May 23, 2004

A Cinderella evening. Tonight there were two grand balls - and we were invited to neither. But what is sinister is that Lady Astor either forgot us, or deliberately omitted us from her ball tonight in honour of the King and Queen. I thought that such social humiliations were over: that I was too secure, or too indifferent to mind them: but I find I do, which is ill-bred of me.

'Chips' Cannon
Diary entry
May 23, 1938

Tonight's Tentative Titles

A Thursday Morning - which I quickly throw away because it was uneventful, last I remembered it.

The Thursday Evening - or Chance Encounter, which would be about a particularly poignant evening beginning with arrival from Los Banos, a priceless welcome from the two elder girls of the family, two new shirts (a black one from New York and a red one from Boracay), then reactions to the self-portrait I brought home (properly entitled "Narciso"). Of course, the height of the piece would be where I go shopping with my sister and I meet him (the grand old man) and his wife. Then, after the advise on fiction and depiction, I'd end with a nice (though maybe blatant) epiphany. However, both titles are too lackluster for the purpose.

Welcome to the Thursday of the Real! - which seems better especially with the exclamation point. It plays with the greeting of Baudrillard, replacing the expansive spatial 'Desert' with the definite temporal 'Real'. Well, since on that Thursday I was creating fiction on the uneventful morning, consuming it on the equally insignificant noon, and discussing it on the memorable evening, 'the Real!' feels like a nice touch. A comfortable fit with the epiphany too, I might add. But I'm increasingly uncomfortable remembering Thursday evening, pleasantries notwithstanding. And even if I'll recall it anyway, I'd rather consider other topics.

The Friday After - which would begin a discussion on my night-out, in itself, a worthy recollection. However, I'm indisposed to writing sequels.

Lost Cause - but I forgot what it would've been about. Besides the title doesn't have oomph, as the title nazi would remark.

Peripheral Vision and the Distant Shoulder - which must've been related to whatever topic I remembered to forget in the previous title. I could also begin with Thank God for Peripheral Vision! which includes the beloved exclamation point and an actual sigh I uttered sometime during the night.

Oomph - the title nazi might approve.

Bourgeoisie Rhythm - which has a Madonna music-makes-the-people-come-together thing going there. But I discard it because my ears weren't all too sharp during the night out. The walls throbbed with the abused bass, strained strong vocals, and various winds forced on microphones. I couldn't 'throb' along. So, so much for that.

Breadth and Depth of the Palomar Vision - which would be a review of Italo Calvino's Mr Palomar. However, it'd have been deceitful with me having read only ten pages of the 113-page work. I was intrigued with his day on the beach though; how he contemplated on looking and looking away from a naked bosom. It's odd, interesting, or edifying (depending on the disposition of the reader) how Mr Palomar tries to read the infinite from the infinitesimal (very Blake). A single, normally insignificant wave engages him. Obliquely, this brings me back to the unholy, unsilent night where I heard little and saw much. Not one gyrating hip, not a single naked breast. However, there was a distant shoulder.

Inner Ear and Other Interesting, Insightful People - which would primarily document the wild strokes of Inner Ear on that night, how he swam against the current of the aggressive flood of Friday night jazz to the beat of Thursday evening's eloquent old man and his silent wife. He'll end the night with a dream of a shore where waves break soundlessly but the moon ticks as it climbs the night sky. Mr Ear will wake up the next day when the moon sounds its 3310 alarm. Another character of the entry would be Peripheral Vision, a pensive, mild-mannered gent. However, his name notwithstanding, I'm considering him as the central character. Hence we reconsider a slightly modified previous title.

Peripheral Vision and Distant Shoulder - which would record a Friday night directly through the eyes of Peripheral Vision, a gentleman who always sees blurred faces, halved bodies, distant shoulders. He's forever bound to seeing both a vague likeness of what he desires and can't confront on the one hand and, on the other, a permanent border of darkness (where people and objects fade to black) which increasingly fails to be the refuge it once was. In the end, a nightmare visits him. Distant Shoulder comes near, so close that she scares him. Then her nearness blinds him. Was it her or his own lid that blinded him? Mr Vision realizes that he'll never know - that's the nightmare right there, getting trapped in labyrinthine, unresolvable speculations.

The Shoulder that Never Was - well, that's a possibility. Something so close that it's invisible or so far that it's a memory. In any case, it's so true that it could be fiction.

Touch Her - which recalls the Almodovar film, Tell Her. Both could be, in my case, either both unheeded self-issued commands or (well) fictions. I wonder (though we're dwelling on beginnings here) how it would end if ever the proposition is taken seriously. Mr Vision gets the girl. Happily ever after and all that. Or Ms Shoulder could turn out cold. Or there may be too much on her to accomodate the lightest, gentlest touch. Mr Vision would see that it's selfish to even just risk. Mr Vision would rather keep his gravity to myself. Or Mr Vision would realize that he already has her - with or without mushy, dashing risk-it-alls - because he sees Ms Shoulder with eyes of such clarity and character (vague half/dark half or total darkness notwithstanding). Then, for more pretentious writing, we could end with Peripheral Vision dreaming.

The Kiss - oh please. Chekhov, is that you?

The Sorrows of Young Dennis - right. And will that include A Footnote to Youth or A Footnote to Goethe? In any case, I'll get too many protests from the adjective if I write this now. Maybe later.

Oomph and Other Titles - which would probe the possibilities of beginning with a bang. Or at least, with oomph. But the title nazi might say it's just too vulgar with oomph being literally there as opposed to being an achieved effect. So we throw that away. Let's settle for something Fr Nudas taught me: good old alliteration.

Tonight's Tentative Titles - which could be a survey of the stuff I could write but won't. Again, I'm already off to thinking about how such a piece would end. I want it open-ended, maybe with a question, an invitation for other people to come to my own little private night-out with their own titles (like potluck). Let's try out something honestly slumbookish. Something like, "how was your day?" "If your day was a title, what would it be?" "If you were a title, what would you be?" "What if you were a name?" However, that'd be talk of endings, (and "Is anybody here in the mood for endings?") and that's stuff for another entry altogether. "Right?"