Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On being alone. And the beloved Marshalls.


I can never have so much solace. And my walls are never high enough, and I cannot keep people from peering. It’s not the judgment I am most afraid of; it’s the presence or people I cannot stand. Parties drive waves of anxiety through me. So on my next birthday, i want everybody to shut up about my birthday.

Also because I hate my own birthday.

Recently, I have been spending more time in my second home, Kalibo. It is more economical to just stay there, spend the time at home, in the small municipality of Kalibo, and watch the cows graze. I’m kidding, there are no cows, but there are not many cars, either. The more times I call Kalibo home, the closer I get to being less sick of it, and this is natural. Last month I spent a straight week in Kalibo, working. Then I got sick, so I went home to Manila. Then I went back to kalibo. I got sick again, but this time after two weeks. My housemates are the kind of people I can stand. It’s a community inside the dorm, and wherever there is a community there is politics, and politics means dealing with people, which I always try to avoid.

Then there are the people at work. For a very plain, obvious reason that might render me jobless, I won’t say anything more.

This is why I always have to have earphones.

And here we go about the earphones, my music –meaning, the kind of music I listen to, and the isolation.

About a month ago I got myself a pair of Marshall earphones. These are expensive earphones, and it kind of hurt buying them, and it was kind of an impulse purchase, and not even my best friend telling me I could get a pair as good with so much less money slowed me down. It was there, in front of me, in its recycled carton box, with all the multilingual glyphs, the drawings, and of course, the instant connection. I have never felt anything close to that feeling: love without lust. Should a man gamble? Always.

Again, expensive. It set me back 3,450php (around $78) but wow the music feels so much livelier, and the booms keeps me from dealing with people. Earphones have that ability: to keep people you hate from interacting with you without them knowing that. The pair I got is colored a beautiful virgin white, with gold accents, and a tangle-free fabric cord with a remote-control that can be used with the iPhone. What followed were days full of joy –listening to every track was like listening to them for the first time, and then I understood the thing people say about falling in love the second time. With this new barrier I can now separate more myself more efficiently from the living and enjoy my music at the same time. You might say it was for a price that I now have this capability, but my peace of mind is priceless. And with this most recent acquisition I am more at peace with myself, with more tolerance of everything that is happening, and this brings me more joy, more than anything else. Sorry I cannot help but rave about it.

The bass is explosive, and the layering of the beats I now recognize. My apple earbuds cannot do that, and I doubt the new earbuds by apple can compete with my Marshalls. The fabric cable wrapping is extremely gorgeous, although it means I cannot eat whilst listening to music, for fear of stain, but who does anyway?


Sunday, March 2, 2014

When will I stop smelling like cigarettes.

When will I ever be able to stop smoking, now that I have been used to it, and it has been providing me senseless relief for the moments where I think I cannot bear to look at how senseless everything is? I feel thoroughly disconnected, the people do not make sense, do not come through; experiences require more exertion but stay only transient in my mind; even the books I read do not make sense and the words feel like bullets –they go in fast, punch a hole on a surface and go out, not with any sensation, leaving a blank. I feel like endlessly floating and the reason for this, I just cannot figure out, so I cannot proceed to dissect.

I only know how it feels like, and this longing could be making me sadder.

Again, I live inside my head. With this profession I have signed up for where people constantly surround me, expecting attention, I break down. It feels like my kettle whistles the soonest, almost always. I am not sure if this is just how I am, or if there is something underneath this temperament of mine. I might be just low on patience, but I’ve counted some instances where I wasn’t at all quick-tempered, but then again, it could just mean that I haven’t given the pressing situation any proper amount of attention before deciding to brush it off. In this manner that I vacillate endlessly from being too anal about details, and then suddenly not caring, and then I start self-diagnosing myself with schizophrenia, or a chemical imbalance up in my head, although everybody knows how self-diagnoses go: most of the time they aren’t accurate, and they aren’t even worth thinking about. There goes my self-diagnosed hypochondria.

Suddenly I am all well.

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I think sometimes about how being happy with one’s own life. How does ‘not working a day in your life’ happen when one has found a ‘job one loves’. Do I hate what I do? I am okay with this, but not through the roof, head over heels joyful. Did I dream of this when I was little? No, honestly this works against what I believe in: a premium on the superficial qualities over all the other existing human attributes. I would say though that people in this industry value industry, but then that is applicable to all forms of work.

It crosses my mind to have a positive opinion of what I do due to the reality that this is a job many people want. And even among those who get in, a little more get scraped off the top because they realize they cannot take how the industry behaves. So I have lasted almost two years floating, hiding from the sad reality that I am just in like with this, and far from being in love. But still I carry this like a shiny badge, and more often than not, it speaks for me. The title speaks not in volumes, but it supports my attitude, and it lay down groundwork for any future elbow-rubbing, and then some.

But really how would it feel to do what one wants? Not a job he thinks he might fit in well, but one he would dedicate his whole life to?

Without skipping a beat, I would say that I want to just write. Anyone who hears about it says it is not lucrative, and I’d be poor. Will I reach a point where I’d have to sell my things? What would I do without my shirts, some of them I haven’t even worn yet? Well, I could write about having to sell them, on a piece of paper, with a pencil, back to back. Paper could one day be expensive. But of course I’d still have my laptop with me, but i wouldn’t be able to turn this thing on without electricity. It will be rendered useful only for sentimental purposes.

Maybe life is good, however bad it is, because this evil inside of me keeps me writing, and I hope to have something else to write about in the future, and I’d like to be more productive. Flights always drain the hell out of me, that all I want to do is literally decompress after a day of cabin pressure and people who keep thinking they got inside an all first-class aircraft. If you have been my passenger at one point, and I refused to give you orange juice, it was because we didn’t have any. And thank you for asking if there is anything else other than water and coffee and looking incredulous when I said no, because, really, if we had any on board, I’d be offering it to you to stop your kid from crying.

 - JCS