Wednesday, May 1, 2013

fifteen different words for tears


“Would you mind if I had another one?” I ask, hand firmly on my pack of cigarettes. I was having coffee with an old friend at 10 in the evening; a distant reminder of the life of a call center drone I thought I’d left behind.

“Go ahead,” she says, her left arm tilting slightly so she could see her watch. “I still have about… half an hour before I have to go.” I shake the pack and a stick comes out. I push hard on the filter to pop the flavored bead and light up.

“Hey, whatever happened to citybuoy?” she asks as I took my first puff.

“Well, he’s still there… I think. I haven’t really checked in a while.”

“I noticed. I dropped by a couple of days ago and you haven’t updated in months. Writer’s block?”

“A huge one.” I respond, dragging too deeply on my cigarette that it starts to burn my throat. “I don’t really know what it is. I have all these half-stories in my head but when I sit down to write them, I just can’t seem to put the words together. Besides, no one blogs anymore. It’s kind of sad, really.”

“Maybe it’s like riding a bike. You just have to keep doing it until it feels normal again.”

“I don’t think it’s about me not knowing how to write per se but just me not knowing how to write like citybuoy anymore.”

“Write like citybuoy?” she asks, her eyebrow raised five meters high. “And what exactly does that mean?”

“Um… I used to write because I was lonely. Because I wasn’t happy with how my life was. That’s how it’s been for the last couple of years. But for the first time, I can honestly say I’m just really happy. Stable and finally happy.”

“That’s a good thing, right?” Her face was filled with good intentions. For once, I wasn’t sure what to say.

“I guess… Or maybe I just can’t do happy. Because some part of me knows that’s not gonna fly with the people who read me. It’s like that Alanis record after Jagged Little Pill. No one wants to hear me thanking India. They wanna read about me weeping over loss or moaning about unrequited love. The very reason they come to me is because they’re sad too.”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” she says, a little too strongly. “They read you because you are a good writer. I don’t need to tell you that.”

And so we skirt around the age-old debate of writing freely or having your audience in mind. I didn’t really feel like arguing so I just sat there, drinking my coffee and smoking the pleasantries away.

“Maybe you just need a different vocabulary,” she offers. “You know I once read that eskimoes have 50 different words for snow.”

“And I have fifteen different words for tears.”

“Precisely. So build your vocabulary. I’m pretty sure you can find more eloquent ways to say I’m stable and finally happy.”

I stub my cigarette on the half-filled ashtray. Maybe she’s right. Maybe there’s more to me than weepy prose. She grabs my hand and I look up in surprise.

“Joy,” she says, her eyes wild with fire. “Bliss… Exuberance… Gaiety!” Each word was said louder than the last one and a couple of people in the next table were starting to look.

“Um… you okay?”

“Yes! I’m exhilarated! Euphoric! You say you have fifteen words for tears well I say we need to think of fifteen words for happy. No, wait. Scratch that. Let’s just add fifteen more to your list! Haven’t you ever laughed so hard, you had tears in your eyes? Have you never been filled with so much happiness, your tear ducts started to well up?”

I didn’t want to participate because I knew what she was trying to do. But she had weaved a wonderful moment. I could feel that she was just genuinely worried that the writer in me had died.

“Elated,” I add, slightly embarrassed but happy to be participating. “Delighted?”

“There you go!”

“Exuberant?”

“Said that already”

“In sheer merriment?”

“Yes!”

“Delectation?”

“That’s it. Warming up.”

“ON CLOUD NUMBER FUCKING NINE!” I shout, fists banging on the table. The guard eyes us suspiciously and we laugh at our own brief moment of hysteria. At the end of it, I did have a couple of tears in my eyes. Some friends just get it, you know what I mean? Like they just get you. Who knows? This new thing may spell the end of citybuoy but at least then, I would know it didn’t kill the writer in me.

♫: Alanis Morissette | Thank U (1998)

45 comments:

  1. It's true. No one blogs anymore and the remaining few bloggers out there (like me) are slowly being consumed by the instant gratification of Twitter etc. in airing their views. It's really sad.

    Anyway, great read as always. Thank you for the motivation, as I'm also currently struggling to avoid neglecting blogging and writing in general. Keep up the happy prose. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clarriscent: Nice to see you here too! haha yes, Twitter's instant gratification is suspect#1 on Blogger's pending death.

      Please don't neglect writing. Someone with your passion and talent.. di bagay ang agiw!

      Delete
  2. I have all these half-stories in my head but when I sit down to write them, I just can’t seem to put the words together.

    True.

    Besides, no one blogs anymore.

    True, too.

    It’s kind of sad, really.

    Too true.


    Tragedy sells just as well as comedy, Nyl.

    And maybe I was a latecomer to your blog, but I never really pegged you as the Prince of Pain. Or a chronic attention-seeking grouser. Or even - how quaint, now, this term - emo.

    In short, I'm happy to hear you're happy. And if the price for that happiness is the slowing down of citybuoy's blog, well...tough shit for us.

    Your friend is right: People read you because you're a good writer. Not because they savor the taste of your tears. (Well, I savor the sweet tears of the innocent, and the bitter tears of the guilty, but that's irrelevant to this post.)

    I'm just so happy to see a post from you, after wandering through the howling wilderness that's become of blogspot (it's BLOGspot you stupid goddamn autocorrect not bloodspot stupid AI @*&%!@)

    Don't be such a stranger.

    Write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rudeboy: Your perception of me is comforting. That's one less soul I need to worry about.

      And thank you for acknowledging my writing. haha grabe, I was so worried about that line kasi parang mukha naman akong feeling na wannabe manunulat kung walang mageecho diba?! haha

      Yes, I look at my feed and I see more cobwebs than spiders. How sad! I won't be a stranger. At least not anymore. But we must do something about the decline in blogging. :x

      Delete
  3. I relate. It makes perfect sense when you say you find it difficult to write now that you're not sad anymore. My blog has suffered from the same. The last few months have been such a breeze, and my posts... now once a month at times. Down from forty sometime ago.

    Maybe this should herald the start of a new chapter for me... the happy chapter. Pun accidental, but not regretted.

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    1. Random: Did you start the blog to vent/rant? That's what I noticed about blogs that slow down.

      Please don't stop writing. Start a new chapter like me! :)

      Delete
  4. Well, hell, Nyl. Why kill Citybouy? People DO get weary of reading 'woooo-isss-meee' stories, cause all they do is make us drink one more than necessary and have a hangover before we even get to sleep. Besides, you nailed it at the end and had me laughing out loud!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. R. Burnett Baker: You're too kind, Rick. I know it needs a little work. But it's something new. haha Looking at my last few posts, all i can see is rehash rehash rehash.

      Maybe I liked the hangover? Oh well, too late for that now. :p

      Delete
  5. may nakalimutan ka. mgaling kang sumulat tungkol sa hindi ka makasulat. hihi finally, nakapag-update ka na rin.:) kung hindi man nila magustuhan yung masayang citybuoy,pakyu sila! charot. i'm sure may mga bagong readers diyan. at syempre may mga lumang readers na bumabalik hindi dahil emo o masaya ka, kundi dahil magaling ka :) hello? ilang taon ka na nga ulit nagboblog? 8 years? alamat ka na sa blogspot XD

    fan boy? naman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mots: Ako na nagsusulat about not being able to write. haha

      Alamat talaga? WHatever happened tp "halimaw"?

      Ayan, sisimulan na po ang pagsusulat. Which half-story naman kaya ang isusulat ko first?

      Delete
    2. bakit di mo simulan sa forever naudlot nating project haha :P naalala mo ikaw ang "artist" sating dalawa LOL

      at dahil nga diyan. mula sa araw na to, britney spears songs na dapat ang gamitin mo.

      Delete
    3. Mots: Oo nga eh. Nice pa naman yung kwentong yun. :'( Kailangan natin matapos yan! Lagpas isang taon na!

      Delete
  6. People still write. Not as many or as frequent as I can remember but hey, we still do.
    And though Alanis' 2nd album is far from her angst-filled Jagged Little Pill, a part of me was happy that she did find bliss.

    If you're happy now, then let us know. Let the world know. While sadness could be divided, happiness could be multiplied. And that's good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Johnny Boy: Hello! Welcome to my blog.

      Yes, I was happy for her too. Just wasn't too pleased with some of the directions she took in that record pero bakit ba ako nakikialam? lolz

      "While sadness could be divided, happiness could be multiplied. And that's good."

      Indeed, that is good. thank you for the timely reminder. :)

      Delete
  7. The more tragic part is that there are quite a number of people willing to write but are unwilling to 'blog.' They would rather keep their musings to themselves, not because they are entirely selfish -- though it does hold true in a way -- but because these people find it futile to post their thoughts online; nobody really cares to read their essays or vignettes or whatever. In other words, there is not enough 'appreciation' to begin with. It's like reading beautiful poetry in the middle of the wilderness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Splice: Hello to you too! Welcome to my blog. :)

      Yes, salarin #2 is the fact that we don't really comment anymore. Bloggers can talk all they want about how it's not about the comments and you should just express yourself but if no one drops by and says hey, this was nice... parang it's all pointless. Might as well write on a journal nalang. Dun for sure, walang comments. haha

      Maybe this whole blogger is dying/dead thing should be an entirely new blog post!

      Delete
    2. Any writer who says he doesn't care about feedback, comments, or readers is a lying sack of shit and should be flayed alive with abalone shuttles.

      Delete
    3. Rudeboy: Diba?! haha I read a lot of people a few years back na they don't care about comments or hits and stuff. Well, wala na sila ngayon. haha Bloggers need their readers more than the reverse.

      Delete
  8. Like them lines that punctured my heart, this one got to my happy bone in a jiffy:

    -> It’s like that Alanis record after Jagged Little Pill. No one wants to hear me thanking India.

    Here's to more LOLs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaloy: It's a Will & Grace reference! haha thanks Kaloy. lololol

      Delete
  9. True. I read citybuoy not because of the sad posts. But because of how good you are as a writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rei: So you're taking back my oscar for most emo entry? lolz Thanks for the support, Rei. :)

      Delete
    2. Haha. Hey, thespians (and writers) are supposed to be versatile (I think, I mean it's nice to be versatile, but I'm not saying that it's bad to be good at simply one thing).

      Delete
    3. Rei: That's true. haha Why choose diba?

      Delete
  10. So no more heart crashing thoughts? Naalala ko tuloy si swiper no swiping, "Oh mannn!" Haha.

    Cheers to happiness! XD


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gord: Sino si Swiper no Swiping? *googling* ooh Dora! haha

      Cheers!

      Delete
  11. you are a good writer, never ever forget that :)

    i'm happy that you are happy, share your happiness lol gow! :D

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    Replies
    1. Sin: Aww thanks Sin. :) Inuman na soon!

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    2. we just did last week and we will again soon! lol :D

      Delete
  12. binabasa kita hindi dahil malungkot o masaya ka kundi dahil nararamdaman kita. malungkot man o masaya, hindi maaaring mabago ang iyong pagiging mahusay na writer. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aris: And of course you know that the admiration is mutual. Di man ako nakakapag-comment, parati kong binabasa ang mga sinusulat mo. :)

      Delete
  13. even if i don't know you personally, i feel that you're a good writer. i say "i feel" not "i think" because feelings are not subject to debate. you have that talent but you can't sense it simply because you are the character in your own story. but me? us? we know that you have it. every word you use in this post and even in your previous posts speaks of your skill and knowledge in writing. and you're able to move us. that's why we are here, still reading. so whether or not you feel like you are only good in writing sad stories, i don't think you can't do better in writing happy ones. so continue writing. because after all, you are citybuoy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ester: Wow. That's such a great thing to say. Nakaka-warm ng heart and it makes it that much easier to keep doing what I love doing. Salamat salamat!!!

      Delete
  14. Magaling ka sa ginagawa mo. yunglungz.

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    Replies
    1. Overthinker Palaboy: lungz talaga? Salamat, kuya! :)

      Delete
  15. That Alanis moment again, huh? BUT BUT BUT WRITE HAPPY. BECAUSE.

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    Replies
    1. Spiral: Yeah, it's an analogy I like abusing over and over again. Haha hey, Alanis is still at it with her records. Her last one was about motherhood and though it didn't really do well, I'd like to think she was happy with what she was writing. :)

      Delete
  16. Being happy is a good topic to write about and I think this will be a new thing for you, but I will still continue to read your posts because I don't only see your posts as my karamay in my unrequited love dilemmas but also my inspiration on how to turn my life around through writing about it. I really like reading your works. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dairen: Oh hey! you're here!

      Maybe I did turn my life around through writing. If I somehow managed to do that, pwede pashare din ng formula once you figure it out? lol

      And I shared your blog post sa Facebook. Sobrang naaliw kasi ako. (and I added you din pala!)

      officially, welcome to my blog. :)

      Delete
    2. Shinare? Hala. Kakahiya. Kaka-accept ko lang po. Thank you. :)

      Delete
    3. Dairen: Sobrang naaliw kasi ako! I was even going to publish a post na response to it pero parang masyado kasing vain. haha

      Delete
  17. Woah! I remember way back when I commented sa isang post mo na people tend to be more creative when sad, ang lungkot na kailangan mo ng lungkot para mas maging creative. So I welcome this post with enthusiasm, refreshing to read you in this manner sir. More please!

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    Replies
    1. Ferdina: Ooh Dindin is alive! haha Thank you for the enthusiasm. And yes, I will try. :p

      Delete
  18. You shouldn't stop writing, your talent in writing is exceptional and you should share your thoughts to us. I know some bloggers decided not to write anymore but I know someday they will start blogging again.
    The passion for writing will motivates us to keep doing what we love to do kahit kaunti lang ang hits and feedbacks, hindi 'yun hadlang para huminto sa pagsulat.
    Si Citybuoy hindi pwedeng huminto sa pagsulat ngayon pa lang kami nag-eenjoy sa mga article mo.

    Ang late na ng reply na ito, haha.

    ReplyDelete