Tuesday, May 1, 2012

dolls


Some girls are like paper dolls. You make them wear pretty clothes, have them stand around and that’s all they ever did. They’d stare at you with hollow eyes as you rip their clothes off and fold them something new. Some girls are marionettes, their husbands holding their strings like master puppeteers. They tell their wives what they could do, who they could see, when they could breathe. Mama was a doll made of little scraps sewn together. She had button eyes that always drooped and her seams weren’t always in the best shape. She wasn’t as graceful or eloquent or even smart as the other girls. And perhaps that’s what my father liked about her. She wore her poor childhood like a cross. He could always count on her to shut up and take whatever he gave because that would be always better than the shit life she grew up in.

And there were nights when he’d come home, reeking of gin and perfume. Mama would open the door and have his slippers ready for him. She tried to treat him nice and all but there was always some little thing she did or said that would rile him up. He’d start shouting then he’d hit her and she’d just take it. She was a rag doll and she took all that in because he was the only one who thought her beautiful, even though it’d been years since he last said it. I spent my whole life saying I would be nothing like her. That I’d be smarter than her or something; like a Barbie doll with a cool job and a car and all the frilly accessories only rich kids could afford. But life has a strange way of turning us into the monsters we hide from. When my lover first hit me, he did it so hard that my lip split open and one of my teeth flew out. My bruises burned for days. I should’ve called the police. I should’ve packed my things and left but his love held me in invisible chains. I stayed.

When I was a little girl, I saw this Russian doll at my rich aunt’s house. When she wasn’t looking, I slid that big old thing into my coat. When I got home, I cracked it open and a smaller doll came out. I cracked that one open and an ever smaller doll came out. I kept cracking and twisting and all these smaller dolls came out until I got to the very last one. It was so small, the paint was all smudged up and you could barely make out a face. Mama was a rag doll and I swore I’d never be like her. I couldn’t be Barbie. I was never pretty enough for that. But I could always be a Matryoshka. Every time he hits me, every time his fists fly towards me, I feel like a smaller, purer version of me comes out. And when he gets to my core, to that littlest piece at the center of my heart, I just know he’d finally throw his hands up and surrender. When I am small enough to be crushed by his right boot, he’d find it in his heart to love me just as I am.

♫: Goo Goo Dolls | Acoustic #3 (1998)
Photo: Matryoshka Dolls




68 comments:

  1. Good thing this is fiction because I really don't agree in relationship violence. Remember my Battlefield post where I got hit and I beat the hell out of the Guy? haha... Maybe you should hit him back to make him understand that you are not just barbie. maybe you are a toy soldier or rambo? :D But I understand, love has ways of making us tolerate the things that we never accepted before.

    I never see myself as a doll, dolls are too pretty and too intimidating for me. Maybe I can be a teddy bear, haha... :)

    As always, this post hit me. And now I believe that we are all dolls, different in kind, but still, we are all the same, we want someone who will take care of us. :D

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    1. LJ: I love how you took the metaphor and went wild with it. I never thought to go beyond the feminine dolls but I would love to see how the theme of toy soldiers can be explored.

      And maybe you see yourself as a teddy bear because you want to be warm and cuddly. lolz

      Have you heard Sarah Maclachlan's When She Loved Me? That scene in Toy Story 2 still brings tears to my eyes. :p

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    2. Yes, that was the scene where Jessie The Cowgirl was given for donation. hehehe... Toys Story is really heartbreaking. :)

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    3. I hate you guys na. You reminded me of that song. It shall be Quiet's happy twin in my playlist now.

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    4. LJ: I think they should do something about how Disney flicks are making kids cry. Childhood ruined! lolz

      Spiral: Yes, this song seems innocent at first until you realize how fucked up it is to put Sarah Maclachlan in a Disney soundtrack. lolz

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    5. Nyl: Disney has a lot of wonderful songs. There was this song on Little Mermaid 3 entitled "Under the Bright, Blue, Endless Sky," another is "I Can See the Light" from tangled, and the most emo song that came from a Walt Disney Movie (for me), "So Close" from Enchanted.

      We should start writing about Disney Princesses. hahahaha...

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    6. LJ: Wow, disney fan ka rin pala! I have all the soundtracks; for the big ones at least. I think I stopped with Tarzan and then resumed with Tangled. hehe

      And So Close is by Jon McLaughlin, right? I love his work! Didn't he write Beyonce's Smash Into You? I love that song!

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    7. I am not sure if he wrote it, I know he made is smash into you, smack into you, hahaha... and yes, that song is L-O-V-E. Its one of the best thing to feel, someone wanting to smash into you. :D

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    8. correction:

      *he made smash into you*

      very SP! :)

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    9. LJ: Baliktad! haha the song was called Smack Into You and then Mama B changed it to smash and walked away with a songwriting credit. Chaka no?

      There are lovely remixes of both the demo and the final version where it sounds like Jon and Beyonce are singing a duet. There's one in my phone that I am so in love with. If we meet, parinig ko sayo. haha

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  2. i am always so fascinated by the contrasexual characters in your writing and also by the intense sadism that rains down like fiery coals and burned sulfur on what would otherwise be very tender, sensual intimate moments. and yet, the scorching winds never come. perhaps lurking behind the next nested doll.

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    1. LOF: So I had to google contrasexual. As always, I've been exploring themes I know nothing about. haha

      And I thought of how I've always been fascinated by violence and how it manifests itself in relationships. I've only had this happen to me once and I wish I had taken down notes at that time. Had I known I would continuously explore the theme with my writing, I would've paid closer attention.

      As for the "scorching winds," I know exactly what you mean. *le sigh* This was initially a long post. I had an objective character narrating the events. She was supposed to visit the girl in the hospital, etc. It waas about 70% done but then my hard drive crashed and so I was forced to rewrite it this morning because of the deadline. Oh, woe is me. Perhaps I should re-imagine this post one of these days. There was even a whole religious tangent it went into but I didn't have the energy to recreate it.

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    2. my comment actually was a biblical allusion. you do continuously explore it in its fractal forms and i continuous am fascinated.

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    3. LOF: Perhaps because you actually know what you're talking about. Wouldn't it be great to see what happens when we both explore the same story? Like you'd take the spiritual angle while I work on the physical stuff! lolz

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    4. Nyl, if you directed a movie based on this post, I think there'd be a slow-motion sequence of the girl's teeth getting struck loose and launched into the air. :) :) :)

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    5. LOF: Google didn't help much for me to udnerstand that word. At first, I was like whuuut??? He wants our stories to fornicate? lolz

      But yes, I guess you could put it that way. lolz

      Spiral: Ooh... that would be so cool! I'd like to see what this'll look like as a short film. Or or or... Quiet: da mobie! God save the sofa... lolz

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    6. Quiet: Da Mobie II: Wag Buksan Ang Pinto :))

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    7. Spiral: Or or or... Quiet: Da Mobie III - My gas! May gasgas ang saheg!

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  3. Replies
    1. Travel Writer: Why hello there! A new face! :)

      "Hands down" is a peculiar expression. I guess it's the surrendering factor that beguiles me. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you enjoy my little page. Welcome! :)

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  4. Oh!.. This is heartbreaking... All i wish for is a world with no violence. I just posted yesterday on FB, that i am rich, very rich, not because i have money but because i was one of the luckiest person who have found a love with no "IF's" or "BUT's", which I considered the true wealth...

    JJRod'z

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    1. JJRod'z: That is true wealth. Violence intrigues me but it's something I do not condone. :p

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  5. Fuck me to tears! Good thing your hard drive crashed, 'cause this doesn't need any thing more to invoke an emotional response. It's a story, it's a poem. It's just damn good!

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    1. Rick: Aww... you just made my day! And here I was thinking this post was looking a little sad. This comment and the one you put on Facebook just made me feel loads better. :)

      And if I should ever re-imagine it a few years down the line, I think it would be the perfect opportunity to use that line you're going to let me use. The one about different shades of sorrow casting the same shadow?

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    2. Use it! but now I can't recall exactly what I said or when.... Lol! Was that a comment or a poem? You know, it's not easy being a borderline genius! (heavy on the borderline)

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    3. Rick: Don't be modest, Rick. You know your talent. lolz

      I dug into my archives and found that conversation here. It's an interesting exchange of comments. One that could've been aided by the new threaded system.

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  6. Nyl, this has the raw feeling of a blunt confession. Maybe you can reimagine a darker version next time, without undertones of hope. I wonder how gritty you can get.

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    1. Spiral: I love that recommendation! haha I guess us emo bloggers really love our grit. lolz Yes, I have a feeling this post is a prime candidate for reimagining. Perhaps it was the pressure of our labor day deadline? I still like it though. I'm still a proud daddy but I'd love to see how more grit and less hope would affect it.

      Damn, our comment system's pretty awesome. haha Will bloghop tonight so I'll see how it looks when I'm on the other side. :p

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    2. Begging, your pardon Nyl, but even if this was raw it felt too contrived. Not that I mean anything bad, rather, what I'm trying to say is this is a step away from the usual soliloquy-ish things we're(okay fine, di nalang tayong lahat, I'm nalang, hahahahaha lols) so used to read from you - and that is quite good, and yes, this would definitely not fall under your poster boy image portfolio.

      Funny how proving you're versatile can be done without doing something from the other side of the spectrum(read: Emo to Happy transition attempt)! This is just me, but I'd like to the the EBHBC was quite the daily pop quiz we needed for the final exams.

      I think you're transitioning, Nyl. I mean, place this side-by-side(see what I did there) with Quiet(which is my all-time-favorite-slash-go-to-post-when-I'm-shitty-and-wonder-what-shit-I-might-come-up-with-if-I-wrote-post-plus-it's-also-the-first-post-that-always-comes-to-mind-when-I-read/see-citybuoy), and I wouldn't expect them to be written by the same author. It might be the restrained-somewhat-indifferent feel with this post, or it might be because of the blog's narrator, but yeah, that's the feel I get. Had you had more time, I think you could've pulled off the dark alter-ego-post of this post. I still think that undertone of hope is somewhat out of place, but it must be because I'm so biased and skewered towards the indifferent-raw-and-blunt which I hope to see more from you. If the part that begins with, "Every time he hits..." was written differently, I think you could really, really, really have pulled off an indifferent-raw-and-blunt(OgodI'mgoingincircles) finish which I unconsciously expected when I started reading the post. The part in question has a...resigned feeling to it. It seems to me as if the girl hopes, but is aware of the dangers of hoping.

      Haaaaaaaaaaaaay, megad. Spell Wordy. Burn on, phoenix!

      xoxo
      Spiral P.

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    3. correctionzlolz:

      *like to think*
      (paragraph II, sentence II)

      *to see more of from you*
      <
      (paragraph III, sentence V)

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    4. Spiral: Soliloquy-ish talaga? lolz It's okay, SP. I like this post and all but I see and acknowledge the opportunities. :x And yes, EBHBC was a great jumping off point. I'd love to see what RTC brings us since it's a whole different game now. haha

      Honestly, I feel like a completely different person from when I wrote Quiet. That took 15 minutes to type down but it really took about a year to write. It's also one of my favorites. Minsan nga, naiinis ako kasi there are themes I'd like to explore and I want to write it like how I wrote that one. Pero it's hard to achieve that state of mind without really giving in to the darkness keme. hehe

      To sort of explain the alien feeling of hope, there was this whole part where she asks the character I edited out to ask God about how He loves. It's a theme I sort of played around with for this old story called Paint it Black.

      I really, really (cannot stress how much lolz) appreciate your input, Spiral. And just like what I told LOF (and what I've done with Victor and Jeff, it would be so awesome to collaborate on a single post. What do you think? Maybe we can have an RTC where we pair up? Probably when we're a little more stable? :p

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    5. I recall reading that story many many many(charot, ganon ka many?) years ago, Nyl. Let's do it sometime. :) Let's write about a Black Widow! Ewan. Random is as random does. :)

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    6. Spiral: Maka many many many ka naman! lolz

      Parang I recall a certain comment you wrote. Not sure which post lang pero parang may fascination ka talaga sa mga black widow ano? Or is this more of a Scarlet Johansson-related event.

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    7. Having grown up surrounded by the women in my family, I generally resonate with the empowered feminine aspect - women kicking butt and doing it with finesse. And yes, Scarlett Johansson is also a factor. That and The Woman in Black. And the Black Widow being a human hero without superpowers just strikes a chord in me. Even in the online games I play, I have a propensity to choose characters with a certain mechanic that tends to put them at an offensive disadvantage, but they make up for it with unique utility skillsets. :))

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    8. Spiral: I think it shows in your writing. You have a peculiar taste in women and I'm not surprised that it appeals to you when a particular character is placed at a disadvantage and yet manages to rise above it. Doesn't that sound like something you'd love to pull off? :p

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  7. @nyl: masochist!! lol :P

    funny how this was a topic on a recent conversation with fellow bloggers.. rag doll or a barbie doll..

    anyways, this post; mabigat sya sa dibdib..

    masakit..

    and i just hate the feeling of helplessness.. but then, again, this post is beautiful.. :)

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    1. Nate: Oh cool! What a coincidence! haha

      I'm sorry for the pain and the heaviness (char!) and thank you for appreciating it anyway. :) pasensiya't di na ako nakakadalaw as frequently. Pero I still read your posts sa RSS... Anyway, enough of the excuses. I shall bloghop and comment ASAP! :)

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    2. @nyl: hahaha! no worries.. chos! and, of course.. basta ikaw, nyl, naa-appreciate ko mga sinusulat mo.. :)

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    3. Nate: Aww.. thanks Nate. That means a lot to me. :)

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  8. The violence is bothering me. You have a way with words Nyl that always leave me affected. Seriously, I can't shake off the images of a father abusing a mother in front of the child.

    And the hopefulness at the end is so perplexing that it made me wonder how sometimes love fractures how we see things.

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    1. Rei: It's something I saw a few times growing up pero it never got physical naman. But I can still remember the fear it struck in my heart. Lalo, medyo mama's boy pa naman ako.

      Yes, I think that's a perfect way to explain it. Love fractures how we see things... has a nice ring to it. :p

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    2. As in? Then I guess I'm rather fortunate that I didn't get the chance to see those things happening. I would've been traumatized. Hehe.

      Thanks Nyl. Spent hours formulating that sentence. Hahah. JK :P

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    3. Rei: It's an awesome sentence. :)

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  9. wag naman domestic violence. S&M in the bedroom na lang pwede??

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    1. Gervin: Ooh, how very Rihanna of you! :) Do chains and whips excite you as well? lolz

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    2. Naaaah!!!

      But I like the idea of sex in the air!!!

      hahahaha!!!

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    3. Gervin: I think it's a little too dangerous for me. Unless you mean being a member of the mile high club. lolz In that case, bring on the wet t-shirt contests! :p

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  10. I read it to the end so now I have a valid opinion LOL! Ang galing Nyl... noong una hindi ko alam na may roundtable challenge na nagaganap. Kaya natawa ako nang malakas sa "When I was a little girl"

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    1. Glentot: And to think you were this close to commending the structure. lolz

      Masaya yung round table! Check mo yung blog namin. (plugging itey!)

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    1. Pepe: Thanks Pepe! That's real sweet.. baka kasi beautiful din ako? lolz jowk onley!

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    2. hahaha! pede rin! or pede ring taga-assumption ka? jowk din, owkey? LOL

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    3. Pepe: Akchwa, taga shaynt scho me. hee hee

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  13. Hey, just wanted to say wonderful work as always. Am a fan! :)

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    1. Clarriscent: Hey there! Haven't seen you around here in a while. :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  14. this entry triggered some buried-and-well-hidden emotions in me. but if i could, i would end it differently...

    "Every time he hits me, every time his fists fly towards me, I feel like a smaller, purer version of me comes out"---until there's nothing left of the person he used to know #bitterlang :)

    isabelle

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    1. Isabelle: Ouch, that sounds painful. I'm happy that even if we didn't exactly experience the same thing, you found enough in this psot to empathize.

      I guess I'm just not the type of person who completely changes for the sake of the one I love. Ay wait.. haha it happened to me once and I swore I would never let anyone put me through that again.

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    2. good for you. i guess i kinda lost myself somewhere along the way of i-really-love-him-so-much and i-dont-wanna-be-alone. pathethic i know.

      and yes, i also swore to myself that im not gonna go through that again.

      so far, so good. :)

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    3. Isabelle: Have you listened to Rachael Yamagata's Horizon? That song always triggers that particular memory. And the way she sings it... I get goosebumps!

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    4. i tried listening to it and i was transported to a different time zone. i had to stop before i get nuts, hehe.

      i like her voice though, and the whole aura of sadness and misery. :)

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    5. Isabelle: Sana you finished it! It's one of my favorite songs and she's one of my favorite singers. She can sing the song book and still make me cry! :)

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  15. This was good! I thought it was real until main character was a female. I like how you used the doll image and transitioned. Nice!

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    1. Amy: Awww thanks! I've been experimenting with different characters. You thinking it was nice means a lot, especially since you've got that market covered. lolz :)

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  16. This one hits me to the core which makes me ask how can someone endure all the pains?

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    1. I've noticed that some people don't think it's domestic violence when it happens in their relationship. Outwardly we know it's wrong, etc., but when it happens to us we have a way of "normalizing" it because some girls think "there's no way domestic violence could happen to me".

      Plus I know that people tend to feel ashamed of being victims because it's such a powerless role.

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    2. Lawrence: Hello! Welcome to my blog! :)

      I guess we just do. Evolution makes the parts we need stronger and I hate to pull a Janice and hit you with a quote but Nietzsche said it best. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Emotionally, at least. The moment he kisses you with a fist, it's time to run for the hills. :)

      Leader of Opposition: Hey! Haven't seen you here in a while. :)

      I guess it's natural for us to deny a crisis when it's happening to us. I know I've got my fair share of stories, people claiming they'll never ever let anyone treat them horribly. And then they do. and again.. and again.

      As for victims being powerless, I couldn't help but recall this thing a friend told me. He says in a BDSM set-up, it's actually the masochist who controls everything. Something about delaying pleasure, etc. Strange right?

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