Friday, August 26, 2005

bulging tummy and peeping nipples

I feel like a fish with a paunch. After a hefty lunch of greens, fish fillet, and potatoes, all my blood is swishing merrily around my stomach, gyrating to the syncopated rhythm of my villi’s feverish mush-sucking. I feel like there’s no blood left in my brain cells. They’re all enjoying the rave party down there in my midsection. That is also another way of saying that this post will most probably be crappy. Let that serve as a caveat for you. Hey, don’t blame me. Blame my brain cells. Or my damn, party-crazed blood.

I pigged out at our office's ceremonial contract signing held in some hotel. I wasn’t supposed to be there but my boss called to have a soft copy of the contract sent there pronto. Since all our delivery boys were out, I had no choice but to rush to the hotel myself despite the menace of a typhoon hanging by a thin thread above me. When I got there and savored the gush of fulfillment that came with my first stint as a delivery boy, I told my boss I would return to the office and do some important stuff like sit in front of my computer and pretend to work. The boss said no, stay for the buffet lunch, you’re here anyway. That’s how I got to pig out big time, ladling tons of potato salad, fresh lettuce, baked potatoes, greased veggies, fish fillet, and rice until my plate looked like a dish of gourmet slops. Not being satisfied with just one helping, I again took another empty plate and filled it to capacity.

Why did I choose to wear a body-fit shirt today, of all days? Now, in order to hide my bloated tummy, I have to spend the rest of the day trying to expand my chest until my nipples tear through the fabric. Which reminds me, I’ve got to bench-press more vigorously tonight; and of course, do some serious crunches too. I must prepare for another ‘gobble up’ session this evening. I’ve cornered a sizeable amount of lunch debris from the hotel (I didn’t get that through wheeling and dealing with the waiters, mind you. My office organized and paid for the event so we get to take home whatever’s left of the food). And I’m going to feast on them at the boarding house later. That’s what I do, I binge and then hit the gym or the pool or the badminton court to sweat it all out. At least, that’s better than facing the toilet bowl and inducing myself to puke my hairy balls out like some bulimic supermodel.

And so, as I write this post and pretend it’s part of my job description, I only have my eyes set on gluttony tonight. Small food packs wrapped in tin foil lay on my desk, seducing me to dig in and indulge. Later, bitches, can’t you see I still have work to do? Ok, perhaps a tiny bite won’t hurt. Oh, what the heck, I’ll go eat again. My tummy can’t get any bigger than this and my nipples will surely enjoy a tear on my shirt.

Friday, August 19, 2005

the rite of the wretched

In a strange dream, I find myself walking amid the ruins of an ancient cathedral. The vaulted ceiling has long caved in, leaving a yawning hole that sucks in the harsh heavens. I cannot tell if it is day or night, but everything seems to have the sheen of dusk and the lust of dawn. The tainted walls still stand looking like a confused chessboard with gothic apertures where stained glass once held court. Scattered on the cracked granite floor are shards of colored glass, decapitated heads of stone gods, grimy vestments, empty reliquaries, and brass candelabras. So that’s how they look when stripped of sanctity, forsaken by the gods they used to symbolize. Like an archbishop on his way to the high altar, I wade through this mass of desecrated objects while sniffing the rotting air. Floating near the walls, spirits of dead cardinals scorn me. With my frosty eyes, I order them to return to their sarcophagi and mind their own decomposition. You have had your time to corrupt the masses. It’s time for eternal repose now, or perpetual damnation.

Up on the altar, I see numerous headless gods smug in their own niches. They loom large and regal like buffoons. Upon their feet is the long, marble table where sacerdotal cult masters once transubstantiated wafers into flesh of the Tortured One. Around the table is a pack of maimed, toothless, and stinking paupers. Some are dressed in tattered brown robes, some have slung tainted curtains on their bony frames, and some are totally naked. I understand at once that this is the rite of the stinking, the damned, and the wretched. The sweet revenge of the despised is to claim the high altar of their masters and recreate the ritual all over again, according to the Gospel of their own Torment.

They all pause and regard me with vicious eyes. One of them leers and sticks out her lesioned tongue to me. A couple stops from their dull fornication and look at me blankly. A naked man motions me to come forward with his dagger.

I walk toward them, unflinching. I suddenly realize that I, too, am naked. With my flesh quivering and my genitals dangling limply with every step, I come forward, letting them ogle at or deride my nakedness. Somehow, I know exactly what I’m there for. And I know exactly what to do.

Without saying a word, I climb on top of the marble table and lay there. They congregate around me like a pack of wolves salivating on their prey. I hear a surreal chant from one of them. It is hard to tell which one. At the end of the chant, the naked man raises his dagger and says an incantation in a strange language. I close my eyes.

Then I wake up.

And I realize that it is not a dream at all.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

keyboard hits the ceiling

When the keyboard flew and hit the ceiling, I threw my hands in glee and promised never to write about pain again. It sears the windows and singes the bed sheets. It does not smell nice at all. Like an effusion of stinking pus, it bursts wildly from my skin and oozes out with precision onto the tiled floor, plugging every crack and licking every crevice. Then it creeps up the walls and meticulously plasters its surface with a generous amount of goo. When it solidifies, I usually lay a rug over it and, protected by the rug, I tread ever so lightly onto its hardened surface. At once, carnality is made sacred. The banal is elevated to the sublime. It quietly sends tingling messages through the rug, through the pores of my feet, and into my veins. Borne by my fierce blood, these messages seep into my innards and slumber there like kids tucked in their beds. Then I dance the wild dance of ambivalent longing to the song of a muted banjo, careful not to wake up the little deposits of goo in my system. It is not my habit to disturb pain when it rests within me. I let it be and we celebrate together.

So, on that night when the keyboard flew and hit the ceiling, I simply swung my hands cheerily in the air like a nutcase catching flies for dinner. Rationality, with its hands akimbo, sneered down at me and demanded that I rant and rave and tear my hair off in despair. I said I couldn’t because I’m totally bald, not unless he meant my pubic hair. Besides, I love swimming with pain. We do dolphin kicks and tumble turns together. After that, it gives me a kickboard. Something to practice your strokes with, it says, this will buoy you up and make you numb most of the time. I accept the gift and smirk. Pain touches my cheek lightly and roars hideously with mirth.

A curious relationship we have, pain and I. I know whenever it’s coming. I know which door it would come from. And I prepare for its arrival with a repellent heart and an indifferent face. Even when it suddenly throws tantrums like making the keyboard fly and smash into the ceiling and crash like a million dice thrown to spell one’s fate, I remain composed. I just throw my hands up in the air and laugh at its folly. Which was exactly what I did on that balmy night the keyboard collided with my ceiling. I tried catching the keys as they rained down on me but managed to catch only one, that which bore the letter “N.” For a while, I thought of stringing all the keys like beads to make a blasphemous rosary, but I thought it was too obscene. The keys just lay on the floor with their letters smiling, taunting me to play with them once again. But no, I have promised never to write about pain again. The smell of burnt fabric sickens me. And I cannot afford to have another plaster of goo on my walls. The keys, injured though they were, offered to articulate my thoughts for me. I said “Do as you please, this is a free world. Even broken keyboards have rights.”

That was how this post was written.

Monday, August 15, 2005

'till next week

Cool people hang out with their friends. Attached people hang out with their partners. I hang out with my aging parents. I had a grand time with them yesterday afternoon. After going to Antipolo to attend to some important matter, we drove to Megamall to chill out and to finally have my father’s first album recorded. He’s been telling me he wanted to try out Karaoke King, a little booth where you go in, do an approximation of singing, and come out with your very own CD complete with a tacky inlay bearing your pic. Apparently, he’s not satisfied with just a cassette recording of his voice accompanied only by my piano. It just had to be in CD form and it had to sound like a real album. If Search for a Star had a category for senior citizens, my father would surely join it. In fact, if I remember it right, he did join one singing contest for antediluvian folks in a now-defunct TV show, and he bagged the first prize. He can be flaunty like that.

Being a doting son, I accompanied my showbizy father, with my mother in tow, to his first ever studio recording. He was more excited than a boy about to go on his first fuck.

“Do you have songs for ancient guys?” I asked the Karaoke King guy in Tagalog. He said they had a handful—some standards, remakes, and their re-arranged but unreleased versions. After leafing through their dog-eared songbook, we finally chose one Perry Como and four Frank Sinatra ditties. After that, my father set off on his recording stint.

The technician turned on the loudspeakers so that people within the vicinity would hear the recording. A few passers-by stopped and curiously peeked through the glass walls of the booth— some smiled; others looked amazed. I couldn’t tell if it was my father’s smooth crooning that got them or the fact that the booth contained a shabby-looking 70-year-old guy enjoying himself like a teeny-bopper. Probably both. I caught myself smiling proudly for being my father’s son.
My mother and I waited pleasantly, occasionally giggling, especially when my father messed up the lyrics of Sinatra’s My Way. I didn’t know hanging out with one’s folks was this fun. Or maybe I just miss them so much because I only get to see them weekends.

After getting the CD, my father gave the technician a lecture on how sucky the local music industry has become, preferring debonair singers who can’t sing rather than old but talented guys like him. I briefly imagined septuagenarians dancing and singing on Sunday variety shows on TV and cringed at the thought of seeing my father among them.

I walked them toward the other end of the mall where they had parked. I didn’t have to, really, but I just wanted to spend some more time with them before I head back to my boarding house.

At the exit, I said goodbye. My father lightly touched my godless back and gave me his standard “God bless you so on and so forth” parting message. I watched them turn around and walk away, my mother holding on to my father’s arm. They wobbled their way through the crowd and lost their faces there, becoming just an odd, old couple on their way home.

I had a great time with you, guys. 'Till next weekend.

Friday, August 12, 2005

lists, lists...

Swimbud tagged me. I didn’t know it would be this hard to come up with lists of seven this or seven that. Anyhow, I survived it. There’s nothing to it, really. It’s just like finally getting your constipated shit out. Relief. That is good.

So here’s my shit.

Seven things I can do:
1) In one sitting, I can devour seven cups of rice, three different dishes (just veggies and fish, no red meat please), a basket of fruits, cakes, desserts, and drink three liters of water. I can do this thrice a day, everyday, without gaining a single pound. And I am not exaggerating.
2) swim at least 20 laps in an Olympic-size pool without stopping
3) fall asleep five minutes after resting my back on anything
4) fuck up my life and get out of the mess unscathed
5) speak French and a little German
6) walk long distance without getting tired
7) write in a flowing, elegant hand reminiscent of seventeenth-century calligraphy

5 CDs in your player:
1. Jonathan Larsen’s Rent
2. a collection of French songs by French artists
3. Les Misérables, 10th anniversary concert
4. Aida
5. Secret Garden

Seven things that scare me:
1) earthworms
2) murderers
3) hold-uppers
4) muggers
5) not finding meaning in life
7) myself

5 things I can't do (but tried):
1. be on time
2. project a friendly face to people I hate
3. wake up early
4. gain weight
5. lick my own ass

Seven things I like the most:
1) traveling abroad
2) drinking kiwi or mango shake with yogurt
3) lying on my belly while reading books
5) luscious red wine
6) tofu
7) sleeping in the nude

5 movies I’ve seen recently:
1. Sandalang House (at the digital Film Fest in Megamall)
2. The Machinist
3. White Chicks (on DVD)
4. Dance with Me (also on DVD. I wonder why J-Lo keeps on getting movie offers even if a piece of driftwood can show a wider range of emotions than she ever could. It must be the boobs.)
5. Fantastic Four (yes, I’ve seen that crap. Now shoot me.)

Seven important things in my room:
1) my diaries
2) books
3) computer
4) toys I played with as a kid
5) pictures I painted/drew
6) fluffy pillows
7) electric fan (I still live in the Paleolithic era)

5 nice things that happened to me lately:
1. had dinner with Adie and Ramil in an Italian Restaurant in Glorietta
2. a friend gave me a pencil case
3. I trimmed my toenails.
4. Just leave it at that. The rest are not so nice.

Seven random thoughts on things:
1) If it’s too slippery and you can’t seem to get a good grasp, then don’t hang on. Learn to let go, stupid!
2) I wonder what my booger thinks whenever I pick it out of my nose and stick it under my table
3) Belief in a supernatural being does not necessarily translate to maturity. I wrote this in one of my egroups, in reaction to a friend’s insinuations about spirituality being the offshoot of maturity.
4) I feel like eating a bowl of yogurt with chunks of mangoes
5) We all get crucified and impaled and humiliated in front of a drooling pack of hypocrites for harboring unpopular views.
6) I don’t know what to do with my life.
7) I’m not weird. You are.

I’m supposed to pass this to five old friends and seven new ones. But since I’m no good at following rules (who the heck made these rules anyway) and I don’t want my inbox to be jammed with more than its normal dose of hate mails, I’ll just tag the following people. Ok, don’t panic, keep calm. Just send your death threats after making your own list. Or just forget that I tagged you.

1. Weng
2. Dionne and Joven
3. Tet
4. Marc
5. Yobeenoh
6. Sunset Eyes
7. Rmacapobre
8. muddy nights
9. Jen
10. All right, enough. That will do. Tired of copying and pasting links.

Transience, you should send me a gift for not tagging you, again!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

a special caller

A friend emailed me about contentment and taking risks. He said something about my life being so pregnant with exciting things. So much seems to be happening to me. I was mildly jolted. Can I really be projecting such a buoyant façade?

I told him that my life is far from what he has imagined. The crust belies the muck inside, nice and warm, sweetly twirling with bits of undigested steak.

Ennui always tugs at the fringes of my psyche, threatening to invade it if I won’t graciously let it in. Most of the time I do, albeit with reluctance. I offer it tea and cake and a platter of muck. Taste my soul, I would always say. And it would flash a wan smile as it slurps in my muck.

Conversations are always wry and bland.

"Would you like to talk to my liver instead?"

"No, thank you, I’d rather stay here and keep myself comfy."

"Suit yourself then."

That’s the part when we would both stare at the ceiling and scratch our balls until they bleed. And then it would scurry out without warning (Ennui, not my balls), leaving purple footprints on my floor. With repugnance and longing, I look out of the window and wait for its next visit.

Yes, so many exciting things happen in my life.


Saturday, August 06, 2005


I was almost delirious with fever for four days. If hell were real, I guess I had a taste of it last Tuesday, when the fever was at its scare-the-mercury-out-of-the-thermometer highest. I told my boss that I would be more useful in bed than in my cubicle. (bed as in sick bed, you perverts!) Which is another way of saying that I’m sick and tired of work. Good thing she was in a good mood and she readily allowed me to leave the office early. She probably thought that having a subordinate suddenly dropping on the floor, frothing in the mouth while convulsing and twisting and shouting “Yeah, hooded motherfucker with a skull head and a scythe thingie, take me, oh yes, take me and let me be your boy toy!” would be such an obscene sight to behold. Not that I would allow myself to die in such an overly mawkish, soap-opera-ish way. Not me. When it’s time for me to kick the bucket, I would die in style. I won’t allow anyone to say “Oh, look at that poor shit, he died like a true-blooded fucktard should.” When I die, I would inspire awe, wonder, dignity, and perhaps even eroticism. Of course you would have to kill me first to find out what I’m talking about.

So what happened from the time I went home from the office until today? I pretty much spent my time sleeping. Oh and what a shitty experience that was. It was so hot in my room I had to strip down to my underwear. It felt like a Freddie Kruger nightmare—not my underwear; I meant my condition. Merry imps danced the rumba inside my head. Every time I closed my eyes, weird thoughts wheezed through my subconscious; disjointed ideas shot through like idiotic Bush-inspired war jets; and unintelligible philosophies tap-danced on my cranium. It was kinda like this post, the only difference was that this time, every idea, every thought sent pain signals to my poor, woozy brain. What did I do to deserve to see imps with large hairy hands and small, three-toed feet and faces as surreal as Michael Jackson’s cavorting to Britney Spear’s latest crap? Oh, deities of the netherworld! Oh gods of Olympus, destroy me now and cut the “make him crazy” part short! I can’t take it anymore!

But of course, those assholes on Mount Olympus didn’t cut it short, otherwise they wouldn’t be called gods. So I had to take matters into my own hands. There’s no use writhing and thrashing in bed in my undies like a porn actor. On the third day, despite my heavy head, I dressed up, popped in some paracetamol, and did my best impression of a walking corpse. I figured it was the best time to do a long overdue transaction with my bank in the mall. I might just get them to approve my request just by showing my sallow face, sunken eyes and all. Can they really turn away a poor, dying guy?

Well apparently, they could. That’s what banks are for. After letting me wait for an hour, they told me that my request was subject for approval by the freaking manager and that the freaking manager will call me but don’t call us blah blah. What was that, a job interview?

And so, like a decaying carcass taking a promenade, I strolled out of the bank and into the mall, thinking if I should just go home or drop dead in one corner to get some love and attention. That’s when she texted.

“I’m in Starbucks, where are you?”

So much for seeking love and attention by pulling some stupid act. I hurriedly sprinted (in my current state, sprinting meant two slow strides a minute) to Starbucks. There she was with a friend from the office, remnants of coffee mixes rotting on their table. After the perfunctory pecking, necessary introductions, and customary small talk, her friend left.

“I’m so glad you were near, I was already getting bored with her,” she said. I told her I was terribly sick. She said she had with her some headache tablets she had intended to give to her mother; she could give me three of them. Since I couldn’t pop in those pills with a grumbling stomach, we went to eat in a restaurant.

For a while I forgot I was sick. We were laughing and swapping stories as if we hadn’t seen each other just two weeks ago. As is usually the case, our conversations spanned a gamut of topics, from the most serious to the most obscene. I can be open to her like that. What transpired between the two of us several lusty moons ago, apparently, did not destroy the friendship. It further strengthened the bond and made us more open to each other. How can I still withhold something from her when she has already seen me devoid of anything, figuratively and literally?

I intimated to her what I like about physical intimacy. And she said that’s exactly what she had in mind. We both agreed that, maybe, just maybe, the lusty moon would come shining down on us again. And we both laughed.

“I guess there’s a reason why we didn’t end up getting married. We’ve so many things in common our marriage would become bland at some point.”

I agreed. I like it better this way. Marriage is not the only thing that can bind two souls together. There’s something else infinitely stronger. And that’s what we have.

I felt healed when I saw her off that night. It was a refreshing feeling.

The next morning, I was back in my bed, thrashing and writhing in delirium again.