posterity, boy

So difficult, to cling to the idea to ascribe the obligation to others: feel, reciprocate, understand that there is a sort of pain no amount of well-intended but futile attempts at inspiration will even begin to approximate, much less alleviate. Give up, look inside instead, but still find nothing.

I do this place a great injustice. I have not written, have not been a writer for such a long time that I do not believe I even deserve the title anymore. I stare at screens and pages, as is demanded, and they stare back, not asking me to finish so I can get to making my dreams like a good boy, but asking what new colors I’ve seen, what new leaps and bounds of logic are worth talking about, whether the city will ever again have a chance to raise phoenixes for fun and profit and social status, whether Francisco’s tears really have shielded his eyes from the rust-choked wind, whether Salvacion will resort to her etiquette or to her visceral disgust at falling for an uncut heathen whose only claim to her was that his heart was struck by lightning the moment he saw her from the trees, even whether the Supreme Court of the Universe’s decision will look the way it does in the mind’s eye. Catalina’s eyes still betray her, the four men are still standing over that infernal hole, it still thinks His best work was to create that hole that could fit any kind of peg, the rikugunshokan question was still a stupid attempt at capturing the moment when enough concerns collide to kill her in a car crash, the couple still speaks one-liners in a contrived library as tribute to Carver, and no one knows of what happened to the bulul key-chain after the jangling stopped.

Long relegated them to the side, books for absent thoughts absent from the daily lug to and from home, and it is perhaps one of the most painful things I have done to myself, absent banging my head on walls and desks as (if that could help keep a tired brain awake anyway, idiot). The days simply march on, mechanical, unfeeling, and worst of all, unforgiving. I stare at scratches of an angry chicken, with all the feeling of running one’s claws into bleeding stubs against an earth that has long since dried up, not even rot to nitrite it. And then, I shudder at time lost in not keeping an un-maintained engine running. The machine is never the machinist.

This is perhaps the most horrible form of self-indulgence: the senseless sort, stuck in between the desire to lash out and let darkness speak in tongues on behalf of many a caged misanthrope and cynic, and to heap shovel upon shovel of distractions and misdirections onto a word that will never be read, much less understood by the eyes it was meant for.

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carpe noctem

It never helps when someone makes it a competition, as if they could stave off the meaninglessness of it all by somehow being able to tell themselves that their pain is is greater than others’ and that that, somehow, makes them stronger.

It never helps when someone makes it a match, of who spouts more bland niceties than the other, until it all blends into a stream of redundant and rephrased nothings, words without meaning, as if the world turned on light alone, as if there was a way the coin could be heads on both sides.

It never helps when someone makes it a race, trampling on safe spaces and preferring to let dismissal and silence creep in, turning¬†the camera toward their corner of the world, their chance to show the world what a wonderful person they’re trying to be, when all we really are is just a bunch of idiots, trying to become our own intangible Joneses.

p i e c e b y p i e c e

Maybe, tikkun olam:

t o f i x t h e w o r l d
w e s h o u l d fix ea ch ot he r;
pick ing up ea ch oth er’s
piec es and
fit ting th em ba ck to get her.

Maybe, kintsugi:

that our bro ken ness makes us beau ti ful
to tho se who h ave seen bro ken ness;
th at we share beau ty in how we fil led
o ur cra cks and corner s.

 

fourth dimension rumination

Evanescence has its uses: evading small, insignificant words, tossed around by force of habit rather than any intention to exchange; fading into doors and windows when agoraphobia sets in; floating in and out of objects, animals, people, as desired (desire is the most inappropriate term at this point); silence is a precious time that allows one’s inner voices to discuss–or debate–in peace.

It’s a significant trade, of course: there’s that particular advantage (addiction?) to having eyes focus on instead of past; of words–even one’s own voice–echoing inside instead of drifting in a straight line, form thought, form love, regurgitated and partaken; meaning full, instead of meaning less.

It would be nice to be solid (matter) every once in a while.

AM worthless

The mornings, they evade, as if to remind that you do not deserve the aroma of coffee, that morning stretch in fresh sunlight, those moments of listening to the world rouse from restfulness into industry. That you deserve, instead, to wake up to regrets and the particular panic one gets from oddly lucid dreams of people who died in their sleep, or are you sweating just because the windows always opened to the east anyway. There are no breezes these days, after all, as progress is necessarily monolithic, pedantic, stoic.

It’s not as if the nights were worth it, though, tossing and turning and stewing twisted ideas in the unhygienic flashing of a light not meant for the dark, always having, in the end, to come to that, to force a false tranquility and melt the world away, alone,¬†instead of the shared split-second glimpse of nirvana it was meant to be.

like a tight hug, like trying to squeeze it all out

Three days overdue at this point, but writing comes harder these days.

Thank you, first of all.

It takes me a while to reply to all the birthday greetings because I like to make a ritual of it: trying to make every ‘thank you’ a little different than the others, just to show that I really, really appreciate the effort, Facebook-prompted or not (the Internet can be such an unfeeling place, after all). It also gives me a chance to–forgive my little ego trip here–just take time to breathe it all in, to bask in the warmth of it all, the general outpouring of love for someone who never feels he deserves any of it, yet needs it like any normal human would, and probably needs it more than ever these days.

It’s also taken me longer to reply than usual because these past few days have been a beautiful whirligig: a trip to the mountains, walking until legs and feet turn sore, drinking excessive amounts of coffee in between; meeting up with good friends over fruity beers, conversations about life and work and adulting and television circa 1990s to early 2000s, and even more coffee; and reading everything from untouched textbooks to board game reviews in between. Tiring yourself to sleep is different when it’s because you sincerely want to make the most of the dark and the quiet, trying to squeeze every second for what it’s worth, searching for color.

Somewhere in the middle of that hot mess, I turned a year older. But turning thirty only sounds significant because we’ve long since clung to to a decimal system of counting and conceptualizing anyway. The number of years starts to not matter when things just, despite appearances, contributed to a long, slow spiral downward.

At this point, I can’t even pinpoint when everything started becoming so… drab. When color only comes in short bursts, spontaneous as the unplanned moments, set up only at the last second just to trigger them. When stories and emotions do not come as freely as before, which may be the biggest of the tragedies thus far. I miss the old me.

Disjointed, I know. Like I said, writing comes harder these days. Losing vibrance tends to do that.

Like I have also said, countless times before–but with an even greater need and urgency than ever: I have to start making this–all of this: the writing, the stories, the colors–a habit again.

plop

And just like that, it’s over. No get-together, no celebratory jig. Just staring into space: dark, dark space, punctuated every now and then by passing headlights.

They say the reason why some people are scared of death is that they’re scared it’s going to hurt a fucking lot when it happens. But I figure that’s because most of them envision it to be, as the phrase goes, going out with a bang, or even with the slow, pained sputter of expiry on a hospital bed, faint imaginary strings singing in the background. But things don’t always go that way, and sometimes, things are over even before anyone’s had a chance to process the fact.

That’s what this past few months, and this night, have felt to me: a little death, less like a splash, more like the little plop you make by dropping a rock into water. Stand up, walk out, sit down, and then, nothing. Mentally beating yourself up, after all, doesn’t make a sound.

I want to say that I did my best, let God do the rest, yadda-yadda. But the thing is, I can’t. Faith is for people who’ve worked in tandem with their Creator, not for those whose pathetic hubris is backed by some dumb, misanthropic assumptions regarding human nature and morality.

But I tried. I split myself into two people. Or, perhaps more appropriately, 1/3 and 2/3. Or maybe more like 3/5 and 2/5. But who cares about the numbers, when all you need is the fact of inequality? Two people with different weights. The one with the heavier weight buckled, and he blamed the other one. The image might look like it would make a good cautionary tale, only there’s no lesson to be learned.

There is no sense of achievement when nothing makes sense in the first place. None of that lauded impetus that has time and again spiraled people into piercing the heavens. Just a brief, brief respite between drudgeries.

Splitting yourself is tiring. And I am tired. So, so damn tired.

Everything feels… heavy. The weight of the wrong memories coming at the right time and vice versa, of disappointments, of unmet expectations (hubris, I tell you), of believing yourself perhaps not blessed, but in some sense fated to be where you are right now (such hubris, I tell you). On top of all this, the burden of knowing that in the end, you have only yourself to blame: empowering at times, suffocating the rest of the damned way.

I hate competition. Wait, let me rephrase: I hate competing with anyone other than myself. High School Musical, surprisingly, said it best: We’re all in this together. Who cares for the numbers, as long as we make it through, inequality be damned? Being the best would be nice, but anyone who constantly needs to be the best is probably sick in the head. Not that being sick in the head would matter if you’re the best, anyway.

Congratulations, all of us, for making it this far. Now, excuse me while I crawl into a corner and cry myself to sleep.