Monday, May 13, 2013

stella and her waiting (1)


“You’re on in 2 minutes,” says Bookie. He was red from running around all night trying to get us girls to stick to our cues. I tighten my bra straps, take one last hit of my joint and get a move on.

I hear the usual post-dinner crowd, mostly middle-aged men unwinding after work. I was used to their stares, their beady eyes undressing you even before your number starts. There’s momentary feedback as Bookie turns on his mic, rendering the whole nightclub deaf. In his deep baritone, he calls me onto the stage.

Stella, his voice lingers on the final vowel, commanding but gentle. The stage name was his idea. He said my real name was too plain, too easy to pass by. The lights begin to dim as I hear the first few bars of my song.

I walk to the center of the stage, my back turned to the waiting men. My song’s intro is long so it gives me time to vacillate—nay, marinate—onstage. I walk slowly, my clunky heels tapping hollow beats on the floor. I contort, exaggerating my features and minimizing my gut. I move my hips to the beat and raise a leg to tease my audience. Like clockwork, I remind myself. I close my eyes, try to block the hooting men out as the woman in the record starts to sing.

Tonight we stand by the door
Waiting for amends.
I’ve lived all this time
For love.

“Who’s Bryan?” he asked. For a second, it felt like he'd just emptied an ice bucket on my naked body.

“No one,” I quickly dismissed. It was the sound of his name, the intricate consonant blend, the way the B and the R just seemed to roll off so naturally for him. It threw me off so quickly that my head felt like I’d put it on backwards.

“He must’ve been somebody. Somebody important.” He ran his finger across my thigh, resting to feel the ink on my skin. “Enough for you to put his name on your hip and all.”

“He was,” I lied, gritting my teeth. He can touch my skin, my hair, my sex, my thighs, but he can never touch my heart.

If you had told me two years ago that I’d somehow end up dancing in a seedy club like this, I’d have slapped you. But such is my life now and though I wish otherwise, there seems to be no turning back. I walk back to the center of the stage, let my hand briefly graze the metal pole. A man whistles for me to come over. In his hand, I see a crisp purple bill. His friends egg him on, their cervezas red and raging on their foreign faces. Like a cat, I crawl to him on all fours. He tucks the bill into my garter, his fingers resting briefly on the copper cufflink I keep there. I slap his hand away.

Tonight you come with no suit
And no suitcase in your hand.
I couldn’t wait until the day is done.

I inhale deeply, let the woman’s saccharine voice fill my head as I slowly let my left strap dangle to my arm. It takes a bit of practice to unhook your bra onstage, without it seeming common or everyday. For years, I knew to do it privately, hurriedly, with no concept of an audience watching my every move. I move my shoulders in tentative circles, the straps coming loose with each turn. As the drummer pounds on, the song moves to the chorus. I let my top drop to the floor.

I never thought that I would be the one
Who could deal with so much waiting.
I never count but look at me now.
I see the time I should be saving.

“He must’ve been somebody. Somebody important.” He said as his fingers ran across my skin.

“He was,” I lied, gritting my teeth. More than anything in the world, I wished for the freedom to say he is.

♫: Up Dharma Down | Parks (2012)
Photo: WCTI12



Establishing Shots. I fell in love with this song a few weeks back and the more I listened to it raped the replay button, the more I could feel this story brewing in my head. I finally started writing it last night and when I realized the word count was slowly building up, I figured I’d chop it up into a few parts. Next installment is in two weeks as I have a pretty interesting collaboration with a mystery blogger planed for next week. Stay tuned! He’s someone I have never collaborated with despite people saying we’re fairly alike and I have a feeling it’s gonna be really good.


36 comments:

  1. you lied, 'get us guys to stick to our cues.' =P

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    1. LOF: Alam mo ba, up to the very last second, I wondered if I should turn Stella into a man. Haha mas relatable kasi. But then again, I've got sinehan na (although it was in jejenese) and turning her into a man doesn't really mesh well with the rest of the story. Here's to kebs-ing reaction and just writing!

      (In an alternate universe, you are Bookie and the RTC folks and I are prostis in your bar. lolz We need to stick to our cues! :x)

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    2. Spiral Prince: You're alive! lolz

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    3. I come with the waxing of the moon. Chozness.

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    4. Spiral: Echosera ka. Oh, stick na daw to our cues. ;p May EBHBC pa tayong di tapos.

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    5. Nakupo. Ano nga ulit mga prompts natin? Hahahaha.

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    6. Spiral: Adik ka! haha It's in the Facebook group! Although I stopped generating the graphs a long time ago.

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  2. When i like a song, i would play it over and over which could go on for weeks. Good thing there are headphones. Haha.

    Interesting piece. Male version..i'm imagining. Sooo indie film.

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    1. Johnny: I know what you mean! Nung di pa uso ang CD/MP3, I would wear cassette tapes out sa kaka play/rewind/play ko!

      And paano siya magtatanggal ng bra kung lalake siya? hahaha

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  3. Very cool band! I look 'em up....I was first caught by the hint of Bruce Hornsby coming through the instruments. Want to hear more of them....The story? You've told it so well, as if from experience. (not being facetious here). I had a friend in Thailand take me to Boys Town in Pattaya a few years ago. Even with my "worldly" experiences, I was ( and continue to be) somewhat unnerved by strip bars, pole dancers, and the kept boys. He explained it to me realistically, but still.... I'm no prude, mind you (I'm NOT dirty: I'm FILTHY) but there are limits. Why these scenarios bother me, I can't say. (You're such a great writer!! )

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    1. Rick: Yes, they're a very cool band! I had the pleasure of seeing them live once and I never forgot. I recently got reacquainted with their discography and I found this little gem hiding in the third album.

      Re: writing thanks for appreciating it. :) this post worries me. It's been almost 8 hours and I still don't know if it really meshes well here. But I guess you just have to stand by the choices you make, even if it's an alienating story.

      Re: strippers I think I know what you mean. The thought in itself bothers me but at the same time (and what's different with us is that) it also fascinates me. This is probably the third or fourth time I've written about this world (and first time I wrote a girl character) but it's still an itch i need to scratch. If I could only interview a real life prosti, my life would be so much better!

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    2. The interview part might be easier than you think. Someone out there would probably be more than happy to talk.

      I don't find the story alienating at all. In fact, the conversation about Brian humanizes it, lets us know that when we say "everyone has a story" that, well, everyone does. As 'dark' as a story may be, there is almost always a heartfelt core to it. (Unless you're a cold-blooded killer, or Hitler or something)

      That is what I feel about my conversation with my friend in Thailand. I KNOW there is deeper meaning to those stories, but I struggle with the outward efforts. You succeed with your writing in bringing out for the reader those thoughts and troubling emotions.

      Hitting buttons is hard to do, but necessary in connecting with your readers. You do that.


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    3. Rick: That's a nice way of putting it, Rick. There's even a song about that. Something about how everybody's got a story that will break your heart.

      As for interviewing, I've met a few men for hire. Some who even blog. But I'm not sure if that's the story I want to be telling.

      My best experiences in reading come from the writer getting me to push past strong initial feelings (of disgust, arousal, etc) and seeing the human side of their characters. So you saying that means a lot. :)

      Now if I can only figure out how to use that to sell this girl to my other readers... lolz

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  4. naiimagine ko na parang movie to na late early 90's ang kuha. grainy yung mga kuha :)))

    love love love ang UDD. :) mooooooooore!

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    1. Mots: Yung mga tipong nasa PBO pag gabi na? haha

      And yes, super love UDD. Hanap tayo ng concert nila tapos magpaka-hipster tayo!

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  5. ipa women's desk na to! chos. haha. nice to have you back here nyl. :)

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    1. Yohan: Yun mismo! haha i-push natin yan. Dapat sumikat yang women's desk. I even made a hashtag for it! #IpaWomensDeskNaYan!!!!!!!

      And yes, glad to be back din. :) catch up soon.

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  6. 1st person kaya iniimagine ko ikaw si Stellaaaaaa [saying it like Bookie]. Ang hirap! Lalo na 'pag wala ka masyadong experience sa mga ganitong bars. XD

    Eniwey, where are the happy thoughts? Haha.

    Post na agad ng part 2. :)

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    1. Gord: That would be an interesting thought! haha sa laki ng tiyan ko, may magbibigay pa kaya ng pera? lolz

      As for the happy thoughts.. pause muna. Medyo emote itey and though I haven't started writing it, feeling ko the blogger collab will be din. :)

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  7. May mali ba sa akin kung ang naiimagine ko dito ay si Osang? :P

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    1. OP: Walang wala, brother! haha ako man, si Angel Aquino pinipicture ko. Kakanood ng telanovela. lolz

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  8. Replies
    1. Dee: Oh hey! A new face! Welcome to my blog. :) I followed you back na on Tumblr and Chwirrer. :x

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    2. Yep. Hi! Fell in love at first sight with your blog.

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    3. Dee: Well I hope you keep coming back :) and do you have a blog as well?

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    4. I do. Well, it's actually more of an online diary than a blog so...

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    5. Dee: Cool! What's the URL? Follow kita. I only see your G+ page eh.

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    6. I'll send you a DM in Twitter. :)

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    7. Dee: Got it. Followed and blogroll-ed! Thanks!

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  9. I think I used to feel like Stella sometimes. Hmm.. There were days when I feel all "kalapating mababa ang lipad"-ish. Haha. Sometimes.

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    1. Rei: Well, we've all had our moments. haha What is youth for if we can't make these mistakes. lolz

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  10. Replies
    1. Yas: Obra talaga! Uy, long time no hear. :) Salamat sa pag-bisita.

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  11. Replies
    1. Nikki: Ooh! Nice to see you on this side of the interwebs. lol Thanks for dropping by! :)

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