Talk more

September 16

I liked how the man in Stephen Shore's photo looks at you. It's piercing. It's brimming with intimacy. I made it as my new phone's wallpaper. I am typing this while it's raining, the caffeine in my system wants me to do a billion things, but my eyes are tired. I'm at a point where everything can happen if I allot enough hours on it: get a scholarship, a promotion, a new job, a nice study table for my son, a nice lawn, a great article for my blog... the irony is I don't get to do a lot when I have all the time in the world. I tend to achieve more when I know I won't get much sleep, or when I know that after this task there's another task, and another. This rainy weather reminds me of the blue hues of afternoons in Bulacan, and it stultifies me, paralyzes all the will in my body, and I just read books, type cryptic things on a typewriter smoke weed and while away. I'm glad I'm not in that place anymore.

September 20

Now I know what I like about A Little Life: it's about dreams, about dreaming, about that burning passion to achieve dreams. I realized this at a bus ride home from gym, reading and imagining the life of Jude at Greene Street, and then pausing to imagine what my life would be. I am planning to apply for scholarships abroad in hopes of uprooting my family to a country that can offer a better quality of life. Where would I be five yeats from now? I'm not sure but I should do whatever it takes to reach that dream, while I'm young and have the energy, that intense desire, for change.

Untrust Us

Not verbatim, but my son told me, over dinner of sinampalukang manok: "I'm having a hard time trusting people these days because my classmates lied to me recently." He just had a taste of deception: he said his classmates nudged him to divulge the name of his crush. Little did he know, all of them - save for Tomas - would work against him, telling his crush about it. Crush was, pardon my pun, crushed about the news, and the girl isn't talking to him anymore. This was the reason my son looked so pale and aghast last Friday, my wife said. "Isn't he cute!" I told him I had a similar experience, when my best friend and I decided to exchange the names of our crushes with each other, in confidence. The prick was a liar, I later realized: he made me do it because we're fawning over the same girl.

Many instants

Borges: “Although a man’s life is compounded of thousands and thousands of moments and days, those many instants, and those many days may be reduced to a single one, the moment when a man knows who he is, when he sees himself face to face.”
from Affirmations, or An HIV Rhapsody by Carlo Pacolor Garcia


These brief columns at the New Yorker (under “Talk of the Town”) can be easily dismissed as think pieces or biographies in its infancy, never fully realized. I myself usually skip them. But some of them shine - like this bit by Nick Paumgarten. Without the brevity (part of the column’s requirement?) this would be sappy and overwrought, but with much grafting and omission it stands out the way stories from friends shine when shared within constrained environments (quick meeting over drinks, chance meet-ups).