Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hearts' Day '08

A mob in black & white chant outside campus, waving signs & banners for the love of country & a man called Lozada. Honk if you’re for the truth, a sign reads in Filipino as many of the mostly young spill onto the road. The cars do honk, though I can’t help but question if for truth or merely to say Get out of the way!

A smaller group looks on from the footbridge, where they hang similarly messaged banners while young couples walk quietly by behind them, hand-in-hand, between lovers of nation & a small girl in rags, who sits on the cement ground, legs spread to give room for dinner: crumbs of chips spilled from the blue plastic bag beside her right thigh.

Nearby at a coffee shop, I see a friend eating dinner alone. He waves to me while hiding sniffles, perhaps from allergies to roses on neighboring tables where couples dine, or maybe to the familiarity of an empty chair beside him.

A block away, a candidate student leader, running on the platform of love for art (while her name is used on her posters as an acronym involving awareness & social involvement), clumsily stumbles through the exit of a bookstore (& she doesn't seem to hear the chants from across the street).

When we speak of views, my friend at the coffee shop sees hands, flowers, & voids, while couples see projections for the future & yester-Valentines when this day hadn’t been as pleasurable.

The girl having dinner sees only backs when she looks up from her remaining crumbs. The candidate eyes the cracks on the ground her pointed heels must avoid.

The crowd by the road sees TV cameras, the abstractedness of words like justice, & their likeness in future retellings. The group on top see the temporal blacks & whites of unifying T-shirts as well as the blinding light of rush hour traffic.

When we speak of love, it’s to the idea of parallelism to heroes & martyrs past, the thought of feeling never loved, the feeling from the thought of having someone, something, to love.

On levels small & personal, it’s of things cheesy—like chips or the way cardboard hearts are ornamented. On the levels larger & most ignored, it’s of a love so small, if not missing altogether.

Evening of Valentines 2008
Katpinunan Avenue, Loyola Heights

* * *

Stick a fork in me

After a bit of talking/consulting w/ Larry, April, Cindy, Mia, Rica, & a lot of arguing w/ myself, I will be submitting the “nth” & final draft of my thesis academic paper tomorrow.

I thought this & a B in my latest Philo exam—giving me enough cushion for my likely finals failure (Philo in Filipino?!)—would guarantee my graduation.

Last Wednesday I missed toga fitting cuz I stayed home to work on the thesis paper.

Friday, the registrar’s office called, saying I’m way overdue for tuition payment.

Graduating still?

I can’t stand how you deny what you supposedly stand for

Attended the prom-themed Heights open mic on Friday, & I have a lot of shit to say about what ended up being a musikahan organized by the supposed literary org.

Authorities will be hearing from me soon.

(Yes, “signs of the times” could describe literature being nothing but an overlooked sideshow but there’s something to be said about advocacy here.)

(By the way, w/ regard to my Most Eligible Male Heightser Award nomination, did I win?)

How old am I?

Yesterday, after finally getting home at 7AM, & after working all day on little sleep, I attended 80th birthday party of Tito Bino in Tandang Sora.

Tonight, after working the whole day like a hermit in my room, I will have to actually shower & proceed downstairs where there will be a party celebrating Lola’s 90th.

Two nights, 2 parties. Eighty & 90.

Party animal ka na, Martin?


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