What would a fellow have to give
that this hour would ne'er depart?
What, too, is one to bribe
to the fellows who have seen my heart?
Reading has been a very valuable skill to me, as it has enabled me to navigate the world in a relatively safer way compared to one who knows as much as I do with the exception of the aforementioned skill. It has granted me the power of distinguishing whether a flask of spirits contained the most wholesome liquor or the most noxious poison. Knowledge I have gathered this way has given me the pleasure of directing mortals to drink such liquid, lulling them into a sleep I am quite aware they so direly need.
There are, however, limits to the readily apparent omniscience offered by acquiring such a skill. For one, navigating the streets of an unknown place, while reading street signs, building signs and other signs attached to public structures and transport crafts, it is most severely affected by factors that ruin visibility such as fog, rain, sun and strato-cumulus, among others. Even shrugging off these manifestations of the Earth Mother's might, we, humans, have also introduced smoke, smog, posts, other buildings and even ourselves into the system, obscuring other people's sight of a particular sign, which, for all we know, may or may not be vital. Grant me the audacity to also point out the genetic factors, such as having two parents in need of viewing spectacles that it is naught more than a given fact that we, their progeny, would be wearing glasses or an assortment of lenses as well.
Still, reading was of great use to me at night when, after my daily excercises, I am still too hyper to fall asleep. Sometimes as powerful as some nightcaps I have imbibed, reading a novel, no matter how explosive and interesting, would, after sufficient time, lull me into a repose, likewise explosive and interesting.
I once have been thrust into the unknown world of Makati City; were it not for my reading skill, I should have been utterly lost in an ocean of particles wearing coats, jackets or wielding umbrellas. Still, as it turned out, I have hailed the wrong bus, got off at the wrong stop, walked to the wrong rendezvous, wandered about the wrong area and almost stepped into the wrong building. None of those mistakes could have been averted simply by reading stuff one sees about one's self. After all, a good sense of direction and forehand knowledge of the area might have helped me more in my predicament.
Not knowing any better, I had agreed to be at rendezvous an hour after my last class. The day was quite gray, dismal and rainy. Allow me to digress and share the dream that coursed through my neurons when the clock struck midnight and started that particular day. I dreamt of two people who were not the least bit close to me back in high school. These two were of almost no significance to me other than the fact that they managed to appear in my subconscious on the day of a very interesting event in my life.
Sure, these two were very attractive persons and the innocent and gullible part of me that believed in destiny foolishly hazarded the notion that an acquaintance from back then would make its way into my life. A girl, a boy, my best friend, the fag hag, a vicious social shark, a loud printer, an undead friend, a mystic witch, perhaps, or her loyal satellite? These people, and then some, were key to the development of certain parts of my life, molding some of my personality or shaping my, raw, and pliant, philosophy; surely, if anyone from back then turns up that day, it'd be them, right?
However, none of the sort turned up and on that bleak, misty morning, who should I find but, not too surprisingly, another neutral acquaintance, for whom I have not felt any strong feelings. Of course, the usual forced pleasantries were blurted out until the topic of the makeshift conversation eventually drifted into the subject of graduation. As it is, I have had a hard time trying to explain that I have had certain "academic difficulties", the euphemism I constantly use. He, however, was either quite perceptive, quite prejudicial or quite lucky with his guesses that he had hit upon the truth frighteningly almost immediately. It was, what I'd probably look back on in my future life, as a cosmic slap of galactic proportions. I tried my best to curtly dismiss such faux pas and move on to a much more refreshing topic: nothing.
Still, the impact of that comment echoed far into the day and, later in the afternoon, lost in a flurry of wild and colorful images so vivid yet so detached, I found myself asking myself whether I'm making another mistake in my life, right before I succumbed to an explosive moment of blasted fulmination. As of the moment I'm writing this, the sonic boom generated by that slap still reverberates quite intensely within my skull.
Of course, I have realized, just a few months back, how young, how foolish and how selfish I have been. This morning, another slap was directed to my other cheek as I lost a petty competition to a bunch of strangers. A day gone wrong, I shall spare thee the gruesomely boring details but for the fact that I just realized, at the moment, that my approach to life has been the fuck-you-jump-in-head-first-talk-later methodology. Coupled with innate habit of lying, I can say that it has gotten me so far but, believe me, wherever that so far may be, it's not a nice place at all.
Talking of places, I have, two days ago, had renewed the boyish thrill of riding a train. The last time I rode one was when I was four or five and had to take my shots someplace far. That day, I have had the pleasure of looking down on motorists stuck in traffic and, had I been unseen by anyone, I'd probably have laughed in such a demonic manner over such sheer joy of finally defeating the transport system that had once held me in its grip for two long hours. My initial apprehensions of getting off at the wrong station were dissolved when I noticed that each station has its name printed in large, bold letters quite improbable for anyone literate to miss.
Still, like I said earlier, reading is not everything. So is a knowledge of trivial facts. I have long been gloatful of things that are so overrated, even though they hardly count solely in determining a person's substance. Virginity is overrated, it does not immediately equate to fortitude or chastity. Memory is also overrated, it does not mean wisdom or intelligence. Skillful subterfuge is simply the inability to deal with the truth. Paranoia and self-consciousness are just manifestations of the lack of capacity to stare at life in the face and say, "Fuck you."
In a world where I would have liked to remain apathetic, I was thrust quite low I almost have grazed the ground; such a feat makes apathy almost impossible, no matter how much I would have liked to. This afternoon, I saw the indignant mage of shock, a friend of mine, with a partner. While I, of course, could not help but notice the outward shell, I was severly wounded by the sharp sting of jealousy in seeing him with someone else that cares deeply for him. Be not mistaken, I have no strong feelings for him but envy; where before, I would have said, "Oh those grapes were sour anyway," I found myself looking on as other foxes leap higher and sigh, "Oh how luscious those grapes are, lucky are everyone else in that they can leap high enough to reach them."
To anyone who might have made the error of reading this in the first place, I could offer nothing more than the apology for writing something while under the influence of a nightcap. However, I would also like to offer the advice to not follow my example. Be not too emotional; be not too apathetic either. Keep lying to a minimum but be not too stupidly honest, either. Life is short, do what you can, what you want and what you must. Deprive yourself not for the sake of keeping a false front because in a short span of time, such would hardly matter. Gamble not with something you don't have, spend not riches you have yet to acquire and count not your eggs before all have broken. Be not too arrogant and slyly put on a shy mask for whistling as though nothing had happened would not change the fact that something has. As Mr. Micawber, an acquaintance of Charles Dicken's David Copperfield once said, "Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him!"
So yeah, there you have it guys. I've been bitch-slapped by life a lot of times, but I do remember three megaton bashes. I would love to turn back the hands of time but, as it is, I can hardly do anything 'bout it except to live through it. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to walk into people's lives. Would I find out anything that I could have used to better my own?