I’m stuck at a problem at work. Last week I was given a huge data set to analyze but I couldn’t extract the metadata that I need to crunch. The boss didn’t give me a deadline but still, I’m frustrated. Sometimes I think I’m too dumb for this job. Sometimes I also think that maybe I shouldn’t have abandoned writing as a career.
I am out of sorts again. I won’t bore you with the details but just to stay on brand, I am currently
reading an anthology of Filipino speculative fiction from the early 2000’s; one of the stories called “The Secret Origin of Spin-man” by Andrew Drilon is a genuine mood booster, i.e. nakakataba ng puso;
writing this post and nothing else;
listening to Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps”;
thinking that many of my failures in life may have been caused by my tendency to procrastinate every, god, damn, time;
I welcomed February with exactly $0 in my bank account. Usually I save at least a hundred bucks after each billing cycle — but this month? Pff. I had nada.
“We got bills to pay,” sings Taylor Swift. So this month I paid the bills, I took charge of my brother’s rent (long story and not mine to tell) and I shouldered other expenses too. I couldn’t even let my paychecks simmer into oblivion. They were gone as soon as they arrived; it was instant sublimation.
But I’m fine, I guess. My family still eats regularly, I still have a job, and I can still afford to drink beer every now and then. I come from a lower middle class household so treading the fringes of financial stability isn’t new to me. I’m used to this; we’ll survive eventually.
I rarely see stars anymore, and maybe that’s why I’m thinking about them tonight. I spent a good chunk of my early teens just marveling at their beauty. I wrote poems about them too, but what young girl didn’t? The cool ones, probably.
Four years of my youth were spent in a boarding school carved on a slope of a mountain. Our kubo-style dorm rooms were connected by stairs and bridges, and from our verandas we could see the sprawling veins of the city and the quiet bay that hugged its contours. We were far from everything else but we were so close to the stars. At night we could just lie on the road, use our sweaters as blankets and admire the glittering debris of the universe above us. It was magical.
I cringe every time I see a spike in my Stats. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it usually means that one curious cat got a tad too curious and decided to dig through my dusty archives.
Which is fine, actually. It’s dope. It proves that some people still find this space interesting and it makes me feel a little less alone (shet ang lungkot ko naman?). On the flip side, however, it also means that these people get to see more of my shortcomings as a writer. Exhibit A: my “very sad and very poor” grasp of the English language.
I’m aware of it, and I’m trying to be better at it. My about page says it all: please feel free to judge my grammar mistakes. I apologize for the lapses; I apologize for my egregious English.
What is it about revolutions around the sun that triggers strange sentimentality in people?
I’ve been a cynic my entire life that for so long, temporal markers have done nothing to me and my jaded butt. Why care about resolutions, anniversaries, and even birthdays when everything is doomed to end anyway? I think the great absurdists of my time had a point when they asked, “ano pang point?”
But when the calendars changed about a month ago, I realized that maybe this “why bother” attitude is an entire demon on its own. Mary Oliver (bless her soul 😢) was right: darkness, too, can be a gift.