Sunday, June 19, 2005

Disjointed Prettiness Ahead*

Philcoa, near UP Diliman campus

The pitter-patter of the rain is a treat to my ears. They sound like Gaia's symphony, the right music to drown out the unnatural honks of jeepneys and the barks of bus conductors. The biting-cold droplets falling on my cheek are also heavenly; they make me feel as though I'm being kissed by a cadaver.

This is Philcoa at its finest. I never imagined this dingy terminal to be so elegant when covered in rain and night.

I can feel the incredulous and mocking eyes of the couple behind me. They might be whispering to each other, What's wrong with this guy? This waiting shed is big enough for the three of us!

Oh yes, I can tell you how tempted I am to pull out my umbrella from my knapsack and shove it down either of their throats. But then the lovebirds would chokingly ask each other (yes, with umbrella in either of their throats), I told you this guy is crazy. Who brings a perfectly-working umbrella in his bag and doesn’t use it in a storm?!

No thanks. I’d rather not add to my disgrace today.

Then it hits me. Again. The memory of her. With the cold eyes hiding a pained look which I can’t fathom.

I am such an inutile being. Inutile beings deserve being rained upon on their parades. Thus, this umbrella-less penitence.

I suddenly realize that I’m in the perfect setting for a tragic soap opera.

Damn, is this scene beautiful.

*****

Corsarius’ Abode, the Dog-Zoo on Cordillera Street

Any moment wherein yours truly, the Corsarius, is eating Nissin chocolate wafer sandwiches is hands-down one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

I just fall for the sight of the palm-size brown square of goodness, already naked of its plastic wrapper. When the scent of its chocolate filling wafts to my nostrils, I am disarmed of my rational thought. Only tummy thought runs this body. And when my teeth bite into the soft sandwich and my ears hear the complementary crunch and the tongue tastes the mother of all tastes, I am rendered speechless.

Because right this minute, yours truly, the Corsarius, is eating a Nissin chocolate wafer sandwich, this moment is hands-down one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

Nothing can destroy this moment. Nothing. I’ll throw back whatever Cruise missile you fling here to interrupt my feast. And I’ll throw it back with Nissin plastic wrappings strung around the empty shell of your malice just to spite you.

But as I enter the living room, I stop my nibbling at my beloved Nissin and stare at the big mound of monstrosity on the sofa.

One of our eight dogs crapped on our precious, ramshackle couch. Crap color: Nissin wafer chocolate. Crap smell: not good. Crap taste: I’d rather not know.

The sight almost makes me throw up. I quickly leave the living room.

Even then, the moment is still a beauty. It has a Nissin wafer sandwich in it, after all.

I finish off the Nissin and munch on another pack.

Small pleasures are for the big boys, too.

*****

UP-Philcoa Jeepney, en route to Philcoa

The jeepney is full, but I managed to fit in. The chitchat noise of the people around me is drowning the pitter-patter of the rain outside.

I want to jump out of the jeep. I want to fall hard and roll on the wet asphalt, lay prostrate on the street, and let the torrent of cold drops dissipate the sting and wash the goodness left in me. And when a vehicle runs me over, I’ll have the most beautiful funeral tale of all.

But it’s all talk, no action.

Instead, I just smile. Yes. Simply, smile. Smile while the people in the jeep carry on with their conversations and don’t mind this Soujiro**-wannabe, while the rain outside gets more furious, while the memory of her cold eyes pierce my heart.

*****

Some Nondescript Taxi, Quezon Avenue

As the city whizzes past the car windows, I am left to my musings.

Nighttime Metro Manila is more beautiful than the daytime one, I think.

It’s in these hours when you’ll really appreciate the urban setting around you. In the day, the metropolis is a choking cesspool of humanity, iron horses, and smog, but in the night, it’s far more civilized.

The bright lights of the city are marvelous. For example, the neon signs of classy whorehouses along this avenue are, well, pretty and bright. Rather brings to mind pretty girls and shining bright eyes of rich, dirty old men.

And yes, the traffic enforcers. Their absence late at night makes too many a driver very much pleased. Not that you need the enforcers at night; Q-Ave traffic is smooth at nine in the evening. The only ones you have to contend with on the streets are little innocent girls in tattered clothes peddling garlands of sampaguita whilst their adult ‘guardians’ rest easy several sidewalks away.

Truly, Metro Manila in the dark is a thing of beauty.

*****

MH219, UP Diliman campus

I try to hold her hand, but she swiftly jerks it away from my grasp. She leaves the room, but not before casting me a glance with her cold eyes. I can imagine seeing a pained look on her face, but I can’t fathom the reason for it.

I sit on an office chair and hide in a small corner. Something in my chest feels very very painful. My mind is in chaos. Amidst the soft hum of the room’s air conditioner and the chilly air, I can already hear in my mind’s ear and feel in my mind’s touch the pitter-patter of rain and zombie-kiss droplets falling on my cheek.

Then I hear something else. A cacophony of voices, hissing, baiting, inviting.

It's as if I can hear the other side calling me. The images conveyed by its sibilant whispers can be described by only one word.

Beautiful.



*Phrase adapted from my best friend's.
**Soujiro –- a fellow with a tragic tale in the anime Samurai X; yes, he always smiles in the face of tragedy.

9 Comments:

Blogger ia said...

A pulitzer prize winning photojournalist committed suicide because he no longer sees that all the joy in the world cannot override the pain that exists.

I read that from Quel's blog. And it is, indeed, quite unfortunate for someone who has such talent, who has such belief in his line of work that it can change lives completely, to have finally lost hope in the world.

You are far from being pulled to the other side (if that is what you meant by that at all; I know of a whole 'nother possibility). You see beauty in chaos, hate, cold, despair, and so many other things... just enough to write about them. You will be alright.

But it's not Samurai X. It's Rurouni Kenshin. Corsarius no baka!* (Modified "Kenshin no baka!!")



* Apologies to the one who advised me not to write in Japanese characters instead of mere Romanji. I am no expert (just a fangirl), nor can I type kana with my keyboard. :)

1:25 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

I am far from being pulled to the other side? Who knows. Things quickly change. And the other side actually means another things...yes, think of Anakin Skywalker.

Beauty in chaos? You bet. But beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

Sorry about that anime misnomer. ;) Never been an expert.

3:41 PM  
Blogger jael said...

Kevin Carter was the aforementioned Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. He was most famous for his picture of a starving African child with a vulture in the background.

Even though that photo of his won a Pulitzer, the media and the public hounded him for taking 20 minutes to set up and take a picture instead of bringing the girl to the nearest aid center. Needless to say, the girl died of starvation.

Some people argue that he, in fact, saved more lives by taking that picture than if he had tried to save that girl. Regardless, he still took his life.

Carter was one of the bases for the main character in the novel House of Leaves. It's a great, eerie, and yes, absolutely beautiful book.

One of the things I took away from that book was this: Beauty exists in everything, even in total darkness and even in the most ugly scenes. Carter's photograph won the Pulitzer not just for its striking message and social relevance, but for the artfulness of the photograph and its composition.

Then again, we all know what happened to Carter. Beauty isn't enough to save us, sometimes. Sometimes, though, it's worth it.

Sorry for the long-ish reply; it's just that when I read Ia's comment on the photojournalist who killed himself, I immediately knew that it was Carter. Actually, the only reason I know this is because the book House of Leaves holds a very special place in my heart. Read it sometime (I'm desperate to meet someone else who has read [and loved] the book, because here in the Philippines I haven't met anyone who has, so far). I'll lend you a copy ^_^

3:04 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

I see. And hey, no problem, I enjoyed reading the profile. :) Thanks for the info, Jael.

Let's see if I can find the time to read another book. I've got a long queue of books and mags waiting to be read. But if my reading House of Leaves will give you someone who can relate to your thoughts and the book, I'd do it for ya, haha :D Fellow frustrated fantasy novelist! ;)

11:15 AM  
Anonymous hera said...

"I want to jump out of the jeep. I want to fall hard and roll on the wet asphalt, lay prostrate on the street, and let the torrent of cold drops dissipate the sting and wash the goodness left in me. And when a vehicle runs me over, I’ll have the most beautiful funeral tale of all."

-- i love this. i love running under the rain. sometimes i'd feign running. i'll just go on a brisk walk. i really want to get drenched. there's something about being washed out.

6:15 PM  
Blogger transience said...

you were right about the prettiness. this was pure fucking literature, man. and i didn't really catch on the disjointedness. i am good at putting together pieces in my head.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to hera: i want to run in the rain, too. i miss that. terribly. last time i did it in fun mode was in childhood. although i almost always ended up with a fever and running nose. :)

to transience: thanks, dearie. and i know. your own posts, while on the surface seemingly disjointed, are really a synkaryon of the various pieces of Transience :) (pieces? sorry about that..can be green, depending on one's mind, hehe!)

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pitter-patter episode ba ito?

but it's great, really great. you should have taken up creative writing :P
-little light-

11:53 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to little light: hey, thanks. really. :) makes me want to take a second course in creative writing. that is, if i have the time for studies and a full-fledged job, haha.

11:13 PM  

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