Chapter 4-Mirroring the Wolves

Mirroring the wolvesFor days, I battled the itch of moving, staunched by the promise of young generous lady or yet another, to come back. The crumbs of unfinished food from a mine of pile beside every fast food chain were beginning to become beyond bland. Hence I started the day, (often at noon), with a slow hoof towards the west of my sleeping camp. The west offers a 24 hour rest room at the gas station and across it, is a grocery store, which is, out of the not-so-original idea, rapaciously opens various opportunities. The lucrative part of this new-found career helped me realize my own power. And so I thought. Only to realize in the end, it’s everyone’s.

Besides the prodigious tapping of food resources, I get pretty busy with other things during the day. I dance away through the occasional music of someone’s radio, sleep under a random shade when a storm of humid air sets in or watch people as they go about their usual shadowy empty self. There were what I call regulars who had established a spot within the grounds of natural property, by virtue of majority’s approval or those who didn’t mind. Here’s a man whizzing off the rusty lamp post, the smoke excrement prying on one’s mouth, a family of three with retractable stove on wheels for peanuts and coated egg, a crippled old man summoning passengers to a jeepney ride, little kids my age dragged by hurried strut of their mothers and co residents unmoved through night and day.

In the course of my daily travel, I became acquainted with few other kids who belong to the society of unwanted and neglected. There’s Pinay and Pinoy in inseparable convocations of sifting through smelling waste of sacks. They are said to be siblings, Pinoy being older at 9 and her sister at 6. The girl and I would often exchange phrases as “Hi. How are you?” but the brother refute any possible mingling by pulling her riveting thinly arm. Perhaps my addition could mean a burden of another mouth to feed. He took great distance from a gang of lads sometimes forming banquet alongside every business and sometimes scattered in pairs. They did offered me to join the group once, bribing with unattractive soiled rice in a plastic but I am no stranger to this affair. The rejection took an offensive toll towards my erring presence and so I’m prohibited to be around their designated territories. They do things differently, which I have attempted poorly. Later on, I had to thank them for showing off their craftmanship.

I didn’t have access to totalitarian educational system. It is what they said it is. I still remember how they loathed bitterly on my desire to pursue forward into high school.

“School is for rich people. Those poor idiots who think they could fool themselves end up in lowly blood sucking jobs barely feeding their families.” Carlo chuckle with approval while Aunt Rina stuff her already full mouth.

“I had a customer last week, really rich politician,” in her bragging voice, loud as a chirrup of a gutted goat. I doubt that.

He invited me to his big house and fuck! I’d definitely want to be a mistress for that house. He was in this big couch, really huge than your bed,” while she point finger to my starry eyed face. “and I mean really gigantic than my bed it could take maybe 10 girls. But fuck, that ass is so heavy I could hardly breathe when he’s on top. And that breath, shit fuck as a pig!” she continued as her face turned crumpled sheet from disgust.

“You know how much he fuckin’ paid me for that hell?” Fuckin’ two thousand! Fuckin’ two. Can you believe that?”

“My teacher said that most scientists came from average or even poor families?’ It was supposed to be a mild defensive statement but came out rather as an infernal assuming protest.

“What?” her voice now strident and forceful. “Is this what they’re teaching nowadays? All the crap about delusional hopes and dreams. Well let me break it down to you kiddo. There is no dream. This shitty house and that food I fuckin’ feed you are the only real shit you gotta deal with.” That’s Aunt Rina.

My family’s not all bad as it appears. They were good educators in so far as surviving the streets. Aunt Rina said that people naturally mimic a person they are not. But everyone stirs from that mask, even the best pretender slips given time. I have to be watching and listening when that time comes. So I stood there observing the haste of two bodies in a crowd clinging side by side of an old woman waiting for a cab, utterly concern for no more than her grocery bags. One of the kids in the group lashes behind, his fidgety hand carefully reaching for the purse. When the deed was successfully done, each of the positioned ally dispersed into all directions. After few episodes of what seemed a well rehearsed play, I came up with an improvisation that will change the gears of my life.

The Dilemma of Triangle

Man to 1st Woman

woman 1

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight I share the bed with you.

Same as every night and other nights for infinite years.

You lay whizzing rested in beasty eerie ways,

Guarded and arrogant even in deep taciturn.

 

Oh, I desire to strike you!

To bend the unfortunate fervour.

Hoist that hair around your neck.

Perhaps lance a sword behind the frailties back.

 

But of course, a thought is just a thought.

Such frivolities I cannot concur.

I’m only held by atonement born with.

And I continued to be held, despite the queered rage.

 

While you were once a moistened bud,

And I was once among the bees.

What is left less the comely part,

A malediction of wisdom

A megalomania among the fickle mind as I am.

Hence, I refuse to leave.

 

to be continued..

Chapter 3-The Case of Maria

beggarI have learned that there’s an ultimate bliss in running without the dense weight of baggage, neither a pebble worth on my palm. There was just heavy storm of burning heat and dry spasms of asphalt on my thinning soles. I walked and turned, past through the tombs of civility, then through the desolated remains of old city. It was a long stretch of buildings and houses with blotted walls, nearly familiar as my old house–my Aunt’s old house.

This part of the city has more traders of indigent kind. Across the fast food chains that stood from corner to corner, are miniscule stores that open all day and night, indiscriminately to all customers. Most kids hike next to their doors, strewed like lost cats and dogs. I wonder where they emerge from, where they come in and out. I guess I’m not alone in this pursuit, except that they have found a constant space in this street to squat when they tire. There’s an old woman waylaid behind the glass door of Ministop. Although her presence riled those who pass by and by those of the store’s crew, she knew it was her place. It was the safest to be and the 5 year old child she carries. Her pallid face, drying from the throes of heat and noise, occasionally looks up in hope for someone to look back. I decided my place is going to be close to hers. I sat down, my feet still holding against the weight on the floor, waiting for whatever they’re waiting. My knees, now quaking from starvation, supported the slowly nauseating head. The daylight fell in total darkness.

I woke up sopped in sweat and cold at the same time. A hand poked gently on my stiffened neck, it’s hard to tell if it was just a dream. My concept of time had become confusing that tonight seemed 2 nights ago or few hours passed.

“Are you hungry?” Her brown dyed hair dangled in place, nails tinted in shimmering black and skin glowed like a sun-kissed satin. This time, I refused to talk given the premises an utterance had brought me through. She waved a plastic of bread teasing for a sign of response. I held my tongue, waiting for her to give up. Oh I long for her to give up that bread. “Where’s your family?” I could decipher the old woman’s panting next to me, wishing it had been her. The attempt paid no heed so the food ended laid for my picking. She was gone in few seconds, right to the alley I have not been. I picked up the plastic and slowly gnawed the food with bare soiled hands, hoping that in doing so, I could remember the feeling of fullness when starvation hits again. An ominous watcher now pleaded in more obvious observance, hoping the generosity will not abandon her as it did on me. My hand extended 2 sheets of bread and watched as her eyes blazed like a fire. A fire greater than happiness—like happiness ashed with sprinkles of pain.

“Thank you,” a faint sound overcame a strange feeling. Power dwells in me.

Rêver

I’ve only started watching lectures on Introductory to Ethics under Philosophy and the first few minutes already piqued my interest with dilemma questions. A professor from Oxford gathered examples of conflicts in values among her students. She asked–how you would react if a friend inquired for your opinion on her hideous haircut. Would you say “Yuk!” or “Oh, that’s nice!”? Would you be truthful? Or be kind?

I thought of one dilemma since I was a kid—retelling a conditional truth. You be the judge and tell me the difference between, ”She hit me with a baseball bat and I hit her back with an axe” and ”She hit me with a baseball bat.”

From where I am at, the area is often hit by monsoon rains and typhoon. Despite the regularity in conditions, people couldn’t just be ready enough. Social Media becomes a humdrum pool of people needing help. Your heart peals for the earnest will to give aid. Tell me how this would sound if they write you back a thank you note that says, “We spent the money in building the house, bought some relief and clothes for the kids,” as oppose to, “We spent the money in building the house, bought some relief and clothes for the kids, while the rest on a hair cut, new cellphone, bags and shoes.”

There is one truth I know and that—I knew barely. I only see what is perceived within reach. Reason is sometimes not enough to bring us to an understanding, not even hearts bestirred by passionate logicity. Even so, our pride vociferate like a tinging smoke blinding us and others. The truth is, we would never know enough.

I wish I’ve existed when the Earth was young. My feet could wallow through eddied bounds of water and soil. My eyes could praise the towering stars through dead, yet so alive darkness. I could alienate and watch tenaciously other souls asunder by distance.

I could only assume there is much to bear when the world realizes it has known much and greed to know more. After all, we are once a walking wily beast who fed on weaknesses of animals and ailing brothers. My hope. Our only hope. Is to warn the younger ones of fib and mistakes we’ve been through. To find solace in silence and being alone. To preach and honor the will of others. To find wealth in health and fruits of hard work. To forgive and accept the grievances of conflict. To love whatever the odds are. Sought for equanimity and justice. To believe we are equal in all respects, (as an entity conceived and will expire) despite the differences in wealth, occupation, principles, experience and gender.

Resolved

During the latter quarters of last year, I had unofficially committed to goals which were religiously abode. I took a 15-minute workout (at night given my sleeping pattern), learned french (which I’m still currently in progress), listed new American English vocabulary terms, and read American and British literature from renowned writers. Because the use of communication gadgets less interest me, I took the time to mark the days I have achieved so on my planner. I’m aware that all compulsions, addictions and habits start in conscious premeditation of actions, reason for the staunch note taking.

This year has given some sense of direction to provide reasons for my doing. Now that the first set of habits were established, I added a few more on the list by widening my education. I intend to partake and rectify an already solid principle by studying biographies of national and foreign personalities, and by studying philosophy, sociology, theology, applied physics and biochemistry (a degree I have invested in for many years). I crave to satisfy my hauteur taste for bountiful menu, hence, I started cooking again.

Another tenet that fascinates me since are sartorial artistry, painting, sketching and music, which could maybe wait for another year. At an early age, I have indulged in these things, a world I have created for myself when family’s financial premises limited my capacity to explore. A loving Aunt who had passed away few years ago, taught me the fiddling and sewing which I have applied so on old garnished garments my grandmother kept (without her consent of course) to a scarred vodoo-like dolls among my collections. Her masterful music degree taught me the once tingy vocal orientations, that eventually had grown musty because of smoking.

Growing up, I dreamt of bigger things. I studied relentlessly not because of those dreams but because I have to get scholarships. I heard one say, “I have to do what I have to so I could do what I want to” When I mature realizing that this world is not a wonderful orb of delight, those dreams changed to philosophies. I guess, life truggles lead you to an end and start of your lifetime. You decide the only 2 opposing geographies that exist—the good and the bad pursuits. Your bad actions cannot justify good intentions. Your good actions cannot justify bad intentions. It is always just either one of both.

Today, I have heard the passing of a good friend. His milestone made me question further my own.

Origin of the Beautiful Mind

I have high regards for intellect, but the existing taste for something perceptible as the word incredulous often is now nothing but popularity. Sometimes, in musty sense for palpable profit, it becomes redundant as everyone’s ideas. There’s nothingness for originality because no one wants to be alone in accepting an idea. This is such a lonely world, no matter how one tries to expand it, or reduce it.

I tried not to engage socially because people are intolerant to impoverish nobility. Not that I am noble, rather, I want to share a myriad feelings for when light comes as we appreciate every particulate of darkness. There is a propitious coming of light,without the effort of chasing. Every time I close my eyes, I travel in space, in time, watching solitude faces, characters, frames, pictures, words, voices, events.. the Black woman, whispering that which no one dares to say, while I, in agog for fresh mind. I become a visionary every time, translating that revolutionary window to another truth. I’ve been here before. I’ve been here all the time in the past. The futile addiction to this kind of place has some risks. It unravels another side of you that does not coexist with general reality. The general reality eventually becomes an oppressor, particularly of self. No matter how much you denounce conformity, you’d have to eat it. You could partly describe it as a huge mass being choked down to your throat, or a DNA sequence forced within the depth of your character.

A wise man would not let this get in the way of special function. The notoriety of deprecating indifference has only one pill—speak, hear and accept humility. Humility is a philosophical term for scientific conscious remission. Humility makes you accept the limitation of rationality. You test and support a piece of idea in question.

My two sisters are officiously enthusiastic about the teachings of psychology, Behaviors are symptomatic transcription of mental illness, they say. Such however are inscrutable to gather, or disprove. I only believe in experiences, intentions, intellectual orientation, vision, branching out into several forms of expression. And because we provision our own masterful expression, we are entitled to madness.

Chapter 2

Santa Claus was right. It didn’t take long before we entered a hotel guarded by a man in uniform. He greeted and opened the door for the old man with an obvious animosity. The lobby was generously lavished with sculpted frames and paintings. The woman on the front desk paid the same courtesy, her mouth frigid as she examined my presence.

He continued a proactive discourse of his casual encounters in the Philippines and Thailand, of which, barely interests me. I’ve only found out pretty late that his name is Jorge, a retiree from Pennsylvania.

A small containment coming to life on its own interrupted Jorge while we stood face to face with its reflective mirror. For a first timer, the ride was like a turmoil within my insides, concocting a spiral of excitement and anxiousness. He laughed as I clung on to the wall to maintain balance. The increasing height further the convulsing feeling, almost similar to being succumbed by the ripples of water. Both hands instinctively covered the ears as I fear it will pop.

“Let me help you with that.” He collected a certain astute confidence, one who had walked a dreary road, maybe encompassing mine which is of only few years. Despite the authenticity of his familiarity, I resisted and stepped back as he attempted to meddle with my head.

“Swallowing helps.” I did as he told and once again, he knew of my affliction.

The elevator, as he introduced it, opened again as soon as the 11th digit blinked. The doors copulated by the impinging hallway registered a heedless mystery. His room resides next to the last door in the left wing. It was small but a monarch of comfort and class. I hesitated to enter, in fear that the floors be stained by my tattered slippers.

“Don’t be scared Maria. Come and make yourself comfortable.” His wan complexion garbed with brown freckles became clearer now that we’ve engaged across each other, I remaining stalled in his doorway. “And don’t bother to take off your slippers.” His bemused anticipation granted him the satisfaction while I follow his consequent passive orders.

From the inside, kitchen, bed and bathroom are clumped altogether in miniscule modernized compartment. I turned my head from left to right, awed by the new settlement I presume to be a brief acquaintance. On the left side of the foot of the bed, a camera stood on three metal tubes.

“Do you take pictures of yourself?” I blurted out. He looked surprised and I can only assume for many reasons. It had broken the long unperturbed silence and ignorance.

“Well yes. Sometimes the kids want their pictures taken. My friends would like to have fun and have their pictures taken too.” He explained it simply untainted by the intricate sense of its use. I avoided his eyes crookedly distorted by the old lines as he smirks. His hands reached through the shirt lining from behind showing off his skin whiter than anyone I have seen.

“Why don’t you grab some food in the fridge while I shower. There’s orange, grape juice, pasta if you like.” He offered encouragingly. The sound of it was as good as the last meal I had early today.

As soon as I hear the shower splattering the floors, the room came alive narrating its shredded parts of experience. Flashes of dim faces and voices possessed every inanimate witness. They spoke to me with trepidation despising and admiring my memories. Of course I knew about the camera. There’s one I saw from a constant visitor of Aunt Rina. Carlo proudly confessed his mother is a porn actress.

Amidst the adjoining nerves of thighs and stomach revolting from starvation and exhaustion, the inner resistance won leading my careful strut towards the door. I flee like I once did and in the budding essence of compulsion, I always will.

Chapter 1-The Case of Maria

runaway kid

The first day of darkness came and people anxiously waited for the expanse of how the day would change. For Aunt Rina, business had never been this good. I was expecting, in some confounded premonition the old woman had portended that my life would change—for the better. She was right. Not as I hoped though. It was time for Auntie to capitalize on unprecedented addition to the family.

The street lamps were on 24 hours to encourage continued business. For average households, rechargeable lamps compensated for natural light to cut down power consumption. At 9 in the morning, I would be sent to hang out on the streets where other kids beg for whatever they can. The most profitable spot was alongside the Mercury drug, now flooded by foreign bystanders day and night. My primary function though was to deliver a newspaper bond they call “goods” to a man named Boy.

Boy, a slender man in his fortys carries a faded backpack and would sometimes comes to his assigned post with a plump man who likes to wear a shirt that barely fits him. We never made contact as it seems conspicuous for old men to approach a young girl. Although the black market does not limit the age to prostitution, Aunt Rina maintains a rather more conducive money maker to compromise her business with another line of business. For such, I thank God for the “goods”.

My training before this job was immense. I had to slid a roll through a hidden slit under the backpack for 5 seconds. A work done so well was rewarded with abundant meal and so I did good everytime. Carlo, Aunt Rina’s 14 year old son was the wingman that oversees operation on the street. He keeps a close watch of me, the receiver and unwanted sting lurking as commoner.

On the 6th day, the street lights glimmered like a carnival on its last show run. The kids played here and there, banners hover from corner to corner and the sex union gathered in festivities. It is as if they never want to see the light of the day. Carlo was not his usual self, distracted by almost naked caravan of women calling out for midnight special. After the delivery of goods, Carlo emerged from a crowd of women bargaining with a group of prospective clients. It was the first incident of neglect and never should have been. I should never be able to pinpoint him from a crowd.

“Go home. Tell Rina I’ll be late.” His slim stature became more transparent in a white sando soaked with sweat. He shoved me off as soon as his friends called out. I looked around while the sound of distant chatting grew loud. My heart suddenly throbbed from excitement. I walked and walked, away from familiar shadows. Every step farther lead to liberating from a not-so-long ago past. Every corner and building named were sole witnesses to a future of no-looking-back. I stopped at a bricked driveway where cars are stalled on a wide entrance. Inside is an open architectural hall built with unlit dome of church. Not far from it are restaurants and shops decorated by clusters of men and women clothed for the occasion. This is not a place for me. Not a place for a kid who had just ran away. The benches in the garden offered me a good place for viewing and isolation.

“You alone?” An old foreigner intruded my fancy silent mingling. His belly was so huge I could mistake him for Santa Claus, while I being the lost Little Red Riding Hood. “Do you mind if I sit here?” he asked again. I didn’t confirm approval but he did anyway.

“Are you hungry? I have place close to this mall. If you’re hungry or need a place to sleep, you could stay.” I studied his face for the first time. He was indeed Santa Claus except that the beard were tinted unnaturally black. “Don’t be scared. I got little kids like you who stay at my place. They eat whatever they want. Think of me like an uncle.”

He stood up and offered to take my hand. I blindly followed, hoping to end an exhausting day.

The Case of Maria

Prologue

 

child in a room-case of maria

The banging thump escalated rhythmically, as if the devil covets release of one’s rage. I, in my dying innocence, effortly pasted half of my face against the wall. The vibration didn’t bother the ears, rather debts more of inquisition towards the unsightly event right next to this room. I was growing more concerned of Aunt Rina. She was howling like a wolf, yet disturbingly seem aroused by her own sound. I slowly crept in my pajama, hoping no sound interrupts their mysterious preoccupation. Tiptoeing through the cold tiles, I finally reached the door next room. The holstering duo of grunt and scream stopped. Within seconds, the door swung open almost catapulting my feet up to the roof. A white hairy man looked down, smirking at a small figure before him.

“Like what you saw?” he said.

I remained stiff. There was an eerie sense of awkward perplexity and disgust over an unfamiliar anatomy. He walked past, the shanty light coming from the bathroom through the end of the hall, showing off his naked behind. Inside the room, Aunt Rina sat at the edge of the bed, breast sagging as she breathe hastily her constant cigarette companion. Throwing a look of penance, her unspoken words linger. You will live as I live.

I scampered back to bed and crouched beneath the sheets. The coldness did not wither.

At 10, I was made aware that people act crazy because they are alone. Although they’ve always been that way since birth, they still fear the thought of it. I became satisfied with the punity of being alone with everyone else. Fourteen days before Christmas in 2014, an astronomical news created frantic all over the world. The sun abandoned earth causing total darkness for 6 days, the first after a massive solar storm in 250 years. The next day, Aunt Rina and I joined the hectic crowd in Razon Supermarket which is 10 minutes jeepney ride from the house. There was little space to squeeze in among shoppers who feared they might not see the light of day again. I fought to find an escape while the old ones savagely brawled at every item they could grab. An old woman in rugged clothes stood outside watching through the walled glass. Unlike the others, her eyes showed no fear. Then she found me. I was obliged to connect, slowly being drawn towards her.

“Be strong little one. Your time is near.” she whispered. For a child mind, such enigmatic blabbering wasn’t much to contemplate on. My retribution lies on a roof to live and food to eat. “Do you have food or water to spare?”she asked.

“I don’t really have money.” My head turned back to the swarming pickers negligent of who does what. I thought I could maybe sneak back for a loaf. “but maybe I could try to–” Before the good intention could be said, she was gone. Gone like I was the only one who knew she existed.

Token To Remember

I haven’t done writing for months now and I’m pretty sure missing work tonight to make time for that is a win-win situation for everyone involved. I’m a major competition when taking in calls; they said my undying hype towards an overused headset and a monitor of statistics is intimidating; and I left work yesterday slowly emerging like a green monster after a heated discussion over unreturned compensation for hard work. And I thought people should start appreciating calculus or statistics because even those that doesn’t matter or doesn’t make sense will turn out to be a significant discovery.

As much as a I fancy behavioral psychology (besides the fact that keeping my cool helps in controlling my ailing insides, physiologically), my eyes are drawn to putting meaning to numbers. Physical attraction is all about the proportionality of elements such as eyes, nose, lips, cheekbone within a 3 planar space visually distinct among common eyes and the probability of a unique facial structure existing relative to population. Attachment has a direct relationship with consumed space and time unless exposed under strained conditions. So I anxiously keep that on the watch.

Ehfficiency at work is undoubtedly about numbers. If you’re in marketing and sales, one must maintain an average number of prospects, keeping contact within a time frame. You must never miss a day without an order line, although that depends on how long you’ve been doing it and how many existing accounts you have. A measurable and variable goal should be set and that daily numbers should get you close to that goal. Establish a routine and the day must be concluded by the amount of accomplished work in numbers.

Vehemently, I’m misdirected by the challenge. I swore not to loop towards the curvature of old life but rather to observe and write. Follow faith and the very purpose of this moment. Apparently, this moment is nothing but a pint of the past, evident even through the stars. The very start is the key to the end. You must be more than human to certainly know the ultimate truth. As Einstein had once remarked, it is thus, “spooky action at a distance.” The unknown force of entanglement impacts even that distanced by time and space, same as the subatomic particles in quantum universe. Physical scientists fail to transcribe the laws of nature philosphically. They think everything is all about the non life properties. This imminent information is a hinting philosophy waiting to be humanized. The laws of nature is fate.

Nothing is random. Everyone and everything have motives. I knew, right when i was emptied, watching the big tides of water wondering where i’m heading next. Now the city has come to me, singing the same hypnotic strings of blindness. They blindly follow as it entertains. I brought in few things to make me remember–the crucifix necklace I wear everyday, the untouched hair now hanging longer to the waist, and this illness meaning to keep my raging soul tied. I cannot engage, neither form bonds… But rather observe and write.

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