Sunday, May 24, 2009


In a Makati-bound shuttle similar to a schoolbus—two long seats, backrests below the windows at opposite sides of the vehicle, separated by a narrow aisle:

A woman in her mid-forties, fussy peroxided curls, tight lemon yellow baby tee, straight black schoolteacher slacks cinched around a full waist. Flesh-colored full panties, synthetic, peeking as she bends over. Canvas handbag with embroidered trains and checks, three-inch plastic Donald Duck keychain. Chunky candybar phone, entry-level, oversized letters, tiny screen. Translucent plastic rosary beads, shiny faux silver medal smaller than a peso in lieu of a crucifix.

A woman in her mid-thirties, mocha skin, wavy hair ponied at the base of her neck. Heart-shaped face, small eyes and nose, abbreviated eyebrows. Dry peeling lips, full, tired. Small, capable hands. Centimeter-long fingernails kept meticulously clean. Silver chain and pendant, slightly tarnished. Corduroy boatneck top, black, elbow-length sleeves, sliver of slender white bra strap near her shoulder. Dusty black pants. Black rectangular backpack, laptop size, molded rubber support pads at the base. Fat little hardcover book on economic/legal matters, heavily annotated in bright blue ink.


At the far end of the right-hand seat, as seen from the middle of the left-hand seat:

A young man in his early twenties, large eyes and rabbit teeth from a distantly remembered childhood. No longer scrawny—a grotesque tattooed monster snarls from an enlarged bicep half-hidden under the sleeve of a slightly rumpled polo shirt—but still short, still only inches taller. Hair growing over a recently shaved skull. Hands overridden with veins, (perhaps) scars lurking beneath fabric. Slim, elongated black bag, zipped shut, containing small items that make no sound when disturbed. A wistful, almost childish look of exhaustion during brief, stolen naps. A face grown somewhat sharper, somewhat older, with the inevitable (yet still incomplete) angularity of manhood.

Note: Forgive me for being lazy with this post... This is just a handful of loosely-connected character studies focusing on the external appearance ('cause I tend to fixate on that ^^;;). I didn't really intend for them to have any kind of structure; I guess that's something I can try to come up with in the future, when I'm not so busy with the day job. ^^;

Sunday, May 3, 2009


It's easier not to say anything when my mother complains. When she unties her hair in the confines of her room, big brush in hand. When she pauses, expecting me to agree. When she changes the topic to something that doesn't cause her grief, or remind her of the mistake she made at the altar decades before. It's easier to sit silently by her side as she pours out her frustrations, although it's not so easy to be young and still dependent on the cause of her pain.

No, it's not so easy to be unable to say anything other than empty words of comfort.

Note: Having fun with my new phone ^^ It's got this little memo application that can save a memo of up to 1000 characters. I know it sounds silly, but this looked a lot longer while I was keying it out on my phone XP hehe. Now this post seems way too short, and vague. ^^; Minimalist I'm not, I guess.