“My life has been one long descent into respectability.”
Reply To Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent
“My life has been one long descent into respectability.”
Reply To Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent
“For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream.”
(Edgar Allan Poe in Eleonora)
I saw him. Yes, I did. I wish I hadn’t.
Like I said before, I cannot sleep when there is someone lying next to me. I need to be alone in bed, or otherwise, I cannot fall asleep. Besides, I can’t stand the smell of another person on my sheets and pillowcases. I want my bedroom to be clean, fresh and smells like me. So, since the beginning of time, I have my own corner and later my own room. Even back then when I was with my ex and he raised hell because of it, I insisted to have my own private quarter and got what I wanted. The result was nobody could lock any room in our house. He made sure of that.
That particular (extraordinarily dark) night I was not in my designated space. I didn’t want to risk the chance of my ex-bothering me there so, I decided to hide in my son’s bedroom.
I could have put a dresser against the door in case__but experience taught me that it will only encourage him furthermore.
My son that time happened to be sleeping at my aunt’s house, but my ex-didn’t know it and that was good; it means my son’s room was the most unlikely place he was going to look for me. No matter how fucked up the man might be, he more or less still is a good father; unless it’s that time of the year again, then nothing counts.
My son had two clever annoying spoiled cats named Dulce and Snooze, they were mother and daughter. Both of them loved to swing themselves on my draperies and could open doors by themselves. I caught them in the act of doing exactly that. From a reasonable distance they would run at full speed, then jump; grab the handle and hang on there till the door opens. Hateful little pests. If only my son did not adore them…
I was already deep in my slumber when I felt some presence in the room (I sleep like a duck or a dolphin, with one eye open. With my ex in the neighborhood, you never know…) and I thought: Snooze. She was the favorite and treated the room of my son as hers, technically I was the intruder; I sighed and told myself for one night it didn’t matter, I could share a room with a cat.
After a while, I felt some weight pressing down on the mattress. She must have jumped on the bed with me. A moment later I felt something was on my chest so, I said: “Snooze, go away” and I swept her off me.
My arm must have fallen off the side of the bed because I realized that it was on the floor and the darn cat was licking my fingers. Once again I shooed the animal away.
But she continued sucking my fingers, biting at them tenderly, then harder and harder slowly swallowing my entire hand bit by bit.
I reached the top of my patience and retrieved my hand from inside her mouth and put it under the sheets. Yet for some reason, I could not go back to sleep. So, I opened my eyes and saw that the cat was sitting next to the bed watching me. I could see the top of her head and half of her body sticking over the guard rails of the bed. My uncle put it there to stop my son from falling off while sleeping.
That was when all the warning bells in my head started screaming at me: “Wake up! Wake up! There’s definitely something wrong here!” All at once I realized that it could not be the cat.
She wasn’t that tall. If it was Snooze who was sitting there, I would not see her at all; even in sitting position, the bed plus the rails were going to hide her entire form from my sight. So, I sat up and I saw him!
He was the most handsome man I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. His face wore a kind of indulgent amused expression one might wear when looking at something or someone he is very fond of, not threatening at all!
I could clearly see the outline of his perfect muscular naked body kneeling on the side of the bed. For the rest, he was shrouded in darkness except the tips of his horns; there was this sort of red illumination, like the kind of light you get when you put your hand over a candlelight or shine a flashlight from under your palm.
When our eyes met… he smiled.
That did it. I jumped out of bed, got tangled up in the sheets and landed face down on the floor. I got up and ran; hitting every light switch I passed by and ended up in the room of my ex. I dove under the cover next to him, put the cover over my head and hugged him from behind.
The next morning, he asked me what I was doing in his bedroom and why all the lights were on when he woke up, and why my son’s room looked like a tornado had been there. I didn’t know how to answer him so, I just cried and cried…
To this day, from time to time when I think about the whole thing, I question not only my sanity but the authenticity of the creature’s existence. Did I really see him? Or it was only my imagination. Did I dream the whole thing? But If I did__ weren’t I supposed to wake up in my own bed instead of running like mad to the very place I wanted to avoid at all cost, to someone I will never feel safe with hitting the lights on all the way through? I doubt it…
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky…
These were the thoughts that had been swirling inside John’s head for the last couple of days as he wandered aimlessly around the city. These are the same thoughts he is thinking at this very moment while leaning over the balustrade of a bridge overlooking the fast lane below. How come that life becomes so hard it is easier to die?
There used to be a time that he could feel. Feel connected to the world, to everything. He could feel the trees breathing, hear the sound of flowers as they open up to the sun, hear the grass growing underneath his bare feet; all of those are nothing but a vague memory now. Lately, he feels like swimming in thick syrup, every movement he makes is labored, but worst of all is seeing this world from behind a thin gauze curtain; nothing is in focus, no color, everything is gray.
He was born catholic and only 21, how come he feels like he already has lived for centuries? That this world has nothing to offer him? For the last two and a half years, he tried so hard to shake the feeling of being there done that twice over and back without success. Now, he wants out. Would they miss him, his family? Probably not. He became invisible to them since he was twelve. He being gone would be nothing but a formality. He climbs over the top of the balustrade, looks up the sky and says:
“I don’t want a place in heaven or hell. Give it to someone who is more deserving. I suffered enough in this lifetime; I don’t want more of that where I’m going. When I’m gone, I just want to simply vanish. No afterlife, no reincarnation, no trace.”
Then, he jumps off.
Reply To Weekly Writing Challenge: Oh, The Irony
Write a scenario using Nighthawks by Edward Hopper as inspiration…
The woman was bored. She shouldn’t have agreed to come here. And for what? To wait, she had been told; more than that she knew nothing. Nobody said something to her. Not Tom, not his friends nor their women. All that was expected of her is to dress up pretty and prance around like a horse in a livestock market. Asking questions were never been encouraged in their set up, persistence can lead to some unpleasant physical interaction which often left her bruised and drained. Was this the kind of dreams she had been chasing since she was a little kid in Nebraska? The reason why she had left her friends and her family? Some days, she wished she was back in the farm where she was born, back in the waitressing job she loathed so much! It all looked heaven to her now in comparison with this… this hell she wormed herself in, in pursuit of a better life, love and happiness. Where are those dreams now? Gone, gone together with her self-respect and pride. She might as well be dead!
Tom was anxious. What taking the soda jerk too long to hand him his package? When he reached under the counter, Tom thought finally he was going to have it but that strange guy with his suit and fedora waltzed in and everything stopped, put on hold. He could hardly contain his irritation, especially when he knew that Grace was starting to get impatient. She didn’t want to come, but he needed her there, for the show, as a decoy; with her presence and looks, she often attracted attention more than he cared about. She was perfect for the job. Now the package and they can all go to bed. Leaving without it was no option. Not if he values his own life.
Sal had gotten the tip from his informer early in the evening. The man said the drop was going to happen tonight, in this diner. He then described the man and the woman who are now sitting opposite him. The description didn’t do her justice though; she was more captivating in person Sal thought. Pity she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and with the wrong somebody. But c’est la vie… causalities of war.
The soda jerk reached under the counter for his gun. He knew that the deal was about to go wrong the moment the guy in the suit and fedora walked in. Sometimes, you got that funny feeling in your stomach and you know it for sure. It was supposed to be his last job. After this he was planning to retire and go back home, or go south. Not that there was something or someone to go back home to. Not since his Pappy blown his Momma away during one of his drunken episodes. Okay, he got his own revenge. He made sure it looked like an accident. No one blinked an eye when one morning they found his old man dead, drowned in the sea. Something like that could happen, especially to someone like his father who seldom sober, accidents happened all the time. Yes sir! It could. Now, all he had to do is: stay alive…
Reply To Writing Challenge: Find The Muse In The Masters
I was 7 years old.
It was a very sunny day. The bedroom I was in was the only one in the house. The house was perched on the side of the mountain overhanging the big fast current river below. There were beautiful white rocks there. Some shaped like a table in the middle of the water.
Once I saw a big white deer on top of it looking at me. They said there was one indeed but they didn’t believe I saw it. It supposed to be magical. Only a few chosen ones had seen the animal.
Am I a chosen one? Must be because ever since we arrived my older cousin had shown me a lot of attention. He even called me his missus. I didn’t like the idea and I didn’t like the sound. Now he’s grinning at me from the door.
I watched him walked slowly towards the makeshift bamboo bed and took his place next to me. He reached for the sheet under the pillow and covered us with it. I was paralyzed. I can hear my father and uncle (his father) talking outside. They were laughing.
His hand glided under and found itself between my legs. Outside that small garment but inside my dress. I closed my eyes tightly and held my breath. The kneading begun and so was my shaking. In my ear, he kept repeating the same words: “Don’t tell anyone. Don’t tell anyone or else…” I could fill in the blank. I knew my father, his ways, and his temper. My cousins must have known it too.
I had no idea how long we were laying there. All that I remember was nothing happened further than that. Maybe he was scared too. I ran outside away from the house, screaming. Everyone looked at me and my father asked what was wrong. My cousin said perhaps I saw something odd again like always or must have had a nightmare.
He was 17…
To be continued…
“Don’t say that colour is everything. Sometimes the lack of colour speaks the most.”
Will it be wonderful to wake up in a world devoid of colour? Where everyone has the same skin tone? Then probably equality would become a reality, peace will not be some kind of a far-off dream and we can finally live in a harmonious society where power is not the main motivation for every action taken. But that would be very unlikely to happen so, let’s talk about the challenge for today instead…
If I will be given an option to have just one object keeps its original hue that would be my mushroom lamp. Someone gave it me so I can sleep better. I have Scotophobia and cannot sleep without light, but harsh glare gives me migraine; my mushroom lamp is perfect, it makes me feel safe without being intrusive, I can’t imagine a night without my trusted companion…
Here it is: red, cute and playful. My precious…
Reply To Daily Prompt: Local Color
If I would be in costume this Hallows’ Eve, it will look something like this…
I will wait for the children to come to my door asking treat-or-trick. Before I hand them apples and candies, I will tell them scary stories first (I have tons of those courtesy of my mother) like about Aswang and Manananggal and so on… by the end of the evening I will have a bunch of angry parents at my doorsteps demanding I will be burned alive at the stake for practicing witchcraft. They will tie me to a post and light the pile of wood under my feet but before the fire can consume me, I will magically disappear in a puff of smoke, laughing…
Reply To daily Prompt: Mask Off
This would be the photo cover of my memoirs or autobiography book. I find that the image speaks volumes…
Or it could be a cover for a travel book as well. Written by me of course, recounting my experiences travelling across the country…
Reply To Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art
I was in the charity shop this afternoon trying to find some interesting books to read finding none and I thought: “How sad.”
How sad it is to see those empty shelves that used to house hundreds of books one could get lost in it for hours at times. Now, they are gone. I went to a lot of such places this weekend in the hope of finding some suitable reading materials but what’s on offer were so little compared to a couple of years ago.
There was a time that books were everywhere. You could not turn a corner without bumping into a bookstore, but in my city alone, several of those shops have closed their doors due to low patronage. It breaks my heart to witness another dying culture.
Once upon a time when browsing in second-hand bookstores, not only customers were spoilt for choice they could be selective as well for there were products in abundance; now, that privilege is a thing of the past. I began to notice the decline in offer when I failed to find my favourite authors among the selection. First, I settled on finding good books. It doesn’t matter who wrote them as long as the stories are interesting enough to keep me busy. I am a voracious reader anyway, and I can consume a great quantity of materials on so short time that if I am going to purchase all my reading pleasure brand new, I will be soon on the edge of bankruptcy. That’s why I frequent charity shops to sustain my needs.
When even good books became a rarity, I talked myself into buying paperbacks that are “good enough.” That was also the time I considered going to a library. But I hate rules and I dislike deadlines and I tend to abuse my books by bringing them everywhere and not using book markers because I tend to lose them, I fold a corner of a page instead. Underlining the passages I like and highlighting them with coloured markers are some of my sinful preoccupation while reading. I think no library would appreciate that.
Now, even mediocre books are very hard to find. Especially if one is looking for reading materials that are written in English but living in a country that does not have English as the principal language. I am aware that there is this thing called E-Book, and that is the only thing I know about it. Frankly, I am not interested knowing also. At least, not yet. Not as long as I can find printed materials to read. It reminds me of the time that I stupidly refused to change my nationality out of principle. Till someone opened my eyes to the possibilities and advantages of acquiring one and to be honest, I had no choice. Not, if I want to see my children growing up.
Why I am not interested in using E-Book? Well… there are so many reasons, but the most important of them all is because I believe that the ultimate reading experience involves holding an actual book. Something you can smell (I love smelling books, old or new) caress the pages… there is something erotic about turning those folios (or leaves if you preferred) books turn me on and I unwittingly impart this knowledge to my ex who never hesitated to use it against me whenever he deemed appropriate.
One of my secret fantasies is to be locked up in a vast library (or a museum) for a week, living side by side with all of those magnificent stories. It’s better than travelling sometimes and certainly preferable than having sex. I imagine gliding my hand across their spines, feeling the textures, the hardness, embracing their aroma… the thoughts that thousands, probably millions of people handled them, found knowledge and solace between their pages is a humbling experience.
But my first love is dying. Dying in the hands of modern society. The same society who used to respect and recognize the value and power of printed materials by making them available for everyone who seeks to be educated and advance in any field. The same society who became knowledgeable with the help of books is now ignoring and casting them away in exchange for modern technology. I know that the only constant in this world is changes but can we at least preserve some of our most prominent culture/tradition/heritage/whatever? A lot of those are disappearing in the name of progress which makes me question if we are really improving.
I am aware that there are great buildings that house rare volumes. But I am not talking about those. I am talking about the accessibility of tangible educational reading materials to ordinary mortals in the comfort of their own homes, in their own tempo. I rather get rid of those fashion glossy magazines and gossip tabloids in favour of bringing back the good old books. And comics and snail mails, etc. But that is for another post…
Now, I’m scared. I’m scared that one day the only way I can see books is from behind protected glass, admiring it from a distance, which makes me think of pictures of Dinosaurs and certain animals that you can only see from afar in the zoo.
Isn’t it a sad, sad affair?
Starry, starry night… No, no, no. We’re not going there. Let’s keep focus. Why do I get sidetracked easily these days…As it happens, I really like the song but this is a very different story and has nothing to do with music or paintings. It’s about growing up and friendship and everything in between. So, what do you think? Shall we begin?
Here we are…
Vincent was my classmate from second grade till we graduated from primary school. I was the new kid on the block; he was born and bred in that town, he still lives there.
I don’t remember anymore how it all started but before the end of that school year, we became inseparable, partner in crime, the usual cliché.
He owned a boat. A blue one. We used to take it out after school and paddle till we could paddle no more, then we let it drift while lying on top of the bow either singing or just saying nothing. We collected marbles as well. We hunted for them during low tides and prime finds generated the requisite Oohs and Aahs from both of us. We housed them in empty bottles of powder, sorted by size, colours and quality. Nobody was allowed to view our treasure. The lot was for our eyes only.
Vincent taught me to draw. We had a signature drawing, a shack in the middle of a rice field under the setting sun. In return, I showed him how to write in verse. We were an awesome couple. Our advisers and classmates thought we were too, they encouraged our bonding and my parents had no objection to it. Only his mother had something against us, against me in particular. She could not stand the sight of me. I didn’t know why. Looking back, I could probably associate it with a mother-in-law thing. Vincent is the only boy and the youngest.
There was something he did that I will be forever grateful for the rest of my life.
When we were in fourth grade, I had an accident.
The fish pond was located along the national highway at the foot of a bridge. It wasn’t levelled with the road, there were concrete steps leading down to it and was surrounded by a barbed wire fence. To access the outside world and all necessities, we had to go up to the highway and from there we can go anywhere. My mother sent me to buy a bottle of catsup one afternoon and I happily obeyed. It was raining and I was wearing my father’s oversized raincoat. I was half-way home when I got it in my head to sample what was inside the bottle. The sampling quickly turned to drinking and when I reached home the bottle was almost empty.
Of course, I got the necessary beatings and was sent once more to purchase another bottle. Crossing the highway, I didn’t hear the upcoming vehicle; my father’s raincoat must have muffled the sound and before I knew, a military jeep driven by a governor of some province ran me over.
Being run over by a car was nothing initially. I did not feel any pain at all. I was looking at my swollen foot and thought: what’s wrong with it?
What was wrong was a broken fibula. The driver succeeded to avoid a total collision but clipped my right foot in the process. I was driven to a local hospital and been told that there was a big chance that I could never walk again. The bone was cleanly cut in half. The owner of the vehicle offered my father a certain amount for the damage. My old man who valued his pride more than anything and lived mainly on principles naturally declined. He asked only one thing: that the governor will shoulder all the necessary expenses until I could walk again. Clever father. I stayed in the hospital from December 02, 1980 until January 05, 1981. I spent Christmas and New Year in that place away from my family. I remember looking at the life-size holy family statues in the lobby of the hospital when my father carried me outside. I still couldn’t walk.
I was a candidate for a gold medal that year (same as any other year I spent in school) but I was running behind with my lessons and had no idea how to catch up. Enter Vincent, my knight in shining armour.
I remember the day he came and I handed him the school keys for safe keeping… he looked at me with a mixture of disbelief and pity I almost cry. Then he asked me if I was able to attend classes and I said no, I might as well drop out. He left without saying anything. The next day after school, he showed up with a lot of books and notes and explained to me everything I have missed. Since then, he dropped by every evening to show me what they have learned that day, providing all the necessary materials so I will not fall behind. While I was studying, he sat quietly next to me fiddling with his fishing pole glancing at me once in a while asking if I needed something. I was grateful.
Because of Vincent, I did all I could to walk again. I remember watching the grass grow from the window and I thought: I can’t be like this I had to walk. In the beginning, I did it with crutches, after three days I abandoned them totally and tried to walk on my own. After few weeks, I went to school, limping but unattended. I finished that school year with a gold medal around my neck.
My friendship with Vincent started to fall apart during our last year in elementary. I did not know if it was because of Arnel who transferred to our school and started hanging out with me, or was it because Vincent developed a certain kind of closeness with Helen during my absence, but all of a sudden, we were not an exclusive item anymore. For the first time, there were others involved. Vincent accused me of being overly friendly to Arnel saying I reserved my sweetest smile for that strange newcomer. In return, I blamed him for not being the same someone I used to know, that I hardly recognized him at all, and it goes on and on. From there it went downhill. By the end of that school year, we were not in speaking terms anymore.
He returned my school books via someone; I thought it was strange that he didn’t do it himself. Did I become so revolting for him he could not stand to see my face?
The answer lay in the pages of those books. I found several letters addressed to me written by Vincent during those days I was not in school. It spoke of his longing for me to return, that he missed me, that it was not the same without me by his side; he tried he said to amuse himself with others but to no avail. The letters even mentioned Helen and how Vincent tried to replace me with her but without success. I was the only one for him because he loved me dearly and he knew that the feeling was mutual.
I was perplexed! Vincent was my best friend but he was and still is no more than that (sadly the history will repeat itself couple of times but that’s for another story) besides, I was a late bloomer and it will take several years more before I will have the notion of what he was talking about. Not knowing what to do, I burned his letters.
After that, I won a scholarship to study in better and bigger school in town and I never look back.
We’ve met again after 25 years. I was in the country and feeling a bit nostalgic I decided to visit our hometown and the school where it all started. Passing the coastline, I saw a familiar blue boat bobbing in the water and I couldn’t help but investigate. Sure enough, it was Vincent. I watched him disembarked and unload his catch for the day. He saw me standing there and after blinking few times he said:
“Bebong?” Is that you?”
“One and the same.” I said smiling…
“My, you’ve changed! If it’s not because of your eyes I will not recognize you.”
“What’s with my eyes?”
“They are always sad as if you are going to cry any moment.”
“Oh! How life’s treating you, Vincent?”
“I’m okay? And you, where have you been?” I told him everything (well, almost everything) about me, how I am and what keeping me busy… He said:
“I know you will go far, you have that in you. You’re a very strong person even then.” His comment puzzled me but I decided not to pursue it. I changed the topic instead.
“Are you still living in the same house?” I asked.
“Of course! Do you want to come and see for yourself?”
“I don’t know… your wife might not like the idea.” I said half joking.
“Don’t be silly, I am not married.” I didn’t expect that.
“Only one. But it’s over now. She’s married to someone else and lives very far from here.”
“You must love her so very much.”
“yes, I did. I proposed to her.”
“That must have hurt. You know… first love…”
“Don’t be ridiculous! You are my first love.”
Speechless was not the right word to describe how I felt at that moment. Not even in my wildest dream, it crossed my mind that Vincent was harbouring for me that kind of feelings. I blamed the letters to puppy love, but first love… way too much.
Needless to say, I went with him. He told me his father died a couple of years ago and he was living with his mother who by the way still detests me. We rekindled the old friendship and went camping on the beach every night and lighted bonfires. We went to visit Arnel whom upon seeing us concluded that we were back on the old track. He said: Now that Vincent and I have found each other again, it would be a waste if we didn’t end up in church. We took out his boat several times and paddled, paddled, paddled. One time we encountered one of my father’s old friends who said: “Junior, don’t let her get away this time.” We just laughed.
We were drinking beers in our camp one night when he started sniffing my hair saying I look like a kid instead of a grown-up woman. I made excuses to go back to my hotel room and took the plane back home the next morning.
I genuinely like Vincent. I enjoyed what we had. I still want to be friends with him, but that’s it. I can never reciprocate his feelings. A friend is just a friend to me. Why there are people who would want to ruin a perfectly good relationship by jumping over the limits__ is beyond me…
I never see Vincent since then.
Reply To daily Prompt: Imaginary Friend
Imagine a film of Van Damme (the one that titled Hard Target) where you can have a head start running (for your life) before some bad news people start hunting you down with all the weapons you/they can conjure up.
At the end of the terrain you will find out that circling the whole area is a mean barbed wire fence with lethal electric current running through it – which btw they already warned you about but you don’t believe for so many reasons; one and most prominent of them is HOPE followed by faith (in higher power, in yourself- because you’re young therefore immortally invincible) naive (thinking the time is on your side) and to put it simply, you have for the moment no better option but go on.
You find yourself in this situation anyway, you might as well do what they expect you to do: try to stay alive. Imagine all that and more and you got the complete unadulterated simplistic version/explanation/synopsis/facts of what life is all about.
From the very beginning, we are the most helpless animals that ever exist on this planet. From birth, if we are left on our own devices, we will not survive our first day. We need at least a decade to learn how to move and (if we’re lucky) t/fend to/for ourselves.
All our remaining years, we will struggle to grow up into maturity stumbling all over the place, oblivious to the fact(s) that:
Most of us have mortgages running till we’re 65 (more than half the time allotted to us) and have grand plans the moment we retire. C’mon people(!) be realistic here. Situations are different in your 20’s than in your 40s/50s/60s. There are things you cannot do anymore once you reached a certain age. And we cannot re-create the vigour, the intensity, the courage and enthusiasm of the youth.
By doing like that we are deceiving ourselves that we are living which in fact we hardly do. Like the Dalai Lama once said: we’re so obsessed with the future that we forget the present and we will die without experiencing how it is to really live.
The funny thing is: we realized all of this (like me) only when it’s too late. Approaching the appointed date, we (will) suddenly get it that we are not immortal after all; that we spent almost half if not all of our lives prioritizing wrong priorities and dedicated our existence to the wrong causes, none of those has nothing to do with us personally but believed it does.
I am no different. I married for my family I stayed in a marriage that was doomed from the start for my kids (what a sanctimonious little fool that I was)
And ended up in a life I am having now out of convenience, all the way thinking it is the right thing to do. In between, I went from obedient daughter to martyr to femme fatale to freedom activist to reformed and boring (currently what I am now) all the time questioning my choices: this is it?
I know some of you will think: that’s not me. I have what I want I made the right choice I’m happy with who I am and what I become. And I’d say: think again, baby. Maybe it’s time you stop deceiving yourself.
Reply To Daily Prompt: Finite Creatures
I am not the kind of person who is fond of mirrors. I see it as a tool, a necessity; not an object of vanity.
I check once before I head for the door to avoid awkward moments, like when people look at you and keep looking, and you wonder why; only to learn much, much later that you still have a tiny grain of morning star in the inner corner of your eye.
I know for a fact that there is not one single person here on earth that didn’t experience some embarrassing moments regarding this matter because you see… morning star has a nasty habit of forming even after you wash your face thoroughly. I just don’t want this to happen to me.
But lately, I noticed that whenever I pass a reflective surface, I cannot help but look. I do it in malls, in restaurants, shops windows, cars, trains, buses, everywhere! Heck, I even check myself in front of microwave/ovens.
I don’t simply look, I peer. As if I want to be sure that the image I am seeing is really me, that’s my reflection, that is how the world sees me.
And what I see looking back at me varies from moments to moments, but seldom positive.
I often think: is my hair that long? Am I really this old? I look like a dishevelled kid! Why my face seems doesn’t belong to my body? As if they are two different halves glued together. There is no balance! There is no symmetry!
Two years ago, my eight-year-old nephew asked me why my face is so small but my body is too big? Kids tell the truth mostly, and his innocent comment really unsettled me. So, occasionally I ask D. if it is true, but of course, you know already what his answer is going to be.
I am aware that my body is changing. That one of my best assets, my legs, acquired some saddle bags couple of years ago. That the small hump below my navel didn’t go away as I willed it to and I imagine it keeps on growing. That if I wake up in the morning, there are wrinkles between my breast and it takes longer and longer for them to disappear. I don’t want to think what will happen one of these days. That if I run, some parts of me wobble, and I don’t look as fresh as I used to after a hard day’s work.
And I can still add a lot more to my whining and I don’t even begin to talk about other things that bother me like health for example, or indigestion, constipation and all the things that ended up in –tion.
Or slight incontinency which thank God only happens when I cough, laugh, vomit or nervous. How about gas and bloating? There are still a lot of things, but I will stop right here.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
…who is this strange woman looking at me?
Where is the girl I used to know? Is she hiding?
Where did she go?
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her
Beneath the mask I wear today
Her eyes look through behind my own
She seems so sad full of questions
The girl looks a bit like me
I can see the similarity
But there stops the resemblance
I am neither her nor (is) she (is) I (?)…
Transformers series are my favourite movies. They are fast moving, visually stunning and technically impressive. They are my guilty pleasures. Would you believe I’ve seen every each one of them three times! One: to get the overall idea of the film since there is a lot going on it’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around it the first time. Second is for technical purposes, to study the action sequences especially the parts when they transformed. If I could watch it frame by frame I would. Third is to combine the first two to see the movie as a whole.
I watched them to be entertained and have some fun. I heard lots of people complaining about the dumb plot and poor dialogues and I thought: “C’mon people, you don’t go to see Transformers expecting Shakespeare, do you?
My only problem with the film is there are people in there. I rather have that the movie is populated by just the robots. But then again it is a personal preference and has nothing to do with anything.
I don’t know what it is with me but the moment I hear the click-clack sounds when they transformed, I swoon. I find the action orgasmic. The scene where Bone crasher skates like a hockey player, zigzagging between cars is epic! And of course there is my biggest crush ever Optimus Prime, projecting a perfect endearing combination of alpha traits and vulnerability. With him I could almost forgive blue eyes. I believe him when he said: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.” What the heck, I believe everything that big heap of metal utter. I am not prone to crying, I don’t watch melodramatic romantic movies (except Some Kind Of Wonderful) like Bridget Jones Diary or any Richard Gere- Hugh grant affair but I cried watching Transformers.
In so many ways transformers is a sexist movie. We will not talk about Megan Fox and why she’s there because it is too obvious. But the fact that there are no female robots (okay there were in second installment – motorcycle Autobots Elita-1, Arcee, and Kromia, and the pretender Alice- but they are killed within seconds of the opening scene, except Alice of course. But who is she anyway? She pretends to be a woman but is she?) in any of the franchise bothers me sometime. If it is not for wonderfully delectable action sequences, I probably bear them a grudge.
But because Michael Bay loves to blow things up, I could (pretend to) overlook that mistake.
So, here it comes…
If I get to spend a day inside my favorite movie then I will be a female autobot. Having some kind of romantic interlude with their leader would be a dream part. I will not be one of those chicks who let herself be rescued and dragged by the protagonist during the entire film, doing nothing but scream and moan. How many times I have watched action films and get irritated by the leading lady hiding behind something, trembling and occasionally shouting the principal character’s name often revealing her position which added to the tons of troubles he is already having and I thought:
“Oh, f-ck! Take a gun, a knife, a grenade, anything! But for Christ sakes, do something!”
No, I will not be beautifully passive spectator. I will be a bad ass rock ‘n roll chick. Every inch an equal of the leading character if not more. I will be a Lara Croft kind of transformer, leaving trails of broken bodies/hearts in my wake.
Decepticons here I come!!!
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