Tag Archives: alcohol

Maybe I’ll Write About It

I don’t know. What should I tell you?

That I’m typing this half-naked in the most Third World of settings, which makes it more ironic because of the obvious desire to be bigger and more “cultured?”

That despite this squalor, I’ve somehow just bought this cool tablet computer but purchasing it felt like sacrificing one of my kidneys to the Chinese capitalist god? I’m actually in trouble of blowing my end-of-year bonus in a week and having nothing for Christmas. Terrible possibility: must avoid at all costs!

Hmm. I don’t know. What should I write about?

Perhaps I should write about the Christmas party of my former team in the office. I had so much fun I wasn’t quite the same guy the next morning. Didn’t sleep, by the way, because we had a family reunion following that wild night of Christmas partying.

At the party, there was the usual talk about love and relationships with other guys–not that I’m complaining or cringing in any way. And yep, guys do talk like girls. Frankly, that’s one of the few conversation pieces I’m interested in. Everything else seems like a waste of time and a futile exercise of jaw muscles.

One guy talked about patience, caring, and understanding. In a matter of minutes, I knew we were both confused over the meaning of all three. Thank god for alcohol. I told him I understand him completely though I’m not really sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. An addict understanding his fellow addict doesn’t make them clean for shit.

Another guy told me to basically rewire my brain. Now that’s hard. That kind of advice is music to the ears but it’s almost always a Houdini to pull off when you’re already on the front lines. God knows how many philosophies, socializations and re-socializations I’ve gone through my entire life.

But I believed him and I think he’s right. Maybe it’s not enough to think you’ve moved on. Maybe there should be a conscious and constant effort on your part to move forward and attack your brain so that it demolishes everything you’ve perceived as basic, unassailable realities before.

Maybe there isn’t any template for the right girl. And what if I can truly convince myself that I’m a–what’s that cliche term–tabula rasa? Man do I hate that term.

But I’m sure I’m just bored. This is what happens when I can’t think of anything to write about because my head is filled with half-baked plans and fears. And someone.

Maybe you can’t really write about the things that you truly care about, deep inside, without all the bullshit that somebody somewhere successfully funneled into your brain? What if I just wasted my own time with these words and the one thing I should say–need to say–on this blog and to myself is impossible to say?

I’m pretty sure all that alcohol I ingested during the Christmas party is gone from my system by now, so no, I’m not drunk.

I guess I’ll just return to tinkering with that expensive tablet computer and wring out the value of my money. Comicbooks to read and movies to watch and all.

Or I’ll just think about her again and plan a better article another time.

Yeah, maybe I’ll write about it.

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Why She Wanted a Drink

Now I understand why she absolutely hated nights when we didn’t drink.

There were those innumerable nights when we’d end up going at each other’s throats just because she wanted to drink and I didn’t. We’re not talking about your usual Friday after-work rinse here or the scheduled weekend liver beatdown. Believe it or not, we’re talking about Tuesdays or Wednesdays–even Mondays.

I’d notice it early in the day. Like she’s not comfortable with how the day’s turning out. As if she knew where this was all heading. I knew where. I knew I’d end up in bed, watching TV, which was exactly how I wanted it to be night after night after night. And I made it clear to her. I made it clear that the only thing I longed to do after the work’s done and all the clothes were thrown on the floor or barely hanging on the edge of the bed was to lie back, relax, and watch the goddamn TV. Maximize the use-value of that wretched, silver box of pictures, which weighed a freakin’ ton. Almost broke our backs when we carried it from Recto onto that plastic table where it sat for quite a long time.

But she wanted no part of it. No part of TV watching. No part of lying on the bed. Heck, she begged to be left out of cuddling or anything mushy for that matter.

She had to drink.

And you know what? I really understand it now. Why we had to fight over this simple thing.

It doesn’t seem absurd to me now to be walking to the office, feeling uncomfortable with how the day’s turning out. Because I know where it’s all heading and, the truth is, I don’t wanna be there.

And another truth is that I don’t really miss her–well, not as much as somebody who’s supposed to admit that he misses someone should miss that person. What I mean to say is that tonight, with these feelings in my heart and the thoughts in my mind, I still don’t have the right to say I miss her.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand her ’cause I really get it now probably more than ever.

This thirst for alcohol is the thirst for something different. It’s the desire to grasp father time by the beard and say, “Wait a fuckin’ minute, bozo!” To mark this day as this and tomorrow as that. To chop up life into little, potently intoxicating chunks of memories that you could admire when you’re sober and sitting at a coffee shop somewhere. This thirst is a faint whisper as loud as a scream in the middle of a busy crossroads to make everyone stop for a bit. Or, you know, hypnotize yourself into thinking that they’re indeed stopping even when you know deep inside they’re not. Nothing’s stopping for anything.

In other words, the whole point was to avoid this crushing feeling on the train home that you did exactly what you did yesterday and it’s utter madness. Utter madness.

I always thought she had a twisted childhood development that made her long too much for friends, acquaintances–drinking buddies who won’t be there when dawn broke. But why would she want anybody else? I was there.

But I get it now. It doesn’t work that way and watching TV, relaxed on a bed with somebody in your arms doesn’t fix jack squat. Even when I was there, she was lonely and kinda tired of tomorrows.

And you know what? So am I.

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Let Me Tell You About Myself

Let me tell you about myself.

I have a sore throat that’s three days old. By now, of course, it is obvious that this is no ordinary sore throat because sore throats do not persist this long. The weirder thing about my sore throat is that it’s just affecting the left side of my throat. Right side’s completely fine but the left side is creating havoc whenever I swallow my own saliva.

Cringed a little?

Yes, humans swallow their own saliva and blog about it sometimes, which is considerably disgusting but you can expect such a thing from us. We are a species that tends to get surprised by our own disgusting daily habits. I sometimes look down when I’m on the tiled throne and I stick my tongue out like I didn’t know the stuff came from the hard work of my own digestive system. Some girls are even scared stiff when shown a mirror reflection of their own labia minora and majora. I know shudders ran through my spine when I saw my shaved balls for the first time.

But back to my sore throat, it’s really weird that it’s just the left side that’s hurting. The hypochondriac in me conjures images of Roger Ebert in my head and I immediately think cancer. I see myself trapped in my house with my chin pasted to my neck because all the meat there is gone.

Don’t we all think like that? When it comes to petty pains and big pains alike, we just cut through all the bullshit and think cancer. “Colds? I got no colds. I’ve been healthy since forever so I must have lung cancer.” “Blood? I don’t get blood this early on my period. I must have ovarian cancer.” We can’t help just self-diagnosing ourselves with cancer because it’s a waste of time and energy to think of any lesser disease. That’s right, even when it comes to worrying about our health, we are efficient. Efficiency means living a life devoid of all bullshit. And if we like to hear or to have bullshit, we want it as soon as possible without any hassles. Bullshit without bullshit is modern efficiency. Continue reading

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Death Comes to Us on a Friday

Friday is the most unusual of all the days of the week. It is the penultimate day before the weekend. Everything ends on a Friday: the rush, the frustrations, the expectations, the wickedness of work. They end, at least temporarily, on a Friday.

Friday is neither part of the work week nor the weekend. It is somewhere in between. This is probably the reason why we feel so lethargic when Friday comes. It’s like we’re working while tasting the sweetness of the weekend at the tip of our tongue. The day is a transition from here to there, from files to TV marathons, from coffee to beer, from the office to the park, from our stiff work clothes to our loose outdoor clothes, from pain to pleasure, from colleagues to family. We’re working while we’re heading home on a Friday. We’re being slaves to our bosses while we’re setting ourselves free on this very unique day. In a way, everything ends and starts on a Friday. Continue reading

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The Girl on the Broken Bench (Part 3)

 

The morning after Gutson’s, she sent me a text message saying that I should never reveal her secrets to anyone. My heart almost leapt out of my body and hopped to wherever she was. And from that day on, this journey to chase her across the office, under the rain — guitar-swinging, on MRT platforms, in my mind, and across the world started as I smiled at the miraculous text message on my cellphone screen.

Miraculous. Maybe I wished for a miracle every day, another chance to talk to her as freely as we did back at that dark and dirty room while everyone drank their beer. After all, I needed a ton of luck to push my dreams to reality. Her boyfriend wasn’t going anywhere. Their photos on Multiply and everywhere else exclaimed happiness.

The last thing I wanna be is be an obstacle to someone else’s joy. The girl on the broken bench was clearly contented with her life. She seemed popular, outgoing, and had no problems with the world. I had problems with how my collar looked, how people spend too much money on coffee, and how everyone seems to wear cool sunglasses like the sun shined every day. She and I are too different and it would be laughable for me to barge into her well-written story. Continue reading

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The Girl on the Broken Bench (Part 2)

 

The girl on the broken bench just didn’t like me. But at the time, who could blame her? I was virtually nonexistent in the Blue Waffle building. The Cool Team used to have this award for Cool Person of the Month. Members  of the team would vote by writing notes describing who the coolest person in the team was for that month. The person who gets the most notes wins the award. I got a note that said something like, “Marvin is Cool because he goes to work and gets off without anyone noticing.” And I retrieved this one from my wallet:

“Marvin is Cool because he may be quiet, but he tries to communicate despite having difficulties translating his martian language into english. hehe… Glad you’re coming to the outing.”

To say that I expected the girl to even pay attention to me was absurd. First, the Tagaytay Incident was only possible due to alcohol. Second, I was trained to go to work and come home on time five days a week. I had no time to do something “risky.” Third, I just didn’t have the guts to walk up to her and say that I liked her.

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The Girl on the Broken Bench (Part 1)


bench

Let me relive now how I came to know the girl who made me chase her, guitar-swinging, in the rain.

Love may come to us when we’re half asleep and about to hit the ground snoring. I know, because in my case, it lightly sat beside me on a broken bench one drunken night in Tagaytay.

April 5, 2008. I’ve been with the Blue Waffle Company for only about two months. I was my usual dark and shy self, still quite fresh from my recent stint as a broadcast transcriptionist in a cold, square building in Makati. I was so grateful for the friendliness of the people and the nature of my job as a writer however, that I agreed to go with the Cool Team to Tagaytay. I considered the trip as just part of my work (even though the purpose of the trip was precisely for everyone to forget about work for two days).

The reason I went was because I didn’t want my officemates to think that I was a loser. At the very least, I wanted them to know my name and remember my face ‘cause I think many of them still weren’t aware of my existence at the time. I think they knew someone named “Marvin” who sat in the office somewhere, who worked with them, helped them accomplish goals and stuff, but they really didn’t know his face – like what his nose looked like or if his voice was shrill or deep. But by going on this trip, I could establish a more solid professional connection with my colleagues. They won’t be surprised, for example, if I suddenly send a message to them over YM saying that I needed help for an article. I thought to myself, “I’m gonna go, talk a little, eat a little, sleep a little, and be back home then back to the office in a jiffy.”

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