Sunday, August 16, 2015
The best novel I ever read was written by the master storyteller himself, Sidney Sheldon. It is not the typical fairytale kind of a story where the prince rescues the damsel in distress from a tower ensnared with evil incantations by a wicked sorceress. There is no coiffed up prince. No fancy horse-drawn carriage in place. And no happily ever after. There is, however, an abundant supply of violence, sexual innuendos, double entendre, scheming, immorality, vice and corruption. In the story, the protagonist was a beautiful, young and inexperienced lawyer who struggled to rise on the upper echelon of her profession. She gets framed for allegedly threatening the chief witness against a mafia boss with a dead canary with a broken neck. As the story progresses, the damsel becomes romantically involved with a married man plucked from the same profession. The entire book is riddled by a cornucopia of forbidden pleasures. In the end, the man remained married to his wife and the protagonist watches him rise to power from afar. Morality is somewhat restored and the main characters get on with their lives.
This is the beauty of fiction. The lives of the characters are completely under the mercy of the whims and fancies of the author. The author can play god. His powers, plenary more or less. So long as he does not produce a material that challenges the long established moral code of man and so long as he does not conjure something so sexually revolting that it comes at par with pornography. For he may run under the covers of intellectual property rights but he cannot hide from the punitive backlash from our very own Revised Penal Code. The material must not be NSFW.
Denouement is indispensable in every play, narrative or story. At some point, the characters’ plight comes to a close. The messy plot, untangled. The web of lies, wiped clean.
This story is not penned by the genius of a master storyteller. She is no Sidney Sheldon. This is no fiction for this is a story plucked from a reality.
The man is graphic artist who creates art through online freelancing. He is a frustrated nurse who was confused at the time when adult decisions had to be made in choosing a course to take up in college. He went on to take up nursing in a dazed state but still managed to excel effortlessly despite the lack of drive. His heart belonged to creating art. I’d like to believe he was a Picasso at birth, born with the special skill of swirls and dashes. He is an introvert with a big heart. He is quiet and shy, prim and proper and a huge animal lover when I first met him at thirteen.
The woman is also a frustrated nurse. She found refuge in writing at a tender age of 10. She used to be drawn to beautiful writing of little to no importance but has now tried to keep abreast with socio-politically relevant issues plaguing our earth. She is a junior in law school as a logical consequence of an ugly childhood riddled with domestic melodrama and whatnot.
It was the usual hi and hello with these two. There was no coffee nor first date. It was the quirky way he talked and the way he propped himself up on his seat. It was the way he awkwardly posed for pictures and his tight-lipped smile that has drawn her to him. Thus, she decided to let him inside her protective little bubble. He became her friend. Finally, she found a kindred soul. But it was not until 2014 when the man finally mustered the courage to tell the woman how he really felt for her all those years. It was an incessant interplay of skinny love and petty fights that got them both wondering why they fight over trivial things in the first place. The storm occurred before the calm.
It seemed like several lifetimes ago when I found he got sick with an unknown illness. He stopped going to school for a year to recuperate. Within the course of that same year, while I was busy prepping for retdems and finals, he was growing thin as paper. His abdomen, board-like. His breathing, labored. Painkillers became his bestfriend as I, his own bestfriend was not there to comfort him. He transferred from hospital to hospital and finally, he received a confirmation of his diagnosis through core needle biopsy in Cebu Cancer Institute. He had extrapulmonary tuberculosis of the liver. The news was a big sigh of relief as cancer was the worst possible scenario.
I thought he would hate me after his ordeal, for failing to visit him, for failing to find out immediately on what had happened to him. But there was no hate. We remained best of friends despite the occasional fits of stupid arguments.
The only thing that connected us was our love for music, animals and the arts. He loves anything that involves technology and gadgets but he loathes reading. I, on the other hand, am a sucker for books and beat poetry.
We are both similar and different in so many ways. I guess the universe never tires to conspire with the collision of paths of two completely different individuals because there is beauty in the fusion of black and white. There is a glimmer of hope and endless possibilities in the collision of souls.
This is not the typical love story. But this is about how a self-confessed introvert and obsessive-compulsive individual has tried to move mountains on reforming his ways, in addressing stress through healthier ways instead of resorting to obsession and compulsion. In coming to terms with himself, his regrets, his fears, his pride and his ego. This is about how a person clears his schedule and leaves his house at 12 midnight despite pressing deadlines just to help you find your lost Labrador. This is about conquering fear of heights and drowning knowing that another soul is willing to risk life and limb to save you. This is about someone who insists on dragging you to Watsons to buy face and hair products because he is afraid of what other people might think of him. This is about those moments when he stays up late at night talking to you even if his eyes are about to betray him because he is not a night owl like you. This is about purchasing a 26er mountain bike and getting into shape even if it’s contrary to his nature and just simply conceding because she is an outdoorsy person.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Ten Shades of M
Wilde said each man kills the things he love
With a bitter look or an endearing glance
With flattering words or words that cut like knife through flesh
Even said the coward does it with a kiss and the brave with a sword
It's an interesting metaphor because it's actually true to the core
Met my love when my eyes were young
It was not love at first sight
No. It was unfortunately not that melodramatic
He did not have me at hello nor sweep me off my feet instantaneously
It was not sweet serendipity
Nothing at all like a good ole chick flick knavery
For we met ordinarily and started platonic as everything else should be
Blunt. Real. And Raw.
Years passed and the friendship was nurtured
But unwanted weeds had to be pulled out
As I realized I had developed feelings
Tantamount to ruinous love trappings
Some kill their love in their youth and some when they're grey and old
And in my case, I tried to murder it a tender age
For it wasn't supposed to be there. It was an unwanted guest.
An embodiment of Gregor Samsa's Metamorphosis into a vermin
Yes. The feeling was a vermin. And so I had to stifle it.
Felt the stronger need to do so when he didn't seem to notice the rage within my being
And yet it was also a cyclone
That I wanted so much for him to calm..to quiet to a steadfast pace
But there was none
I felt crimson with hurt, pitch black with grief
As it was clothed with an unrequited cape
Of all forms of loving, the basest in its face
I killed my love at 16 and killed it again at 23
I killed it with bitter looks.
I killed it with words of flattery.
I killed it with the sharp knife of my tongue and I killed it with apathy.
And when these turned futile, I sought the help of conscious forgetting.
But my heart was a feeble dullard
No amount of virtual, collateral and direct cardiac arrests
Completely silenced him to a figurative grave
And later, he revealed the tell-tale reasons for his silence and disinterested semblance
He was insecure and weak
He was afraid
And with cowardice, he forged a friendly parade
He grew comfortable watching the waves while further deceiving himself
Of the idea that it was okay to admire its beauty from afar
The paddle and canoe remained untouched
Because to him,
I was a hurricane.
And so finally, I understood
The cryptic nuances of our he-said-she-said affair
It was crazybeautiful. He
was is crazybeautiful.
Now, the light of his love is flooding me like a thousand splendid suns.
Yes! I still love him and I will continue to
Beyond words, distance, space and time
Beyond my earthly state
In a watery grave or a dust-laden space
I killed my love at 16 and killed it again at 23...
Or so I thought..
(Aug 13, 2014)