Somewhere Along the Lines

The early morning light was in her eyes, waking her gently, like many times before. The day is warming up her toes so she readjusts by pulling the blanket to her side. Every contour and delineating landscape of her body was as true as the lie she told herself upon seeing an old lover.  And the bending of the light from the window glass glared over her, so brightly and sincere, to remind her that she is alive for another day.

To endure, not for herself, but for those who cannot.

What power she possesses. And it couldn’t be any simpler than this – No coffee, nor morning kisses, just a glass of cold water, and that morning message from her phone to get her by.

She recreates the world before her, as she sees it in her dreams, asleep and awake.  Her hands oftentimes, beautifully stained by oil paint and charcoal.  Her heart is a mass made of Bukowski, Whitman, Plath, Hemingway and Neruda. Their words pour out of the openings of her mouth, and her delicate lips were chopped by heartaches and their promiscuity with literature.

Their muddled love affair with relevance.

She is a passerby, like the changing seasons, like summer and winter.  Travels a lot through the seas and the skies, in heart breaks and through each sad song and nighttime prayers.   She reminds herself again and again, that it is not for her, but for those who are barren and blind, for the lost who could not find north, for the unsung catalysts of our time, leaving behind footprints in the sand.

Her fingertips rally across to choose the best parchment paper, not in contention against the hands of time, but just to withstand for as long as.

Oh she is on her way, taking on the distance between her mind and her heart, shaking hands with new found friends and tasting the lips of other men.  No penance here, nor guilty trips, she is as bold and unrelenting, and yet remains gentle just the same.  A rose with its thorns, the dark that makes the moon brighter in the night.

As her hero steals the show, the crimson curtains fall feebly over his head. The act is nearly approaching its end, the audience was on the edge of their seats, hoping to be swooned.

He takes out his gun, the pistol given to him by his father before him. With an engraved dedication on its ivory grip beautifully written in script, he held it tighter as he crows,

“These Hands were clean empty, and yet we were robbed of our names still!  A claim undeniably ours, oh it must be I say!  One insignificant sacrifice is all it takes, and we are there, oh how close we are to the end, just a little while now, and this right here, everything, will be back to its rightful place.” He sneered in the pouring rain.

With great numbers, in the utmost imposing intentions, the strings were hit hard by the bows.  As minor notes instill chill and power, reinforced by the crashing thunders from the cymbals and the percussions, the organ, all the trumpets, horns and the saxophones had shaken the halls and reaching all corridors.

It was the world ending after all.

The master perspires, his sweat fly off like raging bullets on every turn of the head and in every swing of his arms.  He moved and instructed, measure after measure, note after note as if it was the last performance.

Beats, a long profound silence as she wondered about.

She slides back, widening the gaps between the fingertips and the keys.  Her chest was pounding, and her throat was a bit dry.

She turns to her side, looking out of the window, as she can hear the chirping from the trees.  The light of the morning sun is still in her eyes, the wind touching her face and the rivers of happiness flow in her hair.

The world was so clear.

along the lines

Buoyancy in the stillness of everything

“Forget about the charm, just seize the quaintness of an aging photograph. “ –  Everything was so still, life in suspended animation.

I held it with me for a while now, with a date written on the back to remind me of a distant time.

As I look forward to the next morning sun on my face, I packed a few clean shirts and a container with just enough water in my bag.

The universe mocks, as the sky scowls and a crooked thunder bolt ripped the horizon in half.  Tonight the sky is a misunderstood friend.

Of a prayer to disintegrate into a thousand word declamation blemishing on paper, I hear a feeble shush from the faint rain.  So in the tides of the sheets I went back, to wrap this inability to hold a vessel.

With all the leaps and the summersaults, all the remnants of the night, and the unheralded voyages to the slumber permissive night, my indecision was there to await me in the morning.  But I guess the days will decide for themselves.  However it is.

For people do not change much, we always think that we do, but we don’t.  We are merely the different versions of ourselves, like a book, today is a chapter, tomorrow is another.

I have seen this before; I knew this from somewhere very familiar.  On a cold windy evening, I once placed my head against the table next to a drink.  In shame, my body curled voluntarily.  But in a dream she chose to forget about my crimes. “No need for tears tonight”, she assures the frail.

And that made me feel better for a while, a momentary relief; I could almost taste again the salt of the ocean.  I knew I heard it, and I was glad and yet reluctant to indulge, as if I was held back by something.

So I called upon the falling stars twice, along the long howling of a mutt outside the window, I guess she was cold too, the moon revealed finally.

The satellites and the fireworks begin to dabble, bleeding into the skies playful, while the girl on TV in her black laced dress smiles upon the blinding flash of silver nitrate.

Just for one more incendiary sight.

They made love by the frenzied colors of lights made of transparent glasses and endless promises.  The romantics feast on the unspoken sonnets and unpublished narratives.   How it was different from the nights before was never made known to me, nor it was spelled significant.

I clung onto this ideology, as if it was an imperative biological necessity.

I was up before dawn; the pavement held glittery fragments of the stars.

The rain must have shattered them on their way through.

 

Clear Blue Passing

As I was walking out the door, I looked back and turned to ask if he wanted anything for me to bring back. But the question thrown was unrequited although he was facing toward my direction. The stares were hallowed, but definitely not empty, as if his thoughts were elsewhere distant, undisclosed and unknown even to the visitor himself.

On the bedroom side table sits a perspiring glass of cold water that resembled a window pane on a cold rainy day. Its life was refuted by the stack of past dated panorama magazines, sandy old newspapers and the emptied coffee cups with their stained ceramic coasters.  And though it appeared that the drink was only fitting to remedy the hot afternoon weather, the readied beverage somehow implied not to be needed at the time, that the quench yearned for was not to be passed through the drought and the landlocked throat of this weathered bedridden character, but instead, of another it seemed.

He has a decent height; he came from a good family line. The soles of his feet were callused by resolve, and the red baked earth of his heritage. And his proud appearance still surfaces despite of his aged and battered state. Though often times visited by pain, he still holds his head high above the stained pillows from the residues of saliva and antibiotics. He remembers his youth, gawking at the ceiling beams,  his own time machine, reliving  the years of working every day on their tangerine farm lands, as he finds solace in these dire achievements, that nobody but him ever celebrated.

The air was filled with smell of antiseptic, the lazy wooden fan blades cut through the spaces under the plywood ceilings, and the grimy mirror held no reflection.

His hands and arms were tired, skin is sallow, but built strong by time.  His shoulder blades boast like the wide-spanned-wings of an eagle’s, imposing that they can withstand the discerning winds of the open skies.

“Oh how time swiftly takes away what was lent” he feebly exclaims.

Through the half open door, I took one last look at him, and it was just a split second glance really, but it felt infinitely stretched.  And in this timeless vacuum of space, I lived through these flashes of fond memories I had of him.  It was like listening to a 2 minute song that bears all the answers in the world.  I set sails to  entwine with the days of yesteryears, on how perpetually dependent I was on him, growing up like a seedling inching my way towards the blue ocean skies, how my ears were sculpted like wooden dippers for wisdom and how I was emptied to refill.

And as I pull the door back, gently twisting the unpolished brass knob clockwise hoping not to make a sound, my flooded eyes bade farewell as this view narrows, knowing that his vessel can never, anymore, hold in together the entirety of him.  For he is a lot more, more than this world could ever had prepared for.

Blue

Rearranging Past and Chess Board Pieces

Of cheap beers, and late night cab rides across the dimmed concrete highway tunnels of the weekends, I plunge into the deep abyss of the free falling but not looking down, always never looking down.

To rearrange, a new theoretical standpoint to take, stirring the coffee cup, as I see now the sun in the swirl of the milk. That breakfast is more than just a morning routine, and evenings compensated more, not just to conceal the stench and the scars, as we all go back to the end where life started.

The summer smiles, and the leaps, and those wide open arms for the rainfalls, when bulbs of daffodils finally bloom in their yellow sunrays, ringed in white, orange, and their reds. Those beckoning warm afternoon laughter of children playing after taking siestas, and that morning walks before the day wakes for its poetry.

Upon the layers of overlapping leaves, the sun beams break through like a subtle rainfall. A whisper pointed me to their silhouettes, and it talked about palettes and all the universal colors, how these all meant to find one’s place in the hushed Sunday skies.

Oh tell me what do you want to do today? And we will draw a treasure map maybe; we are the Goonies of our time after all.

I washed my face after watching a good film. I have seen it a hundred times over, and I will do another hundred it seems. Then l lighted a cigarette to cap this delightful feeling, a silent kind of happiness instills in the crowd of the crumpled papers.

When we are shown to entwine threads and copper wires, to hear the stories and to just relearn, nothing more, and when saying yes is all that ever mattered, while everything else will just follow through in place. And we roll away, like boulders and round stones on the slopes.

We are shape shifters, we over speculate before passing out, and made love with sunsets.

And after all of these realignments, all the moving parts and the rest of the things one has been working on for years, the delineation between respite and the time to embark has been drawn.

While waiting beneath a willow tree, I was thinking of this word that could paint the raptures of these descents and arrivals. And I can’t quite catch it. Maybe someday I will somehow. And if I finally do, I will never have to write about science fiction and farewell letters anymore.

Casting shadows in the moonlight

Some years ago, I have found myself alone in a crowd, armed only with my nine-voltage-battery-powered-flashlight and a cape.  I was a 7 year old boy and I was plodding the pedestrian streets barefoot in my pajama and my favorite space odyssey shirt.  I looked up to the skies, and saw angels gracefully gliding in circles above me.  I was pretty sure that one of them was watching over me.

I went back on the very spot where I once stood as a kid and realized that I am much like them now. Instead of my PJs and my favorite shirt, I wear adult clothing and shoes.  And the angels were replaced by skyscrapers and aeroplanes.

And I wonder.

So I went strutting, down the under passages of the thought that this is not one of those I invent in my head and was actually happening.

In the simplest truth to illustrate, you are writing a picturesque tale of your own grand adventures.  In a way it is like going through the photographs kept in a shoe box, of once was, and of shared anecdotes.

The great human need for symbiosis, this undeniable fact of longing consumes all of one’s biological and intangible beings. That the brimming of its manifestations must be tempered, when we bump onto each other just to feel, especially when pain attempts to hold claim to our significance.  And yes we aspire and act upon these indispensable necessities, but the very education which we feed on is also in question.

I got up and went to open the windows and yet the winters of these past nights had made the texts frozen.   The ceiling was outlined with traces of smoke; I must have stayed here for too long.  More than I should.

The retreat to the long and crude process of manufacturing sunlight is the only recourse. As the circumstance instills its resolve, I begin with my door, and latched onto isolation. However it is, time is neither infinite nor bordered.

A concept of science, men of higher intellect attempt to encapsulate.  But it is like a force beyond us, an intangible matter, or like a memory you caught only in a dream.  Papers with coffee stain and crossed out words, he resumes every after erasure.

I turned to see what’s calling me from a great distance.  I saw a man in a dark suit, or was it a shadow? Just a silhouette of a figure cast by moonlight, or a traced memory from a distant past?  All made up by my own mediocre pursuit of some pseudo contemporary ambition.

Well, what is real from one’s won comprehension is enough guarantee of tonight’s passage to live through the swallow of the forth coming darkness and the unknown.

Maybe that is it. Happiness is piecing together little fragments of wonderful moments, hopeful dreams, and acceptable flaws.  I fear that when all the hypotheticals and the assumptions fail to deliver, one might be reliant on what was made convenient.

Contained, and self-absorbed, I refuse to settle.    And so I went upstream and consulted a higher entity in humility to the point of surrender.   And maybe, just maybe, that upon conferring, I may soon rediscover the eloquence back to my Saturdays.

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Omelet Tidings

The two waited on the bleachers with their eyes wandering through the damp. They were exchanging a half done flask as they were also whistling cigarette smoke across the soccer field.  They have found themselves in a vacuum within this seemingly infinite void before the dawn.

She reveals her face to the voyaging clouds across the sparkling seas of the night, giving up a smile as she pulls back the hood of her jacket. The paradox of the universe unfolds. She gently kisses the stale tasting lips of nicotine, freeing its very soul one drag at a time.  It had no complaints, nor did the silence of the surroundings, as it implies in affirmation. Neither even the imposing claws of the tree branches, nor the entire army of crickets under that sweet vanilla moon, had any quarrels with her at that moment.

Her make up smears, she hasn’t painted her nails for a while, but she doesn’t really mind at all.

Deep breaths, as she administers imagination, what needs to be done?  She had begun in the shallow waters of her mind.

And little by little, she submerges down into the depths of her profound contemplations. And in every burning sip from the bitter openings of the flask, it was as if a passionate lover making love to her, she finally reconsiders.

She was taken gradually, within the raptures of the abyss and the parallel dimensions of her make believe world. What is this unalienable truth that haunts her now? She then wishes for an antidote, like morphine, dismissing the pain in ten folds.

Then she ponders on the reassuring respite of bacon and omelet, how this dynamic duo may soon have to save her and the world when they both cry out for help. Be great presidents someday perhaps, or a pop song playing in loop, or be an empathizing friend for just a little while.

She then retracted these notions out of her head almost immediately; she must be drowsed, she thought.  Over romanticism might have murdered her skeptical heart she frets.

But these apprehensions were real. Confronted by their undeniable strength, she was tied to the mast.  As she turns to him reluctantly, almost uttering the words, falling like the rain in September.

She gave the boy a smile instead.

Omelet Tidings

Photo by T. Angara-Aragon

Just in case (don’t wait up)

You found a piece of something not too big to keep, nor too small to be easily lost. A treasure not for the pockets, well, we wished you love under the falling skies that night, hoping to safely say, it could last a lifetime.

Probably this is it, yours for the present and future tense.

Dance to the beat, throw your arms around the carbonated spaces and sing melodies for the centuries to come.  Get lost through the pages and faces of time, mind the pain from your heels later, we have dreamt for this moment to come, don’t think twice now to take that leap. You are a migratory bird after all.

I found your smile inside the television box, and you looked so beautiful and grand, how the whole world should be.  Do you remember? After the rain, when we stayed up late leaning against the couch, sitting on the floor rug by the warm lights, you drew a picture of this moment.  You did believe in fairies after all.

Weekends and too much sugar kept us alive, and we slept to die on weekdays.  You took the batteries off the clock, and lobbed them into the trash bin.  You held a cigarette between your painted lips and a glass with your hand. You slid a cassette tape to play; the neighbors woke and sang along.

You drove a thousand miles; the freeway lights of yellow, red and green were on your face.  You rolled your windows down, and the wind smothered you with love.  You did visit us a few times when you were somewhere near, and sent postcards every once in a while. It almost felt like we were there as well.

I tried to move to another place, but I just couldn’t do it.  I can’t stay away for too long.  I guess someone has to stay behind.  Do not worry, everyone is doing just fine.

You wore a white shirt the last time I saw you. You have surrendered, and yet you are free.

The lemonade glass sweats, I wore my sunglasses talking to the hot summer sun.  We were having the longest farewell conversation, or were we arguing?   I will write him letters and proses in the coming months, folded and turned into a kite, days and the weather will be better when it reaches him I pray.

And for my dear friend the wind, I will strum my way into its chest, to quote from the same book over and over, “everything essential is invisible to the eyes”.

In a couple of hours, at exactly 2:45am, I will draw the curtains and sit by the windows, next to the biggest moon this year.  In case you decide to drop by, you might not catch me, for I will take a short trip on a rocket ship and will be right back before breakfast.

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Photo by: JJG