Utter Silence  

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His screams echo in the distance
The sounds of rebellion repressed
He drowns in the sea of conformity
As his cries go unheard in its depths

He fails to resist, he succumbs
His mistakes magnified by the truth
As like Adam, in the Garden of Eden
Tempted to eat the forbidden fruit

He struggles to find redemption
Righteousness had once been his friend
Regret held tight and firmed its grip
Consuming his will to contend

Though his voice is that of reason
His thoughts are obscured and opaque
The words form meaning despite all the chaos
But sense is not easy to make

With his pen as his only weapon
His sanity, he tries hard to defend
He writes with uncertainty, with fear and revulsion
And his words will go on 'til the end

So with eyes closed shut, he falls silent
His voice will no longer be heard
No cries for mercy, no pleas for salvation
No breath, no life
Not even a word

O Romeo, O, Like, Wow  

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I happened across this very funny post when my friend Firefly gave me the link. I don't know who wrote it or when it was written, but whoever it was had a really good imagination. 

O Romeo, O, Like, Wow

This is like a real super-sad play about this dude Romeo and this dudette Juliet. They had names like that ‘cause it was like the real old days, before MTV. So, no one had cool names like Heather or Brandon or Shawna. They all had really geeky names like Benvolio and Tybalt and Mercutio.

Anyway, these two families, see, the Montagues and Capulets, really hate each other. I mean, they can’t even walk down the street without thrashing on each other, ‘cause, like, that’s what happens right at the beginning.

This dude, Sampson, who works for old man Capulet, he sees this other dude, Abraham, who hangs with Montague, and he bites his thumb. I mean, like, Sampson bites his own thumb, not Abraham’s thumb, which in the old days was like saying “Your mama!” And Abraham says, “Are you dissing me?” So they start beating down. But it gets broken up before anybody’s really messed, you know. And the Prince — he’s like the principal of this whole town — he says, “Yo, next time you people get in each other’s face, I’m gonna twist someone’s head round so their cap’s on straight.”

So then Juliet’s old man decides he’s going to have this party. But he has to send this servant out to tell everybody, ‘cause, like, they didn’t even have phones then. But this servant is, like, dyslexic or something, and he can’t make out the names on the list, so he, like, stops someone to help him read it. Duh! It’s Romeo.

So Romeo looks at the list, and there’s all these names of dweebs, freaks, jocks, stoners, nerds, goobs and motorheads. But then he sees Rosaline’s name. She’s this chick he thinks is really fly, so he decides to crash the party, which is like, easy, see, ‘cause it’s a masquerade party.

Meanwhile, Juliet’s mom, she’s trying to fix Juliet up with this guy named Paris. Is that a dorky name or what? I mean, I thought Dweezil and Moon Unit were weird.

Romeo goes to the party even though he’s totally bummed because he loves Rosaline and thinks she, like, doesn’t love him. But Romeo’s homey, Mercutio, tells him, like, “Chill. Just go. Party down. There’s going to be some fly babes there.”

So Romeo gets to the party and starts checking out the chicks. He sees Juliet and he goes, “Who is that babe?” And she goes, “Who is that hunk?” Which is bad, see, ‘cause, like, Shakespeare already said they got “fatal loins,” whatever that means, and they’re “star cross’d,” which means both of them are Aquarians, I think.

But that don’t stop them. So Romeo starts hitting on her, and they hold hands for a while and he goes, “O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do.” And he kisses her, and it’s, like, super rad, I mean totally awesome for both of them. But then Juliet’s nurse pulls her away, ‘cause, like, in the old days they really had a cow if they caught you sucking face.

Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, sees that Romeo is trying to ease in on a Capulet, even though he’s a Montague, so Tyb says, “Yo, hand me that sword.” But Juliet’s dad says, “Be cool.”

Then it’s curfew or something ‘cause everybody has to leave, but when Romeo is heading for his pad, he says, “Check it out, dudes, I’m gonna bail,” and he jumps over this big fence into Juliet’s garden. He’s like creeping in the trees and he looks up at Juliet’s bedroom and goes, “Who left that light on?” or something like that, and she goes, “O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” And it’s like, duh, ‘cause he’s standing right under her balcony. But maybe she took her contacts out to go to bed.

So he goes, “Do you want to get married?” and she goes, “Yeah.” So they do. . . only in secret.

But then, like, right after this, Juliet’s pushy cousin Tybalt shows up again and starts getting in Romeo’s face. See, he doesn’t know they’re married ‘cause he didn’t get an invitation. And, like, he should be happy, because he didn’t have to buy an electric tin opener or anything. He wants to kill Romeo. But Romeo won’t fight him, so Tybalt jumps in Mercutio’s face, and him and Mercutio start thrashing on each other. Mercutio gets killed, so Romeo kills Tybalt, which is, like, dumb, ‘cause now him and Juliet aren’t gonna get any wedding presents.
Then the Prince exiles Romeo, which is, like, being grounded but like in a whole nother state or something.

So Romeo and Juliet have to split for a while. Juliet goes, “O, think’st thou we shall ever meet again?” ‘cause, like, some guys act like they like you a bunch at school but then they never phone you. You know?

Romeo leaves and Juliet is really bumming ‘cause her old man wants her to marry Paris. Duh! She’s already married. But her parents are still planning a wedding, so it looks like she’s going to get an electric tin opener one way or another, or maybe even a microwave. But then this priest guy gives Juliet this stuff to drink so that everyone will think she’s, like, dead until Romeo can get back. But this stuff is so good that everybody thinks she really is dead, and, they put her in this tomb thing, you know.

Then Romeo dreams that Juliet has found him dead, and even though he’s grounded in another state, he says, “Later. I’m outta here.” He takes off to see Juliet, but he stops, like at a pharmacy, for some poison. So he misses this letter that the priest sent that says, “Juliet isn’t dead. She’s, like, sleeping.”

But then Romeo sees Juliet and he goes, “Ah, dear Juliet, why art thou yet so fair?” ‘cause, you know, if she was dead she ought to be green and starting to smell funny. And that totally bums him, so he takes the poison. Duh! Then you’ll never guess this part. She wakes up and sees Romeo and goes, “O happy dagger!” and kills herself.

I mean, are these people serious or what?
That was, like, so sad! 

Swim Home  

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Yup. That's practically what I did.

Jelly Legs  

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If you had walked a mile in my shoes today, I would've been really, really grateful because I wouldn't have had to walk in them myself. This morning I found myself being the unfortunate victim of circumstance. Firefly and I got out of work at around 4:30 AM, but we had to sit out the heavy downpour for a few minutes. I didn't think it would rain, and i don't usually carry an umbrella around with me to work. Aside from the typical only-girls-carry-umbrellas type of biased reasoning, the only other reason I didn't like carrying an umbrella was because I hardly fit in one anyway. With my size, I still get wet so why bother? I know, that last sentence didn't come out right.

Anyway, Firefly and I took a cab and I practically forced the man to take us where we needed to go. Grudgingly he obliged, but I soon realized I should never have taken a cab. Water was everywhere and the cab struggled to wade through the flood. When Firefly got off the driver explained that the heavy flood was causing his brakes to slip. So I gave him a hell no and told him I'd rather walk than get stuck in a car with no brakes. So I paid the man and got off too. By then I was too far from Firefly, with no cellphone credits and a measly amount of money. I couldn't get a ride home even if I wanted to. And if by chance I did come across some divine intervention and found a ride, I would've been stuck there for ages because traffic wasn't moving. So in my eagerness to fall down on my bed I decided to try walking and think of a way to get home. I kept thinking, and thinking some more, so much more that eventually my legs carried me the rest of the way home. Yes, I walked home from the Nagtahan bridge to Blumentritt. I'm no Olympian, so believe me when I tell you I've got jelly legs. The rain and the hip-deep flood didn't make walking easier either. Some of you may think it wasn't that far a distance, but here - you be the judge.

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When I got home I was touched by how worried my mom was. It's been a while since I saw her like that. I had slumped onto a stool soaking wet, and my mother bent down and took my socks off for me. It was then that I realized how tired I was. I looked at the clock and I was surprised to see it only took me almost 2 hours to cover that distance. I felt like I had been walking for days.

I can't tell if my brain's too tired or too soggy right now, but I think I ought to give it a rest. Or maybe dry it off behind the fridge.

Oh it gets a lot deeper than that.

Crescendo In C Minor  

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There are days when I just go home, walk into my room, see my guitar standing in the corner, and wonder if we'll be able to make good music again together. Today is just one of those days.

A few years ago i would've given up anything just to be able to perform on stage as part of a band and just let go. That feeling of being out of control yet still following the subtle rules of music, and the creativity of being able to add feelings to my music, are just some of the things that I really miss. Priorities of course, have all been rearranged when the reality of life dawned upon my feeble intellect. As much as there was this great passion to play, I realized that that same passion could not feed a family that depended on me.

Sure, there have been many very successful bands that are now reaping the fruits of their labor. But their success was a tough mix of pure talent, dedication and sheer dumb luck that spanned years, even decades. Back then, I had nothing going my way. I knew how to play the guitar and I learned pretty easily, but growing up amongst really talented musicians made me feel awed and at the same time insecure of myself. Don't get me wrong, my friends were great and playing with them on stage is a real blast; but when the gig was over I couldn't help feeling it was not my true calling.

Not that I know what my calling is now, though.

Speaking of callings, as you may be aware of, instead of hammering notes on my bass guitar I ended up hammering the desk on my workstation because that last caller couldn't spell "server". I work in a call center now and I won't say this is my calling either. I don't know if there's a 6-year old out there who'd tell you they'd want to be a call center agent when they grow up. I sure didn't. I wanted to be a journalist, or a composer, but fate played a different tune.

So here I am now staring at my guitar Ennui, and reminiscing all the good times we've had. I never got to play her on stage, but whenever I hang out over at a friend's house I'd bring Ennui along and our music would entertain all of the people in the crowd - yes, all three of them. I just play most of the time and have someone else sing.

Sometimes I would still strum out a few chords every now and then in the sanctity of my bedroom, just to keep these fat fingers active. I'm afraid the computer keyboard has made my fingers rather stiff and mechanical; I can barely finish a song now without nearly cramping the muscles in my hand. When all this is over though, and I finally retire I hope I can still play my guitar. I want to keep playing until the last song is played... and then I'll do an encore. Yeah.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

Meet Ennui.

Yellow Ribbons  

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The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Today we bade farewell to one of the architects of Philippine democracy. At 3:18 AM today, President Corazon C. Aquino suffered cardio-respiratory arrest while being treated at the Makati Medical Center and lost her long-fought battle with colon cancer. She was 76. She will always be remembered as an inspiration to many Filipinos.

I was but a kid during the first EDSA people-power revolution. Back then I hardly knew that it was a political turnaround that tested the resolve of a country that was oppressed by a 20-year dictatorship. Brave Filipinos stood arm-in-arm throwing themselves in front of tanks and heavy artillery, eventually overthrowing the Marcos regime. The country sorely needed a change in leadership. Mrs. Aquino was at the forefront of that change. Only years later, after having read the history books, did I truly realize the triumph our nation had achieved on that peaceful February day in 1986.

Apart from being a great leader and despite her political inexperience, President Aquino became a source of pride and inspiration to her countrymen. Being the country's first woman President, she was simultaneously admired for her strength and dedication, and looked down upon because of her lack of political experience. And despite the military insurrections from 1986 to 1987, she handled the pressures quite gracefully and led the country to a time of relative peace until her term ended in 1992.

We have suffered a great loss today. May the life of the late President Aquino continue to inspire us to become better Filipinos. Let her be a reminder to us that we are a nation worth dying for.

And as we tie the last yellow ribbon, I offer my prayers for the repose of the soul of a truly outstanding Filipino.

Thank you Tita Cory, and farewell.

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Stories from the Simian Crease by Binchee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.
Based on a work at binchee.blogspot.com