Category Archives: Private Myths (Dreams)

The Lost Child of Sisyphus

Every Sunday mornings when the 8 a.m. sunlight fills our living room, I sit right beside this eight year-old kid and watch him write down notes on a spring-bind notebook from a Chemistry and Physics book. He goes on to writing and writing and writing more, not bothering if he has taken breakfast yet but I can see in his face the effort to understand every detail of the complex world of science. He is a curious kid, asking out things, this and that and I remember him ask me why that everytime he lets go of a plastic bag in a moving jeepney, the plastic bag drops down on the top of his feet when he expect it to hold itself in place, hang in mid-air and be left behind by the accelerating jeepney for the reason that it has no contact with the moving jeepney while it is suspended in the air. I have always admired his curiosity as a child but as always, he writes and writes everything that he can find in the Chemistry and Physics book.

I hovered over the book he is referring to and saw the delicate illustrations and the words and explanations were carefully laid out in layman’s terms. However, I noticed something strange upon how the boy writes his notes on his notebook and saw the exact same words on the book—he is copying all the contents of the book.

Even though I never got the chance to ask him then, if I was to go back in time and ask him, “Why do you do this? What are you exactly trying to achieve? Do you understand all that is written in this page?” But even though I had the chance to ask these questions, I know what he will reply to me, “I do not know,” and probably smirk, trying to make out the purpose of his act. If he would ask me his same question about the plastic bag, perhaps he might get the same answer from me.

This is not an exercise to futility because he loves copying the whole thing. Time after time, he will shake his elbows off the tiredness but he will still continue as I sit there and witness his progress from the most basic concepts of the elements and compounds to the Browning reaction and from gravity and inertia to the centripetal force. I am sure he did not understand all of these things because this is way too advanced for a third grade student. His attempt to make things out of things he cannot fully comprehend rested on his hand’s capabilities to endure what his mind cannot reflect on. This is the kid I know that goes out the same day later on to play and run along to the speed of tricycles in the street, deliberately racing against the machine on an upward slope and makes it halfway until his body gives up and starts to decelerate and let the tricycle maintain its speed and get away leaving him with his hands on his knees, sweat dripping from his forehead and heavily breathing, gathering oxygen to explode in a laughter of having another chance to test his limits against steel and gasoline. When he has recovered, he will run back down with greater speed to wait for another tricycle to race with.

In himself, I know time has frozen and bound him to this kind of attitude over time, people would not often understand why he do such things when he can simply say, “I do not know but I am happy with it.” Though he may have a lot of questions, the lack of answers is not a problem because he believes such things will be resolved in time. The kid will grow up but he will still remain to be a kid that will race against the things he will see that will determine his new limit. He always wants to know how fast he can get, how far he can go and how successful can his own actions be considering that his way is way too far for others to comprehend. This child is making himself out of his own doing. The fact that not everyone can see the meaning behind the things he do and neither do I upon seeing him rewrite a book he does not understand but he still do it anyway, is not futile because I see in him the type discovery that he establishes around him to understand what he knows he cannot.

Only then, I realized his question about the plastic bag in a moving jeepney that the answer lies in Physics—the very book that he has been reading and copying. Newton’s first law of motion states that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Objects tend to “keep on doing what they’re doing.” It is called inertia, the same force that makes you lean forward when the driver of the car comes to a sudden stop. Since the car was in motion, your body is at rest but moves along with it and since the car suddenly stops, your body will keep on moving with the same speed, thus making your body lean forward.

The same thing happens to the plastic bag inside the moving jeepney. It cannot remain suspended in the air once you let it go and be left behind because of the fact that you are part of the moving jeepney and carrying the inertia causing the force to spread from your body to the plastic bag and are both affected by the same speed imposed by the jeepney’s acceleration. The moment you let go of the plastic bag in mid-air, it will still move at the same rate of speed while in mid-air but because of gravity, it will shortly land directly on your feet.

This is the information that I would gladly and almost enthusiastically share with that kid that I met ten years ago. This is the answer that I can give to him instead of shrugging and dropping the question. We could talk about it and make experiments with it carrying our own plastic bags and ride on the jeepneys not caring about where it would take us but only for the reason of finding out if the answer is true. I can imagine the smile on his face as we try to uncover the questions we do not have ready answers for. We both share the same satisfaction and ecstasy in discovery. The pleasure of insatiable curiosity in seeking out the questions that would test our limits and race against the machine is intensified by the both of us. We may not know why we are doing the things we are doing but we are happy about it.

The boy is the inertia. I am the car in motion. The memory is the unbalanced force of a sudden stop that compels me to see the boy that I once was, taking the past to surpass the present causing it to stop, reconfigure the time and redefine the notion that to look forward is as ironic as looking at the reflection in the mirror.

Advertisements

Ephemeral Tragedie

Here we are again in an extremely ordinary day and me handing out two pictures to you that looked seemingly the same and very much familiar. It is your latest family picture. You wonder why I gave it to you and what would you do with it. Then I say, “Spot the difference between the two pictures.” You unquestioningly did and took a minute and you stare back at me with those piercing eyes, “There’s nothing wrong with the pictures,” you say. “Look again,” I answered back.

For a second you thought the lights flickered and found an empty space where you think you were supposed to be in one of the pictures. You will notice because you’re the one that fills the back in between your mother and father’s head. There were you. But no. You stared at the picture and found yourself exactly where you were supposed to be. It’s just the flickering of the lights. There is no difference.

But in truth there was a difference. You just convinced yourself that it didn’t happen.

That the moment you saw yourself lost was when you see the very room you were standing in seconds ago and you were looking at it in the picture that was once your family picture. How ridiculous it had been, you thought.

Is the thought really that ridiculous to determine the impossibility of the event? Or perhaps we are not only inclined to understand and experience the glitches of time?

We all have a lifetime to decide…


29 October 1936

Dearie Ann, 

 

I haven’t heard from you in almost a week. I hope you’re doing fine because I’m not. I’ve been having trouble breathing lately. I don’t know why and what this is or is it even a serious disease? I’m not sure. You know I’m not fond with the doctors. They’re too bossy in terms of drug prescriptions and in almost everything about things that I must and must not do. I can take care of myself. I’m not doing anything stressful lately so maybe this is just normal in aging. Though mother’s a nurse, I don’t talk much with her. Sometimes I just act normal or leave slowly from her sight before my panic attack kicks in. She won’t understand me. She won’t. She’ll always blame my writing and rant about why would I stay up all night writing my novel and not do it during the day. It’s really disappointing since she’s my mother. Sometimes, I wonder if some writers share this problem with me. I mean, the way she’s so focused about health that she’s gradually forgetting about me. She doesn’t care about me. She cares about my well-being and from my point of view, those two are different from each other. It just increases the gaps between us and the fact that I can view a single thing from several different perspectives suggests that I should be the one to understand. And I hate it.

Sometimes I wish I could just go back to my ordinary life. And maybe you’re tired of hearing this over and over again but…I don’t know. I just can’t unsee things that are not there. Everything around me just creates its own new layer of meaning. As if I can see through things and I am not sure if what I see is what it really is or is it just what I want it to be. It’s like everything has gone personal.

I keep rereading your letters. Every night and it’s what keeps me awake and I may have memorized a dozen of them. I just want to hear your voice over and over and it is what I hear everytime I read them. I just want you to be here. I want to talk with you because I know you’ll understand. It’s been months since we last met. I know you’re busy. I just want to know you’re safe. If you’re well or are you losing that blush on your cheek, hell it’s driving me insane. Sometimes, I look at the stars at night and think about if you’re seeing the same pattern that I’m seeing  And I heard that tomorrow is going to be a full moon. And it’s your birthday. You may receive this letter later than I expect but I just greeted you a day earlier. I guess that makes sense.

Along with the envelope of this letter are poems I’ve written for you everytime I take a break from writing. You know it’s a relief to pour my emotions that block my mind to a paper. And it’s all about you. I just hope you like it and take it as my birthday present for you. Though I may not have much anything to say but feel free to find it inside these poems. I hope you can see what I refused to write and you might be amazed about the things that you can find but is never truly there.

 

Yours truly, 

Cheshire

 

P.S.

I can write more long letters if you will. It’s just I have nothing to reply with.

 


“Let’s keep this a secret.”

We were sitting, facing each other beside the transparent glass windows of a restaurant. The busy streets on the other side have no idea of the trembling in my hand or nor did you. The weather resembles your skin. Clear bright cloudless blue sky, in its most calming state that I have ever encountered. The classical music inside were the only thing I have heard since we got in here because you said you need some company. All that is present is the starling detail of your hair as you hide it behind your ear and your eyes were on the menu.

You looked up, and asked me, “Are you going to order anything?”

I straightened up, hoping you didn’t catch me staring to your eyes, “Uh,” I said as my mind blew up for a moment, sending every word scattered all across the floor of my brain and its pieces, leaving me with the most prehistoric language ever recorded throughout the human history.

Underneath the table, my hands are getting sweaty and twitching to endless loops. But before I try to say anything more stupid, the waiter came along.

“Mhm, I’m gonna have this,” you said, pointing at the menu at something I cannot see, “and just water for my drink. No ice please.”

The waiter scribbled quickly on his note before turning to me, “And you, sir?”

I cleared my throat. Maybe I did that just to make up with my award-winning awkward silent speech of all time that just happened a few moments ago. “I’m going to have what she ordered. Thanks. And uh, oh, water too with ice.” I added and smiled, then the waiter left.

Just when I thought that I had made it casual as I thought it would appear to be, I was wrong.

You leaned closer to me, placing your elbows on the table and putting your chin on your hands with a smile on your beautiful face, which was probably the cutest thing you did on that day.

“What is it with you today? You seem weird. Really weird.”

Though, I tried to open my mouth for the most random reply ever, you shifted your face to the right, looking outside the glass window.

“You know. I’ve never thought that this day would come.” you said without waiting for an answer.

The classical music keeps on playing on the background and I remember the time you told me how much you like the pieces of Chopin. How the sound of the piano soothes your feelings and that it reminded you of that Asian romantic film you told me. That’s why you wanted to spend the lunch here. I just don’t understand why it’s with me. Nor why wouldn’t it be with your crush that constantly text you sweet messages and bids you “good morning” and “good night” almost every day.

I just don’t get it.

“I just love silence.”

You muttered under your breath. Almost as inaudible to me as if you’re speaking to yourself.

“Yeah. Me too.”

And that was probably the first sentence that I said directly to you since we came in.

You cut your stare outside the window and hastily turned your head towards me with your hands still placed on your chin.

You smiled and it caught me off guard. Your eyes disappearing with your heart-melting grin.

I tried to look away but I couldn’t. I just wished that this moment could last forever.

Then you burst out laughing. Filling the scene with your sweet voice and your perfect teeth and you appear so happy. I couldn’t help but to also laugh and we did until tears formed in our eyes and our stomachs ache.

Our smiles didn’t recede even until our foods were served and for me, nothing else mattered after that. The food is nothing but food that I could indulge just enough for what I need to keep seeing you smile everyday. To make sure that you’ll wear that bright happy face even if its not for me.

So I watched you as you eat and you keep shooting me sharp glances but you can’t hold it for much longer so you always end up smiling. And this is my best memory of you that never happened.

Time means a lot and it being limited makes it much more precious more than anything else. How I found the reason in you to appreciate the betrayals of time in the midst of my happiness. And how I could not live without it creates this specific keyhole inside me especially made for you. I just fear the moment in the future when the inevitable shall show itself, whether good or bad, as long as I can see you shining in your own place, I can truly say that it’s only you that I need.

And I will never be the same again.


A Detour to the Beginning

Every night he sees himself die. An endless false awakening. A series of tragedies of how in every possible way he could see how his life would end. The nightmares are always so vivid, it all felt as if it were all real. Yet, how sure he was? He’s not quite sure anymore.

His reality is now twisted into several different mindblowing forms of his imagination. The world is a different place, crafted by his own mind. Everything is not what it seems. Everything has been replaced by something else entirely. Something has taken hold of his thoughts and it is all nothing but a game he constantly plays. No, reality is not conforming with the world itself. He his bending the world to his own reality.

Every day, he wakes up in a different place. A place he was never been before. His memories fail to take hold for he cannot recognize the place he grew up with people one may call a family. Yet, they’re all strangers to him.

Always reaching for a door, looking for a place to escape, to hide, to seek freedom from something that isn’t after him. A futile goal that would lead him nowhere but back to his madness. Fleeing from himself for all eternity.

Run. It’s all that he could do, but not all what he’s capable of. Sure another day would last with his fear chasing him. He will survive a day. He will always survive. Because he is never tired, as well as his other self who wears the mask of fear. The latter won’t go for the kill. He cannot for he exist to be vanquished and he knows that. That’s why he’s after his other half so that he can peacefully rest but the path they are taking is not for the courageous.

Our hero is nothing but a coward who prolongs his suffering. Drenched in sweat, he would still find every hole he could see and stick his whole body in it even if it crushes his bones and there he will slumber and dream.

He’ll die. Wake up and continue running from himself.


The Surge of an Outcry

It’s a very tiring day even though the the Sunday sun has not yet shown itself. Dawn is fast approaching and he is lost in his own thoughts. His chest barely giving him enough air for every breath he takes that would suffice the need of his hungry mind. And on the dark corner of his room he sits, embracing his legs and placing his chin on his knees. 

The blanket and pillows are sprawled all across his bedroom floor. The faint moonlight coming from the open window is sending chilly wisps of air inside that empty room. Inside that emptiness where he choose to stay.

Calming yet, it bothers him. The peaceful atmosphere bothers him because he is afraid that he might be dead. Even for a second his mind cannot comprehend the sterile gaze of that pair of eyes looking at him. Veiled beneath the mask of void of darkness around him. He is not inside his bedroom. He is not in his house but somewhere in this world where he has the key. A place where the sun is silent–his mind.

He knows that it’s better to lock the doors. It’s better to shut the noise of silence that haunts him in his sleep for along with every strand of sound that he hears, came a whisper. A whisper so loud that can shake the walls and ceilings of his head.

Fear is creeping in. He had to stop the screaming. He closed his eyes. He covered his ears. His legs are trembling with every tone. His lips are shivering from the cold and the intangible sight of the unknown.

The door shook. Whatever is outside, it is trying to break in. The locks can’t hold the force of something he cowers to face. Streaks of light comes from the gap of the shaking door from its hinges and it’s starting to reveal his hidden secrets. Slowly being unconcealed by the power from the other side. Transparency is looming above him. Eating the place he crafted using his memories. The air he breathes is starting to diminish. The chilling sensation began to warm itself from the presence of the thing behind the door and it never ceases to try and force his way in.

Despite the sound that could surely echo miles away, he was sure he’s the only one who can hear it. No rescue would come. Just him. Alone. Cold.

Reluctantly, he builds up the courage to stand. With every effort, he tries to shake the feeling of throwing up. His insides are slowly being eaten by the malevolence being inflicted by the mysterious. The floor began to feel like a quicksand. With every step, an inch is given for him to sink into the slime of dirt.

A voice inside his head tells him that he’d never make it. His face will be buried beneath and be forgotten through time. His thoughts start to sink to madness. A type of paranoia that’s unbinding him from death. Letting it glow and light a spark of hope.

And as his eyes go deeper, he caught a faint glimpse of light shower his room. A silhouette of a lady in white sank her hand and grabbed his own. A smile so dazzling he dare not to tell. How she managed to rescue a soul and rest him to his death.

 


The Riddle of Smiles

2:30am The clock is ticking and I can’t seem to find sleep.

I am not even sure if I want to sleep. My thoughts are racing like snow avalanche. As my eyes dart to an object to another, the train of thought embraces a sudden stop and the force it left blew the remaining ideas away like a shockwave.

Now I am left alone again where I was but always will be.

I stood up and looked at the mirror. It feels strange. I always think that somehow, I forget what I look like. It is not vanity what I feel everytime I catch myself looking at my face in the mirror but mystery because that person who’s looking at me right now does not tell me anything much about himself. He’s hiding something.

The face in the mirror smiled.

I touched my lips. It’s doing the same thing. I wonder what caused this involuntary movement.

Positivity doesn’t exist at this moment. The mere silence of the atmosphere is what binds me to the absence of time where sleep is forbidden.

Yet I hear it…the ticking of the clock.

I grabbed my pen and paper and started writing my fantasy.

Then, I felt it.

As the ink touches the parchment, I saw a place inside my head where birds sing in the meadows and the sun is brightly lit up the sky giving warmth to the grass and trees as the flowers sway to the cool summer breeze.

My vision flew past the soothing sight and I found myself sitting by the edge of the cliff, overlooking the calming sea. The current drags the waves to the rocks beneath me and then, I saw it. I saw Peace. The only thing that never sleeps. Forgotten along the beauty of the waves bringing itself back and forth to the land but it can’t.

It’s helplessness brought me to my knees and peered down the tiny piece of land I am holding to. I want to let it consume the earth. Own the lands. Then the soil beneath me began to crumble.

The cliff lowered itself to a shore and I found myself kneeling on wet soil and grass.

It didn’t stopped.

I ran back to the meadow. The land continued to descend, bringing along all what’s in it. A flood is coming. The sea is swallowing the land. The waves are after me. The flowers disappeared. The birds took refuge to the sky and they all watch me as I stop myself from jumping off on the other side of the land. Death awaits me forty feet high above the waters.

I looked back and watch how Peace brought it’s wrath upon the land as I ready myself to take flight below the sky of the seas.


Espoir

Nobody understands.

Everyday in his life are memories etched in every self-inflicted scars where the it wants it to be.

“It feeds with pain,” he says “So let them indulge upon me. I am their master.”

Years passed and he is tired of crying anymore. He is too damaged to cry. Now, it only seems that pain has abandoned him. Numb from grief of everyday’s fucked-up disorder. A mouth sealed shut, not wanting to be wrong, nor be heard for he himself was a terrible mistake the world has to offer. A rock sitting by the pavement. Invisible, behind those smiles. Eyes longing for attention and understanding. Yet, he sits by his bedroom window, looking at the constellations and counting his dead dreams and for another time, he takes again the razors and proceed to let himself feel again. To feel in the midst of numbness. To show these four walls how he struggles to survive in this world he cannot comprehend.

Loneliness has cast a void upon him. A hole that can never be filled. A bottomless pit. It is the place of solace where time does not exist. Just another abstraction of nature that consumes insanity.

Dreams are the only thing that keeps him going. As a small being in this world, he knows, he can make a change. He can change. He had fallen countless of times. Hit the ground with bloody forehead and lips. His wrists trailing with crimson ink.

He caught a drip of blood with his fingers and wrote on the walls of his mind,

“This madness too shall cease and will forever be buried under the depths of my consciousness. I know this all too shall pass and when the time comes, I will be ready to break this walls and shout to the world how I could turn this planet on the tips of my fingers and hold it against the galaxies to show how a little trash could be an asset to this reality. I have lived and will continue living for tomorrow. I have broken the chains that binds me to this rotting Hell.”

As he wrote the last words, the space has begun to crumble, falling under the vast void surrounding him. He stood on an empty space, where he is among the stars of the universe and its alluring beauty. So he started to make what has become.

Because perception is everything.