theremainingdaemon

the resignation of konstantin

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I was five when I first realized that things aren’t permanent. I watched my first love in his neat peach Polo shirt lie in his little brown coffin, a look of peace and innocence in his face and I wondered who else would play with me this time. Our little bicycle with its rainbow wheels was eventually tucked away, among layers of memories in that dingy storage room and I never saw it again. That was my first heartbreak. And everything that came after was just a series of discovering more heartbreaks – in his story, in her story, in what is to become my story.

All these are hard for me to tell. I grew up as a voyeur of tragedies – of things that I wish I could change but could never do, despite latter respite and palliative fixes. I can’t tell you everything. But this is among the answers.

Her father left. She was in love with him but he walked out of the door when she was 13. I do not know – and cannot tell – when she began hating him or if she ever did. When she tells me about him, an imagined character who’s always going to be a vague shadow in my missing story, all I hear are tales of praise and love and events that came short of covering up for the painful truth that she refuses to tell.

Her mother did not take things gently. She was a quiet woman who I only knew for a brief memory. She died of loneliness.

And she became a woman who lived in compromise, did things with her hands and lived for the joy of other people. She moved about as if staying would mean sinking and so she kept moving until she thought that love found her. She likes kids too much and the fridge always had room for candies. She likes pink, lacy curtains and soap operas make her cry. She is often content with temporary and she’s always nice. I hate that. Though I’ve always thought her as the kindest person I know.

But I grew up as a voyeur of tragedies and the ugly truth eventually came and I hated what I see. Her niceties are vulnerable; her compassion necessary. Because after all, she wanted affirmation. She wanted to keep; she wanted to justify to herself that she is useful and so why did he leave?

And I kept wondering if she ever did hate him in the first place.

###

To Joval and Mitch, I am very sorry for my very late posts. Here is the last one.

Mitch, you are very articulate and coherent with your thoughts; I always enjoy your stories and your writing. I wish I could write like that. Joval, them pictures and very detailed posts I like very much. It was nice writing with you two. I’m still gonna stalk you.

 

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Stalemate

He wrote her poetry while she wrote one for another
He clung to his verses as if sacred vows to wrap up the story of how
their fates are tied together.
She held on to her metaphors like the kaleidoscopic monochromes
that fill her canvas with color
He talks to her at length about hues and finding stars
while she secretly muses about him and his affinity to virtual dopes and quasars

There is nothing new in this story.

A boy loves a girl. The girl loves a man.
Fates always irreconcilable ; a horrendous comic disaster

But he keeps telling her anyway. Of dreams. Of longing. Of loneliness.
And she keeps loving him anyway; with all her pious innocence

In different ways, they eventually part
He heads west. She settles far away from the rest.
Although he knew that she knew
Although she knew that it would end too
They knew all too well that love is just a trick word for feeling savagely blue

But you must know
that this is not a single story but two
He, who lit his poems with fire
And she, who burned too hard and never came out of the water.

Kinutlo Sa Kuto-Kuto Ni Santa Agata

Nagpunsisok ang mga pulong nga di ko malitok
sa imong atubangan
Nagsinyaokay ang mga pasangil, pagsaad ug pamalikas nga
di mo madunggan
Kay day, gilamoy sa alingisig
sa bidyukihan
And akong kaisog samtang nagtutok
sa naghilawas nyong mga kamot

***

There are plenty of words I cannot say
in front of you
The pretense, promises, and curses
You will not hear
Because girl, the noise of the videoke machine swallowed
my courage as I watch
Your hands make love to each other

Triple Monologues

I remember the piercing feeling of dread, long ago. The moment is far gone, the original sound already lost, but the echo still reverberates along the walls of my memory, haunting me every day. I closed it in. It never found a way out. When I look back, I taste emotions, not could-have-beens but things as they are, or as they were shaped by the molds of my own biases and tolerated into the schema with its solid frame, unrelenting, embedded, and un-weathering. Even with time.

If you are given the chance to look at yourself from a distance, completely detached – if that is even possible – would you like what you see? Would you like those shoulders hunched inwards, trodden by the dead weight on an invisible burden in non-form? Would you like those eyes which has seen too many yet understood too little? What would you tell of that frame, that little shell of broken bones mellowed by sadness that came out of a premature knowledge of death? That frame which has surrendered itself to the only certain truth?

She, and permit me the freedom of she-ness, is a fragile little thing. Waiting for her chance at oblivion. She, who has kept all the stories and explanations to herself, is a container of words – disorganized, unscaled, unevaluated, often misunderstood. She has trouble explaining herself. She is what she is, whatever it is that she can be. The gift of nommo is onto everything. Name, the entity that breathes life to thing-ness. Karen. Karenina. A formal validation. Oh how I like the African idea of existence. The name which summons muntu into being.

Do you like what you see? She is lost and restless. Her escape, which provided her the security of impermanence, is dragging her. It fills her with insecurity, of what the Cave Man called, homelessness. That sorry feeling of not belonging anywhere but in constant change. She is ashamed of her nomadism, of her inability to take root and open up, of her constant struggle to be unknown.

My friend, do you remember that night when I was riding shotgun in your car, teriyaki balls stuffed in our gut, the faint moments of a lifeless poetry reading session and our earlier book discussion fresh in memory? I don’t remember what we talked about in that moment. My mind was outside, on the other side of the window glass, picking little traces of observable curiosities. And then you did it again – analyze me in the usual way you do. You know I hate it when you do that. I don’t like you poking into whatever it is that I am. But you go ahead anyway. You always do. And those sentences you uttered so flawlessly were accurate; a singular dart on the red point center of the board. As precise as my dumbfounded shock because I never realized that truth about myself until you said it. Jeez oh man Rachel fucking price the devil of the omen, I kept it to myself. And you concluded your vocal ruminations with a disclaimer of your probable gaffes.

When I look at her, I see trouble. She has things against the world, issues with an irreconcilable past, explanations warranted from people who left before they should have. An I-don’t-care attitude could only get you so far, you know. And she knows that, but she’s not doing anything about it, either. Her life revolves around, day-in, day-out, around figuring things out or planning to figure things out, because instead of sitting down and crafting solutions, she runs away and seek reprieve in delay.

Wrong. She is horribly, terribly wrong.

She is suspicious of people; she never learned to trust. And that is teething disaster. Her idea of coping is to shut people out. Yet, she romanticizes people-ness, humanity in its grieving state; sadness that burn into cold flames, characters that wallow in pain. Don’t you think it’s a form of hypocrisy?

She is a horrible person, crossing the lines of morals or convention without remorse. When she talks to people, she holds a secret laugh, along with an inner monologue: “Stupid creature. Do you really think that is so?” “Do you think I’m too blind to see beyond that?” “I perfectly know what you think of me; but how do I say this politely? – piss off!”

“Do you know what the neighbors say about you?” Takuya asks his leaving sister.
“Uhmm.” Suzuko answers nonchalantly.
“How can you walk around the neighborhood knowing that?”
“I haven’t actually done them any harm. Why can’t I walk around the neighborhood?”

She holds too many secrets; I think that’s her greatest fault. She has a whole universe inside her; filled with supernovas and dark matter. She is too afraid of the very black hole that she is.

I’d hate to be seeing someone walking the Earth in that state. I do not detest nor like her. The world presents more bothers than just another bothered lady. But I think she deserves an early rest, bless her heart.

All the Little Things

There are things I want. Things I’d like to do or accomplish. There are emotions I want to feel, lives I want to live. Colors I want to see, strangers I want to meet. Conversations I would like to get lost in. Books I want to read. There are memories I want to bury, new ones I want to make. There are people I want to understand, things I want to say.

Do these things, if attained, equate to what we call happiness? Somebody once said happiness is the absence of desire. Perhaps if I read all the books I want to read (which is unlikely), I would be happy. Maybe if I would be able to understand people, I would be content. But what do we know about happiness? Is it a state of mind – fleeting and temporary? A resignation to the fact that life could ‘only’ be ‘this’ so we might as well get along with it?

I think happiness is a fickle thing. Happiness is a temporary taste of heaven so bored humans could get addicted enough to keep playing with it. Happiness is life’s natural heroin. It is never meant to stay. It is a tease. Or else, we’d all self-destruct.

I’m still sane enough to hold on. Every now and then, I get my stash from all the little things in life. They may come in the form of, but not limited to:

>> a fictional world
>> an article that actually makes sense
>> sometimes, a cigarette and those few moments of mental blankness
>> listening to whimsical conversations
>> taking part (if in the mood) in said conversations
>> watching BBT or any sensible movie
>> taking photographs
>> staying late at night to exchange secrets
>> big, long hugs
>> looking through photographs
>> going away
>> talking to strangers
>> walking with myself
>> random joyrides
>> riding jeepneys (or staying in the bathroom)
>> going into ‘No Entry’ doors
>> that cathartic vice of creating nonsense (purging the excess nonsense that brims out of my excessive nonsense-ness)

Making this list actually makes me happy. I didn’t realize I have so much sources (!) and I don’t in the least bit think they are hard to acquire. Well, well. How positively this pessoistic article turned out!

To Joval and Mitch, all good things.