I am afraid of writing
because I can only write about you
and you are leaving
I am afraid of poetry
because the saddest poem
is the most enchanting one
and you can’t be the reason
I write it now.
Every morning, the birds remind me
that your plane flies well
like they fly well
and neither of them can ever fail.
And every evening, the dark sky whispers
that everyone’s almost asleep
and so are you
and so should I.
There’s no other choice but to sleep
and wake up again tomorrow. Continue reading
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.
Life is vicious, like a rabid mad dog, I can tell you that. Didn’t use to be that way but it definitely is now. I think the world might be getting too dense, too suffocating, like everyone out there is getting pounded real hard, so they’re only three-fourths of their original size and, well, humanity. The air must be too condensed and saturated with microscopic droplets of sweat and blood and spit and oil. And I guess the grounds can’t be walked anymore because they’ve risen up, swallowing trees, plants, and every crawling green that’s fresh to the eyes and to the brains. They’ve now turned into tentacles of a gigantic toxic monster egging people to go to places that lead to nowhere. So the people are lost; and the sky must not be too much of a comfort for them too, because in its untainted innocence, it only serves to push down guilt and shame and senselessness into their throats.
That is why you get people who whisper “I love yous” to each other in the morning and throw murderous curses to each other at night. Blame them for my unfit body and soul. I got this guy Ted who’s always on my left ear — he’s generally a nice guy. Talks about .NET and CSS and HTML and other goddamn strange jargon all the time with a guy with a funny accent on the other line on my right. Harry’s the name, if I remember correctly. I think they might be up to something heroic to save the perishing world ’cause they’re always exchanging smart incomprehensible stuff about “problems” and “solutions.” I never did get what they mean but whoever this “client” guy was, he isn’t gonna be better off once Ted and Harry figure out how to save the world. So Ted — as I said, ideal guy, if you ask me. He takes care of his grandma Lucy from Mondays ’til Fridays, making sure she takes her meds ’cause she’s got a whopping lump ’round her neck. Which reminds me, that’s also the problem they got out there today: everyone has a fatal disease. Continue reading
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
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.
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.”