Tag Archives: writing201

No Man’s Land

I know it could be you. I realized this upon our first meeting (?) the very first time we have “spoken” to each other I mean. You made me… curious, which is rare. Normally I don’t give a damn about what’s going on around here. You made me think otherwise. Nothing you have said is coincidental. Your written thoughts show that much. Of course it also helps that you’re one of those so few intellectuals lurking in this site. You understood early on that in order to get through the walls, you have to romance my brain first; that, you did, successfully.  It might have taken a few years to do it but you’ve got this far. I’m telling you, not so many managed to do that. You’re interested. That I could tell. As to what extent, is until now a puzzle to me. You never show your hands. You’re careful enough to veil your true feelings. Or maybe I am just reading too much into it. Typically me.

I remember the first indication that I’m harboring a soft spot for you is when I found out that you are romancing other brains too. I felt a little twinge of ‘curiosity’ and thought: this is bad. I digested everything in silence and went on as usual as if there is nothing new under the sun. I’m good at that. Pretending it didn’t matter. After all, that’s the truth. There is nothing going on between us but few exchanging of words. Nothing more, nothing less.

Maybe it’s all a play for you, a game to spice your life online, to see who is who and what is what.

Like you said: what were your exact words? It’s safer to flirt from a distance? Not true. You can still break a heart from where you are. Not mine though. I simply not made that way. I can experience sadness sorrow and pain but my heart will always be safely intact.

Sometimes I imagine how it is to see you in real life. Would you be the same as I know you here? Would the words have the same familiar ring? Would I fall deeper or change my mind? Pity, I would never find out. For if I’m careful, you’re twice as cautious as I am. Can’t blame you, at your age, it’s almost impossible not to be burn once if not a lot of times. So, where are we? In no man’s land I guess, like where we are all this time. In fact, I can sense you are pulling away from me; gradually. Maybe it’s for the best. Best for you best for me.

I guess I cannot say goodbye because we are sharing the same cyber space. I have no right to vanquish you and even I stay away for a long time, I cannot be banished. Not because of you. So, I guess it is quite okay if I say… see you around?

By the way…

Here is the copy of comment I’ve made but you never see on your space. Sounds harsh but I mean it.

First of all I greeted you on your blog a very prosperous new year on the very hour itself wishing your loved ones the very best. You chose to ignore it, fine by me; it’s your privilege. Then you came here and left the type of comment I care nothing about and now you dare to demand civility??? If your so called association with someone is teaching you to be like this, then I suggest we better terminate our acquaintance. Wish you all the best still…

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It’s Wednesday Again

I always let myself be distracted by small details, the troubles that can fill any day, any week, if you let them. I neglect to sit back and enjoy the overall experience. I keep thinking that once this and that is repaired and this is solved and that is explained, then I can sit back and relax, savor the air, the scent of roses. As if life is a garment that has to have every minute wrinkle ironed out of it, that has to be perfectly smooth before it could be worn. Knowing that nothing is ever perfectly smooth…

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Hatching

She disappeared again, that kid. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with her; she’s so different from her siblings, not only in manners but in appearance as well. They say she is touched by Engkanto. Some call them environmental spirits, the ones who dwell in the forest and have magical powers. That would explain her fair skin and strange colour of hair. Her father said it is like that of corn, I find it unsettling like almost everything about her.

The other day I can’t help but spanked her because she’s been telling nonsense again. She’s full of those little stories which make you wonder sometimes if she’s right in the head.

I found her sitting on the window sill, feet dangling off the edge bawling.

“What on earth happened to you?” I asked scooping her up away from the window.

“A rooster bit my big toe.”  She said sobbing. I immediately put her down.

“What rooster?”

“The golden one, mama.  The one that sometimes appears together with the golden hen and beautiful shining chicks.” She said, smiling through her tears.

“There is no rooster or chickens around here, or anywhere nearby golden or otherwise. We have no neighbours remember? Don’t say things like that!”

“But it’s true, mama! He bit my big toe, look! He saw me looking at him and he jumped and bit me!”

“Stop it! Chickens don’t jump, they fly. And he cannot bite you because he doesn’t exist! There are no chickens around here, do you understand?”

“How come you don’t see them? I always see them. And there are other things too, like the big guy the other night, the one that came and sit in our balcony wearing all black and has no face, and the coffin that was floating under the tree with four candles on top and a hat, why there was a hat on top of the coffin mama? Who the hat belongs to, did someone forget it?”

That did it. Before I realized what I was doing, I took off my slipper and gave her a good whacking across the bottom, then send her to nap. I just hope that she will not tell her father when he comes home…

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Growing Up

It was Sunday.

We always come to town on the same day, each week the same boring routine; with the exception of Christmas, New Year and the usual holidays. One more year and it will be over. I was supposed to be happy, I was not.

Going down the stairs of the boarding house, I froze rooted to the spot, the bucket I was holding clattered to the ground. Who’s that? I didn’t realize there were people living there! When they moved in?  The place was empty only the week before.

She looked at me straight in the eyes; I did the same. Then I went to retrieve the pail and fetch water. Funny girl. But eye catching. Beautiful skin, kissable lips, and eyes that you can easily get lost if you gaze in them for too long.

She brought sautéed bitter melon with egg for supper. We ate from the same plate. I didn’t ask her name. We lived opposite each other. Her place was the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. I had no choice; it was there.

We played cards sometimes for candies. Money was never allowed. (One of her rules) we did it mostly with her mother and niece; and Christian, my best friend.  He was really loud and sleek. Why I never noticed it before? Strange…

She stayed. For a while at least.

I was surprised to find her waiting at my house in the mountain one evening; together with two of the girls I know. Out of nothing better to do she said. It became a habit. I liked it. But we were always surrounded with people. That was the other side of it.

Very different she is. Unusual was not even close. Weird could be it. I’m not sure. Who cares? She can do something with her eyes. I don’t know exactly what. Kind of: saying everything, but really nothing. Very confusing…

She decided to take a boat in the middle of the night to go to an island opposite ours. I regretted telling her that the lights she was seeing was from a party.

I had to come. Can hardly let her go by herself? She’s not exactly alone. We all went with her. Well…almost. Monday stayed. There was exam the next morning. Parent needed was the order of the day. So furious was my father.

I never realized that staying up whole night walking in a strange neighbourhood, or lying on a bare cement floor with nothing underneath stomach grumbling with the lack of food could feel satisfying. That defying the rules you been following whole of your life could be fun. And that was only the start. I learned to lie and deceive. Even to myself.

Jumping out from the boarding house window to elope; skipping classes so I can go to the waterfalls with her, climbing on roofs for no reason at all just because she said so, breaking into someone’s empty house for fun, spending a night in the cemetery playing spirit of the glass, walking for miles in the rain searching for flowers. I did all that because of her.

I remember getting off the vehicle I was in; even though I was half-way home already, simply because I encountered the one she was riding. We spent the night together. What a pity not alone. Like I said; there were always others. We had some moments. But she always managed to elude the “what could” and “if”. I think things like that need practice. She must have done it quite a lot; she’s the master of it.

Funny, but she’s most accessible to others. I mean, closer. Like with my cousin. She shared a blanket. (For a picture that is. I still have it) She even sat next to Christian on the front of a closed shop in the dark and laughed. I hate my best friend for it. Does she know that he called her “hot”?

At the end she broke my heart. She lied big time. Not about her age or who she is. That was not important. It was something else. I can forgive her everything! The complicated song and dance; that stunt with Monday setting me up, the first kiss I never had, the phoney letter, losing that special rock I spent whole afternoon searching for and gave to her, everything! But not Dimple. I asked her. She denied! Why??? At the end, she let me find out. In the cruelest way possible; face-to-face., just like that.

She said: “Eamon, you and I simply cannot.”

Growing up is sucks!

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Second Time Around

Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

Summer of ’42 by Herman Raucher 

My copy of the book is dog-eared, couple of pages are torn and the front and back cover are loose but if there is a fire, this book is the first one I’m going to grab to rescue. Why? Because it is honest, the narratives easy to read and understand, the characters are real and warm, and the story recognizable. I will not bore you with the details of my own stories. Enough to mention that my loving ex often referred to me in the past as Miss Summer of ’42.

This particular passage is forever engraved in my memory because I know it to be true. So I was told many times. Each time by a different Hermie.

“The house was her house. And nothing, from the first moment he saw her, and no one who had happened to him since had ever been as frightening and as confusing or could have done more to make him feel more sure, more insecure, more important, and less significant.” 

This book is the kind of book that you can rely on to accompany you through life. Both during the sad as well as the happy times. It never fails to put smile on my face and warm my heart every time I pick it up. At some point in our lives, there is always a Summer of ’42 of some sort. No?

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The Way We Were

Scattered pictures of the lives we left behind…

Being nostalgic is a sign of getting old. Is that true? I notice that more and more I’m longing for the years gone by my one foot is practically anchored in the past and if I could my body would soon follow to take permanent residence there.

The good old days…

Memories tend to sweeten and take on its own story and make everything looks like a fairy tale. So much so that the more we get older the more we talk about what had been, whether it is about people, culture, things, tradition and music.

My husband said to me the other day that all the musicians he likes and admire are dead except Björk. That was after he heard about the news of Bowie leaving us behind. Freddy (Mercury) is dead, Michael (Jackson) too, James Brown is no more and now Bowie.

I told him Skunk Anansie is still there and  Aphex Twin is still alive, but he said it is not the same (whatever that means) perhaps he meant legendary musicians, the ones who will be forever engraved in people’s memory, the ones who created mysteries and rewrite history. I don’t know. For me  Björk doesn’t sing, she talks. She talks like a kid trying to pronounce her first letters correctly. Bowie always sounds the same. If you’re not a fan and listen to his songs you would think that he is singing the same song over and over again. I prefer him better as an actor. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence is my favorite. He’s one of the few who has the ability (others are Nicholson, Pacino, De Niro and McQueen) to become  the character instead of acting. Jeremy Irons is a master of this trade. 

Michael (Jackson) songs are difficult to understand, the accompanying instruments overpower his voice (I don’t know if it was the intent) and he always sings in what my father called pussy voice. Pity because his natural singing voice is better than that. I heard him once doing baritone and to me he sounded better. And Freddy… there is/was nothing special about him. He got no distinctive sound like Sting, Stewart, Adams or Karen. Something that sets them apart from the rest that when you hear them sing, you can say there is no doubt that’s this or that singer.

But yeah… to each his own. 

I don’t even want to start about films and actors, movies that have stories and meaning instead of pretty faces with no talent or whatsoever. And books! Dan Brown (his books are glorified travel guides) and Harry Potter (I know Harry’s mother is J.K. Rowling) Twilight Saga and Fifty Shades Of Gray. How on earth they managed to make it? Hired a marketing genius? Seem people don’t care about quality anymore. I don’t even know what they care about lately. 

How about juke box? Morals, values, respect, tradition and peace? Greener earth, simple living, happier times and no rat race? Oh, and relationships… Any kind of relationships. Family bonding, communication and understanding, true love and staying together. Fidelity, loyalty healthy food and better sleep. Don’t forget neighborly and friendly, where are they now?

Proverbs said that the good old days are now. That we gonna look back sometimes and ten years from now we think, ‘Boy, those were great old days.’ Well, you know, we’re living in the good old days. In every age ‘the good old days’ were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them. What you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed. And remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.

Whatever it is, true or not it sucks.

It sucks, it really does, when you are up in the middle of the night thinking about the things that you’ve suddenly became aware of. The things you’re missing out on right now, and all the people who are not close to you anymore, and all of the good times that will never happen again, and all the people who have meant the world to you who have forgotten about you forever, and you get this awful feeling that’s kind of like a mix between loneliness and nostalgia. – Abraham M. Alghanem

 

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On The Fringe

My mother filled our heads with ridiculous beliefs and far-fetched ideas since birth. Stories of vampire-like witch ghoul called aswang and goblins whom you can only see if you stand on a crossroads and put your head between your knees at twilight or selling a rare all white chicken to a mythical being at the beach so you can obtain a magical purse which contains nothing but a hundred peso note that has the ability to reappear after you spent it were examples of her amazing tales.

She told us that the Grim Reaper doesn’t wear a hood but a hat, which has a magical power to make you invisible. All you have to do is wait for someone to die, harvest the last tears of that person (she said everyone cries after taking their last breath) apply the fluid over your eyelids and you will see the Reaper when he comes to visit the dead and collect the soul.

Then, you have to snatch the hat and run as fast as you can to the nearest body of water and jump in there. Apparently, the angel of death doesn’t like water; he’s afraid of it. He will beg you whole night to give back his head gear because he has a lot of work to do but be tenacious and hang in there because when the dawn comes, he has no choice but to leave.

When I was a child I swallowed her stories without hesitation and never question their authenticity. To me (to us) it was the norm. As normal as hearing the works of Edgar Allan Poe as bedtime stories. She used to recite Annabel Lee and the likes before we go to sleep. From time to time she diverted from the usual and declaimed Captain, oh my Captain, Faustus or Peter and the dyke (The little Dutch boy) to us. That time I thought, every mother does this sort of things, feeding nonsense to her children. I was already freshman in high school when I realized that our upbringing wasn’t the same as my classmates. They accused me of using grown up words and having ridiculous ideas. Unwittingly, my mother made me (us) an outcast. That and being dirt poor convicted me to a life behind the fence, forever on the fringe but never a part of. I can’t say, I like or dislike it. It was difficult (and still is because we are the end product of our childhood) but I can’t imagine myself being someone else.

Not even If I wanted to. My background and my upbringing sit in my blood and engraved deeply in my bones changing myself means I have to be reborn into another family and lead another life. It is like changing or renouncing my faith. Earlier this year I said I don’t believe in God anymore and stop going to church. I cease to pray as well and avoid paying respect to statues of saints and bringing flowers to Holy Virgin Mother. But I still catch myself praying unaware sometimes or making the sign of a cross when passing churches or upon seeing a funeral car. You cannot simply erase the past (especially if your mother tied you around a foot of a table whole night without food because you failed to recite Our Father prayer in English) you cannot outrun them too. Like I said, it has a funny way of catching up on you when you’re not looking. We are who we are whether we like it or not.

To be continued…

Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland; Living Statue Performer; Fringe Festival

Sleep

Drip, drip, drip in the reservoir of my mind

Scratch, scratch, scratch on the walls of my consciousness

Now you see it now you don’t playing hide and seek

Within grasp cannot catch, why it’s so elusive?

Run, run, run after it and fast

Maybe still there just around the corner waiting to surprise

Almost have the taste feeling the presence but nowhere in sight

Like the wind teasing the brain better to give up?

Oh, so near yet so far like a distant___ star?

Skip, skip, skip into nothingness resign, resign, resign…

 

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Goodbye

Oh! I could hardly believe this journey is nearing its end

What would we do after we bid our goodbyes?

Would we see each other again someday, somehow?

I can’t bare it! I can’t! The thoughts of not seeing you again…

 

The thoughts of not seeing you again fill me with deep sorrow

What in God’s name I will look forward to in the next coming days

Will I be thinking of you when I retired to my bedchamber?

Or resign to the facts that you’re gone, it’s over tomorrow…

 

It’s over tomorrow but I will hold onto the wonderful memories

Nobody! No one! Can take that precious time away from me

I will keep it in my heart every sweet word that you have said…

 

So, farewell, adieu, I’m bidding all of you goodbye

Take care, I wish you nothing but the very best in life,

I will not shed a tear, no, even though I could hardly believe…

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The Girl From The Land Of Endless Summer

                        I
                       don't                don't           
                       like               I          
     Some               to            Christmas
        people        dress          white
            love        up        of
               fal      in     idea
                  ling layers
                     snow the
Some people enjoy skiing or other winter sports I don't                 to  see
                  far shiver magical
               travel  like    kingdoms
         people        some         of
     Some              other           Ice I
                       people              don't 

Here is the poem in its original state

Some people love falling snow, or the idea of white Christmas, I don’t.

Some people enjoy skiing or other winter sports, I don’t.

Some people travel far to see magical kingdoms of ice, I don’t.

I don’t like to dress up in layers and to shiver like some people…

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Memories Of Childhood

Since I I left my home country along, long time ago,
I miss a lot of things, the food, the sounds, the ambiance and the weather…
The way the rain feels on my skin when I run around the beach,
My hair flapping in the wind or drying in a gentle breeze.

My father with his fishing net, my mother cooking our favorite food,
My siblings playing with each other while I was pretending to be a pirate…
Chickens running everywhere, we had a dozen of loyal dogs,
They were guarding the property, day and night, hail and storm.

Up until now till forever my favorite food is seafood,
I grew up surrounded with crabs, shrimps, lobsters, fish and scallops…
Meat was then foreign to us we had it only on Sundays,
If we’re lucky we feast on it, on New Year’s eve or Christmas dinner.

Life was hard, we didn’t have too much of material things,
we had couple of blankets, selfmade pillows, plastic cups, plates and saucers…
Table and chairs we never had, no TV, phone or computer,
But we owned a transistor radio, my father’s most prized possession.

Now I have a lot of things, I owned a couple of houses,
A manor in the country side and a modern cottage in the suburb…
We ride the latest model of Gran Turismo 3 BMW
And on the side we also have a jeep GLC Mercedes (I have pictures, it’s not exaggerated)

But I will exchange my life now  if I can go back then,
I will gladly switch existence with my former self without a second thought…
Only it is impossible I now long established here,
I get used to the luxurious life I bet I cannot survive there.

But the most important is my children are here with me,
The only positive outcome of my disastrous previous marriage…
I cannot leave them no matter what, they are my joy and my pride,
I want to see them get married, have children, be successful and fall in -love.

So, in my head I will go back to that place in my memory,
When everything was so simple and life was happy and carefree…
I will hold onto the feelings, the sensation and the flavor,
Of long forgotten years when I was young, innocent, sweet and healthy…

Food-and-Christmas-gifts-for-these-little-kids.

Our Community

I heard  some commotion outside 

To find out what it was  I ran to the window 

I saw a man and a woman fighting  

Oh, my God!  They were my neighbors below! 

The woman hurling personal  effects

At  the man who was  leaving

He gathered up clothes, picked up his keys

And completely  ignored her

Eric was just a small fish

She told him he was not worth a dime

There were so many men out there 

What she needed was a bigger pond

He looked at her long and hard

Then got into his car and said

I wasted eight years of my life on you

That Olga, I deeply, deeply regret

From behind the window 

watched him drove away

What had gone wrong?

I thought they were happy

How about their children

Where they gonna stay?

If they get a divorce,

It sure will be messy

I came home from work next day

And while opening the front door

The other old neighbor saw me 

And she hurriedly came to say:

“Did you hear?”

I asked: what is going to happen now?

After I told her what I have witnessed 

She said: nothing,  it’s Olgas’ house 

Eric is nobody but a guest

I was shocked to the core but she didn’t notice

They were renovating last month and just added a pool

The children she told me are not from Eric

They fought because he started questioning her rules

Apparently Olga started her campaign

Beautifying her house since the time we moved in

She told to the neighbors if that foreign woman

Can find a young rich guy surely she also can 

I was speechless but the old woman told me

That is nothing child compare to our neighbor Marie

She first dated a contractor, then a plumber

A carpenter and now someone with big money

All that just to finish her house 

Now, she’s with the owner of a menagerie

Did you see her riding her beautiful horse?

She’s gladly parading it around the neighborhood

Clearly, I have to go out more and socialize

I missed out on a lot of things about our community

But then again I’m not that kind of woman

I don’t thrive on gossips and other people’s device

So, I’m going to let them lead their merry lives

the way they see fit without interference from me

I have my own purpose and goals to achieve

They have their own agenda, our lively community.

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