Crumpled Origami Crane

I have been back and forth in my mind, going through trying to remember the countless dreams that I had this morning. The harder I try the lost I more become.  A sore loser, I am now pressing the palms of my hands against my eyelids as I blame my aching back for giving up on me, being too tired to go back to my lost euphoria. The heat from the daylight tells me that I should be up even though my will tells me otherwise, slowly opening my eyes just in time to find myself realizing that I am too early to be awake for this Saturday morning. It was as if my restless mind has a life of its own. All I could do now is spoil and just give in as it glides over and through the bluest horizons, leaving behind the rest of my no-good-for- any-outdoor-activity-body motionless, awkwardly positioned and thrown like a crumpled origami crane lying in an ocean of the whitest cloud like cloth and the most reassuring cushions. My make believe strong limbs are now deemed useless. Imagination that was once dependable felt like it was all forced. Slumber was too far away yet my consciousness was deep under. I am on a desert looking for the oasis of hope, ever desperate to be quenched by sleep, to be overwhelmed and to be wooed by its promises. A real romance I would say. Easy and true, like reading the words from a bedtime story singing midnight lullabies, no more pretensions, now believing in fiction and magic, to every nostalgic meaning and for these softest pillows I clutch I am polygamous for loving one and all.

The warmth lingers as it gently moisten my ashen skin and cracked lips. The rays from the sunlight indulgently playful passing through the window. Microscopic and now magnified, they appear to be dancing having the time of their lives in a parade as they waltz their way through the thin glass. And as they enter we can see that they have willingly committed their entire existence just to shatter into splinters of gem like formations, a color mixture of intangible ruby, diamonds and emeralds with golden sunflower hues. They collaborate with the traffic of specs that gently sailing through the air, gliding and floating adrift, drawn to the sunbeams like a moth to a lamp, the only light in the room. They had brought life along with them greeting the frailty in me with this renewed day.

I found a thought suspended in the air and then grabbing a hold of it as I try to be more comfortable by placing one heel on top of the other foot against the window sill. The porcelain ashtray lying next to me, parallel to my cigarette hand while my left hand is tucked-pressed between my head and my trusty pillow.

I did not want to get up; I felt the guilt whispering in my ears. Finally sleep had decided to make up for lost time. She is the jealous type, the more you ignore the closer she gets. She’s like Morrissey in the song.  No will can turn its invitation away even if one comes to be real focused on the thoughts of greater consequence. The fractions and the decimal points will make no sense, every known law in physics will remain written in textbooks but not all will apply.

“Just for ten minutes then I will have to wake up” I told myself but I knew I was over committing.

I could see every thought twirling over and under, from my mind to the chest they were overflowing, a hodgepodge of familiar and the strange. Each episode was like a paper note tied to a string, a kite taking its flight sending messages up to the sky. A strong pull to let it go that is the trick. And through the clouds each went, higher and higher until they can never be seen. I knew I still had them, it felt I still did. But suddenly without warning the reel full of strings went berserk, rolling loose, rushing, so I tied the end of the strings I had to the wooden posts of the bed. For a second there, I thought I had all the kites anchored, but I was proven wrong when I felt the bed started moving, as we went crashing through the wall, finding cover behind the headboard, as we went through the concrete and all the debris, shooting up to the morning sky and out we went to the blackened space and of twilight and comets and supernovas and what seemed to be a body of an outer space aurora. Everything was going fast as it happens. The pace of this dream was off the charts. I could see the landscapes of greens, the polar caps and the watery blues of the world below. Morning never looked so alive as the current and the waves run the whitest of white, while the other side glitters with city lights humbled in the blanket of the beautiful night, as the man in the printed pajamas was sitting on the edge of the crescent moon dabbling his feet in the dreams of those who rest below. He turns and waves hello, careful not to fall with one hand holding the wooden headboard, I tried to balance my body to repay the noble act. I then realized that it was not I that was looking down on everything, but it was the stars that did. They are the audience not me. I felt stripped of my clothes, naked in front of the heaven’s prying eyes.

I am in between the skies and the earth, now fearing that my flying vessel may snatch a sudden jerk waking me up from the dream that was ending way too soon. Now keeping both eyes open, consciously trying not to make any unforgivable mistakes yet relishing, I looked over my head as I decided to finally close my eyes for a moment to feel the air brushing through my hair. I was letting go, accepting the fact that I might not even remember any of these things when I wake up. But no worries, for the mind may forget but the soul never will.  And for as long as we dream, even though our minds are not conditioned for these sorts and our expectations are not cut out for anything as spontaneous as she is, I’d say, ride out anyways.  For dreams are like faith, it is for the believers, for those who have nothing to possess, for those whose hands are bare, for the astronauts and the cloud watchers in us, for the ever hopefuls.

Old Typewriters and Flying Pages

INT – Room, Morning.

Pushing the words in an ever-open-envelope, influenced and kissed by this sudden need to dispense.  As I was looking outside, the morning was about to break. With my arms hanging loose while the window was carrying the weight of my body, my senses were ready like a child from a storybook waiting for that summer inspiration to pass by hitching.  I guess on this height I could say that I was so sure that I was about to take a leap. I was holding my breath in turns while skimming the pages looking at the illustrations from the elegance of this morning view that melted all the ice particles it could find in my once anxious mind.

I decided to detach myself from all the things they taught you in history books and from the cosmos.  I was gradually letting go.  I started punching the keys, I was as fluid as the running water in the river you could say. I was bedazzled and I was subdued.

Sometimes chaos works and the randomness and the chopsuey of events will just do.

I got a cigarette from my secret stash, my right hand pocket to be exact. And while lighting it, I am seeing all of space through my smoky morning lenses.  I then readjusted the frames for comfort and a better view as I was holding a book that supposedly teaches you on how to be a master of your own consciousness. But one could only hope.

Beats, I then tossed the book out of the window watching its pages flap, taking its first ever flight in the open.

The warmth it brought me was incomparable, far better than reading the damn thing.

I was pretty sure and could have sworn that it had taken its time, gliding on its way down.  I think it enjoyed the fall and smiles as it hits the ground.  It was golden I told myself. A scene to be filmed; I regretted not catching the flight on my camcorder.  I guess most treasured moments are.

I then vacuumed my thoughts with nothingness found and then suddenly out of nowhere the light refracts. It bent landing a sudden turn on the watery pavement as it hits. It was changing its direction in a way. And as I found myself lingering in this moment, I relished this peaceful state of time.  As I elbowed the base of this old wooden window frame with my left palm now finding its way resting against my cheek (an opportune place to take its camp, carrying my head’s weight) I was also careful not to be burned by the nicotine stick it held.

As a kid I believed in happy endings. I guess nowadays we call that Algebra.  Does it always have to be that? Can it be just air guitars and water guns?  When imagination still allows you to live for years in the icy polar caps with only Eskimo kisses to keep you warm. I miss the days when you could still play in the rain without catching flu. When everything was still analog, and saying hello to a friend was still flesh and bones.

“Clickety-clack” my old typewriter used to say.  With my blistered fingertips and the bickering words, they were from the unedited, unbarred thoughts I call home. Mistakes were snow painted, it was very human like. Messy and yet it was okay. Everybody was fond of cassette tapes and real literature.

I miss those days. I guess time is the greatest thief there is.

The wind blew and my cigarette was almost done.  At last something real had said hello.  I turned to where it came from as I plan to repay this much appreciated gesture; I thought I heard it whispered something very familiar,

I thought it asked me to come out and play.

“Sure” I said. It needed not to ask.

The Boy from School

How can such beauty exist? As he softly presses each key trying, just trying to paint a small picture of. Trouble was, she can no longer hear it anymore. For she had sailed on a ship light years ago. For the notes were kept hidden and were never put into record. It was of a twisted fate that had dictated it to be so, not to meet those longing eyes anymore. As the boy had looked back and all of these wanderings were done within a thought, counting the stars on the ceiling, on the upper deck, as the curtains sway dancing, as if it has empathetic feelings for a friend.

I took a hold of his curiosity, of how such a grand and limitless wonder in such a place like this could ever have lingered.  Many pages before a boy in school was looking forward to the summer. Rushing towards the streams of his unrushed dreams bearing this brand new feeling of awe as he holds for her daffodils with sunlight he hopes, behind his back while wearing his now untucked under-shirt.  The park of his destination was silenced then the church bells strike six. All his chances hanging loose and it was a time for a beginning to blossom.

Has he ever played before? Has he given it a thought to sit down on the other side of the piano bench just once? Has he ever learned that it is not for the heart of a fool that he must play? Has he learned in time that it is for and only for the cradles of her memory to be laid it all down? Stubborn was he I know, but I confess that I too have not seen it for a very long time. That such a reminder should keep me in. I hope the skies would still endure me anyhow, like the days when the caring rain would still let me brush their words. Long time coming, I am yet to write the saddest tales I know.

His fingers numb, they are still not of age. He is no more than four and a half feet tall yet his heart was as immense as the bluest ocean that no bucket can fill. The innocence surreal, only butterflies can peel. As he had found the strength just in time before the sun sets, storytellers they keep on striking the keys for as long as she is around the least. He could never ask for more, she came in her velvet ribbons with buttons yet he has but an ounce of courage left in him. Draining as she approaches, yet he has so much to give.

I found a small wooden box underneath the case cabinet, it was old.  I found stained pictures but happy ones.  I saw the tire swing that was once tied to the sturdy branch and heard the voice of the old ocean. Seemed like a post card you’d get during holidays. I have seen these before from another lifetime I knew, as I try to entwine these days with all the colors in me.

All things must end but surely it was not for that boy. He had lived long enough before turning into the man he is right now. And when time had convinced him to finally let go, the milk has gone bad, left on the side table for the wind to waste.

And one couldn’t help but to ask, has he written enough love letters to make her stay? Has he remembered to take his old man’s advice to take her climbing trees?  Or bought her ice cream and asked her to take a swim to the ocean perhaps? Has he told her about all the adventures of the imaginative Tom sawyer and the biting wits of Huck Finn?  Or was he too young to have done it so? Take us back oh father time for one has so much to do, so much to say.

The Fool on the Yellow Balloon

credits to getrealphilippines.com

Strike a pose, go ahead and wear your pearly whites clean as I would try to open my mouth and sing.  But why is it that I do not see you singing along? Have you gone tired of me? Instead of hums what creeps in is the frown under the golden crown you call your real man’s hat.

We were sitting on the side-lines once, watching what seemed to be an old marching band approaching towards us as they were playing the tunes of those whom you may call once free.  The funny thing was, their old red parade uniforms did not fit them anymore. Tailored no pockets for possessions and it was not washed either. Yet they brave the stares casted upon them as they make their way towards this dead-end street.  They were the poets of their time.

I turned to you like a child and asked what it was they were singing about. But you said it was nothing of great importance, that I should not pay no attention to.  I guess it pained your feeble heart that you had to throw them the first rock you saw.  I tried to stop you but you became something else, a giant eggplant. Your head almost exploded.

I go back to the days when we used to write our stories together. Had we told about the meowing dogs, the barking cats and the other animals that learned to talk and rose to save their forest?  About the struggles they had fought for? For the never-ending sunrise that came anyways in the morning. The uncharted deepest sea, to Atlantis that no man had ever gone to before and the immeasurable ether we used to call faith. I relish the episodes when you used to love your drunken train of thought. I respected you for that.  And when carefree was not yet careless, you always had me each time you slurred. Those reckless words were beautiful in their own light and it was really messy, and it was true, it was our saving grace, we were indestructible we always thought.

“My ghastly September” the red moon has yearned. The barrel of the riffle was left unclean, the blade was stuck stiff to its sheath and sometime during one’s surrender when I had fallen to rest my shield, you snuck out of your shell and had taken off on that magic yellow balloon.  And from up there as you looked down on everyone making your smooth escape, you yelled and called my name to say goodbye.  As I woke and see you through the midnight window pane, I rubbed my eyes in disbelief as you took away my words thinking to yourself that I could never remember to rewrite them on paper. As you leafed through it all, crossing out the lines and then crumpled all the pages, turning them into fuel for your floating vessel for fools.

We are endless you see.

Ramblings on a Moonless Sunday

Once in a while we are all able to wear that strong feeling that everything is alright that nothing in this world could ever take that glorious, invulnerable feeling away from us. A very good friend has once told me that we all have this capacity to turn even the loneliest moment into the most memorable and happiest one. It is sort of turning a piece of paper into linen or silk. A person who is able to do this could live his borrowed life,  turning it into his own.  It is as if an opportunity or some kind of invitation that was long forgotten by man. Well, most of us sort of did. Our existence is like the pages we read, a story waiting to be told. The question I guess is how you would want it to be written. I’ve read somewhere in a film script, setting it up as a punch line in a joke that was being thrown to another character, that good writers are those who lie the best.  Maybe, but I guess for those who live in real life, as we all attempt to make our own stories to be soon told by another in our eulogy perhaps, if we are that lucky, that our journey can be defined by those who had the opportunity to walk with us in this very short and humbling existence that was lent by the one hand who created everything.

All of these ramblings perhaps came from over sleeping and too much sugar from cupcakes and chocolates that I had eaten this afternoon I don’t know. But to be able to realize such, may it be scientific or cosmic in nature had made me nonetheless learn that every step that a mere mortal would take has a corresponding end result that would affect another human being. If we are to use and insert the subject of physics in the matter and relate the aforementioned to what one is about to say, that the concept of Newton’s third law of motion is that,  as the textbooks had ever so defined it  – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This was the guiding principle my high school teacher had once insisted us her students to memorize sometime in the 3rd quarter of the senior school year.  I never thought it could be of use outside our classroom and it took me many years to even pay little attention to it. In college, I would then hear it in a group discussion, of drunks, trying so hard to be philosophers in their own bold ways. One quoting a famous figure, a cynic one, whom said that dreams are for those who choose to live their lives with eyes closed.  Another would then concur, just to please, but twists the premise and sort of explaining to disagree, “yes, and when us fools dream with our eyes closed, that is because we have got faith”.  Funny, that in the morning, these poor slobs won’t even realize what they have spoken about. They are what I would like to call, the world’s most “humble philosophers”.

And that had struck me thinking to myself that we can pick up these fragments of wisdom in almost everywhere, during whatever circumstance we are into. Most of us would work all our lives to just grasp that higher learning and to just live a better life – based on how we would define it, and we would travel great distances just to discover that what we are looking for is already within us. We would literally kill ourselves by slowly out work our bodies just to taste that free air. A dream to achieve most of us would enjoy in our graves, as soon as we are all forgotten in time.

What is it really we are in search for? Have you ever stopped in the middle of your busy life and asked yourself just that?

Maybe you would probably say that you have got everything figured out, maybe you do, but an invitation still awaits us all to reevaluate.

On this moonless evening, it is like walking with eyes closed. But it does not matter, I have got more than one sense to help me out. I guess the things that refuse to be seen are those that matter the most. Like the air that we breathe, or the softest whisper from a love one before we rest to sleep, the warmth of a friend’s companionship that can be felt in a degree further within during the cold.  The funny thing is that all of these can also be seen if transformed. In fact it can be written on a piece of paper or in the sand if one wishes so. So that it can be read and shared in different ways without having to lose its real form. It is like the water bedded in the strongest river, the same as the still when poured in a glass.

I guess, we are but each chapter attempting to finish this book we call life.

An Epilogue for a Memory

They say I spend too much time loafing around taking my time in almost every opportunity, sleeping and dreaming my life away. I guess, I’m just fond of spending my day typing around a thought. From an inspiring photograph or from a line that I came across from a film or from a split second memory that lasted longer than it should. Always trying to make a rendition that would fit into the frames of these realizations, taking my time finishing the first draft just before anyone could ever have the chance to say anything about it, owning those short lived moments.

I got out of bed, sleepy still but feeling too tired to rest. Hopeful to find warmth outside so I tried to walk off the boredom that stemmed out of nowhere. Perhaps I am a lyric or just an octave short. Something inside tells me that I am almost there as I wander around asking myself what would happen if inertia loses its momentum and soon I would eventually be out of my pacing especially when procrastination makes it really easy to stop. Ever since way back, I came to live a life having no grand plans, no blueprints, I am never really picky about what goes on in both my short and long term activities. I was never good in any of those. It was never because I chose it to be so, nor going against the current keeps me afloat, no, nothing like that at all. The thing was, I did not know what I wanted to do until every time I got to where each was. That is why when the world spins twice as fast, I would always sit in one spot and just take a time out. Probably not a very good option to pattern your life with, but this is where I came to see the things that worked for me.

I remember just before the dawn in the passenger seat while watching the world fly by, as the crescent moon was just about to say goodbye, my head is slumped against the half open window as I stare at everything between the light and the dark. I’m not sure if I was really awake or if I was dreaming, I could not tell the difference. The headlights and those red tails in front of us contribute to the abundance of a feeling as they would drape the road photo ready. While the wind is messing with my sixty buck haircut, I simply enjoy each feeble breath, spending the time being lost in those thoughts in tranquility, frozen in time before the world wakes up rushing, while in that blissful cradle of motion.

To help relieve my bad leg, sometimes I would let and tie my shoe laces loose.  I like that light feeling and I complain much less.  It is as if I am being taken back, looking right at her face in a glance of a memory in those few seconds every time the passing headlights from the other side shine right at her.

Those days are like a pop song in my head.

It was like doing a flip-flop. Somewhere within the mid-flip we realized that the real paycheck was what we had there on our laps. She was right, nothing is good enough if you are still alone though. And how we knew it mattered did not pose any significance. We never got that far anyway. Not being ready did not mean I was never up for it. I guess I was just slow, like dripping honey on a jar. Waiting for something is already hard enough, much harder if you had forgotten what it is for.

After it rains, when the wind calls out and sends its invitation, we would always stay up late, after hours of cassettes and cigarettes hanging by the open living room door, staring at the seemingly fallen stars on the gutter as they glitter around while the ground is still soaked. As we take in this strange, addicting smell from the pavement outside, singing our kumbayas, it was like the world is clean again each time.

I remember the night when she tore a page from her pocket journal that she always hid and carried in her pack, writing a two liner lyrical dream that she could have sworn to have caught everything what I wanted to say in my lifetime. Then she threw the note in the bathroom sink turning the water blue with a haze of black. “Colors at last” she said.  Well, I didn’t know about that but the words just keep on flowing now those days are gone. But we never really cared if it really did, or why the coffee stain on the sheet was there in the first place. She said it was for good luck and so I kept the memory tucked in my chest.

Not the sentimental type but in that silent moment I thought to myself that for as long as we keep our headlights on, we would always smile and drive our way into those tunnels in an exit song just before the credits start to roll. As the stories and the metaphors go on, I would sip my way through this aimless journey attempting and taking my time not owing anyone an explanation. Maybe it is just me, but I think, a slow fade is the way to go.

Arguably, the Best Mom in the World

You would probably say and argue that your Mom is the best one in the whole wide world, now if you’d do that, you can bet your armpits I would disagree and brag all the nicest things my mother had done for me, and probably you would do the same and we would be at it the whole day and nobody would ever win. Imagine that.  Not to mention the rest of the world that would want to join us, in this endless contest of whose Mom is the best.  So let us not go there Okay?

Today is Mother’s day, and we would all want to stop and remember that person who carried us in her belly like a kangaroo for 9 months. And I know that you too, do not say as much.  This is an attempt to do just that, an attempt to be able to send the message across, I hope it works.

My Dad passed on when I was 11.

It was right after the summer when he left me and my siblings in the capable hands of my Mom.  She is tough as nails, I remember the day after my Dad left, she spent the entire day crying, but in the next morning, she stopped worrying and started finding ways on how to earn money just like that.

She was never been employed all her life before that dreaded day came. My Dad wanted my Mom to be the traditional house wife, keeping an eye on the kids, making sure that all 5 of us were being watched and taken care of.

We never saw that day coming.

If I were to choose between my Dad and Mom, I would, without hesitation would pick Mom. Please do not get me wrong, I loved my Dad and miss him as much. But I have this personal belief that all children should never be left alone without their mothers and that is non negotiable.  A mother would always know what to say when her son came back from school crying from a fight, she would even call up the boy’s teacher and raise that concern during the PTA meeting.

A mother would never leave her child, under whatever circumstances through the cold dark night when he is sick, she would, without thinking twice take a leave of absence from work since she would be ridiculously worried all day if she won’t be able to.   I love that about them.

During our ordeal, without any experience or the background, just to make ends meet, my Mom ventured into the “Party Needs” business. She started really small. And what was funny about it was, she never had a business partner or the people to help her.  If there was an event, she would always call me and twin brother out, most of the times when we were busy trying to be romantic teenagers, and would ask us to carry 50 to 60 monoblock chairs and 8 to 10 party tables, four to sometimes six blocks away from ours.  To share the humiliation we would always drag our reluctant friends over to help us. I lost count on how many times, but it was quite an experience nonetheless and we would always laugh about it.

What I really liked about it though is the part when my Mom would single handedly makes the balloons herself. She would be up the whole night just doing that. I remember when the first time it happened, when I woke up with all of those colors in the room – it felt like I was in Balloon wonderland or something. She would always make hundreds or sometimes do over a thousand when she got big projects.  Just imagine the kitchen, the stairs and even our rooms were filled with them, with Mickey Mouse prints on each, some of them helium balloons, some requested on sticks.

Those times were really tough, and good money was very hard to earn, but I must say, waking up in those days, for me it was like living in a playhouse.

My Mom believes in culture, more so in Music. That’s our family mark. In 1996, my Mom bought us our heritage guitar which we shared since we smashed the first two when we were still little. It was a junior sized acoustic from Lilang’s. It was made in Cebu. She knows a good one when she sees it. After that, came the legendary 1984 artist series Ibanez, and the Yamaha electronic keyboard.  She plays both the guitars and the keys, and encouraged us to learn. She thought, to keep our sanity together, we needed spirit.

I really admire on how she sees life in her perspective. When I rant, or complain about something, she always has this way of making me see the good in everything. She’s like a descendant of Mother Teresa,  and she never gets tired. She works 6 days a week and every Sunday, as her routine, she would always do the laundry and cook lunch for us. And she only sleeps 5 to 6 hours a day. And it sort of freaks me out at times when I see her do that.

I could only hope to be as wise as she is. I wish I could be as good of a parent as she is to us.  Everyday is like a step forward, an attempt. And I have a hundred miles to take. She is as untainted as one could ever aspire to be, the most wonderful person I know. My personal hero.