Mar 24, 2004

Kita mo na rin ba ang pagsasanga ng daan?

Tanaw ko na rin. Bayaan mo, darating rin tayo dyan. Duon muna tayo sa likod tumingin. Tigil ka muna, malasin muna natin ang mahabang nilakad natin. Dati tinakbo pa natin yan. Makailambeses tayo napilitang tumalon. Minsan naman, trip lang nating magtatalon. Kahit pa nuong nakaraang sandali lang, nadapa tayo. Muntikan na nga tayong pira-pirasuhin ng mga nagngangalit na rottweiler at dober, tig-aapat pa ang mga mata nilang nakatutok sa atin. Pero, hala, sige, nagtatalon pa tayo. Buti na lang hindi ako nadapa pang muli kahit lumanding ang kanang paa sa balat ng mangga. Pano ba naman e nandyan ka. Megasalo ang drama ng balikat mo sa braso ko. Pwera pawis, pwera anghit, pwera lahat! Hala, tuloy tayo magkakaripas!

Pero hindi naman ang panga ng mga aso o lobo ang mabagsik.

Minsan inabutan na tayong kasagsagan ng araw. Naging tuyo tayo. Tigang na nga, kung yun ang salitang gusto mo. Basta sa bawat hakbang natin, umaangat ang alikabok at pumapatak ang pawis. Pero sige, hala banat ang paglalakad! Minsan naman inabot na nga tayo ng dilim, nabagsakan pa tayo ng ulan. Unaambon lang sa umpisa kaya kunwari trip pa nating magtampisaw. Naririnig ko pa ang malutong na halakhak mo. Biglang nilunod ang halakhak mo ng parahas na parahas na pagpapatak. Ayun kamo, tili naman ang banat mo. Pero mukhang masaya ka pa rin. Madali mo namang nakomunika sa akin ang kaligayahan mo. Para tuloy lohikal na ekstensyon na lamang ng pinawing pawis at panibagong pagkabasa ang sumunod pa nating antas ng kabasaan. Magaling. At pagkatapos, ang alibughang bukangliwayway.

Maya-maya, isang tuyot na tanghali. Saka lang natin natutunan muling magsalita.

Heto na nga tayo, matibay at makamandag na ang ating mga panga. Heto pala ang nilakad natin. Hindi natin namalayang dito patungo ang lahat ng hakbang at likido. Tumatango ka na ngayon at walang karitmo-ritmo ang pagdaloy ng alat mula sa iyong mga mata.

Ayaw mo na palang magbaliktanaw. Nakaharap ka na sa takipsilim. Ayan at nakita mo na rin, sa wakas, ang pagsanga ng ating daan.

Mar 21, 2004

Something Fictional

Sometimes, yes, I know you'd love to shoot the messenger. Especially when the message is 'You're not about to get the message'.

I agree that it must be forever despised when a friend tells you that there's something she'd rather not tell you. As if you just love getting your intelligence insulted! Usually, just by saying that this it is something she'd rather not say, reduces the number of possiblities of what that utterance is and what it means. Given this perimeter and some elementary-my-dear-Watson deduction, it is easy for you to know almost exactly what was uttered in your absence. Yes, that spiteful omission, that which you clearly hear absent from her utterance.

Since you wield this heuristic, the others may ask why you are incapable of just withdrawing your grudge from your friend. You'll get to know the message anyway. So why not just forgive the messenger? I'll try my best to explain on your behalf but feel free to correct me, if ever.

Your messenger-friend thought she was being kind to you by sparing you the details. Even with the gravity of your insistence, she doesn't let up and spill the godforsaken beans. You give up in the name of friendship with silent exasperation which you now confide in me. With a lot of hush-hush, you ask me what I think. Well, I think Sartre was wrong when he said that you go get advice from someone whom you think will give you the words you want to hear. What you wanted to hear from me was a rational absolution of your friend from your judgment. Dead wrong dear. I'll damn her, shoot her myself if you can't.

She didn't give you details because she thought you'll be the worse for knowing. Provided that is the truth, what I contest is the fact that she told you that she knew something then withdrew it from you. She spared you details that would harm you, sure, but she inflicted on you the worse detail in the whole forsaken tableau: she knew! If she can keep the other details with foresight and concern, why the hell can't she have the decency to keep from you that minute fact that something was being kept from you?

Well can't a friend like you demand honesty at most or finesse at least? Maybe you can't demand anything because you don't want her shot down. You don't want to be the one to end this friendship thingie. Granted. Consider though. What if the truth of her message was 'You're not really a friend in the first place', what then? The medium is the message dearie. The absence is exactly the presence.

Anyway, if she asks me if this is about her, I'll tell her I don't really know. If she insists that she feels as if something's being kept from her, I'll say 'Not really, no'. Am I not merciful? I could tell her I knew something but I'd rather not tell her. Instead, she'll have to read 'It's something fictional' from my lips.

Friend, consider your secret kept.

Mar 16, 2004

Past Infinitive

I wonder what I am doing here not ending things or planning to end things?

I've always known that I've hated two things above all others in the unliberated pedagogy of the kids: the grading system and saying goodbye. I wonder (as I ceaselessly do in this space) which is more necessary. Not that tough a question. Damn pragmatists, always counseling the value of the need! The obvious readily surfaces: the latter is the greater need. Not that the acceptance of 'what needs be done' has ever been a comfort.

Maybe some clever primeval teacher invented final exams as an excuse to not say proper goodbyes.

Mar 14, 2004

The Crusades

Okay, I'm listening. You're so sold on this history-flavored conjecture of yours, aren't you? Yes, of course, as you say, the fiery trains brought the crusades back to Spain. Naturally, I read between your fine, kitten-haired lines the fixation with the problem of the 'Moors'.

I tell you, there are other theories. Cable-remote control away, google-click away, newspaper leaf away. The hot-blooded Basque hypothesis for one, have you heard of that? You smile, and I read between your blank stare and pursed, maroon lips that you weren't listening.

I wonder if you'll hear my own, my pet theory. Staring blankly at the whitewashed wall behind you, I wonder further if you will follow my labyrinthine thread, the one cleverly dubbed 'the French connection'. One always goes to Spain through France! Our thread will lead us back to Pearl Harbor, Cuba, a certain Chinese plane crash, among other temporal gardens. Then forward, with analytical daggers in hand, we would go to Afghanistan and the twin Gulf wars. The thread will lead us to the terror, beyond the one called 'Minotaur'. Behold, dearie, the one I name 'Minos Rex'! All paths lead to him, you see.

Except our path, now, when I decide not to even begin, to drop thread and dagger while Ariadne still throbs, unabandoned in the island of the future; my tragic black sail, still off the mast; and the child of the architect, still unadorned with the fatal wings.

I drop it, and two seas, Icarian and Aegean, remain unnamed.

I hope you forget the Moors sometime soon. I hope you leave Spain to Spain. We'll go for lunch when you do. Whadyasay we eat some Japanese?

Mar 6, 2004

in the first place

I take a pad without any clear idea of what I'll write. That's the sheer joy of it sometimes, having the pen and the sheer blank possibility before you. I conjure worlds, inverted or magnificent. I imagine communities without a spoken word or too much sweat. Or endowed with too much color.

I construct her or several versions of her. Or not her at all. And how her eyes are. How they would be. How they could be. How they would have to be if I didn't need them on me too much. How the lashes could be too black or devoid of color. Or hold too much sweat to hope for any vision.

Then I take the pen and make shit out of pad that was perfectly beautiful without my muddy ink in the first place.