Thursday, December 15, 2005

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

As black darkness heralds night,
as white radiance brings forth light,
have we need, a dull gray, to sight?
Have we need, at all, for the twilight?

I once swore to myself never to have children. Not that I am planning to live a life of celibacy but I simply think I cannot handle any brat for the rest of my life. It was quite a puzzle then, this morning, when I pondered upon the question regarding how a child could be raised properly.

Oh, I don't know. Perhaps it was the bratty kid next door whom I could hear screaming at four in the morning, asking what's for breakfast. Maybe it's their stupid household help whose intense voice splits the air in unison with her charge's yells in a delightful cacophony. Maybe it was the "Harumph" I always sigh whenever I hear the barbaric duo, silently cursing the kid's parents for not educating both larva and slave about the concept of noise pollution.

Really now, I do have a mind of calling them one day, whilst they be immersed in yet another colorfully pointless childish debate. I digress.

Anyway, I was in the shower, a very uneventful place were it not for... never mind. As I was shampooing my hair, nourishing my healthy cover of dandruff, my trivial musings drifted to the different people I met in my childhood. Sure, there were groups of kids whose popularity permeates the entire classroom; almost every ear listening to them and almost every eye focused on their facial expression so that when they laugh, all the others might laugh as well.

I never was a very popular guy. Back then, I wished it was me cracking jokes but now that I have the hindsight to look behind at the sordid mess that was my past, I am quite grateful I never belonged with them. Sure, I do resent quite a lot of them and, given the chance at speed and stealth, would kill them at the present. Perhaps that must be the reason why I don't want to be one of them anymore.

Another group, or stereotype, if you will, is the Outcast society. It is here where I belonged once. We would speak in hushed whispers or low voices lest some Popular hear us and broadcast our words as a joke. Where the Populars often talked about music or fashion, we talked about them. I know, gossipping is bad but I was a kid then! Until I stepped into high school, the outcast group was often composed of really smart students or really dumb and silent shy people.

Where does the rest fit in? Nowhere. They were separate clusters of temporary liaisons, breaking up and re-coagulating many times within a year. They were the innocents caught in the crossfire between the Populars and the Outcasts. They were the butt of jokes in the rare instances where the Populars are not picking on an Outcast. They were the excluded ones in the clandestine telepathic conversations of the Outcasts. They cannot unite themselves for their social skills were nowhere as audacious as the Populars and the oppression they suffer is nowhere near enough to give them anything in common.

As I was rinsing off, I was struck with the unholy idea of raising a kid. I was utterly mollified now but I paid no heed then. I was more concerned about the way I would raise him. My mom raised me to be a prodigy, an Outcast. My dad tried to undo the damage whenever he was around but alas! 'twas too late and I grew up a geek. Obviously, I would not want my child to grow up like me. Obviously, I wouldn't want to turn into my own mother and cultivate another vegetable limping through life.

I never wanted my son/daughter to grow up a Popular, either. 'tis the primary reason why I wished not for a progeny. I am quite afraid of the horrors raising a brat as bratty as all the other brats. I wished not for a rowdy boy who wallows in the mud like some pig or a snobbish girl who moodily snorts at everything like some pig.

Alas! I am running out of options. I suppose I'd choose the least evil amongst the three in the very unlikely event that I happen to father a child. I never wanted my kid to be a nomad but I suppose my kid will thank me in the very far future. He could quite adapt to be able to glean some trivial information from the Outcasts. She could probably maintain her cool and be innoculated from the teasings and annoyances called Populars.

Walking out the shower room, I shuddered, partly due to the cold winter atmosphere, mostly due to the forbidden thoughts running across my mind. As I switch on the radio, I vaguely conjure a thought analogous to my shower daydreams: I want my child to be neither Pop nor Classical but rather Alternative or Wave.

Gah! I don't even think that makes sense. Coming from a mind ignorant of music genre, it probably doesn't.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sleep well, convict, for tomorrow you die.

Nausea. If I remember it correctly, my professor called it nausea.

It was supposedly, what every human feels when confronted with a decision. It is the fleeting moment where one actually carefully considers his or her option. It is the instant of insanity before the equally brief nanosecond called decision. Once we have decided, it disappears just as quickly.

Ha! I could only wish everything was as simple as that. Most of the world's problems are actually problems of the future. This is where nausea comes in. However, nausea or no nausea, puke or no puke, the fact still remains that people can still do something about it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce to all of you a new concept called guilt. It is the overwhelming sense of foreboding that retribution might just be around the corner. It is the low, almost infrasound, drone of a massive alien spacecraft cruising slowly in the dead of the night. It is the aura of unease that pervades the atmosphere hours, even days before an earthquake strikes. It is the deep, hollow rumbling of a volcano before it suddenly decides to sneeze, rendering thousands of people homeless in the process.

It is the itchy crawling feeling on your skin as you recieve your grades, only to stare blankly at a flashy, shimerring failure. It is the feeling of helplessness as you arrive late for your exam, only to know that the war has been lost long before the final battle began. It is both euphoria and hysteria; you smile because you have been freed from the dread of not knowing while you scream as you tear at your hair, dreading anew at the slow but inevitable doom.

It is a form of astral projection, as you momentarily leave your body and see your life from a third-person point of view. It is the art of puppetry as you animate your limbs through the puppet string of primal instinct. Your body moves of its own accord as the conscious mind takes flight. It is also the sharp return to yourself as a speeding car narrowly misses you.

It is the wasted opportunity to die for you are much too afraid to die yourself. You slow down for Death to catch up to you only to find out that Death slowed down his pace to match yours. It is the frustration knowing that Justice walks at a faster pace, much faster than Death and a bit faster than you, anyway.

Guilt is the hope that just around the corner, there is an assassin, a rapist, a robber, a child running with a knife in his hands, a speeding bullet, a time bomb, as a matter of fact, anything that could kill you, the entire event regarded as either crime or accident. Heck, maybe it is also the desperation to throw you into harm's way, knowing that, had you stood still, your life might have been saved.

Most of all, let me describe the singular and most basic description of guilt. It is the knowledge that the quagmire you are presently sinking into is your own doing.

Should all curses laid down never fail,
what misery would all of this entail?
Retain what strength you had before
but only that and nothing more.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Strength of the Colony Lies in its Larvae

Anak na ngayo'y 'di mo paluin,
bukas, ikaw ang paluluhain.
(The child you will not spank today
is one who'll make you weep someday.)

-a Filipino proverb

Children. I love children! They make great firewood!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not usually nasty towards children. Heck, I wouldn't even dare frighten anonymous kids unless the situation gets really dire. Anyway, allow me to divert your attention away from those nasty little creatures for a while and introduce you to a movie I just saw.

Fangirls of Johnny Depp have probably already seen Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. To tell the truth, it is also a movie I've been waiting to see, my anticipation making my body itch. No, thank you, I'm not a Johnny Depp fangirl 'coz I think the guy's too wierd. Anyway, I really got hooked on by its movie trailers.

I'm not particularly kind to people who narrate spoiler stories to me so allow me to refuse to give the plot away, for the sake of those who may still wish to see it. Instead, let me just introduce to you five kids who star in the movie. Of course, you probably have already guessed Charlie. After all, why would the title be such if there wasn't any guy named Charlie? All kidding aside, Charlie is the main protagonist. He's a kid who is surprisingly well aware of his family's current financial situation. Very insightful, yet not too grown-up, Charlie seems to embody the perfect kid parents want their children to turn out. Unfortunately, he has a flaw: what does a kid do when he finds a stray dollar bill on the ground? Let honesty prevail? Heh, too bad, Charlie used the money to buy himself, er, something nice.

Augustus Gloop, another kid, is a very fat glutton who is well versed in the art of eating, manners or no manners. He is almost always seen munching on something, most often Willy Wonka's superb chocolate bars. His father is a buthcer while his mother stays at home and cooks. He likes to eat everything that is edible and his parents have no qualms about spoiling him. He's not a very complicated brat for his needs are simple: food.

Veruca, on the other hand, would not stop at food. It has to be good food. Most of all, it has to be something she likes. She had made it a habit to ask her loving dad to buy her what she wants. Fortunately, her father is a very rich businessman. Still, there are some things that cannot be bought with money. Love and friendship? Nah, Veruca doesn't want them. She's having a difficult time acquiring Willy Wonka's technologies, which she has taken a liking to. She is a classic example of a rich spoiled princess; what Veruca wants, Veruca gets, or else...

Violet, another female, is not too altruistic like her best friend, Veruca. She knows she had to work for what she wants. Unlike her friend, there is only one thing she wants in life: be the number one. An over-competitive brat, she joins all competitions she can, constantly emerging as the winner. Never to be outdone, she goes out of her way to seek contests and trains rigorously to prove that she is indeed the best kid in the world, in all respects.

Mike, on the other hand, would be nothing more than a couch potato, a sharp contrast to Violet's zeal and enthusiasm. However, unlike most lazy people, Mike is pretty smart. How come? Well, watching TV all the time does have certain strange effects. It seemed like Mike was a grown-up trapped in a kid's body as he constantly mumbles, according to Willy Wonka, globs of nonsense gibberish about anti-matter, space-time and teleporters.

With the possible exception of Charlie, different kids with various personalities they may be but one word is enough to describe them all: brats. Let's face it, a lot of parents would want their child to grow up healthy and free from hunger and starvation, which is why some kids end up bloated. Others want nothing less than the best for their kids so these brats end up having their own way, all the time. Some of them even go out of their way to acquire for themselves nothing but the best.

I am not saying that I am free of these flaws. The point is not to ridicule the movie or infer anything from it. The movie itself only serves to illustrate, in a hyper-exaggerated manner, the main statement: beware of kids. Unfortunately, that's life: without children, there would be no grown-ups either.

Lastly, have some words of advice. When taking public transport, avoid being seated next to kids, especially younger ones; they have flawed puke control. ^_^

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Clothos, Lachesis and Atropos

My mother is a very practical down-to-earth woman. She rarely buys toys for me or my siblings, yet she knows no limit when spending on good food. We were very well off yet I didn't have the usual luxuries of children my age. I never played with any gaming console and, were it not for computer games, I would have gone geeky. My parents didn't even bother to have cable channels installed; after all, they said, we have more than enough channels to keep us busy. Any more than that would be deletrious to our studies. I got my first cellphone two years after typical kids get theirs.

It would seem that I have been living in a convent all my childhood years, living the life of an ascetic or aspiring to be a martyr. I certainly did think so then. However, now that some sense had been knocked into my head at various times using various means, I have come to realize that I'm actually slightly thankful that I'm who I turned out to be. Where before, I would look on with envy everytime other kids show off their new toys, talk about the latest game on PlayStation or chatter about a recent episode of whatnot on Cartoon Network, I now learned to shrug, knowing well that such things don't really contribute anything significant to myself as a person. I learned to frown upon parents who indulge every whim and fancy of their children, already seeing them growing up into spoiled superficial brats. In a way, I turned up a better person.

However, that is only one side of the omelette. Sure, the potatoes and onions on top have turned out fine but the rest of it has been burnt underneath. As I grew up, I forgot what fun really was. I kept talking to other people about things that, I thought, really mattered like mathematics or the sciences. I rolled my eyes whenever they talked about music, dance or their childish dreams. I soon found myself alone.

When I stepped into high school, I found someone who understood my definition of fun. He knew how tor elate when I talked about blackholes, airport signboards, delta waves or cloning. It was through him that I discovered the fun of playing computer games, chatting online or just surfing the net. It was with his help that I began to appreciate music and technology. I came into contact with the luxuries I had been forbidden in the past. He was my best friend, if not more; then he was gone.

In his absence, I soon became aware of the large void he left. He was so integrated to my daily life; it was not easy to ignore the fact that he's missing. Along with him, other aspects of my social life have also fled. I began to notice how very few my friends actually are. I began to hesitate hearing music, knowing that almost all CD's and mp3's came from him; he was a very generous person. It was also the reason I stopped playing computer games. It seemed to me like I owed him a large part of my current definition of fun.

I returned to square one. I found my old self: geeky, indifferent and not so confident. I was plagued by doubts, I drew back from social events and, generally, curled up back inside my old shell. It was quite a long time before I opened the portcullis to let in some music. Alone.

When I stepped into my second year in college, I stumbled upon a new friend. I thought he was one of my upperclassmen in high school so I smiled at him when we meet, just for the sake of courtesy. He never smiled back so I assumed I have mistaken his identity. When I got into third year, he became my classmate. More specifically, we became groupmates on an academic project.

I soon got to know bit and pieces about him. He always carried this friendly smile; I could feel sunshine everytime I'm near him. He was a very bouncy person, it's hard to be depressed when he talks to you. You may well imagine my surprise when I have gotten to know him a little more. He is someone who looks for something that I thought he already had. I guess it was wrong for me to assume that nice people get the nice things in life.

Anyway, he was the one who re-introduced me to the world of computer games. I relived my fascination with the computer screen as my atrophying muscles relearned the art of hand-eye coordination. I was once more submerged into a familiar environment, filled with various noises yet nowhere as loud as the deafening silence that had consumed me before. I should be thankful and I am, but there's something that bothers me. I keep losing the game.

Had I been playing by myself, I would have just shrugged it off and laughed at myself. However, I think I'm beginning to annoy him. After all, we almost always end up as teammates in the game. I'm also worried that he might take my losing as an insult to him for, after all, he was the one who taught me the game. Think of it like an insult to your mentor. Yet, these clouds still come to pass for, after a while, he would smile again and I'd forget my blunders.

I don't really know what I'm trying to say. Maybe I wanted to be righteous and let people know that I am grateful for how my parents raised me. Maybe I feel rebellious and blogging is one way of letting out all the jealousy and envy I felt as a child. Maybe I'm seeking to make others understand why I'm who I am today. I hope that they do because I can hardly fathom the reasons myself.

Life can be so confusing sometimes. I need something to hold on to, something I know is there and something that is not some smoke in a bag.

Something nice has entered my dreams
Yet I cannot get it out, it seems.
There is always a smile upon its face.
There is something fun in whatever it says.

It is something I am quite glad I knew.
Who knows? That something might be you.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Apocalypse. Armageddon. Ragnarok.

Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice and lightning
lest these titans reap destruction upon the world in which they clash.
Though the water's great guardian shall rise to quell the fighting,
alone, its song will fail, thus the Earth shall turn to ash.

O, Chosen One, into thy hands, bring together all three.
Their powers combined, tame the beast of the sea.

--prophecy, Pokèmon 2000

One night, a sorcerer dreamt of an impending doom. He found himself in the middle of a modern city, surrounded by towering edifices. He stood near a corner of one particular building when he heard a crash from the other side. Warily, he looked around the corner to investigate. He saw a green Saurian (a giant mythical iguana-like dragon) smashing its tail against the bases of structures and ocassionally biting the panicked metropolitan populace.

A screech from high above distracted him as he saw a great gray bird flying over and amidst the towers. Seemingly intent on duplicating the destruction below, the bird grazed the upper floors and clawed at the walls of the tall structures. With fear pulsing within his chest, the sorcerer recognized the flying animal as one of the strange creatures he had conjured in the past.

He whirled around when he felt a strange presence behind him. To his awe, he found shadows of tendrils whipping back and forth across the walls and the streets, gradually consuming all surfaces. For reasons unknown, he had ascertained it as the manifestation of a virus although he is quite unsure whether it be digital or biological. However, within the dark shadows, amidst the spellbound people in a trance-like state, he could barely discern the outline of a grinning red skull.

The terror was too much as he made haste to his abode. He floated away from the city into the nearby woods. When he was certain that no prying eyes could see him, he cast a spell and almost immediately felt his body fade away into nothingness. A blink later, he materialized in his home in the suburbs. He wasted no time in getting ready, either to fight or, most probably, to die in the process. He drew all curtains close, stocked up on supplies and locked every door and window.

He had completely lost all contact with the outside world as both the television and the radio gave out nothing but static. It was the same with the telephone. Power began to become erratic as the lights flickered on and off. It was quite silent outside but he felt the pervading presence of an unseen yet dangerous entity. Postmen, pizza delivery boys and neighbors would ring at the doorbell every now and then but he kept the door sealed and the curtains drawn.

Amidst the anticipation of an impending doom, he awoke. He took a deep breath as much of his dreams fled from his pillow. Thus, he began the day with his usual routine, curiously noting that the seventh month has begun.

Friday, July 01, 2005


In a land of grieving past
where torment does forever last,
there a young one's destiny
shall grant him immortality,
each and every passing year
no less than a poisoned spear.

If you are not human but sorcerer born, you should be able to use your power to influence the world to work for you. If you are a sorcerer born on the day the sun reigned longest, as Gemini gave way to Cancer, and the year the Fire Tiger ruled the Zodiac, you should be endowed with power as intense as fire and as eternal as the sun. Simply put, anyone in my place should have been able to use the gifts of both demonic and divine origins to manipulate other mortals the way I please.

Too bad, the system was flawed, thus, here I am, pouring my energies into a blog post instead of weather-witching or summoning supernatural entities. It is quite a shame that the world often runs out of my control, especially on important days.

When it is your birthday, sorcerer or not, you should experience one of the best days of your life. For instance, when the phone rings, you're not supposed to hear the voice of your ex-girlfriend on the other side of the line. She is not supposed to greet you a sour Happy Birthday soaked with sarcasm. She is not supposed to ask whether you still visit your high school. You know it, the one that really tormented you. She is not supposed to ask whether you still kept in touch with your friends, who happen to be people she lambasted even as she was talking to you. She is not supposed to ask whether you still kept in touch with other people who made your high school life an excursion to katagelophobia and back.

On what should be a good day, you're not supposed to receive a call from a bitch you barely remember as your ex. She should not ask about your yearbook. Most of all, she better not insult the yearbook staff, especially when you happen to be one of them, making you a convenient scapegoat for her.

What's her problem anyway? Most of the people I've been talking to gave positive feedback about the yearbook. Does she really expect that we would craft the dumb book just to suit her taste? It is kinda disappointing to find out that some people still don't mature intellectually. It kinda relieving, though, knowing that you have already ended your relationship with such people.

On a day of celebration, when you invite your guests, they should not be late. As a happy person, you are not supposed to pace restlessly, look at your watch, mutter, curse and pace once again. Furthermore, even if they were late, you would not expect them to be, say, more than an hour late. One of your guests is not supposed to drop off the face of the earth, making you worry and search anxiously for him.

When you watch a movie with your crush, you're not supposed to spill rootbeer on your carefully chosen white shirt. When the two of you play a network game, you're not supposed to be lame even though you're a newbie. When you recieve a gift, you are not supposed to lose it, especially not in front of the giver, more so when you have a crush on the giver.

When you're supposed to be having fun, things should not go wrong, especially for a sorcerer like you.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


You are a storm cloud looking down on humanity. High up in the sky, you are too preoccupied with your majestic position to even see the details as minute as the worried glances people cast upon you. You do not see the hurtling drops of water you unknowingly pelt the creatures below. What you do see is darkness, not once realizing that it is only your shadow.

You are a very depressed person. Who can blame you? All you see are the negative things in life, how everything could only get worse. Yes, you are an advocate of Murphy's law; you even specialize in creating disaster, if only to entertain yourself. Too bad, these morbid things get so boring after a while. You are jealous of all the happy people; you cannot understand what reason they have to laugh or to smile. Every time someone laughs, you look around nervously, checking to see if they are laughing at you. The cycle goes on, from darkness to jealousy, from paranoia to enmity.

You are so bored with seeing nothing but your shadow. Oh, how much you wish to see the light. Whilst you brood gloomily, the sun shines behind you. How you would like to see its radiant light but you are forbidden. Sunlight brings about evaporation, evaporation leads to disintegration and disintegration causes you great pain. You were simply not raised to see the sun. You are a storm cloud, not one of those happy-go-lucky cirrus or carefree cumulus. It is quite against your nature to look at the sun, though you so long to see some light.

You meet a lot of people in your daily living but most of them just pass you by. After all, a storm cloud is a dangerous phenomenon for the aviators of life. You became desperate for light that you have sunk lower, if only to see. Every now and then, a few bundles of sunlight befriend you. They may be one of your superiors, your senpai perhaps or even the sweet stranger that smiled at you. You have become so weak that you have to search for these kinds of people. When you do find them, you fall; you are quite easily attracted to kindness.

This is not to say you are entirely devoid of light. As you hurtle along with the great mountain wind, you smile. You have always liked speed, the feel of wind whipping against your face and the powerful blast coursing through your body. As lightning surges, you glow momentarily before the light leaves as abruptly as it had come. As you can see, you do have occasional bursts of happy moments every now and then.

Sadly, when the feeling is gone and euphoria gives way to exhaustion, you resume your normal self. Your jealous eyes still sneak across windows, wondering why everyone is so happy. You gloomy thoughts shadow the greenery, unsure why the whole world laughs. Your paranoid drops conquer the surroundings, spying and searching for anyone against you.

However, I still cannot fathom the face behind your mask, or the mask behind your face. As you pass by people, you have a scowl painted across your visage. Every time you meet bundles of sunlight, you paint a gleeful smile on your face. Yet when we see each other, you paint a look with a tinge of pity. You should not be doing this; you are not real. You are nothing more than a mirage on the other side of the mirror.

Please go away.

Streaks of lighting, peals of thunder
rip the firmament across, asunder
The storm cloud endured no greater mass
and burst forth with all the rain it has.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

from Nowhere to Nowhere

The moon rising unto the east
and the sun sinking unto the west
shall both succumb to a dark beast,
spawn a child both cursed and blest.

I dreamt of a dark and foreboding structure in the middle of a gray foreboding wasteland. It appeared to me like two high towers completely identical and seperated from each other by merely a few yards or so. Aside from the earth at which they stand, the towers are connected only by a single bridge a few stories before the penthouse.

The entry to the first tower was locked. The second tower opened as though welcoming any guest. I entered the second tower and immediately noticed the warm, melodious classical music playing in the background. I saw sculptures and paintings adorning thewalls, massive curtains and chandeliers. The ambience was warm and welcoming until I tried to get out; the door has locked behind me. It was with a sinking feeling that I realized that the only portals in the two towers were one-way: an entrance in the second and an exit in the first. It was with dread that I also realized I am all alone, that no other person exists within miles of me and that no one is coming to my aid.

It was quite easy to breeze up the second tower. As a matter of fact, it was too warm and accomodating. There is treasure in every room, or a purple silk bed , or a bountiful banquet. Even while dreaming, it was still quite tempting for me to stay behind in one of those comfy beds and doze of into the land of dreams, not knowing I am already there. I reached the bridge, nonetheless, ignoring all the temptation brought before me.

The bridge itself was sturdy, made of steel and had nothing especially remarkable about it, unless one suffers an extreme case of acrophobia.

The first building was a stark opposite of the second. While the second stood welcoming, the first was infested with spooks. The deafening silence was interrupted only by squeaks on the doors or the wooden floor, bats flying from nowhere to nowhere and creepy footsteps that are definitely not your own. With the exception of the top few floors, each succeeding floor is a puzzle you must solve if you ever are to descend to the lower floor.

Like an RPG, the first tower is quite tricky; there are a lot of barrels to move, crates to open and treasure chests to unlock. Mind you, not all of them contained goodies either. Some were pretty harmless, only splashing you with water. I could only surmise that others were nasty for I only encountered one before my demise. I have no idea if it is fortunate that I awoke before I died, so to speak. Anyway, the last treasure chest I opened contained a trigger to biological timebombs scattered across the level. The stairs to the upper floor was locked immediately after I passed through them and, until I solve the puzzle, so are the stairs leading down. Along with triggering the clock for the bombs, I could also hear the buzz of a swarm of bugs, gradually getting louder though I can see none. The last thing I saw was a flash of white; the last thing I heard was complete silence.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Katagelophobia: Fear of Ridicule

I know that many things I lack.
I also know that I can't go back.
When stupidity has tainted my name,
Here I run, cry and hide in shame.

A lot of sane and average people do not like ridicule, especially if it is aimed at them. It quite normal, really. However, when one gets teary-eyed, trembles or even vomits, you know there is a problem with that person.

Katagelophobia has been defined as fear of ridicule, however, such a brief definition is nowhere near concise, much less, accurate. A lot of people confidently reveal their fears, ending the terms with -phobia. However, psychology defines phobias as a fear of an entity with negative physiological effects. In other words, simply fearing closed spaces does not make you claustrophobic. If your heart rate quickens abnormally, your adrenaline levels reach levels higher than normal, you feel like throwing up when thinking of cramped spaces or worse, you threw up in a tight place, then you do have claustrophobia.

I am not a psychologist myself and I don't carry an ECG machine with me so I cannot really determine of I have any phobias. I do know certain facts which I am not rally predisposed to diagnosing as symptoms of a "fear with negative physiological effects".

I never really liked being ridiculed and whenever someone pokes fun at me, I cry. As embarassing as it is, this has gone on for my first eight years in hell, er, school. When I stepped into high school, I gained enough sanity to hold my tears back, at least until I get to the safety of my room. Eventually, I began shrugging off snide comments directed at me. I do accept constructive criticism; there is a difference between constructive criticism and unfounded name-calling. I thought I was strong, heck, I would have gone bungee-jumping had I found an opportunity to do so.

When I was in my second year in college, something terrible happened. After a certain event, I found myself alone. I had no one to lean on; so used was I to having a companion that losing one creates a large low-pressure void that threatens to swallow everything out of existence. I was battered with the same amount of problems as before but now that I have no support, I alone took the blows.

This has made me strong, in a way but it has also made me weak. Now, I face mundane concerns, like academics, by myself; I never leaned on anyone anymore. However, I found myself back as a frightened kid. Where before, I would have looked down from a great height, I'm now afraid to even come near the edge. Where before, I confidently walk under ladders, I now hug the walls, suspicious that the ceiling might collapse at any moment. Where before, I walked at the middle of the road, I now stalk in the sidewalk, even though no cars are in sight.

All my fears came back to haunt me and I feel my heart rate increasing. I guess I still hover below the threshold between normal and abnormal fear. However, something happened last night. I found out that I have sent an email to the wrong address. Instead of sending it to a single account, I have sent it to a mailing list. It realy is quite embarassing for some and now that I had the time to look back, I guess I acted really irrational then. I have no idea why I threw up two minutes after I opened my inbox; I don't know what made me shut the computer down and hide under my sheets. I definitely cannot explain why I burst into tears over such a simple event.

Fears, and emotions, in general, are, by nature, irrational. I thought I was strong but I guess ignorance is really bliss.

I feel bad.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I sleep, I slumber.

I love to dream. I love to sleep.
I love to fly. I love to leap.
Wake me not, please, I love to soar.
Stop. Shatter my dreams no more.

Those who have read The Little Prince by Antione de Saint Exupery would be familiar with the notion of kids and grown-ups. Kids would undoubtedly be those who have in themselves the power to smile, to fly and to live life happily. Grown-ups were portrayed to boring people who deal with non-creative subjects like geography and politics. I do agree that it is quite harsh for geographers to be categorized with politicians. It is also quite prejudicial to assume that grown-ups are boring people. However, all epistemological errors aside, the book shows us that some people are imaginative while some are no more than an automaton controlled by their environment.

Growing up is usually a trade-off between imagination and reality. Some pursue the fields of engineering, sciences and mathematics and, in the process, give up on their childhood fantasies. Sure, they do fantasize about something but it is a subject we'd rather not discuss.

Some, however, still retain their dreams. Most of them pursue the arts and, eventually, they live their dreams. Again, allow me to remind you that it is presumptuous to think that the field of a person’s specialization determines his or her imaginative state.

I once talked to someone how it would be great to have a crossover of worlds, where monsters roam free and people have to hack and slash through hordes of them to get to their offices. Of course, it would also be great if these monsters dropped items like money, mobile phones or mp3 players. If not, we would have settled for junk so long as there is a general shop somewhere that buys and sells anything without discrimination. Yes, an RPG life would be an interesting change. In the course of our light discussion, I learned nothing worthwhile. I learned nothing new about him, the world or even myself. However, I do not regret having brought up the topic.

On the other hand, I once listened to someone talking about her working life. She went on, spewing a few figures along the way. I tried to keep up with the mathematics but failed. At first, I listened and questioned some concepts about economy and business management. I have learned a lot but I found my eyelids drooping. I gathered a lot of information that was soon to be discarded when I fell asleep. I knew it was a grave insult to someone and that I myself would not tolerate such behavior but it was getting harder to stay awake. Such was her power over worthwhile boredom.

Between these people, I would have chosen the senseless musings about RPG's than learning how to handle businesses. This is quite odd since I am a person who values knowledge so greatly. On the other hand, it might be expected of me as a writer to appreciate creativity more than intelligence. I have no idea.

I could only say that I was lucky enough to have the time to pursue both a field in engineering and literary writing. Not too many people are lucky enough to have such opportunities and I am greatly indebted to certain people concerning this privilege. However, I think that even without time, I would still find a way to capture fleeting butterfly dreams in streaks of ink on paper. As a friend once said, writing is in my blood.

I do realize that I run the risk of giving people the false impression of a good writer. Whether I am a great writer or not depends on whomsoever reads my works. Whatever their opinion may be, though, I am still a writer and I am grateful to be one.

One of the most painful wounds one can inflict on me is that which attacks me as a writer or as a dreamer.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I See London. I See France.

Hello St_______, I thought I saw you at the pool last night.

Hello St_______, I cannot remember when I first saw you but I do remember the next few times that I did. I thought you were my high school classmate so I smiled at you. You just passed by as if I was smiling at someone behind you. I was puzzled; I shrugged my shoulders and went on my way.

Hello St_______, I remember the first time you smiled at me. I remember being attracted to you, although it was no more than physical attraction. As I did before, I shrugged my shoulders. Lust has a way of fading out if you ignore it for long. Sure, you were in my fantasies sometimes but I would never cross the stupid line. Our relationship was nothing but professional.

Hello St_______. Why do you keep looking at me? Why do you keep smiling uneasily at me? Is it because you are worried I might be offended by the joke someone cracked? Or is it because you are just friendly with everyone else? Is it because I did not know what was so funny? Or is it because I was the one who was hilarious?

Hello St_______. I soon fell to thinking about you. No longer do I have you in my fantasies; you have earned my respect that I can no longer bring myself to think of you that way. I am convinced I am still physically attracted to you but I doubt that there is nothing more. I am quite sure it is not love just as I am sure it is not lust. I am confused.

Hello St_______, I thought I saw you at the pool last night. I have gone on vacation, if only to distance myself from the overwhelming stimuli I find online. You still wore those glasses; you still wore that smile. Your warm and friendly aura remained contagious. I cannot help but gape as you stripped down to your swimwear. I cannot help flushing as I became conscious of myself. I cannot help sinking into the water so that you will not see me staring so hungrily. I felt horny but there is something else.

"Hello St_______," I said, warily. You turned to me with a puzzled face. I had to profusely apologize for my mistake. It was quite embarrassing having to tell others you have mistaken them for someone else: someone you have often thought of, lately.

Hello Stranger. It was with relief and a bit of frustration that I realized it was not you after all.

There is no need to hurry
when you defy the hours.
I cannot tell the future
when today is not ours.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Failure is a tiny death: a deep but hollow stab.

How much power should one attain
to stop, at will, the freezing rain?
I stopped the fall and yet I found
the heavy clouds are still around.

Negative habits, once you pick them up, are hard to break.

Some people might call it addiction when pertaining to such things like nicotine, coccaine, even coffee. Some call it obsession when talking of fans, fanatics, stalkers and the like. Others may call it a compulsion like handwashing too much, nitpicking too much and generally doing anything too much.

I woke up with a storm cloud over my head, constantly drizzling on my hair, making it damp and sordid. The gloom shines into my eyes while the cold winds buffet my shoulders. I can feel an imminent flood but saw none. I ignored the weather within my mind and got up to begin my morning rituals.

Three hours and two mugs of coffee later, I found myself happy. Memories of good jokes resurface every now and then that I cannot help but feel the corners of my lips tugging upwards. This is bad. I know, by experience, that whenever I feel happy, something is about to go wrong. Or was that simply one of my negative habits?

Sometimes, people learn from their exepriences certain odd correspondences applicable only in their lives. A tingle in one's scalp may mean a lightning storm later in the afternoon. A sneeze may hint that one is the subject of a conversation somewhere. Sometimes, they can be as absurd as happiness heralding great misfortunes ahead.

Have you ever worked on something so earnestly it has consumed a substantial part of your recent life? Have you ever been stoic, doing the entire job alone not due to concern for the team but for your own sake? Have you ever given your best shot, confident that you gave a lot more than what is needed, that you would excel in that field and that the teammates who have slipped into a lethargic state might at least appreciate the entire thing?

I hear the dams break under the enormous pressure of floodwater. The swelling streams and rivers ran out of water for a few minutes before a torrent completely engulfs the ground, submerging all within sight. I walk into the room of courtroom and hear the judgement: I have failed, at something I have given nearly the entirety of my time, at something I have painstakingly put together, at something I know I have done well enough, if not more. How could I fail?

I close my eyes and breath. The floodwater soon recedes as the rain subsides to a drizzle. The clouds still remain overhead but I will be fine. I know, in time, I will recover from the shock of failure. Yet, one lingering thought disturbs me: Have I acquired the habit of failure?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

This is my ambrosia, this is my weakness.

The diving clouds, the rising sea,
everything blurs and spins by me.
When I slow down as my feet fail,
I fall, close my eyes and exhale.

I once encountered a prose fiction, which, if found in my possession, would be very incriminating. However, it presented a thought that has remained in my memory ever since. Work, love and dance: three keys to life. Work like you never have to, because that's the only way work will never be boring. Love like you've never been hurt before; nothing is as pure and as deep as first love. Finally, dance like there's no one watching.

I cannot say that I have abided by this philosophy ever since although I did learn to do the last one. The word 'dance' shall, for our purposes, be used to refer to any arbitrary bodily movement, graceful or not. I learned to sway my hips or jerk my shoulders when listening to a ditty. When I was young, someone once bluntly told me I would make an awkward dancer. They were right.

I was not really exposed to music when I was young, hence the addiction the moment I discovered the beauty of it. I began tapping my foot or nodding in time with the music. Then I began moving the upper half of my body; I usually listened to music while sitting in front of the computer. Now, I ditch the computer and listen to music whenever I feel like it. Of course, being freed from the chair meant that the lower half of my body also began moving.

At first, I only danced in the privacy of my bedroom. Even then, I would hear my alter-ego ask, "What on earth are you doing?" Embarrassed, I would stop and resume my work. A little later, I dance and the cycle begins once more. However, a few years of this cycle and I soon found myself answering, "I'm dancing."

After a few years, I began losing control. Dancing, or at least, moving with the music is very addicting. It began taking over as I found my hips bumping someone else when I'm waiting in line. When I once dozed off, I was awakened by my shoulder, which, for no apparent reason, suddenly jerked upwards. Twice I awoke before sunrise to find my arms raised in the air, not knowing how it got there.

Do I mind? Hell no! Once a mortal tastes ambrosia, he/she will never let go. I soon found myself dancing a bit in public. Thankfully, I was surrounded by complete strangers at those times so not much injury was inflicted upon my ego. Nonetheless, it is becoming more difficult controlling myself when a ditty blasts or when drums beat. I'm getting close to embarrassing myself.

Oh well, savor the sense of euphoria while it lasts. It doesn't matter that I am quite an eyesore; to each his/her own, as they say.

"What are you doing?"

That voice was quite different from the voice of my alter-ego. I froze.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Hear, moon goddess: take my life. Spare me from this mortal strife.

Lone wolf.

Many a comparison has been made between wolves and those individuals on the edges of the social landscape. Too often, though, the image of wolves are misconstrued to be one where a lonesome individual howls at an equally lonely moon. On the contrary, wolves generally travel in packs of up to 30 individuals. The nucleus of the entire pack is the breeding pair, hence the term alpha male and alpha female.

I have never really been an alpha male. When running with the pack, I often found it difficult to know my place. I would wander around aimlessly, quite unsure of my role and the course of action expected of me. My auditory sense was not keen enough for me to hear the latest trends in the television, music and gaming industries. If I had any talents then, I am quite certain it did not include singing, dancing or any other histrionic stunts which could be conveniently performed on stage.

It was believed that wolves bred for life; each year, the breeding pair mates. The female gives birth to about four to seven pups which are then cared for by its parents and the lesser members of the pack. After training, one who is well-versed in the art of hunting and assasination may opt to leave the pack or remain as a lesser member. Some of those who leave the pack create a new one themselves; other simply remain alone.

I would never have left the pack, had some lesser members not influenced me to alienate myself. Now that I no longer belong to any pack, now that I no longer have any alpha male to bow down to, I ran free amongst the trees. The moon was whole then, as though her fullness a reflection of the concept of I as an individual, not as a lesser part of some pack. I wove through the forest in bliss, unmindful of the ever increasing distance between me and my homeland. When I came to, everything felt new; even the air smelled nothing like the atmosphere of my ancestral home. I have ventured onto new territory which, from this day forward, shall be known to be mine.

Wolves frequently establish territories from 40 to more than 400 square miles. They define the reaches of their control with scent markings and different vocalizations like barks or growls. Of course, it is the legendary howl of a wolf that humans recall the most. They apparently are territorial; they defend that which they hold closest to them. Perhaps, it is no wonder that humans often perceive a wolf to be a solitary entity.

However, it may not be true that wolves prefer isolation, even for those who have left the pack. Perhaps, their howl not only defines their territory; perhaps it is their way of seeking intimacy. It was said that wolves could, at will, turn themselves into shamans and, as shamans, revert back into the fur in which they are born. Could it not be said then that those known to be lone wolves may not be so of their own accord? Could it be that they are reaching out into the world, only that we ourselves are too blinded by the our role to serve the "alpha"? Could it be that our unity as a pack divides us from those beyond our world?

Think about it.

I knew not how it came last night.
It eclipsed the moon's silver light.
I felt its eyes, its piercing stare.
It vanished like it was never there.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Should I hear the music's rhyme, I shall close my eyes sometime.

Music, the aesthetics of the aural sense.

There used to be a time when I regarded music with indifference. I thought sounds should only be used for straightforward communication; any sound other than words is useless. I spent much of my childhood unmindful of the changes in the music industry. When asked about my opinion on the newest pop song, I would simply ignore them and say, "Bah!" Okay, so maybe I did not say that but you get the picture.

When I got into high school, I met someone special. This person taught me to appreciate music, among other things. Since then, I began collecting CD's, recording tapes and lyrics. Anime was the fad then so my wall shelf would hold CD's and recordings of J-Pop anime themes. Later on, I learned to like non-Japanese music. If I remember correctly, Linkin Park's In the End was the first non J-Pop song I fell for.

I soon began to worship music. My morning ritual would not be complete without a blast from one my CD's. (I never tuned in to radio stations, I'll tell you about it later) I broadened my horizons a bit and began to discover the joys of classical, pop and even punk music .(Pardon my language, I am not acquainted with the genres of music) I began humming then tapping my foot, then instead of tapping, I began swaying. Instead of swaying, I began singing. Pretty soon, I found myself dancing, not too gracefully, I must admit. It did not matter anyway; once the music starts I lose control.

Of course, there are certain types of music I like and some I abhor; I am like everyone else. The only thing is that there do exist some people who like or dislike a particular song depending on the artist. Some like only songs that are in the current trend. Of course I do not approve of such philosophy; it is very much like saying that the Mona Lisa is beautiful simply because da Vinci painted it. I believe opinions regarding music should be based on whether it pleases someone or not.

Another gripe I have is the music industry here in the Philippines. There are some good artists, mind you; however, there also are terrible songwriters. I would rather not mention any proper noun, lest I be sued for libel, but there are songs that have double meanings. Oftentimes, these undertones are rather lewd, even perverted. The songs themselves do not make much sense due to fact that the perverted ascpect is the main theme; the literal part only plays second. Worse, I feel like we are playing a losing battle. When accosted, the songwriters would simply claim, "The banana is not meant to be a phallic symbol. This is a song about the joys of eating fruits... like the banana." The joys of eating bananas? Ugh..

Another familiar retort is, "If you find something perverted in the song, then it is you who must be perverted, not me. So, they're electing perverted persons into the media board, eh?" Ah, argumentum ad hominem. This is why those types of songs continue to fluorish; this is why we are losing this battle. It feels like the art which I have worshipped for years is being desecrated. It is sacrilege! Sacrilege, I say!

I certainly wouldn't have poked my nose into this if I lived in a world isolated from this horrendously mutated art(sic). Howver, consider this anecdote from my life: I wake up, do my morning rituals, swaying to my favorite music all the while. I leave the house, board a bus and, surprise, surprise, a local radio station is blaring inside. They are playing some music, but they are also playing some disasters. These disasters are arbitrary words strung together to pass off as "music". My day is ruined. Also consider the fact that most public transports here have radios tuned to radio stations. (Well, some of them play CD's but not many drivers of public vehicles could afford CD's, you know) Most of the time, these radio stations play the fad song which, not too surprisingly, are quite shallow.

I remember my, er, friend. I once said that variety shows are too shallow, offering cheap entertainment that does not add anything to anyone as a person. He said, "If entertainment made sense, wouldn't it be less entertaining?" He was right; ignorance is bliss.

The lady of the shadows: everything she knows.
Though all she can sense, she gave none but silence.
Fiery streaks lit the sky, blinding every mortal eye.
Sheltered by her wing, she thus began to sing.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

She walked at night and slept til light.

When she awoke, she looked around
and marvelled at what she found:
a light she had never seen before.
She breathed, then she was no more.

Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull once wrote that heaven is not a place; it is a state of being perfect. We live a hundred lifetimes in ignorance, another hundred in realization and another hundred to act on that and achieve perfection.

Does it matter? Were we to die today and resurrect tomorrow as someone's sperm meets someone's egg, would it make any difference to the world? We are small, we are insignificant. Even with money or power, we are no more special than the next guy. They say nobody is perfect; they are right.

So what is the purpose of life then, if not to strive for a perfection that cannot be attained? Are we here to consume everything, replacing oxygen with carbon dioxide? Are we here to formulate theories that would soon be debunked by someone else's theory? Are we here to write blogs, offering our two cents on different issues when everyone else has hundreds of cents themselves? Why are we here?

Nothing really. Go ahead, jump of a building. Take cyanide or shake nitroglycerine. Pull the trigger or wield the blade. Drop the toaster on your bathtub. Go ahead, see if anyone cares, really cares. Time passes by, people will forget you and leave your headstone nothing more than a few flowers, which will wilt anyway, or candles, which will melt or be stolen anyway.

I once went through something horrible I wanted to die. I wanted to run, to escape, anything but be here. I slowed down my steps so that Death could catch up with me but I found him slowing down with me. I could have spun around and chased Death myself but I found myself too scared to even face him.

Now here I am, living a life of questions. What if? Why? Why not? How?

Charles Tucker, from Star Trek: Enterprise, once said there is no emotion worse than regret. Maybe he is right. So go ahead and live while you still have that purpose in life. Enjoy everything before you lose that sense of purpose. Once you do, you will be no more than a candle melting in slow agony or a fallen leaf decaying in torture.

May the fates be kind to you all.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Alas, I be reduced once more to a giggling schoolgirl.

My seat is vibrating because I can't stop shaking. It's as though my muscles decided to twitch for no apparent reason everytime I think of a certain someone.

I must admit, it is still not much more than physical attraction. This person is one who has a mesmerizing smile. I notice when someone cracks a joke, this person looks at me as though to see whether I am laughing, offended or clueless. However, I also acknowledge the fact that I might be just getting my hopes up.

After all, this person might not be interested in a relationship with me. Besides, I still have the artifacts of a previous relationship in my system. I'd have to get closure before I venture out into the world of things as superficial as attraction or as deep as love and friendship.

I wanted to learn how to wink
seductively but I can't, I think.
Will I fail like I did once before,
Or will this bloom to something more?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Were there an open door, I'd have this world no more.

Once there was a blue
whom people barely knew
and they couldn't get the clue
that his socks are new.

There are times when people want to escape reality.

Some kill themselves, others just snap.
Some use needles, other just sniff.

Some dream on, creating their own private world while living the hell called life. This is what I did.

When Digimon: Digital Adventures was first aired here, I was immediately mesmerized by the idea that there might exist another world other than this one. Of course, there was Mars but it had too much carbon dioxide and it was uninhabitable anyway. Nonetheless, you know what I mean when I say "worlds".

If only there was another world, life would be pleasant. However, the Fates do not give a thought on who gets hurt and who gets all. Thus, we are stuck in this world. Many a young kid once dreamt of being special or having special attributes that set them apart from other "normal" kids. Some get disillusioned and progress to the stage of maturity, completely forgetting their childhood fantasies. Most pretend to progress.

If only this world were perfect, where everyone studies at his or her own pace, where people don't judge you by your outward looks or apparent attitude, where your friends really are more than just mere acquaintances, where pointless norms are not the norm, I would not want to leave. Unfortunately, it is not.

I want to leave.

Friday, January 21, 2005

This potion needs a (huge) pinch of lust.

Lust. What a primal word, one that encompasses one of the base drives of humanity. It is one which has contributed to our numerical superiority over most species. It is induced by hormones and other stimuli. It is innate, it is natural, and so on, the books claim.

Lust. In text, it feebly smolders. In a casual voice, it sounds cute. In a drawl, it sounds inviting. In a long, low voice, it sends shivers down my spine and somewhere further down. In a high pitched voice, it becomes grating on the ears, but that is beside the point.

Lust. The word is so simple, and yet, so powerful. In the angst of perceived loneliness, it can create vivid visions of nostalgia. In the arms of a partner, it sparks, uhm, creative ideas, so to speak. In a sense, it can make you blind but the problem is whether you can see again.

Lust. Whenever I meet some people I'd rather not mention, I look them in the eye or simply ignore them. When they look away, I find my eyes inadvertently drawn to their lips, necks and other places not safe to mention. Those who interact with me in the real world may find themselves too conscious. Don't worry, I'm not yet too rabid to jump on any of you, at the present.

Your breath: a volatile, burning touch,
is one, each night, I yearn too much.
Should I give in to what I desire?
Or bore myself and quench that fire?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

From the depths of Judecca to the Primum Mobile

Though I do not share the same beliefs, I still think Dante Alighieri was a great writer. Though nowhere near accurate, one of his works, The Divine Comedy, had, in my humble opinion, successfully brought order to the disorder of myth. I cannot say that I want to be like him, although I do want to be a great writer, just not like him. For any poor soul who may have happened to find my blog by getting lost in the Dark Wood of Error, let me point you down a path which, depending on your philosophy, may get you on the right track or even more lost than before.

You may, if you find computer science alien, browse through the literary sections. After all, as the publication says, "We don't just write programs. We write."

Now, I you'll excuse me. I am suddenly siezed in a sugar-high vision of pink and blue. I am off to write.

Knowledge you hold will soon be past
because nothing does forever last
nor mean anything for more than a while,
from the depths of Judecca to the Primum Mobile.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The air was still, the air was cold.

It was as cold as the vast expanse of space
when mist had come and touched my face.
I awoke and sought who else was there.
I heard a whisper but I knew not where.

After going for quite some time without my regular meditation, I have become a wreck. Whereas before, I have control of my emotions, showing only that which I do not deem weak or incriminating, I have trespassed the boundaries I have set for myself and let slip quite an outburst. Whereas before I would think clearly even in face of numerous pressures, I now find myself cracking under mounting stress.

Would I that time slow down her pace that I may do what I will and what I must. However, time is a cruel entity; she speeds on, not caring who is being left behind. Thus, I have my hands full of work that finding 10 minutes for meditation now seems an impossible task.

However, I would be lying if I said I totally hate the condition I am currently in. There is one good reason that, for me, overshadows all the negative aspects of life: That I am quite sufficiently, if not more, distracted from things that I'd rather forget, yet haunt my mind. That said, I return once more to the fleeting colours of butterfly dreams, knowing that this too, shall come to pass.

All in good time.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

I must have been asleep when Pandora released Hope into the world. For that reason, I warn ye, wandering soul, to heed not my words should you seek sunlight. Although it may appear that I am in a cheerful disposition, one must know that appearance is not everything.

Let this blog be filled with curse,
in thoughts and words, in rhyme and verse.
Let the skeleton of the feast arise,
and begin the circus before our eyes.