It is possible not to think about women, just as one does not think about death.
October 27, 1938
The day before yesterday, I had to be home because nobody was and Manang had to be here to iron clothes. I didn't go with my father to Quisao. My mother texted me to dissuade me from going to LB. I stayed and decided against going to LB until November. There is a place I must visit. In the meantime, blades and pages engaged me.
Between headaches, I find her absence, her mouth open somewhere else, speaking to many somebodyelses.
Yesterday, nothing outside appealed to me (as certainly as I appealed to nothing outside). With delight, I noted my knee has healed. I note too that a thought that Makiling may have a thing for my knees and won't let these escape a semester unscathed. Still, wounds are good. It reminds you you're alive, tells you you'll die, and gives you something to clean in the meantime.
Here in Makati, I only open my big mouth in the evenings, when the family's here and there's somebody to tease.
I wonder, between calisthenic exertions, what words issue from her lips. Sometimes, I'm glad to imagine her speaking, facing somebody else, and I hear nothing from her moving lips. Just like seeing a video turned mute and in slow motion. Like in the cinema when the boy remembers how in love he is with the girl and the girl doesn't know he's looking. Or when, from afar, a terrorist, CIA agent, or Hollywood hero (difference?) sees a particular female victim in an entire building about to explode.
I spent the morning watching Carnivale episodes three to six. Magic, really. I want to finish the series before any comment.
At night, upset with my own work and the itching sensation that I am being written down, I enter Joaquin's Tropical Gothic. When you're down and 'up' just seems too far, don't dwell. Go deep.
Joaquin takes me both ways, up in the level of his craftsmanship - up where the air is crisp - and down, ever down, deep in the thick pus of bowels.
Six months ago in Baguio, Nery raved about the opening piece 'Candido's Apocalypse'. Inescapably, I find among the hovering intertexts Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Then I recall a year when I gave a copy of the novel to Jol as a birthday gift. Two years ago? Three? Then the clock struck twelve. I watched Hero for the fourth or so time, this viewing particularly prompted by the review of cbs.
I was missing something. I followed the dates in my journal with Nadal's song playing in my head, competing with Carnivale and Hero themes. It's Jol's birthday. At around 1:40am, I sent him a message.
For her, my distant one, a kiss flung through the window, out into the night, a kiss with a word too silent that I could not dream a syllable of it. And I've already forgotten the word, among pages and blades, in the forge my will, in this, my only morning.