LATE NIGHT SCRAMBLED EGGS

LATE NIGHT SCRAMBLED EGGS

By: Maan “Maggie” Villar, The World According to Maggie V

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The cliché that “the best things in life are free” must have surfaced from a general nodding of heads from people who have been in love or have experienced love. In my experience, it was him suddenly lying on my lap one lazy afternoon with just a book and a fruit shake in hand at Ayala Triangle. We had light conversations in between his naps and my reading, the feeling that those conversations gave me was the same feeling you get when you are used to eating burgers and red meat and you suddenly shift your diet to vegetable salads and sliced fruits. We sat on that spot until the moon was gazing at the world with lazy eyes, hesitant to leave its spot but itching to end its shift like a perfume sales man on a slow day or a prisoner guard. That day, the jokes we shared about couples in Luneta Park or Manila Bay became ubiquitous, we understood them all of a sudden because we were in the moment – we were in their shoes, in their state of mind. What happened that afternoon gave me an illusion and hope that maybe I could spend the last of my years with this man, on an old porch, sitting on a rocking chair, white hair, thick glasses, a large floral dress and a knitting project in my hands.

 

Recent developments made it clear that those romantic misgivings were indeed illusions and false hopes. Only the both of us hold the secrets of our affair and its demise, I always say our love grew in cunning, in silence and in quiet. As much as I would have wanted to share our story in full animation and gusto, I cannot bring myself to do that. My mind and heart trails to lucid moments of torrid kissing and tight grabs of once unknown places in my body that I am left in a resigned mood, left to the overwhelming gush of longing those passionate moments bring — those once unknown places in my body that became the territory of his hands and postmarked by the sweet juice of his kisses. I hug myself at the memory. I had to pause my writing this hug myself at the thought…

 

The thoughts of him bring vivid sensory recollections. I can still feel the reverberation of his voice in my ears when he tries to make a point, or the sound of his soft snoring wand heavy breathing after a tiring day. His eyes, seductive and expressive, sheds a fine light when he is engrossed in what he is reading or when we enjoy a morning stroll and the first rays of sun passes through it in a diagonal fashion. His eyes were the color of grape seeds; they were always teary and sad, like newly varnished mahogany. The deep pools of brown in his eyes came out even more when he wears his black scarf, he wears that scarf and he looks so regal and feels cozier to hug. His hugs say a lot about his feelings, most of the time it makes me feel like a starfish being taken to deeper seas by a big wave, a brainless starfish not knowing what to do. That feeling of engulfment is eased when I feel the details of his thumb mark on my cheek and all worries and woes melt into a blur – as if the world is so simple and nothing can ever hurt me. I miss the mossy smell of his apartment and the very distinct manly smell which sticks to his bed that I keep whiffing off his pillows and sheets when he is away, sometimes even when he is just taking a shower. I randomly get a whiff of his Issey Miyake perfume when walking at a mall or the streets and that is when I badly miss him, that is the height of my sadness and I feel all of a sudden that the buildings or the crowd would eat me a live – very nauseating, my legs throb and weaken and feel like it is giving away.

 

That same crowd that used to double over when we walk the streets, that gave a slight smile when overhearing our little arguments or funny takes on random things over dinner or drinks, that same crowd that stared when he pulled me in for a kiss good-bye and that followed me with its eyes on mornings when I have just emerged from his place with my hair in a rut and in man clothes – the crowd that gave justice to walking the walk of shame in those mornings.

 

His place, his apartment is the backdrop to the memories we have created together. That dingy old apartment: where quiz papers from fourth grade with perfect scores and smileys in red ink are scattered along laced panties and used condoms. A wooden ashtray that fills up as the night deepens and the morning enters, dusty books with frail pages seemingly salvaged and dried from a rainy day and an un-stringed Fender acoustic guitar that sits on its corner were a few of its remarkable features. His place was my refuge from storms and graying skies complete with hot chocolate and slow rainy day sex, my secret place for watching movies and fucked up documentaries that cause my impatience to go home from the office, his place was the breeding ground for our love and eventual pains with its four walls privy to our whispers. The same four walls banged by neighbors when we have raucous sex, the same four walls that are stained black from his cooking.

 

I lie about not eating scrambled eggs ever. I ate scrambled eggs because it reminds me of post-coital breakfast food he cooks deep in the night. It was cooked to perfection, a little milk and just enough salt that it turns out fluffy and tasting exactly the way I want it to taste.

 

Late night scrambled eggs that have been demoted to late night scrambled thoughts…

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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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MY DUAL LIFE

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MY DUAL LIFE

By Maan Villar

Sunday, November 25, 2012

 

Maybe I still am affected by a comment my friend made this one time she caught me in the middle of obsessively and repetitively reading and digesting Jullie Yap-Daza’s blog and articles over the web, she said that she fears for me as “all these mistress stuff is getting into my head”. Well, that was an understatement, what she failed to look into was my personal affairs – the mistress shenanigan is slowly weaving its way into my realities.

 

     In the pursuit of social acceptance and vain pursuits, I chose to date the man any woman would dream of. He is established; he is a model slash actor, has a whole array of different gigs on the side, talented, smart, very tall, uber handsome and yes all the other things you have on your checklist. He is typical content on my Facebook profile – to envy, to pore a few minutes over and to make good gossip with esp. coming from a heartbreaking ordeal, he was the perfect excuse that I have moved on. (Do not throw eggs at me for this, everyone does it, I could safely say that we project our better selves as a social and virtual requirement over at Facebook or Twitter, no one is to blame but the originators which is man. And yes, give me the liberty of philosophizing this phenomenon as a little segue from my heartaches.

 

     What is there to rant about when here he is: the walking checklist of my ideal man? Well, for one thing, it is a B.S. (Big Secret) and a fact that he is married with a son and that he is still with his wife. Many of my friends are ecstatic to meet him, even coercing me to bring him all the way up to Baguio, thinking that finally, this is it for me. But nah! Not really. No. I used to be so grounded to my three principles in my relationships or my three commandments: first is to not get married not unless divorce is a part of our legal system, second is to marry or be in a relationship for love and never for convenience (right now Mr. Man is convenient for my vanities) and lastly remain single until the right man comes along. Also, as a part or a subsection of these rules is to not attempt men who are a) in a relationship with someone, b) is a serial womanizer and worst of all c) is married (even much worse is with kid, that’s the big red stop sign and foghorn right there).

 

     I am not yet in the stage to really give judgment and act appropriately in my current reality but having broken all my rules, maybe it is worth the ride. Besides, I am confident enough to write and say that it would be an ant’s bite or a small prick from a needle in case I get hurt because I would not really give my heart as a choice, I would get hurt because I know I have wasted time with the wrong man again. It is the experience or perhaps the demands of the time that I would get from this whole show. (He is just show quality at some point anyway as what my friend Abel and I have discussed.)

 

     I know he loves her, he has the car sticker of their family, a portrait of them as a couple inside his wallet, pictures of his wife and a rally of texts lighting up his phone. I know that what we have is just a diversion from his problems at home and my diversion from my loneliness also a dash of flavor and inspiration but I enjoy it so much that people look at us together because we look good together (according to the majority) as we are a mestizo and mestiza couple, I want to parade him around town, take pictures with him and feel that I could bring him anywhere. Vain pursuits they are but our constant hesitation to the emotional strings may cause us to get too woven into a dangerous love affair, the more we say no to urges do we find ourselves getting deeply more attached. It was too abstract that previous line but Friday night is an example. He sang one of my favorite Freestyle songs on stage and every time the words “I love you” comes up, he looks so intently and lovingly at me that I my breathing literally stopped and the world stopped – like I can’t hear my friends and see anyone else esp. that moment we shared the stage together when he asked me to come up there. I was stopping myself initially to feel this way, avoiding him looking at me, but it was so weird the effect we had on the crowd that people were sappy with our presence and the couples snuggled closer to each other after our little scene onstage. I stop myself from getting that cozy feeling when he holds me so tight when we walk, ride the bus, or say our good-byes at the end of each day – it is difficult to shun away sincere emotions.

 

     Here is one of the harms caused in getting too caught-up with my books, bringing the text and made-up worlds of these writers into reality. I indulge in it maybe as a source of inspiration, and also to feel more of R. K. Narayan in “The Guide”. Being in this situation, I have caused myself to believe less in love and focus more on my dreams, as what Jullie Yap-Daza puts it (and I am just paraphrasing), mistresses are like men, they have more time to build on their futures and careers and half of the time they can devote to romance. Maybe it is a good thing and a part of getting back on track where a minor slip on the road that will make me dash forward or maybe it would backfire despite all my reasoning as the cause is a fool’s one, vanity.

 

     Despite my decreasing belief in love, I would not deny that my being romantic is still intact as it is a requirement in my artistry. I have proven now that love and romanticism could be separated. I am known to the fact that this is going to last just like a falling star as it meets the horizon and that there is that one person also looking for me and we would find each other soon. (I was being a romantic when I said that, mind you.)