Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Gabi ni Samhain
(This is my short-story entry to a book/anthology* on Philippine transgressive fiction in 2006. The compilation remains unpublished ‘cuz the editors are dead broke and too stoned to go to the presses.)
*Call for Submissions: You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake, you are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. Revolutions are first born in the mind, move to the street, and then rise up like a conflagration to burn the whole catastrophe down. If you feel the same way, write with an agressive spirit and have kickass, mindfuck stories that burn like a firebrand, then we want you to give us that cool narrative. Edited by Norman Wilwayco (author of “Mondomanila”) and Karl De Mesa (author of “Damaged People: Tales of the Gothic-Punk”), “Wasak! Stories of Pinoy Transgression and Deliverance” tracks the same territory that writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Irvine Welsh, Douglas Coupland, and Chuck Palanhiuk have explored and mapped in all its brutality, dysfunction, and senseless beauty. This is an anthology that breaks the rules and finds personal salvation in burning the flag of mediocrity.
“To be rich today is merely to own the largest number of meaningless objects [toys not included ok.--Ed.]--to possess the greatest amounts of poverty.” (Donald Trump, rich wanker)
--Hwraak! Hwraak! Ptuuh! Oops, there goes my fucking supper.
--Ano Z- kaya pa? Sige ilabas mo lang ng maginhawahan ka. Mrs. V- runs her silky smooth hands up and down my spine. I feel like a big fucking dick that’s being masturbated and about to cum, but instead of spunk I spurt vomit.
--K-kaya pa po mam. K-ka- hwraak! There goes my pride and sobriety as well.
--S-sorry po mam. Linisin ko na lang. I turn to face her but my head is playing see-saw with my neck. I pull myself up and steady my carcass on the puke-covered car floor. --A-anong oras na po mam? --Mag-aalas dos na. Okey lang, pa-carwash ko na lang. She releases the Light button of her Tag Heuer watch and runs her candle-shaped fingers on my close-cropped hair. She makes them play on my face and I snatch her middle finger with my mouth. She tries to pull it out but I suck on it as if it were a viable source of nourishment. It goes in-out in-out, in-out in-out.
--Aoow... Z- tama na. Tama na pa. Now I know how her cunt feels when she’s finger-fucking it. I snap out of the sensation and give her dirty finger back. --N-naku mam uwi na po ko. --‘Kaw naman, para kang others. As if naman di pa tayo nagkakilanlan. --You mean, nagkakangkangan po mam. --Ganun na din ‘yun, pinaganda mo lang. She gives me a wink, licks her upper lip, and rubs my crotch.
8 pm: All Hallow’s Eve--Adam Is Dead!
Greenbelt is teeming with the dirty rotten filthy stinking rich when I entered the dimly lit Tavern bar. On the band stage hangs a tarpaulin streamer that reads: Welcome Guests! F- Corp., Inc. Octoberfest & Halloween Party. It might as well read: Die Yuppie Scum!
I survey the familiar faces on the dance floor and the range of overpriced drinks and expensive pulutans on the tables. I spot my stupid cubicle-mates in a corner, getting bombed out of their senses with San Mig Light. They catch my attention and the leader of the pack gestures at me. I bare my teeth and approach them cautiously.
--Kumusta mga kaibigan? Okey ba kayo riyan? I greeted the bastards to the tune of an old pinoy rock song.
--Super, pre. Take a seat. Join us, pre. B- initiates me into his circle of conyo friends. They flash lukewarm smiles as one of the cunts hands me an ice-cold bottle of their poison of choice. --Libre ‘to pre. One to sawa. Drink-all-you-can. Pa-morningan, R- assured me.
--Wala bang Red Horse o kaya bilog? Di ako tinatamaan dito e. I said from a position of strength, letting out a grin. --Sabaw sinaing, I thought, refusing the offer.
They exchange furtive looks as tension escalates. --Wala kaya dito nun. Try mo kaya sa Mini Stop. Baka kaya meron dun. G- dismissively sneered as he downed his nth bottle of beer. Bottoms up but still sober ey? See what I mean assface shit for brains! He quickly composes himself and calls a toast to my name as much as it is for his own personal safety. --Isa para kay Z-! Kampai!
--Sige tingnan ko na lang sa bar. I excuse myself and wish to fuck I brought along a shotgun.
I clock E-, the kikay from Accounting, leaning against the bar, looking bored. I say hi! to her with my eyebrows and flash a smile straight out of a toothpaste commercial. She gives me the cold shoulder and takes a shot of her tequila. I feel like a fucking doormat. I leave with two bottles of pale pilsen and two cans short of a six pack.
9 pm: Pop’s Not Dead! The Night the Music Died
1...and 2...and 3...and 4... Grooving to the show band’s mu-sick, my IQ tells me, is an exercise in futility. Move as I might, in no direction would the hardcore punk skinhead in me budge a muscle. My surroundings tell of a different story.
--Pucha, pre, astig ‘yung banda! Plakadong-plakado. Kuhang-kuha ang [name of famous sellout mainstream copycat band here]. B- gives a blood-curdling hoot with his fingers and sings along like a fucking cassette tape played at the wrong speed. --Rock on, men, rock on! R- flashes devil horns with his hands, headbangs, and all...to a fucking R&B pop song! Appropriateness isn’t exactly one of his strong points, stupidity is. Fucking bobollocks!
The mind-numbing sound from the amps and speakers lulls everyone to a head-swaying, finger-tapping, foot-stomping frenzy. I sit still, drink my booze, and pick my nose. I’m out of step with the world, who cares, I don’t give a fuck.
--Tangna, mas masarap pang tumae kesa makinig senyo!
As if to humiliate me further, the sick bastard on the mic cows the audience to --Put yo’ hands in the air and wave ‘em like ya just don’t care! I could’ve saved him all the trouble by blowing his head off. Of course, everyone follows suit. Fucking sheep!
Deriving no measure of satisfaction from the band’s unimpassioned set, I prayed for a blackout in Makati, let alone a technical screw-up on stage, anything to spare my ears from further bleeding--but to no avail. God must be bleeding deaf, for nothing snapped--save my nerves--not even one single guitar string.
Already my sanity is fraying at the ends, soon I will be enveloped by every fucking most requested Top 40 MTV Billboard FM radio payola tune out there, giving in, selling out would prove to be my ultimate fate--of this I am certain. I must escape.
From my ukay-ukay backpack, I bring out my Made-In-China discman that’s pretty beat-up owing to its rough life on the road, and plug in my pirated copy of Napalm Death’s “Scum” CD. I crank up the volume to crush kill thrash destroy mode and await the soundtrack to the end of the world. The background noise fades into obscurity as the four musicians of the apocalypse bludgeon my ears. Thank fuck for grindcore!
10 pm: God Save the Queer--The Art of Sucking Dick
It was a piece of piss, a total piece of piss, a bloody piece of piss--that’s what drinking beer is. My bladder’s close to bursting at the seams, thanks to free beer! Must fill myself to the brim, enjoy the shit while it lasts. I don’t get that shit from the slums where I come from, it’s either Emperaning or stainless, day in, day out. In my place, gin-bulag sells, but in this yuppie shithole, who’s buying? No wonder the fucking club owners are making a killing selling the piss-colored liquid.
The alcohol and stupid live mu-sick have fueled the pack’s conversation to a dumbfuck level with B- waxing philosophical. --Why do men have nipples when they (nipples, not men) serve no apparent useful purpose? R-, his accomplice in stupidity, drops his science. --It’s because we, men, are basically just women with dicks and as such have one of the most instantly recognizable prized possessions of the other species--nipples. Fucking Batman and Robin! My IQ drops a hundred points. I excuse myself and wish to fuck I brought along a grenade launcher.
The CR was deserted when I entered. I take a squirt in a cubicle and remember the pig-fattening pen I inhabit at my call center slave job. Same shit, different place. Ah, the requirements of efficiency. How am I affected by being moved around in prescribed paths, in office buildings, shopping malls, housing projects, mass transport systems? In buses, jeepneys, FX taxis, MRTs, escalators, pedestrian lanes? By living, working, pissing, shitting in two-dimensional grids, in prisons we have built for ourselves--a one-dimensional man in a three-dimensional world? How much freedom of movement do I really have? Freedom to move through space, to move as far as I want, in uncharted territories and unexplored directions? How am I affected by being immobilized rather than wandering, roaming freely and spontaneously? Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.
The long piss allowed me a quick drift to delirious sleep--my legs spread apart, one hand holding my cock, the other propped against the wall to maintain vertical position. From the corner of my eye I spy a figure moving steps behind me. I wake with a start, my head jerking like it’s going to snap off my neck, and feel a hand on my behind. Fucking sick bastard is groping my butt!
--PUTANGINA KA! BAKLA! I smacked him right in the face so hard my knuckles hurt. A tooth flies out of the cunt’s split mouth, his shaking hands trying to stem the flow of blood.
--Isang libo’t isang putangama mo, hayop ka! I let him have it in the balls with my combat shoes. He lands on the floor coldcocked and curls into a ball. I give him the boot without let-up.
--‘Wag po, ‘wag po! Sorry po, sorry na po! Di ko po sinasadya po! He pleads and sobs in his blood-soaked party shirt. Die, cocksucker, die! My face reddens and tingles from the rush of ultraviolence. I’ll beat the crap out of him, make him pay.
--Tama na pre! Tama na ‘yan! Some cunt pulls me off. B- grabs my arms, I brush his grip off. --Awat na pre! Awat na! R- tugs at my hands, I turn to face him, he backs off, I recognize the Dynamic Duo, Dumb and Dumber. I turn to cross-examine my handy work. --Buti nga sa ‘yo, tarantado! Magbiro ka na sa lasing, ‘wag lang sa gagong gising! I spit at the inarticulate mass of convulsing gay matter under my feet. G- needs plastic surgery for his face badly and a life-support machine for his body. I light a fag and exit the can. My job there is done.
11 pm: Alive in the Land of the Living Dead
A specter is haunting [name of fucked-up third-world developing cunt-ry here], the specter of sosyalism.
My head scans the smoke-filled bar with a blank expression on my face. To me, every bird in the place is a potential target. E-’s still hanging out where I left her, getting smashed this time with SMB. --Banlaw na, I observed. She arrests my gaze by dragging long on a Winston Lights, I imagine it was my cock.
--Ahem, may yosi ka pa E-? I said casually, the words evaporating from my dry mouth, and if I were to add --Tangna, tigang na tigang na ko! My mouth waters over her red well-manicured nails, I fancy my cock between her fingers.
--Nada. Alaws. Ubos na eh. She forced the syllables out of her tightened pink lips and smiled at me in a slightly condescending way. Her hand burrows its way through the contents of a maroon Lacoste imitation bag. I spy a pack of cigarettes and a pack of condoms amid all the fucking cosmetics. The lying bitch! With an air of haughtiness she pulls out her Nokia [name of latest expensive phone model here] and dials a number. A photo of a bald man old enough to be her daddy flashes on the screen. Some guys have all the fuck!
I guess I want to be famous in a certain degree, to be seen, to be in the public eye. For I’ve come to trust what is seen more than what is actually lived, where images seem more real to me than experiences. To know that I really exist, that I somewhat matter, I have to see ghosts of myself frozen, preserved in pictures, wallpapers, camerafones. How much of my life comes at me through a screen? A mobile phone screen? A computer screen? A television screen? An automobile screen? All four screens combined? What am I being screened from? If my life were made into a movie, would I watch it? What’s the point of watching anything if nobody’s doing? What’s the point of doing anything if nobody’s watching? Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.
In the din of the crowd, E- flirts loudly and tries hard to be noticed--the way girls do before getting screwed. She chatted up in between retouching her makeup and brushing her brown cellophaned rebonded hot-oiled hair. Just being near her reminds me of how long it has been since I’ve shagged a real woman. All the girls I’ve fucked in the past months--and they were many if truth be told--either appeared in Playboy, FHM, Remate or Bulgar, or in some cheesy sex scandal video--kung sa’n mukhang katulong ‘yung kinakantot! That’s all I can do, fantasize. Wankers of the world, unite! We have nothing to lose but our shame.
She chucks the cellphone in her bag, show’s over, end of fucking story. She looks pretty smart, or at least her fake designer-clothes, clearance-sale accessories, and bargain-bin signature-shoes packaging does, but it misses by miles the socialite sophistication she’s aiming at. --Chipipay. Pokpok, the upper class women derisively snort from their pedestals. It all boils down to the fashion show of life where pointing out other people’s problems makes one’s own seem far away and the moral cunts are above you. She can’t fall any further from burgis grace and exits the room, leaving a trail of A. Moi Belyas perfume and visible panty lines behind.
Then it hits me, I scream in silence. Feeling like a social tool without a use, I chase after her, sheer desperation propelling my unsteady feet toward the closing door. --E-, hatid na... but she’s gone --kita sa labas. I realize the depressing haste with which the sexually successful separate themselves from the flock of failures lest we infect their kind. Talk about chlorinating the gene pool.
In the joy of the faces around me, I sip my beer alone. I fight back the urge to cry. Loser! Just like tonight’s drink, the pit of misery is a bottomless one, it loves company, and I’m descending there fast. I’m looking into the abyss, and the abyss is gazing back at me.
The amount of alcohol consumed and the painful passage of time conspired to muddle my already melancholic mind. With an hour left to go before party’s over, I struggle to compose myself. --Bangenge na naman. Too stoned to sleep, too drunk to stay awake, I try to focus, set my sights on something, concentrate, zero in ...4 ...3 ...2 ...1 ...bingo!
I clock two chickababes from Marketing, futuristic K- and balbonic P-, invading my turf. My spirits soared anew as they drew near, I greeted them with my raised eyebrows and poster boy smile. As usual, I’m the Invisible Man, they look right through me and plant their butts on the other end of the bar. A cold breeze runs through my body, I sigh about the way we are all alone in the end. Makes me wonder if success with the other species is based on one’s ability to raise the one eyebrow. In my case, both my brows keep rising at the same time, so there goes my career on being a chick magnet. Of course, who needs eyebrows when you’re bloody rich.
With the receptive ear of a showbiz reporter, I listen in on the sexy-cutives’ conversation. The fucking dolls try to affect a tonsil-swallowing colegiala accent and put on an air of crass, este, class as they talk ceaselessly about their shitload of cash, cars, condos, credit cards, checking accounts, candlelight dinners, career opportunities, cosmetic surgeries, calorie-free diets, catwalk fashion shows straight out of the pages of Cosmopolitan, making sure their crap is heard for miles despite the chorus of disapproval from every low-life in the club. What a crock of despicable shit!
It’s all about fucking image isn’t it? For all I care, these cunts are wallowing in the same deep shit as I am and all up to their fucking necks in Citibank debt yet they strut around as if they’re on six-figure salary a month and eating caviar for breakfast. --Mga punyeta kayo! Kung di ko pa alam, nag-uulam din kayo ng tuyo at galunggong! Violent Playground from my high school days is playing in my head:
Another day of pretending, blending in / Going around town in your chameleon skin / You go out to town only with friends you need / You don’t really like them but on them you feed / There’s a tupperware party for people like you / There’s plastic food and plastic drinks and plastic girls galore...
From those blurred and fragmentary moments I may infer much, but prove little. Life doesn’t get any easier under capitalism does it? Cutthroat competition. Consumer culture. You sell your soul to the highest bidder to buy into the symbols and images that big business and society are feeding you. You pay to eat, pay to sleep, pay to keep warm, pay to make friends, pay to make love, pay to have fun, pay to go to school, pay to get a job, pay for the most useless of products, pay for a space just to exist. Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.
12 am: Oedipus Rex--The Jesus and Mary Chain
The air in the bar has ceased to be breathable. It has become so damn polluted you could actually see it. Summoning all of the powers possessed by my lungs, I set out to Greenbelt park below. It’s an okay park, quiet, dead central like, and probably the only place in Makati where they don’t charge you money. In the unearthly stillness and palpable darkness of midnight, I reclaim a concrete bench as my bed. I’m on my nth nicotine fix when it dawns on me that I’m way past the range of prying eyes. I chuck the yosi and reach into the secret pocket of my shattered maong for the teabag of chongki.
I roll a joint, light it up, toke up, and watch it burn, baby, burn. Inhale-exhale, inhale-exhale. When it came, I savored the hit, felt the earth moved, and heard the sound of one hand wanking, err, clapping. --Tangna, lakas amats! Tirang pasok! Basag. Wasak. Sabog. Solb.
Vainly I struggled with my drowsiness, my brain--sore and dazed with fatigue, my head--heavy and reeling from intoxication, drooped to my chest, and when next I looked up it was in a dream. I have often wondered if the less material life is my truer self, and that my existench in the waking world is merely virtual reality. For is it not that “life is a dream on the way to death?” [The Crow: City of Angels]
I shut down my brain, the joint burns away in my hand.
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A hand dabs a hanky on my face, the scent of Christian Dior hangs artificially in the cold nocturnal air, competing with the natural high of Mary Juana. 12:05--remain in coma until 12:35, wallow about, racked with pain and remorse until 12:45, enter spiritual stage of hangover, when pain has gone but material reality is not yet working, by 12:55 begin to feel the miracle of consciousness.
All sleepiness left me as my eyes beheld an apparition in black, a gothic angel of mercy--black mini skirt, black stockings, black high heels, black lipstick, black framed glasses, pale white face. Blessed Fucking Virgin Mary!
--M-Ma’am V- y-you shouldn’t have. I force a smile as I stagger on my feet.
--You sure, iho? I saw you pass out from the bar’s veranda, I thought you were dead so... It’s alright, she said, ruffling her dark long hair.
--I-I’m okay now. B-Better than okay, ma’am. I-I can manag-- she puts a finger on my lips, sealing it before I can finish, then guides my head into her breast like a mother to a son. I nosedive into her cleavage and try to cop a feel.
--Z- anak, please, not in here. She pushes me away. The bitch deserves a fucking Famas award!
It was a scene right out of the Passion of Jesus H. Christ as Mrs. V- dragged my carcass along Dela Rosa St. at a slow panting funeral pace. I feel like sheep to the fucking slaughter. After what seemed like an eternity, we reached Fucking, este, Parking Lot 1. She got out her remote, opened the door of her Honda [name of latest expensive car model here], chucked me in the back seat, turned on the aircon, tuned in to some jazzy radio station, took off her clothes, unbuttoned my shirt, and unzipped my jeans. I felt a sense of power, a sense of attractiveness, a sense of affirmation I’ve never experienced before.
1 am: A Crash Course in Adultery (and Other Half Revolutions)
As she undressed, the question of her fuckability crossed my mind. I’m free+thirty-something, she’s got grandkids+shrivelled. Despite her sagging breasts, I managed to get a hard-on. I’m stoked, abstinence and alcohol fanning the flames--no, make that embers--of my long neglected libido to such an extent that I’ll fuck anything with a hole on it. She starts off by swallowing my cock. --God, she gives one hell of a blow job, there’s no doubt about it! I guess there’s more to her job description as a Q fucking A Manager. Then she goes on top of me. --God, she must’ve weighed a ton! and lowers herself into my knob, enclosing it completely, penetrating her deeper.
--Let’s. Volt. In! The Voltes V theme song from my grade school years plays repeatedly in my head. For a bitch way past her menopause, she’s well lubricated. She goes up-down up-down, up-down up-down, my tarugo holding firm...but not for long. Months of wanking have taken its toll on my sperm count and muscle control, I thought I was going to come straight away, way ahead of her. So I wait, E-J-A bringing myself off the boil...and wait, C-U-L putting my mind off the climax...and wait some more, A-T-E surrendering to sleep. How am I affected by waiting? Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting to urinate, waiting to punch the clock, waiting to get served at the fastfuckingfood counter, waiting at the jeepney terminal, waiting at the ATM for my own fucking salary--learning to punish and ignore my spontaneous urges, by holding back my desires? By sexual repression, by the delay or denial of pleasure, starting in childhood, along with the suppression of everything in me that reveals my wild nature, my membership in the animal kingdom? How am I affected by being scheduled, by standardized time designed solely to synchronize my movements with other automatons of the corporate world? Fuck it! I hate moments of clarity.
When I came to, my erection has started to subside, Mrs. V- has dismounted me and wipes with Kleenex the strands of thick sticky egg white-like fluid trickling down the insides of her thighs. She sure rode herself into a climax, our combined cum shooting through the car roof! The explosions of Mt. Pinatubo and Mayon volcano combined would pale in comparison. --Nakailang putok kaya siya? Ako kaya?
The smell of spunk and sweat filled the car, overpowering the air freshener, fogging the tinted windows. For once it is free from the stink of deodorant, perfume, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, lotion, shampoo, hair conditioner, and soap. I felt unique, like a dirty animal, body odor and all. A creature who is openly sexual and fucks on the roof of buildings, who eats things off the ground--not out of plastic wrappers or styrofoam, who doesn’t get its hair and nails done, who doesn’t wear suits or ties, who doesn’t need logos/brands/labels to stand out from the herd, who doesn’t need I.D. cards to feel like an individual.
--Ano Z- isang round pa? There’s nothing in her eyes but need, screaming infidelities, and memories of a once happy marriage.
--T-Teka muna po mam, mahina ang kalaban. Nakikipaghabulan pa po ko sa ‘king hininga, I reply, breathing heavily like a hunted animal.
--Ganun ba? Bueno, eto anak, baka sakaling makatulong sa iyo. She unlatches the car’s glove compartment, gets a compact mirror, opens its clam-shell casing, and draws a small packet of tin-foil. Unwrapping it reveals white tiny tawas-like crystals. Yuppie shit. Fucking garbage. Poor Brown man’s cocaine. Bato.
--N-Naku mam, kayo na lang po. Hanggang ganja lang po ‘ko, di po ‘ko nagsha-shabu. Beggars cannot be choosers, but in this case --God made grass, Man made crack, who do I trust?
--Ganun ba? Bueno, kung ayaw mo talaga ng ubas, iho, sosolohin ko na lang ito. Mrs. V- cooks up a hit with Zippo lighter in one hand and Panda ballpen in the other. As soon as the gear starts melting and the miracles of chemistry start doing wonders--turning solid into gas, she snorts the fumes up her nose, frying her brain--or what’s left of it. As the last trace of white smoke leaves the blackened foil, she pulls her head back, shuts her eyes, opens her mouth, and gives out a groan of orgasmic proportions. --This beats sucking any fucking cock in the world! --Nagtampo tuloy si manoy. I try to feel my limp dick through my jeans pockets to see if it’s still there.
As if on automatic pilot, she chucks the works out of the window, composes herself, and checks her reflection on the compact mirror--wrinkles, lines in the forehead, folds, pouches in cheeks, bags, dark circles around the eyes, leathery skin, dyed hair, and all--like when you know you’re not going to win in the Lotto, but you still check your numbers just the same.
t na ang aking tama--g
--Kelangang b a i
u y s
m k hwraak!
a a w
b m n
a ’pagkat u a.
2 am: V for Vendetta, A for Anarchy
[email email@example.com for the ending.--Ed.]
Hippie is a “punker”: punk rocker. punk slacker. punk writer. punk wanker. punk whatever.