at sea look so huge and high.
So many sights, so many questions, not enough answers.
I woke up early today, restless in my sleep at the Sugbutel. I liked the place in a way, but for some reason, my mind kept telling me, "hey lazyhead, wake up." My body felt like 7 in the morning; my phone told me it was a few minutes before 5.
Anyway, off to turbo mass, which lasted 30 minutes.
Then questions. Why do the holy busts have fair skin, pointed noses, rosy cheeks, and brown hair?
Why do they celebrate the fall of the nation to the enemy? Oh why?
A day of spontaneity. What was supposed to be "just lunch" became a road trip - together with a pictorial at my high school, snacks at a coffee shop, house visit, facial care, and dinner. After "lunch," I went straight to my childhood best friend's party, where I saw her, for the very first time, wasted.
It was a bit sad that she KO'd herself, so we weren't able to catch up; nonetheless, I was able to meet with the other members of our clique, which was really great.
Drove myself home, and saw lots of freshmen at the Freedom Park.
Most of them are obvious - either too silent or too loud. These two leaned toward the latter. I sat and listened to their conversation. Why shouldn't I, when they spoke much louder than they should if they didn't want to be heard.
Two of my girl friends sat beside me, one on each side. We were all worn out, and they both were leaning on me. The one on my right was in an awkward position, sleeping with her arm on my right knee and thigh.
The two freshies suddenly fell silent, texting. I amusedly wondered what they were thinking.
I woke up to a start somewhere in Anos. I had fallen asleep earlier, when the bus drove past Walter Mart. My head ached, probably from the cold.
There was a bit of a traffic jam. Bored, I looked out of the window to my right. Another DLTB bus passed by, and we looked each other in the eye. Contact was broken in seconds as the other bus went ahead.
The eyes are the windows to the soul, but I can't really figure out people's thoughts when they look me in the eye. Must be because of all those lies.
A flash of violet passed my vision. There was a little sheen to it, enough to pique my interest. Bursting with excitement, I chased it for a few steps, but it was gone when I got past the door.
I did some mandatory chit-chat for civility. Then I saw it again to my right, but I knew I had lost it.
Thus, I decided to walk it off, and found something else. A friend, one who I owed some cash, sprouted into vision. I bought her a rainbow winter melon tea as compensation.
And the violet fades into light.
Tiny ants had been biting me when I woke up this morning. I decided to doze off the pinches of pain, and I dreamt.
There we were, filling up an enclosed court. It was dark and full of batchmates. I'm not sure which (maybe both). Once again, I was the battalion commander, issuing commands and getting stressed at the tiniest acts of lousiness.
But I was different from before. Not as unforgiving, not as strict, not as idealistic. Not as shout-y. I spoke very calmly, knowing everyone was tired, but I firmly reminded them of what must be done.
It seemed such a long time since I had last fought, but I felt my power simmering underneath the surface. He made the first move, charging with a greataxe on his right. Unsure how to respond, I tumbled back and shot out a fan of golden ropes from my bow, which managed to snag him. Pulling him in, I somersaulted upwards, launching him to the air. Channeling some chi through my legs, I swept up a whirlwind of air, bringing us up even higher. Before I could follow-up, he managed to free himself from the maelstrom.
I floated away.
Lost my left wisdom... tooth. It was a 2-hour minor surgery. I have it in a small herb jar, all its four little pieces.
Anyway, there is one thing I must learn, and it is the art of discourse....
When I've got something in mind, and my senses tell me that the other party is in "righteous" mode, I find it a lot easier to quit. To give up. To keep the best of my knowledge to myself. Because what point is there to explain, when the ears and mind of the other are closed before you even began?
It must be done, he thought silently. The full moon, high above, lit the field almost as good as daylight. The target was scheduled to pass the acacia in front of the student union building, alone, fifteen seconds from now.
The target was in sight. Clouds blocked out the moon in an instant; it was time. The hunter mage phased through the acacia and noiselessly got behind the target. A sliver of hesitation slid into his heart, but he quickly banished it. Dashing forward, he wrapped an arm around the prey, closed his eyes, and whispered three words of power.
The blue disc felt familiar. I gripped it with my right hand, snapping it up and down. I was deciding whether I'd toss it with a forehand or a backhand swing. I was usually more confident with the forehand, but I couldn't manage to put lots of power into it. More often than not, it would start to slope down 2/3 of the way to the target. On the other hand, my backhand had the opposite problem. I could power it up, but if I did, it was hard to control the direction.
I went for a hammer instead.
She was calling out names. I leaned against the concrete column, lazily staring into space. Some people were streaming out of the nearby convenience store, according to my peripheral vision. That's when I heard it - a cold, deep, almost emotionless voice in my head saying "I must destroy you, and I will be free."
I was shocked, not because of the telepathy, but at the thought that there was another like me. My shields were up; no one should be able to penetrate through. He, or maybe she, was definitely skilled and powerful. And was out here to destroy me.
Someone must have sent a hex bolt at me without me noticing. I had lots of sores on my limbs, and they were all itchy. The itch lurked at the edge of my mind, only kept at bay by sheer willpower, which I hadn't much of. Well that's an exaggeration. To be fair, some meds I just took should be able to ease it a bit, more than my will can.
I must have been vulnerable to his or her attack this time, because I just acknowledged my blankness today. I have no will of my own; I'm an empty slate.
The earthquake was bound to come. But just like any other member of this community, I didn't truly understand or realize the fact, not until the aftermath.
The oblation was on the ground, his right arm some feet away from his torso. Moonlight shone above, but the fire of the surrounding buildings illuminated his face much more. I could almost see tears running down his face - from who or what, I could only imagine. Perhaps the pain he imagined he felt as he lay there, motionless. Or the realization that his greatness had come to an end in an instant.
I could taste the bile in her voice. The few drops in it was audible, but I wouldn't have acknowledged it - not until she mentioned that. It would have all been my imagination otherwise. But once she said it, I knew that imagination dropped by at least two percent.
The judgment was there. It was as instantaneous as velocity. I had mine, too; but I kept it as restrained as possible. I always tried hard not to judge on loyalties, knowing how easily such an illusion can shatter.
I hate how this system stands on foundations of selfish loyalties.
The train arrived at Sakaimachi station late in the afternoon. Heavy rain was pouring, and powerful winds blew. Practically, the weather felt like a tropical storm. I think I decided to phone home to ask for advice. I forgot what she said, but in the end, we had to go home on our own - bike that eleven kilometer stretch, out in the howling weather, wearing those blue raincoats.
And we did. Visibility was low, and I was surprised to see M behind me, on the road. I forgot if she fell or if a car hit her.
I had broken three records in this year's sports fest. All the training had definitely paid off. College reps were coming in, offering scholarships so I'd later on join their swim team. I felt great, really great. My family was going crazy; they didn't have to worry about the sky-high tuition fees. Finally, one of their children would make it to college.
My life is fucked up. The sky had suddenly turned gray, then rain poured down like crazy. I bolted to the nearest building, and winced in pain as rashes showed up where I was wet.
She walked up to the podium, all dressed up to look intimidating. "Seven out of ten college students are defined by their insecurities. Of these seven, three adapt aggression to confront their perceived inadequacies," said the speaker in a steely yet honest voice. She stood there and delivered her speech, as regal as a queen with all her jewels. I wondered what furnace she had gone through to become so solid.
"Our scars must define us, and we must wear them as we do our clothes, accessories, and friends," she boomed, as she took off her shades, revealing her blindness.
The boy lay still in the rain-soaked field. A winged woman in fitting clothes stood a few feet from him. She was smoking a black cigarette, a look of apathy on her face. "You know, it's not your fault for thinking you were destined for something much greater than yourself. A lot of people do, and end up just like you," she said, a hint of amusement in her voice. "You're a bit special though. Struggled that much..." She raised her right arm and wing, then said, "Stay away from God. He doesn't need you, not now, not ever."
Come on, now. Eat...
Just fuckin' put it in your mouth!!
...I shouted at myself mentally, scolding my brain for refusing to take it in. It was all mushy and slimy now, coated in the saliva of so many men and women. I'm sure it originally looked quite appealing. But after entering so many mouths, I wasn't so sure anymore.
I took another look at the spoon. What appeared to be corned beef rested on it. Fuck, I thought, this is what happens to pork chop. Taking a deep breath, I put it in and swallowed immediately.
Oh God. The chicken was inside the blanket and was starting to peck at my lower body (near that area). I couldn't move because you were leaning (sort of lying down) on me.
You were so heavy.
I was completely paralyzed.
The chicken was starting to invade. And I was struggling. So hard. To move. But. I couldn't. You were simply. Too heavy.
Then I woke up. The insects were chorusing. Some birds were chirping. A truly welcome, familiar sound. I look, and there you are, your fur all gray and shiny as you lie down near me.
No one else was around as I came up to the entrance of the Citadel. There probably was no soul within ten meters of me, in a place which was often densely packed with at least two people per square meter. I shot a glance into the building, and caught sight of maroon clothing. From that far, I knew it was you - the disposition and the gait gave you away. To my utter surprise, you glanced back, as if sensing me. There was a stunned look on your face. Was it recognition? But that cannot be.
You don't know me.
He sat there in front as my two classmates interviewed him about his stay in Japan. For some reason, I couldn't take my attention off him. Oh those stories - I wish I could've been there.
A year had passed since I did a favor for my friends and let myself be interviewed in their comm class. I was in my statics class when I noticed my classmate often looked at me - the same person who I remember listening intently during that interview. I wanted to be friends, I guess, but I didn't know how to start. And neither did he.
The rain came down in buckets outside, but it was fine by me. I welcomed the rain today, because somewhere in my heart, it was already flooded. A heavy blanket of sadness had encroached my mind, slowly leading me to the edge of sanity. I let it carry me perilously close, for it was in such moments that I felt life coursing through my veins.
Loud explosions could be heard from afar. They sounded like fireworks, but who would be playing with fire in a rainstorm? Twenty-one explosions later, I imagined warplanes coming, but I didn't feel any fear.
"You know you're nothing, right, Maria?," said Cassidy as the greatwind screamed its fury around them. Her mouth made no sound as she said the words - the conversation was happening in their heads. Cassidy held a green ceremonial dagger in her left hand. Its tip was pointed right at Maria's left eye, millimeters away from the cornea. Cassidy closed her eyes, then said, "But your eyes. They are the eyes of an oracle. Come, my child. Step forward and embrace your destiny." Maria hesitated, glancing at her master's face. It could be the last thing her left eye would see.
The Tip Jar