Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On the road

While traveling to Marawi last week, I was kidding my colleague because she kept on opening the window of the vehicle and spitting what turns out to be phlegm. She had colds. You have to keep on coming up with stuff even as mundane and utterly nonsensical as phlegm just to beat the dead air especially on an 8-hour trip. And my bootleg mp4 player is busted.

So I told her to watch the perimeter when she spits because there might be a motorist tailing the van. At the rate she’s spitting, the poor guy propped up on a motor next to the vehicle might now be covered with splattered phlegm given he’s not wearing a helmet. It was gross but we laughed anyway.

And then we were eating fried peanuts and throwing the maroon-colored peelings off the window. I told her to watch out still the peanut peelings may shot up through the motorist’s nose, block his trachea, choke him, cause him to jerk malevolently till he skids off the road and slams into some huge tree. Now it turns morbid.

Then talks of sex and more sex which was like talking about office work since both of my colleagues are already married and have kids. I laughed with them as if I’m actually a 30-something bachelor who’s spent so many one night stands.

Then smoke suddenly comes out of the front hood. We had to stop twice. It was the fan belt that needed to be replaced. So much for the merriment. I jumped out to observe the nearby rubber trees, its dripping sap being scooped up by small coconut shells attached to the trunk. It was the first time I saw such a process. I proceeded to the vehicle and picked up Woody Allen’s Without Feathers and chuckled away.

Higanaon house

entrance to Marawi Demo Farm, MSU compound

Ranao Pool

Friday, April 04, 2008

It happened one night

First, really, was a state of total thought-obliteration, numbness. It's just like you returned to the tabula rasa state but you don't even know how it felt because you were practically incapable of doing so. Shock came afterwards. But that was short-lived. Disbelief, perhaps 10 hours or so. Then it grips you and won't seem to go away.

Father woke us up while we were sprawled on our makeshift bed on the cold floor sleeping. He told us to check our cellphones. My sister's was gone. It took me a moment to remember where I last put mine. It wasn't in the bag anymore. We had just been robbed, he told us. The TV, DVD, fan and component were all there, just about all the appliance we have. Then I jerked my head to the direction of the component. I've still 2 months to pay up the debt for the first decent watch I bought with my own hard-earned salary. But it was gone. The shiny and sophisticated look to it was gone. The thief left 12 pesos in Father's short pockets. He left me with 70 pesos.

Because of the pattern of the robbery, my stepmother concluded that it was vendetta. Our asshole neighbor went on drunken screaming frenzy the other night and started calling names and spewed every bit of grudge he had on our family which resulted into a verbal brawl. I really don't know about this because I've shunned myself as much as I can of senseless scuffles at home or any dealings. I wasn't at home when it happened so I don't know if there was something that could amount to us being robbed. But apparently, the harmless nonexistent threat was there all the while.

I've heard from people who sympathized and checked, that some kind of spell was cast on us, some smoke potion or devilish chant while circling the compound, because none of us ever woke or were jolted by any movement inside our rented room. We have about 3 knives and one big bolo accessible from sight, and thanked God, they spared us.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?

Renton, Trainspotting