Monday, December 26

The Confessions of an Insom{a}niac VI {pork chops and fruit salad}

i was talking with a very good friend online andTake_a_pilll_by_nyloncake in one of our sordid conversations, the issue of eX's came up. he told me that if he could only buy an amnesia pill to forget all his eX's, he'd buy it. i told him a happiness pill would be better. {like you'd just pop a pill in your mouth and the next thing you know you'd be in a Johnny Depp movie with a midget giving you a nice rim job... wait i think they already have prozac or xanax for that} that way, when you happen to bump into an ex {by accident} with his or her new rebound, you'd get to have the sheer pleasure of seeing your ex {and his/her rebound} wonder who you are sleeping with to have that shit-eating grin on your face. wouldn't it be great? i mean. to bump into your exes and their current rebounds and them seeing you with that big shit-eating grin plasetered on your face? i bet that would be so priceless.

because sometimes, there are just days when the gods of the universe seem to conspire and just give YOU all their godly attention. meaning, you just happen to see an ex (or ex's) with their current partners crossing the street, or eating at your favorite place, or in the bookstore buying the exact book that you were intending to buy etc. and it just pisses you off. that they seem to have moved on and are happy. like nothing really happened. and you're there. still alone. watching them cross the street. eat in your restaurant. and buy books. that is sooo ally mc beal. but hey. that happens. i bet it happened to you {yes you, the one who's still stupid enough to read this blog entry}. well it happens to all of us, i personally think. and then we see them, our formers {everything is past, before, that was} happy. and we ask ourselves, why? why are they happy and i'm not? was it my fault then? so it was me all along. maybe i shouldn't have done this in the first place.

i guess we all get those days {and nights too}. i remember mine. walking for 10 blocks from my house then walking back. yeah, it hurt. like hell it did. i carried it like a cross for months and months. it was hell. that was almost 5 years ago. when i was young (*sigh) and fresh from the dairy farm.

but you know, i'd never trade that experience for anything in the world {not even for a hot rebound guy}, because it taught me a lotta things. for one, it taught me how to survive a break up. that a break up {or a separation or a divorce} is never a single act, but always involves two people. that the blame can not only be put in one party but has to be shared. that in the end it would be useless pointing the blame to the other {because what's really the use? it's over anyways}. that it's ok to be angry or even jealous because i am entitled to. that it's ok to go into this dazed funk when you just want to walk ten blocks and smoke fags and think of him/her and the "what if's". and most of all, it taught me that i can move on. that like any storm, no matter how violent, it too, ceases.

i guess i'm old enough to tell my young(er) peers that happiness is one hard pill to swallow. and like a pill, it can also cause some sort of pain to make the over all pain go away. you can never truly be happy with someone unless you start being happy with yourself. and that is one of the most challenging aspects in the pursuit of living - trying to be HAPPY. it's never easy anyways. i mean, just look outside your window, how the f*ck can you smile with that kind of reality hitting you square in the jaw. i guess like the pursuit of living, personal happiness is also a pursuit. but you don't have to look for it. you just have to do it, i guess. just take the plunge.

what makes me happy right now? i wish i could say sex, but that would be too much of an understatement since i'm not geting any here {i so deserve a brownie right now}. a good book perhaps. that rush that you feel when you have your first fix of nicotine in the morning. a nice hot cuppa java. jose cuervo with a real nice beat playing in the background. indian music. funny movies {even chick flicks}. tocino {homemade}. sinigang with cold rice. sleeping the whole day. but most of all -

f r i e n d s

who needs a pill when you've got them around?

like a good blether [talk] about what you had for dinner and what you had for dessert, amnesia pills, shitty eX's and even possible death with a real good friend can never do you wrong. in fact, it's all but priceless.

Wednesday, December 21

The Confessions of an Insom{a}niac V {The One with the Old Man}

I went to the downtown area the other afternoon to do some errands which was mostly comprised of buying some groceries, sending mails and parcels etc.. But whenever I go downtown, I make it a point to visit a {special} friend who works in the area. So after I have finished doing my errands, I went to see if my friend was there. My last errand was the post office, so it was like a 15 minute walk to go to the place where he works. But since it was already 20 degrees below zero that afternoon, I opted to take a cab {I was really freezing my balls already}. And there he was when I arrived at the place, seated on the sidewalk and playing his Chinese violin. I observed that he was still wearing the same mao coat.

*A mao coat/jacket {derived from the Chinese leader's name} is one of the last remaining vestiges of the Cultural Revolution. It's a green generic coat usually worn by Chinese workers and peasants during autumn and winter seasons. It's really sturdy but quite heavy and it has become a sort of symbol for the Chinese ploretariat. Ironic that Chinese Cultural Revolution fashions has recently been gaining some popularity in the faux ghetto and euro trash trends in the west and would cost hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars or euros a piece {regular mao jacket would only cost 15 dollars or less}. Funny how a brand name changes everything*

Going back to my friend

I saw he was wearing the same mao jacket all tattered and unwashed and shit. He was wearing it the first time I met him. It was last spring. I remember it clearly. I was doing some random shopping and was just going to some stores without buying anything and was really bored to death about my meaningless existence {which was magnified by the fact that I was doing some random shopping and browsing}. I was really bored and I wasn't wearing enough clothes. Spring in this city is till considered winter in many parts of the world. I was stupid enought to go outside of my apartment wearing only layered clothing. I thought I could pull off a Canadian {well, who was I kidding, I was from the friggen tropics!}. And so there I was, feeling like some little match girl who just stepped out of a sad dreary novel, with out the matches. I decided to go home when I heard this music playing, from this old 60-ish guy sitting by the sidewalk. It was nothing special, the music. I mean there are a lotta people who do that in this city. But he was sorta special. I was just, attracted to him. I stood there, 3 feet away from this 60-ish old man playing an old Chinese tune {the one you usually hear in Chinese kung fu movies}, just listening... taking it all in... taking him all in. There was something about him that made me stop, and move closer; like close enough that I finally decided to sit beside him and smoked a couple of fags {ciggies}. When he finished, he smiled at me. I offered him a fag. He gladly accepted. And that's how it started. Our unusual friendship {if you could call it one}. So everytime I was in the downtown area, I would always visit the old man with the violin. I'd stay with him for like 20 minutes or so, smoking with him {sometimes smoking my cigarettes and sometimes smoking his}, then talking about the weather and how he was and how I was {our conversation revolved mainly on those topics as my Chinese was so limited}.

I haven't seen him for a month now. But when I saw him, he was still the same. Old. Mao jacket and a Russian cap and all. Chinese violin. a cardboard box where he kept the "donations". And most of all, that genuine smile that I rarely see from people these days.

He was cold. I was cold. The only difference was, I was wearing more this time and he was still wearing the same. I was damn sure he was feeling the cold. I was definitely feeling it down to my testicles. I suddenly got worried. He started talking in Chinese. I barely understood what he said. All I kept saying was hao, hao, hao {which meant either yes, or good or hmmm}. He offered me a seat which I gladly accepted and I started to dig out from my bag for my pack of cigarettes but he stopped me, telling me it was his turn to offer me one. We smoked in momentary silence. Then I asked if he ate already. He said yes. He probably did, but I surmised it was about 8 hours ago or more since he had his last meal. So I decided to buy him dinner and coffee. I told the old man that I would be back in a while because I needed to do something. As I was walking towards the nearest food stall, I almost slipped on the pavement. I muttered an expletive {or two} and cursed myself for going to a city up north to work. The cold was unbearable for me {the reason why I don't go out a lot during winter months}. To be honest, I hated the winter. Where I came from, people {especially children} are raving about snow and icicles and snowmen and snowball fights. I was too, when I was a kid. When I got here and experienced my first winter, I realized that I was really a person of the tropics. That the cold was never to be my element. I hated the cold, I hated the snow, and I surely hated slipping on icy pavements. I couldn't even imagine myself sitting outside the street the whole day or just being outside of my warm apartment for the whole day.

Then I felt guilty.

This was a first in a very long time. Here I was complaining and moaning about the mundaness of everything and my sorta meaningless existence, and there he was, my old friend. I felt like a total asshole. a scum. a kakashka {a piece of shit}. When I felt the hot coffee warming my hands, I came out of the daze and found myself again standing in front of my old friend. He was again telling me something that I didn't understand. I told him in broken Chinese that I thought he could use something to eat. He did. He ate and drank the coffee. I was just sitting beside him while he ate. Looking at him. His face was old, even older for someone who's sixty. I realized that gravity has definitely gotten hold of his youth. And probably life, too. His hands were beautiful, though. Old, calloused and a bit dirty but big and beautiful all the same. I looked at him with this fondness that I couldn't describe. And I have never felt this fondness from a total stranger. You could say I liked him. I think I do. Maybe it was his hands or his face or his violin or his poverty {that made me want to save him, which I knew I could not}. I didn't dare look for an answer or even come close to asking myself at that time, because I knew it was meanignless to ask myself something like that. It would be stupid, I think. But I just looked at him. And I sort of cherished this feeling for him. This fondess. Then I thought about me 10, 20, 30 or 40 years from now. I knew I shouldn't have, but I was also prone to these feelings. I mentally told myself to stop and I almost said it out loud. Then I heard my friend thanking me for the coffee and dinner {that was the only word I could understand in his sentence}. I told him de nada. I gave him a twenty and told him to put it in his pocket and not in his donation box because I knew that his boss would be keeping the twenty if it was in the donation box and not him. He smiled and put the bill in his pocket. I just lit another cigarette and so did he. We smoked again in silence.

Then it started snowing. It was a light snowfall. It was white and feathery but very very light. I could almost even taste it under my palate if I opened my mouth a little. It was even beautiful, despite the ugliness of everything. I mean if you are seated on a sidewalk, you'd see everything around you from a different perspective. And for the many months that I have sat there with my friend, I began to see the ugliness in everything. On the pavements lazed with spit, cigarette butts, gum wrappers, sticks etc. On people's shoes. On men's trousers. One women's skirts and stockings. On expensive cars. i could even see boogers hiding in the nostrils of pedestrians. Everything. I could see everything from down here.

I realized that many {if not most} people tend to think that the people who beg on the streets are ugly, and dirty and vile and shit. Sure you'd give them spare change or some would give them the look of sympathy or even prayers, but at the back of our heads we'd still think they're dirty and vile and scum. Like we wouldn't want to have anything to do with them. But the irony is, so are we. We look down on them. Literally. We are standing on the streets, proud and dignified, above them; and them, kneeling or even lying on their stomachs, below us. And all we see are dirty people asking for your spare change. But when you are low, literally sitting or lying on the sidewalk pavement, you'd be surprised to see the same. That there is little difference.

That afternoon nearing evening, the ugliness dissipated to make way to what was beautiful and serene. I looked at my friend and I smiled at him. He did the same. I shook his hand and told him that I was going home. Again, we found ourselves in the same position the first day we met. I, standing. Him, sitting down on the pavement. But it didn't matter now. Because everything was beautiful at that moment, when the light snow was falling everywhere; on the streets, on the trash bins, on cars, on people and their clothes and on our faces. It was like a dream. Or maybe like a scene in some great, yet unnamed film. It was almost sacred. Holy. Like we were being baptized by some nameless and faceless preacher telling us that we were forgiven and absolved of our pasts no matter what was in it, without any questions. That we were beautiful and everything we do or say from henceforth was to be beautiful. We parted ways.

I looked back at my friend before turning for the corner. He was there, sitting and holding his Chinese violin and was ready to play yet another nameless song. He did. He was playing the one he played when we first met last Spring. When I was real cold and was feeling real shitty about myself. I smiled at him before turning for the corner. He didn't see me now. But I still smiled at him. I looked around. It was still snowing. And for the first in a very long time, I was happy that it was snowing. Because everything was beautiful. From above... and from below.