a meaningful new year to everyone!
and when 2010 ends, over cups of coffee tell and retell our 2010 stories.
where is it i've read that someone condemned to death says or think, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! only to live, to live and live! life, whatever it may be! (crime and punishment, fyodor dostoyevsky)
f was hoping that bottles of beer should lift him up from the dredges he was feeling then. he had two already before g arrived. they ordered two buckets of six more. they both appeared they came from a big mess... a big messy unsure and directionless life, g initially mustered to say to officially break the silence of bottles talking. they were headed either to an elevated positivity or to a deeper depression. either way, beer should make them feel, their mood, heightened. since both were feeling rock bottom, g thought they had nowhere to go but feel even downer.
maybe by being there, they will see some semblance of positivity to uplift their wearied souls, a rope of light to grab on and carry them away from their sullied or defiled pit-hole. it must be three bottles speaking. and five bottles for f listening. and they were to spiral further down to g's sixth and f's eight and a multitude of concerns they could file and defile on their beer table.
the hot sauce claimed it was spicier. it was not, even after almost emptying half the bottle of the paste to a sizzling plate of sisig. the kick was faint, and should have claimed sweetest and saltiest red paste. and cappuccino to cap a confused state of sleepiness and wakefulness.
we waited for small streaks of light to shoot across the dark sky past midnight, away from manila. i saw maybe three only, with around 10 minutes interval from each other from past one in the morning until before three. it was reported (or i was told) that around 40 to up to 500 should be seen per hour from 11 in the evening until 5 in the morning.
almost three, he is still passing through this phase, metamorphosing.
he is waiting here. a she is waiting many miles away. they are waiting also. for how long more?
beep. beep. beep. just passing through, so i don't fall.
every time he receives a mail from her, he freezes. or time freezes. and everything around him blurs, except for the face of a mail he has anticipated to receive for days (which some time ago seemed like weeks or months, even years), even if the mail only writes, "i pray to see you soon. i'll be coming home."
he thinks about parallel dimensions. planes that could never meet in any space or time. whatever he could be doing in those others is of no regard as he could never realize seeing, feeling or sensing them converge altogether or separately into his present life. he takes his time now to contemplate life. in another he could be studying. in the other, he could be competing in petanque in a world championships, or he could be a reigning chieftain of a humble head-hunting group. he realizes the futility. he feels disappointment. frustration. regret. bitterness. anger. spite.
what could be the use of this mental endeavor, if only to cause a breaking of the heart, that the things he had wanted to be doing now become merely futile hopes that he is doing them in other (fictional/self-serving thought-of) dimensions.
she whimpers, restless on her bed. she thinks about people with fragmented souls. different people who are actually made up of one soul, fragmented, differentiated, and distributed from death to pieces of two or more several rebirths. only upon finding and completing that one soul could these people contain peace, fulfillment, happiness, and what sought-for virtues. one fragment could be a life born of farming, fighting teeth and nail to till a land that could be called his or hers. another could be found miles away as a corporate financier, working to build companies that may amass income at the expense of what damage or destruction to social and cultural lives or the environment. another fragment could be a dancer. another a world leader. there could be more.
as the world is surrounded by many deaths and births, the complication of the death of one fragment to several more rebirths (due to a booming population) brings a realization of the futility of rebuilding the whole, and finding those sought-for virtues for the world.
it will almost be a year since i last visited, almost a year since i last saw n and we talked with that sort of shyness between two unsure people, and that sort of directness by the same people wanting to maximize the limited time they can share glances and smiles, seeming accidental mutual wafts of their arms or their hands, and some feigned mistakes of drinking from their beer glasses ~ my lips knowingly finding where her lips did sip from her glass, her lips onto mine. it was one good night, the last night we can remember together, with good friends playing cupids and crafty matchmakers. from that outside table of a localized korean shabushabu joint by the wide river under a glittered night, good friends and an almost couple shared and enjoyed.
'i pray that everyday be always like this,' she whispered. i barely heard. the others heckled, 'forever eating korean bar-b-q, drinking beer, we'll go fat and liver-die.' i bantered, 'and live or die in merriment together.'
i stole a view of her, and she was staring back. those eyes, her smile. i felt her fingers cross paths with mine, momentarily, but felt like time freezing a capsule for the two of us, and the whole world set apart.
i wrote her a few days back. she replied earnestly, 'with patience as my virtue.' let mine be showered with mcarthur's hope and return.
i remember the time you were sent to me for custody. i never knew i had you then, and with whom. it came as a surprise when your five-year old eyes stared into mine, unknowing but with an unexplainable recognition as if they were connected in some way more than the distance that sets them apart. i felt too, mysteriously, that you bear a big fragment of my life.
i should have known... been let known from the time you expressed signs of your maturing conception that i were to become elevated to that generation of new parental obligation. she never spoke. we never spoke again after that one night. i parted to my world, she went to hers, never a time contemplating the possibility that some cookery will connect us once more a time away. five years to be precise.
your eyes tell me more. in that near peak moment she hastened to speak as we hastened to naturally combine our intimacies, "please send me away." i did. and you are here.
he would have wanted everything to roll on smoothly... uncorrupted grass hills, clear blue skies, a mirror lake, then a slow flowing gust of wind that smooths and rolls through and through, and through and through.
but life would not have it his way. at many points of the wind's journey to the other end, it has to endure... obstacles. difficulties. rejections.
when early friday morning came to welcome with a warm sunrise and a dispersing fog, it was decided then and there to plot and optimize the day's affairs while the roads leading to the lowland provinces were still precariously set with landslides.
thursday's rains and fog (above) prevented any sort of excursion to nearby terraces and cultural sites. friday's warm welcome (below) set the tone for a long day of discovery in mayoyao.
tuesday night, i found myself lugging a backpack and a shoulder pack to victory bus terminal in kamias for an 11pm trip bound for santiago city in isabela. what normally should have been an 8 hour trip became a 14 hour trip as the bus traversed through the north-eastern roads, waited with other passenger buses and trucks along the nueva ecija snake roads to nueva vizcaya as it slowly managed to overcome one landslide after another. after all, i was heading to a still stormy northern luzon, with 'pepeng' storm still lingering along the northern coasts of the philippines.
arriving in santiago city at around 1pm, i quickly boarded a tricycle for the passenger terminal in fourlanes to catch a van passing through oscariz, dropping there to meet up with j. many rounds of beer after, we toploaded a jeepney to pot-ya in alfonso-lista, where we were to wait for the last trip bus to mayoyao. past 4pm, we boarded the bus and arrived in mayoyao at ten in the evening.
now. typhoon signal no.1. rains keep spattering at around 1,245 meters above sea level. the fog allowed us to take a short peek of the view from the lodge. praying for a clear day tomorrow.
today, i lounge it easy, with the slow paced life here, enjoying slow sips of gin with the cool embracing fog.
when it started raining friday night, it never occurred to us that the long rainfall until next morning would lead to a rise in flood water. it took maybe 3 hours for the flood to rise from feet level to almost waist level.
it took an overnight for the flood to subside and be reduced to a layer of muck.