Friday, July 15, 2005

Boy Angas

I was disgusted by my writing. The words didn't flow freely, the hand didn't move an inch, and the mind had the creativity of a cadaver’s.

So I left my 'writing mode' -- sitting in front of the PC, fingers poised above the keyboard, eyes staring at the blank digital paper flashed on the monitor -- and went down to the living room.

By chance, a big-time, Las Vegas boxing match was playing on TV. The bout was furious and vicious. Oddly enough, I somehow imagined myself as a boxer pummeling his opponent. My foe was a collection of papers bunched together in the shape of man; credit my deprived my mind for that. He trash-talked me with phrases, “Write something, you fool!” or “CW 10! CW 10!” (I had a not-so-pleasant experience in my Creative Writing class, or CW10, last summer). I retaliated with a mighty arsenal of Pacquiao moves: left-hook, right-hook, uppercut, straight punch. Bam-bam-BAM!

Weird? I concur. That's why I said 'my deprived mind'.

But I couldn't knock-out my paper adversary. It was resilient, just like the two pugilists battling it out on TV. Neither one kissed the canvas. The match was in the tenth round, and the commentators still had it tied for both boxers.

The bell rang, marking the round's end. I snapped out of my bizarre reverie. Both pugs trudged to their corners with bloody and swelled faces. As commercials began to flood the TV screen, I looked out of the window beside the TV.

A child (let's call him 'Boy Angas') was making his way to the front of our miniature gate. At first, I thought he was going to buy ice from our maid (you know, those two-peso frozen blocks in plastic bags, thirty of which you could pack into a small freezer). Boy Angas was a suki, and when he bought he would yell in the loudest of voices his young throat could manage: “Bibili ako ng yelo! Yelo! Yelo! Yelo nga!” He wouldn't stop until someone showed up at the window and take his 'order'. And when someone did, even if that person was my father (who is a government official, proudly middle-class because he doesn't practice corruption), Boy Angas would talk to him disrespectfully. He didn't use po or opo, he spoke in bossy tones, he didn't use the word 'please', or the Pinoy equivalent of that (to illustrate: “Bibili ako ng yelo!” instead of “Pabili po ng yelo”).

At his young age -- I guess ten years -- Boy Angas was, well, a little too boastful for his own good, maangas so to speak. And that irritated me to no end.

And so when I saw him by our gate, I was determined to give him the cold shoulder, never mind the two pesos. But then he sat on the concrete sidewalk and began to rub his eyes, which I belatedly noticed to be wet, a little red, and slightly swollen. Boy Angas was crying!

I didn't know whether to be glad or sympathetic. I didn't like seeing people cry, but here was the bossy dude, king of Cordillera Street, emperor of yelo...in sorrow!

Boy Angas was sobbing as he rubbed his eyes. Picked upon by children bigger than his size? Possible. Received a monumental scolding and spanking from his parents? Who knows.

But as I heard the sounds of the boxing match return to the TV, Boy Angas stopped rubbing his eyes. He had stopped crying. He wiped his nose. He squared his shoulders in true maangas fashion. He let out an unreal, furious “Hah!”, then loped off to the street, vanishing from my sight. I think he didn't even see my observing him.

I was duly impressed. To think that when I was a child, I used to cry for an hour, until the tears dried up or I fell asleep! Truth be told, how ill mannered he might have been, Boy Angas was also Boy Astig. The kid had come in crying, but after a minute, he left with a smirk plastered on his face.

Somehow, his brief act stirred something within me.

I suddenly felt that I needed to overcome my own adversary, that I needed to knock-out the paper boxer who was cadillacing around the ring's mat, trash-talking me, waiting to be thrown down. Crying and writing are two different things, but my deprived mind seemed to find a thin string that connected both. As the saying goes, “Fight your own dragon.”

And so I turned off the TV, never bothering to finish the match. I had a bout of my own to decide. I went up to my room, returned to writing mode, and buckled down to work.

16 Comments:

Blogger ia said...

It's quite silly to wrestle with a bunch of papers, don't you think?

I particularly like the idea that you might just find something to write the minute you walk away from it.

I remember Archaeology; any artifact no longer requires intentionality to be regarded as one. One just has to keep his/her eyes peeled till it hits them.

And in your words, Bam-bam-BAM!

10:52 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to ia: i am silly, mwehehe. ;) and that's how writers should write. spontaneous combustion, in chem terms.

11:30 PM  
Blogger >|' ; '| said...

corsarius. u r a gifted wielder of the deadly weapon - the pen.

i relished reading this post. btw what is a 'suki'?

2:00 AM  
Blogger snst_blvd said...

may boy angas grow up not to be tambay in the kanto. hehe

3:53 AM  
Blogger transience said...

i recommend an espresso and short skirt. no, not on you, silly!

12:21 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to poison: thank you very much, friend :) i'm very happy you enjoyed it. btw, suki connotes a frequent customer; sorry for that :D

to sunset_eyes: same here. though sadly, chances are he'll end up like that :(

to transience: wha?! :D ah. your latest post. that was certainly a scene, trans, hehe.

2:14 PM  
Blogger bing said...

creative writing... wonder where you got the motivation - from boy angas, from the pugilists, or from Corsi himself?

boy angas maybe a victim, too. sometimes, because he acts that way, those people around him react in a way they think befits him. but, he is a victim, i think - of a cruel and uncaring environ - which is probably what he calls his 'home'.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Manjusha said...

Inspiration comes from the most unexpected places at times.

11:03 PM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

Disgusted from your writing???
Strong words especially for someone who writes well.. but then again maybe you just needed some break to get back to your writing mood which you did!

I'll pray for Boy Angas to be Boy Angat!

11:41 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to bing: a girl was the motivation (three years ago), and my first pieces were, you know, pieces oozing with infatuation, haha.

yes, i believe you're right about boy angas. might be the prime reason for his crying. sadly, it's been a while since he's strolled by our sidewalk. wonder what has happened to him. i hope nothing bad.

12:15 AM  
Blogger snst_blvd said...

that is sad.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to manjusha: well said. :)

to elizabeth: yep...i really need those breaks. i'm easily affected by writer's block (i believe i have one of the nastiest cases around). i'm not a prolific writer; my 'uninspired' periods are actually longer than the 'inspired' ones, hehe ;) which manifests itself in my terribly delinquent updating of this blog.

to sunset_eyes: but then there's always the good side of chance. and i'm not in a position to predict the boy's future; here's to more trouble-free days ahead for him, hehe :)

1:10 AM  
Blogger claudzki said...

hehe, dunno how you can write about that...if it were me, i would just have continued giving him the cold shoulder :D

good though....
mundane, yet sweet :D

3:36 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to claudzki: i'm actually surprised i did write about this topic. mebbe i just had nothing else to do, hehe! btw, thanks :)

9:49 PM  
Anonymous hera said...

ayaw na ayaw ko ng mga ganong bata! i imagine boy angas being "uhugin" and "amoy araw". hehehe.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

grabe ka naman, LOL! XD

12:44 PM  

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