Assentio Mentium

I do not how to start.  I do not know how to start because what is there to start when we never started in the first place. What is there to begin with when there is nothing to begin with and talk about? Or maybe, just maybe, there is something to talk about, but I never had the chance to blurt things out because I was never ready to tell our story – like you were never ready to be the man you once promised me. No, this is not a piece about the broken promises of our luck-forsaken love. It is about how you and I, no matter how much we tried, never met.

I had everything. And then you came. I almost lost everything – even the person I once was; the person you once wanted to spend the rest of your life with. To tell you frankly, you stole my identity. You actually took everything away from me. You taught me how a person so kind and so good has a chance of becoming a freaky-minded little monster never feeling anything except rage. You taught me how to isolate myself from the world and shut everybody out. You taught me how to hate people – even the most lovely ones. You gave me a chance to learn how to deviate my thoughts from everyone else’s, that no matter how much they tried, our minds never met.

Honestly though, I am grateful. Along with these evil changes you have brought me, you opened the possibility of me turning into someone not better, but stronger – someone a lot stronger than who I was before. You taught me how to care for myself much more than I did for other people. You made me turn my beliefs into something outside the norm. I started to stray away from the crowd so I could not betray my own feelings. I started hating everything they love and loving everything they hate. I started to wander and diverge from what society expects every person like me to be. You see, even the world, no matter how much it tried, is having a hard time to meet me.

This is a project for my Legal English subject for law school. Imagine I had to wait for this moment, for this project, just so I could tell you what you have done to me the day you went missing. The five hundred words as minimum are not even enough to let you know the misery you have caused me. Imagine what I had to go through just to forget the pain, and remember it again.

I remember everything – every little thing from where I was standing before up until where I am standing still. From where we stood before since the day we met and where I stood after since the day you left. From when how I thought you were the one until when how I realized that we all thought there was ‘that’ one. From when I started to learn how to open doors until when I started to never open even windows. From when I thought you loved me until when I realized that maybe, yes, you did, but you were just not ready.

We were parallel lines – exactly in front of each other, but can never be together; always face to face, but never side by side. A failed assentio mentium – there was never a meeting of our minds.

I

Unang gabi ko pa lang sa Baguio, mukha mo na agad ang laman ng panaginip ko. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Siguro kasi umalis ako ng Pampanga nang hindi nasasabi sa iyo ang mga salitang nais ko sanang malaman mo. Siguro kasi dahil hindi ko naibigay ang larawang guhit kamay na naipangako ko. Siguro kasi hindi naisakatuparan ang plano kong ipaalam sa iyo kung ano ang nararamdaman ko.

Kanina, habang nagkakape ako sa labas, ikaw na naman ang nasa isip ko. Ang dami kong gustong sabihin sa iyo. Pero paano? Wala na ako diyan, wala ka rin naman dito. Sa papaanong paraan ko pa ba masasabi ang lahat ng isinisigaw ng puso ko? Pucha. Korni nun ah.

Naisip kong isulat ‘to lahat sa journal ko. Kaso, biglang umatake ang pagiging artistic at creative ng lola mo. Unti-unti akong nakabuo ng mga senaryong maaaring kahinatnan natin hanggang dulo. Ano nga kaya ang magiging reaksyon mo kung saka-sakaling natuloy ang plano ko? Ano nga kaya ang gagawin mo kung saka-sakaling nalaman mong may gusto ako sa’yo? Hindi ko rin alam. Wala akong ideya. Pero dahil sabi mo nga e matalino ako, hayun at biglang naglaro ang imahinasyon ko. Kaya eto, gumawa ako ng sarili nating maikling kwento.

Kuya,

Shit. Unang salita pa lang, kapos na sa tapang.

Dear Caloy,

Teka. Gawin nating mas pormal

Dear Carlo,

Pasensya ka na kung ngayon ko lamang naibigay itong larawang dalawang taon ko na nga atang utang sa iyo. Matagal na rin kasi nang huli kong gamitin ang aking mga kamay upang makalikha ng isang obra maestro. Nakalimutan ko na nga kung paano ang tamang paraan ng pagguhit, e. Hindi ko tuloy alam kung ‘talent’ nga bang matatawag ‘yun kasi nagawa kong makalimutan. Pero sige, partida na lang sa sarili ko, sabihin na lang nating kulang kasi ako sa ensayo.

May gusto sana akong ipaalam sa iyo. Kaso kinakabahan ako. Iniisip ko pa nga lang; pinaplano ko pa nga lang, nag-uunahan na ang mga kabayo sa dibdib ko. Ngayon pa kaya na tiyak kong binabasa mo na ito?

Hindi ako matandain sa mga petsa, taon, at ano pa man. Sariling kaarawan ko nga, hindi ko magawang matandaan, yung ibang bagay pa kaya? Kaya hindi ko masabi kung kailan at kung anong taon nangyari ang lahat. Ang natatandaan ko lang ay ang kung anong naramdaman ko nang una kong masilayan ang iyong mukha. Takte ang corny. Hindi ako sanay na nagsasabi ng mga ganitong bagay. Pero para sa ikagaganda ng takbo ng liham, pipilitin kong magkaroon ng tamis ang aking dila at mga kalamnan.

Basta. Bata pa lang ako, tumatak na ang mukha mo sa utak ko. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, marahan kong pinipigilan ang sabik na aking nararamdaman sa tuwing sasapit ang Mahal na Araw. Kung kakalkulahin natin, tatlong daan at animnapu’t tatlong araw akong maghihintay para lang makita ka ng dalawang araw na hindi man lang aabot ng apatnapu’t walong oras. Matagal. Nakakabagot. Mahigit isang taon ba naman. Pero oks lang, sulit naman.

Nung una, kumakanta-kanta ka lang. Kaso hindi ko alam kung anong pumasok sa kokote mo at bigla mong naisipang tugtugin ang isa sa mga paborito kong instrumento. Dumalas ka tuloy lalo sa isip ko. Tsk tsk. Ang naisip ko lang nun, ‘mahirap to’.

Teka, parang ang haba na nitong sulat ko sa’yo. Baka nababato ka na. Kaya didiretsuhin na kita. Ang gusto ko lang naman talagang sabihin e… gusto kita. Bata pa lang ako, may gusto na ako sa’yo. Hindi ko alam kung simpleng crush lang o higit pa doon o mas higit pa sa ihihigit noon. Isa rin kasi ako sa mga taong hindi maintindihan kung ano ang kanilang nararamdaman.

Hindi ko naman inaasahang may gusto ka rin sa akin. Mukhang malabo naman ‘yun e. Hindi ko rin alam kung anong mukha ang ihaharap ko sa iyo kung saka-sakaling magkita ulit tayo. Which is most likely to happen kasi parehas tayong present tuwing Huwebes at Byernes Santo. Siguro ayoko lang tumanda at magpaka-dalagang matanda nang hindi nasasabi sa katangi-tanging taong nagustuhan ko sa loob ng mga panahong pagkahaba-haba na sa kanya ay may kinikimkim akong nag-uumapaw na paghanga.

Gusto yata kita. Oo, ikaw. Gustung-gusto yata kita. Kasi kung hindi, anong drama ng mga panaginip ko? Trip lang? Hindi. Nasa pre-conscious, subconscious, unconscious, at conscious mind kita. Ang id, ego, at superego ko, pangalan mo ang idinidikta. Kita mo, pati agham at siyensya, lakas makapagbigay ng ebidensya. Ebidensya. Na. Maaaring. Ang. Gustong. Sabihin. Ay. Gusto. Kita.

Hindi mo ako kailangang gustuhin pabalik. Nais ko lang malaman mo kung ano ang lasa ng aking halik. Joke. Nag-rhyme kasi. Balik-halik. Pero seryoso, hindi ka obligadong gustuhin din ako. Gusto ko lang malaman mo na simula noon hanggang ngayon, ikaw lang ang nanatili sa puso at isip ko sa pagkahaba-habang panahon.

Nagmamahal,
C.

Hindi ko alam kung maibibigay ko pa ba ang liham na ito sa iyo. Kasi unang-una sa lahat, ilang kilometro ba naman ang layo ng bahay mo sa tinutuluyan ko? Buwan pa ang hihintayin natin pareho. Kung susuwertehin pa ‘yan na wala kang trabaho.

Hindi ko alam kung ibibigay ko pa ba ang liham na ito sa iyo. Kasi unang-una sa lahat, kinakabahan ako. Ilang libong sound system ang pumapaligid ngayon sa bawat pader ng puso ko. Isipin ko pa lang kung anong magiging reaksyon mo sa bawat salitang binitawan ko sa sulat na ito, nanghihina na ang bawat aking mga buto.

Hindi ko alam. Hindi ko alam. Hindi ko alam. Pero gusto ko sanang malaman.

How I (never) Found Neverland

I grew up believing in fairy tales and all its inconvenience. I was a kid, I was young, I must have things I regret. I was a Disney baby — a disciple of Timon and Pumba; an enemy of Ursula; a slave of passion and happy endings like Cinderella. I’ve always wanted my own once upon a time and happily ever after.

It was in high school when I realized what people say, “Fairy tales do not come true.” I was in third year, I fell in love, and everything went fucked up. I resigned myself from the liberty of taking care of my own happiness, tried to please the other person and his friends as well as my friends, went through different kinds of pain — emotional mostly, and surrendered to the armory of losing pride. What do you expect from someone who have always believed that love is an undying battle of eternal bliss?

It was, I think, when I watched Peter Pan for the first time, in fourth year, when my liberal and radical mind worked its way to making me understand that fairy tales, yes, do not come true. It actually became my favorite — how Peter Pan can never marry Wendy; or, how Peter Pan can marry Wendy, but chose not to. He did not want the happily ever after with her — he wanted his own; he chose his ending. I was moved; my eyes were opened; and, from that day forward, I threw the idea of fairy tales and all its make-believes. I have theorized that maybe, just maybe, fairy tales were meant to teach lesson to people not within the range of what they call ‘childhood.’

A little while after, I fell in love, again. This time, however, is different. I entered the adult world at a very young age, but not too young to accuse the other person of harassment. He was young, too — seven years older than me. It just happened that he engaged in early paternity which led to a matrimony… and cheating thereafter. I am not proud, of course, but I will never deny that I was, yes, once a mistress. As much as I wanted to stop, this stupid fucking muscle which is the center of my circulatory system is persistent in ignoring the signals of the neurotransmitters from my un-proving, self-proclaimed, low-price brain.

It took me five years to get out of that relationship — two years of cheated prosperity, a year of fights over my desistance, a year of moving on, and finally, the last year, letting go.

One day, while I was working, I let my student watched how a beast tried to capture a woman’s heart. I was finishing a draft, busy writing, when I heard the beast asked, “I wanna do something for her, but what?” and the talking clock answered, “Well, there’s the usual things — flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep..” Promises you don’t intend to keep. That caught my attention. I never noticed that before.

I walked home that day thinking over that specific line from that specific Disney movie. “Promises you don’t intend to keep.” Promises you don’t intend to keep, huh. I caught myself smiling. After all these years, I almost forgot how great Disney films are and that they were made not for children, but instead, for adults; that their disguise of fiction is truly for real people with real shit problems, real shit dilemmas.

I grew up believing in fairy tales and all its inconvenience. I was a kid, I was young, I must have things I regret… not. A fraction of me will always believe in fairy tales. Blessed and twisted with a little of life miseries. Our stories will always start with a once upon a time and may or may not end with a happily ever after. And you have to be fine with that. After all, Peter Pan taught us how a supposed to be happy ending can lead to a better and happier swerving.

Break Free

Every night,
the caged animal inside me
rattles the bars of his prison.
The need to devour flesh
grows and grows
and grows…
My own hands aren’t enough
to satiate my thirst anymore.
I am starving for
someone else’s skin
against my own.
I am shivering and
I want someone else’s warmth.
I am yearning for
someone else’s lips
and her taste on my own.
I want her hands roaming
around my body and
her caress on my manhood.
I am desperate for the chemistry
of our sweat emitting sparks.
I need to break free
and release my pent up desires.
I need release.
I need release.
I need you.

Every night,
while I untangle every inch
of fervor flighting in my flesh,
the thoughts of you
devouring my depths
grows and grows
and grows…
Whilst my hands satisfy
your thirst;
your fingers slowly dive
my base with such dense.
Whilst my skin caressing
your bones;
the warmth of your breath
pressing against my own.
My lips battling against yours;
your hands fondling my open doors
— our passion, thrusting with so much force.
I am desperate for the chemistry
of our sweat emitting sparks.
Break in to me, love.
Be in to me.
Hold me and release your desires in me.
I need you,
and only you,
inside me.


Z (regular) and S (italics) — a collaboration.

U.P. is so iba na

Sankage Steno

Like I was in the University of the Philippines kanina in Diliman, and I noticed that my Alma Mater is so iba na. It has changed talaga, like a total makeover! Gosh.

And I’m not talking about the bagong structures ha or the monorail that was made paandar here and there by DOST or the sunflowers that are starting to make tubo from the lupa like a stubble. No. I was referring to the tao there, the isko and iska, the UPam, the iskolar ng bayan, so to speak.

I was so gulat a while ago when I went there to get some stuffs (Yes, I like it with the letter ‘s’ sa end. It’s so sosyal to the ears.) from my former professors. It went well naman, and I was so saya to see them again. But  I was flabbergasted to the extreme level of levels when I make…

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Medisina

Alas-siete. Kailangan alas-siete nandun na ‘ko. Ayokong mahuli sa sinabing oras. Baka maging dahilan pa ‘yun nang kamalasan ko. Kaya ngayon, gising na ako. Teka mali. Gising pa ako.

Alas-tres. Ang sarap tumunganga sa labas at tumingin sa mga tala habang payosi-yosi lang saka pakape-kape. Pero mas masarap sana sa pakiramdam kung wala kang inaalalang delubyo na maya-maya lang e kukunsumohin ang pagkatao mo. Mas okay sana kung habang nagse-senti at umi-emo ka, e puro katarandataduhan lang ang iniisip mo. Kaso hindi. Imbes na magmaganda ka na lang o magpakaligalig sa mga bagay na dapat sana e ginagawa mo, nakatanga ka lang sa labas ng apartment mo at iniisip kung anong posibleng mangyari sayo mamaya pagpatak ng alas-siete. Pukang-ama talaga, oo.

Alas-quatro. Hayop. Kung anong ginagawa ko kanina, ‘yun pa rin ang ginagawa ko ngayon. Nagpapapa-putangina sa penomenang dulot ng kaba. Dinaig ko pa ang 711 na open 24/7. Walang konek, gusto ko lang isingit kasi magandang pakinggan. Sa halip na magrepaso ako ng mga dapat balikang aralin, nakatunganga lang ako at nakalambitin sa hangin. Naghihintay ng demonyong bubulong sa akin nang kung ano ang dapat kong gawin. Ang lakas ko talaga makaasa sa hari ng mga petiks.

Alas-sinco. Ulol wala ka nang pagpipilian. Maligo ka na at mahigit dalawang oras pa ang byahe patungo sa impyernong kalalagyan mo maya-maya lang.

Alas-sais. E kung matulog muna kaya ako sa sasakyan? E kung kahit trenta minutos lang e kalimutan ko muna kayang mamaya ay maluluto na ako sa kawaling puno nang mainit na mantika? E kung tama na muna ‘tong pagpapantasya na magiging madali lang ang lahat sa harap ng hatol ng dyos ng medisina? E kung.. itigil ko na lang kaya ito at bumalik sa piling ng sining o musika? E kung..

Alas-sais y media.

Alas-sais quarenta y sinco.

Alas-sais sinquenta.

Alas-sais sinquenta y sinco.

Alas-sa—

Alas-siete. Baba. Kailangang gisingin ang diwa. Papasok na ‘ko sa paaralang unang itinatag ng mga prayleng Kastila. St. Raymond Penafort Building, Room 212. Hala sige, hanapin ang pangalan: Rivera, Claire.

Sinimulan ko nang magdasal sa lahat ng santong ipinakilala sa akin ng nanay ko simula nung bata pa lang ako. Ultimo kay Ryan Cayabyab na wala naman talagang kinalaman dito, nanalangin na ‘ko. Iniisa-isa ko na lahat ng dasal na itinuro sa akin ng aking mga lumipas na guro. Kang-ama. Inasa ko lahat sa dasal.

Ngunit nang mga panahong iyon, hindi ko na ininda ang hirap ng pagsusulit. Hindi na sagot ang dinadasal ko; oras na. Hindi ko na malaman kung papaanong samo pa ang gagawin ko para lang mag-magic ang Panginoon na sa loob ng isang minuto, e mapagkasya niya ang isang buong oras. Hindi ko na alam kung papaanong panhik pa ang idaraos ko nang sa gayon ay maawa sa akin ang nakaimbento ng relo at bilisan ang pagtakbo ng bawat pitik ng segundo. Gusto ko na lang matapos. Wala na akong pakialam sa kung anumang maging resulta. Gusto ko na lang matapos. Gusto ko na lang umuwi, kumain, at matulog. Gusto ko na lang yakapin ang unan kong pagkalambut-lambot. Gusto ko na lang hithitin ang huling stick na itinira ko bilang gamot sa nararamdaman kong yamot. Gusto ko na lang… umuwi.

Alas-dos. Nayari ko na ang pagpapasada sa makapal na papel. Tinapos ko na. Wala nang balik-tingin pa sa mga naisulat na. Hutang-ina gusto ko nang lumabas at napudpod na ang puwetan ko sa silyang kanina ko pa gustong tayuan. Naninigas na lahat ng aking kalamnan at lahat ng balahibo ko ay nakatayo na dulot ng lamig mula sa hanging artipisyal. Gusto ko nang lumabas at maghanap ng kapayapaan.

Alas-tres. Sabi nung babae na naka-blouse, tumigil na at bitawan ang lahat ng aming hawak. Pucha kung alam lang niya, kanina ko pa gustong itapon yung lapis sa aking harapan. Kanina ko pa gustong kunin yung bag ko sa may pintuan at dumiretso hanggang labasan.

Ipinasa ko ang aking papel ayon sa kanyang kagustuhan. Sabik na sabik na akong makita ang bati sa akin ni hanging amihan, pero ayaw pa rin niyang tumigil sa kaka-paalala sa amin kung paano makukuha, kung kailan, at kung ano ang gagawin sa magiging resulta. Hirap din sa atin, e ‘no? Nakasulat na sa papel na ibinigay, uulitin pa ng tatlo hanggang higit pang beses ng harapan.

Alas-tres y media. Tang-ina. Eto na. Paalam, unang pagsusulit sa medisina.