CONVERSATIONS OVER COFFEE: The Humdrum

Over coffee with C, she asked me how I was doing with Mr. Man. I was not really in the position to answer, I felt like I reverted into a zombie, my brain is – – – . I’ve been zoning out of my conversations recently. I perturbed by this preconceived reality. I didn’t really have an apt answer to that question, so I just said that “I don’t know”…

But the truth is that I knew. And he knew it too. We knew right from the start.

How are we doing?

We haven’t seen each other for days, have not texted or called. The end of communication could mean the end of the whole affair and as much as I am tempted to send Mr. Man that text message. It was that one phone call we had that ended it all, we knew, we just knew that was the signal. We were both busy bees, ambitious and workaholic, whenever there was a window in our schedules, we made sure we spent it together even when it meant just hiding under the blanket playing newly downloaded games or  those 15-minute lunches with the perfunctory kiss before riding the cab back to our respective offices.

We were really sweet, compatible and perfect for each other. He’s an adonis, I never tire of the sight of him and it never fails to make me lose my breath when I spot him in a crowd of people or when he swoops by. He was the my man version in every way, and losing him now, meant that I was losing a part of myself.

But it was never meant to be even while it was. To me, polygamy and non-commital relationships were MEANS TO AN END, but to him it was HIS END. I was saw the world in rose colored spectacles, I am a romantic despite harping on about the sad realities and cynicisms about love and life in general. He on the other hand was far from a romantic, but he could do the most romantic things because he seeks to please and he knows that I want to be pleased. A big difference in our perspectives that would never coalesce. Our relationship rested on the foundation of our companionship and similarities but it is infected with the cancer of our differences, with our foreseen end.

I was not really ready for this. I felt less lonely with the thought that I had Mr. Man, he was near perfect for my needs and I always had someone to tell how my day went, a sponge for all my frustrations, my happy thoughts and someone who’s always up for a night of great conversation and laughter. But I always held on to the thought that if it were love that we felt, we would not be wasting time and we would have brought things to the next level without inhibitions…

It would be foolish if I keep on holding on to a pipe dream, I’d rather the humdrum of a lone romantic life and be hopelessly romantic again. Just flurry my schedule with the things I want to do and learn, chase after my dreams rather than waste my time on something that should have been curtailed a long time ago. I don’t want the songs we love and sing to become discordant hymns when I listen to them, I would rather keep them in pristine condition by avoiding that point where you break that heart and make them songs I would associate to negative emotions.

I’ll trade my lacy bras for a sports bra, cocktails for energy drinks, ravioli for vegetable salad and the time I used to spend with you to get a fitter body, mind and heart.

Operation Hotness – C laughs at the pun I’m using for this phase but it is the sweetest form of revenge to be a leap ahead somewhat and have my attention be placed on better and more productive things that would benefit me in the end.

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FINDING LOVE AROUND THE CITY

FINDING LOVE AROUND THE CITY
By: Maan “Maggie” Villar

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Do not be misled by the title, this is not another entry about “Casanovic exploits”. I, the forlorn lover, lament the world donning a kaleidoscope or rose colored glasses as popular literature would have it, as it goes about its usual pace around me. The isolation and lonesome of losing love and going through every day on your own makes you realize that there is truth to what the wise say that losing the one you love is not the end of the world, instead we can find love all around us. I concede. It is the truth.

It was a traumatized and embittered state of mind that led me to think that I ceased to live when the subject of my affections left me, that life is bound to end when I stepped out of his door. But being right here, right now, it is more like I stepped out of his door and stepped into life, learning from it and gazing at its beauty and fresh opportunity at every waking moment. It is filling. I am made wiser and sculpted into the best version there is of myself.

I am in one of my moods where I isolate myself from my Aristotlean personage, my being a social being, I shut off all means of communication and try to see the world not as one who is a resident to it but a spectator, a by-stander, someone watching from the surface and here I am on the by-line writing about what I see and what I feel. Probably reading Nietzsche and his theories on eternal return and other existential philosophers works had me need this time for myself to recalibrate my perceptions and philosophize, be left to the train of my thoughts and somehow bring the tip of the iceberg to paper. Philosophize…

Many questions in this world remain unanswered. Similar to a Grecian goddess frolicking in the fields filling the earth with its magnificence and ethereal nature, its wonder a mystery which we cannot muster an explanation.

Is time finite?

Do things recur in an unending sequence in parallel universes?

Is death indeed the end of life?

The answers sometimes need no disheveling, it could be found at the surface. When you look at the people around you, from the lowly guards whose face we forget in just a few seconds, the Starbucks barista who would buy his child a cheap plastic toy from Baclaran prior to going home and would deprive of himself of lunch for that toy, the traffic enforcer baking in the sun and worrying about what clothes he would wear tomorrow because his shoes are worn and he has only enough money for a ride home and not enough to buy himself laundry detergent, to the tire d and wrinkled man emerging from the mart who has worked as a clerk for 25 years and is buying the night’s meal for two generations of his family since his son would rather enjoy Eat Bulaga rather than get a decent job, even to the bus driver whose back is aching because of his untreated scoliosis as he would rather send his funds for his mother’s hospital bills and his kids tuition fee.

These people do not even have the time to contemplate such trivialities because of the kind of life they are subjected to.  We do not even take the time to notice them or be kind to them. These are real stories and there are even far worse. And we even have the grit to complain?

I have found myself giving my heart to these people when I volunteered for a human rights organization. The many cases that were left dormant, the many rights trampled upon and the many stories that have not even seen the light of day.  Even if I could emanate that love through even just a warm smile, giving my bus seat to the lady who looks tired from the day’s work, opening the door for the tired old man, and many simple acts that could make their days a little better.

Many would gawk at my sentiments or find that it is commonplace in our democratic setting but they are real, they are not just something you donate money to, these are the very issues that need a voice and need not only our compassion but also our heart. I am well aware of what they are going through, of what they are feeling because at some point in my life I sold polvoron and banana candy to my school mates to make ends meet and felt the drive and the need to succeed, be great in this life because I saw my mother in tears as she bore the burden of making me finish my schooling, I saw how she is tired from her weekly bus rides from Baguio to Manila and back to render her shift as she eats sardines while her fellow nurses ate the delicious choices from their cafeteria all because she wanted to enroll me to ballet classes, violin classes and other activities just so I could be a cut above the rest, making sure we never go hungry at home, that there is rice on the table served on time and that I am dressed in the latest garb so that no one would pick on me. I saw her do all these while her hands harden from the calluses of making jewelry and chocolates for extra money, her hair whiten because she has to make sure she pays our bills on time and her great beauty fade with wrinkled skin and white hair as a sign of how she fared to make my life comfortable and an explicated sign of her wisdom and efforts. Even if we are in a much better position that before, we have been witnesses of that life, we have seen hardship – firsthand. And these are all that makes me smart and strong and my mother a martyr who sacrificed her comfort for mine.

Look around you…

Hear these people…

Their stories…
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I would dedicate my graduate degree paper to these people, it would be a landmark piece, I am sure of it, my entry to the academic debate where I am somehow putting a voice to issues, and living that mantra that I have known as a child when they gave me the meaning of my name on a framed printout of it, that my name means fighting the good fight – always.

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ON WAIVING MY RIGHT TO SUFFRAGE

ON MY WAIVING MY RIGHT TO SUFFRAGE
By: Maan “Maggie” Villar

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“I am too political” or “I am a barrel full of legalese” as my friends, colleagues, professors, and followers would attest, comment or even detest. I am, really. I like talking about societal, cultural, legal and philosophical issues, debating about it and writing about it just like Ricky Lo likes talking about our local celebrities. I dish out my views on politics, governance, economy and the country like aged Chablis running through your throat after a good plate of medium rare steak or Jack Daniel’s and Coke when you’re lounging on a Saturday night. Politics is opium to the masses as one distinguished personage puts it – you make a living out of it, love it, loathe it but you cannot deny it – it is a constant. We have to congratulate our ancestors for instituting a means of control, for creating civilization and organizing the once crazy food chain of which we are on top of because our grey matter has better features than all the rest of the species.

There is a plethora of issues politicians and their constituents deal with on a daily basis that it is a circus. Many complex systems, technicalities, trivialities and the whole science of it that you have to wrap up into a good ball when you write or speak about it just to make sure that  Juan de la Cruz, the average reasonable person, would understand and digest. It’s like The Girl in the Green Scarf when she talks about finance. And in case you are a dude or living inside a cave, I was referring to Confessions of a Shopaholic, the popular series of chic fiction that was made a hit on the silver screen.

I have not really mustered the guts to thrash or commend and even comment on the 2013 elections. I am not really a well researched or well informed voter right now – I would be an irresponsible voter. I got into this whole habit and mess of dating political scions that I cannot let my bias get in the way of my objectivity and credibility in my writing, my political views and more importantly my principles. It’s my personal election liquor ban or gun ban, there should not be undue influence on the ovals I am shading, and the clarity of my rational mind should be foremost if and when I cast any vote in this lifetime. So this is me waiving my right to suffrage, not taking part of the elections this year. My fingers and toes are crossed for my fellowmen, for you, that you take that overused adage VOTE STRAIGHT AND VOTE WISELY to heart this time and in the future elections to come.

In ending this piece, I would like to share something I heard (or overheard) on the 21st floor break area of my workplace. My colleague was expressing his views on his candidates and said that he thinks that his vote would not matter anyway because the masa would screw up the chance that a good leader would get in. He made it worse by saying that taxpayers should be the only ones eligible to participate in the elections. Well, in answer to that my esteemed colleague (I hope you sense the sarcasm), it is not the choice of the masa if they are uneducated, undereducated or unemployed unlike yourself and the right to vote is a basic right bestowed to us by the sovereignty that we fought so hard for, that your great grandfather or grandmother died for, bled for and shed tears for just so you could enjoy your right to sue me if I throw a big cup of hot latte on your cute face and Armani glasses. If you want to save the Philippines, be a responsible voter and stop blaming everyone else just because their opinion of who would make a good leader does not match yours. If this entry somehow reaches you, I really wanted to kick your ass if only I didn’t want to lose my work for such a little arrogant and insensitive freak.

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