Tag Archives: hope

The Real Problem is Gravity

The real problem is gravity. This primordial force of nature that oftentimes subtly, but sometimes violently and mercilessly, pulls our feet down to the ground where we belong. It would throw us savagely against the face of the earth, splattering our brains and guts all over the map. It would crush us the second we get ahead of ourselves and think we can really fly.

How stupid of us. How ridiculous! Just look at how we fill our heads with the most complicated of thoughts and our notebooks with the most elaborate of plans just to see real life break them into two simple shards: to live or to die. And of course, we always choose the first option, making things even more laughable. For the moment we choose to live, we die bit by bit. Who really lives? Is this life? Working from morning ’til night, typing thousands of insignificant letters on a screen, so someone can make millions off them while we waste hours, years, decades, eternities cheating ourselves? Listening to nifty bits of music in the train to dull the senses and hide our consciousness from the zombie of a world banging on our door, screaming, “Let me inside your head, so I can eat your brains, you yellow-bellied fucktard!”

Yeah, that’s about it. That’s about life. And then there’s the amusing fact that when one chooses to die, he miraculously finds the secret passage to real, radiant, thriving life. Ask the people who are ready to die anytime. Ask the rebels in the mountains who have something to live for. The scavenging souls in the streets who still find a genuine reason to smile. The terminally ill who can find spiritual meaning in a matchstick or a dead cockroach. What are their mornings like? I sincerely think they have something I don’t.

See I’ve tried to rise above it like every John and Mary in the room. Hoodwinked myself into believing I’m worth something priceless and intangible. Perhaps an element of immortal love, rushing above people’s heads in a gust of wind. Or an embodiment of hope–a furnace of phoenix fire eternally renewing itself. A lighthouse signaling ships where to go in the darkest, most directionless nights. I’ve tried to imagine myself as such to no avail.

When the time has come for the twinkling fairy dust to collect on the floor like regular dirt to be swept away, all I see is a man, sitting in a dreary desk in a square building, facing his computer screen for the upteenth time. An existence deprived of the time to love. Or to take his lunch. A bag of sickness and porn waiting to explode into something fleeting, filthy and futile.

It’s all because of gravity.

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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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Waiting for One Last Piece of Good News from 2009

With only a few hours ’til the doors of 2010 open in front of us, I’m here in our house in Quezon City, wishing to hear one last piece of good news as firecrackers pop in the distance.

2009’s track record isn’t bad — it’s criminal. A year, which gave us more of the global financial crisis scare, freakish typhoons and floods, staple government scandals, and other incredible international and local fiascos ought not to be trusted when it comes to good news. But when you can’t do anything, hope naturally oozes out of you, like perspiration from an exhausted man. And so now I’m drenched in hope; and even though I don’t pray to a deity, I helplessly entrust the future into the irrational and that which can’t be explained.

To be honest, I think we’re kind of foolish to think that the new year is some kind of a new destination where all of us will move into in batches. First the Asians, including us Filipinos, will move into that shining new destination, and then the Europeans go in, then the Americans, etc. It’s foolish because we made that system up. What is January 1, 2010 but another moment in the endless river of time where anything could’ve ended and anything could’ve started? Of course the Earth would be completing one hell of a revolution on that date (and I guess we could give it a pat on the back for that) but really, if it was indeed a circular revolution, then for all we know, the year could have started or ended on August 14, 2009. Which is my birthday. Continue reading

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Our Own Mad Poetry

You tell me we’re fine. We talk. We whisper at each other’s ears. There’s a long and winding street and we walk it silently, hand in hand, our vision fixed at the invisible horizon. I catch glimpses of your hair, you look at the gravel. You tell me we’re fine.

No, we’re not.

The human resources department processed my papers. A man took my picture to put on the new ID. The COO himself smiled at me, asked me when I’ll be back. A stack of money may be in a dark corner somewhere, waiting for my nervous hands to grip it tightly. Hope says the bank is good to me.

No, it’s not.

My nephew can’t talk. He should be talking by now. He should be talking to me, asking me questions why water is wet or why the ground doesn’t bend like his bed. But he only speaks gibberish, can’t even pronounce my name or our dog’s. Clues tell me he’s dumb.

No, he’s not.

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