Monthly Archives: February 2010

A Philosophy of Happiness

You don’t have to take my word for it, but I’ve been lonely enough in the past and happy enough in the present to say that someday, you’ll realize happiness is all about them, not you. That is, the only way to be happy or have a semblance of that feeling is to make everyone around you happy, or at least more positive about life than you. The ego is an empty shell, a dark cavern filled with stale air. Amusing ourselves with fanciful vacations, a cabinet full of DVDs, an altar of trophies and recognitions — the thrill fades after a while, once our brains develop enough neural networks and mature enough to realize we’re just setting ourselves up for a huge fall during the midlife crisis. The more exciting it is at the beginning, the more hollow it is in the end. Continue reading

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Self-Diagnosis: Pre-Loneliness Loneliness

Must be the Nilagang Baka (boiled beef) but there are swirling, sloth-like dark clouds inside my cranium today. I’d be lucky if that means a storm is coming because right now, at this very moment, I want a nerve-wracking thunder storm, a near-life experience as Tyler Durden used to say. Maybe another shot at EK’s Space Shuttle or a chance to dance dirty in the middle of a club — not like I’ve ever done that — but something that will feel real, something that will smell real again.

Of course I’m kidding myself if I attribute all of it to the Nilagang Baka. Obviously, the diagnosis should be what I would call a Pre-loneliness Loneliness (PLL). The root cause is the plunging levels of endorphins as your mind anticipates a gray future approaching slowly but surely. Symptoms include staring blankly at the computer screen, a natural reflex to avoid work, listening to a repetitive playlist that drives home a certain feeling, and a positive revulsion for the future. I am experiencing all of these now. I am suffering from a self-developed, self-diagnosed, and self-perpatuated disease. PLL is killing me.

In about three to five months after that plane carrying Chemae heads for Neverland, people won’t recognise me. I’ll tell them “I’m Marvin” but they would perceive an obvious change in my demeanor, like my upper lip is constantly quivering, or my fingers are twitching too much. They’d look at me suspiciously, like I’m an impostor. I’ll probably be scruffy with thick and oily facial hair reminiscent of Pacquiao when he pummelled Clottey last March. Except unlike Pacquiao, people won’t be delighted to see me at all. They would think I am a good tap on the shoulder away from incurable insanity. Continue reading

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Oras

Pwede bang ‘wag ka nang magtampo dahil malapit nang magunaw ang mundo?

Hinog na kasi ‘tong maliit na mundong ginagalawan natin, pero hindi parang isang atis na siniksik lang sa sako ng bigas — hinog sa pilit. Itong sa’tin, maganda ang balat, mabango, matamis. Mahigit isang taon lang ang kailangan natin para pahinugin ‘tong prutas ng ating mundo — at ngayon, handa na syang magunaw.

Naaalala mo pa ba?

Yung mga polo kong itim na kupas? Hindi ko na yun sinusuot ngayon.
Yung sapatos kong “pang-lolo?” Iniiwasan ko na yun ngayon.
E yung mga tigyawat kong nagagalit? Nauubos na sila ngayon.
At yung gitara kong si Shirley? Niligpit ko na’t inaalikabok na ngayon.

Lahat sila, nauna nang itiniklop, itinago, binura at niligpit. Pag tatak ng mga papeles mo sa susunod na linggo, ang kabanata naman ng mundo natin ang isasara.

Hindi pa naman tayo matatapos dahil hindi ako papayag. Pero kapag naaalala ko kung pa’no tayo maglakad sa kalsada ng hawak-kamay o akbay-balikat pitong araw sa isang linggo, may bitbit mang mabigat na bag o wala, parang mababaliw ako ‘pag iniisip kong maaaring taon ang aabutin bago kita makurot sa pisngi man lang muli. Taon — mahahaba at nakakapagod na taon. Continue reading

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I Died on Valentine’s Day.

I died on Valentine’s Day.
Paramedics hauled my indifferent corpse
To an ambulance 10 minutes late.
A pretty girl had dropped her red roses,
Petals now blown by the cold wind
Onto my face with pale eyes wide open.
The police was questioning the woman,
“What happened to this guy, ma’am?
“Why is he dead on Valentine’s Day?”
“I don’t know, Sir,” she replied.
“But it is indeed the tragedy of all tragedies.”
“Some people are that unlucky,” said a banker
His tie bright red for Valentine’s Day.
“Some get robbed on Christmas,”
Some get burned on New Year’s Eve,
And some get death
on Valentine’s Day.”
And the girl nodded sighing,
The police shook their heads frowning,
As paramedics hauled my corpse
To an ambulance 10 minutes late. Continue reading

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Past is Past (A Sexist Story about a Non-sexist Reality)

The bride walks along the red carpet covered with the most fragrant flowers you can think of. Her head is bowed because she wants to hide the enormous amount of tears flowing down her face. But she’s smiling. Yes, she’s smiling. Pretty white pearls shining between her soft pink lips. If you take a peek at her face from under her bowed head, you’d see she’s almost mad with joy.

The groom waiting for her at the end of that aisle that takes forever to walk looks like a prince out of a Disney film. Licking his lips, he shook his head a little bit at the dazzling woman gliding toward him now.

He thinks, “Not bad. Not bad at all. It took 3 years of enduring her stone-cold fanatically religious parents, but I finally bagged this one home. Great cook. Pretty expert with her mouth and tongue. I could live with that. After spending 10 hours facing a computer and reading porn spam, yeah, I can come home to that. Not bad. We can do it in the kitchen. Just pull down my pants and she’d know what to do. Yeah, not bad at all.”

And bridesmaid one thinks, “This bitch must really be better than me. I still can’t believe it. I mean, come on. I sucked the hell out of Art ’til I freakin’ choked. And for hours I choked! That asshole didn’t care that I was already as blue as his father’s cancerous mole!”

And Art’s father thinks, “What would Art think if he’d known I jacked off to this lady’s Facebook profile? Those bikini pictures were too much for me. What would mom think?”

And Art’s mother thinks, “My son is a lucky boy ever since he was young. Good choice of crowd here, too. Very lovely people. Especially that Lindsay. My buttocks were as plump as those when I was 16.”

And Lindsay thinks, “God, that bridesmaid over there is makin’ my nipples itchy and hard. But Art’s sister doesn’t look bad, either. I like her jawline.”

And bridesmaid one thinks, “What’s up with this Lindsay bitch? She thinks she’s hotter than me, eh?”

And Art’s sister thinks, “Good luck, bridey. If you only knew what Art hides under the floor of his bedroom.”

And the best man thinks, “Arty my man, we have a new subject. Those cuffs will fit her wrists juuust fine. I would’ve tapped that a** myself if you weren’t so fast with that f*cked up speed dating game. I know she used to dig me.”

And the priest thinks, “Good heavens. The plunging neckline is too revealing! Bathroom immediately after this.” Continue reading

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Cinderella

We keep on waiting for that almost mythical time when chance will play with us and roll us like a pair of dice; a time when our routine lives will be shaken up and a new captivating story will start. As we go about our Thursday fast food dinners or Friday work procrastinations, we anticipate in the back of our mind that fateful magical hour or minute when our eye bags turn into horsemen and our cell phone into an enchanted pumpkin carriage. We wait to be Cinderellas, all of us. But sadly, such beautiful a twist is rare in real life, so we keep on waiting and waiting ‘til the desire empties itself out into the abyss of laziness and resignation. And in our obsessive sleepwalking, we fail to see that love – a force a hundred times stronger than chance – is waiting, stalking us all along, grieving at our unnecessary misery.

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Interpreting Palahniuk’s “RANT”: Splintered Time Theory

How can you not love “Rant”? It’s about the second-hand nature of modern or postmodern life, rabies, epidemics, car crashes, sex, myths, critters, virtual reality, the future, and time travel. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Don’t be fooled by the synopsis you may see on the back of the novel “Rant” by Chuck Palahniuk. The synopsis says something like the story is about a serial killer who becomes a leader of an urban demolition gang called “Party Crashing.” That synopsis is insipid and meant only to appeal to general “normal thinking” audiences who are virgins from Palahniuk’s violent, reckless and almost schizo way of writing.

“Rant” is the first Palahniuk book I’ve read and I must say, I was completely blown away into the theta realm. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised because “Fight Club” is also one of my most favorite films. “Fight Club” is Chuck’s most famous novel and it was made into a film starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in 1999. I’m sorry, but if you haven’t seen “Fight Club,” you have lightyears to catch up with us cool people.

Now, as awesome as “Rant” is, there’s a BIG problem with the book. It is — especially if you’re a Palahniuk virgin — UTTERLY CONFUSING. Of course after reading the novel, you may have your own interpretation of the story, but once you reshuffle your thoughts and think back on the book’s events again, you’ll realize it has loose ends probably thicker than the book itself. I’ve been to a great Chuck Palahniuk fan forum on the web and even hardcore members there aren’t sure about what the F happened in the book.

In case you came here to seek enlightenment of a liminal or liminoid nature yourself, allow me to present my own interpretation of this postmodern fairy tale. BE WARNED: THIS INTERPRETATION IS SERIOUSLY LONG. However, if you want to go to great lengths to make sense of this sweet piece of fiction, be my guest (or my passenger): Continue reading

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