Sunday, May 19, 2013

guadalupe

This post is based on the ever prolific Aris’ Oh Boy! originally published in 2009 here. To see his reworking of disconnect, click here.


They say the night is for the lovers and I guess, some part of me recognized that. The bar was packed from wall to wall with people dancing, enticing, trying to make sense of the world outside the corners of that room. And while I myself had a different purpose for coming here, we all moved to the same rhythm, to the same beat of a heart seeking another.

I guess you could say at the end of everything that I got everything I deserved. I knew he was dangerous. I knew what power he had over me and yet there I was, at the time and place we agreed to meet, heart firmly up my sleeve. From the thinning crowd, he walked towards me and kissed me lightly on the cheek.

“Miss me?” he asked, sly and inviting.

“Of course,” I replied. His was a power I knew long ago not to question. He took my hand and led me to his car.

That night, marinating in sweat and sex, I told him I was in love with him. I looked to him with questioning eyes, waiting for a response.

“I’d love you, I mean really love you but…” he paused, the ellipsis thick and imposing in the air. “But I can’t. I’d tell you it’s because I’m dying but then baby, aren’t we all?”

I felt at one with the rhythm. The bar smelled like trapped smoke, sweat, and desire. A man brushes up from behind me. I turn around and he smiles. A Top 40 song starts to play. The whole bar was hooting in unison as I got lost in the eyes of my beautiful stranger.

“Aris,” he says.

“Leo.”

“You come here often?”

“Not really. I’m not from around here.”

“Well, it’s great to meet you,” he says, extending his hand. I shake it mildly then bring him closer for an embrace.

Denial is the strongest force in the universe. I tried to ignore the signs even though they were blatantly emblazoned throughout the day – a weakening body, a defeated spirit, a bit of blood in my spit. It took all the courage in me to answer the questions in my head. The lab technician stabbed a needle in me one day to get blood, truth, and clarification. As the counselor handed me a frail sheet of white paper, I knew that though my lover had gone and left me, there was always going to be something he left behind that would remind me of the gamble I took and lost.

Reactive. What a cruel word. The counselor told me I shouldn’t let it control my life. I feared that since my lover left, there was no life left to control.

We dance as though it were foreplay. My hands roam the many districts of his body – his ample chest, his muscular arms, his broad shoulders. My fervent lips were busy claiming his as my own. As the crowd blurs away like an overexposed photograph, I remark at how wonderful it feels to be with him, how at peace I was with this warm body, this beating heart, this thrilling feeling of love blossoming in one night.

“Can you be my boyfriend?” I ask. He smiles at me tentatively, like he was expecting a different question altogether. The song that was playing slowly fades into silence as the DJ flips a new record to play.

“Let’s get out of here.”

The days after my visit to the clinic were long and painful. I took it all in quietly, knowing not to stir too much hysterics on an already hysterical life. For days, I got lost in confusion and despair. I wanted to blame him, wanted to cast him as the villain who took over my life. But then I remember that I was the one who fell for him. I was the one who took his hand and got in his car. When one loses their face down a well, there is little left to do but fall in after it.

Despite everything, I could not hate him. I couldn’t bring myself to despise all that he did to me. When the dust settled, I saw everything with painful clarity. I knew what I had to do to be set free.

I would visit him one last time at the place where we first met. It was the only way to keep him, to keep his memory alive and burning in my mind. Maybe then, I would find peace.

Over breakfast with his friends, we are a picture of a perfect couple. My arms rest naturally on his side and every now and then, I rest my head on his shoulder. His friends interrogated us into the wee hours of the morning. Their faces are welcoming but their tones betray bitter pangs of jealousy and judgment. Not another one, they seem to say. How long will this one stick around? I steal light, feather kisses whenever I can in between spoonfuls of beef tapa and fried rice.

He looks at me, or rather through me. His gaze jars my very soul. My head was telling me that this could work. That maybe he’d find a way to fix me, to put my broken pieces together. But my heart would not let go. He will never understand. He will run when he knows who you really are. There’s only room for one in here. I close my eyes and feel his lips on mine, all the while my lover’s face shines through the darkness.

We settle the bill and get ready to leave. He asks if I want to come over to his place. I say I’ve got stuff to do, people to see, a life I need to get back to. He hails a cab for me and right before I get in, I kiss him one last time on the cheek.

“Text text,” he says, even though we didn’t exchange digits.

“Yup,” I answer. As we drove away, the woman on the radio sings the story of my life. I close my eyes and imagine her words filling my head.

At ngayon, ‘di pa rin alam
Kung ba’t tayo nandito
Pwede bang itigil muna
Ang pag-ikot ng mundo?

“Boss? Boss…” the driver wakes me. I open my eyes and the 8AM sunlight blinds me. “Saan po tayo?”

I hesitate for a second. “Sa Guadalupe,” I tell him and as we made our way through the city, I realize that for the first time in a long time, it feels like I’m finding my way back to free.

POSTCRIPT: Man commits suicide inside MRT station
Posted at 05/08/2013 12:09 PM

MANILA - Operations of Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) were disrupted after a passenger allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a train Wednesday morning.

Makati police chief Col. Manuel Lucban said the man appeared to have committed suicide, and that he did not accidentally fall onto the tracks. The incident occurred at 8:18 a.m.

MRT general manager Al Vitangcol said the train station's closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage shows that the man indeed jumped onto the tracks.

The man's body was mangled after being dragged by the train for about 30 meters. He was already dead when the rescue team arrived.

The MRT management had to suspend the operations of the train system due to the incident.

The DOTC said that "MRT is on provisional operations from North Ave. to Shaw stations and vice versa until further notice. Please bear with us. Thank you."

Due to the incident, some passengers were forced to get off the train even before it could reach the station.

Passengers had no choice but to take other means of transportation following the disruption of operations.

♫: Imago | Spolarium (2005)
Post: Oh Boy!, DZMM
Photo: bed2



DON’T DO IT! I thought twice about posting this because I was afraid of the message I was sending. This post is a work of fiction. In no way am I encouraging suicide or mongering fear/hatred for those living with HIV. I highly encourage everybody to check out Love Yourself and get tested today. Also, the Philippines recently launched a suicide hotline. If you feel lost or hopeless, contact 0917 588 HOPE.

51 comments:

  1. sa wakas, nagawa rin natin ang matagal na nating binabalak. sobrang galing naman ng iyong ginawang pagdurugtong. hindi ko inaasahan ang twist. muli, sumasaludo ako sa'yo. next time uli. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aris: Thanks friend. Next time ulit! One more time with closer involvement! At sana (shet, paulit ulit lang ako haha) hindi abutin ng buwan or taon till our next project!

      Delete
  2. ang sakit naman sa man boobs tong post na to. at nadagdagan pa ng spoliarium na isa pang masakit sa dibdib.

    pepsi paloma song+Mrt suicide+kape

    at dahil dito, manonood ako ng The Sound of Music mamaya

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mots: Gagamitin ko sana yung Young and Beautiful! chos

      Go, panoorin mo yan. Sana mawala na yung thoughts of Leo by the time umawit si Ate Maria. haha

      Delete
    2. Dapat nag-iwan rin sya ng suicide note "THIS IS A CRAZY PLANETS."

      Delete
    3. Glentot: OMG yan yung suicide note ni Pepsi right?!

      Delete
  3. Whoa. Ibang lebel to! Too dark for me but it hits the right places.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Johnny: Ibang lebel ba? Ako man, parang di pa yata ako nakakasulat ng ganito ka dark. Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad it hit you in the right places. hehe

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  4. wow finally lumabas na din! haha :D

    maygad nagustuhan ko yung twist na nilagay mo dito sa story ni Aris. ang sakit lang. made me feel sad again for the guy who did it. i know it's just fiction but sometimes i just can't help to think how hopeless he has felt during those times... i wish he had all the help he needed.

    and di ko alam na may suicide hotline na pala. good thing you posted it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. at na-wrong grammar pa ako. lol, but you get my point hahaha

      Delete
    2. Sin: You know me. Super cramming! haha

      Yeah, you have no idea how hard it was to write this! I had to really dive into yung character tapos parang natakot ako bigla kasi mag-isa lang ako sa bahay.

      And yes nakakatuwa yung suicide hotline diba? Parang gusto ko nga icheck pero baka masayang lang yung time nila with me.

      :p

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    3. tama. it's really hard to write about someone ending his life. really scary.

      and who knows, posting their number might help someone in need diba? :)

      Delete
    4. Sin: Now I'm wondering if we'd still be thinking about him kung di siya cute/beki. There was that girl who did the same thing sa LRT right? Pero parang yun lang naman yun. :p

      Writing it was easier compared to the reading/researching I had to do! Haaaay! I had to watch Mamma Mia! right after panbanlaw lang.

      Delete
  5. ambigat lang sa pakiramdam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nate: Oi! Long time no hear! Sorry naman at ito pa bumungad sa 'yo! haha

      Delete
    2. hahaha! uu nga, long time no hear! keri lang.. i've seen an accident kasi nung Sunday, and the person died. so yun. :(

      Delete
    3. Nate: Gosh! That must've been awful! At timing nga naman. haha

      Delete
  6. This reminded me of a co-worker who took his life about a year and a half ago. Different circumstances, but the impact is no doubt similar. It was troubling, and I posted a short piece about it.
    http://efficientagony.blogspot.com/2011/11/suicide-is-not-painless.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rick: I'm starting to notice a pattern here. It seems all I can do is remidn you of troubling things. lol jk

      It's always difficult when someone takes their own life. My faith tells me that it should never be considered an option but as I was reading up on it, immersing myself in suicidal thoughts and notes, I couldn't help but empathize.

      A few years back, a blogger friend took his own life. I don't think I've ever really recovered.

      Delete
  7. Bumaliktad sikmura ko pagkatapos magbasa. Parang kelangan ko tuloy makinig ng maraming preschool songs para lang mapanatag.

    May bobo pala akong tanong. Nagtuturo ka ba ng creative writing. Formal class man o workshop shiz, mag eenrol ako. Idol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OP: Makinig ka ng Praise Kids! haha

      Kamusta naman kahapon, while looking for the soundtrack I came across Billie Holiday's Hungarian Suicide Song (may totoo siyang title, I forgot lang) grabe, parang gusto ko na rin maglululundag sa building. Ang sakit!

      At hindi po. English lang tinuturo ko sa mga gustong mag kohlzenner. lolz Pero magwoworkshop kami ni Aris (kaming 2 palang, trial lang haha) for our next collaboration in June. Nahiya naman ako magturo ng pormal na klase. Wala naman akong sapat na kredensyal para magturo. Hobby lang ba. haha

      Delete
  8. Suicide. Oh wow. This is just, scary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rei: Bakit naman scary? Haha immerse yourself in the world, kiddo! Participate (ika nga ni perks!)

      Delete
    2. I don't know. I play safe most of the time. I have fears and I'm such a chicken.

      Delete
    3. Rei: Well better a day as a lion, right?

      Delete
  9. grabeh!at first alam kong nagsuicide sya. pero gusto ko kasing iimagine yung mga scene. dapat sunud sunud sya. kaya pala kulang kasi dapat pala nagbackread ako don sa 2009 posts. sana di sya nawalan ng pag asa anoh.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Phioxee: Hey! A new face! Welcome to my blog! :)

      Huy, fiction lang naman 'to. :p the original post mentioned was from aris' in 2009. Siya yung guy na nameet sa bar. :) we collaborated by reworking using a different perception. haha

      Balik ka ha! at puntahan mo din blog ni Aris. Magaling yun!

      Delete
  10. Sa hinaba haba man ng prusisyon... suicide pa rin ang ending. Haha, you know I lavet Nyl. It's a goddamn mouthful, but I love the twist. It appeals to me.

    Muahness from Pasig Cirehhh!

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    Replies
    1. Momel: Thank you for reading it despite the daunting word count. It took a lot of tokis to get the two stories together and I'm glad you loved the twist. :p

      Muahness from Makarrehhh!!!

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  11. Replies
    1. Dee: Was my favorite show too! And Are You Afraid of the Dark? loljk

      Thanks for dropping by and believe it or not, I appreciate the goosebumps. hehe

      Delete
    2. Dee: Aww... You're awesome too, Ms. Nermal! :)

      Delete
  12. Parang ito ba yung pinaguusapan natin sa FB with all the "nakikiramay" friends?

    Ui nagbasa ako this time buo check mo pa sa StatCounter LOL. While reading I imagine the scene straight out of the movie Watchmen, with the narrator having Dr Manhattan's voice, slipping in and out of flashbacks and culminating in death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glentot: Natatawa ako sayo. haha Defensive much? Echos.

      Yeah, ito na nga yun. Sa inyo ko nakuha si kuyang nategi. As for the Watchmen reference, di ko masyadong masakyan :( Di ko napanood ng buo yun eh!

      Delete
  13. What could I say? We were all too far away.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Kane: I'm torn between knowing I had nothing to do with it and feeling responsible as part of the culture that causes these things. Yes, we were all too far away. Wouldn't it be great if we were all closer?

      O, coffee na!

      Delete
  14. nice post. im new here. mukhang mapapadalas ako sa pagtambay dito, :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kalansaycollector: Ooh! A new face! :p welcome to my blog. Sana nga! (at sorry matagal akong di nakapag-reply. Di ko pa nga nasusundan tong post na 'to!)

      Delete
  15. Yan, suicidal. Yan yung mga hinahanap kong basahin. :)

    Apir for Spolarium!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gord: APIR!!! hehe

      At bakit ka naman naghahanap ng mga laslas-pulso stories, aber?

      Delete
  16. ayus ba ito pantanggal ng stress? haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahmer: Pwede rin naman. haha wag ka lang tutulad kay kuya, okay?

      Delete
  17. You're so good, I hate you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James: Haterz go'n hate! Potatoes go'n potate! lolz :)

      Delete
    2. James: And I just left a potato-related comment on your blog. lolz

      Delete
  18. Teary while reading.
    I remembered Carlo (@akosijumba).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Michale: Oh my gosh! You knew him? Grabe.. I spent a long time on his Facebook profile trying to understand why he did what he did. I think I even had a dream about him that night.

      Delete
  19. i had always believed that love was the strongest force in the universe. but actually, it is true that denial is. while love can be powerful enough to overcome life itself, denial can be powerful enough to overpower love. so, i agree.

    what i find unsettling about the post is that many suicides are preceded by a sudden sense of calm or serenity.

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    1. LOF: That's something that I think I picked up from American Beauty. I've used it a couple of times in the past. Maybe they're both strong. Denial is just an offshoot of love and yes, it can at times overpower it.

      And I got that sense of calm too while I was reading about it. While I've had my own episodes with it, I mostly chalk that up too adolescence. But reading stories of people who survived it, they all agreed that there was this strange feeling of nothingness right before it happens. Strange.

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