Sunday, June 25, 2006

Salamangkero 2

They say history repeats itself. At first, I thought the conjurers of such a notion were total idiots.

Once again, the summer solstice has come to pass. By itself, it was a very remarkable day, where the sun reigned in the sky for the longest time. To a sorcerer in a not-so-distant land, it was not only magical but also personal for it marks the day that he first began the slow process of dying. You see, while some optimists view birthdates as the moments when an individual begins living, some negativists maintain that it is actually the day a person begins dying. It's as pointless, really, as arguing whether the glass is half-full or half-empty when they both mean the same thing.

Though there were difficult times in his life where such a day is met with dread, for it marks yet another year of slow death, he, nonetheless, celebrated its annual return, in the hopes that the next year of his existence might bring more sunlight into his life.

You may very well remember that around these days, last year, a sequence of very dissapointing events flung a self-righteous sorcerer unto the very earth he stepped on. Today, the Fates, in their fair and just judgement, decided that one has had enough of their benevolence; the Earth Mother rained on his parade, so to speak.

Once more, one or two guests quite so suddenly dropped off the face of the earth. A family of five surmised that they could not make it and said so only at the last moment. With one or two others doing the same thing, the guest list was already halved. Not that the sorcerer minded but forehand knowledge of their absence might have prodded his satellite to move the gathering to a much more savory and appetizing environment more conducive to appreciation of the culinary arts.

Even before that unfortunate news, the guest list itself was quite pathetic. One comrade was out of town and could not make it. One acquaintance responded not to the invitation; it was quite the same with another friend. One particular person, who had such a mighty influence on his life declined, leaving only one other guest left. That last person, who was also of great, but subtle, influence, to the sorcerer's craft, could not make it for the Earth Mother was pissed off.

In their place were several unexpected guests. There was one family the sorcerer's satellite had summoned, whom the sorcerer totally despised, not only that night. There was also a young woman who was quite friendly, charming the sorcerer into divulging some of the tenets of his craft. While the sorcerer initially presumed that it was because of his rather peculiar attire and hoped this woman believed that clothes make the man, he was most sorely disappointed to discover that the impetus of this interest was only the fact that the craft was unfamiliar to this young lady. With that, the hopes of perfecting the art of charming a potential life partner flew out of the window.

Finally, his best friend (Coca Cola and Sol de EspaƱa, red wine) was not present at the celebration. In its stead was a stranger (Pineapple juice and Finlandia, vodka). Though he abhors pineapples, despite their high bromelein content, he, nonetheless, gave it a shot. In moments, liquid fire began coursing through his innards, leaving a sweet after-scent contrasting a bitter after-taste.

I'm not blaming the Fates; had they not smiled at me in one crucial moment of my life, I would have greater problems like food and shelter. I would not hold a grudge against the beloved Earth Mother: she who gently blew a cool breeze whenever I'm broiling under the sun. I would not judge vodka as an Ersatz friend; perhaps pineapple juice was not its best companion. I'd rather not spit venom at my senpai; he probably was telling the truth and, otherwise, I still would have understood the awkward scenarios he might have conjured. It would be best not to brew acrimony towards my mentor; I've done far worse to him. I really wouldn't perform a guilt trip trick on my friend; I'd most probably mildly worry and ask her, "Where the hell have you been?" and I'd probably add an "Are you okay?" depending on my mood.

Still, I could not help but feel resentful of the fact that this horrendous day was an encore of a similar date. In Straight Time, a novel I once read, a criminal fugitive by the name of Max Dembo once robbed a Chinese shop simply due to a dire need of funds. Later, in a dark and secluded alley, when he counted the loot, he came up with a very small figure. He wanted to scream in the frustration that he had robbed the downtrodden. While I may not share the same sentiment, I could recall one emotion I shared with his this day: he cried out into the night, not because of some evil her recognized but simply because of the complex tangle of human existence.

A joke from an online forum once read: Nobody dies a virgin, because life screws everyone.

In this great unholy hour,
impelled by your vast power,
I indulged my secret whims
whilst you trampled on my dreams.

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