Red Chucks made from sin, shaved my face, uncovered my chin. Pop these pimples for these people, can’t hear my voice ’cause it’s too feeble. Getting late not getting laid, but that’s all right, I’m getting paid. Reading books while losing looks–what have you done? You’re off the hook! Refreshing pages converts to wages, wage my war as my face ages. There’s really nothing here, you see, just passing time and holding pee. Updating sucks, ideas flock to distant times you can’t get back. And when your hacks can’t get a Mac, you just sit back and rock and rock. Eat your chicken, a little smitten, come home from work, fuck–more kittens! I guess there’s mess and plenty pests for every day you can’t digest. But come, move on, and bang your head against the wall, forget the bed, forget the fall. Tie up those laces, too poor for braces, will never get out of life’s love mazes. So I just get up from my chair, brush my hair, it’s never fair. Perhaps one day I’ll see you grin, and then I’ll run and scream my scream. But when that day comes and you take the win, I’ll simply take a spin–I mean–while wearing my red Chucks made from sin.
Monthly Archives: February 2013
Where others saw endless shops and a sea of stuff to buy, I saw an unwelcome stream of recollections, like vague, semi-transparent scenes from a film I used to know so well.
I was roaming an entire mall of memories.
Maybe it was the night because nights are always cruel. As your metabolism starts to slow down while the moon rises in the dark sky, that same darkness finds its way into your unguarded mind and defenseless heart. It starts digging corpses from graves you’ve tried to consciously forget you dug yourself. The darkness breathes life to the dead.
Not even the lights inside nor the hubbub from shoppers walking hither and thither could shatter that darkness. And perhaps the most excruciating thing was that I kept asking myself, “If this is darkness, if these are such dark memories, then why do they feel so sweet–so colorful?”
I walked a dimly lit path outside the mall, and I saw our shadows on the ground, holding hands, walking… home. Headlights were flashing before my eyes as I crossed the road but I wasn’t traversing it alone like I hoped. It was she and I–staying up late, buying things we shouldn’t be buying because we’d regret it the next day; she and I inside the pancake place, laughing at the stupid piece of expensive, tasteless dough on our plates we both made the mistake of ordering. She and I talking about this and that, what kinds of shoes looked good on women, what kind of affection looked good in public, what types of people our friends were. I saw us everywhere, in every pillar and corner, joking, arguing, laughing and fighting–and it was difficult. I have this feeling it’s getting more difficult by the day.
I put my hands in my pocket, told myself for the umpteenth time I cannot go back without destroying myself. There’s just no going back this time. I kept on walking, reminding myself that it’s just the mall. It’s just the night.
I invited her to come even though I knew there’s no way in hell she would. It was just something I had to do to prove to myself that I don’t run away in the face of inevitability and impossibility. I tend to be exaggerated like that.
But then she said she would come and I was glad even though I didn’t really believe her–and that’s not being pessimistic, but realistic of me. And then, of course, she changed her mind and she didn’t come. And I said that it was ok. But of course it wasn’t; nobody who ever said he was ok was really ok. Far from it, really.
And how could I feel ok when it was written from the very start that all my hopes and dreams would come crashing down if she didn’t come? I tend to be exaggerated like that.
2 Trick Pony
I want to move on
Not realizing I was moving too slow
Tried to hang on
But there was nothing left for me to hold
It’s such a shame that you can’t be with me tonight
I’m spinnin’ ’round in cycles
Hope you change your mind
Before the show is over
I look around, it’s you I thought I’d find
Been on standby
Not realizing I was waiting too long
But there was nothing I can do about it
Still in denial
I can’t believe that you can do this to me
No lights ahead
I’ve been looking forward but I could not see
I have been waiting for you all night
Under the glow of the satellite
Been lying here under the car since forever, bugs carelessly flying above my drooping ears, a busy community of ticks underneath my thinning fur, my belly warming the road and vice-versa.
Used to race back and forth along this dusty street, chasing cars, bikes, and strange people with unfamiliar scents. I never got tired even when my tongue was flapping out my snout, leaving a trail of drool in the rushing wind. Life was a never-ending chase then and I was the four-legged speedster behind it, unrelenting, hungry. I never got tired and realized I was spent until now…
Now I just lie here like a log long broken down by poison mushrooms. I watch the road, the cars, the bikes, and the people but the fire in my gut has been extinguished. They’re all begging to be chased screaming from one corner to another but my legs just won’t move like they used to. And so I watch them overrun this street–my street soaked in my sour pee–and I watch them helplessly.
These days, I am a pretty useless “pet”–if you can still call me that. Can’t even protect my home no more should a man with an evil intent climbs over the wall one of these humid nights. If I’m lucky enough to spot his shadow with my bloodshot eyes almost shut by sticky green grit, then I might let out a bark though my owners shouldn’t really count on it since I lost the demon in my voice years ago when a nasty piece of chicken bone got stuck in my throat. Sure, I’ll force myself to run after him and try my best to bite his leg but don’t count on it. Nobody should ever count on it anymore.
Look at these people with the smirk on their faces–how I long to wipe it off with a good growl. Men are arrogant–they think they know life because they live longer than us. A wise, old dog once told me that men live seven of our lifetime, and that makes them proud beings. What fools. If one has seven lifetimes, then that means it takes them seven times longer to commit life’s mistakes and to learn from those mistakes–seven bouts of the same pain from the same wound, which would never close even when it was licked to heal years ago. And from such an unimaginably protracted existence, you may be seven times the wiser but you’re also seven times the fool.
How many lifetimes does it take to learn what to eat? What to put in your snout and be part of your body? Do you really need such a lengthy life to know that your nose tells the truth? The food that nurtures smells good even if may not always look nice, and what’s rotten smells bad even if it’s often a feast for the eyes. The nose doesn’t lie–for it’s an extension of your heart.
How many lifetimes does it take to learn to establish your territory, to pee on the right wheels and scratch at the right trees? Surely once is enough? The independence and insolence of youth might drive you once or twice to cross the invisible boundaries that cut this space of earth but you learn from your first teeth-and-claw fight to respect others, to stay away from the sacred shrines they diligently guard.
In the same way, seven lives are too many to understand that you can never understand cats. Some things are better left misunderstood–and that’s a sign of respect, too, for cats similarly can never understand you.
You don’t need seven lifetimes to realize that the greatest kind of loyalty comes from humility–that there are things bigger than you and you owe your life to them. You bow your head in service to their greatness and transcendence, and when you’ve learned to bow your head low enough, you become great, too, for you have transcended yourself.
It is often said that freedom is overrated but it is more often misinterpreted. Gnash your fangs and howl all you want at cages and collars but nothing teaches the essence of true freedom as bitingly as limits.
And then there’s love–that primeval force that sends you scrambling desperately out the gates at night when all the unwanted eyes are closed or looking somewhere else dark. The unbearable heat of it, the madness that comes rushing through your veins! You can never rest and crawl in a comfortable corner until you’ve smelled her lovely scent and felt her warmest secrets. But you’ll never learn her secrets no matter how deeply you fall–and that perhaps is the greatest limit of all. For no matter how fast you run, love still runs faster–an unchasable car. And because your paws and claws can never even scratch it, you keep running like a rabid canine–irrational, insane, untamed, wild, honest.
Another kid throws a ball at me. I don’t even flinch. I’m tired and lazy like a young cat. The world now has to forgive me for every little thing I can’t do for I’ve paid my dues, barked my blues, and done them all before. People have this saying that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. They’re wrong. We can learn new tricks anytime–but old dogs don’t play no games. Not anymore.
Let me crush all your hopes and dreams for a moment and say it plainly that some things are just impossible. You can keep blabbering on about all the self-help lessons you’ve learned from some New York Times Bestseller but that won’t help you when reality finally bites you in the buttocks and you don’t have a choice but to grasp the fact that there are things you just can’t do–and one of them is make a girl who doesn’t like you like you.
When faced with such a situation of a sinister kind of certitude, here are a few things you can do:
1. Stop “investing.” — So you’re about to send her another private message again hoping that you can slip one or two lines of cheesiness in between all the normal, friendly talk? STOP. BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT. STOP. Don’t do it. See, the more you “invest” in a hopeless matter and a relationship that doesn’t exist in any universe or multiverse, the more you hurt yourself, if not today then in the future when the big elephant in the room, which you so fiercely refuse to see, finally shows itself. So whatever you still have up your sleeve (a half-finished poem or a song in your head), better throw that in the trash bin now. Now. Not later, not tomorrow, NOW. Less investments, more resources to consume when the market of your feelings finally crashes launching you into the literal Great Depression.
2. Adopt a hobby. — All of us have hobbies or things we like to do. Falling for a person can oftentimes interrupt these hobbies when we start shifting our attention to the object of our affection. While before this romantic madness, you were able to practice drawing and painting, now your day is only limited to thinking about her and thinking about her and thinking about her some more, which is of course, indicative of a malignant disease. So, what you have to do is go back to doing these hobbies no matter how hard it is to break the habit of not having any habit but daydreaming about stuff that can’t happen in real life. Can’t draw? Don’t want to work out or read a book? I don’t care. JUST DO SOMETHING ELSE FROM NOW ON.
3. Work like a maniac. — Work is different from hobbies because hobbies are what you’re supposed to do at home while work is what you do at the workplace. The strategy though is the same: you must let your work consume your heart and soul, so there’s not a second of your life wasted on pondering the feelings of a person who’s so busy pondering the feelings of another person who’s not you. Do you normally go on little facebooking breaks in between tasks? Quit it! Work like you’ve never worked before. Triple your productivity. Go for those incentives. Hound your boss and make suggestions on how to run the entire freakin’ company. I don’t know. Just occupy yourself with a humongous amount of work and act like workers don’t have rights. It’s good for you.
4. Fuss over other people’s problems. — Let’s face it: you have a problem. Unfortunately, facing your problem in this case isn’t healthy because you’ll only drive yourself crazy thinking about that person again. So instead of minding your problem, fuss over other people’s problems. Yep, you read that right. Their problems, not yours. Your coworker’s cat died? Make him tell you more about how his pet was an irreplaceable part of his life and now he might as well kill himself because the world is going to end! Your friend’s boyfriend left her? Wear your best shocked face and tell her that she has a big problem, which she will surely have the rest of her life. Ferment problems. Heck–create new ones! Spread them like a virulent virus! All the while hiding that you’ve got a problem, too…
5. Drink to celebrate… ANYTHING! — This is the opposite of number 4. Whereas in number 4, you are deliberately generating and propagating negative emotions, here, you’re forcing yourself to create positive energies of the drunken kind. Doubtless you’ve heard that intoxication helps solve problems but that’s not really true. Drinking while thinking and discussing your problem would make you forget the problem only for a brief period of time–the time you spend sleeping after you get drunk. But clearly that’s not helpful at all because you essentially just wasted your money wasting yourself but the same problem still faces you in the morning with a renewed tenacity and vengeance. So instead of wallowing in self-pity while binging on beer, CELEBRATE. Celebrate what? Celebrate anything. Anything. Your coworker wore a different shirt today out of his regular 5-day-a-week shirt rotation he’s held onto for the last 2 years? Celebrate his newfound life! A friend didn’t complain about the train this morning? Cheers to his freshly adopted positive outlook and contagious grateful vibe! Toast to the moon, the stars, the earth below your feet and everything in between, even that disgusting piece of shit you ate for lunch. But never, ever drink because you’re obsessed with somebody.
6. Look for a human receptacle of unspent feelings. — And finally some advanced psychological crap. Thing is, even if you do all of the above tips, you will likely still have a portion of feelings that can’t go anywhere else except in your nightmares where your inadequacy will hunt you and make you wake up in the middle of the night shivering cold and looking like a complete wuss. To avoid that, you must be a little proactive in managing your energies and emotions. One good technique is to find another human receptacle of unspent feelings. This person will serve as the object of your romantic momentum instead of the person you really like. The only requirement is that this human receptacle should not be entirely likeable–that is, you can only truly like her when you’ve completely bullshitted yourself into madness. The advantage of steering your feelings toward this unwitting, poor soul is that no matter what you do or what you don’t, you’ll never get hurt. ‘Cause she doesn’t give a fuck about you and you don’t give a fuck about her.
*Written in mockery of the author’s own experiences throughout his lifetime. And in preparation for the doom that is Valentine’s Day