Greed: a series of sins



And greed is what I especially like

When what I have is what I have not

And my miscalculations, imperil me

Cause what I have I really don’t see

And so amass, there I go

Mindless of hammers, mindless of ploughs

Mindful of wealth I should not own

And so gold, silver, bronze are born

But greed is sometimes my driving force

Retain what’s now, and seize their hold

Of soil and copper, malls and horse

All I’ll nab, happy and bold

So you see I’m close to envy

And that’s a feat I proudly cite

Using another sin inside these lines’ plight

Greed is that, no more exactly

Because I want to have more

Vileness and stink, worse than gore

So envy pride sloth wrath gluttony and lust

Should be here because unparalleled I must be

And surely I won’t settle for the last

More what truly makes me happy

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Sister talks: ending in smart blanks


0-0-

“So what do we talk about? Kelan ka na nga aakyat ng Baguio?

“Baka 29, Martes enrollment namin eh.”

Pause. We live through a sea of pauses, everyday. A pause to think about what to say, a pause to reflect about what the other has just said, to try to comprehend the slips of his unconscious, a pause to just gaze and nothing more. My sister paused for a cruelly terse question:

“So Kitty, what do we now? Don’t make my break time horrible.”

A stare. I’m trying to communicate with her through blank stares which I hope she could fill with unbelievable creativity, and I know she knows me. Or perhaps I simply have nothing to offer.

“Ate, bakit tayo nag-aundergo ng isang boring na summer na mainit at puro pagpapagod, halimbawa biyahe nang biyahe, pasyal nang pasyal. Alam mo ‘yun, magpapasukan na naman, tapos, ewan, tayo, wala pa ring nangyayari sa’tin.”

“We’re talking now naman. Is that boring for you? Ako hindi ako nabobore.”

“Talaga?”

Sometimes, that’s all we need: a reassurance, a cinch, a confirmation. Even only on the surface value, even only temporarily. If they come from people who matter, they attain a greater meaning.”

“Oo naman. You talking about your insecurities again?”

No she must not have known that. How could she? How could my sister look through me and know how I feel when I cannot even chat with her and know something for sure, and not rely on wistfully seeking for reassurance.

“Pa’no mo nalaman? Fuck up, shit. Ganun na ba ‘ko kapredictable? Or kaano, ahm, ka-desolate or something?”

“Siguro kilala lang kita nang, alam mo yun, nang sobra.”

“Hmm, sige na nga. Ate, patapos na yung summer eh. Tas ayun, puro lang tayo gala, o di kaya  mga reunions sa probinsya, tsaka bumness na bahay pag walang lakad. Diba? Haggle diba?”

“We’re talking.  We’re talking naman. Alam mo yun. I’m doing what I like doing. You’re doing what you like doing. Nakita kita kagabi binabasa mo yung Wharton ko, in that ugly position you find beautiful…”

“Haha, magaling ka ah. Haggle, pati yun pinansin mo!”

She’s talking about my usual reading position, argh, (slightly) nakabukaka-habang-asa-headboard.

“Si Mommy, ewan ko, ano ba, she’s attending to Karly and talking to you, listening to her bright daughter’s crazy thoughts, like mixing sundae and halo-halo (Karla, my little sister’s, bizarre idea) or getting a degree in Culinary Arts after finishing one’s Masters (that is my sister). Si Papa, nagmaMavericks at dyaryo at kape as usual, alam mo yun. Hindi tayo nagpapadala sa summer, unlike what most people do.”

“Yeah, people are too easily overwhelmed by the seasons.”

“Oo, parang Mother’s day lang yan o Pasko. Do I show my love to Mommy only ‘pag Mother’s Day? You don’t do that, do you?”

“Haha, right.”

“In the same way, I can feast on a vacation let’s say, sa July, or sa September, while everyone goes gaga over school or work. At isa pa, I can still do what I want to do kahit nag-aaral ako.”

Pause.

My sister. “What’s with the bugging remarks ba? You like to court a guy?”

“Fuck ate, syempre hindi naman ganun.”

Eh ‘di ano na nga, you like to shift to Creative Writing?”

“No! Hindi rin yun.”

“Then say what.”

Fuck. This is one of the hard times, articulating into words the immaterial that reside in your depths. Kahit pa bestfriend o nanay o ate mo ang pagsasabihan mo.

“The thing is that, oh shit, pano ba? I can’t say it…”

-0-0

There are only a few options here. What happened to me?

  1. Juno-ish
  2. Mean-girl hallucination
  3. Coming out of, you know what
  4. Drugs
  5. Incest?! No.
  6. An execution of the stagedness of things, even fiction.

Envy: a series of sins


And so I’m done with sloth, perhaps the easiest

Of all

These sins whose charm is both cherub and devil

Extinguishable and tall

Why envy, is not that easy?

To see, because I’m not you, and you

Not me

You have feather in your brain; I got egg yolk in my hair

I have bucks for a techie; you can’t even have a box of coffee

Your sense of humor is acute; in words only I am astute

I flounder with chatters; your opinions don’t even matter

And here we go again, rhymes on the line

I scrutinize them, and them you can’t define

And envy, true, we live in its mystique

Ask freud if you’re whole, and envy only pique

Because we’re not and further

All I want, I can’t get hither

So look who’s beside you and die

Envy, forever, will make us cry

Sister talks and suspension


But my sister’s the best, not precisely because she lends me her Celine shoes or shares with me her easiest practical tips when it comes to dressing ungirly but staying attractive, but because she can skip her notes about Dementia or ADHD just to talk to me about personal sanity and how to gauge them and fall out of having an attention deficit.

The other night, after a brief stint with Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, I turned to her and sent shy signals that I deeply crave for some “sister talk.” We do not have them often; since I went to Baguio for school and she started her Masters, we were limited to 15-minute calls, Christmas and birthday cheesiness and short notes for each other. I still find it cute, though. Haha. How we exert these little efforts to stay close to each other despite studies and the stress, or boredom of everyday.

Which I guess, these are what really keep us together, stress, boredom, too much exposure with tedious readings, too much observation of fireflies dancing and hearing Broken Social Scene. So through the knack of a lousy fate and the length of time, we delicately put ourselves under a therapeutic transaction, a “sister talk,” perhaps what most girls badly need in order to stay positive and hell beautiful. So I do not know what goes on with girls who don’t have sisters, older or younger; I assume it is more of a test than a mere bore.

“Ate, hindi ka pa naman nagsasawa sa medical world, alam mo yun?”

(Medical Technology, if you’re familiar with that degree, sounds like a real bore. And yes, my sister does not make it look that. She has this habit, which is amazing because a habit is something which you regularly do, of reading her notes every night, before she sleeps or after dinner before she watches a movie. And side dish, she likes 500 Days of Summer which I don’t and dislikes The Matrix Trilogy which I do like, we’re such a pair!)

“Haha, hindi pa naman. Ang dami ko pang hindi alam, kung alam mo lang.”

 (I do not know but I think my sister has this way of getting into the intricate philosophy of things, which most of the time, compel me to ride on with her. In other times, I want to believe that she was the one compelled to look at things that way, perhaps she want to sound smart thinking that I’m from UP. She’s from UST, but that is not a factor why I love her. I love her, and one of the big factors why is that she really tries to adjust to what I presently am)

And she emphasized the second “alam.”

“Ang problematic nun diba, kung ano yung mga alam ko tsaka yung mga hindi ko alam. Tsaka yung mga alam ko na hindi ko alam tsaka yung mga hindi ko alam na alam ko.”

(It took me quite a while before coming up with that response. I have it like that: calculating words and phrases, trying to measure their expanse, their semantic expanse and impressions. Words do not only hurt emotions, as the ugly cliché put it lazily, words create subuniverses as well, and often, these microuniverses are so completely absorbed they change people’s perceptions about the world, about themselves, and about you)

“So anung point ng deadwood Kitty, bored ka no? Tapos mo na yung Irreversible?”

(And I love it when my sister does something like that: attacking me right at the center of what I just did, and not right from where I just did has ended. She has that interesting flair, quickly labelling my actions and throwing them back at me, making me realize what I just did)

“Hindi pa, ewan, nabore ako eh. So tama ka. Or di ko lang siguro feel manood ngayon, aantukin lang ako pag sa kwarto eh. Tapos mo na yung binabasa mo?”

(Yes, we were at the terrace, or veranda, I don’t know. We used to share a room, but she departed when she turned 14. The urge of brimming teenagehood. And I hate watching movies when I can’t concentrate. And movies like Irreversible are intelligent enough to require some good concentration)

“Nope. Patapos ko pa lang yung isa, ang sinet ko as objective ay makatapos ng at least tatlong chapters ngayon, haha.”

(I have many options in describing this: industry, boredom, dedication, excessive attention to detail, excessive obedience to prior plans, super student-ness; I’ll add some more when something pops into my head)

“Na hindi mo na balak seryosohin malamang.”

(I have this tendency to sound jocular when I am dead serious. And funny how people are their truest when they are joking, haha)

“Di ko alam. Naparami na ‘kong kape eh, kung di pa ako aantukin, di ko titigilan ‘to. Ikaw, anong balak mo? Magsulat ka na nga lang sa kwarto mo. Gawan mo ‘ko ng tula.”

(And my abusive sister, haha, asking poems from me when she knows I write them with a pointed passion. And her fondness of coffee, and take note, black coffee. Perhaps she needs to write the poems herself, or someone needs to take her attention away from her readings first)

“Ayoko, tinatamad ako. Ewan, mag-usap muna tayo, or gusto mo na uli magbasa-basa diyan? Magbreak ka naman, kanina ka pa nagbabasa eh.”

(Evidently, I pine for my sister, or ewan, her attention, her words)

“Haha, oo nga, nag-uusap na nga tayo.

(She was not looking at me, but after “tayo,” she put off her papers and grabbed her cup of coffee, changed her sitting position so that she faces me and gave me that wry but cute smile I cannot help but feel good about – haha, Im the sister of this beautiful Masters student!)

She gave her cup a solemn and sweet kiss. And while I glance at her with daring attention, I felt extremely relieved. This is some sister who can touch her little, slightly pimpled-face little sister with an unassuming presence and her mere responding to her pesterings. And we are yet to talk.

Sloth: a series of sins



But I’ll kill you from the mouth

And get you off my bed

And you need to travel south

As I’ll kick my butt instead

But my rhymes are true and your truthfulness is not

And now you’re terribly failing to knock me off my gut

Cause it takes six alarms, sunlight and coffee

To make the vice that is you keep away from me

Oh I’ll buy pizza, macaroni or both

Just to kill the bed, reclining and sloth

And so one has been killed, and six more to feel

But to do perhaps, could be against my will.