Early morning musings

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I woke up early today. Campbell was in my dream, I remembered, but it was the haunting staccato steps reminiscent of Feng Shui’s Lotus Feet that jolted me awake. I looked around ready for the jump scare but nah, there was no Chinese aristocrat-contortionist waiting on the other side of the quilt. Sayang, I thought. I would’ve appreciated the company.

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Flash Friction

Flash friction

Warren is cute and some nights I undress him in my thoughts. We spend the awkward morning-after in the lunch room while I stand behind him and listen, patiently, to the cappuccino slowly dripping into his mug. He turns around, smiles, and the machine whirs as if begging either of us to break the silence in its stead. But he doesn’t and I don’t, and he goes back to his seat and I go back to staring at his shoulders, broad and brooding, his white shirt pristine unlike the pictures in my head, dirty as if drenched in endometrium sludge like a six-hour old tampon, the bleeding elephant in the room.

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“It’s so hot!”

My roommate just asked me to close the windows and shut the blinds because “it’s so hot outside.” Mind you, it’s only 36 degrees (or around 97 degrees in Freedom units).

I say only 36 because dude, that’s everyday temperature in the Philippines. The heat could even soar to over 40 degrees and man, we Filipinos deal with it like badass mofos. We go to malls, we amp up the electric fans and exercise our biceps with the pamaypay — as always, we just make do. Every now and then you’d hear people complaining how it’s so Majinit Jackson but Metro Manila is already Hell and we’re all lovely spawns of Satan anyway.

Even the people at work were ranting against the heat yesterday but boy I was wearing a jacket. “Why the fuck?” they asked and I was almost tempted to answer, “I’m Filipino, bitchez, and this is our sweater weather.”

Ah, this is one of those times when I just know I won’t ever fully belong to this country. A friend just recently implored me to finally switch citizenship but I told him I don’t think I’m ready. Swearing allegiance to another country is something I don’t feel like doing yet. Maybe never, maybe soon, but definitely not now. He jokingly mocked me for romanticizing nationalism, for being so sentimental. Indeed I am.

I am Filipino, born and raised — and no, this blistering Canadian summer ain’t got nothing on my flat, flip ass.

When the night has come…

After watching Stand By Me for the hundredth time a few days ago, I was urged to finally finish Stephen King’s The Body from the novella collection Different Seasons. This throwback of sorts was triggered by binging all eight episodes of Stranger Things, a Netflix series about many things strange (alternate dimensions and gooey monsters) and heartwarming (a mother’s love and the solidity of childhood friendships).

Consuming all these coming-of-age stories is not doing any good to my self-esteem. I am currently trailing the remaining days of the summer and being reminded that I am now older than River Phoenix when he bid buh-bye makes me feel deeply sad and lonely.

Aside from that one time when I went out on a picnic with a few friends, I did nothing else this summer but work and sleep and sleep some more.

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