I’ve encountered different professors in my 2 and a half years in law school. They are arguably the most persistent of all teachers in the world. They can also be so difficult to satisfy. A ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will not earn you a point unless you support it with a persuasive, if not accurate, legal reasoning. They will physically and mentally exhaust you. They will demand a huge chunk of your time by assigning pages and pages of readings due for every day recitation. Come recitation time, they will make you doubt the things that you have mentally struggled to understand for long hours—even for days. They will make you feel inadept, ignorant, small… They can humiliate you because you don’t have the answers to their tricky questions. Sometimes they don’t even intend to humilate you at all, you just don’t know the answer. And that can really make you feel stupid. Makes you want to grab all your school stuff and scram out of the room.
But that’s not what they want you to do.
We had Taxation I this evening. We have it once a week. As customary in that class, 5 students per batch must stand up to recite. 3 hours each meeting, for 2 to 3 weeks. My 5 blockmates were all getting weary. Taxation, I tell you, is not a very lovable subject. And to top it off, our Taxation prof has very high standards. And unsurprisingly, our law professor was already starting to get frustrated. From time to time, she would stand up and ask for the whiteboard marker to graphically explain concepts our brain cells can’t seem to precisely understand. From time to time, she would vent out her frustrations and question our knowledge of the subject. But although she only does this from time to time, most of the time we just concede to the fact that maybe we will never really ever be at par with her excellent standards. We literally stand up to recite, but deep inside we bow down to surrender. But that’s not what she wants us to do. That’s not what they want us to do.
That professor said to a blockmate earlier, “Oh my gosh, you’re already there! I’m just prodding you to the right path!” Frustrated, yes. But pretty much sums up where she wants us to be—that is, to the right path.
Now time to study for tomorrow’s class. To the right path! :)
Absence creates a space for presence. So in absence, there is presence.
Though in this case, presence is a smoke created by the mind’s chain of cigarette drags.
You see it, then you don’t. One wave of a hand and it vanishes.
And mind you, cigarette smoking is dangerous to health, which only means that my mind has taken a habit into an addiction. Just seeing irregularly shaped smoke, and making figures and faces out of it takes away the boredom of a dead air invisibly floating before a blank wall. It creates life that is not mine.
But this time around, I was brave enough to stop my brain from taking another drag. I took away that new cigarette stick from its mouth with the force of my right thumb and forefinger. Threw it away without being lit up. I had to stop this sooner or later. Or maybe right about now.
There it goes. All the smoke disappearing like ghosts from the past. Only these ghosts are ones from the future. If ghosts from the past often have an unfinished business, ghosts from the future do not have any business at all. They just stick around in your brain, trying to keep you entertained with baseless promises, teasing you with a trailer of your imagination’s self-produced and self-proclaimed blockbuster movie.
So I had to stop it now. Make absence just be absence.
My stomach’s still feeling stressed from its upset state yesternight. My emotions are feeling upset too. I guess a long time of indifference made me such a slave to a sudden rush of emotions. I feel afraid and yet I also want to submit. And in spite of the fact that it’s a losing game, the feelings still remain. Sometimes I subconsciously act on a stubborn feeling or two. It’s like a hurting itch. Red, swollen, close to bleeding. But still demands some scratching. I feel like a delusional fan. Pathetic.
I know what my problem is but I still don’t know how to get rid of it. I have been thinking all day long and the only resolution I came up with is to just cage the feelings in there. I don’t know. Maybe they’ll magically disappear in time.
This is crazy.
Foreheads connect them together, not to mention the unbreakable stare they are sharing. Smiling eyes, smiling eyes indeed. That’s all each can see. Loud beating hearts. That’s all each can hear.
“I will wait for you, ok? When I’m 28,” she said.
He is 8 years her junior.
I was awakened by the golden light seeping through the door that stood ajar several inches from our bed. Everything was pitch black save the shapes of things I can make out with the help of the little golden light. My eyelids are shaking, still too weak, still too reluctant to pave way for reality. And I bet you know this certain sensation where you still crave for slumber and yet your senses become hungry of perceiving things that surround you. That happened.
And so I heard a rustle from my right. It was my dear. Maybe he also saw the golden light because he slowly inclined to an awkward pose. He was half-naked, but the light clothed him gold. That was when my eyelids lifted themselves up like double sunsets over strong and majestic mountains. I clearly saw him. He was this beautiful kind of rough. Not pretty, but manly enough to pass as handsome. He doesn’t try. He just is.
He stood up from our bed that was messily placed on the floor. He walked towards the door. The golden light ate him up. I have no idea where the heck he is going. But I’m going back to sleep anyway. He’ll show up somewhere in my dreams of black and white.
I shouldn’t have transformed my thoughts into words
Words that crossed a bridge
From my mouth
To another’s ears
The result was its external existence
Might have been a big deal
I was used to phantasms
Raping the replay button
Of mental recordings
Of our times together
We were at the same place
At the same time
We were together
And that was enough for me
To be together with you
Wag mo pilitin ang sarili mo na dumaan sa masukal at lubak-lubak na shortcut para lamang makarating agad dun. Maaaring mahaba pa nga ang daan na lalakbayin. Matagal pa siguro. Wala pang signal na ipinapahiwatig si kuyang Driver e. Matagal ka pa siguro magbubutas ng upuan dyan. Wag ka masyadong malikot at baka masuka ka pa. Upo ka lang dyan. Magrelaks ka.. Kung gusto mo makinig ka muna ng musika habang nagdidirek ng music video sa imahinasyon mo. Marami ka pang dapat makita at matutunan sa mga makakasabay mo na pasahero at sa mga stop-overs. Magtiwala ka lang kay kuyang Driver at mas alam Niya ang daan. O heto ang chichirya, kumain ka muna.
Makararating ka rin sa paroroonan. Magkikita rin kayo. Balang-araw.
Alam mo kung anong mali?
Pakiramdam natin invincible tayo.
Feel na feel natin ang kanta ni Bon Jovi. “It’s my life / It’s now or never / I ain’t gonna live forever / I just wanna live while I’m alive.” (Kinanta mo noh? Aminiiiin!)
Super fans tayo ng tula na Invictus na may super angas na linya na “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
Tayo ay mga tagapagtaguyod ng slogan na “Do what makes you happy” at all costs. Despite, in spite of, and notwithstanding whatever ang drama mo. You and me against the world! Against all odds!
Super fans din tayo ng postmodernism. As in superrr. Ang cool kaya.
Alam mo kung ano pa?
Masyado na natin naging katwiran ang mga konsepto ng ‘tolerance’ at ‘open-mindedness’ upang bigyang saysay ang mga gawain at paniniwala natin.
Dahil dito, kadalasan ay okey lang gumanti kasi naging masama naman siya. Okey lang manlait ng walang pakundangan kasi totoo o halata naman. Okey lang gawin ang isang bagay na walang mabuting basehan kasi yun ang makapagpapasaya satin. Okey lang magkasala ngayon kasi hihingi naman tayo ng tawad mamaya. Matututo naman tayo diba? Experience is the best teacher daw kasi. Isa pa, papatawarin din naman tayo ng taong nasaktan natin diba? Papatawarin din naman tayo ng Diyos. Sure tayo dyan kasi mahal Niya tayo e. Ang mas masaklap e minsan wala lang talaga tayong paki kung matutututo ba tayo o hindi, kung papatawarin ba tayo o hindi. Insert malaking buntung-hininga here.
May mga bagay na hindi mo na kailangang subukan para lang matututo ka kung lantad naman sa buong mundo na mali ito. Ilang beses na pinapakita sa telebisyon, ilang mga payo at paalala na rin ang narinig mula sa mga tao sa paligid, ilang mga halimbawa na ikaw mismo ang nakasaksi… Pero bakit nagawa/ginagawa/gagawin mo pa rin?
Okey lang maging open-minded e, basta ba’t may mabuting basehan. Moderno na rin kasi ang mundo ngayon. Nadiskubre natin na may mga modernong gawain na wala naman palang pahamak na maidudulot sa atin. Ang katunayan nga niyan e ayos ang pagiging open-minded. Pero wag naman ‘yung dahil lang sa iyun ang “in”, madami na kasi ang gumagawa, trending kasi sa Twitter, kasi feel/trip mo lang, kasi nadala ka, kasi “wala lang”, kasi bored ka lang, kasi gusto mo lang naman sumaya o kaya naman, ang pinakamalala at pinakawalang kwentang “walang pakealamanan, kasi buhay ko ‘to.” Tolparekabayan, may surprise ako sayo. Hindi mo buhay yan. Kaya wala tayong karapatan na mag-angas sa mundong ibabaw like a boss.
Succumbing to human appetite can be dangerous, my friend. Ayon sa kaunting natutunan ko sa pilosopiya, sabi ni Plato na ang tao raw ay pwedeng ihalintulad sa isang charioteer na nagmamaneobra ng kanyang chariot (duh, malamang) sa tulong ng dalawang kabayo—isang puti at isang itim. Ang puting kabayo ay mabuting uri at behaved samantalang ang itim na kabayo naman ang pasaway at atat tumakbo. Yung atat na kabayo ang ating irrational appetite. Ngayon ikaw ang charioteer. Ang charioteer ay isang simbolo ng karunungan at kawastuhan ng pag-iisip na siyang may kontrol sa dalawang horsies. O diba, anong say mo, marunong ka raw at pwedeng mag-isip ng wasto. Kaya naman, by all means, let’s all try to overcome our human appetite. I believe we are all better than that. :-)