Daylight is ugly with all those people doing bad things, but at night there aren’t as many out to mess stuff up, leaving me to enjoy the crickets’ urgent soprano. When you both feel too much and are detached you want to smash and be consoled for the smashing. I had something happy to tell but now it’s gone – Now there’s just me, whistling in the dark. Though it offers protection, knowing brings no peace; still I want your secret. Tell me that lie again, my favorite one about the word and the sword.
Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
The glass implies the bottle…
…likewise the text implies its author, so today I’ll address the purpose of these 3:00 A.M. monologues. Why jot down an entry a day for just over three weeks and then spend another week rewriting, in a manner of speaking? Sure, action was necessary. Dance or drown. But there are other ways to break the monotony of waiting, buoys to cling to, other means to distract from private purgatory (though apparently no other ways for a sleep aid), but I’m both intending to explain how the situation came to be, as well as to decipher and amend expected mis-perceptions of my role in it. Meaning, I’m done. Meaning, I’ve done my share of bitching about the universe I’m done. This is desperation, not an enlightened tactic. Don’t expect any surprising profundity or for me to unravel the mysteries of the evening. No clinched business here. Instead, repair damaged logic. Readjust my presence. Maybe help to develop eventual foresight.
It happens that I have been going through a period of great loneliness — and it seems to get worse every day. All my life I’ve heard people speak of finding themselves in acute pain, bankrupt in spirit and body, or even devoid of any feeling at all, but I’ve never understood what they meant. To lose. To have lost. I believed these visitations of darkness lasted only a few minutes or hours and that these saddened people, in between bouts, were occupied, as we all were, with the useful monotony of the everyday, of happiness. But happiness is not what I thought. Happiness is the lucky pane of glass you carry in your head. It takes all your cunning just to hang on to it, and once it’s smashed you have to trudge along and move on, move into a different sort of life.
In my “new life” — this summer of 2012 — I am attempting to “count my blessings.” Everyone I know undergoing a period of grief or loneliness has been advised to take up this repellent strategy, as though they really believe a dramatic loneliness can be replaced by the renewed appreciation of all one has been given. I have a boyfriend, Sean, who lives in England, who I know is faithful to me and is very decent looking as well, tallish, winsome, and toning his muscles nicely. We stay connected through IMs everyday, the occasional Skype, download and watch a movie together now and then, count three two one and hit the play button. Laugh together. The habitual outpouring of affection. He meets his friends over the weekend for booze, his two lovely kids on Sundays, gym three to four times a week; he’ll be working soon on a new post in his island’s telecommunications company. He is intelligent, lively and reassuring and loving, though he too — he alone — has been witness to my bouts of profound melancholy.
And I have my writing.
Tags: Dumaguete, Silliman University, writing
For Silliman campus writers! Dark Blue Southern Seas, the official literary folio of The Weekly Sillimanian, is now open for submissions of previously unpublished literary works from students and alumni of Silliman University. The folio, to be edited by Mariella Sagarbarria Bustamante with Ian Rosales Casocot as moderator, is accepting short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and graphic fiction in English, Filipino, and Cebuano. Photographs, drawings, and paintings are also welcome. Deadline of submission is 27 January 2012.
Email your work as attached .doc file (or in .png format for graphic works, photographs, and drawings) to email@example.com. Send your submission together with a short bionote, in 3-4 sentences, that includes your name, course, year level, and anything else that may you want to say about yourself. For queries, please contact Ella at +63917-314-1161.
Slavoj Zizek, Don DeLillo, Jeanette Winterson or something else entirely — what did you find under the Christmas tree?
Heartbreakingly, I received none this year. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that 2011 has been an unforeseen — albeit not an unwelcome — hiatus in reading for me. And book buying. I had all the time and luxury in the world to attack my backlog, since I’ve dropped out from college, but I just didn’t have the energy. At home, to begin with, I could do nothing better but mostly read. Naturally, reading has helped me a lot — it never fails to excite, delight, torment me. But from time to time I would grow terribly bored. I would feel that I wanted to do something, like stomp on white fluffy hamsters, and would suddenly plunge myself into dark, subterranean, vile — not so much depravity but petty dissipations. My little literary passions were still keen and red-hot, from my customary, morbid irritability… But apart from reading I had nowhere to turn — that is to say, there was at that time nothing in my surroundings that I could respect, or that appealed to me. Besides, on a serious note: I was seething inside with ennui. Usually a hysterical thirst for contradictions and contrasts would appear and then I would lapse into my customary bibliophiliac debauchery, burying my nose into books.
I seemed to have lost that in 2001, though. And besides, I was too much preoccupied with bitching about the universe, harrumphing my sour little intellections like a common hag. Which is a pity, but being an embittered frumpy bibliophiliac pseudo-intellectual in the comatose chair is becoming old, becoming blah-rific, don’t you think?
So the fact remains that Christmas and New Year’s Eve were a barren, featureless desert — books-wise (though at least I wasn’t reduced to tears by an ill-chosen volume, in the manner of a dainty young damsel in distress). Thus last week I lifted my spirits vicariously, and bought me these new friends for January.
From top to bottom: Notes from the Underground and The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky (both of which I’ve read in 2007, but I just have the inclination to re-read them, and re-read them); The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci; Dracula by Bram Stoker (which is still my favorite vampire story, and have recently re-read in voracious gulps); The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America by Louis Menand; Night Shift by Maritta Wolff; A Special Providence by Richard Yates; Vodka by Boris Starling; and Strong Motion and The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
Tags: love, sex
As with millions upon millions of young couples, in the beginning there’s the sexual excitement. Always the excitement, the tension. However baffling a mixture, her narcissism, pure as a gushing geyser, and this stupendous talent for self-abnegation seemed faultlessly wedded in her when she lay naked on the bed imploringly looking up to see what he would do with her first. What he would like to do to her. And the soulfulness was there, that was always there, the romantic, ethereal side of her, her ineffectual protest against everything ugly. The taut concavity that was her belly, the alabaster apple that was her cleft behind, the brown, maidenly nipples of a perpetual fifteen-year old, so small that you could pinch them between your fingertips the way you hold a ladybug to prevent its flying away, the impenetrability of the eyes that drew you in and in and told you nothing, yet told you nothing so eloquently — the excitement of the yielding of all that fragility.
In bed, he makes me feel so fragile.
She was surprised by what they were doing together when he first shoved her on the bed and began pulling at her hair. She, who was tyrannized by nearly everyone, displayed no true fear of being hurt a little. Not by him. Not too hard, but his girth grazing her a little, at first lightly, then not so lightly, as she lay obligingly on her stomach, put her into an exalted state. It’s tenderness, going wild. For a moment, it was impossible to tell who was imposing whose will on whom — was it merely her once again submitting or was this the meat of her desire?
Almost a whole week has passed since I have been with him, since he left, and almost a week has passed since I’ve touched my notes regarding him, begun under the influence of impressions which, even if disorganized, were powerful. The two weeks — the grand, awe-inspiring two weeks — which for four months I felt was imminent did actually occur, only a million times more dramatically and unexpectedly than I thought. It was all strange, breathtaking, even shocking, at any rate from my point of view. Several things have happened to me, to us, in those two weeks that were almost miraculous; at least, that is how I still think of them, although looked at in another way, especially when one takes into account the whirl of events in which we were involved at the time, they were really nothing particularly out of the ordinary. It was all possible. Of course it was… But the most miraculous thing of all to me is my own reaction to all the events. I still cannot comprehend myself. And it all flashed by like a dream — even my own passion, and after all that was strong and sincere, but … what has become of it now? In truth: Had I taken leave of my senses at the time, and was I not sitting somewhere in a madhouse, and perhaps that is where I am now, so that it all seemed to happen, and it still only seems?
I can still hardly believe it all…
I have been looking at our pictures again and again (Who knows, maybe it is to convince myself that I did not just imagine them in some madhouse?) Now I am absolutely on my own. December has arrived, it is getting colder at nights. I am sitting in this depressing little town, and instead of thinking about the next step, I am living under the influence of sensations that have only just passed, under the influence of that same very recent emotional whirlwind which caught me in its vortex and then threw me out somewhere. At times I still feel as if I am around in that vortex and that at any moment the storm will come tearing by again, carrying me off on its wings as it passes, and once again I will lose all sense of order and proportion and I will start spinning, spinning, spinning…
You live in a constantly moving, anonymous life where you rarely, if ever, run into the same person twice. Yet you run into many people.
This city, repository, dreadnought that announces to the anonymous anyones: You are here to be forgotten. I will pull you into my wonderful sac and use your energies.
And that’s life. After all, this city is simply a series of expressions. An expression at the street level, modes of transportation, daily transaction of business, the wheeling and dealing of the parasites and scrofula, the stadium and its mobs of people, even, paradoxically the diverse modes of communication.
For the crazed and repressed here are the talk shows. For the clever and sentimental there are the newspapers or the drug of television. Nothing sums things up better than that phrase: the drug of television. The hip have their hipness and little else. It has a half-life of two years and is gone, the hip descending down to the basic characters they’ve tried to avoid.
Some of the interesting, dark matter a young writer must work his way through.
He or she who comes out with a smile, wins.
Yes, even a writer experiences a dark night of the soul when he is convinced of this: World has outstripped language and your works are impossible to do. The writer, plundered of everything he thought valuable, sits quietly in the hazy avenues and watches television provide evidence of the transmigration of souls through a series of atomic explosions in the most densely populated areas of the world while awful men and women smile and dance to words no one understands.
You’re in the pathway of people running the other direction, straight ahead with an admirable lack of reflection, captive of fears, superstitions, vulgarity; even a few being chased by their own out-of-control intelligences.
Then you’re witness to one of the unholy problems of the day: the separation between a personality’s definition of things and a soul’s definition of the same things. You witness the odd phenomena of a person who loves language at the depths of his spirit and yet flaunts it, abuses it, scorns it in the persona he shows to the world. Another man loves faith at the core of himself and yet dismisses it as a joke to the world around him. And still a third loves a woman at the depths and yet abuses that woman in every way imaginable from the very core of his personality.
It’s 3 am, again I’ve crawled back to the pit where I’m supposed to sleep, listening for sounds from a deserted dust and dark, hoping for something more than the sporadic crickets and cock crows hollering like broken jingles in the night; never escaping my perpetually recounted mind, the noises soothe these hands tired from tapping, float as faded memories through lonely scribbled time. I’ve felt the unconditional dance, heard and sang its wandering music, yet (still) I cannot understand one beat, one note — I attempt belief in beautiful ideas: rhythm resonating between two dying words, dusty moonlit shoes chasing and fleeing one after the other, my yellow flickering ghost that hums, hums and hums.
Having insomnia is is like having Tourette’s — your brain races, appraising the world after the world has retired, touching it here and there, everywhere, refusing to settle, to join the collective nod. Your brain becomes a sort of conspiracy theorist as well, believing too much in its paranoiac importance — as though if you were to blink, then doze, your world might be overrun by some encroaching calamity, which your obsessive musings are somehow fending off. 3 am knows all my secrets.