Friday, 27 December 2013

Holiday Playlist

This is my playlist for this year's holidays. Song lyrics in italics. 

Let's press play, then, shall we?


And if you are a friend of any sort then play along and catch a cold.
Here it goes. Confessions crave an audience don’t they?

Come into my world, I’ve got to show, show, show you.

It’s the 26th of December, the day after Christmas. Unlike all the other ones before it, I’m not feeling that happy kind of disappointment – I’m not ‘sad it’s over but glad it happened’. It is as if I saw through all the wrapping for the first time. In that repetitive scene of gift-giving and merry-making, singing carols and watching re-runs on HBO, it has never been a greeting of “Merry Christmas”. It has always been “It’s showtime”.

Over and over, they call us their friends. Can’t we find something else to pretend?
I’d always be sitting staring at my older cousins, wondering why they look so sophisticated, so ‘dalaga na’ (the only time of the year I’d think I have a childish face). We’d be exchanging presents (the only time of the year I’d think they’re symbols of social status rather than a gesture of goodwill) and compliments (sarcastic at best). And then, we would practice our ‘show of unity’ for the annual family reunion, always an overly enthusiastic song and dance number (the only time of the year I’d ever get cheeky enough to dance).
                If nothing is true, what more can I do? I am still painting flowers for you.

Only now did I begin to see how much of a farce it all is. We’re picture perfect. Complete. Several of these people are professionals with steady jobs, fancy degrees. All of the couples are (seemingly) happily married. The children are all charming people-pleasers (heh, heh), ready with a clever quip or a new song to play on the piano.

That’s the happy side of the spectrum.

On the other side, we have the dissatisfaction and the disappointments, hidden with smiling faces. My aunt, who finished a medicine-related course, unmarried and stuck at home. My uncle, who stopped schooling at a seminary because he realized it wasn’t for him. My father, who also came out of the seminary, who took a course I believe he’s now regretting.

Smack dab in the middle is yours truly, who often wonders why or how she should put up with this. (Maybe by remembering that family stuff is one of the few things that separate humans from other primates.)

                I did my best, it wasn’t much. I couldn’t feel so I tried to touch. I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.

But, where do we go from here?

                The definition of a crazy person is someone who does the same thing over and over again while expecting new results.
What have we to keep ourselves going?

                That’s it, it’s split. It won’t recover. Just frame the halves and call them brothers.

That I have another 364 days to prepare is a comfort.

And maybe, a wish comes with the confession.

                Take me above your light, carry me through the night. Hold me secure in flight, sing me to sleep tonight.

Ne Me Quitte Pas - Regina Spektor
Hotel Song - Regina Spektor
Call them Brothers - Only Son ft. Regina Spektor
Painting Flowers - All Time Low
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohem
I Cut Off My Hair - Regina Spektor
Hello Seattle - Owl City

Happy holidays, everyone.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Other Boleyn Girl

The first of December proved a disappointing day. I woke up to a chilly dawn - a cloudy, dismal sky, and that immediately took away any drive I had to be productive. I burned about four hours reading The Other Boleyn Girl, spent the subsequent hours obsessing over English history, looking up Henry VIII’s wives. I was royally miserable, tired and confused – precisely the mood that gets me randomly trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

But yeah, maybe the word 'universe' is an overstatement. 

ONE. Was Henry VIII that much of a jerk - not ever realizing that he may be breaking hearts? I'd like to know how he was thinking. Was anything ever real back then - love? honor? 

TWO. Why does nothing in real life make sense? Everything in my books - each character, confrontation, setting - they have reasons why they're there. (Yeah, I know, it's pointless asking this.) Even when I write, I create scenes where the characters look at this or that, and feel something inside of them click. 

I've already tried my hand at different things, learned to say yes or goodbye as I felt I should. But there's no feeling of purpose, no sense that this is leading to somewhere. 

We're all here once upon a time, where's the happily ever after?

THREE. I believe in a Supreme Being, One whose thoughts I will never be able to fathom. 

Is there a need for religion, then? Is there a need to impose a way of worship, a way of communion, a way of believing? Can't it just be as easy and natural as conversing with a close, close friend? Is this world too wounded, grown much too cynical, that it will never be that simple again?

Somehow, it just feels wrong to see people dangling Heaven as a prize to win, saying that theirs is the only way to salvation. 

FOUR. When can people say they 'love'?

Do we even have to give it that silly name? 

There's this guy I know I like. For so long, I don't even remember how or why. (And that's all you can get out of me, officer.) I don't understand, but I do. 

Is that...

And I don't even see him now. I wonder what he thinks.

FIVE. Are grades just numbers? A lot of people seem to say that to me. And yet if I take that for truth, I would have said that the taxes people pay to fund my college education are likewise just numbers.

SIX. Does the rainbow have only seven colors? Between red and orange, aren't there millions of others? 

SEVEN. Why do we wish on shooting stars? They're going to land hard on Earth from their glorious perch up in the skies. They're going to join our lot and our mutual misery. Ha-ha.  

That's a very sad metaphor: the whole lot of us depending on something that's bound to fall.

Well. That wasn't so bad, was it? Guess I'll just have to count the days 'til a new year starts, a faux new beginning.