Saturday, June 20, 2015

Paalam Chichi


Chichi
2010 - 2015


“In the course of the experiment, that chimp had a baby. Imagine how her trainers must have thrilled when the mother, without prompting, began to sign to her newborn.

Baby, drink milk.

Baby, play ball.

And when the baby died, the mother stood over the body, her wrinkled hands moving with animal grace, forming again and again the words: Baby, come hug, Baby, come hug, fluent now in the language of grief.” 

Amy Hempel, In the Cemetery Where Al Johnson is Buried


But Chichi, I’m still not fluent in the language of grief. And I miss you. And we all feel so alone without you. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

On Becoming

“I remember: becoming.”

That’s how writer Thomas Glave puts it in his book “Words to Our Now” when he revisited the time when he was still a young black gay man. He was then slowly realizing that his gender, sexuality and race could basically serve as invitations to danger, exclusions, and cruelty.

“Becoming.”

Not evolving. Not learning. But becoming. As if he is slowly being shaped by what he sees, by what he experiences in his world.

“... as in those lonely discovering days I sought so many beyond the infuriating sheen of cold blue eyes that were so sure they had the power to make me disappear they even had me convinced. Vanish, that coldness said, “Vanish” – and I did, partly unmindful of injustice; always preferring life among the invisible, particularly if they’re my own. I remember: becoming.”

The word struck me hard because I remember becoming, too. When I was younger and didn’t know well, I didn’t just yield to what my surroundings were instructing me to do. I became what, in my mind, the people around me wanted me to be (which is not to say that I became a strapping heterosexual, by the way). Much worse than that, I became fearful, someone who knows how to hide, how to act, someone who knows his place. Someone “straight-acting” as your regular Planet Romeo/ Grindr moron would say. I became that person.

But Glave also became someone better as he learned from other writers, as he learned from his travels, as he learned his own truths. “I hope that I’ll neither fail along the way nor be killed for aiming to live my own truth, as I --- we --- refuse to be silenced.”

Reading him I realized that we live in an age of validation. We are validating each of our choices. The ever expanding societal norms are telling us that each experience and more importantly each life is valid. Caitlyn’s choices are ever more so valid, if we are to delve into today’s headlines.

“Today, sixteen years ago or right now in the present, our we still exists in our acknowledged differences and strengths woven into the dream of a shared continuing history, the dream of so many still-silent and silenced voices throughout the world that are part of this We, inseparable from it. We can never let it be erased. It will never be erased... I close my eyes and breathe in, deeply: the new long season breathes out its beginning. Deep in the blood, beating. Discovering. Becoming. Yes.”

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.



Thursday, June 4, 2015

APARTMENT # 4

I've got three heavy bags and one large plastic container. That's where all my books are stored until I find an apartment tomorrow morning. Yes, we're moving once again. After spending three Christmases and three New Year's Eves we're, well, not exactly moving up, but moving on. I can't say that I am not excited about moving to another apartment. I just have too much bad memories in this one. What's amazing though is how much stuff we have accumulated after three years. I remember moving to this apartment with a bag of clothes and a few things stuffed inside my mother's van. Now, it would probably take us a truck before we could finally haul everything out. I'm not sure if it's a literal metaphor of how my boyfriend and I had grown through the years but something tells me it's a positive thing. Well, positive in a metaphorical sense but certainly not literally as I can't seem to figure how I'll have enough energy to carry these things down the building. I haven't even started on our clothes and other stuff. I was only able to take down the shelf and collected the magazines. God good, I never realized how much back issues of Vogue and W Magazines I have collected. I mean, how many Vogue issues does a gay man need? I took down the books first because that's what I am most excited about. When we finally find our new place, I plan to create my own study corner where I could place my books and look at them whenever I am in desperate need of inspiration. Maybe I'll have a cute table where I could keep my notebook and a plant underneath to filter the smoky air when I am writing and chain smoking.

To be fair, my brother has really been divine recently. He not only offered to lend me some money so we could find our own apartment, he has also given us his portable stove, which is kind of nice since the boyfriend is a good cook. I guess, that's how desperate he is to cut us loose. Every time he catches me home, he always ask me about our new place and I kept lying that I have already found one. I'm not sure really why I have this urge to lie when I could tell him the truth. He is, after all, my brother. I think I just don't need another person telling me what I am doing wrong. What is even more ridiculous is that I have already taken out some of our things in our sala when I still don't have an idea where we will move. I'll probably look for an apartment tomorrow after my trip to the gym. I just hope that the new place doesn't have 1. ghosts, 2. catty neighbors, and 3. thugs and thieves. What I am hoping though is that it would have a nice toilet where I could take long leisurely baths without thinking how icky the floors are.

- sometime in the past decade

2am panic

alas-dos na ng umaga. wala pa rin akong maisip na ipi-pitch at deadline na mamaya. gusto ko naman talaga mag-pitch eh kaso i've been so damn depressed these past few days (weeks, years...). i feel like i'm swimming in this sea of negativity. daming kuwento actually pero hindi lang talaga for public consumption. gusto ko nga i-post ito sa facebook kaso nahihiya ako. i've long stopped posting personal things on facebook where most of my acquaintances are. yes, acquaintances even the closest friends are now just acquaintances because they have ceased to know what's going on with me these past few years. nagpapa-pitch pa naman ng romcom. romcom? eh anti-love nga ako eh. anti-hugot lines and i hated that thing called shitty movie because i think, i think romance is opium for the filipino masses. kapag na-in love ka nga naman sa gitna ng kahirapan para ka na ring nag-win sa wowowin. so i'm drinking now in the hopes of punching out something from my atrophied brain. nothing is coming out. may etiquette for mistresses ang isang production company maybe i could think of a story line na comedy pero mistress ang bida? may idea na ako tungkol sa isang barista pero ugh i want to turn the genre upside down. kung nagre-reklamo ako sa mga pelikula hindi ba dapat mag-isip isip ako ng something na para sa akin ay worthwhile? ive asked myself: what do i talk about when i talk about love? no, that's not a birdman reference, that's a raymond carver reference, excusssse me. what do i know about love? i have two massively failed relationships that shook me to the core. and since one was four years long and the other almost three i think you could already consider it marriages no? so i'm a divorcee. at sabi pa naman ni lola nora ephron "the most important thing about me, for quite a long chunk of my life, was that i was divorced." well, to be honest, i liked her essay on nyc apartments more. and i guess i don't know anything about love. but, and this is a big but, i've learned about psychological maladies in the process.

so now it's 2.25 on my clock i dont have anything except that i've seen lea salonga sing reflections on youtube. just when will my goddamn reflection show who i am inside? but then i don't even know what's inside me these days. i definitely don't know.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

oh god, i think i just fell in love


this is Koharu Sugawara. don't know anything else about her but i did try to google "Koharu Sugawara lesbian." the results were inconclusive. however i did see another video of hers and if she is a lesbian oh man ang ganda ng subtext ng video na ito -

Monday, March 2, 2015

One day


It’s simply the case of having too many lighters and not having enough cigarettes or is it the other way around? Lately I dreamed about travel, sex and something else. My mother’s going somewhere tomorrow and I will be left alone for a week. Not a good sign. Then there is the deadline that I am  trying to beat and I think I am not going to make it. But still I try to march on because what else is there to do but to march forward, right? Now I have decisions to make. I feel like I’m walking on a tightrope. It’s quite difficult to create the life that you want, no? To create a life that I want and not the life that is simply given. Tug and pull. There’s always a tug and pull these days. Makes for a better character I think but really hellish to live through.



Monday, February 9, 2015

Like a knotted string



1


These past years I have come to compare my emotions to a tangled string. I always thought --- no, I feel --- deep in my heart, there is a string that is frustratingly knotted. I, myself, find it hard to unravel and when I am involved with someone trying to tie this string with another human being seems almost impossible. The knots just keep getting messier. Bigger. Scarier. More frustratingly knotted. Painful.

Last night’s episode of Looking was just like that. Kevin tries to break it off with his boyfriend in favour of Patrick but can’t. Dom wants to know where he “sits in the pantheon” with Lynn who feels he is done with relationships having given most of himself to a former lover. In the end, Patrick walks out of a bar completely shattered. Wow, I thought, the valley of the broken hearts. Is San Francisco a valley? I especially love the shout-out to Armistead Maupin when Patrick compared Eddie to Miss Madrigal. And, yes, I guess when it comes to love --- the same as when buying an ice cream --- some actually prefer to wait in line even if you can get the same thing from another store, isn’t that right Richie?







2

I try not to watch too much TV. I’m already too much committed to Looking, Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black and my laptop can only hold a certain amount of devotion. But I do dig those fan videos of love affairs featured in other shows. I guess it’s the romantic in me (and we all know what becomes of the romantic when it gets out of hand. Try talking to Madame Bovary). Last night however I got caught watching and re-watching the gay couple from Shameless. Oh god, Mickey is so fucking hot.



 





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quezon city, Philippines

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