Thursday, June 18, 2009
A stream-of-consciousness post conceived whilst listening to Explosion in the Sky on a cold, rainy, and boring night. Enjoy!
A freezing humid night, walking alone on the sidewalk, head-down on the ground with a heart as heavy as an anchor weight, memories passing through me, wishful thoughts of having a family, I look around and see shadows, mere shadows walking towards their graves, an insignificant speck in eternity’s lifetime, I am no better, I’ll die, soon enough, no friends, no family, no home, no house, no nothing, I see children with their parents walking, they pass me and send me smiles, I smile at them with the thought they’ll grow up so unlike me who can see, I wish I grew up unlike me, a me not like the me that walks lonely sidewalks in search of a family, this is my first time walking this lonely stroll, this is the last time I’ll be doing this, I won’t ever return to where I came, I’ll never return to my family, because I don’t have one, I wish I had one, I wish I had someone walking beside me, hands held we smile at each other as the world spins and twirls around us in a flurry of ecstasy and timelessness, I wish I was immortal, I wish I was never mortal, I couldn’t have wished I didn’t become mortal if I wasn’t mortal, everything seems circular, reasons that define life turn around to square one, no one will find out what life is, because it’s nothing, I pass a sidewalk with two people, an old lady with an expiration date in two years time, a woman, a mom, heavy plastic bags filled with lies made out of plastic, lies of hope, lies of love, lies of meaning, there is no hope, nor love, nor meaning, just a freezing humid night and a sidewalk, an endless sidewalk of mannequins, we walk this endless sidewalk and will never reach the end, just a square tile or two, to my left is a restaurant, an Italian restaurant filled with lovers and families, I wish I was inside that restaurant where there is food, happiness, warmth, love and all the other trite things that are merely there for the sake of being there, like me, like us, I’m here because I’m here, I’m here because you’re there, you’re there because love, warmth, happiness, food are there, and I am not, I cry like a baby, I feel so naked like a child, I am a child, well as clueless as one, I am crying like a child and no one’s here to comfort me, no mom, no dad, no family, just a wide world unsafe for a child like me, a small child like me, I crawl and crawl and crawl, not understanding anything at all, a big machine with lights pass in front of me, it sounds a noisy beep and a man comes out of a window of this machine and says something I don’t understand, or don’t care at all about it, or maybe it was a mumble like a child’s first attempt to speak, he shouts, wails, screams, all inarticulate because I’m a child, I couldn’t understand anything, and he’s a child and he couldn’t understand anything, we are all children, I wish I was still a child, then I’d live on without understanding anything at all, but now I understand, I really do, all my walks have led me to understand life which is really nothing at all, nothing to understand about, nothing at all, no meaning, no sense, no life, just a sidewalk on a cold lonely night and a 17-year old man-boy-child crying.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Author's note: In first year, I have had the idea of writing a story - a novel really 'cause I was that ambitious - that centers on a group of people set out to make love illegal. I realized that that will have a lot of complications, and the idea is quite spoiled by the so-many quotes saying that love is eternal, that, no matter what, we will always have the desire to love, and others. In third year, we discussed how to write persuasive speeches. I was suddenly challenged to dig out once again the anti-love idea, but now, I am putting myself in the place of the leader of an anti-love party. What would I say? What would I do to make people listen? What reasons would I have to make love illegal? The answers to these questions are put here into this speech. I hope that you'll "love" it. Haha.
Started: April 12, 2009
Ended: May 14, 2009
This report is recorded by
Audibot Spoken to Written Word Translator
Triple A Technologies 2015
[Karenina] February 27, 2017, I am here at the Barrack Obama Auditorium at Harvard University. The famous Father Philip Elfman, who advocated for universal peace and practically instigated the abolition of Militarianism in the whole world, is going to deliver a speech to the graduating students of Harvard. [Break line]
I am seated on the 2nd balcony, left-hand-side of the auditorium. Reporters are scattered around the area, and most likely, half of the audience are outsiders. Everyone is anxious to hear what Father Elfman has to say. [Break Line]
The opening rites have now finished. The master of ceremonies introduces Father Elfman with everything I said before. He finishes, and everyone claps as Father Elfman goes up the stage. [Break Line]
Father Elfman is wearing all black. He walks leniently towards the stage with a snobbish countenance that demands respect. He reaches the podium, and his eyes scan the audience. He waits for about three seconds and then starts his speech [Break Line]
[Father Elfman] Good Evening Graduates. I am sure all of you have been itching to get out of your togas, and into your graduation parties and waste the whole night with whatever plans. I, too, experienced that graduation speech itch you are enduring. I have been no different than you are: I have been a preschooler, a grade-schooler, a freshman, a sophomore, a junior, a senior, a college student, etcetera, etcetera, until I have been what I am tonight. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t take much out of your partying time.
When I was invited by the university president, Mister John Robinson, to speak before you tonight, I was actually anxious. I spent much time thinking about what to say to a group of people who just ended their academic journeys. Above anything else, I knew what I had to do – to inspire you people to reach out and do everything you can to achieve success. In this light, I was reminded of three stories from my years of being president of the St. Peter’s Academy in the Philippines. These stories, you shall be hearing tonight.
The first one is about an English teacher. There’s nothing wrong about her teaching style, but I’ve heard a relative of mine whom she teaches that she has a unique way of grading essays. Your score is based on her sex life with her husband. [Audience laughs] I also laughed when I heard it. My relative always complaints that he gets low scores because it’s always on her sexless nights when she grades his essays. And she really admits her habit in front of class. “To those who got low scores, I’m sorry. My husband didn’t perform well last night,” she says.
One day, the high school principal and I were conversing. We eventually got her into the conversation. Apparently, the principal knows about her too and that he has talked to her about it. It was a simple reprimand and a lesson that not all people would want to hear her sex life. It was a good thing that she was handling third year high school students. They already know that they should be tacit with things concerning sex. Thank God parents need not to know about her.
Next one is more serious than the first. It concerns a student just like you had been. He was a senior, member of the student council, great at playing guitar, math champion. He’s basically an achiever. I ask him once what keeps him going. He says it’s his girlfriend. She was an achiever like him. She’s everything he is: chairman of the student council, band member, math champion. I was actually impressed and said that it was good he could find an inspiration. Of course, as any teenage loves goes, they break-up. It left him so devastated that he cut classes for a week. We didn’t know it at first, not until we investigated. I personally talked to him. I didn’t suspend him or anything because I knew he was running for valedictorian. All I gave him was a pep talk about having other fishes in the sea, etcetera.
After the break-up, it was as if the achiever switch in him had been turned off. He suddenly didn’t fulfil his responsibilities in the student council, he started failing his subjects, he would veer away from his friends and classmates. This came to me through his teachers, but unfortunately, we haven’t the power to force him to study again. It’s his life after all. We have done our part by talking to him.
Then, the news that he has another girlfriend came. Since he has finally found a replacement, we expected his achievement switch will be turned back on again. We were wrong. The girl was a complete opposite of his former one. What was even worse is that the new girlfriend was the cause of the break-up with the old one. The relationship ran for about two months and gradually this guy’s grades got lower and lower. We contacted his parents and they too have talked to him, even reprimanded him in vain. There was no more inspiration for him.
Graduation day came and for some miracle, he passed 4th year high school. He was a no-show. The last day of exam was the last day we had seen him or anyone else for that matter. The student simply disappeared. We speculated he found another girl because rumors were that there was a third one in the relationship, a much wilder one according to his peers. To this day, I keep on wondering how good his life would have been if the first one never broke-up with him, or, for that matter, he didn’t depend on a female companion for inspiration.
Finally we are down to one last story. It’s also about a simple boy. He resided in Madison, Ohio, with a childhood friend who eventually became his girlfriend through high school. Through these years, he had suffered under the jeers and pranks of bullies and he had nothing aside from this girl... and God. His and her family were devout Roman Catholic, in fact, the girl and the boy met in Sunday catechesis. The day of Graduation came and the boy had the choice of taking the course of God or of the girl. He chose the path of celibacy. The girl was disappointed and wrecked at first, but she says she couldn’t get in the way of God or him. The boy didn’t make the decision as easy as one, two, three, though. He thought about it for a long time. Sacrificing love for a passion is no easy thing after all. He did what he had to do and left her for God, even though there were some hesitations. Every day of his first year in the convent, he would always think about his girl, always writing letters and texting her and what not. There were even times when he questioned God if he had done the right thing. 20 years later, now, though, if you would ask that boy if he did the right thing, he’d answer yes.
Graduates, you might wonder what these random stories mean to you. Why are you now wasting your time for these pointless tales? Well, these stories are here to point out the importance of focus in human success. Five, fifteen, twenty years from now you could find yourself in a dilemma where your career is at stake because of your sex life. You could find no more inspiration because your girlfriend just dumped you. Or, you could find yourself in a life-changing decision to exchange something of worth for a passion. I’m here to direct you towards making the right choices before, during, and after these things occur to you.
Focus is an important aspect of human life. You could never do two things at once. There is a time for work and a time for rest. A time for peace and a time for war. The problem with our generation is that we are too saturated with the demands of an ideal life. We juggle too much stuff such as school work, managing the house, your pets, having a hobby, etcetera. According to studies, the regular person nowadays has already tried over 30 different hobbies already, and is currently handling 10 out of those 30. These things waste your time which should be used to one thing only to grant you success. Different accessible hobbies means that we are given many different choices for a passion, and when a person sees too many of a thing, he gets dizzy and finds a hard time to choose one. To be successful, you need focus. Focus on one thing such as bowling, or work, or painting. This way you could hone your skills in only one passion and succeed at it.
It is a bad idea to handle too many hobbies in a lifetime. It is an even worse idea to mix work or a hobby with your love life. It is not only the hammer or the videogame controller that distracts us. It is also cupid’s arrows. You, graduates, are still young. You have plenty of time left. Focus on your work or hobby, and never fall victim to lust and infatuation. What matters most is a stable job that would support you for the rest of your life. So what if you have a wife and children, if you don’t have a steady income to support them? Like the man from the last story, you have to sacrifice your heart in order to find your purpose in life.
Everybody in this room has already experienced heartbreak, and from these experiences we could see that love is a very dangerous thing. Currently, there are 8,000 people committing suicide every year due to love problems. 2,000 of those are due to break-up, and 5,000 due to stress from work coupled with handling a relationship. This is how hectic having to handle too many things at once. A part of the 1000 left is made up of people who felt hopeless to ever find love. Since we see how happy people in love are, we grow jealous of them. It should not be so. You are focused on what you are doing for a better future, for you and for the world.
Love may sometimes make us apathetic and selfish. Who here feels defensive when a person of the same sex talks to your significant one? Almost everyone I suppose. Studies have shown that we are more aggressive when we encounter a person of the same sex that threatens to better our sexual stance. Love makes us care for one person only and we are controlled by the thought that he or she is the most important thing in the universe and we are obliged to always make him or her happy, no matter what. We are bowing down to our loved one and offering everything to him or her, instead of serving our brothers and sisters out there who are suffering. Instead of giving food to the hungry, we take our loved ones out to luxurious and gluttonous dinners. Instead of clothing the naked, we buy our significant ones pompous clothes. Love should not be turned to a partner as first priority, but to our brethren in need first. Success isn’t merely having a stable income or a recognized passion, but also fulfilling your responsibility for your brothers and sisters in need.
Love doesn’t just stop with distracting us, but it also lures us into sex-crazed romantics. We have grown dependent on love. Like the boy in the second story, we always have a significant someone to be our “inspiration”. This is not such a wise thing to do because, like in the story, there is no such thing as permanent love in girlfriend/boyfriend relationships. If our ability to work depends on love, then there is a high risk you’d stop working when the love disappears. The reason why we are always lured by love is because of the ecstasy it gives us. In our time today, two out of three sixteen year-olds have already lost their virginity. Nine out of ten youths aged twelve to seventeen masturbate regularly. Once we’ve already been to the seventh-heaven of an orgasm, we couldn’t control ourselves but to come back again. This is the beginning of an unhealthy habit which destroys and tires our bodies. Not only does it destroy our bodies but also our morals. Masturbation and premarital sex is a starting soil where sin can abound if not controlled. There will be a time when the desire to experience an orgasm again – or any earthly pleasure for that matter - will lead us to do bad stuff in order to achieve it. Love has become an addiction, my dear graduates, and its destructive traits should be stopped before humanity is sunk into an animal state where we would do anything to have pleasure.
In this light, as I’ve mentioned before, graduates, you are young. Concentrate in your passion and job. Don’t haste the wonderful story called life because everything will be set out for you in the end. After this ceremony, talk to your girlfriend or boyfriend and tell him, “We need to focus on our future first. It is what’s best for us.” You won’t need a relationship to be successful; it’s a distraction, even. When each one of you has set out simple goals and took out the distraction, we all are on the road for a better world. You graduates are instigating a movement not only of your generation but also of the human race. Each one of us practicing chastity will not only create a future without uncontrolled desires but also a future when every person is focused on making a difference to the world.
You might think that avoiding love may be hard. I tell you graduates it is, but like what the last story has told us, it is a must. Indeed it is hard to resist the sweet delicacy of passion or the ecstatic cornucopia that is lust, but, in the end, the sacrifice will be paid off twice-thrice-fold! Trust me, graduates. I haven’t told you the whole of the last story. It turns out that the path the boy has taken, a path away from love, a path towards God, takes him towards making significant differences in the world. Don’t take just my word for it, I’m sure you’ve heard of him even. Time Magazine has deemed him man of the decade, and your school cared for you enough to invite him to speak to you now. Yes graduates the boy in the last story is me. I am living proof that you could also sacrifice your love life for something even greater – the opportunity to change the world.
In time, when the example of your generation has imprinted itself in the human unconscious, the human need to love will be gone. By then, we will all be focused in caring for our brothers and sister. By then, we won’t be distracted by love. By then, we will be directed towards achieving success. By then, we will be better persons. Thank you for listening to me tonight and I hope your mind has already decided to set a milestone in the history of humanity. Let us build a world where humanity doesn’t need love to be happy. Let us build a world where everyone is successful! Let us build a world without love! Thank you!
[Murmurs from the audience]
Saturday, May 2, 2009
You don't know how much I despise Zac Efron, and his Disney anti-Christs out to mislead our youth by being prudent and chaste. The only reason I watched this is because the people I'm with don't have anything better to watch. Anyways, it's a friends movie, you know, the kind that you can watch with friends and/or chicks you're hitting on. That's not to say it's a family movie though.
The movie is super-awkward, no, not like "That's embarrassing!" awkward, more in the lights of "Your classmate is making out with your mom!" awkward. Seriously. My friends and I were screaming and squealing at how low Zac here gets when he gets sexy with his 40-year old partner. Sure, you know she is, in the story, his wife, but you couldn't help but be disgusted at how many of your comfort zones Zac is breaking in the movie. Even if you tell yourself he's the dad except he's 17, there is still a scene where that statement supports how wrong the movie is. At the risk of spoiling the movie, I won't tell you what happens. You'll know. Haha.
Anyways, 17 Again works on the premise of countless previous movies and stories where a protagonist changes, age, looks, gender or whatever. It nonetheless in some aspects offers a fresh take on switcheroo films. The awkward scenes were funny (well for us) and his nerdy friend is flat-out hilarious. Any other aspect of the movie fails - as if there are any other aside from the two mentioned and the Zac Efron eye candy for the chicks. If it weren't for the former two, I would have left the cinema already because the movie has some cheesy parts and some scenes that made me think that I am a sorry excuse for a man compared to perfect Zac Efron with a ripped body, a face that has the chicks screaming, a voice that is as smooth-flowing as... Okay, I better stop with the Zac Efron adoration before it gets any gayer.
Funny, not to brag, but my pseudonym where I work in summer, is Zac Efron. Yes, I didn't believe it at first. I looking like him? Maybe he looks like me! Hardy-har-har, you should be thankful for even having that as an insult. Eh, it began with one of my, should I say, colleagues. One day we were bored, he was stationed right across me, and all of a sudden, he says, "You look like Zac Efron!" And so begins an endless trail of vanity and shameless self-adoration.
Here's my picture beside his. You be the judge if I look like him or not:
Now you know why this blogspot is entitled Look-a-Like Sunday! Okay, in conclusion, I give 17 Again, 3-stars, for the fresh and awkward scenes!
Next is Slumdog Millionaire which I just watched with my sister.
Slumdog Millionaire creates a picture of India's slums with the life of two brothers and a girl. If you think how crappy you're childhood was, you don't know how crappy, as in literally, crappy Jamal's had been (people who have watched the movie will get the pun). It can be considered a thriller because our three protagonists come across crooks as they survive as children, teenagers, and eventually adults. I saw the poster where it focused on it being a love story, and it is rightly so, because the story rises, reaches it climax, falls, and concludes due to Jamal's love for Salim. Everything from the beginning till the last 20-minutes was a hell for Jamal, but after that, it would really make the audience cheer on and feel good about it. It was really like watching Who Wants to Be A Millionaire on TV. You just have to find if that random guys wins a million bucks or not.
It's funny that the hell fate gave him turned out to be the key to heaven. A quote that would fit in the movie would be: What doesn't hurt can only make you stronger. I could explain the reason, but I would have already given the movie out for you.
Okay so Jamal looks like me, so says my sister. I deny it. Here, I'll show you my pic beside his.
Now, is there any resemblance between us or are you just visually impaired?
And that ladies and gentlemen concludes Look-A-Like Sunday! I hope you'll come back for another blog post and that I'll have the motivation to write another one.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Explosion in the SKy is what made me miss Holden Caulfield. Their album, the one I'm listening to right now, is said to be based from The Catcher in the Rye. Hence the title, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, which is basically a tl;dr (too long; didn't read) of the awesome conclusion of the novel. The songs' titles in the album also match the themes of the Catcher in the Rye like chaos in society, natural fear, loneliness, etc.
Having been reminded of the Catcher in the Rye, coupled with Explosions in the Sky, made me miss Holden Caulfield. I found pleasure in having him as a friend. I always enjoyed him narrating, plus I could really relate to him. My life is a homage to his. I gladly supported his ideas, especially the quote that the more prestigious a school is, the more crooks it has, as well as his dream of being a catcher in the rye. I have always pictured myself in the future saving lives.
Holden Caulfield's journey in New York - especially when he goes half-crazy and runs amok - is something I could imagine myself doing if everything just turned in favor of a mental breakdown. Back in 2nd Year, I even planned of taking a stroll around Taguig City because I was so lonely at that time.
I miss Holden Caulfield. I guess he's my Edward Cullen. I'm feeling a bit lonely at the moment, even though I'm chatting with my friends - it's rather a pseudo-loneliness brought about by Explosion in the Sky's music and my remembrance of Holden Caulfield. I'll probably reread the Catcher in the Rye again, just to meet him again. He's not the best guy around, but he's the person I could most relate to.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Started: November 12, 2008
Edited from Original: January 30, 2009
Finished: April 11, 2009
Of course, there always will be darkness but I realize now something inhabits it. Historical or not... things much more akin to a Voice, which though invisible to the eye, still continues to sweep through us all.
-Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
Inhale all the air you could possibly fit in your lungs because this is your last gulp of life. Lock it all in you with your diaphragm and don’t let any of it come out. Feet firm on the floor, close your eyes and block out every sense in your body, you must treasure your last moment on Earth. It couldn’t get worse than this.
Then, in looking back, in observing the moments before the present, you realize the air you’ve inhaled is poisoned, something about the taste and also the weight of it in you. The air is contaminated, it’s killing every bit of you as time goes on, the filth in that air is now scattering inside your body, merging itself with your being. You let it all out of your system, but slowly and firmly because the air is heavy inside of you. The air scratches your throat, greater and greater pressure escapes you lungs, but it’s not flowing out fast enough, so you try to push more air out with your throat, you need to stay alive, you’ve got more to do on this earth, and so you scream. Scream, in order to live, you must scream, to let it all out.
“Ants, we are living, and ants, we shall die,
Working for the dying queen.
Ants, we are living, and ants, we shall die,
Following the long line to the grave.”
Everything was a blur in this bar tonight as my band and I performed our original song, “Black-and-Red Traffic.” I viewed the earth as a shaking vertigo, never at stable, completely frizzy. Everyone was screaming as I screamed my lungs out to the world. My heart was pounding like a ticking time bomb, and the sweat crawled on my body with clawed hands. If I could smile, I would, but that wouldn’t fit the image of the vocalist of a black metal band.
I was a screamer, a singer who knew how to manipulate his voice to sound like a wolf. This was my life, my hobby, my passion. My band was my family, and every bit of my will worshiped the god of Music.
I had been an atheist since childbirth, my dad wasn’t present to guide me to a belief, and my mom was too busy ironing clothes to take me to church. All throughout my life, I had never even thought about the existence of a God; I just happened to have been born, a simple case of chance and probably luck, nothing else, no working of some divine and omniscient being. What would happen three hours from now would change all of my beliefs.
Because three hours from now, I would be playing with the devil.
The devil loves ironies; he takes pleasure at the sight of mute activists and masturbates at images of blind painters. I bet he was laughing when I had the life of Matthew McCarthy, my drummer, in my hands.
I was up the balcony overlooking the top floor. A long hour of running through the endless and mocking corridors of this run-downed building led me up here. Fatigue forced me to lean on the tilted ledge of this balcony, and this was when I felt something wrong about the place. It was as if the building led me in here. I could smell the same scent as before when I saw the horrific creatures she summoned from below the Earth. I could hear her every word as I recalled every faint detail about the beginning of this horror:
She said, in a voice that gnawed at our ears, “Run my friends, for tonight we’ll play a game, not with men nor with rats nor with cockroaches. Tonight we’ll play with the weavers of despair, the conjurers of terror, the bellmen of death – I do not guarantee that they’ll play fair, what is fair is for us to decide. Tonight, we think it fair to give you ten seconds to run ahead, gather together, spread apart, we don’t care, we just care if you’re dead.”
She murmured a chant that gradually increased as she said it. Given a different scenario, we would have thought it to be silly, gibberish pronounced by some drunk girl, but tonight was different. As we heard it, our instincts instantly tried to pull us away from her. We knew she was serious with what she said.
So we ran.
Hero, my bassist, ran near enough to me to be seen. I looked in his face and I saw a terror that was as memorable as a childhood rape. I couldn’t believe what had happened at first, but her loud chants reassured me.
Down a dark hallway, Hero and I ran for our lives. I wasn’t sure of what stuff were ahead of us, just darkness, pitch black, glaring. I looked back at her for a second, and I saw her creatures. I knew I wasn’t going out of here the same as I was before when I saw them.
They were mole-like creatures, with teeth as sharp as knives, ears like tower spires from the dark ages. They emitted a dark smoke as they slithered around. I couldn’t see their eyes so I assumed they depended on the sense of hearing. And worse of all, they let off a putrid smell of dried blood and cum. I could have vomited but I was afraid of ceasing to run.
Their smell was what terrified me as I saw Matt below me. I knew her demons were somewhere up in this floor. I could smell them.
Matt fell, stood up, stumbled again, stood up once again, and fell head first once more. He was like a child that was running from his greatest fears; heck, it was his greatest fears he was running from, but I could see something childish in his face: it was as if he longed for some parental comfort but could not find it. He uttered notes of despair and fright as he scouted the area.
“Hey Matt! HERE! I’M HERE!” I shouted. Not really – I would have shouted that, I wanted to, if weren’t for her demons around us, watching us, waiting for us to give them a hint on where we were. Then again, it was not only that, no, I hated Matt too. He brought us into this. By letting her enter his life, we fell into the grave as well.
She was a fox: hourglass curves, skin as white as human bone, a gigantic set of boobs; but she brought an air of mystique upon us that we could not trust her with anything.
We met her outside a recording studio one night. She was shivering like she was stranded on icy tundra; her sweater didn’t seem to provide enough heat for her. Matt, being a desperate but luckless lovebug, thought to give her his sweater in exchange to the opportunity to talk to her.
“Thanks,” she said, “The taxi I called seems to be running a bit late.”
Matt replied in a solid voice a bit alien to us, “Maybe there’s a fire somewhere in town, something must slow the taxi down ‘cause people here rarely ask for a cab at 3 am.”
There was a brisk silence in the scene after this, something I wanted to break up by laughing at how Matt was being such a gentleman and slightly veering to failure at it.
Matt tried his best to make a comeback, “So what kept you here until 3 am anyways?”
“Oh, I’m the cousin of Francis Marasigan,” she said. Frank owned the studio we recorded in.
“You’re Frank’s cousin?”
“Woah, you’re the last person I’d think of to be related to Frank.”
“Nothing... probably... probably... your eyes, they’re blue, Francis’s are just plain bland. And oh, don’t tell your cousin about this but he’s a bit overweight.”
She snickered; it was like any normal snicker would be, except that there was an undertone sounding below it that hinted who or what she really was. Second clue I missed that could have saved us from the mess we would soon meet. She replied, “Yeah, Frank’s got a large beer belly down there.”
The conversation continued on like a turbulent airplane, dropping off to lower humorous lines by Matt to compliment her and sometimes flying up towards her laughing and getting amused to him. It lasted for about ten minutes outside the studio until our bassist, Hero, retrieved his car from a far away parking lot and got us.
One part of the conversation struck me but fatigue let it slip. It was when Matt asked her why she was waiting outside if she was Frank’s cousin.
This met a reluctant change-of-mood in her face. Her blue eyes no longer sparkled but rather ignited. It was clue number three for me.
Matt was about to let it pass when she replied, “I arrived from New York a bit late, so I missed Frank by about an hour. Bad thing is I realized that when I got here and paid the taxi. I didn’t think you guys would be in it. I called for a taxi to come fetch me back but as you can see it still hasn’t come yet.”
It was a plausible excuse, corroborated with the fact that Frank trusted us enough to leave the studio for ourselves should we want to stay late in it.
Anyways, as we were about to get into the car, Matt, without even asking permission from Hero, asked her, “Hey, where are you staying? We could drop you off.”
“That would be great, but I’m sorry, I can’t. It’s too intrusive.”
“You’re afraid of getting mugged slash raped slash sacrificed for some sadistic ritual aren’t you? Well, not all metalheads are perverted kleptomaniacs who worship the devil you know.”
Which was the time when she laughed her regular-but-not-so-regular-laugh: Clue number four. She finally agreed to ride with us, telling Hero that she was staying at some run-down motel in Hawthorne.
The ride to there was tacit. Matt was in charge of introducing everyone to her at the start, but everyone fell silent on the sleepy road to her motel. Funny, after we introduced ourselves to her was the only time we knew her name. Matt was that desperate for romance.
Her name was Corinne. She came from the Big Apple where her work was costume designing for musicals and theatre plays. Her telling of her life was a bit brisk, touching only on the usual bio-data stuff like her address, family, etc. I didn’t realize how easy it was to make it all up.
After we met Corinne, it all went downhill with Matt. He would come late during band practice or if he did go, he would come unprepared. There was one incident I couldn’t forget about where Matt and I almost had a fight. I guess I couldn’t tolerate things that kept me waiting, especially ones that wasted what you’ve been practicing for. My other band mates, they were a bit lenient on Matt, always giving him a chance until next week. One night he ignited me so bad because he didn’t only come late, he also came half-drunk and a bit high on weed too. We could all tell by his beat, it wasn’t due to lack of practice, it was lack of sense of self. His beats were bombs on our ears. So I shouted at him, “Fuck, Matt, what the hell’s wrong with you? You come late to practice with half a conscious mind! You’ve been doing this to us for weeks now.”
He replied, groggily, his drunkenness high in tone on his voice, “I’m sorry man, I’ll try harder, I swear I’ll try harder.”
“No, you won’t. Not unless Corinne gets out of your life.”
“Now, why include this, why do you include this, her, to our argument?”
“Because it’s fucking obvious what she’s doing to you.”
“What she’s doing to me is my business, you shouldn’t mind us.”
“I have the right to mind you because you’re my band mate, what happens to you, affects the band. More than that, I have the right to mind you because you’re a friend.”
“You’re being a hippie, what you are. You just can’t accept that I have a girlfriend now too.”
“I don’t give a shit if you have a girlfriend, Matt. Goddamnit. It’s what she’s doing to you! Look at yourself! She’s a bad influence to your life. Snap out of it. She’s like a devil, you know? She doesn’t bring you anything but bad stuff.”
And this was when all hell broke loose. Matt grumbled, “SHE’S NOT A FUCKING DEVIL, YOU POWER-HUNGRY CONTROLLING TIGHT-ASS FAGGOT.” He then threw one of his drumsticks at me. Of course, this infuriated me as well.
The fight was a gruesome one, even though it lasted for less than a minute. I had scratched my left arm, and Matt got a bruise on his left cheek. Good thing it was only that and nothing more, thanks to my band mates.
Matt did not want me calling Corinne the devil because he knew it was true but was too desperate for love that he kept denying it. He was the self-centered asshole, and he should pay for getting us all in trouble. He deserved this paranoia he’s experiencing. Good luck with him in this pitch black hell, I would find my own way out.
Just as I turned my back away from the balcony, Matt spoke, a mere whisper not loud enough for the mole-demons to sense. “He-hey I know, I know, you’re out there, please, I’m sorry for doing this to you, I really am. If only I could turn back time... I shouldn’t have loved her, I shouldn’t have loved anyone.”
This reminded me that Matt was the only one in the band who did not have a girlfriend. He was the band clown, the sociable person but never the romantic person. It was not his fault that he was desperate; we all want someone to love.
To heck with my life, I needed to say sorry for blaming him.
“Matt... I’m here,” I whispered as I leaned over the balcony railing. My heartbeat was pounding like a death-metal bass line, and I knew he couldn’t hear my whisper. So I tried to make my call louder.
And louder, and louder, and louder...
Until Matt said, “Corgan?” loud enough that it echoed through the crevasses of this collapsing balcony. I twitched as the echo crawled into my ears. We were dead meat. I heard the mole-demons approaching.
A miraculous thing happened though: a gunshot boom pervaded through the floor, I knew someone shot a gun at something a floor below.
The mole-demons’ approach ceased and I heard their slither going towards the opposite direction. They’re going after whoever shot that bullet, giving me time to shout at Matt.
“Matt! I’m going ahead, think Vedder’s in trouble. Stay here, I’ll come back for you, just stay there, okay?”
I ran as fast as I could after through the velvet darkness of this room. I followed through hearing the slither of the demons and I could see a bit of their outline.
They led me to a round room lit by candles. It was ornate with portraits of dead people all around it. It was my first time to see real light in an hour so my eyesight was blurred, but I can see Corinne’s figure ahead of me.
“You think you can kill me with a bullet?” she says, more sounding like a man on steroids than ever. “That’s stupid, that’s dumb, that’s... blasphemy.”
I heard Vedder’s voice then. The strength and fullness of his voice told me he was not afraid. He was ready to fight Corinne with all his might. Vedder said, “Fuck you Corinne, by the name of God I swear, you’ll pay.”
Vedder shot again, flashing a great light upon the room and unto my eyes.
Corinne, infuriated, scream, “God? HAHAHAHA. We beat God in a poker game! We own your souls now.” Corinne walked leniently towards Vedder, laughing.
“What are you going to do to me?” Vedder asked, his voice wavering.
“I can’t do anything to you. Demon’s pact. All I can do, though, is fuck up your mind.”
“You... you can’t....”
Vedder screamed, a mixture of moaning and crying. Corinne was tinkering with his mind and bringing back awful memories. As she was doing so, the mole-demons joined in with the screaming as well.
The room shook as if there was an earthquake, trembling with cacophonous terror. I couldn’t take Vedder’s screams, I must stop Corinne. I started at her, running with all my might and hope.
But then, Matt bumped me away and ran after her.
Everything happened so brisk, one moment Vedder was screaming, then the next, Matt came in like a hostile tiger, strangling Corinne.
Corinne’s face as I watched her was relaxed as if she was only a very lifelike doll. Her eyes were focused onto Matt’s; I knew she was convincing Matt to stop what he was doing.
“No... No... NO... I won’t, you bitch! You’re the desperate one now, huh?”
I wondered how Matt could continue strangling her while Vedder’s bullets didn’t even hurt her one bit. I knew then that Matt had the power because it was his game. The devil does not have the power to kill us; he has the power to convince us to kill ourselves.
“You really going to kill me, Matt? Your only love, your passion, your key to being in with your friends, Matt? Why don’t you kill them instead? They alienated you, they didn’t want you to love.”
“No, shut up!” Matt screamed, a proper black metal scream of ululating bass and strong air push. I felt Matt’s courage as his scream resonated through the room. His voice bounced off the abandoned walls of the building to the roof where it crashed down the floor like the sound of cymbals. The echoes lasted for about five seconds, and after that, pure silence.
Corinne stared at Matt for a long time, breaking the silence the moment everything was still. She whispered, “Then, goodbye.”
A big flash of light covered the room. It had no sound, or nothing that could be audible amidst the mole-demons’ screams. I tried to see, but I only retrieved outlines of my band mates: Vedder was standing amazed at what Matt was doing, Hero was lying on the floor (Still breathing, thank God), and Matt was standing up with enormous power, affirming it as he held his first and probably last love’s throat. I covered my eyes; the room got too bright. The heat was so intense I felt that my skin was peeling off of me. I guessed this was it, my final moment on Earth.
After five seconds, it was all over. We were once again surrounded by darkness. Our sighs and breaths were the only audible sounds, but I could hear Corinne’s scream as she plummeted back down to hell. Or was it really hers and not our desperation? After all, when desperation hits us, we try to find the quickest way to assure ourselves. Maybe it was just our hope of her gone that was the scream.