black widow

Russian Roulette  
Rated R  

All around me, everyone seems to be having a good time. Alcohol does that to you and coupled with friendship and other spirits, it’s not hard to feel alone in a sea of happy, inebriated strangers. Pardon the cliché but it’s all I have right now. My word processor’s cursor blinks like an irregular heartbeat and I can’t help but feel that if I don’t start writing, I would dry up and vanish forever.

I’m alone, save for an empty bottle of beer. I’ve been trying to get another one but the waiter seems very intent on a much delayed airing of a boxing match. On the table, I have my cigarettes and a relatively untouched bowl of tokwa’t baboy. I’m not hungry. I came here to drink. And to write.

I close my eyes. There are stories that need to be told, scenes that need to play out. In my mind’s eye is a woman with a toaster. You can hear an old song from the radio. Which song is it? It sounds like the intro to Michelle Branch’s Are You Happy Now?* The woman is frozen in time, toaster in the air, her husband in the bathtub seemingly unaware of the fate she has decided for them. Why is she there? Why does she want to kill him?

My head hurts. It seems I cannot find the story. It’s like that store in the mall, the one where you saw that really nice pair of jeans a week ago. It has a way of hiding from you right when you need it. And when you finally arrive at its well-lit façade, the jeans are either not how you remembered them to be, not in the right size or if you’re really unlucky, the store has just closed for the night.

The waiter looks my way and I signal for another bottle. Where is the woman with the toaster? Where has she gone?

If you ask me, toasters are a little too cliché. It’s so old-fashioned, you can literally taste the damask wallpaper peeling off the wall. The scene’s poorly lit but you can tell that her hair has been dyed from its original color to platinum blonde. The roots show like a weak story with poor delivery. Let’s change the toaster.

She walks slowly with a loaded shotgun. The bathtub’s gone too. Her husband is showering. You can see his blurry nakedness through the frosted shower window. He needs a pubic trim but that’s something you don’t really write about.

She slides the door open. There is no fear in his eyes. Did he see it coming?

I take another swig of my beer only to find it is my last one. I promised myself I would stop drinking so I guess I should stop at three bottles. The waiter is behind me. With the smallest voice I could find, I ask him for a glass of water and the bill.

Chit? he asks.

Bill, I correct.

“Hands up,” she commands but he just stands there, one hand soaping his left shoulder, the other covering his privates. She needs something from him – a look, a confirmation her lover loves her still.

“Hands up!” she says again, this time shouting. Reluctantly, he drops the bar of soap and throws both hands in the air.

“Say it,” she barks as she cocks the gun.

“Say what?”

“Three words.” There is a wicked smile on her face, like she’s done this countless times before. There is still no fear in his eyes.

“Do you want me to say I love you?” he asks. The scene is in black and white so you barely notice that he has peed on himself. The warm liquid trickles from the tip of his uncut penis to his hairy, muscled leg to the soapy water on the cold bathroom tiles.

Yes. (?)

Yes? Do I want her to say yes? Does she want him to say he loves her? Wouldn’t that be too quick?

“Pull the trigger,” he says, not I love you. More than any combination of all the words in the English language, those were the three she least expected. Why did it seem more genuine then? Could it be that he knew all along? Why did he allow it to happen? Is love really that strong or that stupid? Help me understand why he let her do it.

He loved her knowing it would be the end of him. In my mind’s eye, she is cleaning the gun’s barrel as they do in the movies. Do shotguns have barrels? This story has no ending. None of my stories do.

Sir? Sir, the waiter calls to me and I awake from my daydream. He hands me the bill for the food, a pack of cigarettes and two bottles of beer.

I ordered three, I say. Or was that all in my imagination too? I lay a crispy Ninoy on the tacky leather envelope and tell him to keep the change.

Photo Credit: it's my life


  1. I admire the husband's honesty with his feelings, even going as far as sacrificing his life just to avoid telling something that he knows would make him suffer more. But is it really worth it to tell the truth in exchange for a bullet?

    I think you ordered two bottles, not three.

  2. Hey Will! Ambilis ah! I dunno. I guess I'm fascinated with masochists. They come in all shapes and forms. Mas fixated lang ang media sa sexual kind. lol

    I'm pretty sure it was three but then again, I could be wrong. lol

  3. Hey Rudeboy. Haven't seen you round these parts in a while. lol

    I wouldn't say I'm a masochist. My Leo side ensures that I always get what I want and I rarely want to get hurt. When it does happen, it's mostly out of my own stupidity. lol

  4. ang ganda ng structure! hhihihi

    I swear nag basa ako. Hindi ko lang alam i co-comment ko.

    Sige na nga. Ang yoomon nag keep the change sa 500. Sayang malayo pa mararating ng sukli bwahihihi

  5. @ Nyl : I had a feeling that Leo dominance would assert itself hehe. And very good on the "stupidity" part: that would've been my response had you hurled my own question back at me.

    And no, I've been reading your blog. Just that most of the time I feel I have nothing to say that you yourself haven't said yet.

    Be well.

  6. the author made him think he couldn't play the game and just didn't bother getting blown up.

    it's better than dying by the toaster methinks. hehe

  7. And by the way, it's nice that you've posted again. Not that I'm sucking up, but I had saved your entire site just so I can read them when I'm offline. Love the way you handle your words, and I wish I could write the way you do.

  8. @Jepoy: Mabait kasi sila dun eh. Bawas yung beer na di na-punch, mga less than a hundred nalang din naman yun. lol

    @Rudie: (Ayan, balik Rudie na tawag ko sayo haha) And here I was thinking you had deserted me na. tee hee I think Kane said something like that a while back.

    "that would've been my response had you hurled my own question back at me."

    I guess this is why we don't really need to comment much on each other's blogs. apart from victor who is my brotha from another motha, i have a sneaky suspicion that our thoughts are often parallel.

    @Alter: Interesting. The characters never fully materialized so I can't really say if you're right or not. But my guess is saying "pull the trigger" instead of "i love you" isn't an act of surrendering. It dumps everything on the girl's lap.

    @Will: Yeah, sorry about that. Dati every week ako nagpo-post but things have been just kinda crazy these days. I've been juggling work, A, friends, a growing addiction to alcohol. Kailangan na i-schedule ang blogging!

  9. Naks naman tong si Carlo o. Salamat! :)

  10. i have those days. you have this good story one day, you postpone the write-up, and when you get back to it, you forget what it is you want to write.

    pull the trigger. hehe. good answer. :)

  11. galing talaga sir nyl! wonder why we sometimes chose not to utter the words we're supposed to say.

  12. there is always an ending. we sometimes fail which part or where it ended.


  13. And there comes the shocking twist! The husband's response was totally a great revelation, I could have turned ghastly if this is a complete story or a novel.

    You keep on inspiring me with your works Nyl. Keep it up. :)

  14. now this one made me remember the ending of that movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon... that scene where that pretty girl delivered a line right before jumping off a cliff...

    and of course that line from Grey's Anatomy.... "if love was enough, i'd still be here...."

  15. @Anteros: Salamat!

    @Engel: And for the life of me, I couldn't write this story anymore. I had to divert my focus. I guess ganun talaga pag masyado nang matagal. You have to write it down or somebody else will.

    @Ced: I guess ganun talaga. If we were all free to say what we wanted, there would be chaos.

    @Geek: True true. Or we fail to accept that the end has come. So we drag the story on.

    @Claudiopoi: :p

    @Louie: Thanks! Haha unfortunately, I have the attention span of a bird so I don't think I could ever really write a whole novel.

    @YJ: I think you guys had a lot to do with this story. You kept telling me all those scary, death stuff. lol

  16. Let's organize an anthology of your posts? Hey, nice new pic here.

  17. Some things are better left unsaid.

    I always think of this idea in a time where the truth can hurt a person. But there are moments that you need to say (and you need to know) the truth in order to clear things up, even if will lead to a major disaster.

    Kill me. NOW! ;)

    I love the song you chose, by the way.

  18. Di ako maka-move on. Tsssss.

  19. "The roots show like a weak story with poor delivery."

    Na-conscious naman ako dito. haha.

    As for your your stories without endings, maybe it's because you prefer presenting scenes over endings? Open-ended scenes have their own kind of allure - the type that makes you think until your head hurts. Or at least that's how it is for me. :3

  20. I was going to suggest hair dryer instead of toaster but you scrapped the whole scene. Did she eat him afterwards?

    PS the shadow in the photo looks like YJ.

  21. "The roots show like a weak story with poor delivery." i kiss you where you like it best. - john

  22. i don't know, i can feel a hint of sadness in this post but at the same time a certain calmness. :)

  23. i think the song.. is about being in an unhealthy relationship & trying to decide whether to leave or go.

    be back... to read the whole post. hehe : D

  24. turtles sing "Happy Together"

  25. @Peter: Like Maricel Soriano? I love! haha

    Thanks Peter. It's photoshopped to the hilt. lol

    @Geek: Wow, we're so aligned! haha

    @Ronnie: Is everything okay? Looks like this post struck a chord on something deeper inside you.

    I love this song. For the longest time, I've been wanting to use it. haha

    @Spiral Prince: Scenes over stories.. That sounds right haha Although a headache isn't exactly what I was hoping to ellicit. lol

    And don't worry. I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular when I said the roots thing. Or maybe I was thinking of myself. I'm a little vain that way.

    @Glentot: I don't think I can write about cannibalism just yet. lol

    And funny enough, I thought the same thing minutes before I posted it. I just blamed the fact that I've been seeing YJ almost everyday now.

    Now, what's your excuse? lol

    @John: Haha where I like it best?

    @Lee: I think that's me, in general. I'm calm and a little sad. Yessss, emo. haha

    @Ahmer: It was also RiRi's way of cashing in on the whole beating/Chris Brown thing. But yeah, I like it.

    @LOF: Oh we've all missed you so much! Haha and so despite my shyness, I managed to croak this little song for you. :/ see you January! *fingers crossed*

  26. It may be him who was shot. But really, it's her who has been dying all this time.

  27. hey james! it's freaky how that just put everything in the right perspective. honestly, i wrote this not exactly knowing what i was writing about but that was just.. idk .. it was weird.

  28. aww! That wasn't what I meant. :P I doubt you write to cause headaches. I was just speaking from experience. If I ponder too much on paradoxes/mysteries/open-ended things, everything turns into an ugly mess.

    Sometimes, scenes are more powerful than stories. There's this burning need to know the outcome, and a consuming worry for the characters. It evokes a lot of poignant emotions, too. I think it stems from the lack of a conclusion. A knot to tie the lose ends. Then again, do endings have to be conclusions in and of themselves?

    hahaha. ayan na naman yang mga tanong na mahirap sagutin. :3

  29. nice one citybuoy. as always. i've cut down on expenses when i started reading you. na lessen na need ko to buy books. by the way, i'm loving the new pic. so cute.

  30. Hi, Nyl. I'm good naman. It so happens that I can relate myself to this entry.

    Stay cute and smart. Haha

    Yang kanta ni Rihanna lagi ko naririnig sa Nokia cinema ad. Hahaha

  31. @Spiral Prince: Oh okay then. lol

    I've always appreciated vignettes over short stories. I guess they're more fun to create. It's like playing tennis without the net. haha

    On endings and conclusions, I don't know. Sometimes, stories end but there are still tons of loose ends which we ultimately have to decide for ourselves. There are also scenes that pack quite a punch, like specific scenes in themovie Chloe. Oh God, I love that movie.

    @Mark: Finally! I can click your profile! lol Super thanks for your kind words. I followed you na.

    @Ronnie: Cute and smart talaga? Diba pwedeng gorgeous nalang? Kahit walang smart. lol

    Yeah, yung Nokia Ad! haha They still call it her "latest" single kahit naka ilan na siya. At kahit na pineperahan lang niya yung incident nila ni Chris Brown sa kantang to, gusto ko parin siya.

  32. i didn't really understand the full significance of the constellation of symbols in it until yesterday hence the comment. I had forgotten that the turtles sing that song and the animals connection to shyness, etc., etc., etc.,

  33. Honestly, I didn't see the connection either. haha I just like the song. I grew up hearing my mom sing it in the kitchen and stuff. lol

  34. I hope you had written the story separately. I just thought of a killer ending.

  35. I didn't haha but I could. I remember running this by you at Whistlestop. Have you figured out your Roald Dahl ending?

  36. Sir Nyl

    Nakiki-sir. Nakiki-nyl.

    I think you'll come up with a livelier post if you drank with friends instead. But don't write in front of them. That's just weird and rude at the same time.

  37. Hey Momel! Ayus lang yan. Yun naman talaga pangalan ko eh. Although I was never knighted.

    I don't think I could really write with anyone around. It would be too weird. lol Have you ever done that?

  38. hey buddy it was awesome.. pls follow me love reading your blogs.. great

  39. Thanks for reading and following Sanunai!

  40. awww wiwik, u so sweet! :) salamat sa pag-daan!

  41. first time here :) I have to read the post again. I'm lost.

  42. Hey Arian! Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Sana di ka na ma-lost. hehe

  43. Not sure if I've visited your blog before. Had to read this post twice. LOL!

  44. Hey Gasdude! sorry about that. I guess i need to work on being concise. :)

    welcome to my blog!

  45. Bottoms up! Cheers!

    So what's you choice of poison?

  46. I love me weng weng. haha but on most days it's super dry. y tu?

  47. Hi Rken! Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate the comment. :) I just wish you left a link so I could read your stuff too. :)


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