Monday, December 19, 2011


I stumbled out of the bar looking for a cigarette. I had a bottle in one hand and my phone in the other as my arms felt my pockets for a stick. I was sure I had one left but like most things in my life, my last cigarette eluded me and so I sat on the curb resigned.

You’re only worth your last cigarette, I heard a voice in my ear. Sometimes blog posts come to me like that. You’re only worth the contents of your wallet. You’re only as good as your next project, next blog post, next big thing they expect of you. You’re only as good as your capacity to love and right now honey, you ain’t worth shit.

Just as I was about to spiral into self-pity, I start smelling the familiar scent of tobacco smoke. I look up and see a boy, probably in his early 20s, looking nervous as he stood dangerously close to me. I get up, smile, rest my hand on the wall, our faces close to touching. He hands me a cigarette and we smoke until the pack runs out. We talk shit, our fiction mixing with reality. He tells me he’s in college but with pores like that, I knew he was lying. I told him I was a nursing graduate looking for a job. We bullshit each other some more then he asks if I wanted to go somewhere quiet.

The next morning, I wake up and my head feels like it’s been split into two. The motel room is bright as fuck and it’s a struggle to find my clothes. I locate my underwear near the dresser, my pants near the TV, my shirt balled up between the sheets. College boy is still in bed. I plan my quiet exit.

Forgetting something? I look behind me to find college boy with my wallet. By impulse, my right hand flies to my back pocket. Thank you, I say as I take it from him, my voice hoarse from an entire night of abuse.

Am I gonna see you again? he asks. Or is this one of those things? His voice starts to trail off. I never was good at these things. I could tell he was a good kid. Seemed a little fresh off the boat but workable under different circumstances. He lights up a cigarette then offers me one. I reluctantly accept. I don’t know. This seemed nice. Leave me your number and maybe we could do this again some time.

I smile at him, take deep drags off the cigarette then leave a few bills on the table to pay for the room. In my head, I hear Isaac singing.

There’s really no way to reach me.
There’s really no way to reach me.
Because I’m already gone.

♫: The Fray | Vienna (2005)

MC2U. I’m closing the books (or hanging in the towel or whatever cheesy expression you have in mind) for 2011. I realize I have a few unfinished projects for this year but in light of recent events, I don’t think I have the time or effort to write anymore. You can only get your heart broken too many times before you have to start thinking if you’re going to live the rest of your life an empty shell or if you’re going to heal and adapt. This year, I’m spending the holidays far from the bus horns and the lights of the city. Let’s all hope that 2012 will be kinder to all of us. To anyone who’s reading this, maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon!

PS. If you miss me too much, you can watch me tumble or hear me tweet!

Friday, December 9, 2011


May girlfriend ka na ba, dong? Bakit walang laman ang Facebook mo? Kelan ka ba mag-uuwi ng babae dito? Malicious little questions that mean so little yet betray so much. There are no easy answers to them (Hell to the no, kick ass security settings and when they start making them differently) so I just smile politely and change the topic.

There are so many things I’d like to tell you. Sometimes, I wonder if I can. Like maybe you’d understand, like maybe you wouldn’t think I’m evil or that I somehow wanted this. Maybe you’d be alright with it.

I imagine you and Papa. It’s a nondescript day. He is engrossed in a ₱50 book. You are in the kitchen reheating leftovers. I can hear Pet Society music in the background.

We start eating. Out of the blue, I tell you my secret. I talk about all the lies I’ve told you since all this began. I talk about my lover and how thoughts of him keep me warm at night. I talk about the urges, how they never stop, how I once thought they would. Papa stops eating. He gets up to smoke outside. You hold my hand and say you’ve always known. Papa comes back and just when I think he’s about to hit me, he holds me tight in his arms and tells me he loves me still. We all hug because that’s what happens in those bullshit Hallmark movies.


Maybe I’ll tell you in the van. We are on our way home, at least where it used to be. Through the years, this van has witnessed many meltdowns. It is no stranger to tears. In the smallest voice I could muster, I tell you everything. You look me in the eye. I can tell you are fighting back tears. You slap me hard, so hard I almost fall off my seat. Papa slams the breaks. His door flies open and like the bass line in a heavy metal song, he marches to my side of the vehicle. He slides the door open and drags me out. You are not my son, he’d say and you leave me in the middle of Pasay with nothing but my regrets and tears.

But in reality, it wouldn’t be anything like that. It would be quiet. The only sound would be of your heart breaking, of your collective dreams suddenly shattering. Mama, I’m sorry.

I don’t ever want to break your heart. If I could, I would explain that this isn’t my fault, nor is it yours or anyone’s for that matter. It’s just how things are. It took me such a long time to accept it for myself. On most nights, I was on my knees praying, bargaining, saying I’d give all the shit I own to be “normal”, whatever that meant. There were many moments when I just wanted to be like everyone else. But I couldn’t do that. I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not. Didn’t you teach me that?

And so although I want you to see the man I have become, my true self away from the lies I tell and the masks I wear to protect you, I know now is not the time. Someday, I pray you’d understand. I pray you wouldn’t think I’m evil or that I somehow wanted this. I pray that one day, you’d be alright with it.

I do not want to break your heart and so instead, I break my own.

♫: Plumb | Damaged (1999)