Music In my heart

I don’t have favourite songs. In fact, I almost never listen to music. Music for me is synonym for noise. I have no rhythm, I cannot carry a tune and have no idea about intros or where to stop. Funny, when all of my relatives can sing like pros. Two of my sisters used to sing in a band. My father had an exceptional voice and can dance very well . My son belongs to a musical theater group and had been given the lead part more than once.  I, on the other hand don’t have the talent. Sometimes I wish I have, but we cannot have it all, can we?

Being musically disastrous never stop me from singing whenever I feel like. But I am only interested in songs that bring back certain memories, the ones that can transport me directly to a place, with special someone as if it happened only yesterday or an hour before. Those are the songs that I listen to as well when the mood strikes me. Let me give you an example or two:

Here I am by Air Supply can put me back in a terrace in some far away country dancing whole night with a boy who was crying on my shoulder because I was about to take the plane back home the next morning.

Somewhere Down The Road by Barry manilow can transport me back to that special day when me and a fine example of tall, dark and handsome had lost our way around a flooded swamp and the sun was going down fast on the horizon; I was a little bit scared and he took both of my hands, looked me straight in the eyes and said: “Trust me, I can get us out of here.”

But these melodies have nothing to do with influencing, inspiring or having some significant sense in my life aside from silly romantic notions of long forgotten bygones. If we are going to talk about that kind of music, then it will be totally different story. Here are the three songs that have some special meaning to me and practically sum up my life in general:

  • I’ve Never Been To Me by Charlene
  • I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel
  • My Way by Ol’ Blue Eyes Mr. Frank Sinatra himself.

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Reply To Writing 101: Commit To A Writing Practice

In Disguise

If she’d seen it in a crystal ball, she never would have believed what happened next.

The ice formed early, that November. But  today is not snowing for a change but pouring. Rain water trickles unnoticed, into a minuscule fissure in the foundation. She can see it from the bedroom window looking down. She even imagines hearing the sound it makes. Had it always been there? She didn’t notice. Not in the beginning at least. Only the other day when she was in the garden and attending to that over grown rose bushes that was planted along the foundation of the house did she see it. She must tell it to Bill. There is a certain possibility that he is already aware of the matter. So perceptive is Bill about the things which concerned him directly. But where is he?

Lately, he’s coming and going are becoming more unpredictable. Not that his whereabouts interests her a great deal these days; she ceased caring where he might be a long time ago. She can’t stand the long nights of waiting, the worrying, and the looks he gives her when she dare asks. After a while, she gotten used to going to bed alone, mostly with sleeping pills and a glass of brandy, it works better that way. Only the silence she can barely stand. The emptiness of the house and the unspoken animosity between them are wearisome burdens.

Yesterday she went for a walk and had lunch with Emma. She didn’t dare to mention the apartment she recently purchased (from her own money) and her plan of moving there, alone. She cannot bear confrontation at this early stage. She would deal with whatever may come later. For now she has to remain decisive and strong. She will need it. 

The sound of the doorbell pulls her out of her reverie. Who might that be? She suddenly conscious of her own naked body clad only in thin morning gown. She looks at the clock on her bedside table. She never realized it is that late already! How long she had been standing there looking at that rain water, lost in her thoughts?

The continuing loud chimes of the doorbell send her running down the stairs, pulling the garment tightly around her body as if for protection, she hurries to see her unexpected visitor.  Two police officers are standing on her steps when she opens the door.  Confusion seizes her and she stammers questions unintelligibly, one after the other.

“Ma’am, are you Mrs. Bill____?”  One of the two interrupted her.

“What?  Why?”

“There was an accident early this morning. The melting ice Ma’am… really dangerous. His car must have slipped, turned over and fell into the ravine.  We’ve been calling you all morning, no answer. Passed by earlier but nobody home. We need you to ID him. Ma’am, are you okay?”

She collapses onto the floor, crying hysterically…

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the note

“Bedroom isn’t the right place to explore with him, unless… you’re very, very desperate… I’m leaving today. I can’t take it anymore. Sorry mother.”

I folded the small paper that was stuck under my shoe. Found it accidentally when I crossed my legs to lessen the cramp I was feeling sitting on a train for quite some time.  How long it had been there? Where I had steeped on it? I looked around; everyone was busy with their business. Nobody noticed. I gazed outside the window.

The train stopped. I reached my destination. I left the note folded on the table.

I could have written it. I muttered to myself.

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Reply to Writing 101: Be Brief

Reply To Daily Prompt: Brevity

 

H1

I deleted all the names in my contact list, except yours. Somehow, I cannot bring myself to do it. I know. My choice. But still…

I think of you when I saw some films that I know you like. I was tempted to go to the film festival, but then again… I changed my mind. Like always.

I wonder if you can read me. You were here even before I came. Then, you disappeared. But your profile is still there. I look at it secretly from time to time.

Foolish isn’t it? When there was the time that I could have you. Really could have you.

You were so shy when we’ve met for the first time. The memory never failed to put smile on my face. The way you keep looking at my lips! And blushing! Funny for such a big man. You towered over me. I must look like a miniature doll next to you.

Remember the box? You delivered it at my doorstep. You rang the bell and disappeared! Hiding probably, watching me in my pajamas, searching for the unknown caller. Silly.

I tried to scare you by showing who I really am.  Exaggerated even.  But nothing can keep you away. Not even D.

Unlike all of them, you are true. Even online. You told me exactly who and what you are. You have given me the choice. I chose not to. Silly of me. I thought I had lost you. But I was wrong. You offered friendship. I declined that too. Stupidity I might say.

It was almost two years now. I had forgotten you for the most part. But lately, your memory comes creeping back in. Perhaps because there is nobody like you.

Accepting me totally for what I am. Never shy away from all my peculiarities and darkness. You see me as normal. That’s wonderful.

I was thinking if the bike trip you planned with your brother will take place next year. Just like you said it would. If…be careful and have fun. Remember me sometimes. If you could. would . want.

I asked you to be my best man.  You said you are more suited to be my husband than anyone. But you cannot offer me what D. could. One of them is stability. You are a wanderer like me.

You declined the offer and begged me not to do that to you. I understand you cannot bear to be there.

It was ironic that I am writing about you in my blog while I never answer your calls, letters, and offline messages. I cannot say I regret.

Send my regards to your mother. I hope she’s all and well. The last letter you sent me spoke differently. Pity I didn’t reply. Another of those things I do, burning bridges while still walking on it. But that’s one of my specialties, putting up walls and burning bridges and avoiding people. Can’t help it; intimacy terrified me. It might be a curse or a blessing, I don’t know.  One thing I am sure though is: my heart is still intact. Safe and sound and in its proper place.

And that’s how I intend to keep it…”

 

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Serially Lost  Part One/Part Two/Part Three

utopia

When I was young I spent too much time on the breakwater that bordered the perimeter of the fish pond. My father had built them painstakingly to avoid the waves crashing directly against the dikes. Why I found it so appealing to pass hours after hours on the top of it, I don’t know. Maybe it was the serenity of the place, or the fact that although it was not mine in some way I staked a claim on it and made it my own. My private domain where I can be who I wanted to be (mostly Sinbad the sailor or a pirate, a notorious renowned female pirate_ I used to draw images after images of her on every available surfaces including the wooden steps of our stairs_ and I did not have to share it with my siblings; I found the perfect place!

Much to my father’s chagrin who was so traditional he believed in designated roles both for men and women. He asked me quite often that time if I fancy myself a fisherman or a mermaid. I could not answer him. It was not proper in our tradition to talk back to your parents. Everything they say is rhetorical. Attempting to do otherwise is courting a disaster. Best to shut up and listen. Always listen, and do what was told. 

We never been encourage to voice out  our opinions, something I very much longed to do because my father had a way with words. Everything that came out from his mouth was designed to make someone (especially us) feel worthless and dirty. (No, I am not whining!) Something he got in common with my ex. but I don’t want to dwell on that, I rather focus on today’s topic which is utopia. 

Where was I? Ah…

I can still vividly remember the feeling My Own Private Idaho was evoking in me years after we moved to yet another place, and the accompanying longing to go back there again.  I wanted to experience once more the sense of awe seeing the vastness of the land (when low tide) and the moody temperament of the sea (during high tide) they never fail to overwhelmed me. It’s gone now. I cannot remember anymore the last time since I truly feel uninhibited and one with the sea.  It’s lost among so many other faded laughter and forgotten memories.

I always find tranquility there. Something I still feel a necessity for my restless, wandering tortured soul. (Wow!)  There, I could think.

On that very top of heap of stones; I first realized (when I was eight) that the world has nothing to offer to me. (Yes! eight!)  The very first time that I felt: “Been there, done that.”

There I found out that I could write stories in my head. More vivid and alive than on any paper. That I could change and shift them according to my moods, and as many variation as I wish. And the characters I created are real, with real feelings, hopes and dreams; just like us. These things always make me smile…

There, on that breakwater; I learned to fantasize…

sunrise-with-wave-crashing

Reply to today’s challenge  Writing 101: A Room With A View

unlock the mind

I don’t want to be repetitive but as I mentioned before, I have this unnamed phobia of being left alone in the house; any house. And because I mostly work from home, I often find myself in this dreaded situation. The moment the door closes, I instantly panic! The scenarios of all horror/thriller books and movies I have ever read and seen come marching in my consciousness in rapid succession. If I run out of written and filmed ideas, I conjure up some myself and believe you me; I’m pretty good in that. Being a first row spectator all my life, my characters are so vivid and real I believe them with all my heart. My mother said I always have an over active imagination. I wonder if that is a compliment or an insult.

Because of my condition, I rarely sleep. Pills don’t work their magic on me. I tried herbal teas as well, warm baths sauna swimming hiking massage sex, all to no avail. One time out of desperation, I tried to combine all of them at once. Never again! Too much stimulation. (btw I was writing this in bed after I swallowed two sleeping pills and with no decent sleep for the last 3 consecutive days) I never talk about my condition to anyone. The reason for this is I don’t know how to tell my story without sounding hysterically funny. Seems I have this gift of downplaying my emotion and laughing at myself. So, I shut up and suffer in silence.

I’ve been to a psychiatrist. Once. The first and last time I reach out to seek help. He accused me of having third world mentality and luxury problems, whatever that means. Needless to say I never repeat the visit. I don’t want to end up with more trauma than what I already have. Besides, I can rationalize or guess diagnose more or less what I am suffering from. I think the right term is PTSD. Only mine is never been “post” to be a syndrome. But how the hell I know, I’m not an expert.

Sometimes, I’m willingly calling myself paranoid, when having just another day in paradise episode. It meant to be a joke but it hurts! Only I refused to admit it. But the truth is it governs my life, and my self-imposed solitude doesn’t help much either. Another thing is I just acquired a physical condition that keeps me in bed at times on ends. Great exercise for my over-active imagination, lying immovable in bed, all alone.  Probably that’s why I’m blogging (is it the right term?) to lessen the mental (or is it emotional?) pain.

Well, I’m  going to stop right here because I have an inkling that I’m spitting gibberish. I just hope that I’m coherent enough to be understood…

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Reply To Writing 101: Unlock the Mind

Reply To Daily Prompt: Howl At The moon 

fortune cookie

So there I was, sitting, trying to be comfortable in the smallest space I ever encountered in couch, fiddling with the air conditioner above my head that doesn’t work properly it’s blowing arctic  wind and there was no way to turn it off when they decided it was the time to eat.

The food was nothing to write home about (I know that the quality of airlines meals are not that great; but this one surpassed everything I’d known) and the amount so little, even for a small eater like me.

After the food, an airline attendant gave me a FORTUNE COOKIE. I noticed that I had one already on my tray, so I refused it. But NO SIR! He kept insisting. The conversation went like this:

‘Ma’am, it’s your fortune cookie’ flashing his chiclets teeth, it’s so white I doubt it’s real.

‘No, thank you but I have mine already.’ trying to hide my annoyance.

‘No ma’am. This one is yours.’ flashes of white teeth again.

‘Look, here is mine. I have it.’ me showing the COOKIE.

‘Read it ma’am, and you will see, that it’s yours.’

To end the ridiculous conversation, I accepted the said FORTUNE COOKIE.

I found out that it was already open. When I took the small paper inside, it says: ‘ YOU HAVE SEX APPEAL AND SOME PEOPLE ARE SENSITIVE TO IT’

I didn’t know what to think. I asked myself: how many FORTUNE COOKIES he had to open to find the proper one TO HIT ON ME?

That was not the end of it though. In the course of the flight, he offered to take me sight-seeing in some city where we had to stop-over to fuel and tried to persuade me to stay a few days there so we can get to know each other better. He had given me his home address and his cell phone number as well.

I could have done few things, Like:

REPORT HIM TO HIS SUPERIOR.

I find it a waste of my time. I will never see him again because I’m not going to fly with that airline company ever again! Besides, that route will be long and painful process.

PUT HIM ON HIS PLACE THERE AND THEN.

I hate scandal and making scenes. Ignoring him says enough.

OR I COULD PLAY ALONG WITH HIS ADVANCES.

But it’s not me. One night stand will never be my thing. NOT EVEN WITH A TALL, BLOND, BLUE-EYED with uniformed, white, flashing teeth. Besides, I AM NOT INTO BLOND.

So, in the end I just said: tempting, but can he please let me rest because I am not really into sight-seeing. He looked disappointed but I guess it had something to do with his wounded ego than anything else.  

The FORTUNE COOKIE (paper) I keep though. Just to remind me of…

cookie


This post is a response to today’s Daily Prompt.

Remember Me?

The man said he is looking for me, putting a picture of my younger self on the table. Though it is my face who’s staring back , I don’t recognize the woman. I don’t remember owning such clothes. Never been to Paris, yet (there is a silhouette of the lighted Eiffel Tower in the background, the woman who supposed to be me is standing against a railing of a bridge) I want to visit there sometimes but something always comes in between. Maybe someday.

I look up and smile at him shaking my head. “I’m afraid I can’t help you.” I tell the gentleman. He has such a beautiful face. He reminds me of someone I knew from a very long time ago, only younger and darker and perhaps a little bit taller.

His expression becomes sad, for a moment I thought he’s going to cry; I wish I could  help him but I know nothing of the woman. After a while, he turns his back and walks away.

The young man crosses the street and get inside a café opposite where the older woman is sitting. He deliberately pick a table by the window so he can keep an eye on her. Physically she does not changed much. She still is the petite dark beauty who can turn heads whenever and wherever she walks by. Almost no wrinkles visible but what’s going on inside her is what worrying him these days. Every each day when she wakes up, she has to be reminded of who and where she is. She remembers bits and pieces of things in random, but never concrete; not anymore.

Sometimes she has rare lucid moments but they come and go, and they are few and far between. The only thing she can talk with great clarity is her childhood. Something he doesn’t care much to hear about. They are full of morbid ideas, grim memories, skeletons in the closet and shocking details. But she talks about them like they are the most normal natural things in the world.

And she wanders about. Disappearing longer and longer at times, like now; it took him a while to find her. If he’s not familiar with her habits he would not be able to locate her every time. He’s dreading the moment when he will not be able to do so anymore. That is something he is not ready yet to think right now. Sitting there, no one would suspect her real condition. She looks normal and talks normal. Even when strangers speak to her, she is able to hold a decent conversation without conveying the truth. Only those who know her well would notice the drastic changes that are happening to her. What a waste of a great mind and a remarkable person.

Lately it is getting harder and harder to come up with excuses to approach her in public without scaring the hell out of her. The last time he did that, he caused a scene worthy of a novel or a film. She always had been wary of strangers. Something in the past caused her to lost trust on people. Provoking her is not a good idea. Not then, not now. Their relationship is never been the ideal one, given the circumstances. But she is still his mother and he wants to take care of her despite of what had happened long ago.

For now he will sit here and wait till she is ready to leave, will watch her becoming confused, not remembering where she lives or where she supposed to be. Only then he will come to her, offering his help as a good citizen. But that’s for later. For the moment, he has to conjure up a mighty good excuse to approach her without causing unnecessary trouble, for both of them. Because of her he learned the art of patience…

Alzheimers-patient-007


This post is a response to today’s Daily Prompt.

i’m confused

I’ve been blogging here for not even a month but I’ve been around in one other site somewhere. I left because it is not the right platform for my writings. After all, it is a dating site which I accidentally stumbled upon following the footprints of my ex.

I was a novice then. Starry eyed and so naïve I made tons of mistakes. I still make them now but less often and less profound. My time there was quite a journey. I learned a lot and the hard way. I picked up and dusted myself every each time without help from anyone. The policy in that kind of site is a lot different (I assume) from here or anywhere similar. You see, for someone who is not on the lookout, reserved and have a different point of view on almost anything, people tend to get suspicious. In short, I was an outcast; a popular outcast but an outcast nonetheless. I might say I enjoy the solitude. I could hammer on my keys undisturbed advancing my learning unhindered.  My years lurking in there taught me a lot.

I left when I feel that there is nothing I could learn from there anymore. Someone suggested that I go here and here I am. I created my blog page in one (I never do half-assed job) go following whatever comes when I click, not knowing this site has a zero to hero guide, I managed somehow.

After putting online my first batch of posts, I decided to browse what they say I have to do to generate some traffic to my page and gain an audience. What I read confused me. They say I have to participate in forums, likes, comments, re-blogs, ask for feedback and so on.  They advise beginners also to understand the statistics so they can connect to their readers from different places and cater to their taste in order to generate more views. Some even mentioned posting on specific time depending where most of the people who is checking you out are based.

I thought people write first and foremost for themselves. That they share their inner thoughts to kindred spirits out there. That they scribble and post when they feel inspired and not to please the majority and the would be followers and readers. I thought if they like what you’re saying and you do it reasonably good enough, sooner or later people will find and read you. You don’t have to advertise to other blogs “please visit my page because I’m lacking of traffic?” nor you have to like or comments to other posts for the sake of building an audience but because you simply truly like the contents. Following blogs in the hope of the owners might follow you back is like cheating. To me, I will only follow someone out of genuine interest or otherwise not. What is the used of following hundreds of blogs when you don’t have the time nor the interest to read them all. I find it quite unfair for the people concerned.

I read too that one has to consider putting comments on blogs that similar to one’s own to encourage people to check your page. I have difficulty digesting that one too. Sounds to me like an encouragement to use others for your own personal gain.

I have encountered so many tips about blogging effectively it make my head spins. I tried to make heads or tails of lots of them to have ideas I could use for my blog but after a while they started to resemble the holy book, a merge of opposing viewpoints so great it becomes very difficult to dissect which one is the best rule to live by that I decided to abandoned the idea of applying them for the time being. Maybe I will try again when I’m feeling courageous.

Sure I want to be read (we all are or otherwise we will not be here) granted I want an audience too. Traffic is nice and comments are welcome as well. But I want to acquire them through my own hard work without losing my aesthetics/esthetic and sacrificing my morals and values. Perhaps I’m naïve. Stupid even. Perhaps my personal view about this matter is somehow clouded. Maybe it will take a long time before I have my own followers. Maybe it may never happen and I will be forever lost in anonymity, damned to dwell in some kind of limbo, I don’t know…

One thing is for sure. I will do it without stepping on someone’s back and losing myself in exchange for applause. My thoughts are out there. I have shared some of my experiences and will keep sharing. I did everything (within my power) to make the reading pleasurable and memorable for whoever might accidentally stumble upon them. More than my best I can’t produce.

For the meantime, I will continue blogging and hoping some might pass by and be grateful when they do.

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