Tuesday, November 24

My Blog Roll

One month, ten posts and the realization that I really find it hard to sustain anything I start. I write to move forward. I write to purge. For when you take that leap to cut yourself and spill the lump in your throat, you set free a memory. You let go.

It was a worthwhile sojourn. Amidst questioned intentions, there is no regret. The seed was a giddy feeling. And not knowing how to deal with it, I felt it best to profess... to confess.

He's a superb storyteller.
His writing is pure emotions.
His spontaneity is unmatched.
He's vivid and deep.
He's an unexpected... friend.
His story is familiar.
And he is a gracious soul. Not to take away anything from the others, but know that you are the best... at least from my corner of the universe.

And yet there's still much to cover. The curious cat and the sweetest geek. The bashful one... what happens next? And the unexplained affinity I feel for the one taking a glimpse of the spectrum.

I ramble.

"It's the longest goodbye in the universe when your shooting star burns out, shooting star here's used loosely, figuratively. It rings more poetically in the vernacular - - -bulalakaw. You call them that because they burn so bright, because you wistfully look to the sky for their trajectories to cross your radar again even after their orbits have passed most likely forever, because you wish on them. But you knew that and maybe you knew that out of having had this extraterrestrial hurt too, out of having the unforgettable face of that lapsed darling afterimaging in your head long after her radio silence, her invisibility, her supernova before your eyes. And all of this is in K's head. Like the lovesongs falling on deaf ears, like the poetry in the details, like the words that fail, like the wishfully-thinking extraterrestrial hurt it hooks me with."

Para sa iba ko pang hinahangaan... Dodo Dayao at Khavn Dela Cruz

video

Monday, November 23

Disappointed

It was still dark outside when I decided to get up and ready myself for work. It was useless to stay tossing and turning in bed. Sleep had eluded me for days and it wasn't about to make a much-needed visit anytime soon.

I took a shower. I picked up my bag. I took a deep breath as I stepped out of the door.

My phone rang. It was my father asking what's wrong. I would've thought it unusual for him to check on me because he never really did. And then I remembered, in the blurry of a sleeplessness night, I sent an SOS to him. I asked him if we could talk.

I told him that I was on my way to work and that I'd call him when I get back home later that night. I hung up. A few seconds after, my phone buzzed again. It was my mom. She told me that my dad's BP shot up. She told me to spill whatever was bothering me. She needed to re-assure my dad that everything was ok with me.

I gave her the same excuse: I was on my way to work. Yet she persisted. She asked me to stop wherever I was so that we could talk. But wherever I was was in the middle of the street. To my left was a covered court with mid-aged ladies doing their group aero-exercises. To my right were rows of apartments whose tenants were pouring out, joining the dozens of parents with their kids rushing towards a nearby school.

And yet, in spite of the slowly rising morning rush, I stood still. Unmindful of the nameless faces that brushed by, I felt an uncontrollable punch in my gut. Soon, I felt a tear fall. Silence on the other line as I told her what happened. "Ikaw na bahalang magsabi kay Tatay. Baka magalit sa 'kin iyon." And for the second time, I hung up.

Office was same as usual... minus the prescription I got from the company doctor and the division's bosses huddling in the corner and out of nowhere asking me: "What's wrong Darc? You look so sad."

When I got back from the office, my parents were in my apartment. They wanted to pick me up and take me home. It was quite a long drive East. We stopped by a drugstore to buy my meds. All of a sudden my dad said: "Huwag mo kasing seryosohin. Dapat pa-fling fling ka lang." I appreciated his efforts to make light of the situation. I knew it was awkward for him as it was difficult for me.

That was more than a year ago.

*****

Yesterday, my mom told me that my father's quite disappointed with me. Disappointed for being short-fused with him, for being too stubborn, for not following after him to be an Engineer, for getting my heart broken... for not turning out to be the son he always imagined would walk down the aisle one day, get married, have kids.

I totally understand where my dad's coming from. And in spite of that I know we're cool. But what pains me is that I never had a clue that he felt that way. He always put on a strong front, acted nonchalantly as if everything's ok even if they're not... pretty much the same way I do.

I guess I really am my father's son.

Wednesday, November 18

Cha(t)rity

It would have been strike three if not for St. Jude.

*****

I don't know why but I'm starting to get fond of guys-for-hire. No, I haven't paid anyone for sex... although the idea intrigues me and I have my eyes on a couple of guys to do it with the moment I decide to act on impulse.

Here's the deal. I've been hanging out in MIRC for about 2 weeks now and the ads that I click on and seriously engage are those offering their "services" for a quick buck. Yes, I am one heck of a serious-taker and I'm quite easy to deal with really. I gravitate towards sob-stories and the moment you tell me that you need the money to pay for something in school, no questions asked, I'll meet you and dole out the cash.

So far I've met two.

Guy-for-hire 1 is an engineering student in PLM. He's a DOST scholar trying to send himself to school without any help from his parents. He's young, just 19 years old. And when I asked him why he needed the money, he reasoned that his stipend's release has been delayed.

Strike 1. Enter gullible Darc.

We arranged to meet in Robinson's Pioneer since it's just a stone's throw away from our office. He was late, that got me irked big time. But then when I saw him, it was quite difficult to stay annoyed. I figure he's of Indian descent - tall, dark, chiseled nose, and a strong jaw. He smiled as he approached me. His stride was confident. Quite sure of himself, I thought.

"Hi."

"Hello."

"Sorry Sir I know I'm late. Traffic po kasi tsaka akala ko may dadaanan pa kayo."

"Ok lang. Walang problema. Kumain ka na?"

"Opo. Kayo ho?"

"Oo, habang hinihintay kita."

We started walking out of the mall.

"Oh, ito na iyong perang kailangan mo."

"Thank you po sir."

"Sige uwi na ako. Ikaw saan ba ang daan mo?"

"Ha? Sasakay po ulit ng MRT tapos sakay ng jeep sa Quezon Ave."

"Ok, sabay na tayo papuntang MRT."

"Sigurado kayo sir wala na tayong pupuntahan?"

"Yep. You're smart, you shouldn't be doing these things."

"First time lang naman sir. Kailangan kasi eh."

"Ok. But try not to do it again. Kaya ka nga matalino para magawan mo ng paraan 'di ba?"

"Sige Sir. Salamat po ulit."

And so that episode ended with me riding a jeep home after we parted ways in the MRT... or so I thought. Suddenly a text came in.

"Wow."

"Ano'ng wow?"

"Hindi ko lang kasi akalain na may nag-eexist na kagaya niyo Sir."

Ugh, could you spell cheesy?

"I mean, cute kayo tapos mabait... ay smart din pala."

"Ah, thanks. Glad to help you out."

"Huwag kang magagalit ha. I know you helped me out and all pero nakakahiya kasi dito sa MRT, siksikan... tapos I have a boner."

And as any clueless guy who wants to save face would do, I texted:

"Hehe."

***

Guy-for-hire 2 is from Sta. Mesa. He was making his routine client calls through MIRC in a netshop near PUP. Okay Darc, here we go again... Strike 2.

This second meet-up was a lot shorter. I don't know what's with these student/for-hire kids but boy are they always late. His excuse was guess what, traffic. Some sort of accident happened along V. Mapa that's why he had no choice but to walk to our agreed meet-up place. He was panting as he reached the pseudo-mall's third floor. I bobbed my head to acknowledge him.

"Hi, CJ."

"Hi, Darc."

"Kanina ka pa?"

"Hindi ok lang."

Now this was a test of self-restraint. CJ was chinky-eyed and fair. And that was the reason the meet-up ended early. I pulled out some bills from my wallet, handed them over to him and said.

"Sige ingat ka ha."

"Hindi na ba tayo lalabas? Samahan na lang kita sa inyo."

"Hindi ok lang, pagod na rin ako. Diretso ka na lang uwi, gabi na rin."

Shit. I needed to hurry. The pseudo-mall housed a motel and I was afraid my dick would do the thinking for me.

"Sige text mo lang ako 'pag gusto mong lumabas ha. Hintayin ko."

"Sige, ingat."

*****

Darc: What do you need the money for?
GFH3: Rent. Naubos kasi sa finals allowance ko.
Darc: Sige I'd just give you the money.
GFH3: Ok. Punta ka na lang sa place ko.
Darc: Hindi, meet up na lang tayo somewhere tapos bigay ko sa iyo iyong pera. May pupuntahan pa kasi ako.
GFH3: Ah ok, saan ka ba pupunta?
Darc: St. Jude
GFH3: Ayos, dito lang ako sa may Mendiola. Malapit lang sa St. Jude.

Tuesday, November 17

Ano?!!!nymous

"Gusto mo raw tawagan kita?"

Funny Anonymous, really funny.

It never occurred to me that it was you. I've been making a list for the past week and to be honest, I never considered you an option. I don't know how you stumbled upon my space. I don't know how you figured it was me. Heck, I'm clueless why you surf PLU blogs. Whatever happened to the girlfriend? You know our acquaintances take it as it is and none really dared to ask you if you're... unless of course I was totally out of the loop.

So tell me, who else knows this little world of mine? Better yet, who else knows that little world of yours?

Tell you what, between us girls, let's keep this as our little secret. You've always been the quiet one, more pensive than I ever was. I know I can trust you on this. And yeah, I'm quite relieved that it was you. Some things I write might be totally out of character, at least from the guy you came to know back in college. Alam mo naman sila, I've always been the goody-two-shoes for them.

Yaddah yaddah yaddah... deleted as instructed. Hmph!

Liar!!!

You asshole. I can't fucking believe you did this to me. You have absolutely no right to write those things about me. My dentist going down on me? My "promiscuous friends" egging me to have sex with another while we were together? You are totally deranged! It's not my freaking fault that you're insecure and would easily think that I'd cheat on you. I NEVER cheated on you! If at all, you were the one seeking affirmation from every shithead you meet. And now, I'm the fucking cheater?! You moron! Your face deserves to rot. Kasing pangit ng ugali mo ang mukha mo. And to think I was able to sleep with you without puking. Now I cringe at the thought of me enduring you for so long. You emotional blackmailer! I should've run the first time I thought you were manipulating my feelings to boost your ego. You selfish, self-centered emo-shit! And now your minions are consoling you by bashing me. Great job asshole. To think that when you apologized, I, without question, forgave you and wished you the best! And you even had the gall to threaten me. I don't freakin' care if you send out or post my "incriminating" pictures. Just goes to show how puny your character is. Ugh, I wanna kill myself for staying with you for so long. Delete those memories, delete those years, delete you! Delete! Delete! Delete!!!

But how can I delete all that when the first thing that comes up when I google my name is the word cheater opposite it?

You lying bastard!!!

Sunday, November 15

Sex and Relationshits

Friday, 12 am.

It's the same tired excuse you give your sister: "May bibilhin lang ako sa 7/11."

You change clothes, run out of the house, and start walking.

You pass by the same streets, make the same turns, and when you get there, it's the same old routine.

You leave your ID, you pay up, and head to the bar for a beer.

You wander the dimly-lit hallways. Everyone alternates from predator to prey.

In an instant, the darkness gives life to random hands groping your frame.

And before the night is over, sweat is not the only fluid expelled and exchanged.

You clean up and leave without a single word spoken.

The somber glow of streetlamps guide you back home.

Unmindful of the cold, streetkids sleep on the pavement.

And you, fully clothed and able, feel a similar freeze in your heart.

*****

In the past 6 months since my first long-term relationship ended, I remember having encounters with 21 men on 16 different occasions... "remember" being the operative word.

*****

Summer, 2008.

Straight from the office, you took what would turn out to be the longest trip of your life.

You boarded a bus to follow your friends for a vacation up North. Without sleep for almost a month, that night was no exception. Everything was a blur minus your broken heart whose adamant pounding was accentuated by the dismal lights dotting the highway.

You were the last passenger to get off the bus. You waited by the town arc until an elderly man picked you up with his motorbike. You took your spot behind him when all of a sudden he asked, "Gay ka rin ba?" At that point you didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Amidst the rolling rice fields, you managed a half-hearted smile.

He dropped you off at a certain house. Inside were your friends, laughing their hearts out over breakfast. You opened the door and headed straight to where the voices were coming from. You dropped your bags.

Silence.

"Ang-payat mo! Ano bang ginagawa mo sa sarili mo?!"

You sat down and cried. Soon enough, you were'nt the only one crying.

"Huwag mo na intindihin iyon. Magsasaya tayo ngayon ok?"

You slyly nodded. And in your ever-awkward, ever-inappropriate manner blurted out...

"May meaning pa rin ba ang sex na walang love?"

Friday, November 13

Bloggers are Difficult to Love

It's inevitable that in every relationship, each party has to bear something in the other. Whether it be a previously undisclosed habit, the animosity of some of his friends or his way of thinking slowly unravelled as each day passes, there will be things that you'd have to make peace with in order to keep the relationship.

But what makes bloggers a class of its own? What makes them particularly difficult to love?

1. Bloggers are schizophrenic. One day he's preppy Mr. Nice Guy, the next he's Rebel-Without-A-Cause. And this penchant to assume alter-egos is an inherent need. Blame it on his otherwise colorful personality or the host of adventures and misadventures he gets himself into, when you love a blogger, you have to love the sum of his parts. It's the classic artist's syndrome: bordering on the mentally deranged because there, he finds inspiration. My unfortunate past lends some truth to this. Turns out his younger brother has been on meds for schizophrenia. I guess it runs in the family.

2. Bloggers are high maintenance. They have a thirst for new people, new things, new ideas. If you don't sustain the novelty, he'd most probably get bored... he'll run out of things to write! And you shouldn't take it against him. Writing is part and parcel of the person you fell in love with. The least you can do is to find ways to feed his hunger for "learning." His inner diva screams Madonna: reinvent or be irrelevant.

3. Bloggers are difficult to read. Chances are you'll get to learn things about your relationship only through his blog. How he really feels and how he processed those feelings are at times only expressed in his writing. Forget your argument last night. Wait for his blog this morning!

4. Bloggers have a following. It's like marrying a celebrity. Worse, if you fail to follow his posts, there might be cases when total strangers would know more about what you "did" than what you actually paid attention to. Goodbye privacy to intimate moments. Say hello to third-party interpretations... often at the comments section.

5. And following the previous posts, bloggers are difficult to love because when you break up with them, you will be the bad guy. You are the cause of his emo posts. You are the culprit who broke his heart. And even if he tried his awesome best to be fair as he wrote how you told him things are no longer working out, you'd still end up as the "evil" one who failed to appreciate him and all the love he has to offer. A quick look at the comments section illustrates the point.

*****

Yet all the same, you keep on falling in love with a blogger. And the giddy feeling you get when he writes an ode to your love is worth all the wait, the mind games, and confusion.

Tuesday, November 10

Market Value

My idea of market value took a turn when I entered college.

I distinctly remember my tipping point: first year, first sem, first Math 17 exam results. The professor was on-time, 4:00 pm sharp. And the atmosphere that afternoon was an intense mixture of anticipation and fear. After all, with valedictorians sitting right next to each other, the results of this first test would validate whether you really are worth the title. The bar was indeed set higher.

But alas, perhaps owing to our personal propensities to be students of behavior and political dynamics, math was never our block’s forte. Almost half failed the exam. And the professor, in his attempt to inspire the fallen ones that it was possible to breeze through his subject, decided to do a top ten roll call. Pageant season anyone?

The 10th highest… not me; 9th… still not me; 8th; 7th; 6th; 5th; 4th; 3rd… still not me.

And so I was a finalist. It’s the quintessential pageant high albeit in a totally nerdy spin.

“The second highest is Mr. DD.” A runner-up finish is not bad at all.

But wait, what’s happening? Girls are giggling as if someone’s tickling their vaginas pink… and a rouse of clapping ensued.

It was awkward, scary even. I, the boy who never had girl classmates in high school, was blushing as I stepped forward to receive my blue book. What the freak was happening? Later did I found out that they were happily surprised that I was not only cute but smart as well.

Smart? Okay, I’ve heard that before. But cute? That was an alien word to me. After all, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine hearing that from one of my high school classmates. With certain priests and teachers always on our backs in a seeming inquisition to ferret out boys from boys who like boytoys, telling someone you’re cute will most likely result in a disciplinary sanction or a watchful eye at the very least.

And so, there I was, basking in the giggly claps of girls without them knowing that on my way back to my desk I was imagining walking down a runway with a tiara on my head and a sparkly sash over my shoulder.

*****

For Tristan... my first-ever cyber-celebrity.

Sunday, November 8

Sophomore Spell

I need to steer clear of cyberspace.

Blogs make me crazy in love.

I thought I could handle it but then a second attempt to dive into a storyteller's lair has put my heart in hyper-gloom mode. And it doesn't help that my past encounter with a blogger has left me stupid and broken. Three years of forgiving and forgetting. Taking you back when you turned away and played around... only to find out that you kept another space where you churned out words you were too afraid, too coward to let me know. And that alternate space talked about how you detested my shortcomings. Worse, it sounded your longing for past, pseudo, and imaginary relationships. All of which, didn't include me.

And so I need to step back. Cyberspace is too cruel for me. Words have always been my Achilles' Heel. And I need to muster enough courage to "play" this game.

Friday, November 6

You're My Cyber-Celebrity

I admit, I am naive. I fell in love with a cyber-celebrity.

A faux-wood table, a laptop, and my cyber-loafing self. That was the start of my romance with you. From an obscure link on my boss's blog, I clicked on and started my journey to your world; a world of wonderful words, lyrical prose, and emotions that stir my soul.

That has always been my weakness: storytellers and the transparent narratives they weave. And you were outstanding in what you do. You had immense power over me. Each entry was a vicarious experience. They left me wanting more, needing more. Not soon after, I was addicted... to you.

In my make-believe world we've met in the gym you've been working out in. I've invited you to a little chat, a date if you will, in that coffee shop not far away from where you work. You had a tall Americana, which I found to be quite surprising. I've always pictured you as sensible and smart but never really to the point of being an Americana drinker. Perhaps the bitterness satisfied your desires, a twisted parallel to the countless stories of heartache in your blog. But all the same, I found it endearing. You with your tall Americana, and me with my decaf macchiato.

You looked uninterested. After all, I was just a fan-boy, a stalker if you will. And not in a million years would you take a second look at me, what with my lanky zero-impact self. Our romance was doomed from the very start. You deserved more. I was a puny mortal before a demi-god.

But then you smiled and that made my day. I suddenly felt butterflies in my stomach and they fluttered up to my mouth painting a smile. I smiled back.

Thank you for your generosity. Know that I cry when you cry. I cursed the boys that broke your heart. And as you go and find your way to that one person you'll spend the rest of your life with, I pray that you'll take a look back. I don't have much to offer... just some wishful thinking and my honest admiration.