Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finally, I've moved. Here, if you're interested.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Short Fiction: This Way Please

(photo by Zer Cabatuan)

In the dream, the old man tells me, “Come in. Come in boy. The show’s just beginning.”

And I do.

The theatre is filled with people, young and old – one child is holding a cotton candy cone in her hand, laughing, giggling; a thirty-something woman sits near the aisle, sobbing; I see a couple kissing in a corner.

At first I don’t get it. The screen is showing nothing but static. When I return to the man outside, he’s smiling. “Don’t like what’s on?”

I say there’s nothing on, but the smile doesn’t fade, and he nods knowingly.

“Ah,” he says, “So we have a realist, eh?” He seems amused and surprised. “Don’t get much of your kind here. The last one to say she was one ended up staying, after all. I think it was a love story, for her. Figures. So just static for you? Nothing? Not even a shadow or something blurred and jagged in the background?”

“No,” I answer.

“So it’s back to the real world in the morning, yes? Same as always?” Asks the old man, who has, from somewhere, pulled out two mugs of steaming coffee. He hands me one. He gestures for me to join him on the bench where he's sitting, and I oblige.

“Same as always,” I say. The coffee is black, with just the right amount of sweetness. “Good coffee,” I tell him.

“Ha! At least I did something right by you. I reckon you’ve just realized what this place is, eh, boy?”

I nod.

He sighs. “Ever since the beginning of time, I’ve been here. I’ve lost count of how many people have gone in. You though, are a rare specimen. If I remember correctly, you’re, hmmm… three thousand seven hundred and seventy five.”

“Three thousand seven hundred and seventy five is a lot,” I retort.

“Not when you’ve been around here for as long as I have. We used to have plays and dances around bonfires and things like that, but you’ve gotta move along with the times, right? So it’s the big screen now, all modern and spiffy, with popcorn and cotton candy and soda and everything.”

“Do they ever come back?” I ask. “Will I?”

He gestures dismissively. “Oh, don’t worry about yourself. You’ll be back before you even finish your coffee. Them,” he says, jerking a thumb towards the curtained entrance, “sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. For some people it’s better in here, y’know? Better than out there. I think even you understand.”

I nod again in agreement.

He pats me, father-like, on the back. “Well, better get going, boy, and good luck to ‘ya. You need it, you know. Everyone out there does. And thanks for sticking around, it’s not often someone I can chat with comes along. They usually just head on inside and that’s the last I hear of them. You’d think it was too much to just pop a ‘hi there’ to an old man. God knows I need the company.”

I shake my head. “Me? I hardly said a word. And no one comes here? No one?”

He shrugs. “Nope, not really. Ol’ Grim comes around sometimes, but you know, he’s not one to talk. All action, that guy. Dunno what he does inside though. But I’m sure as hell it ain't official business. I guess even guys like him need a break sometimes. Tough job, that. This here job is eons better than what he has on his plate.”

I then realize that I’m beginning to fade away – I’m translucent from the knee down. I set the coffee mug on a nearby table. “I’m sorry if I wasn’t much conversation.”

“Nah, don’t sweat it boy. I reckon guys like you are my break, and I appreciate it, even if it was just for awhile. Well, hope you visit again sometime, and if you’re going in for the long haul, don’t forget to give this old man a hello.” He waves. “Remember boy, nothing bad in coming back and staying.”

I wave goodbye, and then with those last words echoing in my head, I wake up.

(This post was originally posted on the Hump [] last August 5, 2009).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From the vault: Vignette - Ambiguous

“We finish,” says the man.
“Each other’s sentences,” says the woman.
“She’d like a Cosmopolitan,” says the man to the bartender.
“He’ll have a Jack Daniels on the rocks,” says his companion.
“Isn’t this place wonderful?” They exclaim together, and giggle like high school sweethearts who’ve only been going out for a month.
Arms around each other, they go back to their table, sipping their drinks.

You can be anyone.
But who am I here? Who do I want to be?

“Oops, sorry,” says a blonde beauty that almost spills her martini on me. “I think I’ve had too many of these tonight.”
“Well who can blame you,” I say. “This place is supposed to be just a one night deal, right?”
“Well said! Here’s to more then!” She raises her glass and almost falls, but I steady her back with a hand. She thanks me and moves toward the back of the bar.

“Who might you be, on this fine night?” Says the bartender, noticing that I am alone.
“I haven’t decided yet. I thought maybe an actor, but I really don’t like actors nowadays, and nobody likes the actors of the old days. Or maybe a singer, but I don’t know any of the new songs today, and nobody knows the old ones. A body builder? A model? I don’t know.”
The bartender nods sympathetically.
“Hey man, try not to beat yourself up too much of about it. Just say what comes to your mind first, and then change it later, if you want. Nobody cares. Everything’s just for a night, anyway.”
He moves away to take someone’s order, two gin tonics, and I fall back to thinking. Who do I want to be? An author? Nobody likes authors. Too stuffy and bookish. Most of the good ones, anyway. I could be a race car driver, but who’s interested in motors and curves and drifting?

“Hi,” someone says behind me. I turn to face a girl wearing a cocktail dress of dark gold. Perfect white teeth peek through a small, pretty mouth with full lips. She’s smiling—I can’t decide if it’s seductive or sad. Her dark brown hair flows straight down to her bare shoulders, and I see the curves of her breasts, that show just the right amount of cleavage over her neckline to be classily sexy, unlike a number I’ve seen here.
And right on cue, a girl in a green bikini top and jeans suddenly staggers on me and flings her arm over my shoulder. She smells of alcohol and jasmine.
“Hi cutie!” She says.
My newfound and unnamed acquaintance looks at her, smiling, eyes shining, confident and unassuming. Bikini girl takes her hand off me, suddenly seemingly sobered, and wordlessly saunters over to a guy wearing an undershirt and a bandanna.
The more I look at her, the more she becomes crazy beautiful, this girl in gold. I notice a small scar on her right knee, but I am soon lost in the perfect flow of her curves, of the way her legs are crossed over each other, of the arch of the soles of her feet.
“Hi,” I say back.


It's all about the time. As always, there are stories in my head. Some nice, some bad, some I will write down on paper - digital and otherwise - and some will never see the light of day. But writing stories for me is about time - lots of it - time which I do not have. Sigh.

And just for the record, Bikini Girl existed here long before that presumptuous idiot on American Idol broke the stereotype that being dumb was only for blondes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Saturday

July 18, Saturday is a big day.

I was a bit late in registering, but it seems I've made it into the official list of participants for the 2009 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk - Pasig. It's just for two hours, all free shooting, and just a tricycle ride away from home. Here's to fingers crossed to get at least a honorable mention for the contest (which is international, LOL) afterward, but just being able to be part of an official photography event - despite my newbie-ness - is a great thing in itself. I hope I'll be able to take some decent pictures.

Afterward, after a bit of rest, I'm off to see my favorite person in the world, and spend some time with her. We only see each other once a week, so it's always something I really look forward to. It's a wonderful, wonderful cap off to my Saturday.

Thanks a lot, God. ^_^

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One last thing before I hit the sack.

I realize I haven't been posting as much as I want to (ha, Captain Obvious), settling for the occasional photo.

Still, I just want to give out a big thank You to the Guy Upstairs, for blessings and what I pray to be good things to come.


Serendra, on a hot, Saturday afternoon: