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My favorite month has come around again. In my memory, December air always spreads off happiness. The nights become bright and colorful because people start hanging Christmas lights on their homes, on various establishments, on trees, even. Pack of children roam around the place, happiness radiating from their faces as they sing Christmas carols to people. I get to visit relatives whom I only see twice a year: (1) All Soul's Day, (2) Christmas Eve. After that I'll be having my birthday, yes, I'm always eager to grow older. Then New Year's Eve. The world suddenly becomes a happy place.
I came across something that reminded me of another unfinished business. I stopped attending my ENG 101 class after the discussion on Italo Calvino's
, which I didn't finish reading. But the real reason why I stopped was that I can't think of a short story to write about. I find it hard to force myself to write. It has to come with "epiphany". Otherwise, I would never finish it. I promised myself then that my 100words for this month would include all the cities in the
. A closure seems like the right thing to do now.
My parents are really odd and annoying. Although they make my blood boil, I can't help but feel some sort of amusement at the same time. It's been one week since I got sick, and because medicine prices are sky-high here in our country and we don't have money to begin with, I didn't get any medication at all. Then today they suddenly got mad at me because I got sick. Yes, you read it correctly. In our household, my parents will get angry with anyone who gets sick, as if it was our fault. Wow. Makes perfect sense.
I'm Dennis, and I'll share something that happened when I was eight years old. A natural keen observer, I sat beside the window sill one rainy day. I looked outside the window, and I watched my older sister go out of the house. She was carrying an umbrella. My older brother followed shortly behind her, and he was wearing a raincoat.
"When it rains, girls bring umbrellas, while boys wear raincoats," I said, keeping a mental note of my observation. I suddenly stopped breathing. "Do I want a raincoat, or... do I want an umbrella?"
It became a major crisis.
I realized that among my siblings, I'm the least "invested-upon" by my parents. They never actually paid for my education. When I was in elementary, my tuition fee is free because my mother is a teacher at my school. In high school, I applied for a scholarship which pays for my tuition fees and gives me a monthly stipend. Now that I'm in college, I work for my aunt every weekend and in return, she pays for my education expenses. I'm happy that I'm not a burden to my parents. But they seem to take that fact for granted.
"Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle all the way..."
"It's not yet Christmas!" snarled the old, big-bellied man sitting on their porch.
I don't know why my friends and I insist to keep coming back to this house every night to sing Christmas carols. Every time we do, they mockingly join us in singing, "Thank you, thank you very much!" but they don't hand us any coin at all. Not that we're doing this entirely as an excuse to get alms.
"It's not yet Christmas" he said, but all over his house are bright Christmas lights. Miserly old fat geezer.
I'm familiar with this place. I've seen its beauty in other places I've visited before. This is also what contained me in my younger days, but I arrived here in my old age. Whatever desires I had back then faded into memories. Now I come face to face again with every reminder of the past; the past is etched in every line, object, placements, etc. Patterns like this are easy to memorize... and forget, take for granted. Too much familiarity enstranged me, and now I wonder if this is the same place, or just happened to have the same name.
Most religions preach that humans are made after the image of God, only corrupted by the original sin committed by Adam and Eve. But from what I observed of kids and babies, I am having second thoughts. Babies and kids are unbelievably selfish; they want everything for themselves. But grown-ups teach them they have to share, because that's the good thing to do. Kids are also awfully mean; they tease fat kids, do mean pranks, stuff like that. But society would tell them it's not the way to behave. Maybe then, human nature is not really good after all.
Most couples hardly become friends again after breaking up. At first, I can't understand why because I always thought that people must not throw away what they had just because they found out they aren't meant for each other. But now I realized that that's exactly the issue. After everything you shared, it's hard to see that person as "friend only". It's hard to draw the line again.
A stranger eventually becoming one's friend is conceivable. So is a friend turning into a lover. But a lover demoted as "just-a-friend"? It's beyond me. You're asking for the impossible.
The plastic surgery of the artists is always an issue in KPop forums.
"If [insert artist's name] didn't go under the knife, I wonder where she'll be, with an ugly face like that!" - some insecure teenager (I'm certain.)
Well, she'll surely end up nowhere in the entertainment business, but the fact that she's more talented than you won't change. It also doesn't help that she's living in a society that puts the spotlight only on beautiful people. She had the means to acquire what God unfortunately did not bless her with. I would use it too, if I were her.
"I'm nodding my hips like yeah, moving my hips like yeah..."
I hate Miley Cyrus. And I hate how almost everyone seems to like her. Her voice sounds like a hamster running around its toy wheel. Seriously, to the first person who said, "Wow Miley you have an amazing voice! I think you should sing and rock the world!", I hope you get struck by lightning this very moment. And Miley Cyrus acting... Or overacting, to be accurate. Trying to be funny when she's totally not.
It's a party in the U
A (emphasis on the S). GET THE FUCK OUT.
My friend was carrying a thick, hard-bound book. It can't be. I snatched it from his hands. I was right. It was
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
. I've already the read the whole series, like ten times already. I suddenly recalled how I sighed after I finished reading it almost three years ago, closing it with a strange sadness stirring inside me. Harry Potter ended in 2007. But it would always be a part of me. I was struck, not only by its brilliance, but how it once made me believe in dreams, friendship, love, and magic.
If I were a boy...
Every month, there are three days I wish I weren't a girl. The sanitary napkin feels odd and bulky in my panties. It's troublesome to wash blood-stained undies, shorts and bedsheets. When dysmenorrhea attacks, I get a taste of hell. My stomach and legs cramp, I can't get on with my daily activities. I take pain killers, which considerably lowered my pain tolerance. Why does menstruation have to be so excruciatingly painful, annoying, messy, and handicapping? Not fair. I'd rather get circumcised once, than experience this every month until I reach the menopausal age.
I had always been one of the boys. When I was young, my best friends were all boys. Like most men, I deal with my enemies and frustrations by brute force. Once, when I was the class president, I literally dragged my noisy classmate into the corner and punched him again and again until I was satisfied. All of my classmates were terrified that no one dared tell on me. Now, however, my abnormal affection for women is what's bothering me. I can get touchy-feely, and too protective of my female friends. What the hell is wrong with me?
They say that if anything in this world existed that always make women's eyes turn wide and round from affection, it would be children. It's either I'm not a woman, or that statement is one big fat lie. I could only think of a few things I hate more than toddlers (specifically those aged 2-4 years old) : rodents, Mexican telenovelas, and Miley Cyrus. Really, what's so adorable about kids who feels like they'd die if asked to shut up even just for a minute? Or about kids who make so much mess in the house, like some freaking hurricane?
"Happy birthday!" Aryan and I greeted Jethro as he slid away the door and entered the computer shop. Before he could even say thank you, Aryan and I suddenly stopped breathing, feeling as if the world suddenly froze.
"It was already one year since we wrapped our leftover fudge brownie in tissue and gave it to Jethro (which he refused profusely, haha)?" I said slowly.
""It was already one year since Reg snatched and accidentally tore off Janice's Hello Panda (which she was saving as a present to a friend, haha)..." Aryan added, meeting my gaze.
Time flew by quickly.
I looked at my mobile phone's inbox, and saw a name that doesn't belong there.
, I remembered,
he's currently in Mindanao, without Internet or gaming for a few days
. He must already be dying from boredom, otherwise, why text me? I wanted to tell him that I'm not a toy. I'm not someone he could pick up and play with when he feels bored. I don't know why I can't say it, when I want to scream it right in front of his face. And every time he wants me, I end up exactly like this, his plaything.
My mother seemingly made preaching how their generation was, in every way, better than ours as her life's purpose. What's the point, really?
1. "In our youth, we enjoyed better music."
- Disco is dead.
"Lots of dance steps, which earned names because of their popularity, were invented during our generation."
- Not much use, eh, unless all of us were supposed to be choreographers.
"Our generation's fashion was more stylish and colorful."
- Not that I particularly fancy elephant pants and the weird hairstyle.
"Fewer teenage girls get pregnant then, for God's sake!"
- Yeah, and you were one of them.
Life in the 21st century has been in such a frenetic pace. I wonder what happened to the days when at the end of the day one could have a space of his own, mull things over, without adding that activity to the exhausting things that occupied his whole day. For the past years, ever since technology boomed so much, my days had been filled by brushing against people and wonderful things without really taking notice, constantly communicating not in real time and forget how it is to miss someone, and throwing myself down to bed, feeling really, really spent.
When has walking together with a guy ever been a malicious act? It's a totally innocent thing that happens to almost everyone, I bet, so don't act like it's a crime and you'll have to report it immediately to my mother. To my mom's co-teachers, I express my deepest, most sincere understanding of how boring your lives must be. But it's hard to sympathize when your gossiping greatly jeopardizes how my parents see me as "trustworthy". All my hard work for the past years had gone down the drain, and now what? They're paranoid as hell again. DAMN YOU.
I was waiting for the jeepney to arrive. Suddenly, a girl came, carrying a bunch of bags. "Hey, I know this person," I thought stupidly. Our eyes met, and small hellos barely left our lips. It was an awkward moment.
Funny how we we're relatively "friends" during our four years in high school but now, we felt like both of us is a complete stranger to one another. But come one, I never saw her again since graduation, and that was almost four years ago. So much has already happened, so many already came and went in those four years.
My best friend and I were laughing at how we felt we're already mature three years ago. We felt then, that we already know better, that we're already tough enough to face different challenges life will hurl at us. But judging the things we've written during those years, it couldn't be plainer that during those times, we're nothing more than naive teenagers (with emo tendencies). This time, we could hardly think that we already know better. Too many lessons are scattered along life's road, that making mistakes and learning seem unending. Well, I'd take them on, that's for sure. Gladly.
"Let's have dinner this January - Yixhan"
I stared at my mobile phone, dumbfounded. My godmother in the sorority actually wanted to spend time with me. Although I'm sure it's to persuade me to be an active member of the sorority, I can't pretend that I didn't find this invitation tempting at all. I never really felt that I belonged there. My best friend tells me that I just never really gave it a chance. Most people say everything that happened before I became a member was "nothing personal", but it boils down to how
it was all personal to me
Our Christmas Eve would never be complete without my uncle's BINGO game. All of us in the family, kids and adults alike, suddenly become overly competitive, eyeing one another warily, wishing so hard that it would be himself or herself who'd shout "BINGO!" in the end. So this year was another fun Christmas Eve, except that I didn't win, not even once, not only that night but ever since we started playing it. They say that if you're not lucky in gambling, you're lucky in love. I must be really unlucky then, seeing how I'm a loser in both things.
Today, after several years, I entered a church to attend a mass. I just couldn't say no to my parents, much less tell them how I think Catholicism is a big joke. So I sat there, and saw a folded paper in front of me. Curiosity took the rein so I opened it."This is the miracle of the Virgin of [i don't remember what]. Make 100 copies and hand to people. If you don't, terrible tragedies will fall upon you. If you do, you'll be rewarded with good fortune." Fucking great. I didn't go to church to get cursed!
He hasn't seen his father since he was eleven. At first he thought it's just because he's living so far away. As the childish years rolled away, he realized something's wrong, that he won't ever see his father again. His mother never really complained, as long as his dad, who remained invisible throughout their lives, could send enough money to support them. Money could only take us so far in this life. They needed his steadfast love, something that'll hold the family together. "It would always be you, and you alone." Such a hollow promise he left to his wife.
My cousin Bradley visited us today with her wife, Lady. We were all delighted upon hearing she's six months pregnant, and fussed as we never heard of babies before. As my excitement died down, I gazed at Lady and realized what a lucky bastard my cousin was for having this very beautiful and kind woman as a wife. (Not that he doesn't deserve it. Haha.) Both of them are also lucky (apart from having such a good partner for themselves) because they were friends since kindergarten, became each other's
first love and the last
... spared from all those unnecessary heartbreaks.
I would like to correct a sentence from my December 27 entry:
We were all delighted upon hearing she's six months pregnant, and fussed as we never heard of babies before.
That was supposed to be
"as if we never heard of babies before"
. I hope I didn't make mistakes so big in my past entries that would make them totally not understandable. I'm frustrated at how many grammatical errors my entries contain, caused by so much backspace-ing and rewording just so it would contain a hundred words, no more, no less. And...
HEY THAT WAS ALREADY 100 words?!
The long Christmas vacation propelled me to read books stashed around the house, all of which I've read for the nth time.
Memoirs of a Geisha
is the one novel that particularly lingered on my mind. Apart from the cruelty of a life led by slavery, what disturbed me most is how it portrayed a world wherein men go out in the evenings, forget the wives they left in their homes, pay for other women's company, engage in illicit relationships, and made it seem as if the whole thing was completely natural. Is real love only an illusion, after all?
The first ray of today's sunshine entered through the tiny openings of my window, but I just flipped over and pulled my blankets higher up my face. On any other day, I would have had to immediately straighten up my crumpled body and get up. But not today. I could sleep through the whole day if I wanted. But it would be a waste to spend this day sleeping, when I could finally experience some sort of immunity to doing house chores, sermons, and food control. And as the sun goes down, I said serenely: "Indeed, happy birthday to me."
I took a quiz at Facebook entitled, "What's wrong with you?" (something like that) I got the result: "You lack spirit." I remembered several Japanese anime wherein the protagonist is on the verge of losing, but could still miraculously fight because of his unbreakable spirit, because something is pushing him to fight on. I am a tenacious person, but there's a difference. Determination can take you far, only if you don't lose sight of what you are doing, and why. I said I'd write about Invisible Cities this month. As the year closed, you witnessed how I failed, once again.
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