Intricacies

Of fleeting moments and flashing thoughts

I have no idea how to finish this sh —

Any suggestions?

I was entombed in a cold and dark chamber, shrouded in the shadows of sorrow and suffering. I have chosen to retreat in this still silence to forget the wounds of yesteryears; I know not how long I’ve slept. I must’ve dreamed of warmth and light in my deep slumber, but then I woke up to the lingering chill biting my skin and the stench of overpowering loneliness. They say dreams are visions of a reality we cannot have. And so I closed my eyes and slept once more.

I was in a different place. A verdant landscape bursting with colors in every hue and blooming with vibrant flora. I took a step forward, my feet sinking into soft grass covered in dew. And then I saw you.

You were basking in the golden glow of the sun, your lips curved into an entrancing smile, your eyes burning into mine. You were a sight to behold, more like a captivating mirage than an awakening reality. I know you from my dreams. I’ve waited for you for so long.

I was pulled into your crushing embrace; your hallucinogenic presence rousing my senses. Oh, how I ache for your warmth. The cold and dark chamber of my past forgotten; the loneliness giving way to something I’ve felt and lost before. Happiness streaked with ecstasy.

The greenery surrounding us dissolved into the most passionate of red. You’re all I see and feel, the phantom of my dreams. I scream in surrender as you permeate the deepest depths of my being; your force ripping my body apart, pushing me over the peak of pleasure. I yield and open myself like a quivering, flowering bud revealing a sweet, immaculate nectar that’s yours for the taking. You are rapture and rhapsody in varying intensities; a pulsing rhythm of euphoria and ecstasy. I submit my soul to you, the incarnation of my untamed dreams. Take me to your wonderland; melt my cold heart with your volcanic love.

 

Finish this for me, please?

What It Feels Like to Stare Death in the Face (and Live to Tell About It)

I almost died last Sunday, but then Death must’ve changed its mind and decided I should die another day.

It was a humid summer afternoon, possibly one of the hottest days of the month. The sun was beating down the metro, its scorching glare reflecting off the mirrors and glass windows of the vehicles slowly inching their way through the maze of traffic. Now that I think about it, the sun’s merciless rays must’ve played a part in blinding the driver of the other bus and tricking him into thinking that the lane was clear.

I was riding a Jasper Jean liner on my way home from south. My seat was at the first row, right beside the bus door and window. The ride was uneventful for the most part, save for the driver’s occasional banters with the conductor which didn’t help in relieving the uncomfortable heat inside the bus. My arms were already sticky from sweat, and I kept on silently cursing the woman beside me for rubbing her equally sticky and sweaty arms against mine the entire ride. When I look back now, though, I’m actually thankful she was sitting beside me that time. After all, it was her earsplitting scream that alerted me of the imminent danger.

As far as I could remember, our bus was speeding down the highway at a velocity that you’d expect from provincial buses. Its stops are far and few in between, so the driver skillfully squeezed through every possible gap he could spot on the congested road to cut the travel time even shorter.

Reckless as he was, I knew the near-accident wasn’t his fault. I was mindlessly scanning through my phone’s playlist trying to find the next song to play when I heard the bloodcurdling scream of the woman beside me and looked up just in time to witness the horrifying Final Destination-like scene in front of me.

A bus suddenly switched to our lane without so much as a signal to our driver. Everything happened so fast, all at once. It was a cacophony of heart-stopping sounds: the long, blaring horn from our bus as the driver pounded it with all his might and stepped on the brakes with as much force as he could muster, the deafening, horrified screams of all passengers, and the piercing screech of protesting tires.

I must’ve screamed; I couldn’t remember. It was like watching a Final Destination scene unfold right in front of me. The other bus seemed to zoom in and grow larger as we approached it at high speed, its size filling nearly half of the windshield. It missed our side mirror by a hair strand.

That wasn’t the most traumatic part. As our bus passed the other swiftly, I spun around to look outside my window and realized the other bus didn’t stop yet. It was speeding to my direction, about to hit the side of the bus right where I was sitting helpless and shocked. I had a split second to realize that – holy shit – I’d be hit. I’d be the epicenter of this crash, and I’d take the full force of the impact. Fucking shit, I’m about to die.

My mind was blank; I felt like I was trapped to my seat. Human instinct took over, though, because I turned away from the window, cowered in my seat, assumed the fetal position, and put my hands over my head in a feeble attempt to shield myself from the impact that I knew would come in a split second. I waited for the shower of broken glass and the violent force of crushed metal. I surrendered to the possibility of dying a brutal death. There was nothing I could do to escape.

At that moment, I felt the chill of Death sweep by and brush against my skin, as if pulling me in a cold embrace. I was terrified beyond belief. But my paralyzed mind whispered a faint so be it. Just take me, get it over with.

But a second passed. And then another. The rumble of engine stopped. I opened my eyes, but stayed in my fetal position. I couldn’t breathe, though I know I must still be alive because I felt my heart hammering against my chest.

I put my shaking hands down and grabbed my seat to pull myself up. I slowly turned and looked out the window. The other bus stopped just in time, less than a split second before impact. It was so close that it filled the entire window to my side and completely covered my view. I think I could’ve reached out and touched its windshield if there weren’t any glass between us.

All passengers were in shock. After cursing loudly, our driver restarted the engine and slowly inched our bus down the narrow lane, away from the vehicle at fault. It was over. I was still alive. I could almost hear Death’s mirthless chuckle as it swept away to claim someone else’s life in place of mine.

I was still shaking when I got home and called my mom. In times of near-death experience, the first person you’d call is the one closest to your heart. In my case, it was my mom. I’ve never felt so glad to hear her reassuring voice. It was comforting; I felt like a child again wanting a mother’s reassurance that everything’s okay.

After talking to my mom, I hung up the phone and cried. I thought of my son, my fiancé, family, friends – everyone I would have left behind. It made me realize how powerless we truly are in the face of Death.

Needless to say, I was traumatized. I couldn’t remember the number of times I thanked the Lord for sparing my life that day.

I felt like I cheated Death, like the entire experience was merely its chilling way of saying “see you later”.

I just hope it moved me to the bottom of its Final Destination list. I’d like to live much longer.

Published on Thought Catalog

If Only

If only you could teach your heart
To turn away from foolish thoughts and farfetched dreams
That keep it alive, yet cripple it at the same time
                                                        
If only you could teach your heart
To fight the wave of memories that come rushing in,
Suddenly remembered in full color,
as your thoughts and dreams collide

If only you could teach your heart
To ignore the piercing pain memories bring,
To numb the wound, even as its bleeding reaches your eyes
And flows in tiny, colorless rivers to your quivering lips

If only you could teach your heart
To turn vivid memories of yesteryears
Into monochrome still shots
Of silent smiles and sordid stories
To be kept away
In the most distant depths of your consciousness
Farther than your most forgotten memory…

if only you could teach your heart.

What If

You were across the table.
You listened as I told stories about my life that very few people knew about. Silent, sitting still, staring at me as I poured out my frustrations and unraveled the complicated chapters of my life, laying them open on the table so that you could have a glimpse of my tumultuous world and decide whether you’ll leave, or stay right where you are… silent, sitting still, and staring while billows of smoke from our cigarettes cloud the air between us and surround us with thin wisps that dissolve just as fast as our resolve to keep this meeting purely platonic.

And then you were beside me.
I listened as you told bits and pieces about your life, creating in my head a seemingly vague idea of who you are. Staccato, the manner in which you spoke about your life. Hesitant, like you weren’t sure you wanted to share those things with me. Your voice trailed off, words between us became scarce. It felt as if we entered uncharted territory, a place neither of us should be in, yet we let ourselves fall victim to the night’s spell and the liquor’s lure. As I leaned my head against your shoulder, our hands slowly intertwined, an unsure gesture, a step forward to the unknown, a departure from the platonic.

We locked lips.
An explosion of lust, passion, hunger, and desire in every imaginable spectrum. Friendship set ablaze, resolve to turn away dissolved into a haze. Sweet sighs, soft murmurs, scorching stares, yearning touch. It was everything all at once.

Silence.
Swirls of smoke obscuring our senses, clouding our judgment, suspended in the air between us as our minds engage in a losing battle against our desires. We were still. The chandelier’s light cast a golden glimmer on the half-empty glasses of bourbon and vodka, making the red liquor emanate a faint glow that mirrors our muted passion. Nothing left to say.

We parted ways.
A smile, a hug, a promise to see each other again soon. Like good friends should.
As the night separated us, I was reminded of reality and the gravity of this stupidity. My reason and emotions were at war. It’s a battle I never wanted, yet a struggle I knew I must face.

Reason tells me to stop. But my heart says otherwise.

Published on Thought Catalog

Tainted

Tell me.
What must one do
when her communion dress
has been stained,
and the congregation scorned
her shameful garment?

Tell me.
What must one do
when flies feasted upon
her garden
instead of butterflies?

Tell me.
What must one do
when skeletons hidden deep
within her closet
force their way out
and still haunt her late at night?

Tell me.
What should a girl do
when after cleaning her
dress, garden, and closet,
she still feels degraded,
and she is still considered
tainted?

– 02/06/10

Kisses and Curses

She enters the white building
Garbed in her best Sunday dress
How respectable and clean she looked
The very antonym of
Her life’s unbearable mess

She sits at the back, the preaching has begun
Her gaze is steady, her eyes unblinking
And yet the pastor’s words stung her heart
Like acid, like venom, like an open wound
Bleeding

She bows her head in a wordless prayer
Forgive her Father, for she has sinned greatly
But her tears are no good
No justification for her despicable
Act of cruelty

She stood up and ran out of the building
Her thoughts are wild, her body trembling
She had no idea she could be
This cold-hearted, callous, and merciless,
Blinded by the lust of the senses

He takes her hand and wraps her in his arms
She gives in, her lips once more
Drenched in sinful kisses and sweet curses
He whispers, hush now, with me you’re safe
and sound
She falls deeper into his spell
And her Bible falls to the ground

8.27.10

First Casualty

I want to press the sharp blade of a knife against your throat and watch it sink slowly into your skin while drops of blood stain the silver metal and I scream all obscenities known to mankind. I want you to become my anger’s first casualty.

When People Ask Me About You

When people would ask me about you…

…I’d say you’re a burst of sunshine, a breath of fresh air. When you walk in a room, you have the slightest spring in your steps. Like you’re always happy about something, like you’re constantly looking for ways to cheer up people. And I’d say you have the most arresting smile. It reaches your eyes, your pupils becoming, for a minute, two brilliant orbs that could light up not only an entire room, but also someone’s entire life. I’d also say you’re an amalgam of charm, wit, and sexiness. A rare fusion; a magnetic blend.

When people would ask me how we met…

…I’d say we didn’t start with the usual hi and hello. You just held my hand, pulled me into a kiss, ran your fingers through my hair, wrapped your arms around me one night, and at that moment… I met you. Like really, truly met you. When your lips gently, tentatively touched mine, I was suddenly thrown into a different realm; a place that I must’ve visited in a dream. As the kisses became longer and harder, I was pulled deeper into an otherworldly dimension, a parallel universe where the idea of you and I is possible.

When people would ask me why ‘we’ cannot become a reality…

…I’d say time is against us. It’s not yet the right moment; something as good as this shouldn’t be rushed. In a perfect world, it would be easy to just fall in love and be together. But this is the real world. When the kisses stop, when the sweetness subsides, when the night ends… the parallel universe turns upside down. And we are faced with the reality that it’s not yet our time.

When people would ask me if I can wait…

…I’d say yes. Wait for wounds to heal, wait for hearts to fall. You make me think of better days, so I will wait until everything is crystal. If you’re still there, standing in front of me after the dust has settled, then I’ll know… we’ll both know. That this time, it’s our turn.

Published on Thought Catalog

A thought.

When a man does morally disturbing things, society merely gives an indifferent glance and lets him off the hook quickly. When a woman loses control and does shameful things out of desperation and depression, society takes a long, hard look at her and feasts upon her brokenness.

Why? Is it a fascinating sight… a woman’s descent to destruction?

A Day of Infamy

“…and all copywriters.”

These three words, simple as they may seem, turned my world upside down in the blink of an eye. I can still remember the moment these words were said as if it were only yesterday, the faintest hint of authority in the VP’s voice, the gripping sadness in every syllable, the palpable hopelessness punctuating the last word, and the wave of shocked silence that followed this statement.

“…say your goodbyes.”

These three words, often said during funerals and sorrowful partings, broke the moment’s silence, like it was the signal we were waiting for to unleash the barrage of emotions we felt at that time. Suddenly, it was all a blur. I couldn’t remember if everything became a blur because my colleagues were in some sort of chaotic hugging and crying or because my eyes were filled with tears. It was probably the latter. I do remember feeling entirely lost, like the future was suddenly taken away from me and all my plans were forced down the drain. I also remember hugging one of my closest friends, as tears fell down my eyes and two years’ worth of memories flashed in vivid colors in my mind. The smiles, stories, jokes, lunch outs, and beer toasts now evoke crippling emotions instead of jovial laughter.

It was, like the words of Franklin Roosevelt, a day of infamy, one that shattered our hearts and seared a traumatic memory in our minds. Retrenchment is such a brutal and drastic measure in the corporate world, but it needs to be done. And when you’re caught in the crossfire of retrenchment, you have no choice but to surrender yourself to the fate of unemployment. Those who’ve never experienced the trauma of retrenchment wouldn’t know, but let me tell you this—it would suck the life and laughter out of you for days, even weeks. It is depressing, like you were forced to leave your long-time friend and lover. I could say that the aftershock is even worse than a breakup. The memories would haunt you, and all you’ll ever want is to go back to that familiar place and for everything to go back to normal.

But the depression retrenchment brings, like everything else in this life, will also pass. It may take several weeks, even a month or two, but it will. Eventually, you’ll learn to live without the comfort of your long-time office friends or the familiarity of your old workplace.

“We are pleased to offer you the position of…”

Ultimately, you’ll find a new job and start all over again. You’ll learn new things, earn more, and forge friendships with a new set of colleagues. By the time you get to this point, you’ll realize that retrenchment was just a bump in your career road, a painful experience that actually opened doors for you and led you to the next level of your corporate life.