Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh how we manage

This day marks the second anniversary of this little online journal.

What I've figured? That despite my efforts in going against it, this—just like any other blog—is no more than a mere chronicling of angsts and quirks.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Focus In Digression

I finally visited my friend's cafe along Xavierville, Katipunan yesterday. It was one of those rare times when I had gone too far commuting. Quezon City's altogether another planet for me.


First the joyride

It was my first time to ride the LRT2 and shallow as it may sound, I was thrilled. The Katipunan station was like a subway. What a train and train ride. I could only hope the LRT from Baclaran to Monumento would be as neat and big and helpful. LRT2's one of those functional places that helps you help your self. It treats you as the intelligent human being that you are.


The hunger from a long journey filled by one of those necessary verses
Asking the Kitchen

for work is like bartering with any
lover: cut and be cut; warm
to be warm. Whisper, toil; tables will
breathe, fill, sharpening the palate,
your style.

--Cindra Halm

Then the lunch

There were so many things going on in my head while I was having lunch with my friends.

1. There are so many nice clothes, accessories, gadgets and furniture I want to buy, but can't.
2. This friend of mine, who owns the cafe, is not that close to me. Yet she is the one who constantly keeps in touch. Yet she is the one who has every effort and concern to find out how am I doing, telling me my company is missed.
3. So many filthy things around. Not that I lose my idealism, my romanticism, but given this garden of bullshit for a social world, I'd take evil anytime over ignorance. More on that thought soon.
4. Who's this person who said "only permanence change?"
5. There's a surplus of food at home. Too many food at home and I'm afraid there'll be 30 days and nights of drought.
6. The pesto's very good and cheap, but when will this lunch be finished?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Back in those times, it was all about philosophers having coffee at Starbucks discussing how many angels could fit in a needle's eye

1

When Starbucks opened along Taft Avenue near La Salle, I never imagined myself going there, but not because I didn't like the place. I think I was a sophomore when it opened (shit, the time should be clear in my memory as it wasn't so long ago). First, I knew I didn't have enough money to have a snack there—well that's the first and only reason.

I eventually learned to go there—eventually habitually—when I started hanging out with new friends from Malate.

My allowance then was P100 a day (or P150?—stupid memory!) Because I was the one doing it, I wasn't surprised with myself. My parents, on the other hand, were baffled. I'd be out all night and when they thought I had already gone to Tagaytay or Baguio, they'd find out I was just there at Starbucks—there for about half a day. And they'd ask, How do you manage to hang out at Starbucks, where do you get the money? I didn't know exactly.

My staple Starbucks snack consisted of maple oat scone and coffee frap. This I know clearly: the maple oat scone was just 40 pesos. The coffee frap was around 80 p—I'm certain it didn't go over a hundred pesos.

There was a term when I had Saturday classes from 8am to 12 noon. After class, I'd immediately go home, but I'd stop by Starbucks first to get food and then eat it on the bus.

Those bus rides were some of the best moments of my life: noontime—I just attended something meaningful in the morning and there was still the rest of the day to complete, to look forward to—I was alone with food I enjoyed, seated yet moving still.

2

'The broken hearts club' (indirect quote):
We try to know another and we have coffee with them and talk and eventually have sex with them if we like them, but we can also have sex first and see if we like to eventually take this person out for coffee and talk.
Anne Carson, 'Autobiography of Red':
Sex is a way of getting to know someone.

3
'...My hands are better.'
—Amanda Paige (context: sex)

(I'm having neither sex nor long hours of 'coffee and conversation' with someone, in the meantime. In this world of fiction, meantime stretches to years.)

Whenever I hear about people who cannot eat alone, I become perplexed.

Maybe I was too young when I learned solitude's magnificence. Not that I didn't have friends. In fact I kept telling stories on how easy it was for me to make friends when I was in grade school. I barely had to try.

I gained from Althea (or to construe her statement) that perhaps a person couldn't take being alone because he couldn't take the company that is himself, he couldn't take the conversationalist that is him.

4

There are no more maple oat scones. I've asked Starbucks again and again about it and it's funny, because I actually thought my obstinacy would bring it back. But, hey, Starbucks, if you, by some chance, is reading this, please bring back the maple oat scone.

5

There are fewer and fewer people who have the time to stop. Everyone has to go and do and get something fast.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

If I Were A Planet

This question hasn't been asked to me or by me before. Now that I'm thinking of it, I have not a clue as to an answer.

But by some mysterious forces of the universe, in its usual machinations and elusiveness, an answer. I am Saturn.

According to Wikipedia, "Saturn is a popular setting for science fiction novels and films, although the planet tends to be used as a pretty backdrop rather than as an important part of the plot."

For a few more facts:
In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture....Saturn is the least dense of the planets; its specific gravity (0.7) is less than that of water.

Saturn rotates very fast on its axis, but not at a uniform rate.

What makes Saturn one of the most beautiful objects in the solar system is its ring system....The origin of the rings is obscure. It is thought that the rings may have been formed from larger moons that were shattered by impacts of comets and meteoroids. The ring composition is not known for certain, but the rings do show a significant amount of water. They may be composed of icebergs and/or snowballs from a few centimeters to a few meters in size. Much of the elaborate structure of some of the rings is due to the gravitational effects of nearby satellites. This phenomenon is demonstrated by the relationship between the F-ring and two small moons that shepherd the ring material.

The whole system is very complex and as yet poorly understood....Like the other jovian planets, Saturn has a significant magnetic field....When it is in the nighttime sky, Saturn is easily visible to the unaided eye. Though it is not nearly as bright as Jupiter, it is easy to identify as a planet because it doesn't "twinkle" like the stars do.

[Read more here and here.]
What I fall towards to? That question I've tried asking before and still have no answer. Or because I have so many answers. But to make things easier, to generalize: that the fictive becomes palpable.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Nothing in particular

If I could marry this weather. I can't stress it enough; too bad I don't know how to write it.

Amazingly, though, it's not the cold that has made me want to snuggle in bed, but the temperature that has pushed me to work. I've accomplished so many things today and I'm not talking about a mere sense of having done something, but a heightening of your sense of self.
Therefore this night tonight....can never be a subject of this specific conversation.
—Pattiann Rogers, 'In General'
And then the time to snuggle in bed.

Monday, August 8, 2005

I Know Now How It Feels When The Dead Lives

The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.*
By accident--call it adverse serendipity--I read my name in one of the journals of an old friend. The anecdote involving me was appended as a footnote on a more recent entry.

That friendship had been one of those that bursted with so much color and delight, that then gave in to fading. That you couldn't figure why and you tried reviving the liveliness only to end up with disappointment. And you know now nothing about it will be the same. You know now there's no more chance of making it any better.

Reading my name, I shivered, imagining the distance not just of time, but of emotions and the way we see each other. I was there, under heap of new friends, circumstances, extremely radiant joys and darker tragedies. That act of him remembering me, what I used to be, even for a mere moment, what we used to be, what was then--what was then doesn't exist now. Memory's a completely new planet.

I want to believe now that most good friendships are meant for the breaking. And that is not a fact to be sad about. I want to believe these are people that make your story move forward--sure they are a part of you, but you must not cling onto them. They have their own stories to continue.

And thus till now the theory remains relevant, what this world requires of us is just attention. The best laughs I've had are with that person. He did his part: he made me feel like I had something important to say, that I had a funny a joke; he introduced me to Anne Carson and David Mack.

The force of the written word. Seeing my name inscribed, bringing to mind all that sign carries with it. Conscious of how he was seeing it. And now this feeling of needing the proper expletive to express (or in truth, to hide) this strange furious sensation of knowing what was then doesn't exist anymore, but can't find it.


_________________________
* Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams. In a chapter where the texture of time in this particular world "happens to be sticky.... Individual people become stuck in some point of their lives and do not get free."

Sunday, August 7, 2005

'Saktong-sakto

Rolando Tinio
AKALA KO

Akala ko, para nang piyanong
Nasusian ang iyong kalooban
At naihagis ang susi kung saan,
Hindi na matitipa ng sino at alinman
Ang mga tekladong tuklap, naninilaw.

Dahil dumating ka isang gabi:
Naupo sa may pintuan,
Tahimik na naninimbang
Sa mga bagong pangyayaring
Nagaganap sa iyong harapan.

Sa manaka-nakang sindi ng mata mo,
Parang puno sa lihim ang dibdib mong
Ayaw siyempreng ipaglantaran
Sa mga nakilala noon lamang.

Hanggang ngayon (linggo na ang nakaraan),
Nakabalabal ka pa ng sariling panginorin,
Lumulutang sa sarili mong ulap,
Parang kakahuyang pinid ang sanga at dahon
Nang huwag mapasok ng liwanag
Buhat sa kung-anong daigdig o pintuan
Na hindi mo kilala at ayaw pang subukan.
Para sa akin ang líriká na ito.