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Color him gone.*

Ang lamig ng sahig. Hindi ito metaphor. Observation lang. Nung pinanuod namin ang Once noong isang linggo, pagpasok na pagpasok ng vacuum cleaner sa eksena, heto na si Alan, "Metaphor yan! Metaphor yan!" Hay, sabi ko sa kanya, kaya pirmi tayong restless dahil dyan! Sabi nga ni Neil sa klase, sa totoong buhay naman, naiisip mo lang ang mga metaphor 'pag patulog ka na at naisipan mong mag-isip-isip. Pag pilit mong nilalapatan ng metaphor ang mga bagay, ang tawag dyan sa fiction, heavyhanded. Haha.

Tapos nag-crash ang laptop. Bigla na lang nag-shut down tapos pagbukas ko, na-wafaz na lahat ng laman. Syempre nalungkot ako nang ilang sandali, mga ilang minuto kong inisip habang gumagawa ng kape. Tapos OK na. Medyo nakakapanghinayang yung mga kwentong halfway, pero ano pa bang magagawa ko. Move on na, Glenn, hello.

Tapos: natuklasan kong hindi pala nawala/winala ang mga file. Naka-hide lang, para siguro hindi matamaan ng virus. Syempre, ang usapan naging, Ay, parang tao lang, pag nanganganib na masira ang mga memorya, kinukubli, para mailigtas, tinatago para balikan sa hinaharap. Peste lang di ba? Kaya hindi tayo sumasaya e! Dahil sa mga ganitong usapan! Tulad ni Mel, na nagtatali lang ng buhok tapos may naiwang isang strand. Aba, ang sabi naman, E ganoon naman sa buhay, laging may naiiwan.

Ang dulo, naibalik ni Om lahat ng files ko. Bahagya akong nalungkot, dahil handa na ako na magsimula sa wala. O ayan, metaphor na talaga yan. Files at baggage -- "the one you can't check in" (Resil Mojares, 2006 ata).

*Pasintabi kay Bb. Streisand, walang kinalaman ang awit rito; mood-setting lang talaga ang melodrama at pagbirit, i.e., Theseeee are the eyeees that watched him as he walked away, color themmmm greeeyyy!

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Once.

So, so tough to be zen these days:
  • A retired cardinal had v. succinct, erudite comments on the whole gay people marrying in Baguio, namely, "Yuck" and "Kadiri." The local bishop, meanwhile, said the participants had "mental problems." Hmm. Pajero.
  • A couple of weeks ago, this LGBT group invited me to read some poems for a fundraiser in Conspiracy. I regretfully declined, as I fear I didn't have anything remotely representative of the cause (also, my poems are, like, pangit; no false humility here, just stating a fact). But now I am so, so mad, I wish I had said yes.
  • Alan, Aling, and I saw Once a couple of nights ago in her and Om's place. Aling and I sang along. Aling, beautiful and clever and nice, couldn't sing for shit.
  • Bought three polos a couple of days ago. It's one of the few times when they appeal to me. Also, I've been wearing more and more baggy stuff lately. This, potentially, has existential roots, something about acceptance, but it shall be the last time I touch on anything resembling fashion.
  • Started on that two-week whole wheat cereal diet, and today, Day 2, cereal had started to taste like dirt.
  • SONA coming up. Noynoy's incompetence and utter, utter lack of analysis when it comes to key issues (and silence, which is worse, on others) are maddening, and I will see you there.
  • Realized one of the few things that could set me off is whole art-for-art's-sake thesis, that beauty, and artfulness, are ends in themselves, that "high art" is inherently classist. O baka kasi kaibigan ko ang nagsabi. Ang sasabihin ni Tel dito, history lesson plez.
  • Saw Wit earlier in class. Probably the third time I've seen it. Films like Wit, they remind me why I like writing. Stories.

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Perspective.

Say this television program, there is an old woman, plump and sad and crying, who was imprisoned for a pack of marijuana worth P10. It wasn't hers, she says, she doesn't even smoke cigarettes. What crime, the host asks, can the aged and infirm commit?

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Lull.

Or lol.

Right now, Nadal is playing some anonymous qualifier in the first round of Wimbledon. I remember telling Om, that one week we stayed in his house in Baguio, how people seemed calmer, tamer in the city, owming perhaps to the cold weather, and how it renders people paralyzed into inactivity and by extension apathy (as in, mahirap maging agit kung nanginginig ka sa lamig). That explains why, here, in my couch, coffee and tennis, in the aftermath of a 37-page paper on judicial assessment and reform, there is peace.

OK, said qualifier (who, upon closer look, resembles Will Ferrel) just took two consecutive dives to reach for the ball, never mind that he is 1-0 set, 4-1 games down. The audience laughed and cheered: screaming effort, in the face of certain, crushing defeat, is admirable (and bloody hilarious).

I was in Davao last week for a raket, and it was depressing: first time in Mindanao, and you stay in your hotel for four days. Amazing. Plans to meet up with the Magnolia boys were sidelined, because after several interviews and the discovery that Grand Regal is on the other side of the city from UP, I was too kapoy to even think about it. Heck, we couldn't even swim, and the bloody pool was on our bloody floor. (Raket itself is amazing, crash course in ARMM politics and invitations to visit municipalities by mayors themselves, the bloody pile of deliverablse notwithstanding).


Overworked; sana overpaid din. Hi, Katt!


The bad news was, I had to skip first week of school. Good thing nonfiction class didn't meet, so I only had poetry and fiction to worry about (thanks to classmates Eva and Alan, I've a clue what happened; in fact, will go later to SC to photocopy what I expect to be dangkal-thick readings). Yes, I've decided to encroach on all three genres this sem just to see how each one feels. But will most probably stick with fiction. I know me: I need all the motivation in the world to produce, and threats in manner of potential tres or singko are a good start.

In this regard, ha! I might be included in a poetry anthology. I am a fucking poet! Haha. Hahahaha. Kapoy.

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32 Questions Book Meme

I am also having trouble sleeping (because of all the legal/development/neoliberal ideas in my head). Gacked from Alyza.

****

1) What author do you own the most books by?

It's a toss up among Murakami, Amis, and Atwood. But I've given away one Amis and one Atwood during Duma so probably Murakami (although my Kafka on the Shore is with someone I no longer remember and wished were more honest).

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I'm not one of those people who collect several copies of their favorite books. I consider it selfish and pointless.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?

No.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Toru Watanabe from Norwegian Wood and K from The Trial (odd combination, surely?).

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?

Bridget Jones's Diary 1.

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These days.

It's two in the morning and I just ate a plate of greasy fried rice and corned beef. Gahd, and I wonder why I'm fat and lonely.

****

Then again: I have a new pre-owned book.



And: that little scribble on the upper right portion enlarged for your benefit.



Lest this be misconstrued as fangirling, let there be no doubt: it truly is. Haha. Also, there's a huge chance that Chingbee will get insanely famous in the future (from famous-in-writerly-circles today) and things like these will be akin to Nick Joaquin's copy of, say, Uncle Tom's Cabin. In other words, magiging mahal 'to in 20, 30 years' time (although brr, that would mean 2031, 2041, and there's an idiom about the premature counting of heads of fowl that I want to invoke here).

****

My days in Dumaguete would begin with something like this.



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One of these days, I will write something with isms naman. Parang hindi naman ako marunong mag-teyorya nyan kung puro motherhood statements at Hallmark-variety truisms lang ang minomode ko about writing.


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Tonight.

Definition of zen:

One early evening, you find your Smartbro thingamajig missing and you literally turn your (queen-size, years-old, dusty) bed over in search for it (you are lazy and fond of surfing lying down). After an hour (sweaty, tinkering on the brink of asthma and allergic rhinitis), it is still nowhere to be found and you start to harbor theories involving portals and alternate universes (or early signs of Alzheimer’s). In the process, you have found (1) your passport, (2) two pairs of headphones, and (3) a filled out notebook Maro gave you for your birthday four years ago (containing, among others, the first drafts of several stories).

Unsuccessful, you find yourself, curiously, laughing, and chiding yourself, “O ano na, Glenn?” then more masochist chuckling. There was no amount of remorse or regret (at the futility, the wasted time, etc); instead, justifications and – dare we say it – attempts to look at proverbial glass half-full. V. weird. Then you go to the living room and it is there, not so inconspicuously, atop the center table. There was more chuckling and a strong urge to shower, but, weirdly, no desire to give the heavens the finger or anything of the sort. Surrender comes to mind.


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25

I was with Melane earlier when I realized it has been five months, to the day, since I quit my last day job. It's something I like telling people to impress them, pretentious and annoying as it sounds now: "Five months ago, I quit my job because I wanted to just write." It's true. With neither savings nor plans, I quit, and, walking around Megamall earlier seeing the uniformed office people, I felt like gloating, although my bank account is a humming zero and in my wallet nothing over P3,000 (which is the reason why I'm pestering former clients for receivables and heading off to Makati tomorrow to pick up a check).

There were a lot of talks of the universe-conspiring-to-get-here variety during the workshop, and, with the scent of a guy fresh in my sheets, I concede that I am not ready to admit my reality to be so: that at 25, I will be fat, jobless and having sex in my parents' house. But "It is what it is," Tin had been prone to counsel, and I believe her. Fatalist and lazy, I know there is little to gain in fighting it. In the past five months, I've had one workshop, two published short stories, and another upcoming in a (frankly kinda big deal) anthology. Yes, if ever I become famous in the future (highly unlikely, given my wanton laziness and waking-up-at-12-noon itinerary), I can say that I quit my job and, in so doing, got anthologized, and who's the hack now?

Then again: I am so broke.

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Back. :)

Of course, you don't cry when saying goodbye, in the bus or in the writers' village. You do when everyone is gone, and you are at the airport, alone, and a blind man is singing Paminsan-minsan.



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We are in Duma!

Landed in Dumaguete yesterday. Since workshop doesn't begin until Monday, was billeted in hotel room in the mean time. Since only guy among early birds, got one room to myself (four other girls in the other room). Right now Troy is on HBO and Hector just killed Agamemnon and Greek army is barreling toward Trojan defense while Priam, Hecabe and Helen look on. This movie (and Iliad) always depresses me. Futility of everything and all that shit.

Initial impressions/observations:
  • Scary ass airport/airstrip. So close to the sea. So on final descent, you look out the window and it's all water, and slowly, you descend, and still there is no land, until final split second when land appears. Scary, but talk about character.
  • Was picked up at the airport by sea shell necklace- and tarpauline-bearing group of Sillimanians. And what a group. Our handlers included an Iranian, a Danish (not, like, the pastry), a Belgian, and a Pinoy (boo, lol). Said Iranian looked like a cross between David Archuleta and Daniel Radcliffe. V. conio group, though, not, thankfully, the annoying kind.
  • City itself not unlike Bacolod, except roads are smaller and there is no SM/Starbucks (odd, right). Think downtown Manila without the gloomy undertones. Hmm, just had a two-minute power interruption. WiFi might be down. Will go down now to get breakfast.

This time yesterday, was munching on chocolate croissant while waiting for boarding call, then day before in far-flung Fairview interviewing a couple of doctors for an annual report. Hmm. Slightly amused at turn of events.

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