Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fusilli!

Dreamt a long dream for only four hours straight, felt like an eternity in an abyss of subconscious nightmare and fantasy. The congested mattress stinks of sweat and brine. The harmonious, jazzy ringtone of a cellular phone filled my ears with discord. It is almost half past two in the afternoon. The eyes attached to my head, fiery and blood red, quiver with lack of sleep, bouncing up and down, back and forth. Unlocked the phone to discover almost a dozen missed phone calls, half a dozen left text messages, and one or two voicemails. Too lazy to bother, already especially aware of the intentions. Immediately rose up to a disruptive error that plagued his streaming tunes on his LED. What a bother. For every second wasted breaking the comfort of the illusive dream, an angel bleeds from its ears, all sad and weary of the tragedy that befell the sodding conflict of the man with a mission.

'I must have my ears,' I remember telling myself as I sat at my bedside, browsing for some luxuries while fixing the earlier error. 'But then, I needed to learn how to spend less quid and earn more.'

That is quite a challenge I bet for myself. Neither would I believe to succumb to this early on, but remembering as to what actually occurred last October, The No Fap occasion, I wouldn't be so confident about anything anymore.

Food was scarce, the kitchen polluted with streaks of myself, aghast and unintended. I had to make do as I should. All the more the following weeks then, when a pair of cans drop by to pledge allegiance to my sorrow. My heart is marred with mixed emotions, considering my lack of finance and costly indulgences, and even now there shows no signs of stopping. Hygiene was the next step of the itinerary, unorthodox as well as all the other weekends, showing no purpose and function. Productivity was always a lingering question and for a good reason. The demands of the soul continually hungers without providing in return, greed and malice consumes us. A diune of the body and soul, zen to many, and purgatory to some.

There is no more need to touch the self, for that moment refers to himself 'Himselves', being many and one both. The one questions and the other answers. The perfect form of man.

Feet forms of parabola in remembrance of the primer, going back and forth the same distance as before, arriving at unequal times, in very different circumstances, catching different moments at the most opportune minutes, inadvertently causing a paradox in the process, trapping himselves within the parabola of the cycle room. The wheels pumped with air, all the more providing great comfort for future travels, giving lightness to the unbearable exertion of each pedal rotation. With luck, and not a moment sooner, a mother with her daughter in a trolley passes by, and hissed at her with woeful intent. She looked back at me with bewildered eyes, trying to juggle the seriousness associated with the situation. In the end she proved useful in releasing me from that dungeon of rubber, and I smiled at her, feigned interest with the daughter's beauty which I did not even care to see, and for her kindness that was commonly fragile amongst the neighbourhood.

This little snicket walked on, thanked the woman and her maker at once, and said his farewell vows only to meet a blockage just across the hallway where a man equal to my size (uncommon to fair-skinned people) was possibly handcarrying someone else's flat, also possibly for reasons of relocation. Similar to what happened to himselves' flatmate a couple of weeks back, whose now's heir inherited himselves' slowly building wrath, solely because he was all testosterone and half of it just the same. Yet the woman who stayed with himselves longer finally arrived from a couple of weeks' travel and vacation, who got herself a tan and a whole new, totally glowy demeanour, and even though our relationship was tense, she was there to leave me an annoyingly courteous 'how are you' that barely meant anything, so I replied in return an 'I'm fine' answer which barely made a scratch on my hiney. Finally I moved on to greater (not really) things, and there I decided to return to the rubbery dungeon where I rested my legged wheels, and met the desire to mobilise my instincts.

'How many hours?'

Scratching my head in asking. 'Hopefully just one.'

The wheels moved better than I had hoped, all it needed were some slight modifications and calibration. Silly of himselves to worry about such a trivial thought.

Across the bridge my wheels met some adversaries, and they proved quite formidable in our struggle to maintain first lead. Brazil held a party from across the green swamp, subwoofer all around buzzing everyone passing's ears into oblivion, it would affect the next four miles of travel. Beside an swamp of green were a swamp of green men, with white phallus out and wet, shamelessly erect, and a disgusted look upon my face that met a beauty just beside the beast. I look away and she met my gaze. I look again. Finally we locked into a quick ecstasy. The urge to just pull her and her skirt down proved to much, and yet I recalled, moved away from the horror of tight spaces.

The only regret was that I failed to have a grasp of the mammary shape and left.

Hippos on parade everywhere causing distress to the traffic in plain sight. 'Colour! There's too much colour!'

Too much colour in a country full of shades of grey. Only thing closer to this that I can remind myself with was a homosexual beauty contest. Ave Maria, she said, or he said.

Clamped my thoughts to despair and engaged my man-purse where my empty notes sleep. I foresee conflicting prophecies of me in limelight in the future, probably maudlin and foolish.

Finally a place to gather my thoughts, such a rare find, and only on the overground where this resides. A pity rests, a cough depletes. Now able, there it is. My mission and vision. It's all coming to me. A little bit fuzzy. But it's getting there! Yes! I can feel it!

Kraaaakkkkkaddddooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!

On the overground, no one can hear you fall. Except for the other two hundred stiff bodies laughing at your expense. I picked up my wit that scattered all around. 'Are you all right?' he asks, his eyes half-spent crying in his thoughts of ridicule.

I did my usual 'tsk' gesture, moving my head left and right pretending to not be aware of how it occurred. 'Yes, I'm fine.' And he went on with his own business, but signaled to his mate and his mate's lass the sheer amount of mindlol that occurred through my own stupidity.

I glance to my left to see a tall, white man sharply staring at me in the eyes and smiled, so I smiled in return while wanting to slap him despite our height differences. I would, in all seriousness, confidently win that fight if ever. That battle would have served as my initiation of rights to consider myself a worthy relinquisher of spoiled cultures. I would also break many bones in the process, but it would be something worthwhile, and then I would go on changing the world.

That is all wishful thinking. The same thinking that has been occupying my mind for the past artistic year or so, as much as I love to delude myself thinking.

I wouldn't break bones really and thankfully so.

More than the storming of minds, I found myself addictively feuding words with strangers on the web, making friends in the process while gathering losing streaks of my own. Tensions build even in vocabulary, as it proved quite challenging and infuriating. Where do these thoughts come from? Or have my luck ran out at the mere sight of struggle. I pawned many a novice in my lifetime for a reason, and will continually do so until such time the world runs out of fools (which, undoubtedly, like the gloom that engulfs London, will ever go away).

''Attaboy!' she said, and included a laughing emoticon igniting good senses between us both. 'You're only 32 points behind. That's doable. My luck's running out. I have almost all one pointers.'

Bah! Such a prude bitch, I reckoned, mocking my ever-sensitive pride. I replied with slight aggression. 'My mind is completely blocked though and I can't get it to work as I would've wanted.' There included a sad emoticon as well to show my discontent for her mockery.

She would not respond.

I was trailing 32 points, that's quite a huge margin. With only a few tiles left I gathered all the impulsive whim and made up a ball of knowledge with it extensively draining what small things left in my mind that required cognition. The next turns gave us one-digit points, up until I, with all puzzling thoughts swirling, was successful in giving her a 40 pointer. Equally stunned as she was, I kept my cool and felt butterflies guffawed in my viscera. as if the trickster cherubim from the skin finally acknowledged my being a victim.

She finally replied. 'Not feeling sorry for you, by the way.'

This brash trollop's at long last getting what's coming for her. Ha!

'You made me win,' I told her. 'Let's do it again.' That last one included a winking smile at the end to show my  sincerity, or lack thereof.

That was the last time I heard from her. Perhaps one of these days she'd look for a rematch. I quite liked her in the end, despite her face on the photo seemed all puffy and rotund, hidden behind the comfort of bigass sunglasses.

It almost made me forget about the mate's mate's lass' absolutely sexy duster, and if a wind would pass by at that moment would glare at me a divine cameltoe and buttsmile in bloom. This... thing... behind my pants, it speaks, and only speaks in riddles, and only in moments of perversion, preoccupied only by lust and gain. My entire form shrugged as a response to the lost etiquette. The only thing missing was sputum dripping from my skin. I could picture it from a mile away, giving advice to me in the form of a shaman, a native conqueror of the world's long lost essence. I needed to recharge my delicadeza and did just that.

Switched stations on the next stop where I stooped low to throw away attention. There a thought came to me. The crime of schizophrenia. It's the perfect formula.

'A man who would never smile and is only happy when he does his perversities.' That's it! 'Only that when his victims see him smile, they'd never be sane enough afterwards to worry about whether he did.'

A cause for alarm: Attention. Arson. Libel. Kleptomania. Murder. Lust. Friends and families.

The greater good of the necessary evil. Prithee, dost thy thought lull himselves back to slumber?

Would turn his wheel of fortune from whence he came, parked on a street where fools rush in. Groceries! This time not only for himself.

Fusilli! Fusilli!

Quite heavy, in fact. Diminished my fashion sense tenfold. Exercise for my blazing bicep, at the very least. He lost the calls. Left to ignore. Building up the fatigue.

Silly fusilli!

I finally waved my arms goodbye to outside contact, passed through the small fair that screamed deaths of youth, over the falsely peaceful leaves of park where a Ferrari was parked. Cunt, whoever the buffoon. Manboys from mother country sitting at a bench probably listening to ghetto rap watching me and whispering, 'This son of a fucking FOB.'

Reached the outskirts of a demented borough, parked somewhere (slightly) safe, and climbed the stairs letting to bad vibes. 'Where the flying fork is the console box?' Gone, reckoned to be thrown to the bins. Made way across the branches of laundry into a door that smelt of rotten cheese. Into it I achieved the redemption they himselves were looking for.

Kicked into the door with no signs of life... yet. Thank the heavens!!

Peeked at the refrigerator, munched all there is that resembled food. Success! 

Prepped the fusilli, formed a sly grin across my face, and went on with my gluttonous ways.

And then I scavenged from my dream earlier a lost quote that got buried deep into my Christopher Nolan-esque extraction of subconscious. 'Through the eyes of a child, the world seems magical. There's a sparkle in their eyes. They've yet to realise the darkest of their souls.'

In the end, only himselves appreciate the bounty of the fusilli. 

Friday, 22 July 2011

Apparition


Apparition © 

The sky tore his thoughts asunder, his limbs shaken, his eyes melting, and his back bent, simply at the mere sight of the eidolic woman in view. For once, he understood the essence of the warmth that began to build up inside of him, and he embraced it wholeheartedly knowing fully well one day his time to love will envelop his deep loathing.

Picturesque


Picturesque © 

Sometime last April, a man stood by and made a deceptive move just to see half of the above specimen. He gathered his whim and called out his nerves, calmed them down to oblivion, suddenly armed with a damsel by his side. There his adventure on that night began, and soon discovered things more than he ever foresaw...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Absent care

The ground stinks of piss in a carriage full of men. Persistent filth and bygone tragedies. There I sat looking to quench a sudden thirst. A belly button stood up to wave a sleeping man goodbye, and for a split second, acknowledges my forceful stare. She walks away, I look away. The carriage moves on. The scent lingers, when I realise the soles of my feet are completely submerged in the shallow puddle of liquid. Images of terror swoop in to catch my every reaction. I would horripilate if not for the hope of departure in seconds more time. To make things worse, a drunkard continually coughs across from where I sat, his face flushed and mildly red, like a clown with no makeup, completely moist but dry. My mind invents horrific ways to distort the image to my liking to no avail, and instead of wanting the urge to assassinate, my agile body quickly reacts jumping at the first possible millisecond the door showed signs of opening. Freedom is the utmost key, and my mind quickly forgot the feeling and moves on. Like a honey badger with absent care.

Everyone knows everything goes

It's the season to think of women for no reason, of small women taller than me. Her eyes despise the scent of my shirt that apparently screams 'rape'. Yet one other shrugs, and her long neck shivers. She has stolen a few winks. She could never be, a wannabe, could it be? And more came crashing, none strikes as equally odd to me. I ponder the reason, the treason, why this season is a fraud. The same as the other season, the same as the other sod. Self-loathing and life as usual while thinking of ways to love and cherish myself and others.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Rodin

"Beauty is character and expression. However, there is nothing in Nature with more character than the human body. By its force or its grace it evokes the most varied images. At times, it resembles a flower—the flexion of the torso imitates the stem, the smile the breasts, the head and the sheen of the hair represent the blooming of the corolla… And at other times, the human body curved back is like a spring, a beautiful bow on which Eros adjusts his invisible arrows. And then there are times when it forms an urn. The human body, is above all the mirror of the soul and that is where its greatest beauty comes from."

Proclamation Order 1081

Naghahalakhakan sa gitna ng dilim sa gubat kung saan napadpad ang mga magigiting na mga kalalakihan na galing Davao, umiinom ng mamahaling alak tulad ng Johnnie Walker pati Jack Daniels, upang ipagdiwang ang kabayanihang ipinamalas ng kanilang kapatid na si Janno at nailigtas nito ang isang grupo ng mga takas sa mapang-aping kamay ng mga Sibika.

Tumayo ang isang miyembro na si Efren sa kanyang kinatatayuan at itinaas ang kamay na may hawak na tagay ng alak. ‘Hindi ko lubos maisip na magsisimula na ang panibagong yugto ng ating paghihiganti. Lahat ng ating sinimulan mula nung unang araw ay hindi ko inakalang magkakaroon ng matinding impluwensiya sa ating samahan at sa ating kapwa. Ngayon, inialay ko ang ating mumunting tagumpay para sa milyun-milyon pang mga tagumpay na naghihintay sa ating kinabukasan!’ Lubos na tuwa ang kanyang naramdaman sa mga oras na iyon habang sabay-sabay na nilaklak ng kanyang mga kasamahan ang kanilang mga tagay nang tinulak niya ang kanya sa sariling lalamunan. Ang apoy na dumadaloy sa kanilang mga sikmura ay lalong nagbibigay ng sapat na lakas na kalimutan ang katotohanang sa kabila ng lahat, sila pa ri’y naghihirap. Na sa mga oras na iyon ay may sapat na pag-asa pang naghihintay sa kanila sa dakong bahagi ng lagusan. Ang matinding amoy na lumilibot sa kanila ay natakpan ng tuwa at biruan, at ang apoy na matinding lumiliyab sa gitna ng samahan ay nakakapang-akit. At sa mga oras na iyon hindi lubos maisip ni Santi ang hinaharap habang nakatingin sa gitna ng apoy, malayo ang isip sa selebrasyong pakiramdam niyang hindi naman siya sangkot.

May kaunti pa ring apoy ang natira sa lupa nang pumatak ang unang hirit ng araw sa umaga, ngunit ang mga lasing na katawan ng mga kalalakihan ay tila nakahandusay sa maruming sahig at sarado sa mundo, walang pakialam. Maagang nagising sina Efren at Janno na parang may pinapatunayan sa karamihan, maaaring upang ipakita na sila’y karapat-dapat na mamuno sa grupo. Ang tunay na pinuno nila ay nakaluklok lamang sa posisyon dahil sa kanyang posisyon sa kapulisan nung mga nakaraang taon, at hindi dahil dito’y para bang ayaw niyang masangkot sa rebeldeng grupong ito dahil sa kanyang hanay kamakailan, bago pa man nangyari ang pagpupurga. Dumaan sina Efren at Janno sa malapit na sapa upang maghilamos. Naroroon si Santi upang magpalamig ng kanyang mga paa. Ang susunod na biyaheng kanilang tatahakin ay siguradong nakakapinsala sa paa at naisipan niyang ipaghanda ito sa anumang pagsubok na maaaring mangyari.

‘Lalasunin mo yata kami ng mga paa mo, Santi. Mag-ingat ka naman, may umiinom sa tubig dito,’ pabirong sinabi ni Efren, nakangiti, kay Santi, na nakatingin lamang sa sariling anino sa sapa. ‘Hindi ka na nga uminom, papatayin mo pa kami!’ sigaw ni Janno. Sabay na tumawa ang dalawa at pinagpatuloy ang paghihilamos.

Habang naghihilamos, naisipan ni Santi na ilahad ang kanyang saloobin sa dalawa. Ilang oras niya hinintay ang pagkakataon ngunit naudyot dahil sa kasiyahan naganap nung gabing iyon.

‘Kagabi, habang nagsasaya ang lahat,’ biglang bulong ni Santi. ‘May mga bagay na biglang pumasok sa isip ko.’ Napahinto si Efren sa ginagawa, at habang hindi gaanong interesado ay pinilit sakyan ang drama ng bata, at napatanong, ‘Ano naman ‘yun?’ Pinunasan niya ang mukha gamit ang kanyang sando. ‘Bakit ba tayo nagpapaalipin sa gobyerno natin ngayon? Bakit kailangan natin isakripisyo ang ating mga sarili’t kapwa upang bigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang mga tao kahit hindi pa naman nabibigyan ng muwang sa mundo? Bakit ba pinipilit nating ipaglaban ang lupang hindi naman kailanman magbibigay-pasasalamat sa atin paghihirap hangga’t tayo’y nabubuhay? At bakit ba napapangiti tayo sa tuwing napapalapit sa atin ang konsepto ng tagumpay kung alam naman nating ito’y kathang-isip lamang? Lahat ng ginagawa natin -- ninyo, ay kalokohan na kailangan wakasin bagamat ito’y nagdudulot lamang ng maling adhikain.’ Napahinto rin si Janno sa paghihilamos. ‘Putang ina mo brad. Napaka-negatibo mo naman! Ginagawa nga natin ang lahat para rin sa ikagaganda ng ating buhay!’ Nabalin ang tuon ng mga mata ni Santi kay Janno. ‘Bakit, Janno? Gaano ba kaganda ang buhay mo bago pa nangyari ang kaguluhan? Hindi ba’t ika’y iskwater at walang trabaho, dating nakatira sa ilalim ng tulay at umaasang mabuhay sa basura ng mga mayayaman? Ang asawa mo nagtitinda ng katawan sa mga Sibika bago pa man ito pinagsawaan at pinaslang.’ Lumiyab ang mga mata ni Janno at dumilim ang paningin, tumigas ang kanang kamay na handang ipasubo kay Santi, pero pinigilan ito ni Efren. Tinulak ni Efren si Janno palayo at mahigpit na niyakap dahil alam nitong maari niyang patayin ang kaibigan sa mga oras na iyon. Patuloy na nagmura si Janno habang nakaupo lamang at tiwasay sa kinalalagyan si Santi.

‘Huwag mo na patulan! Hayaan mo, ako na ang bahala!’ sabi ni Efren kay Janno. Ang totoo, hindi alam ni Efren ang gagawin. Gusto niya lamang matahimik ang nagraragasang kaibigan. Kumalma rin si Janno hindi nagtagal. ‘Putang ina niya, p’re. Ano bang gusto niya mangyari? May ginawa ba tayo sa hayop na ‘yan?’ Binitawan na ni Efren ang kaibigan. May gustong sabihin si Efren sa kaibigan ngunit may pumipigil sa kanya. Hindi niya rin napigilan at sinambulat niya rin ang saloobin. ‘Namatay si Saniel kahapon sa engkwentro,’ inamin ni Efren, ang kanyang ulo ay nahuhulog pababa maaaring dahil sa hiya. ‘Magkasabay kaming sumalubong sa lungga ng mga Sibika at doon naisipan niyang maghiwalay kami pakaliwa’t pakanan para surpresahin ang mga kalaban. Plano niyang bigyan kami ng sapat na oras para kunin ang mga bitag habang nakatuon-pansin sa kanya ang mga ito. Hindi kami nagtagumpay. Buti na lamang at dumating ka at ang pulutong mo.’ Hindi maintindihan ni Janno ang nararamdaman, na para bang tinatali ang kanyang mga bituka at gusto niyang masuka. Umiikot ang kanyang isip at bumubulong ng mga bagay na hindi niya naman agad naisip. ‘Pero, p’re, paano nangyari ‘yun? Hindi ba’t isang pulutong ang sumama sa inyo sa operasyon? Paanong nagawa ng mga Sibika na taubin si Saniel?’

Hindi makayanang tingnan sa mukha ni Efren si Janno. ‘Bago pa man nangyari ang lahat, lumapit sa amin si Santi. Hindi, si Santi mismo ang lumapit sa kapatid niya. Siya ang nagbigay-detalye sa amin tungkol sa mga bihag. Pumayag naman kami agad na iligtas ang mga ito. Nais niyang sumama at lumaban kasama ang kanyang kuya, ngunit hindi siya pinayagan ni Saniel. Alam niyang masyadong delikado ang sitwasyon. Nagdadabog siya palabas ng silid na iyon, at sinabi ni Saniel sa akin, “Kung hindi man tayo makakabalik ng buhay, ayaw kong kasama ang kapatid ko sa impyerno. Dapat lang na may matira dito at handang ipaghiganti anumang mangyari sa atin.” May kutob na ako noon, pero sa mga oras na iyon hindi ko inakalang mangyayari ito agad sa bilis ng panahon.’ Hindi makaimik si Janno sa mga narinig. Para sa kanya, unti-unti niyang nauunawaan ang nararamdaman ni Santi. Pakiramdam niya sinisisi siya nito sa mga pangyayari. Ang bayaning hindi naman pinaghirapan ang pinagpupunyagi. Ngunit hindi rin mapigilan ni Santi na sisihin ang sarili. Siya mismo ang nagbigay ng detalye tungkol sa mga bihag na ikinamatay ng kanyang kapatid na si Saniel, at kung pumayag lamang ito at pinilit niya ang sarili na sumama ay maaaring maisalba niya ang kuya sa kapahamakan. Pero ayaw aminin ni Santi ito, dahil kung tuluyan niya itong gagawin ay lalabas na kasalanan din ni Saniel ang lahat. Sa huli, alam niyang lahat ng pagsisisi ay mahuhulog maaaring sa kanya o sa Sibika, ngunit ang kalaban ay hindi kailangang bigyan ng pagkakataon upang sisihin, dahil parang binigyan mo rin ito ng dahilan para depensahan ang sarili. Sapat na na sila’y papatayin agad, walang paliguy-ligoy pa. Ngayo’y naglulugmok ito sa pagsisisi at galit, handang patayin ang mga may dahilan sa pagkasawi ng kapatid. Ngunit patay na rin ang mga may kasalanan, at lalo lamang itong umaapaw sa paghihinagpis dahil hindi man lang siya pinatikim ng paghihiganti. Naniniwala siyang karapatan niya iyon bilang isang biktima. Ngunit, muli niyang natanto, huli na ang lahat.

Bumalik ang dalawa sa kampo kung saan unti-unting gumigising at bumabangon ang mga lalaking lasing. ‘Delikado ang grupo sa presensya ng Santing ‘yan, Efren,’ bulong ni Janno.

Nagulat si Efren sa narinig. ‘Nasisiraan ka rin ba ng bait tulad ng batang ‘yun?! Ano’ng gusto mong ‘gawin ko? Ipapatay siya sa isa sa ating mga tauhan?!’ ‘Hindi ‘yun ang nais kong ipagawa sa ‘yo. Isipin mo na lang din ang epekto nito sa moral ng ating kapatiran! Pilit niyang sisirain ang mga naitaguyod na nating mga bagay!’ Hindi pa rin maintindihan ni Efren ang gustong ipahiwatig ng kaibigan. ‘Ano nga ang nais mong gawin ko sa kanya? Kung ipapahamak mo lang si Santi ay sisiguraduhin kong ako mismo ang papatay sa iyo.’ Lalong nadismaya si Janno sa sinabi ni Efren para isiping ganung klaseng tao siya. ‘Hindi mo ako lubos naiintindihan p’re. Ang inimumungkahi ko lang ay ilagay mo siya sa isang lugar na hindi niya maimpluwensiyahan ang isipan ng mga kasamahan. Balang araw tuluyang masisira ang isip niyan at tayo ang una niyang ipapatumba.’ Nainsulto naman si Efren sa sinabi ni Janno. ‘”Tayo”? Sino ba ang tinutukoy mong “tayo”?’


Itinaas ni Santi ang mga nalublob niyang paa sa sapa at hindi pa rin maalis sa isipan ang inis. Pakiramdam niya bigla siyang sasabog anumang oras na sumunod. Isinuot niya ang medyas at ang sapatos na dating pinagmamay-arian ni Saniel. Tinali niya ang liston ng mahigpit at naalala ang mga panahong siyang pinapangaralan ng kapatid. Mahigpit magmahal si Saniel sa kanya. Lahat ng ginagawa niya hinahanapan ng mali. Isang araw, naisipan ni Santi na magnakaw ng tinapay sa panaderya, hindi dahil sa gutom siya, kung hindi dahil sa panadero nitong ubod ng sungit at puno ng poot para kay Santi. Nahuli siya at dinala sa kapatid, at sa harap ng panadero’y sinuntok siya ng matindi sa mukha bigla. Agad naman namaga at dumugo ang isang bahagi ng pisngi. Hindi nagkaimikan ang dalawa, at planong itaboy ni Santi ang kuya, ngunit nirerespeto pa rin niya ito dahil siya ang nagmistulang pamilya sa buhay nila. Hindi niya nakilala ang kanilang ama’t ina, at hindi rin siya nag-alala tungkol dito. Sapat na kay Santi na naroroon si Saniel para sa kanya, kahit pa man malupit itong mamahagi ng pagmamahal. Makalipas ang tatlong araw ay napatawad na niya si Saniel sa suntok, at siya mismo’y humingi ng tawad dito. ‘Sa panadero ka humingi ng paumanhin,’ bulong ni Saniel, habang nakayakap si Santi sa kanyang sinturon. ‘Pero, kuya, gago kasi siya.’ Ngumiti na lang si Saniel, at siya naman napatawa.
Dumating si Allan sa kanyang likuran, isang miyembro na maituturing niyang pinakamalapit na kaibigan. ‘Sabi ko na nga ba nandito ka lang. Hinahanap ka ni Ka Francisco. Tara, bumalik na tayo. Aalis na tayo pagkatapos ng apat na oras na paghahanda.’

‘Kalokohan. Bumalik saan? Para saan pa?’ inisip ni Santi.

‘May narinig akong masamang tsismis. Alam kong totoo dahil sa kinikilos mo ngayon, pero sana huwag kang magpakahina dahil lang diyan,’ payo ni Allan. Tumayo si Santi ng matuwid pagkatapos niyang ayusin ang liston at nakatingin kay Allan at pilit nakangiti. ‘Huwag mo na akong alalahanin pa, Allan. Ayos lang ako.’


Sa harap nina Santi at Allan ay si Ka Francisco, ang hinirang na pinuno ng rebeldeng grupong Armas, ang grupong kanilang kinasasangkutan. Nakaupo si Ka Francisco sa upuan habang may sinusulat na papeles, malalim ang iniisip at abala sa gawain. Medyo may katandaan, pumuputi ang buhok pati bigote, may katabaan, at may mukhang parang parating galit. Kahit ganito’y may maipapamalas pa rin itong kakaibang lakas at  pag-uugaling naghahanap ng respeto.

‘Santi, Allan,’ biglang bigkas ni Ka Francisco, kahit hindi pa rin maalis ang tingin sa papel sa lamesa. ‘Magandang umaga sa inyong dalawa. Pasensya na at marami akong inaasikaso. May narinig akong malungkot na balita tungkol kay Saniel. Totoo ba ito?’

‘Opo, totoo ang mga balita. Patay na ang aking kapatid. Inialay niya ang kanyang buhay upang mailigtas ang mga bihag na kanilang iniligtas kahapon.’ Hindi gaanong kumibo si Ka Francisco sa kinauupuan na para bang alam na niya ang sagot. Binaba niya ang hawak niyang lapis sa kamay at tinanggal ang salamin sa kanyang mata at isinantabi ang mga ito. Gamit ang matatamlay nitong mga mata ay tinitigan niya si Santi.

Nang maingay niyang samyuhin ang hangin sa paligid, hindi niya napigilang mapatayo, bigyan ng galang ang tao sa kanyang harapan. Ito ang paraan niya upang makikiramay. ‘Bago pa man mangyari ang pagpupurga, alam kong malayo ang aabutin ng kapatid mo. Nasa pulisya pa ako noon at siya’y katatapos pa lamang ng haiskul. Agad siyang naging tanyag nang tinuro niya sa amin ang sekretong lugar ng mga pusher ng droga sa inyong lugar. Naaalala ko ang mga panahong iyon. Matagal namin tinugis ang mga saralin bago pa namin natanggap ang mensahe ni Saniel. Isang malaking sindikato na may politikong sangkot. Mula noon ay binibigyan namin ng importansya ang mga bagay na ibinabahagi niya sa amin. Alam kong malayo ang aabutin ng batang ito. Tinanong ko siya, “Mag-kokolehiyo ka na bata, ano bang gusto mong gawin?” At sinagot niya naman ako, “Maging abogado.” Para daw lalo niya kaming matutulungan malutas ang problema sa gobyerno at sa lahat ng maling takbo ng pamamalakad. Siyempre, ako’y namangha. Buti pa ang batang ito, may matinding prinsipyo at direksyon sa buhay. Kaya nung nangyari na ang pagpupurga, hindi na ako nagdalawang-isip gawin siyang ikalawang pinuno ng himagsikan. Alam kong malayo iyon sa abogasya, pero mas makakatulong siya sa kanyang kapwa dahil doon. Dahil sa atin. Dahil sa kanya.’

‘Sadyang mapaglaro ang tadhana,’ sagot ni Santi, pilit iniiwasang maging emosyonal. ‘Pagbigyan niyo ang aking hiling, Ka Francisco.’

Tinaas ni Ka Francisco ang noo sa direksyon ni Santi. ‘Anong kahilingan ang ibig mong sabihin?’

‘Iluklok mo ako sa dating posisyon ni kuya. Gagampanan ko ang kanyang mga adhikain ayon sa kanyang kagustuhan, ibibigay ko muli ang dangal na nararapat ibigay sa kanya nung siya pa’y nabubuhay, sisiguraduhin ko ang tagumpay natin laban sa mga Sibika, at sisiguraduhin ko rin, gamit ang sarili kong pamamaraan, na pagbabayaran nila lahat ang ginawa nila sa aking kapatid.’

Friday, 1 July 2011

Ham Shank

I tried to downplay the whole tardy excuse today with a mentor of mine that wanted to meet up with me. This whole thing about surprise calls are hardly surprising anymore. Something has to happen with me eventually, and this is one of them. It was half past six when I left my place after a lazy afternoon. Every little thing connected to this week has been about laziness, up to the point of tidying, eating, and even sleeping.  I twisted my brain a bit through overthinking, trapped in a labyrinth of self-realisation. That part of me is prematurely evident through my actions. It shames me to watch myself in reflections and still images. All those captivated horrors are seen as evidences of disgust. All it does is reinforce my dissatisfaction. That whenever I stare long at my hands all I wanted to see are rough patches and signs of hardwork. It's not even smooth and yet I despise it down to its carpal bones. Then I realise something unusual, something that has been plaguing me my entire existence. That my right hand carries an omen that I have yet to decipher. That whenever it bends my palm creates an unusual straight line that I rarely see in others. It does not indicate something special, but it whispers to me stirs of echoes that are hard to ignore, not even noticing the stain of oil on the fingertips from the slab of meat beside my left hand now and an empty bottle of ginger beer with its contents now slurring and forming spheres of adipose deposits in my guts. My eyes drifting away from the screen signalling the fatigue, almost forgetting the shamed mentor left in the dust. Then I realise who really is shamed. I close my eyes to fall asleep.

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